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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | April 22, 2020


Specialized nerve cells increase the appetite for high-fat foods
Fat activates nociceptin neurons in the hypothalamus of mice.
DNA may not be life's instruction book -- just a jumbled list of ingredients
The common view of heredity is that all information passed down from one generation to the next is stored in an organism's DNA.
New heart attack testing protocol expedites treatment in ER
A new protocol using highly sensitive blood tests to determine whether someone is having a heart attack.
New study could lead to therapeutic interventions to treat cocaine addiction
A new study explains how cocaine modifies functions in the brain revealing a potential target for therapies aimed at treating cocaine addiction.
Views on guns and death penalty are linked to harsh treatment of immigrants
An online study that pulled equally from people who identify as Democrats or Republicans has found subtle new clues that underlie the dehumanization of immigrants.
Unsustainable soil erosion in parts of UK
New research demonstrates unsustainable levels of soil erosion in the UK.
Sweet potato microbiome research important first step towards improving yield
Despite the importance of sweet potato, little is known about the sweet potato microbiome.
USGS releases first-ever comprehensive geologic map of the Moon
For the first time, the entire lunar surface has been completely mapped and uniformly classified.
Study finds provider capacity to expand abortion -- implications for access during COVID-19
Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have found that interest in abortion care among advance practice clinicians (APCs) in Colorado is substantial, though barriers must be addressed in order to increase access with APCs (nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, physician's assistants).
COVID-19 from response to recovery: a Rx for success
The medical response can be optimized and thus limit the socio-economic damage by turning down the national level of fear and beginning the recovery process by reopening the economy in a methodical way.
SARS-CoV-2 infection in children and adolescents
Recently reported pediatric cases of SARS-CoV-2 from China and Singapore are assessed to evaluate clinical features, diagnostic tests, current therapeutic management and prognosis.
The downside of feeling prepared
Feeling prepared and confident about a job interview you have tomorrow is great.
Research highlights racism concerns in schools and the community
Researchers from Staffordshire University are calling for more government funding to crack down on race-hate in schools and the wider community.
Health disparities in rural US: Higher coronary artery disease death in women under 65 and people with heart failure
Despite a decades-long decline in heart disease deaths, since 2009 there has been an upswing in coronary artery disease deaths among rural women under the age of 65, according to a national study.
Women living with HIV prefer long-acting injectable anti-retroviral therapy over daily pill
A new study found that the majority of women living with HIV would endorse a monthly long acting injectable (LAI) antiretroviral therapy over current daily pills.
A rare snail living on wood is discovered in the Arctic ocean
Postgraduate student Ekaterina Krol and Senior Research Associate at the Department of Applied Ecology of St Petersburg University Ivan Nekhaev have found a marine snail from the subclass Neomphaliones in a collection from the Soviet Arctic expeditions of the 1930s.
A history of cannabis dependence associated with many negative mental health outcomes
More than 1% of Canadians have been dependent on cannabis at some point in their lives.
Researchers identify cells likely targeted by COVID-19 virus
Researchers at MIT, the Ragon Institute, and the Broad Institute have helped to identify specific types of cells that appear to be the targets of the SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus that is causing the Covid-19 pandemic.
Portland State study finds bike lanes provide positive economic impact
Despite longstanding popular belief, bicycle lanes can actually improve business.
New study reveals life's earliest evolution was more complicated than previously suspected
New research from Tokyo Tech and the Max Planck Institute suggests understanding early life may be trickier than previously thought.
Combinations of paclitaxel and withaferin A against human non-small cell lung cancer
Oncotarget Volume 11 Issue 16 showed that the sensitivity of H1299 and A549 cells to concomitant treatment with PAC and WFA was greater than that of either PAC or WFA alone.
In glowing colors: Seeing the spread of drug particles in a forensic lab
NIST Scientists used UV light and glow powder to study the way small amounts of drug residue get spread around a forensic chemistry lab when analysts test seized drugs.
Delivery drones instead of postal vans? Study reveals drones still consume too much energy
When delivering parcels, drones often have a poorer energy balance than traditional delivery vans, as shown by a new study conducted at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg.
Evidence for plate tectonics on earth prior to 3.2 billion years ago
New research indicates that plate tectonics may have been well underway on Earth more than 3.2 billion years ago, adding a new dimension to an ongoing debate about exactly when plate tectonics began influencing the early evolution of the planet.
Spider combs tame unruly nanofibers (video)
Cribellate spiders spin thousands of tiny nanofibers into sticky threads.
How to make the healthiest coffee during COVID-19 lockdown
We may all be drinking more coffee to help us survive the COVID-19 lockdown.
Evidence suggests COVID-19 isn't sexually transmitted
COVID-19 is unlikely to be spread through semen, according to University of Utah Health scientists who participated in an international study of Chinese men who recently had the disease.
Study suggests rainfall triggered 2018 Kīlauea eruption
In May 2018 Kīlauea volcano on the island of Hawaii erupted, touching off months of intense activity.
Salt substitution could prevent almost half a million deaths from CVD in China
A nationwide intervention to replace regular household salt with potassium-enriched salt substitutes in China could prevent nearly half a million cardiovascular deaths per year, according to a new modelling study published in the British Medical Journal.
Human-caused warming will cause more slow-moving hurricanes, warn climatologists
Hurricanes moving slowly over an area can cause more damage than faster-moving storms, and rising global temperatures will likely cause more mid-latitude hurricanes to slow down, said a team of climatologists led by Princeton University's Gan Zhang.
Online tool helps to protect tropical forests
A new tool maps the threats to the tropical dry forests in Peru and Ecuador.
Microwaves power new technology for batteries, energy
New battery technology involving microwaves may provide an avenue for renewable energy conversion and storage.
New report: Inclusive food systems needed to boost development, resilience
The report highlights the central role that inclusive food systems play in meeting global goals to end poverty, hunger, and malnutrition, and offers recommendations for making food systems more inclusive for four marginalized groups -- smallholders, women, youth, and conflict-affected people - as well as analysis on transforming national food system.
Researchers use electrostatic charge to assemble particles into materials mimicking gemstones, salt
Using just electrostatic charge, common microparticles can spontaneously organize themselves into highly ordered crystalline materials -- the equivalent of table salt or opals, according to a new study led by New York University chemists and published in Nature.
MSU professor collaborates with international colleagues in Review of Modern Physics journal article
MSU Professor Alexandra Gade collaborated with international colleagues for a Review of Modern Physics article about shell evolution of exotic nuclei.
Surface feeding could provide more than just snacks for New Zealand blue whales
Feeding at the ocean's surface appears to play an important role in New Zealand blue whales' foraging strategy, allowing them to optimize their energy use.
Hungry galaxies grow fat on the flesh of their neighbours
Galaxies grow large by eating their smaller neighbours, new research reveals.
In it together
If you live in a small community where fishing is your primary source of income and nutrition, it's tough to hear you might have to slow, stop or change your activities to more sustainably manage your fish stocks.
A novel method to precisely deliver therapeutics inside the body
A new way to deliver therapeutic proteins inside the body uses an acoustically sensitive carrier to encapsulate the proteins and ultrasound to image and guide the package to the exact location required, according to Penn State researchers.
Tel Aviv University's Kantor Center reports 18% rise in antisemitic incidents in 2019
The annual report from Tel Aviv University's Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry and the Moshe Kantor Database for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism finds that there was an 18% rise in violent antisemitic incidents in 2019.
With smaller clinical trials, it may be up to doctors to notice rare drug side effects
Study: Right-colon twist with high-dose osimertinib highlights need for doctor vigilance with new cancer drugs
The significance of interdisciplinary integration in academic research and application
Announcing a new article publication for BIO Integration journal. In this commentary article the authors Phei Er Saw and Shanping Jiang from Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China consider the significance of interdisciplinary integration in academic research and application.
High ferritin levels may indicate severe COVID-19
Professor Yehuda Shoenfeld is Head of the Laboratory of the Mosaic of Autoimmunity at St Petersburg University and founder and Head of the Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases (Israel).
A breakthrough in estimating the size of a (mostly hidden) network
A newly discovered connection between control theory and network dynamical systems could help estimate the size of a network even when a small portion is accessible.
From Voldemort to Vader, fictional villains may draw us to darker versions of ourselves
According to new research published in the journal Psychological Science, people may find fictional villains surprisingly likeable when they share similarities with the viewer or reader.
A new way to cool down electronic devices, recover waste heat
Using electronic devices for too long can cause them to overheat, which might slow them down, damage their components or even make them explode or catch fire.
European satellite data shows extreme methane emissions from Permian oil & gas operations
Study shows twice the average emissions rate of 11 other major US production regions; paper demonstrates potential for space-based data to drive down methane loss rates.
Finding genetic ripple effects in a single-cell environment
Researchers report in Nature developing a molecular workflow that leverages single-cell methods to understand the molecular pathways associated with specific patient gene mutations.
Spotting air pollution with satellites, better than ever before
Researchers from Duke University have devised a method for estimating the air quality over a small patch of land using nothing but satellite imagery and weather conditions.
Promoting advantages of product category, such as e-cigarettes, can backfire
Researchers suggest that during the past decade, efforts to promote e-cigarettes as a healthier alternative to combustible cigarettes backfired.
New Army tech may turn low-cost printers into high-tech producers
The Army has a new type of multi-polymer filament for commonly-used desktop 3-D printers.
What protects minority languages from extinction?
A new study by Jean-Marc Luck from Paris and Anita Mehta from Oxford published in EPJ B, uses mathematical modelling to suggest two mechanisms through which majority and minority languages come to coexist in the same area.
GSA's journals begin publishing peer-reviewed research on aging and COVID-19
The Gerontological Society of America's highly cited, peer-reviewed journals are now publishing scientific articles on COVID-19.
Tectonic plates started shifting earlier than previously thought
Scientists examining rocks older than 3 billion years discovered that the Earth's tectonic plates move around today much as they did between 2 and 4 billion years ago.
Immune responses hint why some children get milder RSV infections than others
By studying a cohort of 190 children, a research team has discovered important clues that could help explain why some children with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections get mild cases while others get more severe disease and require hospitalization.
Growing volume of gun policy research creates basis for policy decisions
While research about many gun policies still lags, a surging number of studies now provides the evidence needed to make sound decisions on policies designed to reduce homicides and injuries while protecting individuals' rights.
COVID-19 screening of healthcare workers offers reassurance and faster return to work
Timely research from Newcastle Hospitals and Newcastle University, UK, shows the rate of infection among frontline NHS staff is no higher than those in non-clinical roles and delivering staff testing in a pandemic is feasible.
New blood test for Alzheimer's developed
A new blood test for Alzheimer's disease has been developed under the leadership of researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Majority of US states and territories do not require day care providers to inform parents of firearms
Home- and center-based child care providers are not required by most states or U.S. territories to inform parents when guns are stored on the premises, according to a new study from researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Structure-based design of antiviral drug candidates targets SARS-CoV-2 main protease
A team of Chinese scientists has recently developed two novel compounds that inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) and one of them is a good drug candidate for further clinical studies.
Examining suicidal acts in US
Researchers analyzed rates and lethality of 1.2 million suicides and nonfatal suicide attempts from 2006 to 2015 among people ages 10 to 74 using nationally representative data in the US.
Climate change's toll on freshwater fish: A new database for science
The Fish and Climate Change Database -- or FiCli (pronounced ''fick-lee'') -- is a searchable directory of peer-reviewed journal publications that describe projected or documented effects of climate change on inland fishes.
Socioeconomics, metabolic syndrome, and osteopenia in postmenopausal women
The increased prevalence of metabolic syndrome and osteoporosis in postmenopausal women has prompted multiple research studies to understand why.
The future of semiconductors is clear
Mobility is a key parameter for semiconductor performance and relates to how quickly and easily electrons can move inside a substance.
New dual-action coating keeps bacteria from cross-contaminating fresh produce
Over the course of their journey from the open fields to the produce displays at grocery stores, fresh vegetables and fruits can sometimes become contaminated by microorganisms.
Helping the heart heal itself
UT Southwestern Medical Center scientists have discovered a protein that works with others during development to put the brakes on cell division in the heart, they report today in Nature.
A win-win solution -- Shredded straws can enhance soil fertility and reduce ammonia pollution
long-term crop straw incorporation practices could reduce annual ammonia volatilization fluxes, which could be a wise way for reducing ammonia volatilization while sustaining agricultural development.
Ef­fects of rapid-act­ing an­ti­de­press­ants con­sol­id­ated in sleep?
Ketamine alleviates depressive symptoms within hours, with the most significant change typically seen a day after its administration.
Fish flip a unique genetic switch in warming seas
Reef fish species uniquely respond to climate change, with some more vulnerable than others.
UCLA scientists invent nanoparticle that could improve treatment for bone defects
In a test on mice, UCLA researchers showed that their sterosome, when implanted in a bone defect, activated bone regeneration without needing additional drugs.
University of Guelph develops effective way to replenish threatened plants
Planting Hill's thistle seeds has low flowering and germination rates.
Diabetes reversed in mice with genetically edited stem cells derived from patients
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have used induced pluripotent stem cells produced from the skin of a patient with a rare, genetic form of insulin-dependent diabetes, transformed the stem cells into insulin-producing cells, used the CRISPR gene-editing tool to correct a defect that caused the diabetes, and implanted the cells into mice to reverse diabetes in the animals.
Gene signature found for poor response to standard chemotherapy in rare uterine cancer
Women who don't survive a rare and aggressive uterine cancer called uterine serous carcinoma, have high expression of a group of 73 genes, a score scientists say can help identify these women and improve their outcome.
Tiny sensors fit 30,000 to a penny, transmit data from living tissue
Cornell University researchers who build nanoscale electronics have developed microsensors so tiny, they can fit 30,000 on one side of a penny.
Excessive rain triggered 2018 Kīlauea volcano eruption, study finds
Excessive and sustained rainfall triggered the 2018 eruption of Kīlauea volcano in Hawaii, according to researchers at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.
Tissues protect their DNA under mechanical stress
Nuclei and genetic material deform.
Utilizing the impact resistance of the world's hardest concrete for disaster prevention
A team including Kanazawa University tested the impact performance of steel fiber-reinforced porosity-free concrete and estimated the maximum response to such impacts.
Novel research on African bats pilots new ways in sharing and linking published data
New findings about some previously known, but also other yet to be identified species of Old World Leaf-nosed bats provide the first contribution to a special research collection, whose task is to help scientists from across disciplines to better understand potential hosts and vectors of diseases like the Coronavirus.
Digital agriculture paves the road to agricultural sustainability
In a study published in Nature Sustainability, researchers outline how to develop a more sustainable land management system through data collection and stakeholder buy-in.
Electronic skin fully powered by sweat can monitor health
Electronic skin monitors body's vitals signs while being powered by sweat.
Women's faces in Time Magazine throughout history
In a paper published in Journal of Cultural Analytics, an interdisciplinary group of researchers used machine learning to extract 327,322 faces from an archive of Time magazine issues dating from 1923 to 2014.
Promising MERS coronavirus vaccine trial in humans
Scientists at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) have now conducted a first-in-human trial with a vaccine against MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).
New systematic review captures what makes a positive post-birth experience for new mothers
A new qualitative systematic review conducted to inform the scope of a new World Health Organization (WHO) post-birth (postnatal) guideline identifies four clear themes for a positive experience in mothers across 15 different countries and cultures, according to a study published April 22, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Kenneth Finlayson, research associate at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), UK, and colleagues.
Research reveals a new malaria vaccine candidate
In a study that could lead to a new vaccine against malaria, researchers have found antibodies that trigger a 'kill switch' in malarial cells, causing them to self-destruct.
Is it wrong to prioritize younger patients with COVID-19?
With services overburdened, healthcare professionals are having to decide who should receive treatment.
Who's a bot and who's not
Social media bots are continuously evolving and becoming more 'human-like' in the way they talk and interact on online platforms.
How atrazine regulations have influenced the environment
Opposing chemical trends linked to atrazine regulations from 1990s.
Toward a more energy-efficient spintronics
In order to generate and detect spin currents, spintronics traditionally uses ferromagnetic materials whose magnetization switching consume high amounts of energy.
How we end up 'confined' on YouTube
Researchers have studied recommendations from a thousand YouTube videos on different subjects, thereby running through half a million recommendations.
Protect health and social care workers and refer their deaths to the coroner, says The BMJ editor
All deaths of health and social care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic should be referred to the coroner for independent review, says Dr.
New bat species discovered -- cousins of the ones suspected in COVID-19
Researchers just discovered at least four new species of African leaf-nosed bats -- cousins of the horseshoe bats that served as hosts of the virus behind COVID-19.
HKUST scientists discover how multiple RNA elements control MicroRNA biogenesis
Scientists from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) have recently identified new details regarding the mechanism by which Microprocessor, an RNase III enzyme-based complex, cleaves primary microRNAs (pri-miRNAs), suggesting ways for restoring the abnormal levels of miRNAs (microRNAs), which are associated with numerous human diseases.
Orujo olive oil reduces obesity
To carry out this research, a comparative study was made over the course of 10 weeks in mice with two types of diets; a diet high in saturated fats, called 'prejudicial' fat, and another, with the same calorie content, but with orujo olive oil.
Which foods do you eat together? How you combine them may raise dementia risk
It's no secret that a healthy diet may benefit the brain.
Scientists have devised method for gentle laser processing of perovskites at nanoscale
Scientists have developed a method for precise, fast and high-quality laser processing of halide perovskites, promising light-emitting materials for solar energy, optical electronics, and metamaterials.
Study shows senior drivers prefer watching videos to learn driver assistance technologies
Most vehicles today come with their fair share of bells and whistles, ranging from adaptive cruise-control features to back-up cameras.
Windows will soon generate electricity, following solar cell breakthrough
Semi-transparent solar cells that can be incorporated into window glass are a 'game-changer' that could transform architecture, urban planning and electricity generation, Australian scientists say in a paper in Nano Energy.
Researchers discover a key to the survival of dormant breast cancer cells
Trying to understand why dormant breast cancer cells survive despite being starved of estrogen to prevent growth, researchers from Dartmouth's and Dartmouth-Hitchcock's Norris Cotton Cancer Center found that breakdown of fat to produce energy supports cancer cell survival.
Natural mood regulation low or even absent in people with depression
Mood varies from hour-to-hour, day-to-day and healthy mood regulation involves choosing activities that help settle one's mood.
Pancreatic cancer cells hijack basic cell mechanism to evade immunotherapy
Pancreatic cancer cells use a normal waste removal process to hide tags on their surfaces that would otherwise let the immune system destroy them, a new study finds.
Exposure to air pollution during pregnancy is associated with growth delays
A new study by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) has found an association between exposure to air pollution during pregnancy and delays in physical growth in the early years after birth.
More protections needed to safeguard biodiversity in the Southern Ocean
Current marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean need to be at least doubled to adequately safeguard the biodiversity of the Antarctic, according to a new CU Boulder study.
Quantum research unifies two ideas offering an alternative route to topological superconductivity
Researchers from University of Copenhagen have discovered a new way of developing topological superconductivity that may provide a useful route toward the use of Majorana zero modes as the foundation of qubits for quantum information.
Caribbean coral reef decline began in 1950s and 1960s from local human activities
Now, in a new paper in Science Advances, Cramer has combined fossil data, historical records, and underwater survey data to reconstruct the abundance of staghorn and elkhorn corals over the past 125,000 years.
Technological progress peaked in 2018
New calculations by HSE University researchers show that technological growth passed its peak in the early 21st century and will soon obtain new acceleration, although it will be followed by a new slowdown in the second half of the century.
Inappropriate diagnoses
A postmortem exam of the brain remains the gold standard for diagnosing chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, the neurodegenerative brain disease believed to arise from repeated hits to the head.
New risk prediction model could identify those at higher risk of pancreatic cancer
A risk prediction model that combined genetic and clinical factors with circulating biomarkers identified people at significantly higher than normal risk of pancreatic cancer.
Scientists reveal how tuberculosis bacteria import vitamin B12 to grow
Researchers from Russia, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the US have revealed the structure of the protein responsible for vitamin B12 import into the cells of the bacterium that causes tuberculosis.
New design could make fiber communications more energy efficient
Researchers say a new discovery on a US Army project for optoelectronic devices could help make optical fiber communications more energy efficient.
Disappearing Alaskan sea ice is significant for Arctic marine ecosystem
A new study shows that plant materials originating in Arctic sea ice are significantly incorporated into marine food webs that are used for subsistence in local communities of the greater Bering Strait region.
Human uterus colonized by clones with cancer-driving mutations that arise early in life
Many cells in the inner lining of the uterus carry 'cancer-driving' mutations that frequently arise early in life, report scientists from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, the University of Cambridge and their collaborators.

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