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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | March 18, 2020


To reap heart benefits of a plant-based diet, avoid junk food
A new study being presented at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session Together with World Congress of Cardiology (ACC.20/WCC) suggests that people following a plant-based diet who frequently consumed less-healthful foods like sweets, refined grains and juice showed no heart health benefit compared with those who did not eat a plant-based diet.
Researchers in Singapore find common therapeutic vulnerability for a genetically diverse and deadly
Scientists and clinicians from Duke-NUS Medical School, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research's (A*STAR's) Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), and the Singapore General Hospital (SGH), have devised a novel drug combination that could treat a particularly deadly form of leukaemia, known as blast crisis (BC) chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML).
Ancient fish fossil reveals evolutionary origin of the human hand
An ancient Elpistostege fish fossil found in Miguasha, Canada, has revealed new insights into how the human hand evolved from fish fins.
Trauma relapse in a novel context may be preventable
Korea Brain Research Institute (KBRI, President: Pann-Ghill Suh) announced on February 10 that its research team led by Dr.
The imitation game: Scientists describe and emulate new quantum state of entangled photons
A research team from ITMO University, MIPT and Politecnico di Torino, has predicted a novel type of topological quantum state of two photons.
How 'pioneer' protein turns stem cells into organs
Early on in each cell, a critical protein known as FoxA2 simultaneously binds to both the chromosomal proteins and the DNA, opening the flood gates for gene activation, according to a new study led by researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
Model simulator helps researchers map complex physics phenomena
A Cornell-led collaboration has successfully created such a simulator using ultrathin monolayers that overlap to make a moiré pattern.
Bad sleep habits can depress teens
Nagging negative thoughts - and striving for perfection - keep teenagers awake at night, raising their chance of becoming depressed and anxious, a new study shows.
Microplastics found in a quarter of San Diego estuary fish
Nearly a quarter of fish collected from a San Diego stream contain microplastics.
Therapeutic HPV vaccine may improve outcomes in advanced cervical cancer
Combining a therapeutic vaccine for human papilloma virus (HPV) with two standard chemotherapy drugs may extend survival in patients with advanced, recurrent cervical cancer, according to a phase 1/2 trial involving 77 patients.
Warming seas
Researchers study behavioral and physiological effects of marine heatwaves on wild fish in a short period of time.
Loss of protein disturbs intestinal homeostasis and can drive cancer
An international team of researchers from the University of Zurich, the University Hospital Zurich, Heidelberg and Glasgow has identified a novel function for the cell death regulating protein MCL1: It is essential in protecting the intestine against cancer development -- independent of bacterial-driven inflammation.
Crop diversity can buffer the effects of climate change
Stanford researchers found that farms with diverse crops planted together provide more secure, stable habitats for wildlife and are more resilient to climate change than the single-crop standard that dominates today's agriculture industry.
Stanford engineers create shape-changing, free-roaming soft robot
A new type of robot combines traditional and soft robotics, making it safe but sturdy.
In NIH trial, selumetinib shrinks tumors, provides clinical benefit for children with NF1
Findings from a phase 2 clinical trial show that the drug selumetinib improves outcomes for children with the genetic disorder neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1).
Aboriginal scars from frontier wars
Hundreds of Aboriginal men who became native mounted police in colonial Australia carried a significant burden of responsibility for law and order for white settlers in Queensland and other settlements.
Oncotarget Targeting PI3Kβ alone and in combination with chemotherapy or immunotherapy
The cover for issue 11 of Oncotarget features Figure 6, 'Effects of AZD8186 in combination with anti-PD1 on syngeneic models,' by Owusu-Brackett, et al.
Access to forbidden rings
Chemists (UNIGE) have now devised a new technique for creating chains of molecular rings that do not use standard chemical interactions but contact with large molecular surfaces that are electron-poor and do not exist in nature.
Rapid, automatic identification of individual, live brain cells
Generalized brain atlases, so-called connectome maps, are still no help for identifying neurons in individual, live, wriggling worms.
Sharp rise in NHS negligence claims for lack of informed consent
Negligence claims against the NHS due to failure to inform patients before they consent to procedures have spiralled up since a landmark legal ruling in 2015, a new study has found.
Tracking adeno-associated virus capsid evolution
Researchers have used high-throughput screening of adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector capsid libraries to maximize the likelihood of obtaining AAV variants with desired properties.
Bariatric surgery is linked to significantly fewer heart attacks and strokes
A nationwide study of nearly 7,500 people who are obese or severely obese has found that bariatric surgery is linked to significantly fewer heart attacks and strokes.
Increasingly mobile sea ice risks polluting Arctic neighbors
The movement of sea ice between Arctic countries is expected to significantly increase this century, raising the risk of more widely transporting pollutants like microplastics and oil, according to new research from CU Boulder.
New study: National monuments can boost the economy in the American West
A groundbreaking study by Resources for the Future researchers, published in Science Advances, shows that national monuments have had mostly positive effects on local economies in the American West.
E-cigarette use rises while new data points to heart health risks
A new study adds to mounting evidence that the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), or vaping, has increased in recent years among US adults, with nearly 1 in 20 reporting current use of e-cigarettes, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session Together with World Congress of Cardiology (ACC.20/WCC).
Social, financial factors critical to assessing cardiovascular risk
Certain markers of a person's financial and social status, known as social determinants of health, offer valuable information about a person's potential risk of heart disease but are often overlooked, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session Together with World Congress of Cardiology (ACC.20/WCC).
Alzheimer risk genes converge on microglia
Our DNA determines a large part of our risk for Alzheimer's disease, but it remained unclear how many genetic risk factors contribute to disease.
'Wonderchicken' fossil from the age of dinosaurs reveals origin of modern birds
The oldest fossil of a modern bird yet found, dating from the age of dinosaurs, has been identified by an international team of palaeontologists.
Where you live may influence your baby's behavior
Infants from rural families tend to display negative emotions such as anger and frustration more frequently than their urban counterparts, according to a recent study in the Journal of Community Psychology.
NASA analyzes tropical cyclone Herold's water vapor concentration
When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Southern Indian Ocean on Mar.
Shedding light on optimal materials for harvesting sunlight underwater
There may be many overlooked organic and inorganic materials that could be used to harness sunlight underwater and efficiently power autonomous submersible vehicles, report researchers at New York University.
Role of childhood adversity in executive function and mood after early removal of ovaries
Nearly one-third of women who choose to have their ovaries removed before the natural age of menopause are susceptible to negative mood and executive dysfunction.
New research unpicks root causes of separation anxiety in dogs
Separation anxiety in dogs should be seen as a symptom of underlying frustrations rather than a diagnosis, and understanding these root causes could be key to effective treatment, new research by animal behaviour specialists suggests.
6000-8000 km round trip flight of migratory wading birds tracked
Plovers winter and migrate utilizing rice paddy fields along their annual route.
Viewpoint: Could disease pathogens be the dark matter behind Alzheimer's disease?
In a lively discussion appearing in the Viewpoint section of the journal Nature Reviews Neurology, Ben Readhead, a researcher in the ASU-Banner Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center at the Biodesign Institute joins several distinguished colleagues to discuss the idea that bacteria, viruses or other infectious pathogens may play a role in Alzheimer's disease.
Most mass shootings occur closest to hospitals without verification to treat trauma
In an analysis of 2019 mass shootings and hospital locations, researchers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) found that the closest hospital to more than 70% of mass shootings was a non-trauma center, where sudden, high casualty loads were more likely to overwhelm capacity and trauma-specific care options may have been limited.
Blacks' views on racism affect likelihood of self-employment
Working blacks who believe racism has a major impact on their lives are more likely to seek self-employment than those who feel less strongly about its effects, according to new research from Rice University.
Ball-and-chain inactivation of ion channels visualized by cryo-electron microscopy
Ion channels, which allow potassium and sodium ions to flow in and out of cells, are crucial in neuronal 'firing' in the central nervous system and for brain and heart function.
Having a low birthweight baby may increase risk for early heart failure
A new study, presented at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session Together with World Congress of Cardiology (ACC.20/WCC), suggests that giving birth to a baby under 5.5 pounds may be an independent risk factor for developing changes in heart function that can lead to heart failure, a condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood and oxygen to meet the body's needs.
Supercomputers unlock reproductive mysteries of viruses and life
Supercomputer simulations support a new mechanism for the budding off of viruses like the coronavirus.
Beetles changed their diet during the Cretaceous period
Like a snapshot, amber preserves bygone worlds. An international team of paleontologists from the University of Bonn has now described four new beetle species in fossilized tree resin from Myanmar, which belong to the Kateretidae family.
New sensor could help prevent food waste
MIT chemists have created a tiny sensor that can detect ethylene gas, a plant hormone, in concentrations as low as 15 parts per billion.
PLOS ONE: Online program more than doubled pregnancy rate for women with infertility
A study published in PLOS ONE showed that an internet-based version of Harvard's Mind/Body Program for Fertility achieved results similar to the in-person program, more than doubling pregnancy rates for women experiencing infertility, compared with a control group.
'Fatal attraction': Small carnivores drawn to kill sites, then ambushed by larger kin
University of Washington researchers have discovered that large predators play a key yet unexpected role in keeping smaller predators and deer in check.
Radiation damage spreads among close neighbors
A single x-ray can unravel an enormous molecule, physicists report in the March 17 issue of Physical Review Letters.
Polymer films pass electron gun test
HSE researchers, jointly with colleagues from the RAN Institute of Organoelement Compounds and the RAN Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, have studied the properties of a polyarylene ether ketone-based copolymer (co-PAEK) for potential space applications.
MAFLD: A new name and definition brings hope for patients with fatty liver disease
An international consensus panel led by researchers from The Westmead Institute for Medical Research (WIMR) has highlighted the need to redefine Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), and to name it Metabolic Associated Fatty Liver Disease (MAFLD).
Hodor 'holds the door' open for a potential new way to curb mosquito populations
The identification of an insect-specific metal-sensing receptor in the gut lining highlights a possible new way to curb populations of disease-transmitting insects such as mosquitoes.
Global warming influence on extreme weather events has been frequently underestimated
Analysis shows global warming is intensifying the occurrence of unprecedented hot spells and downpours faster than predicted by historical trends.
To prevent tick encounters, where you dump your leaves matters
While many homeowners heed the advice to clear their lawns of fallen leaves in autumn to avoid creating tick-friendly habitat in high-use areas, a new study on tick abundance in leaf litter says raking or blowing leaves just out to the forest edge is not enough.
Music as medicine? 30 minutes a day shows benefits after heart attack
Listening to music can be enjoyable, but is it also good for your heart?
Heatwaves risky for fish
A world-first study using sophisticated genetic analysis techniques have found that some fish are better than others at coping with heatwaves.
Using 'organs-on-a-chip' to model complicated diseases
MIT biological engineers have created a multitissue model that lets them study the relationships between different organs and the immune system on a microfluidic chip seeded with human cells.
An advance in molecular moviemaking shows how molecules respond to two photons of light
Some of the molecules' responses were surprising and others had been seen before with other techniques, but never in such detail or so directly, without relying on advance knowledge of what they should look like.
High blood pressure surprisingly common in female college athletes
Nearly half of a cohort of female athletes at two US universities were found to have higher than normal blood pressure levels, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session Together with World Congress of Cardiology (ACC.20/WCC).
Three-drug combination reduces COPD patient mortality
Once-daily treatment of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with an inhaler combining fluticasone furoate (FF), umeclidinium (UMEC) and vilanterol (VI) reduced all-cause mortality by 42 percent, according to new research published online in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
A new window into psychosis
A recent study in mice led a team of researchers in Japan to believe that psychosis may be caused by problems with specialized nerve cells deep within the brain, as well as a certain kind of learning behavior.
Concern over industry support for wider access to medical cannabis
An investigation by The BMJ has uncovered links between groups and individuals campaigning for wider access to cannabis for medical reasons and those pushing for the legalization of cannabis for recreational use.
Distortion isn't a drag on fluid-straddling particles
New research published by EPJ E shows that the drag force experienced by fluid-straddling particles is less affected by interface distortion than previously believed.
Childhood obesity linked to higher risk of anxiety, depression and premature death
Two new studies from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden underscore health risks associated with childhood obesity.
Novel system allows untethered high-quality multi-player VR
Purdue University researchers created a new approach to VR that will allow multiple players to interact with the same VR app on smartphones and provide new opportunities for education, health care and entertainment.
JNCCN: How to manage cancer care during COVID-19 pandemic
Experts from Seattle Cancer Care Alliance share lessons learned from early experiences treating people with cancer during COVID-19 outbreak via free online article in JNCCN--Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network
Proximity of hospitals to mass shootings in US
Nontrauma center hospitals were the nearest hospitals to most of the mass shootings (five or more people injured or killed by a gun) that happened in the US in 2019.
Drones could still be a threat to public safety -- New research improves drone detection
Researchers from Aalto University (Finland), UCLouvain (Belgium), and New York University (USA) have gathered extensive radar measurement data, aiming to improve the detection and identification of drones.
Salmon provide nutrients to Alaskan streambanks
Nutrient cycling of stream ecosystems dependent on portion of salmons' lifecycle.
Frozen-planet states in exotic helium atoms
In a new study published in EPJ D. Tasko Grozdanov from Serbia and Evgeni Solov'ev from Russia describe the configuration and energy levels of antiprotonic helium that can potentially be produced by colliding slow antiprotons with ordinary helium at CERN.
Fine-tuning radiocarbon dating could 'rewrite' ancient events
A new paper led by Cornell University points out the need for an important new refinement to the technique.
Media reports of celebrity suicide linked to increased suicide rates
Media reporting of suicide, especially celebrity suicides, is associated with increases in suicide in the general population, particularly by the same method as used by the celebrity, finds an analysis of the latest evidence published by The BMJ today.
New details revealed on how plants maintain optimal sperm-egg ratio
Molecular biologist Alice Cheung and colleagues at UMass Amherst used powerful new molecular biochemistry, microscopy and genetic techniques to solve, in unprecedented detail, the mechanisms of how flowering plants avoid polyspermy.
Opioid withdrawal increases health risks for people who inject drugs
Experiencing the symptoms of opioid withdrawal increases the odds that a person who injects drugs will share needles or have a non-fatal overdose, according to new USC study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
Scorpion venom shows promise for treating fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
A research team led by Children's National Hospital faculty was able to 'rescue' a pre-clinical model of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) in juvenile models, reversing motor skill deficits with the help of a novel drug derived from scorpion venom.
New COVID-19 info for gastroenterologists and patients
A paper published today in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology by clinicians at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai outlines key information gastroenterologists and patients with chronic digestive conditions need to know about COVID-19, or coronavirus.
Loners help society survive, say Princeton ecologists
When most of a community is rushing in one direction, the few who hang back may serve to protect the whole population from something catastrophic attacking the group, says a team of ecologists led by Corina Tarnita.
Overlooked caregivers? Children, teens help care for parents with ALS
Children and teens with family members with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, help with bathing, dressing, eating and all types of caregiving activities, yet they may not have training or enough information about the disease, according to a study published in the March 18, 2020, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
How people investigate -- or don't -- fake news on Twitter and Facebook
UW researchers watched 25 participants scroll through their Facebook or Twitter feeds while, unbeknownst to them, a Google Chrome extension randomly added debunked content on top of some of the real posts.
Fish scales could make wearable electronics more sustainable
Flexible temporary electronic displays may one day make it possible to sport a glowing tattoo or check a reading, like that of a stopwatch, directly on the skin.
Once overlooked cellular messengers could combat antibiotic resistance
Children's National Hospital researchers for the first time have isolated bacterial extracellular vesicles from the blood of healthy donors, a critical step to better understanding the way gut bacteria communicate with the rest of the body via the bloodstream.
Mathematicians develop new theory to explain real-world randomness
Brownian motion describes the random movement of particles in fluids, however, this revolutionary model only works when a fluid is static, or at equilibrium.
How does an intersex bee behave?
A group of scientists and students working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute's Barro Colorado Island studied the circadian rhythm of a bee gynandromorph: a rare condition that results in the expression of both male and female characteristics.
Soft robot, unplugged
It's balloon art on steroids: a pneumatic, shape-changing soft robot capable of navigating its environment without requiring a tether to a stationary power source.
On the origin of massive stars
This scene of stellar creation, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, sits near the outskirts of the famous Tarantula Nebula.
Kidney injury risks higher for hospitalized pregnant women
New research from the University of Cincinnati shows an increased rate of sudden episodes of kidney failure or damage in women who are hospitalized during pregnancy.
Fracture liaison service improves care for patients with fragility fractures
For patients with fragility fractures related to underlying bone weakness, a dedicated fracture liaison service (FLS) can lower the risk of subsequent fractures, suggests a study in the March 18, 2020 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.
Reef manta rays in New Caledonia dive up to 672 meters deep at night
The first data collected on the diving behavior of reef manta rays in New Caledonia considerably extend the known depth range for this vulnerable species in decline, according to a study published March 18 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Hugo Lassauce of the University of New Caledonia, and colleagues.
National monuments help more than hurt local economies in US West
National monuments in the US West increase the average number of establishments and jobs near the monument and increase the average establishment growth rate, according to a new study by Margaret Walls and colleagues.
New Argonne 3D printing method could transform recycling material behind medical isotope
For the first time in the US, Argonne scientists have used 3D printing to scale up the recycling of the precursors of an important medical isotope.
Bacteria cause problems for genetic research
A puzzling modification of DNA that is typical in bacteria does not occur in humans or other mammals.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall
How accurately can you judge your own looks? Researchers looked at how we rate our own bodies when viewed from a first-person perspective compared to when viewed from an outside perspective.
Sugar brings a lot of carbon dioxide into the deeper sea
The oceans are a very important reservoir for carbon in the system of the earth.
Brand new shark(s), doo doo, doo doo doo doo
Two new species of sawsharks discovered in the West Indian Ocean reinforces how much we still don't know about life in the ocean and the impact climate change is having on it.
Black hole team discovers path to razor-sharp black hole images
A team of researchers have published new calculations that predict a striking and intricate substructure within black hole images from extreme gravitational light bending.
Comparisons of organic and conventional agriculture need to be better, say researchers
The environmental effects of agriculture and food are hotly debated.
How gene therapy may hold key to treating life-threatening cardiac disease
New study finds gene therapy improved cardiac, muscle and liver function in Danon disease mouse models.
Alzheimer's disease: Inflammation triggers fatal cycle
An immune reaction in the brain seems to play a major role in the development of Alzheimer's disease.
New technique has potential to protect oranges from citrus greening
Citrus greening, also called Huanglongbing (HLB), is devastating the citrus industry.
Noises from human activity may threaten New England's freshwater soundscape
Sounds produced by human activities -- anthropogenic sounds -- account for more than 90% of the underwater soundscape in major freshwater habitats of New England.
'Breastfeeding gap' exists among Mexican-origin women living in Texas
Mexican women born and educated in Mexico who now live in Texas breastfeed longer than those born and educated in the United States.
Patients with exercise-related hyponatremia advised to 'drink to thirst'
Hyponatremia is a condition of low sodium concentration in the blood.
Digestive symptoms are prominent among COVID-19 patients reveals study in The American Journal of Gastroenterology
The American Journal of Gastroenterology published today a new study that reveals digestive symptoms, including diarrhea, are common in COVID-19 patients.
Ethylene sensor could help monitor plant health
To control flowering and fruit ripening, plants release the gaseous hormone ethylene.
Control mechanism of force-induced cell-to-cell adhesion
Dr. Naoto Ueno from NIBB, Japan and Dr. Ileana Cristea from Princeton Univ. have demonstrated that physical forces, enhance cell-to-cell attachment and increase the stiffness of embryonic tissues as a result of force induced cell shape change.
Teens who feel empowered are less likely to bully, harass, commit sexual violence
Teens who feel personally empowered are less likely to bully, harass or commit acts of sexual violence, according to a study by Rutgers University, the University of Nebraska, and the University of New Hampshire.
Patient navigators cut ER visits, hospitalization for high risk health care users
Studies indicate patients with a lower socioeconomic status often lack a primary care provider, causing them to receive lower quality health care, experience a higher rate of emergency visits and an increased risk of all-cause readmissions and death after discharge.
Maggot analysis goes molecular for forensic cases
Maggots on a dead body or wound can help pinpoint when a person or animal died, or when maltreatment began in elder, child care or animal neglect cases.
New telescope design could capture distant celestial objects with unprecedented detail
Researchers have designed a new camera that could allow hypertelescopes to image multiple stars at once.
Blood platelets trigger events that cause organ damage after heart surgery
Damage to kidneys and other organs after heart surgery is not so much triggered by the surgical repair of the heart itself but rather by the massive inflammatory response, which arises from multiple factors: the machinery used to keep blood and oxygen flowing, changes of blood flow during the surgery, and tissue responses to the surgical trauma.
Certain cancers come with higher risk of serious heart rhythm disorder
People with a history of cancer have an over two-fold risk of developing atrial fibrillation (AFib), the most common heart rhythm disorder, compared to the general population, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session Together with World Congress of Cardiology (ACC.20/WCC).
Greenland shed ice at unprecedented rate in 2019; Antarctica continues to lose mass
In a new study in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters, scientists from the University of California, Irvine and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory describe Greenland's loss of 600 billion tons of ice in the summer of 2019, raising global sea levels by 2.2 millimeters in a short time.
New technique 'prints' cells to create diverse biological environments
With the help of photolithography and programmable DNA, University of California, Berkeley, researchers have created a new technique that can rapidly 'print' two-dimensional arrays of cells and proteins that mimic a wide variety of cellular environments in the body.
PTSD strongly linked with heart disease in female veterans
Female veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were substantially more likely to have ischemic heart disease than those without PTSD in a study presented at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session Together with World Congress of Cardiology (ACC.20/WCC).
Late cretaceous dinosaur-dominated ecosystem
A topic of considerable interest to paleontologists is how dinosaur-dominated ecosystems were structured, how dinosaurs and co-occurring animals were distributed across the landscape, how they interacted with one another, and how these systems compared to ecosystems today.
Getting too little -- or too much -- sleep may be bad for the heart
Compared with people who slept for longer or shorter periods of time, those who reported sleeping seven or eight hours a night had significantly less evidence of stiffness in their arteries, indicating a lower chance of developing heart disease or suffering a stroke, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session Together with World Congress of Cardiology (ACC.20/WCC).
Women carry heavier burden of chest pain, but less artery narrowing
Women with coronary artery disease that reduces blood flow and oxygen to the heart muscle (ischemia) have significantly more chest pain caused by plaque build-up, yet less extensive disease as compared with men, according to new research presented at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session Together with World Congress of Cardiology (ACC.20/WCC).
Closing the carbon cycle to stop climate change
Reducing the CO2 levels in the Earth's atmosphere is key to stopping environmental degradation.
UC research: Women tend to run more sophisticated political campaigns
Women run more sophisticated campaigns for office than men, says David Niven, a leading political researcher and associate professor of political science at the University of Cincinnati.
Precision mirrors poised to improve sensitivity of gravitational wave detectors
Deformable mirrors, which are used to shape and control laser light, have a surface made of tiny mirrors that can each be moved, or actuated, to change the overall shape of the mirror.

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