Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 26, 2020
Jumping genes help make neurons in a dish
The conversion of skin cells into brain cells relies on proper insertion of L1 elements.

Flavor research for consumer protection
In 2013, the German Stiftung Warentest found harmful benzene in drinks with cherry flavor.

Neanderthals ate mussels, fish, and seals too
Over 80,000 years ago, Neanderthals fed themselves on mussels, fish and other marine life.

Astronomers use slime mould to map the universe's largest structures
The behaviour of one of nature's humblest creatures and archival data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope are helping astronomers probe the largest structures in the Universe.

Researchers document seasonal migration in deep-sea
For the first time, researchers have documented seasonal migrations of fishes across the deep seafloor, revealing an important insight that will further scientific understanding of the nature of our planet.

Researchers investigate potential treatments for COVID-19
The number of potential therapeutic options for treatment of COVID-19 is growing.

Biophysics -- lifting the lid on beta-barrels
The interaction between biotin and streptavidin is a well-established experimental tool in bionanotechnology.

Artificial intelligence identifies optimal material formula
Nanostructured layers boast countless potential properties -- but how can the most suitable one be identified without any long-term experiments?

Overcoming primary resistance to checkpoint inhibition with selective inhibitor of TGFβ1
While checkpoint inhibitor therapies (CPIs) have revolutionized the treatment of many cancers, the majority of patients do not respond.

As the ocean warms, marine species relocate toward the poles
Since pre-industrial times, the world's oceans have warmed by an average of one degree Celsius (1°C).

Executive function in women post-menopause
Assessing adverse childhood experiences and current anxiety and depression symptoms may help ease cognitive distress in women who have undergone a surgical menopause for cancer risk-reduction, or RRSO, according to a new study published in Menopause.

Young people's faith doesn't grow in a vacuum
Young people who are given a religious upbringing at home by both parents have the strongest faith in God throughout their adolescence.

Interactive product labels require new regulations, study warns
Artificial intelligence will be increasingly used on labels on food and other products in the future to make them interactive, and regulations should be reformed now so they take account of new innovations, a study warns.

Coral tells own tale about El Niño's past
Rice University and Georgia Tech scientists use data from ancient coral to build a record of temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean over the last millennium.

Longer lives not dependent on increased energy use
Growing consumption of energy and fossil fuels over four decades did not play a significant role in increasing life expectancy across 70 countries.

Brain mapping study suggests motor regions for the hand also connect to the entire body
In a paper publishing March 26 in the journal Cell, investigators report that they have used microelectrode arrays implanted in human brains to map out motor functions down to the level of the single nerve cell.

Observation vs. targeted high-dose radiation for metastatic prostate cancer
This randomized clinical trial compared how effectively high-dose, targeted radiation therapy versus no treatment (observation) among 54 men prevented the progression over six months of recurrent hormone-sensitive prostate cancer that has metastasized to a small number of sites in the body.

Samara Polytech scientist designs wind-powered generator
Post-graduate student of Samara Polytech is designing an induction for the renewable energy installations.

Investigating spaceflight-associated changes in astronauts
Head congestion is one of the most common symptoms experienced by astronauts during spaceflight.

New therapeutic strategy against diabetes
A study by the CIBERDEM and the UAB demonstrates that high vitamin D receptor levels in pancreatic β cells improve resistance to diabetes.

Mount Sinai researchers unveil mechanisms to prevent Crohn's disease
In a series of four studies published today in Gastroenterology, a journal of the American Gastroenterological Association, Mount Sinai inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) researchers, describe the identification of predictive tools and a new understanding of environmental factors that trigger IBD.

Moffitt researchers discover novel role of specific histone deacetylase in lung cancer
Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center are trying to identify alternative strategies to treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

As electronics shrink to nanoscale, will they still be good as gold?
As circuit interconnects shrink to nanoscale, will the pressure caused by thermal expansion when current flows through wires cause gold to behave more like a liquid than a solid -- making nanoelectronics unreliable?

Experiments in mice and human cells shed light on best way to deliver nanoparticle therapy for cancer
Researchers in the cancer nanomedicine community debate whether use of tiny structures, called nanoparticles, can best deliver drug therapy to tumors passively -- allowing the nanoparticles to diffuse into tumors and become held in place, or actively -- adding a targeted anti-cancer molecule to bind to specific cancer cell receptors and, in theory, keep the nanoparticle in the tumor longer.

How to identify factors affecting COVID-19 transmission
Stanford professor Alexandria Boehm and visiting scholar Krista Wigginton describe potential transmission pathways of COVID-19 and their implications.

International team discover new species of flying reptiles
A community of flying reptiles that inhabited the Sahara 100 million years ago has been discovered by a University of Portsmouth palaeontologist and an international team of scientists.

Europe's Neanderthals relied on the sea as much as early modern humans
The first significant evidence of marine resource use among Europe's Neanderthals is detailed in a new report, demonstrating a level of marine adaptation previously only seen in their contemporary modern humans living in southern Africa.

New technique looks for dark matter traces in dark places
A new study by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, UC Berkeley, and the University of Michigan -- published today in the journal Science - concludes that a possible dark matter-related explanation for a mysterious light signature in space is largely ruled out.

Experimental model mimics early-stage myogenic deficit in boys with DMD
An experimental model of severe Duchenne muscular dystrophy that experiences a large spike in TGFβ activity after muscle injury shows that high TGFβ activity suppresses muscle regeneration and promotes fibroadipogenic progenitors, Children's National Hospital researchers find.

Experimental medication to prevent heart disease may treat chemo-resistant ovarian cancer
Study shows CPT1A may help ovarian cancer cells spread, also resist chemo.

Researchers look for dark matter close to home
Eighty-five percent of the universe is composed of dark matter, but we don't know what, exactly, it is.

Worldwide scientific collaboration unveils genetic architecture of gray matter
For the first time, more 360 scientists from 184 different institutions -- including UNC-Chapel Hill -- have contributed to a global effort to find more than 200 regions of the genome and more than 300 specific genetic variations that affect the structure of the cerebral cortex and likely play important roles in psychiatric and neurological conditions.

Infants born to mothers with COVID-19 in China
This study examined the medical records of 33 newborns born to women with COVID-19.

Microbiome may hold key to identifying HPV-infected women at risk for pre-cancer
Gardnerella bacteria in the cervicovaginal microbiome may serve as a biomarker to identify women infected with human papillomavirus (HPV) who are at risk for progression to precancer, according to a study published March 26 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Robert Burk and Mykhaylo Usyk of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and colleagues.

US autism rates up 10 percent in new CDC report
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health contributed to a new U.S.

Why life can get better as we age -- study
People say life gets better with age. Now research suggests this may be because older people have the wisdom and time to use mindfulness as a means to improve wellbeing.

Under extreme heat and drought, trees hardly benefit from an increased CO2 level
The increase in the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere does not compensate the negative effect of greenhouse gas-induced climate change on trees: The more extreme drought and heat become, the less do trees profit from the increased supply with carbon dioxide in terms of carbon metabolism and water use efficiency.

Oncotarget Roscovitine enhances all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA)-induced nuclear enrichment
Oncotarget Volume 11, Issue 12 reported that using the HL-60 human non-APL AML model where ATRA causes nuclear enrichment of c-Raf that drives differentiation/G0-arrest, the research team now observe that roscovitine enhanced nuclear enrichment of certain traditionally cytoplasmic signaling molecules and enhanced differentiation and cell cycle arrest.

The Caucasus without a cap
Global warming has caused the total area of more than 600 Greater Caucasus glaciers to drop by approximately 16%, according to an international research team that includes Stanislav Kutuzov, geographer from HSE University.

Celebrating our genomic diversity: Fine-scale differences in the Japanese population
The Japanese population has long been thought of as genetically homogeneous as a result of limited population mixing.

Why you should say 'thank you' and not 'sorry' after most service failures
Appreciation (saying 'thank you') is often a more effective strategy than apology (saying 'sorry') at restoring consumer satisfaction.

Lipid helps heal the eye's frontline protection
A species of a lipid that naturally helps skin injuries heal appears to also aid repair of common corneal injuries, even when other conditions, like diabetes, make healing difficult, scientists report.

Global study shows how marine species respond as oceans warm
A global analysis of over 300 marine species spanning more than 100 years, shows that mammals, plankton, fish, plants and seabirds have been changing in abundance as our climate warms.

Wildfire perceptions largely positive after hiking in a burned landscape
Results from pre- and post-hike surveys of a burned landscape indicate that people understand and appreciate the role of fire in natural landscapes more than is perceived.

The genetic quest to understand COVID-19
The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 is now likely to become the fifth endemic coronavirus in humans.

Scientists electrify aluminum to speed up important process
Scientists have found a way in the laboratory to shorten the time it takes to create a key chemical used to synthesize a variety of medications, fertilizers and other important substances.

Paired with super telescopes, model Earths guide hunt for life
Cornell University astronomers have created five models representing key points from our planet's evolution, like chemical snapshots through Earth's own geologic epochs.

COVID-19 infection prevention and control in long-term care facilities
Dr. John W. Rowe is a member of a WHO Expert Panel on Care of the Elderly which just released guidance for prevention and management of COVID-19 among elderly in long term care facilities.

Worldwide urban expansion causing problems
As cities physically expanded worldwide between 1970 and 2010, the population in those cities became less dense, according to a study led by a Texas A&M university professor.

Study shows legal marijuana products too strong for pain relief
More than 90% of the legal marijuana products offered in medical dispensaries are much stronger than what clinical studies have shown that doctors recommend for chronic pain relief, according to a study published in the March 26 online edition of the journal PLOS ONE.

Missing link in coronavirus jump from bats to humans could be pangolins, not snakes
As scientists scramble to learn more about the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, two recent studies of the virus' genome reached controversial conclusions: namely, that snakes are intermediate hosts of the new virus, and that a key coronavirus protein shares 'uncanny similarities' with an HIV-1 protein.

Discovering the diet of the fossil Theropithecus oswaldi found in Cueva Victoria in Spain
A study published in Journal of Human Evolution reveals for the first time the diet of the fossil baboon Theropithecus oswaldi found in Cueva Victoria in Cartagena (Murcia, Spain), the only site in Europe with remains of this primate whose origins date back to four million years ago in eastern Africa.

Designing lightweight glass for efficient cars, wind turbines
A new machine-learning algorithm for exploring lightweight, very stiff glass compositions can help design next-gen materials for more efficient vehicles and wind turbines.

Childhood overweight and obesity rates fall slightly overall but rise among disadvantaged families
A study of more than one million children in Catalonia examines the time trends and socio-demographic factors associated with this health problem.

New type of immunotherapy hinders the spread of ovarian cancer
Malignant ovarian cancer is insidious: Known and feared for vague and uncharacteristic symptoms that often mean the disease is discovered so late that on average only four out of six patients are still alive after five years.

New sediment record reveals instability of North Atlantic deep ocean circulation
In the future's warmer climate, large, abrupt and frequent changes in ocean ventilation may be more likely than currently assumed, according to a new study.

Artificial intelligence for very young brains
Montreal's CHU Sainte-Justine children's hospital and the ÉTS engineering school pool their expertise to develop an innovative new technology for the segmentation of neonatal brain images.

Unconstrained genome targeting with CRISPR-Cas9 variants less reliant on PAM
Addressing a fundamental limitation in CRISPR-Cas genome editing, researchers have developed new engineered Cas9 variants that nearly eliminate the need for a protospacer adjacent motif known as PAM.

Reducing reliance on nitrogen fertilizers with biological nitrogen fixation
Crop yields have increased substantially over the past decades, occurring alongside the increasing use of nitrogen fertilizer.

New feathered dinosaur was one of the last surviving raptors
Dineobellator notohesperus lived 67 million years ago. Steven Jasinski, who recently earned his doctorate from the School of Arts and Sciences working with Peter Dodson, also of the School of Veterinary Medicine, described the find.

Completely new antibiotic resistance gene has spread unnoticed to several pathogens
Aminoglycoside antibiotics are critically important for treating several types of infections with multi-resistant bacteria.

Quantum phenomenon governs organic solar cells
Researchers at Linköping University have discovered a quantum phenomenon that influences the formation of free charges in organic solar cells.

Less ice, more methane from northern lakes: A result from global warming
Shorter and warmer winters lead to an increase in emissions of methane from northern lakes, according to a new study by scientists in Finland and the US.

New framework will help decide which trees are best in the fight against air pollution
A study from the University of Surrey has provided a comprehensive guide on which tree species are best for combating air pollution that originates from our roads -- along with suggestions for how to plant these green barriers to get the best results.

Intense form of radiation slows disease progression in some men with prostate cancer
Highly focused, intense doses of radiation called stereotactic ablative radiation (SABR) may slow progression of disease in a subset of men with hormone-sensitive prostate cancers that have spread to a few separate sites in the body, according to results of a phase II clinical trial of the therapy.

A possible treatment for COVID-19 and an approach for developing others
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease is more transmissible, but has a lower mortality rate than its sibling, SARS-CoV, according to a review article published this week in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Fleeing Nazis shaped Austrian politics for generations after World War II
A new study in The Economic Journal, published by Oxford University Press, suggests that migrating extremists can shape political developments in their destination regions for generations.

FSU research shows guppies help their brothers when it comes to the opposite se
In a new study published by a Florida State University team, researchers found that male Trinidadian guppies observe a form of nepotism when it comes to pursuing the opposite sex.

Female physicians drive unfunded research on pay disparity
Physician gender pay gaps continue to persist in the US despite an impressive body of research spanning more than 25 years.

Destroying DNA to save the genome -- study offers new insights into sepsis and its treatment
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that kills millions annually; it is poorly understood and has no specific treatment.

Depression severity, care among older adults from different racial/ethnic groups
Racial and ethnic differences appear to exist in depression severity and care in this observational study of older adults who participated in a randomized clinical trial of cancer and cardiovascular disease prevention.

Validation may be best way to support stressed out friends and family
In uncertain times, supporting your friends and family can help them make it through.

X-ray observations of Milky Way's halo rule out models of dark matter decay
An unidentified X-ray signature recently observed in nearby galaxies and galaxy clusters is not due to decay of dark matter, researchers report.

How stable is deep ocean circulation in warmer climate?
If circulation of deep waters in the Atlantic stops or slows due to climate change, it could cause cooling in northern North America and Europe - a scenario that has occurred during past cold glacial periods.

Holographic cosmological model and thermodynamics on the horizon of the universe
A holographic cosmological model with a power-law term has been proposed by a Kanazawa University researcher to study thermodynamic properties on the horizon of the Universe.

New 'more effective' stem cell transplant method could aid blood cancer patients
Researchers at UCL have developed a new way to make blood stem cells present in the umbilical cord 'more transplantable', a finding in mice which could improve the treatment of a wide range of blood diseases in children and adults.

Neural networks facilitate optimization in the search for new materials
Sorting through millions of possibilities, a search for battery materials delivered results in five weeks instead of 50 years.

Palaeontology: New carnivorous dinosaur from New Mexico yields evolutionary insights
The discovery of a new species of dromaeosaurid -- a family of generally small to medium-sized feathered carnivores that lived during the Cretaceous Period -- is reported in Scientific Reports this week.

New index challenges university rankings
Academic freedom is fundamental to scientific progress, pursuit of truth, quality higher education and international collaboration.

Neanderthals: Pioneers in the use of marine resources
An international team have just demonstrated that Neanderthals hunted, fished, and gathered prodigious volumes of seafood and other marine animals: they discovered remains of molluscs, crustaceans, fish, birds, and mammals in a Portuguese cave (Figueira Brava) occupied by Neanderthals between 106,000 and 86,000 BCE.

Gut enzyme IAP found to prevent aging and frailty in animal models
Studying mice and fruitflies, researchers found that the enzyme intestinal alkaline phosphotase helped prevent intestinal permeability and gut-derived systemic inflammation, resulting in less frailty and extended life span.

DNA riddle unravelled: How cells access data from 'genetic cotton reels'
With so much genetic information packed in such a tiny space, how cells access DNA when it needs it is something of a mystery.

Insights into the diagnosis and treatment brain cancer in children
In a recent study published in Autophagy, researchers at Kanazawa University show how abnormalities in a gene called TPR can lead to pediatric brain cancer.

New fabrication approach paves way to low cost mid-infrared lasers useful for sensing
For the first time, researchers have fabricated high-performance mid-infrared laser diodes directly on microelectronics-compatible silicon substrates.

Birds exposed to PCBs as nestlings show behavior changes as adults
According to a new study, Zebra Finches exposed to low levels of environmental PCBs as nestlings show changes in breeding behavior as adults.

Insights from ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in patients with kidney disease
Two studies examine potential benefits of blood pressure monitoring outside of doctors' offices for patients with kidney disease.

NUI Galway study establishes how cognitive intelligence is a whole brain phenomenon
An international collaborative study led by researchers from the NUI Galway provides findings on the neural basis of intelligence, otherwise known as general cognitive ability (IQ).

Reusable respirators may be a suitable alternative to disposable respirators
Researchers have found that reusable respirators may be a suitable alternative to disposable N95 respirators currently in high demand.

Local community involvement crucial to restoring tropical peatlands
New research has found that local community involvement is crucial to restoring Indonesia's peatlands -- unspoilt peatlands act as a carbon sink and play an important role in reducing global carbon emissions.

What can be learned from the microbes on a turtle's shell?
Research published in the journal Microbiology has found that a unique type of algae, usually only seen on the shells of turtles, affects the surrounding microbial communities.

Enhanced 1.54 μm PL and EL on a perfluorinated Er3+ complex sensitized by an Ir3+ complex
The potential of using erbium-contained organic materials to develop cost-effective electrically-driven light-emitting devices for silicon photonics is well proposed, but methods to increase the power efficiency are keenly sought.

Deleting a gene prevents Type 1 diabetes in mice by disguising insulin-producing cells
Removing a gene from the cells that produce insulin prevents mice from developing Type 1 diabetes by sparing the cells an attack from their own immune system, a new University of Wisconsin-Madison study shows.

Quantum effect triggers unusual material expansion
New research conducted in part at Brookhaven Laboratory may bring a whole new class of chemical elements into a materials science balancing act for designing alloys for aviation and other applications.

Bricks can act as 'cameras' for characterizing past presence of radioactive materials
Researchers have developed a technique for determining the historical location and distribution of radioactive materials, such as weapons grade plutonium.

Science publishes study on Neanderthals as pioneers in marine resource exploitation
The journal Science has published a study led by the University of Barcelona, which presents the results of the excavation in Cueva de Figueira Brava, Portugal, which was used as shelter by Neanderthal populations about between 86,000 and 106,000 years ago.

Is the coronavirus outbreak of unnatural origins?
Did coronavirus mutate from a virus already prevalent in humans or animals or did it originate in a laboratory?

In politics and pandemics, trolls use fear, anger to drive clicks
A new CU Boulder study shows that Facebook ads developed and shared by Russian trolls around the 2016 election were clicked on nine times more than typical social media ads.

Making sense of cells
Scientists create model to measure how cells sense their surroundings.

Upgrading biomass with selective surface-modified catalysts
Loading single platinum atoms on titanium dioxide promotes the conversion of a plant derivative into a potential biofuel.
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