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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | April 20, 2020


What did scientists learn from Deepwater Horizon?
In a review paper published in the journal Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, WHOI scientists review what they-- and their science colleagues from around the world--have learned from studying the spill over the past decade.
Virtual reality makes empathy easier
Virtual reality activates brain networks that increase your ability to identify with other people, according to new research published in eNeuro.
North pole soon to be ice free in summer
The Arctic Ocean in summer will very likely be ice free before 2050, at least temporally.
Why relying on new technology won't save the planet
Why relying on new technology won't save the planet Overreliance on promises of new technology to solve climate change is enabling delay, say researchers from Lancaster University.
People may know the best decision -- and not make it
When faced with a decision, people may know which choice gives them the best chance of success, but still take the other option, a new study suggests.
NCCN patient guidelines listed among top global sources for trustworthy online information
A recently-published, independent, peer-reviewed, international study in Current Urology measured reliability and transparency of online medical information for people with prostate cancer and their caregivers, and found the NCCN Guidelines for Patients to be one of the most trustworthy resources.
A cheap organic steam generator to purify water
A high-efficiency steam generator for the purification and desalination of water can be built using cheap and natural materials such as cellulose.
Cholera studies reveal mechanisms of biofilm formation and hyperinfectivity
Free-swimming cholera bacteria are much less infectious than bacteria in biofilms, aggregates of bacterial cells that form on surfaces.
Early screening based on family history may have dramatic effects on colorectal cancer detection
In an analysis that included information on adults diagnosed with colorectal cancer between 40 and 49 years of age, almost all patients could have been diagnosed earlier if they had been screened according to current family history-based screening guidelines.
Researchers unveil electronics that mimic the human brain in efficient learning
Only 10 years ago, scientists working on what they hoped would open a new frontier of neuromorphic computing could only dream of a device using miniature tools called memristors that would function/operate like real brain synapses.
Aquaculture at the crossroads of global warming and antimicrobial resistance
Antimicrobial resistance is responsible for some 700 000 deaths each year worldwide.
Can high-power microwaves reduce the launch cost of space-bound rockets?
University of Tsukuba researchers calculated the efficiencies of four important features of microwave-beam-powered propulsion systems for rockets.
Green chemistry approaches to the synthesis of coumarin derivatives
Coumarin derivatives (coumarins) are a class of compounds with a wide range of biological activities, which have found their application in medicine, pharmacology, cosmetics and food industry.
Maternal hypertensive disorders may lead to mental health disorders in children
Hypertensive pregnancy disorders, especially preeclampsia -- may increase the risk of psychological development disorders and behavioral and emotional disorders in children.
Cable bacteria can drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from rice cultivation
The rice fields account for five percent of global emissions of the greenhouse gas methane, which is 25 times stronger than CO2.
Oak genomics proves its worth
A landmark 10 article collection published in the April 16 issue of New Phytologist helps clarify the evolution of oaks and identify key genes involved in oak adaptation to environmental transitions and resistance to pathogens.
Optimizing a new spraying method for ceramic coatings
For a long time, the production of ceramic coatings has only been possible by means of sintering techniques conducted at more than 1,000 degrees Celsius.
Infant temperament predicts personality more than 20 years later
Researchers investigating how temperament shapes adult life-course outcomes have found that behavioral inhibition in infancy predicts a reserved, introverted personality at age 26.
Segregation and local funding gaps drive disparities in drinking water
The fragmentation of water service in the US among thousands of community systems, most of which are small and rely on local funding, leaves many households vulnerable to water contamination or loss of service as droughts become more frequent, a Duke University analysis finds.
Unprecedented 3D images of live cells plus details of molecules inside
The insides of living cells can be seen in their natural state in greater detail than ever before using a new technique developed by researchers in Japan.
Photonic microwave generation using on-chip optical frequency combs
Using integrated photonic chips fabricated at EPFL, scientists have demonstrated laser-based microwave generators.
First official ATS practice guidelines for Sarcoidosis cover diagnosis and detection
New guidance is available for physicians who must go through a number of steps to provide a probable diagnosis of sarcoidosis -- an inflammatory disease that affects the lungs, lymph glands, and other organs.
Rising carbon dioxide levels will change marine habitats and fish communities
Researchers from the universities of Palermo (Italy), Tsukuba (Japan) and Plymouth (UK) showed that elevated dissolved CO2 conditions can lead to a 45% decrease of fish diversity.
CUNY SPH Weekly COVID-19 Survey Update Week 6
Nearly half (49%) of New York City residents believe we should wait until after June 1st to reopen all non-essential businesses, while 19% said openings should take place between May 16-31.
Continued CO2 emissions will impair cognition
New CU Boulder research finds that an anticipated rise in carbon dioxide concentrations in our indoor living and working spaces by the year 2100 could lead to impaired human cognition.
Catalyst enables reactions with the help of green light
For the first time, chemists at the University of Bonn and Lehigh University in Bethlehem (USA) have developed a titanium catalyst that makes light usable for selective chemical reactions.
European vaccination survey shows wide variety of parents' opinions across UK, Italy, France, Spain and Germany
A survey of five European countries shows that parents in Spain are the most pro-vaccination (94%) while those in France (73%) are the least in favour of vaccination.
Extra payments motivate sobriety and employment among people recovering from addiction
After a yearlong study of people with opioid dependence, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers report evidence that adding $8 an hour to their paychecks may help those in recovery stay drug free longer, as well as encourage them to get and hold regular jobs.
Changes in snowmelt threaten farmers in western US
Farmers in parts of the western United States who rely on snowmelt to help irrigate their crops will be among the hardest hit in the world by climate change, a new study reveals.
Artificial 'candy canes' block viruses
Synthetic chains of molecules containing different sugars can inhibit viruses effectively.
Often and little, or rarely and to the full?
If we were talking about food, most experts would choose the former, but in the case of energy storage the opposite is true.
Physicists develop approach to increase performance of solar energy
Experimental condensed matter physicists in the Department of Physics at the University of Oklahoma have developed an approach to circumvent a major loss process that currently limits the efficiency of commercial solar cells.
Social grooming factors influencing social media civility on COVID-19
A new study analyzing tweets about COVID-19 found that users with larger social networks tend to use fewer uncivil remarks when they have more positive responses from others.
Rare South American ground beetles sport unusual, likely multi-purpose antennal cleaners
After 157 years since the description of the South American genus of strange-combed beetles, Nototylus, a second specimen finally has been discovered.
Researchers pinpoint potential new therapeutic target for eye disease
Multi-disciplinary work led by researchers from Trinity College Dublin has pinpointed a potential new therapeutic target for treating retinal degeneration.
ALMA reveals unusual composition of interstellar comet 2I/Borisov
A galactic visitor entered our solar system last year -- interstellar comet 2I/Borisov.
Revealed: the secret life of godwits
To find out more about birds such as the black-tailed godwit, ecologists have been conducting long-term population studies using standardized information on reproductive behaviour--such as dates of egg-laying or hatching and levels of chick survival.
KIST develops low-price, high-efficiency catalyst that converts CO2 into chemicals
The Korea Institute of Science and Technology(KIST) announced that a research team, led by Dr.
Exoplanet apparently disappears in latest Hubble observations
What scientists thought was a planet beyond our solar system has 'vanished.' Though this happens to sci-fi worlds (like Superman's home planet Krypton exploding or the Death Star's attack on Alderaan), scientists seek a plausible explanation.
Survey: Food insecurity in Vermont rose 33% during pandemic
Food insecurity in Vermont has increased by one-third during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a statewide survey conducted by the University of Vermont at the end of March.
Arctic research expedition likely faces extreme conditions in fast-changing Arctic
Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) have simulated conditions along potential routes for the MOSAiC polar expedition, using today's conditions in the 'new Arctic.' The results suggest that thinner sea ice may carry the ship farther than would be expected compared to historical conditions and the sea ice around the ship may melt earlier than the 12-month goal.
US researchers collaborate with scientist quarantined in China during COVID-19 outbreak
Despite significant obstacles presented by COVID-19, Regenstrief Institute Affiliated Scientist Jie Zhang, PhD, Regenstrief Institute Research Scientist Kun Huang, PhD, both Indiana University School of Medicine faculty members, and Jun Cheng, PhD of Shenzhen University conducted a study applying machine learning and image analysis to distinguish a rare subtype of kidney cancer (tRCC ) while Dr.
New discovery helps close the gap towards optically-controlled quantum computation
Scientists have discovered a light-induced switching mechanism in a Dirac semimetal.
Silent, airborne transmission likely to be a key factor in scarlet fever outbreaks
New research due to be presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) shows that the airborne transmission, both through symptomatic patients and those who are shedding the virus with no symptoms, may be key factors in the spread of scarlet fever.
Finding leukemia's weakness using genome-wide CRISPR technology
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center used CRISPR technology to identify key regulators of aggressive chronic myeloid leukemia.
Actin 'avalanches' may make memories stick
Avalanches in branched actomyosin networks are one possible mechanism by which the brain's neurons preserve memories.
IKBFU and Chinese scientists invented a new way of creating meat analogs
In recent years, high-humidity extrusion technology has become widely used as it makes it possible to obtain a fibrous meat-like structure from vegetable proteins.
Lopinavir/ritonavir and Arbidol not effective for mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults
An exploratory randomized, controlled study on the safety and efficacy of either lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) or Arbidol as treatments for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, suggests that neither drug improves the clinical outcome of patients hospitalized with mild-to-moderate cases of the disease over supportive care.
Faster-degrading plastic could promise cleaner seas
To address plastic pollution plaguing the world's seas and waterways, Cornell University chemists have developed a new polymer that can degrade by ultraviolet radiation, according to research published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Study finds racial disparities in the management of pain reduction for minority children
Pain is one of the most common reasons for seeking emergency department (ED) care, yet is often poorly assessed and treated.
Neolithic genomes from modern-day Switzerland indicate parallel ancient societies
Genetic research throughout Europe shows evidence of drastic population changes near the end of the Neolithic period, as shown by the arrival of ancestry related to pastoralists from the Pontic-Caspian steppe.
Identifying land cover from outer space
Having detailed land cover information is important for a better understanding of our environment.
Promiscuity in the Paleozoic: Researchers uncover clues about vertebrate evolution
By looking at the DNA of living animals, researchers from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University, alongside an international team of collaborators, have revealed early events in vertebrate evolution, including how jawed vertebrates arose from the mating of two different species of primitive fish half a billion years ago.
What's old is new again
Drug resistance is a major obstacle in cancer treatment--leading to relapse for many patients.
New high-throughput approach yields libraries of probes for immunological assays
An immunological test known as a 'tetramer assay' can detect and quantify the T cells in a blood sample that are able to recognize a specific antigen, such as a viral protein.
Examining rates of thyroid cancer among World Trade Center rescue/recovery workers
Rates and methods of detection of thyroid cancer diagnosed in male rescue/recovery workers at the World Trade Center site after the 9/11 terrorist attacks were compared with demographically similar individuals from Olmsted County, Minnesota, to see if increased rates of thyroid cancer among those workers were associated with the identification of asymptomatic cancers detected during heightened nonthyroid-related medical surveillance.
Study: Visitor's garden is improving prison visitation experience for all
New research shows that a visitor's garden designed and built by Iowa State University students and incarcerated individuals at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women is helping to strengthen connections between the women and their children.
Mental health preparedness among older youth in foster care
Researchers interviewed 17-year-olds in California foster care. The adolescents' use of mental health services is elevated, but not necessarily their confidence level.
Corona and air pollution: How does nitrogen dioxide impact fatalities?
Elevated levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air may be associated with a high number of deaths from COVID-19.
New therapeutic options for multiple sclerosis in sight
Strategies for treating multiple sclerosis have so far focused primarily on T and B cells.
Mind over body: The search for stronger brain-computer interfaces
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University are working on understanding how the brain works when learning tasks with the help of brain-computer interface technology.
New research gives further evidence that autoimmunity plays a role in Parkinson's disease
A new study co-led by scientists at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) adds increasing evidence that Parkinson's disease is partly an autoimmune disease.
New 'brick' for nanotechnology: Graphene Nanomesh
Researchers at Japan advanced institute of science and technology (JAIST) successfully fabricated suspended graphene nanomesh (GNM) by using the focused helium ion beam technology.
Supercomputers and Archimedes' law enable calculating nanobubble diffusion in nuclear fuel
Researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology have proposed a method that speeds up the calculation of nanobubble diffusion in solid materials.
New decision model shapes strategies for dealing with public health emergencies
The efficient allocation of medical resources can be modelled mathematically, as shown by Finnish researchers.
Early GP referrals are leading to cancer patients surviving longer
Early GP referrals are likely to lead to cancer patients surviving longer, a study by King's College London has found.
Age matters: Paternal age and the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders in children
It is no secret that genetic factors play a role in determining whether children have neurodevelopmental disorders.
Examining association between infant screen viewing, social activities and development of autism-like symptoms
Data from a study of environmental influences on child health and development were used to investigate the extent to which frequency of screen viewing and social activities such as parent-child play and reading through 18-months of age were associated with the risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and ASD-like symptoms among 2,100 children at age 2.
Scientists uncover principles of universal self-assembly
Self-assembly is the process that built up life and its surrounding, atom-by-atom.
Cost-effective canopy protects health workers from COVID infection during ventilation
Researchers have designed a cost-effective, plastic canopy system that can help to protect healthcare workers who are at risk of airborne coronavirus infection while delivering noninvasive ventilation or oxygen via high flow nasal canula (HFNC), according to a research letter published in the European Respiratory Journal.
Stabilizing brain-computer interfaces
Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) have published research in Nature Biomedical Engineering that will drastically improve brain-computer interfaces and their ability to remain stabilized during use, greatly reducing or potentially eliminating the need to recalibrate these devices during or between experiments.
Chocolate 'fingerprints' could confirm label claims
The flavor and aroma of a fine chocolate emerge from its ecology, in addition to its processing.
Researchers delay onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in laboratory models
Scientists have delayed the onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in laboratory models, leaving them cautiously optimistic that the result, combined with other clinical advances, points to a potential treatment for ALS in humans.
Lung injury in COVID-19 is not high altitude pulmonary edema
A group of researchers with experience in treating high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) have written to correct the misconception in medical social media forums and elsewhere that the lung injury seen in COVID-19 is not like typical acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and is instead like HAPE.
Hubble observes aftermath of massive collision
What astronomers thought was a planet beyond our solar system, has now seemingly vanished from sight.
Self-aligning microscope smashes limits of super-resolution microscopy
An ultra-precise microscope that surpasses the limitations of Nobel Prize-winning super-resolution microscopy will let scientists directly measure distances between individual molecules.
Interventions boost abstinence, condom use for black teens
Sexual health interventions are effective at increasing both abstinence and condom use in black adolescents, according to research evaluating dozens of studies on interventions and outcomes in black youth.
WashU engineer awarded federal funding for rapid COVID-19 test
Engineers at the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St.
Almost half of all postpartum psychosis are isolated cases
A new research result from iPSYCH shows that 40% of the women who suffer a psychosis after giving birth -- known as postpartum psychosis - do not subsequently become ill again.
Spores, please!
Black poplar leaves infected by fungi are especially susceptible to attack by gypsy moth caterpillars.
Turning on the 'off switch' in cancer cells
A team of scientists has identified the binding site where drug compounds could activate a key braking mechanism against the runaway growth of many types of cancer.
Cochrane Review confirms effectiveness of MMR vaccines
New evidence published in the Cochrane Library today finds MMR, MMRV and MMR+V vaccines are effective and that they are not associated with increased risk of autism.
Are sexual health programs associated with safer sexual behavior among black adolescents?
This study combined the results of 29 studies with nearly 12,000 black adolescents to examine the association between attending sexual health programs and outcomes such as sexual behavior (condom use, number of partners) or abstinence, contraction of sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.
Origins of human language pathway in the brain at least 25 million years old
The human language pathway in the brain has been identified by scientists as being at least 25 million years old -- 20 million years older than previously thought.
Low-cost, easy-to-build ventilator performs similarly to high-quality commercial device
A low-cost, easy-to-build non-invasive ventilator aimed at supporting the breathing of patients with respiratory failure performs similarly to conventional commercial devices, according to new research published in the European Respiratory Journal.
Study finds male-female cardiac repair differences in heart failure survival post-MI
A new study led by the University of South Florida Health (USF Health) Morsani College of Medicine investigated the molecular and cellular processes underlying cardiac repair in male and female mice after a severe heart attack.
Type 2 diabetes: Too much glucagon when α-cells become insulin resistant
Patients with type 2 diabetes secrete not only too little insulin but also too much glucagon, which contributes to poor blood glucose control.
Advanced memory from advanced materials
Researchers successfully demonstrated a method to switch a novel material between two different nonvolatile states at very high speeds and with great accuracy.
Astronomers discover planet that never was
What was thought to be an exoplanet in a nearby star system likely never existed in the first place, according to University of Arizona astronomers.
With shrinking snowpack, drought predictability melting away
New research from CU Boulder suggests that during the 21st century, our ability to predict drought using snow will literally melt away.
Diagnostic biosensor quickly detects SARS-CoV-2 from nasopharyngeal swabs
According to many experts, early diagnosis and management are critical for slowing the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Study describes cocktail of pharmaceuticals in waters in Bangladesh
An analysis revealed that water samples held a cocktail of pharmaceuticals and other compounds, including antibiotics, antifungals, anticonvulsants, anesthetics, antihypertensive drugs, pesticides, flame retardants and more.
Diamonds shine in energy storage solution
QUT researchers have proposed the design of a new carbon nanostructure made from diamond nanothreads that could one day be used for mechanical energy storage, wearable technologies, and biomedical applications.
Restrictive healthcare policies associated with delayed TB diagnosis and treatment
The introduction of policies that restrict healthcare access for visitors and migrants not entitled to free NHS care may be associated with delays in diagnosis and treatment for patients with tuberculosis (TB) who were not born in the UK, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Public Health.
Gender-based violence in the COVID-19 pandemic
Gender-based violence has been shown to increase during global emergencies.
Rare video captures humpback whale nursing behaviors in UH Mānoa research
UH Mānoa Marine Mammal Research Program captures rare video of humpback whales nursing off of Maui.
Princeton scientist solves air quality puzzle: Why does ozone linger long after its ban?
As global climate change leads to more hot and dry weather, the resulting droughts are stressing plants, making them less able to remove ozone from the air -- despite laws successfully limiting pollution.
New tool helps predict risk of death, admission to long-term care for people with dementia
A new tool that predicts risk of death and admission to a long-term care facility for patients with dementia may help conversations between health care providers, patients and their families, according to new research in CMAJ.
Scientists reveal a close relationship between air temperature and the area of Antarctic polynyas
Reanalysis and observational data reveal interactive effects between air temperature and the area of the Terra Nova Bay polynya.
Large population study links blood infection with certain bacteria to increased risk of colorectal cancer
New research due to be presented at this year's European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) shows a link between blood infections with certain anaerobic bacteria and the risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Screen time for babies linked to higher risk of autism-like symptoms later in childhood
Sitting a baby in front of a tablet or television, as well as less parent-child play time, are associated with developing greater autism spectrum disorder (ASD)-like symptoms later in childhood.
Picking up threads of cotton genomics
In Nature Genetics, a multi-institutional team including researchers at the US Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI) has now sequenced and assembled the genomes of the five major cotton lineages.
Unprecedented single-cell studies in virtual embryo
Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg and from the University of Padua School of Medicine have created the first complete description of early embryo development, accounting for every single cell in the embryo.
Police training reduced complaints and use of force against civilians
A Northwestern University evaluation of a procedural justice training program involving more than 8,000 Chicago Police Department (CPD) officers shows it reduced complaints filed against police by approximately 10%.
A method for predicting antiviral drug or vaccine targets
A novel method to predict the most promising targets for antiviral drugs or vaccines is based on the conformational changes viral glycoproteins go through during the process of recognition and binding to the host cell.
Early exposure to cannabis boosts young brains' sensitivity to cocaine, rodent study finds
Cannabis use makes young brains more sensitive to the first exposure to cocaine, according to a new study on rodents led by scientists at Columbia University and the University of Cagliari in Italy.
Ants restore Mediterranean dry grasslands
A team of ecologists and agronomists led by Thierry Dutoit, a CNRS researcher, studied the impact of the Messor barbarus harvester ant on Mediterranean dry grasslands.
Stanford study reveals a holistic way to measure the economic fallout from earthquakes
Officials know how to account for deaths, injuries and property damages after the shaking stops, but a study in Nature Sustainability, based on a hypothetical 7.2 magnitude quake near San Francisco, describes the first way to estimate the far greater financial fallout that such a disaster would have, especially on the poor.
Wind turbine noise affects dream sleep and perceived sleep restoration
Wind turbine noise (WTN) influences people's perception of the restorative effects of sleep, and also has a small but significant effect on dream sleep, otherwise known as REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, a study at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows.
One-third of primary care physicians do not support the use of medications for treating opioid use disorders
A survey of primary care physicians found that one-third did not perceive medications to treat OUD to be more effective than nonmedication treatment or safe for long-term use, despite conclusive evidence to the contrary.

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