Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 29, 2020
New model predicts the peaks of the COVID-19 pandemic
This week in the journal Frontiers, researchers describe a single function that accurately describes all existing available data on active COVID-19 cases and deaths -- and predicts forthcoming peaks.

Assessing cancer diagnosis in children with birth defects
In this study, led by Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital, researchers provide a better understanding of cancer risk in children with birth defects.

Targeted therapy tepotinib for non-small cell lung cancer with MET exon 14 skipping mutation shows durable response
Patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and the MET exon 14 (METex14) skipping mutation had a 46.5% objective response rate to the targeted therapy drug tepotinib, as shown in a study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented at the 2020 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting ASCO20 Virtual Meeting (Abstract 9556 - Poster 322) by researchers from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Researchers develop new method to map cholesterol metabolism in brain
A team of researchers led by Swansea University have developed new technology to monitor cholesterol in brain tissue which could uncover its relation to neurodegenerative disease and pave the way for the development of new treatments.

COVID-19 patients who undergo surgery are at increased risk of postoperative death
Patients are at increased risk of dying after surgery if they contract COVID-19.

Combined cediranib and olaparib presents similar activity to standard of care treatment
Results of the NRG Oncology phase III clinical trial NRG-GY004 indicated that the addition of the investigational agent cediranib to olaparib and standard platinum-based chemotherapy did not improve progression-free survival (PFS) outcomes for women with platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer;, however, activity between the treatments were similar in patients.

Study: Public health campaigns can do better on cannabis harm reduction
Researchers surveyed nearly 500 attendees at the 2019 Hash Bash in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to learn about cannabis enthusiasts' awareness of cannabis harm reduction strategies.

Scientists develop sorbent for purifying water from radioactive elements
Scientists from Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) in collaboration with colleagues from the Institute of Chemistry FEB RAS come up with a smart technology for the synthesis of sorbent based on a ''tungsten bronze'' compound powder (Na2WO4) aimed to purify industrial and drinking water from hazardous radionuclides cesium (137Cs), and strontium (90Sr), as well as for effective processing of liquid radioactive waste.

Older men worry less than others about COVID-19
Older men may be at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 because they worry less about catching or dying from it, according to a new study by researchers at Georgia State University.

Solution to century-old math problem could predict transmission of infectious diseases
A Bristol academic has achieved a milestone in statistical/mathematical physics by solving a 100-year-old physics problem -- the discrete diffusion equation in finite space.

Immunotherapy for bowel cancer could change clinical practice
A large international trial involving UCL and University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) has found that pembrolizumab, a form of immunotherapy, more than doubled the 'progression free survival' time of patients with a specific subtype of advanced bowel cancer, when compared with chemotherapy.

Paid sick leave mandates hold promise in containing COVID-19
Paid sick leave (PSL) mandates like those found in the federal government's Families First Coronavirus Response Act may be helping to slow the spread of COVID-19, according to a new study by health economists at Georgia State and Tulane universities.

Research explores the impact of invasive grasses on South Texas landscapes
Scientists writing for the journal Invasive Plant Science and Management say several exotic grass species once grown in South Texas for livestock forage and erosion control have expanded from the areas where they were planted and have become invasive.

Better prepared for future crises
Although there were early warnings of an exponentially growing pandemic, most policymakers around the world were unprepared and reluctant to act when Covid-19 first spread from China around the world.

Images in neurology: Brain of patient with COVID-19, smell loss
This case report describes a 25-year-old female radiographer with no significant medical history who had been working in a COVID-19 ward who presented with a mild dry cough that lasted for one day, followed by persistent severe anosmia (loss of smell) and dysgeusia (an impaired sense of taste).

Next frontier in bacterial engineering
A new technique overcomes a serious hurdle in the field of bacterial design and engineering.

Electronic health records fail to detect up to 33% of medication errors
Despite improvements in their performance over the past decade, electronic health records (EHRs) commonly used in hospitals nationwide fail to detect up to one in three potentially harmful drug interactions and other medication errors, according to scientists at University of Utah Health, Harvard University, and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

SARS-CoV-2 possibly emerged from shuffling and selection of viral genes across different species
A combination of genetic shuffling and evolutionary selection of near-identical genetic sequences among specific bat and pangolin coronaviruses may have led to the evolution of SARS-CoV-2.

UTEP study examines COVID-19 stress, coping strategies, and well-being
Emre Umucu, Ph.D., assistant professor of rehabilitation counseling, and Beatrice Lee, an incoming rehabilitation counseling faculty member, examined the perceived stress levels and coping mechanisms related to COVID-19, and how coping affects well-being in people with self-reported chronic conditions and disabilities.

Theoretical breakthrough shows quantum fluids rotate by corkscrew mechanism
Scientists performed simulations of merging rotating superfluids, revealing a peculiar corkscrew-shaped mechanism that drives the fluids into rotation without the need for viscosity.

Bangladeshi eggplant farmers reap rewards via genetics
Farmers in Bangladesh achieved significantly higher yields and revenues by growing insect-resistant, genetically engineered eggplant, a new Cornell study has found.

Nilotinib appears safe and affects biomarkers in Alzheimer's disease clinical trial
A Georgetown University Medical Center clinical trial investigating the cancer drug nilotinib in people with Alzheimer's disease finds that it is safe and well-tolerated, and researchers say the drug should be tested in a larger study to further determine its safety and efficacy as a potential disease-modifying strategy.

The most common organism in the oceans harbors a virus in its DNA
The most common organism in the world's oceans -- and possibly the whole planet -- harbors a virus in its DNA.

Targeted therapy pralsetinib achieves high response rates in advanced cancers with RET gene fusions
The targeted therapy pralsetinib appears to have high response rates and durable activity in patients with a broad variety of tumors harboring RET gene fusions, according to results from the international Phase I/II ARROW trial, led by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

New streamlined assay can improve prenatal detection of alpha-thalassemia
In a report in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, published by Elsevier, researchers describe a rapid, accurate novel assay for nondeletional alpha-thalassemia genotyping based on one-step nested asymmetric PCR melting curve analysis, which may enhance prenatal diagnosis, newborn screening, and large-scale population screening.

'Black nitrogen'
In the periodic table of elements there is one golden rule for carbon, oxygen, and other light elements.

Oesophageal surgery: Quality increases with larger case volumes
Oesophageal surgery: quality increases with larger case volumes. Greater survival probabilities in hospitals where complex oesophageal surgery is performed more frequently.

Better outcomes, lower cost in first-ever oncology hospital at home evaluation
Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah (U of U) presented the first outcomes evaluation of an adult oncology hospital-at-home program today at the 2020 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting.

Adoptive T-cell therapy ADP-A2M4 targeting MAGE-A4 shows early activity in patients with advanced solid tumors
The adoptive T-cell therapy ADP-A2M4, which is engineered to express a T-cell receptor (TCR) directed against the MAGE-A4 cancer antigen, achieved responses in patients with multiple solid tumor types, including synovial sarcoma, head and neck cancer and lung cancer, according to results from a Phase I clinical trial led by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Using riboflavin, UV light reduces SARS-CoV-2 pathogens in plasma, whole blood
Researchers at Colorado State University used existing technologies to show that exposing the coronavirus to riboflavin and ultraviolet light reduces blood-borne pathogens in human plasma and whole-blood products.

Researchers develop experimental rapid COVID-19 test using nanoparticle technique
Scientists from the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) developed an experimental diagnostic test for COVID-19 that can visually detect the presence of the virus in 10 minutes.

Urban green spaces can help pollinators -- new research provides basic recommendations
Bee populations are experiencing a global decline as a result of climate change, parasites and pathogens, and pesticide exposure, as well as a lack of foraging resources due to human land use.

Limits on evolution revealed by statistical physics
What is and is not possible for natural evolution may be explained using models and calculations from theoretical physics, say researchers in Japan.

A rising tide of marine disease? How parasites respond to a warming world
A recent study from the University of Washington explores the ways parasitism will respond to climate change, providing researchers new insights into disease transmission.

Study charts developmental map of inner ear sound sensor in mice
A team of researchers has generated a developmental map of a key sound-sensing structure in the mouse inner ear.

Evolution of pandemic coronavirus outlines path from animals to humans
A team of scientists studying the origin of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that has caused the COVID-19 pandemic, found that it was especially well-suited to jump from animals to humans by shapeshifting as it gained the ability to infect human cells.

Dietary and physical activity intervention reduces LDL cholesterol level in children
An individualised and family-based physical activity and dietary intervention reduced the plasma LDL cholesterol concentration of primary school children, a new study from the University of Eastern Finland shows.

Study: Integrating satellite and socioeconomic data to improve climate change policy
Bangladesh is on track to lose all of its forestland in the next 35-40 years, leading to a rise in CO2 emissions and subsequent climate change, researchers said.

Venous thrombosis among critically ill patients with COVID-19
A systematic assessment of deep vein thrombosis among patients in an intensive care unit in France with severe COVID-19 is reported in this case series.

Glucocorticoids are harmful in treating viral respiratory infections
Glucocorticoids, which are widely used as treatment in intensive care, can nearly quadruple the death rate of patients suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome.

'Single pixel' vision in fish helps scientists understand how humans can spot tiny details
Recently discovered 'single-pixel vision' in fish could help researchers understand how humans are able to spot tiny details in their environment -- like stars in the sky.

Study reveals factors influencing outcomes in kidney cancer treated with immunotherapy
By analyzing tumors from patients treated with immunotherapy for advanced kidney cancer in three clinical trials, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists have identified several features of the tumors that influence their response to immune checkpoint inhibitor drugs.

How toxic protein spreads in Alzheimer's disease
Toxic versions of the protein tau are believed to cause death of neurons of the brain in Alzheimer's disease.

Growing evidence that minority ethnic groups in England may be at higher risk of COVID-19
Evidence available to date suggests that minority ethnic groups in England, particularly black and south Asian people, may be at increased risk of testing positive for Covid-19, compared to people from white British backgrounds, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Medicine.

How well do Germans understand weather risks?
Germans have difficulty gauging the negative impact of weather conditions such as ground frost, heat, or UV radiation.

Neuropathogenesis, neurologic manifestations of coronaviruses
Potential tissue targets and routes of entry of SARS-CoV-2 into the central nervous system and reported neurological complications of COVID-19 are identified in this narrative review.

Researchers examine data to identify optimal vasopressor treatment for rare type of stroke
Results of an Electronic Health Record (EHR) study assessing the most commonly used medications for raising blood pressure in patients with nontraumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), a rare type of stroke, have been published in Neurosurgical Focus by scientists at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

Taking a deep look into animals
Advances in neuroscience research and microscopy: a new technique makes it possible to clear a wide variety of different animals, making them transparent and allowing researchers to look deep into their organs and nervous systems.

RIT scientists develop method to help epidemiologists map spread of COVID-19
Rochester Institute of Technology scientists have developed a method they believe will help epidemiologists more efficiently predict the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Government's stimulus program to boost consumer spending
The world has been experiencing an unprecedented economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contamined soils determined root characteristics
University of Cordoba Professor Rafael Villar participated in a study on the variation of root traits among Mediterranean trees planted in metal-contaminated soil

A hormone -- plant style
Researchers from the Faculties of Chemistry and Biology at Bielefeld University have now found a method that might make the production of a biologically significant precursor of jasmonic acid more efficient and cheaper.

When COVID-19 meets flu season
As if the COVID-19 pandemic isn't scary enough, the flu season is not far away.

Out-of-sync brain waves may underlie learning deficit linked to schizophrenia
A new UC San Francisco study has pinpointed a specific pattern of brain waves that underlies the ability to let go of old, irrelevant learned associations to make way for new updates.

Heightened interaction between neolithic migrants and hunter-gatherers in Western Europe
This study reports new genome-wide data for 101 prehistoric individuals from 12 archaeological sites in today's France and Germany, dating from 7000-3000 BCE, and documents levels of admixture between expanding early Neolithic farmers and local hunter-gatherers seen nowhere else in Europe.

A roadmap for effective treatment of COVID-19
Researchers from the US Food and Drug Administration have reviewed the available scientific literature on COVID-19 and systematically outlined key immunological factors underlying COVID-19 disease severity.

Astronomers predict bombardment from asteroids and comets in another planetary system
The planetary system around star HR8799 is remarkably similar to our Solar System.

Watcher' tracks coronavirus in Cincinnati and beyond
As cases of COVID-19 soar two University of Cincinnati students develop an interactive dashboard that shows cases and deaths related to the novel coronavirus throughout the nation.

How the coronavirus could be prevented from invading a host cell
How might the novel coronavirus be prevented from entering a host cell in an effort to thwart infection?

Researchers identify healthcare data defects, create software for easier defect detection
Researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) have developed a method to investigate the quality of healthcare data using a systematic approach, which is based on creating a taxonomy for data defects thorough literature review and examination of data.

Trastuzumab achieves slight reduction in recurrence for women with HER2-positive DCIS
The addition of the monoclonal antibody therapy Trastuzumab to radiotherapy did not reach the protocol objective of a 36% reduction in the ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence rate for women with HER2-positive ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) on the NRG Oncology clinical trial NSABP B-43.

First cases of COVID-19 in New York City primarily from European and US sources
In New York City, the first confirmed COVID-19 cases arose mostly through untracked transmission of the virus from Europe and other parts of the United States, a new molecular epidemiology study of 84 patients reports.

Anesthesia's effect on consciousness solved, settling century-old scientific debate
How does general anesthesia cause loss of consciousness? Despite its 175-year-history of use by the U.S. medical system, science has been unable to definitively answer that question, until now.

Vision: Observing the world during childhood affects the rest of life
Much of what we will be as adults depends on the first years of life, on what we simply observe happening around us and not only on what we are taught explicitly.

Towards a climate neutral Europe: The land sector is key
Land use choices can have a significant impact on climate change mitigation and help meet the increased ambition foreseen by the 'European Green Deal'.

People more likely to accept nudges if they know how they work and how effective they are
The more people know about when and why behavioural interventions are being used and their effectiveness, the more likely they are to accept their use to change their behaviour.

Researchers conduct metabolite analysis of ALS patient blood plasma
High-throughput analysis of blood plasma could aid in identification of diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Largest study of its kind of women in labor finds nitrous oxide safe, side effects rare
Researchers at the University of Colorado College of Nursing and the School of Medicine Department of Anesthesiology at the Anschutz Medical Campus found that the use of nitrous oxide (N2O) as a pain relief option for individuals in labor is safe for newborn children and laboring individual, and converting to a different form of pain relief such as an epidural or opioid is influenced by a woman's prior birth history and other factors.

Fearful Great Danes provide new insights to genetic causes of fear
Professor Hannes Lohi's research group at the University of Helsinki has identified a new genomic region and anxiety-related candidate genes associated with fearfulness in dogs.

Trastuzumab combined with trimodality treatment does not improve outcomes for patients
Results of the NRG Oncology clinical trial RTOG 1010 indicated that the addition of the monoclonal antibody trastuzumab to neoadjuvant trimodality treatment did not improve disease-free survival (DFS) outcomes for patient with HER2 overexpressing local and locally advanced esophageal adenocarcinoma.

New gut-brain link: How gut mucus could help treat brain disorders
Gut bacterial imbalance is linked with many neurological disorders. Now researchers have identified a common thread: changes in gut mucus.

Blood test as a potential new weapon in the fight to eliminate malaria
An international collaborative team from PROS Ehime University and CellFee Science, Japan; the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Australia; Pasteur Institute, France; and Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, Switzerland developed a new diagnostic blood test which detects recent exposure to 'vivax' malaria.

Using brain imaging to demonstrate weaker neural suppression for those with autism
A University of Minnesota Medical School researcher recently published an article in Nature Communications that shows the differences in visual motion perception in autism spectrum disorder are accompanied by weaker neural suppression in the visual cortex of the brain.

Study: Paper-thin gallium oxide transistor handles more than 8,000 volts
University at Buffalo electrical engineers created a gallium oxide-based transistor that can handle more than 8,000 volts.
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.