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


Preclinical study offers hope for Hirschsprung's
Children's Hospital Los Angeles surgeon Tracy Grikscheit, MD, grows functional nervous system tissue from stem cells.
New urine testing method holds promise for kidney stone sufferers
An improved urine-testing system for people suffering from kidney stones inspired by nature and proposed by researchers from Penn State and Stanford University may enable patients to receive results within 30 minutes instead of the current turnaround time of a week or more.
New native grass species have been discovered on the Iberian Peninsula and Menorca
The new species belong to the genus Aira, delicate herbaceous plants, which enjoy their greatest diversity in the Mediterranean Region.
Researchers uncover the arks of genetic diversity in terrestrial mammals
Mapping the distribution of life on Earth, from genes to species to ecosystems, is essential in informing conservation policies and protecting biodiversity.
The Lancet: First human trial of COVID-19 vaccine finds it is safe and induces rapid immune response
The Lancet: First human trial of COVID-19 vaccine finds it is safe and induces rapid immune response.
Study links severe childhood deprivation to neuropsychological difficulties in adulthood
A team of researchers from the University of Southampton, the University of Bath and King's College London, including Dennis Golm from the University of Southampton, have provided compelling evidence of the impact of adversity in childhood on neuropsychological functioning in adulthood.
Kidney transplants: Better results can be inferred from a larger number of cases
Kidney transplants: Better results can be derived with larger numbers of cases.
Algal genome provides insights into first land plants
Cornell researchers have sequenced and analyzed the genome of a single-celled alga that belongs to the closest lineage to terrestrial plants and provides many clues to how aquatic plants first colonized land.
Migration patterns reveal an Eden for ancient humans and animals
CU researcher, Jamie Hodgkins, Ph.D., discovered a new migration pattern (or lack of) at Pinnacle Point, a now-submerged region in South Africa.
Cognitive behavioral 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.
Still not enough women and older adults in cholesterol drug trials, study finds
Although heart disease is the leading cause of death in women, and older adults are more likely to have heart and vascular disease than young people, randomized clinical trials testing medications to lower cholesterol have historically underenrolled both groups.
How the darter got stripes: Expanding a sexual selection theory explains animal patterns
Samuel Hulse at UMBC and colleagues have shown for the first time that there is a strong correlation between the complex patterns on male darters and their highly-variable environments.
Supportive care to relieve cancer-related fatigue underutilised by breast cancer survivors
Cancer-related fatigue is a prevalent and potentially persistent issue among breast cancer survivors, which can prevent them from returning to their previous life well after treatment ends and they are declared free of disease.
Why toothpaste and cement harden over time
Cements, clays, soils, inks, paints, and even toothpaste. Many paste materials, also known as dense colloidal suspensions, stiffen as they age.
Australian researchers record world's fastest internet speed from a single optical chip
A research team from Monash, Swinburne and RMIT universities in Australia has recorded the world's fastest internet speed from a single optical chip of 44.2 Terabits per second.
Can oilfield water safely be reused for irrigation in California?
Reusing low-saline oilfield water mixed with surface water to irrigate farms in the Cawelo Water District of California does not pose major health risks, as some opponents of the practice have feared, a study led by Duke University and RTI International researchers finds.
Parasitic wasp discovery offers chemical-free pest control for growers
A species of parasitic wasp discovered by chance could provide growers with a chemical-free way of controlling a major pest.
'Time is vision' after a stroke
University of Rochester researchers studied stroke patients who experienced vision loss and found that the patients retained some visual abilities immediately after the stroke but these abilities diminished gradually and eventually disappeared permanently after approximately six months.
Researchers develop high-performance cancer vaccine using novel microcapsules
Scientists from the Institute of Process Engineering (IPE) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have developed a new therapeutic tumor vaccine based on self-healing polylactic acid microcapsules, which can efficiently activate the immune system and inhibit tumor development.
ALMA spots twinkling heart of milky way
Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) found quasi-periodic flickers in millimeter-waves from the center of the Milky Way, Sagittarius (Sgr) A*.
Mississippi Delta marshes in a state of irreversible collapse, Tulane study shows
A key finding of the study, published in Science Advances, is that coastal marshes experience tipping points, where a small increase in the rate of sea-level rise leads to widespread submergence.
Large-scale analysis of protein arginine methylation by mass spectrometry
In this research, the researchers offer an overview on state-of-the-art approaches for the high-confidence identification and accurate quantification of protein arginine methylation by high-resolution mass spectrometry methods, which comprise the development of both biochemical and bioinformatics methods.
Placentas from COVID-19-positive pregnant women show injury
In the largest study to examine health of placentas in women who tested positive for COVID-19, findings show placentas from 16 women who tested positive for COVID-19 while pregnant showed evidence of injury, according to pathological exams completed directly following birth.
Blood flow recovers faster than brain in micro strokes
Work by a Rice neurobiologist shows that increased blood flow to the brain is not an accurate indicator of neuronal recovery after a microscopic stroke.
Scientists identify a temperature tipping point for tropical forests
Carbon dioxide is an important greenhouse gas, released as fossil fuels are burned.
Skoltech team reports an important step to making optical simulators real-world devices
A group of Skoltech scientists, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Southampton (UK), developed a fully optical approach to control the couplings between polariton condensates in optical lattices.
Researchers identify therapeutic targets to prevent cancer-associated muscle loss
Researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center have identified a key cell signaling pathway that drives the devastating muscle loss, or cachexia, suffered by many cancer patients.
Researchers review advances in 3D printing of high-entropy alloys
SUTD collaborates with universities in Singapore and China to shine light on HEA manufacturing processes and inspire further research in this emerging field.
BCN MedTech presents an automatic method to detect and segment the intrauterine cavity
Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) occurs in around 10-15% of pregnancies with twins that share the same placenta.
COVID-19 test results after clinical recovery, hospital discharge among patients in China
Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction tests were used to assess potential viral shedding among patients who previously had been diagnosed with and had clinically recovered from COVID-19.
The lower mantle can be oxidized in the presence of water
In regions at depths greater than 1900 kilometers, scientists found active interactions between water and mantle rocks, which are oxidizing Earth's mantle.
How a male fly knows when to make a move on a mate
Like people, fruit flies must decide when conditions are right to make a move on a mate.
MSU scientists solve half-century-old magnesium dimer mystery
Magnesium dimer (Mg2) is a fragile molecule consisting of two weakly interacting atoms held together by the laws of quantum mechanics.
Cell reproduction dogma challenged
Meiosis is essential to sexual reproduction. For almost 15 years, it has been commonly held that retinoic acid, a molecule derived from vitamin A, triggers meiosis in mammalian germ cells.
New to science newts from Vietnam with an important message for Biodiversity Day 2020
In time for the International Day for Biological Diversity 2020, the date set by the United Nations to recognize biodiversity as 'the pillars upon which we build civilizations', a new study published in the peer-reviewed open-access journal ZooKeys describes two new to science species and one subspecies of crocodile newts from Vietnam.
Glucose levels linked to maternal mortality even in non-diabetic women
An elevated pre-pregnancy hemoglobin A1c--which measures average blood glucose concentration--is associated with a higher risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes even in women without known diabetes, according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Joel Ray of ICES and the University of Toronto, Canada, and colleagues.
Viewing COVID-19 through the lens of data science
New research published in the HARVARD DATA SCIENCE REVIEW addresses the societal, epidemiological, political, and educational issues that have rapidly emerged from the SARS-CoV2 pandemic
Pain doesn't take a holiday: Dental opioids study points to need for better prescribing
As dentists and their teams across America get back to their regular schedules after a sharp COVID-19-related reduction, a new study shows a key opportunity to reduce the use of opioid painkillers by patients.
Report looks to improve quality measures for medical care of homebound older adults
There are an estimated 2 million older adults who are homebound or unable to leave their homes due to multiple chronic conditions and functional impairment.
Past is prologue: Genetic 'memory' of ancestral environments helps organisms readapt
Organisms carry long-term 'memories' of their ancestral homelands that help them adapt to environmental change, according to a new study that involved raising chickens on the Tibetan Plateau and an adjacent lowland site.
Platinum-based chemo may improve survival for some metastatic pancreatic cancer patients
Patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer who had germline or somatic mutations in DNA repair genes had better clinical outcomes after platinum-based chemotherapy, as compared with patients without these mutations.
When developing vaccines against COVID-19, 'fast is slow, and slow is fast'
Bypassing clinical trials for a potential SARS-CoV-2 vaccine would be ''catastrophic,'' says Science Advances deputy editor Douglas Green in this Editorial.
Oriented hexagonal boron nitride foster new type of information carrier
Present computers use the presence or absence of charge (0s and 1s) to encode information, where the physical motion of charges consume energy and causes heat.
NASA examines tropical storm Mangga in infrared light
NASA's Aqua satellite used infrared light to provide forecasters with a look at the temperatures of the cloud tops in Tropical Storm Mangga.
Novel biomarkers predict benefit with immunotherapy in metastatic breast cancer
Two novel biomarkers have been found to correlate with improved outcomes with immunotherapy in metastatic breast cancer and may help to identify the patients most likely to benefit from this treatment, according to exploratory studies reported at the ESMO Breast Cancer Virtual Meeting 2020.
First fossil nursery of the great white shark discovered
An international research team led by Jaime A. Villafaña from the Institute of Palaeontology at the University of Vienna discovered the first fossil nursery area of the great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias in Chile.
A stitch in time: How a quantum physicist invented new code from old tricks
Building large-scale quantum computers will require suppression of errors. Dr Ben Brown at the University of Sydney has used a neat trick to apply powerful 3D error-suppression codes in a 2D architecture, something one industry insider said many thought was impossible.
Artificial intelligence can make personality judgments based on our photographs
Russian researchers from HSE University and Open University for the Humanities and Economics have demonstrated that artificial intelligence is able to infer people's personality from 'selfie' photographs better than human raters do.
No evidence blanket 'do-not-resuscitate' orders for COVID-19 patients are necessary
It's inappropriate to consider blanket do-not-resuscitate orders for COVID-19 patients because adequate data is not yet available on US survival rates for in-hospital resuscitation of COVID-19 patients and data from China may not relate to US patients, according to a new article published today in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, an American Heart Association journal.
Age, male sex, obesity, and underlying illness risk factors for severe COVID-19 or death
Age, male sex, obesity, and underlying illness have emerged as risk factors for severe COVID-19 or death in the UK, according to the largest cohort study to date published by The BMJ today.
Blood test could predict diabetes years before it strikes
Metabolite signature composed of sugars, amino acids and lipids can predict with over 85 per cent accuracy whether a women will develop diabetes after pregnancy marked with gestational diabetes.
Mechanism underlying the development of diabetes and fatty liver illuminated
Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a chronic liver disease often associated with diabetes.
No improvement in death rate for COVID-19 patients who received hydroxychloroquine
A research team led by investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital has evaluated real-world evidence related to outcomes for COVID-19 patients who were treated with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine analogues (with or without a macrolide).
Combinatorial screening approach opens path to better-quality joint cartilage
High-throughput platform identifies complex conditions with biomaterial compositions, and mechanical and chemical stimuli that help stem cells produce more robust cartilage.
The Lancet: No evidence of benefit for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients
The Lancet: No evidence of benefit for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients, urgent randomised trials are needed.
When predictions of theoretical chemists become reality
Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, together with his team, first predicted a topological 2D polymer in 2019.
Anti-obesity medications mitigate weight regain in RYGB surgery patients
Researchers have discovered that anti-obesity medications such as phentermine and topiramate, used individually or in combination, can significantly reduce weight regain in patients after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, according to a retrospective study published online in Obesity, the flagship journal of The Obesity Society.
Insight into mechanism of treatment-resistant gonorrhea sets stage for new antibiotics
Medical University of South Carolina researchers investigated the effects of mutations altering the structure of an essential protein in an antibiotic-resistant strain of Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
MS risk 29% higher for people living in urban areas, new research reveals
The research, due to be presented at the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) Virtual Congress, detected a reduced risk for MS in individuals residing in rural areas that have lower levels of air pollutants known as particulate matter (PM).

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