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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | March 13, 2020


New planting guidelines could boost edamame profits
Edamame may be a niche crop in the United States, but growers and processors still need the best possible information to make sound management decisions.
Astrophysicists wear 3D glasses to watch quasars
A team of researchers has shown a way to determine the origins and nature of quasar light by its polarization.
First-time direct proof of chemical reactions in particulates
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have developed a new method to analyse particulate matter more precisely than ever before.
Control of the fatty acid synthase
Max Planck researchers discover first protein that regulates fatty acid synthase
UK study highlights importance of spirometry in diagnosing COPD
A UK study of patients participating in low-dose CT lung cancer screening highlights the importance of spirometry (breathing tests) in the assessment of possible chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and demonstrates that over-reliance on radiological changes alone may result in detection of clinically insignificant disease.
New catalyst provides boost to next-generation EV batteries
A recent study, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has introduced a new composite catalyst that could efficiently enhance the charg-discharge performances when applied to metal-air batteries (MABs).
Invisible plastics in water
A Washington State University research team has found that nanoscale particles of the most commonly used plastics tend to move through the water supply, especially in fresh water, or settle out in wastewater treatment plants, where they end up as sludge, in landfills, and often as fertilizer.
Flexible 'heroes' save delicate proteins from stress
Protein aggregation and misfolding underpins several neurodegenerative diseases; proteins can also become aggregated or denatured under conditions of stress.
Lower-sodium turkey breast wins sensory test over full-salt option
University of Massachusetts Amherst food scientists produced a lower-salt processed turkey that consumers in a blind sensory test preferred to a full-salt version, according to a study published in the international journal LWT-Food Science and Technology.
Human activity affects interactions between plants and seed-dispersing birds
Analysis of Atlantic Rainforest fragments shows how extinction of animal species, habitat loss and forest fragmentation affect networks of ecological interactions.
Ouch: Patients prescribed opioids after tooth extraction report worse pain
The use of opioids to soothe the pain of a pulled tooth could be drastically reduced or eliminated altogether from dentistry, say University of Michigan researchers.
SUTD develops missing link to circular economy while tackling global waste
Urban waste and bio-inspired engineering provide key ingredients to 3D printed bioplastic, allowing for global adoption of sustainable manufacturing processes.
Bacteria form biofilms like settlers form cities
Biofilms are composed of bacteria living in a densely packed and organized community.
Worm nerve responses for good and bad
Studies on a tiny soil worm help explain how animal nervous systems translate external signals as 'good' or 'bad' in order to elicit the appropriate response.
Surprising research: Prehistoric hyenas and humans share migration patterns
New research into the evolutionary history and prehistoric migrations of hyenas reveals surprising similarities between hyenas and prehistoric humans.
How brain cells lay down infrastructure to grow and create memories
Research published today in Science Advances sheds new light on the molecular machinery that enables the shape, growth and movement of neurons.
Silicon-graphene hybrid plasmonic waveguide photodetectors beyond 1.55 μm
Waveguide photodetectors beyond 1.55 μm are becoming very attractive for many applications.
HKU scientists find high concentrations of toxic phenyltin compounds in local Chinese white dolphins
An HKU research team confirmed the occurrence of biomagnification of toxic substance TPT compounds along the marine food chain resulted in very high concentrations of TPT in two top predators, the Chinese white dolphin and the finless porpoises.
Treated wastewater may safe for aquaculture -- Ben-Gurion University researchers
A new study in aquaculture by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has determined that organic micropollutants (OMPs) in the water - trace elements of heavy metals, pharmaceuticals and personal care products as well as pesticides, solvents, and detergents - result in minimal accumulation in fish.
Buffed-up avatars deter us from exercising hard
An award-winning paper from the University of Bath shows people perform better in VR exercise games when they compete against a realistic avatar of themselves.
What can you do with spiral graph? Help understand how galaxies evolve
Researchers at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences have developed a technique to accurately measure the winding arms of spiral galaxies that is so easy, virtually anyone can participate.
Oncotarget: DNA methylation of MMPs and TIMPs in atherothrombosis process in carotid plaques
Oncotarget Volume 11, Issue 10 reported that the statistically associated Cp G sites were analyzed in blood samples from two separate atherothrombotic stroke cohorts, ischemic stroke-cohort 1: 37 atherothrombotic patients and 6 controls, ischemic stroke-cohort 2: 80 atherothrombotic patients and 184 controls.
For migratory alewife, urbanization of coastal areas means smaller size, poorer health
A Marine Biological Laboratory study of migratory herring (alewife) in Massachusetts and Maine finds that fish leaving urbanized coastal environments are smaller and less healthy than fish leaving less developed watersheds.
Alzheimer's and an unusual molecular chaperone
Research team from the University of Konstanz and Utrecht University elucidates the aggregation mechanism of the Alzheimer protein tau.
Oncotarget: MicroRNA (miR) dysregulation during Helicobacter pylori-induced gastric
Oncotarget Volume 11, Issue 10 reported that dysregulation of noncoding micro RNA molecules has been associated with immune cell activation in the context of Helicobacter pylori-induced gastric inflammation as well as carcinogenesis, but also with downregulation of mismatch repair genes, and may interfere with immune checkpoint proteins that lead to the overexpression of antigens on gastric tumor cells.
UM professor helps Malaysia develop conservation areas, protect species
Jedediah Brodie has spent a career tromping around tropical rainforests, conducting on-the-ground research in some of the world's most lush and diverse regions.
Pathways toward realizing the promise of all-solid-state batteries
UC San Diego nanoengineers offer a research roadmap describing four challenges that need to be addressed in order to advance a promising class of batteries, all-solid-state batteries, to commercialization.
University of Miami researchers find an early behavioral marker for autism
Many babies cry or show other signs of distress when a parent departs and they are left behind with a stranger.
Semi-metal compound could treat foal pneumonia without promoting drug resistant bacteria
Morris Animal Foundation-funded researchers at Texas A&M University and the University of Georgia may have discovered a way to treat deadly foal pneumonia without promoting multi-drug resistant bacteria.
How associative fear memory is formed in the brain
Using a mouse model, a pair of UC Riverside researchers demonstrated the formation of fear memory involves the strengthening of neural pathways between two brain areas: the hippocampus, which responds to a particular context and encodes it, and the amygdala, which triggers defensive behavior, including fear responses.
Discovery of zero-energy bound states at both ends of a one-dimensional atomic line defect
Professor Wang Jian's group at Peking University, in collaboration with Professor Wang Ziqiang's group at Boston College, discovered MZMs at both ends of 1D atomic line defects in two-dimensional (2D) iron-based high-temperature superconductors
Solving obesity: Could manipulating microbes offer an alternative to weight loss surgery?
In a new study, 'Temporospatial shifts in the human gut microbiome and metabolome after gastric bypass surgery,' recently published in npj Biofilms and Microbiomes, ASU researcher Zehra Esra Ilhan, ASU Biodesign professor Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown--and researchers from Mayo Clinic and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, have taken another step in understanding how the gut changes after gastric bypass surgery (also known as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery).
Mercury's 400 C heat may help it make its own ice
Despite Mercury's 400 C daytime heat, there is ice at its caps, and now a study shows how that Vulcan scorch probably helps the planet closest to the sun make some of that ice.
Water-free way to make MXenes could mean new uses for the promising nanomaterials
Ten years after producing the first sample of the now widely studied family of nanomaterials, called MXenes, Drexel University researchers have discovered a different way to make the atom-thin material that presents a number of new opportunities for using it.
Brief entrance test can predict academic success within first year of study in economics
German researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin found that even a short test can reliably predict students' success within their first year of study in economics -- much better than an intelligence test or predictions based on school grades.
Hornwort genomes could lead to crop improvement
Fay-Wei Li from the Boyce Thompson Institute and researchers from across the globe sequenced the genomes of three hornworts, illuminating the dawn of land plants.
How sperm unpack dad's genome so it can merge with mom's
UC San Diego researchers discover the enzyme SPRK1's role in reorganizing the paternal genome during the first moments of fertilization -- a finding that might help explain infertility cases of unknown cause.
The keto diet can lead to flu-like symptoms during the first few weeks on the diet
A ketogenic diet can lead to several flu-like symptoms within the first few weeks on the diet.
Cellular stress makes obese mothers have obese babies
Maternal obesity increases the risk for obesity and metabolic perturbations in their offspring, but what are the mechanisms?
NASA's Terra Satellite observes development of Tropical Storm 22S
NASA's Terra satellite passed over the Southern Indian Ocean and provided forecasters with a visible image of newly formed Tropical Storm 22S, located near northeastern Madagascar.
Brain-doping produced by your own body
Researchers have uncovered the mechanism by which Epo acts in nerve cells.
Oncotarget: Prognostic and predictive factors in pancreatic cancer
Oncotarget Volume 11, Issue 10 reported that there are not standardized predictive biomarkers able to identify patients who benefit most from treatments.
The discovery of a new gene that 'supervises' strawberry ripening
For the first time, a University of Cordoba research group has characterized a transcription factor that modulates more than 600 genes involved in strawberry ripening
One drug, three action modes
Clinicians combat the drug resistances of some cancer types by using a combination of different drugs.
Coronavirus spreads quickly and sometimes before people have symptoms, study finds
Infectious disease researchers at The University of Texas at Austin studying the novel coronavirus were able to identify how quickly the virus can spread, a factor that may help public health officials in their efforts at containment.
Scientists work toward more reliable prediction of South Asian summer monsoon rainfall for the upcoming 15-30 years
A large part of climate change adaptation and mitigation activities is based on prognoses delivered by climate models, so a highly robust and reliable climate prediction is the base of policy decision making.
Blood stem cells boost immunity by keeping a record of previous infections
A Franco-German research team led by Prof. Michael Sieweke, from the Center for Regenerative Therapies TU Dresden (CRTD) and the Center of Immunology of Marseille Luminy (CNRS, INSERM, Aix-Marseille University), today uncovered a surprising property of blood stem cells: not only do they ensure the continuous renewal of blood cells and contribute to the immune response triggered by an infection, but they can also remember previous infectious encounters to drive a more rapid and more efficient immune response in the future.
COVID-19 appears less severe in children, says review in Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal
As outbreaks of COVID-19 disease caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continue worldwide, there's reassuring evidence that children have fewer symptoms and less severe disease.
How plants sound the alarm about danger
Just like humans and other animals, plants have hormones. One role of plant hormones is to perceive trouble and then signal to the rest of the plant to respond.
NCAM2 protein plays a decisive role in the formation of structures for cognitive learning
The molecule NCAM2, a glycoprotein from the superfamily of immunoglobulins, is a vital factor in the formation of the cerebral cortex, neuronal morphogenesis and formation of neuronal circuits in the brain, as stated in the new study published in the journal Cerebral Cortex.
Receptors for the immune defence
Max Planck researchers investigate the function of immune genes in primitive mammals.
Diagnosing hypertension in children
Study results call into question the utility of testing blood pressure load--the proportion of elevated blood pressure readings detected over 24 hours--for diagnosing hypertension in children.
Oncotarget: A microRNA-based signature predicts local-regional failure and overall survival
The cover for issue 10 of Oncotarget features Figure 3, 'Overall survival (OS) for high (red) versus low (black) risk groups in the (A) OSU, (B) TCGA, and (C) SNU resected cohorts,' by Wolfe, et al.
How skin cells embark on a swift yet elaborate death
Scientists have identified the mechanism that allows skin cells to sense changes in their environment, and very quickly respond to reinforce the skin's outermost layer.
3D hierarchically porous nanostructured catalyst helps efficiently reduce CO2?
KAIST researchers developed a three-dimensional (3D) hierarchically porous nanostructured catalyst with carbon dioxide (CO2) to carbon monoxide (CO) conversion rate up to 3.96 times higher than that of conventional nanoporous gold catalysts.
Resolving inflammation: Could it prevent memory loss in Down syndrome and Alzheimer's?
Resolvins are lipids that 'resolve' the inflammation that normally follows injury or disease, returning the body back to normal.
Long-term analysis shows GM cotton no match for insects in India
In India, Bt cotton is the most widely planted cotton crop by acreage, and it is hugely controversial.
Research on the fossil
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg, Germany, succeeded for the first time ever in describing in lampreys the mechanistic basis with which the different receptor genes in these ancient creatures are assembled to form the receptor on the surface of immune cells.
How curved are your bones?
Researchers find smart bones curve to protect against fracture.
Mimicking cancer's evasive tactics, microparticles show promise for transplant rejection
Inspired by a tactic cancer cells use to evade the immune system, University of Pittsburgh researchers have engineered tiny particles that can trick the body into accepting transplanted tissue as its own.
NIH researchers discover tooth-enamel protein in eyes with dry AMD
A protein that normally deposits mineralized calcium in tooth enamel may also be responsible for calcium deposits in the back of the eye in people with dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a study from researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI).
Call for older people in poor countries to be considered in global responses to COVID-19
Current guidance on coronavirus 'largely ignores' the implications for public health and clinical responses in light of those most at risk, according to an international group of global health experts.
New study presents hygroscopic micro/nanolenses along carbon nanotube ion channels
A recent study, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has introduced a novel technology, which allows carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to be easily observed under room temperature.

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