Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 20, 2020
Replacing time spent sitting with sleep or light activity may improve your mood
New research, published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found that substituting prolonged sedentary time with sleep was associated with lower stress, better mood and lower body mass index (BMI), and substituting light physical activity was associated with improved mood and lower BMI across the next year.

NASA-NOAA satellite catches post-tropical storm Arthur's end
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over the western North Atlantic Ocean and provided forecasters with a visible image of Post Tropical Storm Arthur.

Chemical recycling makes useful product from waste bioplastic
A faster, more efficient way of recycling plant-based 'bioplastics' has been developed by a team of scientists at the universities of Birmingham and Bath.

Exercise improves memory, boosts blood flow to brain
Scientists have collected plenty of evidence linking exercise to brain health, with some research suggesting fitness may even improve memory.

Caves tell us that Australia's mountains are still growing
Research shows Buchan Caves to be about 3.5 million years old and that Victoria's East Gippsland has remained tectonically active for long times, even into the present-day, which is why residents occasionally report earthquakes.

Iron nanorobots go undercover
Customizable magnetic iron nanowires pinpoint and track the movements of target cells.

The future is knocking: Global food production to be transformed using new technology
The world's growing population will necessitate a 30-70% increase in food production over the next 3 decades.

Obesity not related to how close you live to fast food or gyms
A new study from Lund University in Sweden has shown no correlation between obesity and how close you live to fast food restaurants or gyms.

First clinical trial with genetically modified malaria vaccine completed
In an innovative study, Radboudumc and LUMC jointly tested a candidate vaccine based on a genetically weakened malaria parasite.

Blood test may help predict whose MS will get worse
A blood test may help predict which people with multiple sclerosis (MS) will get worse during the following year, according to a study published in the May 20, 2020, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

COVID-19 Cytokine storm: Possible mechanism for the deadly respiratory syndrome
Leading immunologists in Japan are proposing a possible molecular mechanism that causes massive release of proinflammatory cytokines, or a cytokine storm, leading to the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in COVID-19 patients.

Elucidating the mechanism of a light-driven sodium pump
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have succeeded for the first time in recording, in action, a light-driven sodium pump from bacterial cells.

Should tomatoes go in the fridge?
There is much debate about the correct storage of tomatoes.

Ketogenic diets alter gut microbiome in humans, mice
Low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diets, which have attracted public interest in recent years for their proposed benefits in lowering inflammation and promoting weight loss and heart health, have a dramatic impact on the microbes residing in the human gut, collectively referred to as the microbiome, according to a new UC San Francisco study of a small cohort of volunteer subjects.

Fire aerosols decrease global terrestrial ecosystem productivity through changing climate
Cooling, drying, and light attenuation are major impacts of fire aerosols on the global terrestrial ecosystem productivity.

App helps COVID anxiety, depression
A new collection of mobile apps called IntelliCare -- free for downloading in the Apple and Android stores -- significantly reduces anxiety and depression at a rate similar to psychotherapy, reports a new study.The apps have special content to help people reduce the stress and anxiety of dealing with the pandemic.

Going nuclear on the moon and Mars
It might sound like science fiction, but scientists are preparing to build colonies on the moon and, eventually, Mars.

Overcoming challenges of individuals with autism during the COVID-19 pandemic
Dr. Adrien Eshraghi and Miller School coauthors published a new correspondence titled COVID-19: overcoming the challenges faced by individuals with autism and their families in The Lancet Psychiatry.

Inspiring stories from women like themselves helped these moms improve their diet
When researchers asked prospective study participants who they would like to see in videos promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors, the answer was unequivocal: They wanted to see themselves -- that is, other mothers living in low-income households who were overweight or obese.

Insects' spiracular fluttering increases oxygen uptake
Many insects' breathing pores open and close rapidly during respiration; oxygen diffusion analysis suggests that this spiracle fluttering enables high oxygen intake and low water loss, according to a study publishing May 20, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by H.

Tip of the iceberg: Existing racial inequalities in death from COVID-19 will soar
Lifesaving innovations for COVID-19 will only markedly increase the already existing racial inequalities, if public health initiatives for equitable dissemination throughout all communities are not immediately developed.

Cutting edge two-photon microscopy system breaks new grounds in retinal imaging
In a recent breakthrough, a team of HKUST scientists developed an adaptive optics two-photon excitation fluorescence microscopy using direct wavefront sensing for high-resolution in vivo fluorescence imaging of mouse retina, which allow in vivo fundus imaging at an unprecedented resolution after full AO correction.

Scientists find out which of the metazoans has the smallest known genome
Researchers at St Petersburg University have deciphered the Intoshia variabili gene, the smallest representative of the parasite from the Orthonectida group.

NASA satellites covering typhoon Amphan headed for landfall
NASA satellites have been providing forecasters with various types of imagery on Typhoon Amphan as it heads toward a landfall near the border of eastern India and Bangladesh on May 20, 2020.

Next generation of soft robots inspired by a children's toy
Buckling, the sudden loss of structural stability, is usually the stuff of engineering nightmares.

Behavioral disorders more common in children exposed to maternal antenatal corticosteroids
Maternal antenatal corticosteroid treatment is standard care when there is a risk for preterm delivery.

Fish feed foresight
As the world increasingly turns to aqua farming to feed its growing population, there's no better time than now to design an aquaculture system that is sustainable and efficient.

Study: Ancient ocean oxygen levels associated with changing atmospheric carbon dioxide
Why do carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere wax and wane in conjunction with the warm and cold periods of Earth's past?

Tackling alcohol harms must be an integral part of the nation's recovery from COVID-19
As the UK and most other countries went into lockdown, the need to save lives from the coronavirus rightly took priority over longer term health issues.

Urgent call to protect 7 million high-risk older US adults from COVID-19
New research calls for more support for older adults in community settings with respiratory illnesses against COVID-19, and not just those in care homes, as around 7 million US adults fall into this category.

Doctors should be cautious when using current warning system for patient's worsening health
The current system for checking on a patient's health and how likely it is to worsen while in hospital is based on weak evidence and using poor scores may harm patients, suggests research published by The BMJ today.

Climate change will turn coastal Antarctica green, say scientists
Scientists have created the first ever large-scale map of microscopic algae as they bloomed across the surface of snow along the Antarctic Peninsula coast.

Heat now more lethal than cold for people with respiratory diseases in Spain
A new study by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a center supported by the 'la Caixa' Foundation, has analyzed deaths linked to respiratory disease in Spain between 1980 and 2016.

Oldest connection with Native Americans identified near Lake Baikal in Siberia
Using human population genetics, ancient pathogen genomics and isotope analysis, a team of researchers assessed the population history of the Lake Baikal region, finding the deepest con-nection to date between the peoples of Siberia and the Americas.

High blood pressure during and after exercise may be markers for disease later in life
Higher blood pressure during exercise and delayed blood pressure recovery after exercise are associated with a higher risk of hypertension, preclinical and clinical cardiovascular disease and death among middle-aged to older adults.

Machine-learning tool could help develop tougher materials
Engineers develop a rapid screening system to test fracture resistance in billions of potential materials.

Enrichment programs help children build knowledge
Experience is the cement that holds the building blocks of knowledge together.

Risk of death following nonfatal intentional, unintentional opioid overdoses
Researchers looked at whether patients with nonfatal intentional opioid overdoses would be more likely to die by suicide than patients with unintentional overdoses with an analysis of deaths following nonfatal opioid overdoses of intentional, unintentional and undetermined intent in California from 2009 to 2011.

COVID-19 patients may have lower stroke rates than previously suggested
Fewer people than previously reported suffer from stroke as a result of COVID-19, a new analysis finds.

Virus prevalence associated with habitat
Levels of virus infection in lobsters seem to be related to habitat and other species, new studies of Caribbean marine protected areas have shown.

Quantum leap: Photon discovery is a major step toward at-scale quantum technologies
A team of physicists at the University of Bristol has developed the first integrated photon source with the potential to deliver large-scale quantum photonics.

New SLAS Discovery auto-commentary available
In the latest auto-commentary from SLAS Discovery, 'Controlling Phosphate Removal with Light: The Development of Optochemical Tools to Probe Protein Phosphatase Function,' researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Chemistry (Pittsburgh, PA, USA) explain the design principles considered in developing an optically controlled protein phosphatase, opportunities and limitations of the methodology.

Potentially treatable genetic mutations revealed in subset of prostate cancer patients
Prostate cancer patients resistant to PSMA-targeted therapy often have potentially treatable mutations in their DNA damage-repair genes, according to research published in the May issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

ASTRO survey: Fewer patients despite enhanced safety measures at radiation oncology clinics
Despite facing challenges such as limited access to PPE during the COVID-19 outbreak, radiation oncology clinics quickly implemented safety enhancements that allowed them to continue caring for cancer patients, according to a new national survey from the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).

Advanced prostate cancer rates continued to rise after guideline change
A new study finds rates of advanced prostate cancer continued to increase in men aged 50 and over in the United States, five years after the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended against prostate-specific antigen-based screening for all men.

Family environment affects adolescent brain development
Childhood environment and socioeconomic status affect cognitive ability and brain development during adolescence independently of genetic factors, researchers at Karolinska Institutet report in a new study published in the journal PNAS.

Hunting threatens one of the world's most amazing wildlife migrations
As the world looks to tighten up the illegal capture of wildlife, migratory birds are being threatened by widespread and unsustainable hunting across the Asia-Pacific region.

Parents with degrees give their children significant advantage in maths
Children of parents with a degree are almost a year of schooling ahead in maths by the age 11 than peers whose parents have just GCSEs, a new study by the University of Sussex has discovered.

Primary care physicians experience more burnout and anxiety than other health professions
Health care professionals experience high rates of anxiety and burnout, a growing public health concern, particularly in light of projected physician shortages and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Laser-based technique captures 3D images of impressionist-style brushstrokes
Researchers have developed a new strategy that uses optical coherence tomography (OCT) to acquire both the surface and underlying details of impressionist style oil paintings.

New insight into allergies could improve diagnosis and treatment
A study led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital point to a potential marker of these conditions and a new therapeutic strategy.

Heating poppy seeds, but not baking them in muffins, reduces opiate levels
You might have heard the advice to avoid eating a poppy seed bagel or muffin before a drug screen, lest you test positive for opiates.

Just read my face, baby
Are you good at reading your partner's emotions? Your perceptiveness may very well strengthen your relationship.

ESO telescope sees signs of planet birth
Observations made with the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (ESO's VLT) have revealed the telltale signs of a star system being born.

ALMA discovers massive rotating disk in early universe
In our 13.8 billion-year-old universe, most galaxies like our Milky Way form gradually, reaching their large mass relatively late.

Macaques show protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 after infection or after vaccine
Two new studies in macaques offer hope that humans could develop protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2, either as the result of a natural infection or by way of a vaccine.

Factors associated with sex-based disparities in liver transplants
This observational study looked at the disparities that exist between women and men waiting to receive a liver transplant, such as being more likely to die while on the wait list, and how much these differences are associated with factors including geographic location, medical urgency and liver size.

New liver cancer research targets non-cancer cells to blunt tumor growth
'Senotherapy,' a treatment that uses small molecule drugs to target ''senescent'' cells, or those cells that no longer undergo cell division, blunts liver tumor progression in animal models according to new research from a team led by Celeste Simon, PhD, a professor of Cell and Developmental Biology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and scientific director of the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute.

Legal Cannabis hemp oil effectively treats chronic neuropathic pain
Researchers examine the effectiveness of consuming hemp oil extracted from the whole Cannabis plant using a chronic neuropathic pain animal model.

How social media platforms can contribute to dehumanizing people
A recent analysis of discourse on Facebook highlights how social media can be used to dehumanize entire groups of people.

Low rate of COVID-19 found in women admitted for childbirth at Cedars-Sinai
A study conducted by investigators at Cedars-Sinai suggests that universal testing of asymptomatic pregnant women in labor may not be necessary at every hospital.

COVID-19 related strokes, other neurological impact under study
Traditional stroke treatments like clot-dissolving tPA and surgical removal of big clots in the brain are good choices as well when the stroke results from SARS-CoV-2 infection, investigators report.

Examining melanoma risk in patients treated with biologics for common inflammatory diseases
This study combined the results of seven studies and compared the risk of melanoma among 34,000 patients treated with biologics and 135,000 patients treated with conventional systemic therapy for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis or inflammatory bowel disease.

Study indicates the need to revise the protocol for detecting Zika in placenta
Brazilian researchers show that the virus can infect different placental regions and that collection and storage methods should be taken into consideration to ensure that the results are trustworthy and representative.

Cognitive behavioural therapy reduces the impact of dissociative seizures
Scientists have found that adding cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to standardized medical care gives patients with dissociative seizures longer periods of seizure freedom, less bothersome seizures and a greater quality of life, in a study published in Lancet Psychiatry today and by the Cognitive behavioral therapy for adults with dissociative seizures (CODES) study group funded by National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

At the crossroads
In the bone marrow, blood stem cells via precursor cells give rise to a variety of blood cell types with various functions: white blood cells, red blood cells, or blood platelets.

Some recommended cardiovascular medications prescribed less frequently to women
In primary care, sex differences for recommended cardiovascular (CVD) prescriptions were found for patients who were at high risk or who had CVD.

Drug combination could eliminate side effects of once-popular diabetes treatment
A new UT Southwestern study shows how an effective but largely abandoned treatment for Type 2 diabetes could be used again in combination with another drug to eliminate problematic side effects.

Untangling a key step in photosynthetic oxygen production
Researchers zeroed in on a key step of photosynthetic oxygen production.

Global study finds women less likely to have heart disease -- and die of it -- than men
The information came from the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study which followed the participants an average of 10 years.

3D-printed system speeds up solar cell testing from hours to minutes
Tests on new designs for next-gen solar cells can now be done in minutes instead of days thanks to a new system built by scientists at Australia's Monash University, incorporating 3D-printed key components.

The moral machine
Scientists have shown that machines can learn moral reasoning by 'teaching' them with books and news articles.

New study finds 2 billion people without proper sanitation at high risk for coronavirus
Without access to soap and clean water, more than 2 billion people in low- and middle-income nations -- a quarter of the world's population -- have a greater likelihood of acquiring and transmitting the coronavirus than those in wealthy countries.

Scientists find a new way to reverse symptoms of Fragile X
MIT scientists have identified a potential new strategy for treating Fragile X syndrome, a disorder that is the leading heritable cause of intellectual disability and autism.

New research shows that increasing number of lost pregnancies is linked to higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes
New research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]) shows that the higher the number of pregnancy losses a woman has, the higher her risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Grasshoppers are perfectly aware of their own coloration when trying to camouflage
A research team from the Pablo de Olavide University of Seville, led by Pim Edelaar, has carried out an experimental study that shows that grasshoppers are perfectly aware of their own colouration when choosing the place that provides them with better camouflage.

BIDMC-developed vaccines protect against COVID-19 in non-human primates, study finds
A pair of new studies led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) sheds new light on two questions: whether vaccines will prevent infection with COVID-19, and whether individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 are protected against re-exposure.

A new understanding of everyday cellular processes
We use cells to breathe, to moderate body temperature, to grow and many other every day processes, however the cells in these processes are so complex its left scientists perplexed into how they develop in different environments.

UCF study finds microplastics in Florida's birds of prey for 1st time
A new study from the University of Central Florida has confirmed and quantified, for the first time, the presence of microplastics in terrestrial and aquatic birds of prey in Florida, including hawks, ospreys and owls.

Tel Aviv University-led study finds high variability is result of complex data workflows
A new Tel Aviv University-led study offers new evidence that the complexity of contemporary analytical methods in science contributes to the variability of research outcomes.

Small risk of muscle and bone problems in babies of mothers who took common thrush treatment
Pregnant women who take the thrush treatment fluconazole orally appear to have a higher risk of giving birth to a baby with muscle and bone malformations, suggests research published by The BMJ today.

IASLC survey: Molecular testing rates in most countries less than 50 percent
Access to targeted therapies for lung cancer depends on accurate identification of patients' biomarkers through molecular testing, but survey results published today in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology suggest that many international clinicians are unaware of evidence-based guidelines that support the use of molecular testing.

NUS researchers create novel device that harnesses shadows to generate electricity
NUS researchers have created a device called a 'shadow-effect energy generator' that makes use of the contrast in illumination between lit and shadowed areas to generate electricity.

A new algorithm predicts the difficulty in fighting fire
The tool completes previous studies with new variables and could improve the ability to respond to forest fires.

Researchers may have uncovered the Achilles heel of viruses
A new research study headed by the Department of Biomedicine at Aarhus University, Denmark, identifies how viruses avoid the body's immune system and cause infections and diseases.

Deciphering the fine neuroendocrine regulatory system during development
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba discovered that Crz is a key molecule for body size adjustment during the larval stage.

NIST team builds hybrid quantum system by entangling molecule with atom
Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have boosted their control of the fundamental properties of molecules at the quantum level by linking or 'entangling' an electrically charged atom and an electrically charged molecule, showcasing a way to build hybrid quantum information systems that could manipulate, store and transmit different forms of data.

Researchers reveal origins of complex hemoglobin by resurrecting ancient proteins
Researchers trace the evolutionary origins of hemoglobin by resurrecting ancient proteins from more than 400 million years ago.

More people die when hospital bed shortages force patients out
Hip fractures have higher mortality rates if patients are discharged early because the hospital needs the space and capacity.

Great potential in regulating plant greenhouse gas emissions
New discoveries on the regulation of plant emissions of isoprenoids can help in fighting climate change - and can become key to the production of valuable green chemicals.

New wearable sensor tracks vitamin C levels in sweat
A team at the University of California San Diego has developed a wearable, non invasive Vitamin C sensor that could provide a new, highly personalized option for users to track their daily nutritional intake and dietary adherence.

Scientists find evidence of link between diesel exhaust, risk of Parkinson's
A new UCLA study in zebrafish identified the process by which air pollution can damage brain cells, potentially contributing to Parkinson's disease.

Divergence in flowering time contributes reproductive isolation between wild rice species
This study chose a pair of wild rice species (Oryza rufipogon and O. nivara) as a unique system to investigate the between-species reproductive isolation based on artificial crossing experiment and the flowering census from the common garden experiment.

Breakthrough in research on production of 2D crystals with excellent optical properties
For the first time, monolayers of transition metal dichalcogenides with excellent optical properties were grown.

New device quickly detects lithium ions in blood of bipolar disorder patients
A group of Hokkaido University researchers has developed a paper-based device that can easily and cheaply measure lithium ion concentration in blood, which could greatly help bipolar disorder patients.

Researchers develop material capable of being invisible or reflective
Scientists have proposed a new metamaterial capable of changing its optical properties without any mechanical input.

Pandemic likely to cause long-term health problems, Yale School of Public Health finds
The coronavirus pandemic's life-altering effects are likely to result in lasting physical and mental health consequences for many people--particularly those from vulnerable populations--a new study led by the Yale School of Public Health finds.

In China, quarantine improves air and prevents thousands of premature deaths
A new study led by researchers at the Yale School of Public Health and published in the journal Lancet Planetary Health, finds that China's countrywide ban on traffic mobility from February 10 to March 14, 2020 greatly limited automobile emissions and sharply reduced the country's often severe air pollution.

How cosmic rays may have shaped life
Physicists propose that the influence of cosmic rays on early life may explain nature's preference for a uniform 'handedness' among biology's critical molecules.

The genome of jojoba: The only plant to store wax in its seeds
Interest on Jojoba crop was, and still is, jojoba oil, which is not a glyceride fat, but a liquid wax with unique chemical configuration and features.

T-cells could be made into better cancer killers by increasing their protein production
Hollings Cancer Center researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina have developed a technique to quantify protein production in immune cells known as T-cells, which typically target and kill cancer cells.

Most young people with increased suicide risk only display 'mild to moderate' mental distress -- study
Around 70% of young people who report self-harming or suicidal thoughts are within normal or non-clinical range of mental distress.

Malaria vaccines based on engineered parasites show safety, signs of efficacy
Two vaccines for malaria based on genetically engineered malaria parasites have been found to be safe in humans and show preliminary signs of protection, according to a pair of new phase 1/2a clinical trials.

New imaging analysis pipeline could aid in drug and vaccine development
A new paper introduces a method to effectively analyze data from lattice light-sheet microscopy, used to closely examine individual cells, such as T-cells, in 4D.

Canadian policy on corporate emissions translates to higher market value
A UC Davis study analyzes greenhouse gas emissions of Canadian companies over 12 years, finding that public disclosures translate to higher stock prices.

Attosecond physics: Quantum brakes in molecules
Physicists have measured the flight times of electrons emitted from a specific atom in a molecule upon excitation with laser light.

Spring rains are a surprising source of pollen
Spring rains washes away some pollen, but not all. University of Iowa researchers have found tree pollen fragments can remain airborne for hours after a storm.

'Bee' thankful for the evolution of pollen
Over 80% of the world's flowering plants must reproduce in order to produce new flowers, according to the US Forest Service.

Supercomputer model simulations reveal cause of Neanderthal extinction
IBS climate scientists discover that according to new supercomputer model simulations, only competition between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens can explain the rapid demise of Neanderthals around 43 to 38 thousand years ago.

Durvalumab added to standard chemotherapy improved overall survival in mesothelioma
PrECOG, LLC is reporting on its single-arm phase two study PrE0505 for the initial treatment of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Release of a new soil moisture product (2002-2011) for mainland China
A gridded soil moisture product for mainland China from 2002 to 2011 was released in a recent paper in 'Science China Earth Sciences'.

Birth control pills affect the love hormone
A recent research study from Aarhus University has shown that women who take birth control pills have a much higher level of the hormone oxytocin, also called the love hormone, in their blood compared to non-users.

Noninvasive brain stimulation with ultrasonic waves controls monkeys' choices
Noninvasive pulses of ultrasound waves aimed at specific regions in the brains of macaque monkeys can give some control over the monkeys' choices, scientists report.

A sound treatment
University of Utah biomedical engineering assistant professor Jan Kubanek has discovered that sound waves of high frequency (ultrasound) can be emitted into a patient's brain to alter his or her state.

Every heart dances to a different tune
Play the same piece of music to two people, and their hearts can respond very differently.

Nanobowls serve up chemotherapy drugs to cancer cells
For decades, scientists have explored the use of liposomes -- hollow spheres made of lipid bilayers -- to deliver chemotherapy drugs to tumor cells.

COVID-19 and immune-engaging cancer treatment
This Viewpoint discusses the challenges that arise for patients with cancer who are undergoing immune-engaging therapeutic treatment during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Effects of gender bias, stereotypes in surgical training
This randomized clinical trial investigated the association between pro-male gender bias and negative stereotypes against women during surgical residency on surgical skills and proactive career development of residents in general surgery training programs.

Team of Canadian and Italian researchers breaking new ground in materials science
A study by a team of researchers from Canada and Italy recently published in Nature Materials could usher in a revolutionary development in materials science, leading to big changes in the way companies create modern electronics.

Study: Women entrepreneurs are more motivated by social impact than money
A new study from researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Columbia sheds light on the attributes that drive different types of entrepreneurs.
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