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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | June 01, 2020


Dieting? Studies weigh in on opportunities and risks
Get the latest research findings on fad diets, losing weight and healthful eating at NUTRITION 2020 LIVE ONLINE, a virtual conference featuring leading nutrition experts from around the world.
New review helps translate probiotic science into practical primary care recommendations
Probiotic supplements are widely available and are promoted as a general way to support the gut microbiome and promote health.
Study in Chinese doctors shows mental toll of caring in the time of COVID-19
They worked in hospitals hundreds of miles from the epicenter of COVID-19.
Monitoring environmental exposures in dogs could be early warning system for human health
Man's best friend may also be man's best bet for figuring out how environmental chemicals could impact our health.
The cascade to criticality
Combined theoretical and experimental work unveils a novel mechanism through which criticality emerges in quasiperiodic structures -- a finding that provides unique insight into the physics on the middle ground between order and disorder.
Researchers map SARS-CoV-2 infection in cells of nasal cavity, bronchia, lungs
Researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill characterized the specific ways in which SARS-CoV-2 infects the nasal cavity to a great degree -- replicating specific cell types -- and infects and replicates progressively less well in cells lower down the respiratory tract.
Mice are shrinking, but are climate change and cities to blame?
According to a well-studied but controversial principle known as Bergmann's Rule, species tend to be larger in cold climates and smaller in warm ones.
Conserving biodiverse 'slow lanes' in a rapidly changing world
The notion of conserving climate change refugia -- areas relatively buffered from current climate change that shelter valued wildlife, ecosystems, and other natural resources -- is only about 10 years old, but the field has matured enough that a leading journal has prepared a special issue on the topic that offers a first 'look back at how far we've come and a view forward to the work that is still needed,' says editor Toni Lyn Morelli, a research ecologist at UMass Amherst.
New study provides maps, ice favorability index to companies looking to mine the moon
A University of Central Florida team has created an Ice Favorability Index.
Study shows today's atmospheric carbon dioxide levels greater than 23 million-year record
A common message in use to convey the seriousness of climate change to the public is: 'Carbon dioxide levels are higher today than they have been for the past one million years!' This new study by Brian Schubert (University of Louisiana at Lafayette) and coauthors Ying Cui and A.
Researchers develop viable sodium battery
Washington State University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researchers have created a sodium-ion battery that holds as much energy and works as well as some commercial lithium-ion battery chemistries, making for a potentially viable battery technology out of abundant and cheap materials.
Discoveries of high-Chern-number and high-temperature Chern insulator states
Realizing multiple dissipationless edge states and increasing the working temperature of Chern insulator states are not only the most important research topics in physical sciences, but also expected to promote the development of low-consumption electronics and integrated circuits.
New test method can offer safer dosages of hydroxychloroquine
Researchers at Uppsala University and Uppsala University Hospital have developed a new method to measure levels of the medication hydroxychloroquine in patients with the rheumatic disease systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Army Research Laboratory supporting Texas A&M research on armor performance
The United States Army Research Laboratory is lending support to a Texas A&M University research project investigating potential improvement of ballistic performance of armor materials.
Warmer temperatures slow COVID-19 transmission, but not by much
Researchers at Mount Auburn Hospital looked at the impact of temperature, precipitation, and UV index on COVID-19 case rates in the United States during the spring months of 2020.
FloChiP, a new tool optimizing gene-regulation studies
EPFL scientists have developed FloChip, a new microfluidic take on the widely used chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) technique.
Researchers identify key immune checkpoint protein that operates within T cells
A new study led by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G.
Researchers identify a moving target in small cell lung tumors
About 15% of lung cancers are classified as small cell lung cancer.
Making matter out of light: High-power laser simulations point the way
Engineers at UC San Diego developed a set of simulations involving high-power lasers that could help us recreate the transformation of light into matter, and better understand what happened at the very beginning of the universe.
Climate action goes digital
More transparent and accessible to everyone: information and communication technologies bring opportunities for transforming traditional climate diplomacy.
NAU's Vulcan Project fossil fuel emissions show best match to carbon-14 measurements
Study findings take a dramatic step towards a greenhouse gas information system that can fundamentally change the way cities, states and the nation tackle the climate change problem.
Scientists discover new forms of feldspars
In high-pressure experiments, scientists have discovered new forms of the common mineral feldspar.
The Milky Way has one very hot halo, astronomers find
The halo that surrounds our own Milky Way galaxy is much hotter than scientists once believed - and it may not be unique among galaxies.
Smart textiles made possible by flexible transmission lines
EPFL researchers have developed electronic fibers that, when embedded in textiles, can be used to collect data about our bodies by measuring fabric deformation.
Researchers have developed a first-principles quantum Monte Carlo package called TurboRVB
'TurboRVB' is a first-principles quantum Monte Carlo software package developed by Prof.
Solubilizer Captisol enables body to absorb authorized COVID-19 drug therapy
Remdesivir's formulation includes the solubilizer Captisol, developed at the University of Kansas, which allows remdesivir be administered to the patient.
People with Type 1 diabetes spend $2,500 a year in health care costs
Adults and children with type 1 diabetes will spend an average of $2,500 a year out-of-pocket for health care -- but insulin isn't always the biggest expense -- new research suggests.
A good egg: Robot chef trained to make omelettes
A team of engineers have trained a robot to prepare an omelette, all the way from cracking the eggs to plating the finished dish, and refined the 'chef's' culinary skills to produce a reliable dish that actually tastes good.
Russian scientists to improve the battery for sensors
Researchers of Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) approached the creation of a solid-state thin-film battery for miniature devices and sensors.
Study resolves controversy surrounding tumor suppressor gene's role in pluripotent ESCs
A new study released in STEM CELLS sorts through the maze of contradictions to finally determine that the multiple roles of p53 in cell cycle regulation and apoptosis are acquired during pluripotent stem cell differentiation.
Kirigami grips could help seniors keep their footing
Researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and MIT have developed pop-up shoe grips, inspired by snake skin, that can increase friction between the shoe and the ground.
Cancer cells cause inflammation to protect themselves from viruses
Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute have uncovered how cancer cells protect themselves from viruses that are harmful to tumors but not to healthy cells.
Researchers control cattle microbiomes to reduce methane and greenhouse gases
''Now that we know we can influence the microbiome development, we can use this knowledge to modulate microbiome composition to lower the environmental impact of methane from cows by guiding them to our desired outcomes,'' Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Prof Mizrahi says.
Estrogen's role in the sex differences of alcohol abuse
Fluctuating estrogen levels may make alcohol more rewarding to female mice, according to new research in JNeurosci.
New biosensor visualizes stress in living plant cells in real time
Plant biologists have developed a new nanosensor that monitors foundational mechanisms related to stress and drought.
Killing coronavirus with handheld ultraviolet light device may be feasible
A personal, handheld device emitting high-intensity ultraviolet light to disinfect areas by killing the novel coronavirus is now feasible, according to researchers at Penn State, the University of Minnesota and two Japanese universities.
The Lancet: Most comprehensive study to date provides evidence on optimal physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection to prevent spread of COVID-19
Keeping at least one metre from other people as well as wearing face coverings and eye protection, in and outside of health-care settings, could be the best way to reduce the chance of viral infection or transmission of COVID-19, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis synthesising all the available evidence from the scientific literature, published in The Lancet.
The consequences of exploiting the ocean depths
A group of international experts has just published an article in the prestigious review Nature in which they suggest responses to question such as how organisms live in the Twilight zone and how diverse they are; which organic processes transform and consume the zone's organic material; and how the organic material is carried into and out of it
New effective treatment for inflammatory diseases found
New research conducted by the University of Liverpool and AKL Research and Development Ltd (AKLRD), published in Inflammopharmacology, highlights the potential benefits of a new drug treatment on the human body's immune response in inflammation.
Convenient spit test helps women assess cancer risk from the comfort of their own homes
A SU2C 'Dream Team' co-funded by OCRAA and NOCC presented results at ASCO of ''MAGENTA'', the first large randomized clinical trial aimed at making genetic testing for cancer risk more accessible.
Study finds gender differences in active learning classrooms
Men participated more in an active learning course in science, technology, engineering and math, while women reported lower perceptions of their scientific abilities, were more aware of gender identity and more likely to feel judged based on gender, a new Cornell-led study has found.
Tracking fossil fuel emissions with carbon-14
Researchers from NOAA and the University of Colorado have devised a breakthrough method for estimating national emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels using ambient air samples and a well-known isotope of carbon that scientists have relied on for decades to date archaeological sites.
Loggerhead sea turtles host diverse community of miniature organisms
An international team led by Florida State University researchers found that more than double the number of organisms than previously observed live on the shells of these oceanic reptiles, raising important questions about loggerhead sea turtle ecology and conservation.
Stanford study shows dry air drives overlooked changes in how plants drink and breathe
New research suggests dry air combined with warmer temperatures may prompt bigger than expected changes in how water moves through plants.
Adherence to oral diabetes drugs may improve survival in diabetics with colorectal cancer
Among patients with both colorectal cancer and diabetes in Korea, those who had a high adherence to their oral diabetes medication had a significantly reduced risk of overall mortality compared with those with lower adherence.
COVID-19 could be a seasonal illness
A study conducted in Sydney, Australia, during the early epidemic stage of COVID-19 has found an association between lower humidity and an increase in locally acquired positive cases.
Finnish researchers have discovered a new type of matter inside neutron stars
A Finnish research group has found strong evidence for the presence of exotic quark matter inside the cores of the largest neutron stars in existence.
Hot stars are plagued by giant magnetic spots, ESO data shows
Astronomers using European Southern Observatory (ESO) telescopes have discovered giant spots on the surface of extremely hot stars hidden in stellar clusters.
A boost for cancer immunotherapy
MIT engineers have found a way to boost the effectiveness of cancer immunotherapy drugs called checkpoint inhibitors.
A remote control for neurons
A team led by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University has created a new technology that enhances scientists' ability to communicate with neural cells using light.
Climate change an imminent threat to glass sponge reefs
Warming ocean temperatures and acidification drastically reduce the skeletal strength and filter-feeding capacity of glass sponges, according to new UBC research.
HIV-1 viral cores enter the nucleus collectively through the nuclear endocytosis-like pathway
How HIV-1 viral cores enter the nucleus through the undersized nuclear pore remains mysterious.
Lessening water quality problems caused by hurricane-related flooding
June 1 is the start of hurricane season in the Atlantic, and with 2020 predicted to be particularly active, residents in coastal regions are keeping watchful eyes on the weather.
Clever computing puts millions into charities' hands
Charities can now begin accessing millions of pounds more in donations thanks to a small shift in how people can donate.
Academic emergency departments are always open to all who need care
''Academic emergency departments never deny emergency care to any person.'' That is the statement put forth in a commentary from the Board of Directors of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine and the Senior Editorial Board of Academic Emergency Medicine journal.
The hidden underwater map of the past
The UPV/EHU's Department of Mineralogy and Petrology explores the rocky, undersea, coastal platforms of the Quaternary to study the formation of the underwater landscape in the past.
Astronomers find cosmic golden needle buried for two decades
Astronomers made innovative use of their time while sheltering at home due to the pandemic by combing through W.
Class of stellar explosions found to be galactic producers of lithium
A team of researchers, led by astrophysicist Sumner Starrfield of Arizona State University (ASU), has combined theory with both observations and laboratory studies and determined that a class of stellar explosions, called classical novae, are responsible for most of the lithium in our galaxy and solar system.
Your brain needs to be ready to remember?
What happens in the hippocampus even before people attempt to form memories may impact whether they remember.
Extra choline may help pregnant women decrease negative effects of COVID-19 on their newborns
Pregnant women who take extra choline supplements may mitigate the negative impact that viral respiratory infections, including COVID-19, can have on their babies, according to a new study in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.
Measuring climate change
University of Delaware professor Wei-Jun Cai teamed with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists, as well as professors and professionals from numerous research institutes, to conduct an in-depth study that looks at carbon dioxide uptake and ocean acidification in the coastal oceans of North America.
Association of COVID-19 outbreak with enrollment in cancer clinical trials
How the COVID-19 pandemic is associated with national enrollment in cancer clinical trials is investigated in this study.
K-State study reveals asymmetry in spin directions of galaxies
The patterns formed by spiral galaxies show that the universe may have a defined structure and suggest that the early universe could have been spinning, according to a Kansas State University computational astronomer.
Pod-based e-cigarettes may foster greater nicotine dependence than other devices
Pod-based e-cigarettes' efficient delivery of nicotine may foster greater dependence than other types of e-cigarettes.
Does estrogen influence alcohol use disorder?
A new study from researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago shows that high estrogen levels may make alcohol more rewarding to female mice.
Universal virus detection platform to expedite viral diagnosis?
The prompt, precise, and massive detection of a virus is the key to combat infectious diseases such as Covid-19.
Squid studies illuminate neural dysfunction in ALS; suggest new route to therapy
Yuyu Song of Harvard Medical School was a Grass Fellow at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) when she took advantage of a powerful research organism in neuroscience, the local squid, to start asking how a mutant protein associated with familial ALS behaves under controlled conditions.
Resistance to immunosurveillance favors cluster cancer metastasis
Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine show that circulating cancer cell clusters are more resistant to NK-cell mediated destruction than single cancer cells, leading to more cluster metastasis.
Report on New Caledonia's coral reefs offers a glimmer of hope for the future
The latest report from Global Reef Expedition scientists provides a promising assessment of coral reef health and resiliency in New Caledonia.
New NiMH batteries perform better when made from recycled old NiMH batteries
A new method for recycling old batteries can provide better performing and cheaper rechargeable hydride batteries (NiMH) as shown in a new study by researchers at Stockholm University.
Smart textiles powered by soft transmission lines
EPFL researchers have developed electronic fibers that, when embedded in textiles, can collect a wealth of information about our bodies by measuring subtle and complex fabrics deformations.
An MRI technique has been developed to improve the detection of tumors
A research group from the Moscow Center for Diagnostics & Telemedicine has created a physical model to maintain the quality of one of the most commonly used MRI pulse sequences: the diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI).
Developing a digital holography-based multimodal imaging system to visualize living cells
A Kobe University research group has successfully created 3D fluorescence and phase imaging of living cells based on digital holography.
Loss of land-based vertebrates is accelerating, according to Stanford biologist and others
Analysis of thousands of vertebrate species reveals that extinction rates are likely much faster than previously thought.
COVID-19 outbreak lasts days longer for each day's delay in social distancing
A new analysis of COVID-19 outbreaks in 58 cities has found that places that took longer to begin implementing social distancing measures spent more time with the virus rapidly spreading than others that acted more quickly.
Solar Ring mission: A new concept of space exploration for understanding Sun and the inner heliosphere
A new concept of space exploration, Solar Ring mission, is proposed to deploy six spacecraft in the ecliptic plane to observe the Sun and interplanetary space surrounding our planets.
Coatings for shoe bottoms could improve traction on slick surfaces
MIT engineers, inspired by kirigami, the Japanese art of paper cutting, have designed a friction-boosting material that could be used to coat the bottom of your shoes, giving them a much stronger grip on ice and other slippery surfaces.
Across the cell membrane
Aquaporins and glucose transporters facilitate the movement of substances across biological membranes and are present in all kingdoms of life.
CeMM study reveals how a master regulator of gene transcription operates
Using TPD technology, CeMM researchers set out to understand set out to understand the primary role of a key regulator of transcription, the human Mediator complex.
Evidence supports physical distancing, masks, and eye protection to help prevent COVID-19
The systematic review was conducted by a large, international collaborative of researchers, front-line and specialist clinicians, epidemiologists, patients, public health and health policy experts of published and unpublished literature in any language.
Ancient genomes link subsistence change and human migration in northern China
Northern China is among the first centers in the world where agriculture developed, but its genetic history remains largely unknown.
Study pinpoints top sources of empty calories for children and teens
A new study of children and teens found that more than 25% of the calories they consume were considered empty -- those from added sugars and solid fats.
Sea snail, human insulin hybrid could lead to better diabetes treatments
Nearly a century after insulin was discovered, an international team of researchers including University of Utah Health scientists report that they have developed the world's smallest, fully functional version of the hormone, one that combines the potency of human insulin with the fast-acting potential of a venom insulin produced by predatory cone snails.
Latest climate models show more intense droughts to come
An analysis of new climate model projections by Australian researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes shows southwestern Australia and parts of southern Australia will see longer and more intense droughts due to a lack of rainfall caused by climate change.
Like a treasure map, brain region emphasizes reward location
In a study in rats, MIT neuroscientists found that a brain region called the lateral septum encodes spatial information with a special emphasis on the location of the reward.
Aiming for an enduring relationship
Why do some couples stay together yet others split up?
Ten years of ecosystem services matrix: Review of a (r)evolution
One of the methods to assess Ecosystem Services (ES) - the benefits people obtain from ecosystems: the ES Matrix approach, has been increasingly used in the last decade.
When astrocytes attack: Stem cell model shows possible mechanism behind neurodegeneration
A new study published today in Neuron led by The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Research Institute's Valentina Fossati, Ph.D., creates astrocytes - an integral support cell in the brain -- from stem cells and shows that in disease-like environments, these normally helpful cells can turn into neuron-killers.
Disorder in fish shoals may reap rewards at dinner time
The advantages of animals foraging in an orderly group are well-known, but research by the University of Bristol has found an element of unruly adventure can help fish in the quest for food.
UConn study examines how Americans are coping with COVID-19 stress
Almost overnight, the rapid emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and subsequent state and federal prevention measures dramatically altered daily behavior.
The human factor limits hope of climate fixes
Engineering the climate can help lower temperatures and reduce climate change impacts.
Female college students more affected academically by high alcohol use than men
Female college students appear to be more affected by high alcohol use than men, which may lead to less interest in academics, according to new research including by faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York.
Long-term use of rituximab associated with lower rates of AAV relapse
An extra 18 months of rituximab infusions was associated with lower rates of relapse compared with standard maintenance therapy in patients with antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis (AAV).
Carbon nanotube transistors make the leap from lab to factory floor
A technique for making carbon nanotube transistors in large quantities paves the way for more energy efficient, 3D microprocessors.
Eating whole grains could help lower diabetes risk
A new analysis of more than 200,000 people found that eating high-quality carbohydrates, such as whole grains, was associated with a lower risk for type 2 diabetes.
Reducing inflammation boosts cognitive recovery after stroke, may extend treatment window
Reperfusion therapy, the gold standard in stroke treatment, returns blood flow to the affected brain area and must be administered within four hours of stroke to minimize hemorrhage risk.
The interface of genomic information with the electronic health record
In an effort to provide practical guidance and important considerations regarding how genomic information can be incorporated into electronic health records, the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) has released, 'The interface of genomic information with the electronic health record: a points to consider statement of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG).'
Big vegetarians of the reef drive fish evolution
New research finds fish diets, not geography, dictate how fast species evolve.
Genetic cause of difference in sexual development uncovered
Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute, the Institut Pasteur and their clinical collaborators have identified a cause of testicular tissue developing in people with female chromosomes.
Mental health of young physicians in China during COVID-19 outbreak
Anxiety, depression, mood and fear of workplace violence were assessed in a group of young physicians in China before and during the COVID-19 outbreak.
AI stock trading experiment beats market in simulation
Researchers in Italy have melded the emerging science of convolutional neural networks with deep learning -- a discipline within artificial intelligence -- to achieve a system of market forecasting with the potential for greater gains and fewer losses than previous attempts to use AI methods to manage stock portfolios.
Playing video games linked with unhealthy behaviors for college men
Results from a new study suggest that college men who play video games tend to exercise less and have poorer eating habits compared to non-gamers.
Human lifelong immunity depends on APRIL
Researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) identified the protein APRIL as a key regulator of plasmacyte maintenance and immunoglobulin production in humans.
Thyroid dysfunction in pregnancy being overdiagnosed, overtreated
The current practice of testing most pregnant women for thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) may be leading to overdiagnosis and overtreatment, according to new research in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). http://www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.191664
Employers could face legal action over COVID-19 exposure, expert warns
Employers across the UK could face legal action from employees who return to work and contract the COVID-19 virus, a leading health and safety expert has warned.
Researchers identify seasonal peaks for foodborne infections
Using a newly developed approach, researchers have identified seasonal peaks for foodborne infections that could be used to optimize the timing and location of food inspections.
Atmospheric scientists identify cleanest air on Earth in first-of-its-kind study
A research group at Colorado State University identified an atmospheric region unchanged by human-related activities in the first study to measure bioaerosol composition of the Southern Ocean south of 40 degrees south latitude.
These flexible feet help robots walk faster
Roboticists at the University of California San Diego have developed flexible feet that can help robots walk up to 40 percent faster on uneven terrain such as pebbles and wood chips.
Study seeks to optimize comfort for patients removed from ventilators at end of life
A paper recently published online in the journal Chest reports on a study of the palliative ventilator withdrawal (PVW) procedure performed in intensive care units (ICU) at end of life.
Publication in Nature Communications highlights the preclinical development of SYNB1891
Synlogic today announced the publication in Nature Communications of preclinical data supporting its first clinical immuno-oncology program, SYNB1891, which is being evaluated in a Phase 1 clinical trial in patients with advanced solid tumors or lymphoma.
Orbital ordering triggers nucleation-growth behavior of electrons in an inorganic solid
A new study by researchers from Waseda University and the University of Tokyo found that orbital ordering in a vanadate compound exhibits a clear nucleation-growth behavior.
Do warning labels help people choose healthier drinks?
Warning labels on sugary drinks lead to healthier drink choices, according to new analysis of more than 20 studies examining these warnings.

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