Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 15, 2020
Worldwide IOF-ISCD survey of bone densitometry units published
A landmark global study of fracture liaison services carried out at the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit at University of Southampton in collaboration with the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) and the International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD), 25% of DXA facilities report not being accredited by professional or government organizations.

AJR details COVID-19 infection control, radiographer protection in CT exam areas
In an open-access article published ahead-of-print by the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR), a team of Chinese radiologists discuss modifications to the CT examination process and strict disinfection of examination rooms, while outlining personal protection measures for radiographers during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

Federal program leads to intensified treatment for high-risk heart patients
A program that offers financial incentives to health care providers to measure and reduce heart attack and stroke risk among Medicare patients resulted in increased preventive medications prescribed to patients in high-risk and medium-risk categories.

Treatment with interferon-α2b speeds up recovery of COVID-19 patients in exploratory study
An exploratory study on a cohort of 77 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wuhan showed treatment with the antiviral IFN-α2b reduced viral clearance time and reduced circulatory levels of inflammatory markers IL-6 and CRP.

Global cooling event 4,200 years ago spurred rice's evolution, spread across asia
A major global cooling event that occurred 4,200 years ago may have led to the evolution of new rice varieties and the spread of rice into both northern and southern Asia, an international team of researchers has found.

Chromium speciation in marine carbonates and implications on atmospheric oxygenation
Qin and colleagues examined chromium (Cr) valence states in sedimentary carbonates and found that Cr(III) dominates in all samples formed in different geological periods.

Written WhatsApps work like a spontaneous informal conversation
The emergence of new means of communication via the Internet has brought about new genres of discourse, understood as socially situated communication practices that did not previously exist, and which require studying from the linguistic standpoint.

Controlling cells with light
Photopharmacology investigates the use of light to switch the effect of drugs on and off.

Binge drinkers beware, Drunkorexia is calling
Mojito, appletini or a simple glass of fizz -- they may take the edge off a busy day, but if you find yourself bingeing on more than a few, you could be putting your physical and mental health at risk according new research at the University of South Australia.

Genome-wide pattern found in tumors from brain cancer patients predicts life expectancy
For the past 70 years, the best indicator of life expectancy for a patient with glioblastoma -- the most common and the most aggressive brain cancer -- has been age at diagnosis.

Researchers find the key to preserving The Scream
Moisture is the main environmental factor that triggers the degradation of the masterpiece The Scream (1910?) by Edvard Munch, according to the finding of an international team of scientists led by the CNR (Italy), using a combination of in situ non-invasive spectroscopic methods and synchrotron X-ray techniques.

Impacts of different social distancing interventions detectable two weeks later, shows German modeling study
In Germany, growth of COVID-19 cases declined after a series of three social distancing interventions, detectable at a two-week delay following each intervention, but only after the third- a far-reaching contact ban -- did cases decline significantly.

Applying the analogy method to improve the forecasting of strong convection
An analogy-based method in strong convection forecasts was introduced by using numerical model output.

True colors: Using X-rays to trace the evolution of insects' structural colors
A team of researchers has used ultra-bright X-rays to analyze 13,000-year-old fossilized beetle wings to learn more about the evolution of structural colors.

Online romance scams: A modern form of fraud
This paper presents a scoping review of the quantitative and qualitative evidence on this issue, focusing on epidemiological aspects, relational dynamics, and the psychological characteristics of victims and scammers.

Heart attacks, heart failure, stroke: COVID-19's dangerous cardiovascular complications
A new guide from emergency medicine doctors details the potentially deadly cardiovascular complications COVID-19 can cause.

'Hot and messy' entanglement of 15 trillion atoms
In a study published in Nature Communications, ICFO, HDU and UPV researchers report the production of a giant entangled state that may help medical researchers detect extremely faint magnetic signals from the brain.

University of Tartu study shows a low prevalence of the coronavirus in Estonia
The results of a study conducted by the University of Tartu on the prevalence of the coronavirus were presented to the Government Committee responsible for the emergency situation on Tuesday.

If used with caution, SARS-CoV-2 serological assays can guide reintroduction of workforce
With several high-quality serological assays for SARS-CoV-2 now available, the key challenge in using them to help people return to 'normal life,' write Florian Krammer and Viviana Simon in this Perspective, will be to apply them in a strategic manner -- one that considers their unique sensitivity and specificity levels, acknowledges the questions they don't yet answer, and more.

Physicists offer a new 'spin' on memory
University of Arizona researchers report a discovery that opens new possibilities in the development of spintronics, a new type of memory storage capable of processing information much faster than current technology while consuming less energy.

One in ten patients with major vascular event, infection, or cancer will be misdiagnosed
According to a new study published in De Gruyter's open access journal Diagnosis, approximately one in 10 people (9.6%) in the United States with symptoms caused by major vascular events, infections, or cancers will be misdiagnosed.

Model of critical infrastructures reveals vulnerabilities
An interdisciplinary team of Kansas State University researchers developed a computer simulation that revealed beef supply chain vulnerabilities that need safeguarding -- a realistic concern during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pine martens like to have neighbors -- but not too near
Pine martens need neighbors but like to keep their distance, according to new research.

McMaster chemists develop foolproof new test to track the fats we eat
A team of researchers at McMaster University has developed a reliable and accurate blood test to track individual fat intake, a tool that could guide public health policy on healthy eating.

Light, fantastic: the path ahead for faster, smaller computer processors
Photonic chips have huge potential for the future of computers and telecommunications.

Using telehealth to transition diabetes inpatients to virtual care during COVID-19
Data collected over a 15-week period showed that using virtual care to manage diabetes patients in the hospital does not have a negative impact on their glycemic outcomes.

Shrub encroachment on grasslands can increase groundwater recharge
A new study led by Adam Schreiner-McGraw, a postdoctoral hydrology researcher at the University of California, Riverside, modeled shrub encroachment on a sloping landscape and reached a startling conclusion: Shrub encroachment on slopes can increase the amount of water that goes into groundwater storage.

New technology will show how RNA regulates gene activity
An international team of researchers has developed a reliable method for assessing the role of such RNAs.

Indigenous protection
The global reach of COVID-19 is unquestionable. Every day, news reports highlight the disease's increasing toll on countries and major cities around the world.

Enhancement of bitter taste sensor reduces salt intake and improves cardiovascular dysfunction
Researchers from China for the first time found long-term high salt intake blunted the TRPM5-mediated aversive behavior to high salt concentrations, consequently promoting high salt intake and hypertension.

Food webs determine the fate of mercury pollution in the Colorado River, Grand Canyon
In the Grand Canyon reach of the Colorado River, two species play an outsized role in the fate of mercury in the aquatic ecosystem, and their numbers are altered by flood events.

Ocean 'breathability' key to past, future habitat of West Coast marine species
Ocean breathability, which combines the oxygen levels, a species' oxygen needs and the water temperature, matches the shifts in northern anchovy populations from the 1950s to today.

The dreaming brain tunes out the outside world
Scientists from the CNRS and the ENS-PSL in France and Monash University in Australia have shown that the brain suppresses information from the outside world, such as the sound of a conversation, during the sleep phase linked to dreaming.

Observation of intervalley transitions can boost valleytronic science and technology
An international research team led by scientists at the University of California, Riverside, has observed light emission from a new type of transition between electronic valleys, known as intervalley transmissions.

Exploring climate change impacts through popular proverbs
The proverbs related to environmental issues traditionally used by the local population in rural areas of Spain are currently considered imprecise and unreliable due to climate change impacts.

Home health care after a heart attack may lower patients' hospital readmission rates
Almost 10% of US heart attack patients receive home health care after hospital discharge.

Treatment guidance for lung cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic
To help oncologists address the many challenges COVID-19-positive lung cancer patients present, a team of global lung cancer specialists this week published a review of lung cancer treatments for patients with COVID-19 in the current issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, the official journal of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC).

Eavesdropping on single molecules with light by replaying the chatter
Scientists have pioneered a new technique to expose hidden biochemical pathways involving single molecules at the nanoscale.

Like thunder without lightning
Mergers between black holes and neutron stars in dense star clusters are quite unlike those that form in isolated regions where stars are few.

Satellites eye Typhoon Vongfong landfall in the Philippines
After Tropical Cyclone Vongfong made landfall in the Philippines early on May 14 and began tracking through the country, imagery from NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite showed the storm was weakening.

Bizarre new species discovered... on Twitter
A new species of fungus has been discovered via Twitter and christened accordingly -- Troglomyces twitteri.

Ten-year results display strong safety and efficacy profile for TPV device
Ten-year follow-up results of the US Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) Trial of the Melody transcatheter pulmonary valve (TPV) were presented today during the SCAI 2020 Scientific Sessions Virtual Conference.

Guaging water loss from northern peatlands, a likely accelerant of climate change
A team of 59 international scientists, including at McMaster University and the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, pooled their data and discovered boreal peatlands lose more water than do forests in response to drying air.

Study finds association between atherosclerosis and changes in the structure, heart function
Even among individuals free of heart failure and myocardial infarction, there appears to be evidence of an association between calcium buildup in the coronary arteries (atherosclerosis) and changes in the structure and function of the heart.

Using big data to design gas separation membranes
Researchers at Columbia Engineering and the University of South Carolina have developed a method that combines big data and machine learning to selectively design gas-filtering polymer membranes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Commercial airliners monitoring CO2 emissions from cities worldwide
Monitoring greenhouse gas emissions from cities is important in order to support climate mitigation activities in response to the Paris Agreement.

Early humans thrived in this drowned South African landscape
An interdisciplinary, international team of scientists has reconstructed the paleoecology the Paleo-Agulhas Plain, a now-drowned landscape on the southern tip of Africa that was high and dry during glacial phases of the last 2 million years and may have been instrumental in shaping the evolution of early modern humans.

Persistent inequitable exposure to air pollution in Salt Lake County schools
Salt Lake County, Utah's air pollution varies over the year, and at times it is the worst in the United States.

Voluntary collective isolation is best response to COVID-19 for indigenous populations
A team of anthropologists, physicians, tribal leaders and local government authorities developed and implemented a multi-phase COVID-19 prevention and containment plan among the Tsimane, an indigenous group in the Bolivian Amazon.

Tiny particle, big payoff
UC Riverside scientists have solved a 20-year-old genetics puzzle that could result in ways to protect wheat, barley, and other crops from a devastating infection.

NASA analyzes developing System 90L in Straits of Florida
A low-pressure area designated as System 90L appears to be developing in the Straits of Florida, located between Southern Florida and Cuba.

Asthma is associated with longer time on ventilators for younger COVID-19 patients
Patients with COVID-19 between the ages of 20 and 59 years old who also had asthma needed a ventilator to assist with breathing for five days more on average than non-asthmatic patients with COVID-19, according to researchers at Rush University Medical Center, who published their findings today in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.

Affordable Care Act linked to better heart failure care for minorities, yet disparities persist
Heart failure patients from underserved racial or ethnic groups who live in states that have adopted the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Medicaid Expansion are more likely to receive recommended medical care than if they live in states that did not adopt the ACA Medicaid Expansion.

Estimated rates of COVID-19 in border counties in Iowa vs. Illinois
This study compares COVID-19 cases in border counties in Iowa, which didn't issue a stay-at-home order, with cases in border counties in Illinois, which did.

How do plants forget?
The study now published in Nature Cell Biology reveals more information on the capacity of plants, identified as 'epigenetic memory,' which allows recording important information to, for example, remember prolonged cold in the winter to ensure they flower at the right time during the spring.

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: Sociodemographic factors associated with a positive test for COVID-19 in primary care
Older age, being male, deprivation, living in a densely populated area, ethnicity, obesity, and chronic kidney disease are associated with a positive test for COVID-19, according to results from 3,802 people tested for SARS-CoV-2 (including 587 positive tests) in the UK.

First screening test for detecting lymph node metastasis in pancreatic cancer patients
For years, surgeons have operated on pancreatic cancer patients to remove what they thought was a localized tumor only to discover that the disease had spread to other, inoperable parts of the body.

Viral infection: Early indicators of vaccine efficacy
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich researchers have shown that a specific class of immune cells in the blood induced by vaccination is an earlier indicator of vaccine efficacy than conventional tests for neutralizing antibodies.

A soft touch for robotic hardware
Robots can be made from soft materials, but the flexibility of such robots is limited by the inclusion of rigid sensors necessary for their control.

'Pivotal' trial results display favorable outcomes for use of TPV device
A percutaneous transcatheter therapy for congenital heart disease (CHD) patients with severe pulmonary regurgitation (PR) has been slow to materialize, in comparison to transcatheter pulmonary valve (TPV) therapy for a dysfunctional surgical RV-PA conduit which was first implanted twenty years ago as the Melody TPV.

UHN-U of T-led study shows antiviral drug can speed up recovery of COVID-19 patient
An international team of researchers led by Dr. Eleanor Fish, emerita scientist at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, University Health Network, and professor in the University of Toronto's Department of Immunology, has shown for the first time that treatment with interferon-α2b may significantly accelerate recovery of COVID-19 patients.

Low-income adults less likely to receive preventive heart disease care
Compared with higher-income adults, Americans living at or below the federal poverty level are significantly less likely to be screened for cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors or receive preventive counseling, regardless of existing CVD status.

Modern sea-level rise linked to human activities, Rutgers research reaffirms
New research by Rutgers scientists reaffirms that modern sea-level rise is linked to human activities and not to changes in Earth's orbit.

Clarification of microbial community structures around Antarctic lakes
A research team lead by Toyohashi University of Technology has revealed the community structure of microorganisms living around freshwater lakes, ice-free areas of Antarctica.

Scientists break the link between a quantum material's spin and orbital states
Until now, electron spins and orbitals were thought to go hand in hand in a class of materials that's the cornerstone of modern information technology; you couldn't quickly change one without changing the other.

Parents that know a child's preferences can assertively guide exercise
A parent who knows a child's preferences and participates in the activities can guide the child assertively without diminishing the child's enthusiasm for physical activity and exercise.

Blood clotting abnormalities reveal COVID-19 patients at risk for thrombotic events
When researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, used a combination of two specific blood-clotting tests, they found critically ill patients infected with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) who were at high risk for developing renal failure, venous blood clots, and other complications associated with blood clots, such as stroke.

Big data and synthetic chemistry could fight climate change and pollution
Designed by a machine learning algorithm and created by synthetic chemistry, new materials outperformed all other membranes used to filter CO2 from methane.

Quantifying the impact of interventions
Since the beginning of March, public life in Germany has been severely restricted due to the corona pandemic.

New bone-graft biomaterial gives patients a nicer smile and less pain
A new recipe for a bone-graft biomaterial that is supercooled before application should make it easier to meet dental patients' expectation of a good-looking smile while eliminating the pain associated with harvesting bone from elsewhere in their body.

Sea skaters are a super source of inspiration
A study of marine Halobates species highlights how their waterproofing techniques, size and acceleration capability helped them colonize the ocean.
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