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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | June 29, 2020


Bleaching affects aquarium corals, too
A world-first study examines the temperature thresholds of Australian aquarium corals and finds they are at risk under climate change.
Stanford researchers reveal air pollution's connection to infant mortality
The study of sub-Saharan Africa finds that a relatively small increase in airborne particles significantly increase infant mortality rates.
Artificial intelligence identifies, locates seizures in real-time
Research from the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St.
NUS researchers uncover a novel protein which drives cancer progression
Researchers from the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore at the National University of Singapore have discovered a protein that drives the progression of esophageal cancer and liver cancer and it could be a promising target for cancer drug development.
A new theory about political polarization
A new model of opinion formation shows how the extent to which people like or dislike each other affects their political views -- and vice versa.
New research reveals plant control with the power of light
Scientists have found a way to control different plant processes -- such as when they grow -- using nothing but coloured light.
The gut shields the liver from fructose-induced damage
After one consumes food or a beverage containing fructose, the gastrointestinal system, or gut, helps to shield the liver from damage by breaking down the sugar before it reaches the liver, according to a new multi-center study.
Pernicious effects of stigma
The recent killings of unarmed individuals such as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Tony McDade have sparked a national conversation about the treatment of Black people -- and other minorities -- in the United States.
Scientists devise gentle technique to study heart tissue functioning
Biophysicists from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and their colleagues have proposed a simple way to observe the heart tissue.
Collectivism drives efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19
Research from the University of Kent has found that people who adopt a collectivist mindset are more likely to comply with social distancing and hygiene practices to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Study: New leaders emerge as organizations go to virtual work spaces
The study found that in face-to-face gatherings, team members value those with 'classic' leadership characteristics, such as extroversion and intelligence, but in virtual settings, those qualities take a backseat to those who take action.
Historic floods reveal how salt marshes can save lives in the future
By digging into major historic records of flood disasters, a research team led by scientists from the Royal Netherland Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), Delft University of Technology, Deltares and Antwerp University, reveal in a publication this week in Nature Sustainability that the value of nature for flood defense has actually been evident for hundreds of years.
Engineered immune cells recognize, attack human and mouse solid-tumor cancer cells
CAR-T therapy has been used successfully in patients with blood cancers such as lymphoma and leukemia.
Staying apart during a pandemic
The loss of human connection caused by the social and physical distancing of the COVID-19 pandemic is lamented in this piece.
Hackensack Meridian CDI scientists uncover signposts in DNA for cancer, disease risk
The most strongly disease-relevant genetic variants can be hard to localize in widespread scanning of the genome -- but by zooming in on key genetic locations associated with DNA methylation imbalances in multiple normal and cancer tissues, the scientists report they have uncovered promising new leads beneath the broader statistical signals.
New treatment for common form of muscular dystrophy shows promise in cells, animals
Researchers have designed a potential new treatment for one of the most common forms of muscular dystrophy, according to a new study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Cartwheeling light reveals new optical phenomenon
Researchers at Rice University have discovered details about a novel type of polarized-light matter interaction with light that literally turns end over end as it propagates from a source.
New 3D model shows how the paradise tree snake uses aerial undulation to fly
For more than 20 years, Virginia Tech biomedical engineering and mechanics professor Jake Socha has sought to measure and model the biomechanics of snake flight and answer questions about them, like that of aerial undulation's functional role.
Protein derived from tick saliva proves effective in the treatment of equine skin cancer
Experiments were conducted by scientists affiliated with the Center of Excellence in New Target Discovery, a research center supported by FAPESP, involving five animals with spontaneous skin tumors.
Preterm delivery increases long-term risks of ischemic heart disease in women throughout their life
Women who gave birth before their 37th week of pregnancy are at an increased risk of developing ischemic heart disease (IHD) over the course of their life independent of other risk factors such as BMI or smoking, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Ad blockers may benefit websites, users, and the market at large
A new study sought to determine the effect of ad blockers on websites' ability to generate revenue and on users' experiences.
Multifunctional nanofiber protects against explosions
Harvard University researchers, in collaboration with the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center (CCDC SC) and West Point, have developed a lightweight, multifunctional nanofiber material that can protect wearers from both extreme temperatures and ballistic threats.
How volcanoes explode in the deep sea
Explosive volcanic eruptions are possible deep down in the sea -- although the water masses exert enormous pressure there.
Raw milk may do more harm than good
Raw or unpasteurized cows' milk from U.S. retail stores can hold a huge amount of antimicrobial-resistant genes if left at room temperature, according to a new study from researchers at the University of California, Davis.
Pilot study suggests Parkinson's disease progression can be slowed
Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) implanted in early stage Parkinson's disease decreases the risk of disease progression and the need to prescribe multiple drugs to patients simultaneously, according to a five-year outcomes study of 30 patients released in the July 2020, issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
An ethical eye on AI
Researchers from the University of Warwick, Imperial College London, EPFL (Lausanne) and Sciteb Ltd have found a mathematical means of helping regulators and business manage and police Artificial Intelligence systems' biases towards making unethical, and potentially very costly and damaging commercial choices - an ethical eye on AI.
Blood pressure connected to eye health in young children
Children with impaired microvascular health developed higher systolic blood pressure over the course of a four-year study.
Team dramatically reduces image analysis times using deep learning, other approaches
Scientists have devised deep-learning and other approaches that dramatically reduce image-analysis times by orders of magnitude-- in some cases, matching the speed of image data acquisition itself.
Closer threats inspire a more primitive kind of fear
Your brain handles a perceived threat differently depending on how close it is to you.
Gold mining restricts Amazon rainforest recovery
Gold mining significantly limits the regrowth of Amazon forests, greatly reducing their ability to accumulate carbon, according to a new study.
First measurement of spin-orbit alignment on planet Beta Pictoris b
Astronomers have made the first measurement of spin-orbit alignment for a distant 'super-Jupiter' planet, demonstrating a technique that could enable breakthroughs in the quest to understand how exoplanetary systems form and evolved.
SwRI scientists demonstrate speed, precision of in situ planetary dating device
Southwest Research Institute scientists have increased the speed and accuracy of a laboratory-scale instrument for determining the age of planetary specimens onsite.
At-risk twin pregnancies benefit from an intervention called cerclage
New evidence upturns long-held medical practice, showing the efficacy of an intervention to prevent premature labor and miscarriage for mothers carrying twins.
Rice lab's bright idea is pure gold
Rice University physicists discover that plasmonic metals can be prompted to produce ''hot carriers'' that in turn emit unexpectedly bright light in nanoscale gaps between electrodes.
Quantum physics provides a way to hide ignorance
Students can hide their ignorance and answer questions correctly in an exam without their lack of knowledge being detected by teachers -- but only in the quantum world.
Responses to cyberbullying
It is well-known that victims of bullying can have higher risks of future health and social problems.
Ohio State study finds exercise increases benefits of breast milk for babies
A new study led by researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine finds even moderate exercise during pregnancy increases a compound in breast milk that reduces a baby's lifelong risks of serious health issues such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
New Zealand's ancient monster penguins had northern hemisphere doppelgangers
New Zealand's monster penguins that lived 62 million years ago had doppelgangers in Japan, the USA and Canada, a study published today in the Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research has found.
NASA-NOAA satellite animation shows the end of Tropical Cyclone Boris
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite imagery provided a look at the end of the second named tropical cyclone of the Eastern Pacific Ocean's 2020 Hurricane Season.
Using cellular networks to detect at-risk areas for spread of COVID-19
In the fight against COVID-19, researchers at Colorado State University have developed a new, non-invasive strategy to identify areas at greatest risk for spreading the disease.
Re-purposed drugs could reverse blood vessel damage in diabetes
Re-purposed drugs could reverse blood vessel damage in diabetes Drugs that were developed to treat Alzheimer's Disease could be re-purposed to prevent -- or even reverse - the damage done to the blood vessels in people who are obese or suffer from type 2 diabetes, according to new research.
Researchers catch a wave to determine how forces control granular material properties
Stress wave propagation through grainy, or granular, materials is important for detecting the magnitude of earthquakes, locating oil and gas reservoirs, designing acoustic insulation and designing materials for compacting powders.
New pharmaceuticals: public research combines efficiency with contained costs
Is the basic research that goes into the development of new drugs more efficiently conducted by public-sector scientists, pharmaceutical firms, or independent private laboratories?
Analysis of complex geometric models made simple
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed an efficient new way to quickly analyze complex geometric models by borrowing a computational approach that has made photorealistic animated films possible.
Pregnancy stereotypes can lead to workplace accidents
A study of pregnant women in physically demanding jobs found that their fears of confirming stereotypes about pregnant workers as incompetent, weak or less committed to their job could drive them to work extra hard, risking injury.
Rethinking regional neurologic care in COVID-19 era
Ways to reduce over-triage for patients with neurologic disease and finding ways to care for patients at a distance during the COVID-19 pandemic are discussed in this Viewpoint.
Engineers use 'DNA origami' to identify vaccine design rules
Using DNA origami as a virus-like scaffold, MIT researchers designed an HIV-like particle that provokes a strong response from human immune cells grown in the lab.
Laser-welded sugar: Sweet way to 3D-print blood vessels
Rice University bioengineers have shown they can keep densely packed cells alive in lab-grown tissues by creating complex networks of branching blood vessels from templates of 3D-printed sugar.
Racial differences in rates of autopsy in the US
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were used to assess racial differences in rates of autopsy of decedents older than age 18 from 2008 to 2017.
Producing a gaseous messenger molecule inside the body, on demand
Method could shed light on nitric oxide's role in the neural, circulatory, and immune systems.
Study: Gay and bisexual youth more likely to abandon churchgoing as they reach adulthood
Rare longitudinal analysis shows lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are twice as likely as heterosexual peers to disaffiliate with organized religion in late adolescence and early adulthood, although there was little change in the frequency of prayer.
Researchers print, tune graphene sensors to monitor food freshness, safety
Researchers are using high-resolution printing technology and the unique properties of graphene to make low-cost biosensors to monitor food safety and livestock health.
Understanding of relaxor ferroelectric properties could lead to many advances
A new fundamental understanding of polymeric relaxor ferroelectric behavior could lead to advances in flexible electronics, actuators and transducers, energy storage, piezoelectric sensors and electrocaloric cooling, according to a team of researchers at Penn State and North Carolina State.
Tennis: Losers move their heads more often than winners
Those sudden tantrums displayed on court by former US tennis player John McEnroe are legendary - but so too are those of Nick Kyrgios, Alexander Zverev, Serena Williams and Co.
Even in the worst COVID-19 cases, the body launches immune cells to fight back
A new study from researchers at La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) and Erasmus University Medical Center (Erasmus MC) shows that even the sickest COVID-19 patients produce T cells that help fight the virus.
It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood... or is it?
Contrary to what many would think, characteristics of your neighborhood have little to do with how satisfied you are with it.
New extinct family of giant wombat relatives discovered in Australian desert
A giant marsupial that roamed prehistoric Australia 25 million years ago is so different from its wombat cousins that scientists have had to create a new family to accommodate it.
No keys to the kingdom: New single sign-on algorithm provides superior privacy
Single sign-on systems (SSOs) allow us to login to multiple websites and applications using a single username and password combination.
Ancient disease may increase resilience to bubonic plague
Researchers have discovered that Mediterranean populations may be more susceptible to an autoinflammatory disease called familial Mediterranean fever because of evolutionary pressure to survive the bubonic plague epidemics.
Ecosystem degradation could raise risk of pandemics
Environmental destruction may make pandemics more likely and less manageable, new research suggests.
Asteroid impact, not volcanoes, made the Earth uninhabitable for dinosaurs
Modelling of the Chicxulub asteroid impact 66 million years ago shows it created a world largely unsuitable for dinosaurs to live in.
Atmospheric processes likely caused puzzling haze over China during COVID-19 shutdown
New research indicates that significant enhancement of secondary aerosol formed in the atmosphere via gas-to-particle conversion, together with long-lasting regional transport, may be the cause of severe haze over China despite a dramatic reduction in emissions during the COVID-19 shutdown.
Solving the CNL6 mystery in Batten disease
Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine uncover how mutations in the human gene CLN6 can lead to a form of Batten disease.
Clues to COVID-19 complications come from NET-like inflammatory response
An overactive defense response may lead to increased blood clotting, disease severity, and death from COVID-19.
The price of taking a stance: How corporate sociopolitical activism impacts bottom line
More businesses are taking a stand on controversial sociopolitical issues, and new research out of the University of Arizona sheds light on how those stances can impact the bottom line.
RCSI begins clinical trial for potential drug therapy for severe COVID-19 infection
Clinician scientists at RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences have begun a clinical trial of a promising therapy for critically ill COVID-19 patients in intensive care.
Women significantly more likely to be prescribed opioids, study shows
Women are significantly more likely to receive prescriptions of opioid analgesics.
Global warming will cause ecosystems to produce more methane than first predicted
New research suggests that as the Earth warms natural ecosystems such as freshwaters will release more methane than expected from predictions based on temperature increases alone.
Even when women outnumber men, gender bias persists among science undergrads
Increasing gender diversity has been a long-sought goal across many of the sciences, and interventions and programs to attract more women into fields like physics and math often happen at the undergraduate level.
Anammox bacteria generate energy from wastewater while taking a breath
More energy-efficient wastewater treatment may be possible by harnessing anammox bacteria's surprising ability to 'breathe' solid-state matter.
Deforestation and land-clearing are taking a toll on Brazil's corn yield
Brazil is one of the top three producers of both soy and corn globally, and its agricultural sector accounts for one-fifth of the country's economy.
Optoelectronic parametric oscillator
Parametric oscillators such as optical parametric oscillators (OPOs) are widely used in various areas of physics.
Soft coral garden discovered in Greenland's deep sea
A deep-sea soft coral garden habitat has been discovered in Greenlandic waters by scientists from UCL, ZSL and Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, using an innovative and low-cost deep-sea video camera built and deployed by the team.
A new antibiotic binding site was found in the ribosome
A group of scientists from Russia, Germany and the United States, led by Skoltech scientists Ilya Osterman, Petr Sergiev, Olga Dontsova and Daniel Wilson from Hamburg University, studied the mechanism by which tetracenomycin X works, blocking the process of protein synthesis in bacteria.
How upregulation of a single gene by SARS-CoV-2 can result in a cytokine storm
The SARS-CoV-19 virus initially has a limited capability to invade, attacking only one intracellular genetic target, the aryl hydrocarbon receptors (AhRs).
Faster processing makes cutting-edge fluorescence microscopy more accessible
Scientists at NIBIB have developed new image processing techniques for microscopes that can reduce post-processing time up to several thousand-fold.
Playtime with dad may improve children's self-control
Children whose fathers make time to play with them from a very young age may find it easier to control their behaviour and emotions as they grow up, research suggests.
Lifting weights makes your nervous system stronger, too
Gym-goers may get frustrated when they don't see results from weightlifting right away, but their efforts are not in vain: the first few weeks of training strengthen the nervous system, not muscles.
NIH study finds out why some words may be more memorable than others
In a recent study of epilepsy patients and healthy volunteers, National Institutes of Health researchers found that our brains may withdraw some common words, like ''pig,'' ''tank,'' and ''door,'' much more often than others, including ''cat,'' ''street,'' and ''stair.'' By combining memory tests, brain wave recordings, and surveys of billions of words published in books, news articles and internet encyclopedia pages, the researchers not only showed how our brains may recall words but also memories of our past experiences.
New evidence for how blood clots may form in very ill COVID-19 patients
Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (NETs) have been implicated in causing excessive clotting in cancer patients.
Study shows antibiotic resistance genes persist in E. coli through "genetic capitalism"
A new study analyzes the genomes of 29,255 E. coli strains collected between 1884 and 2018 to examine the evolution of 409 different genes that enable the bacterium to resist various antibiotics.
Social distancing and dying alone
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to drastic changes in how hospitals provide end-of-life care to patients and their families.
Existing drugs can prevent SARS-CoV-2 from hijacking cells
An international research team has analysed how the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, modifies the proteins of its host to promote viral transmission.
Newly designed ligands for a catalytic reaction to synthesize drugs and useful compounds
In a new study, scientists at Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology developed novel ligand molecules, which facilitate a catalytic reaction that generates useful compounds called chromanones.
Attitudes, psychological factors associated with behaviors among adolescents during COVID-19
Psychological factors associated with adolescents' behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic are examined in this survey study.
Computing collaboration reveals global ripple effect of shifting monsoons
Scientists from ORNL and a dozen other international research institutions ran a series of simulations to produce the most elaborate set of projections to date that illustrates possible changes in nine monsoon regions across five continents.
Development of a small sensor capable of continuously monitoring the phytohormone ethylene
NIMS and AIST have developed a small sensor capable of continuously monitoring the plant hormone ethylene.
Plasticity may make neurons vulnerable to Alzheimer's disease
Some neuron types are particularly prone to Alzheimer's, and a new study suggests that those neurons are vulnerable because they regularly remodel.
Ethnolinguistic diversity slows down urban growth
Where various ethnic groups live together, cities grow at a slower rate.
Faecal microbial transplantation more effective and less costly than antibiotics
An innovative treatment for patients with Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) which uses transplanted gut bacteria to treat the infection, is a more effective and more cost-efficient treatment than using antibiotics, a new UK study has found.
Wearable-tech glove translates sign language into speech in real time
UCLA bioengineers have designed a glove-like device that can translate American Sign Language into English speech in real time though a smartphone app.
Coronavirus: Social distancing accepted when people understand exponential growth
Experiments among U.S. population show: When people fail to see the need for restrictions on public life, explaining the exponential increase of infections creates greater acceptance for measures taken to slow down the infection rate.
UNC researcher leads national survey on mental health impact of COVID-19 pandemic
The findings of a nationwide survey assessing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the emotional wellbeing of the US adult population have been released online.
Wrapping up hydrophobic hydration
Studied in detail, the embedding of hydrophobic molecules in water looks quite different than previously assumed.
New study shows how tests of hearing can reveal HIV's effects on the brain
Findings from a new study published in Clinical Neurophysiology, involving a collaborative effort between Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine and the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University, are shedding further light on how the brain's auditory system may provide a window into how the brain is affected by HIV.
Researchers look for answers as to why western bumblebees are declining
The decline of the Western bumblebee is likely not limited to one culprit but, instead, due to several factors that interact such as pesticides, pathogens, climate change and habitat loss.
Size matters for bioenergy with carbon capture and storage
New research has shown that Drax power station in North Yorkshire is the optimal site for the carbon capture and storage facilities that will be needed reduce carbon emissions and achieve the targets of 2016 Paris Climate Agreement.
Human-Artificial intelligence collaborations best for skin cancer diagnosis
Artificial intelligence (AI) improved skin cancer diagnostic accuracy when used in collaboration with human clinical checks, an international study including University of Queensland researchers has found.
The state of coral reefs in the Solomon Islands
The ''Global Reef Expedition: Solomon Islands Final Report'' summarizes the foundation's findings from a monumental research mission to study corals and reef fish in the Solomon Islands and provides recommendations on how to preserve these precious ecosystems into the future.
Princeton's Nieng Yan tackles long-standing mysteries about membrane protein structure
To understand why a defect in a particular protein causes disease, we must know not only what that protein does but how.
Yale Cancer Center study validates combination therapy for aggressive endometrial cancer
Yale Cancer Center (YCC) scientists have found that combining the targeted drug trastuzumab with chemotherapy significantly improves survival rates for women with a rare, aggressive form of endometrial cancer.
Lose weight of fusion reactor component
Superconducting coils in a fusion power reactor exert a huge electromagnetic force.
Even minor heart defects are associated with long-term problems in adulthood
Long-term morbidity as well as a lower level of education and employment rate are common among adults who underwent congenital heart surgery during childhood, regardless of the severity of the defect.
BU study: Nearly half of US youth have been stalked/harassed by partners
A new, first-of-its-kind Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) study finds that 48% of 12-18-year-olds who have been in a relationship have been stalked or harassed by a partner, and 42% have stalked or harassed a partner.
Nanotechnology applied to medicine: The first liquid retina prosthesis
Researchers at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia has led to the development of an artificial liquid retinal prosthesis to counteract the effects of diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration that cause the progressive degeneration of photoreceptors of the retina, resulting in blindness.
Older adults share fewer memories as they age
Researchers used a smartphone app to 'eavesdrop' on older adult conversations.
Power outage: Research offers hint about heart weakness in Barth syndrome
Researchers at UT Health San Antonio and collaborating institutions have found a clue about the processes that underlie Barth syndrome, a rare but devastating condition that features heart weakness.
Stanford-led team shows how to store data using 2D materials instead of silicon chips
The researchers stacked layers of tungsten ditelluride like a nanoscale deck of cards.
Osmotic stress identified as stimulator of cellular waste disposal
Cellular waste disposal, where autophagy and lysosomes interact, performs elementary functions, such as degrading damaged protein molecules, which impair cellular function, and reintroducing the resulting building blocks such as amino acids into the metabolic system.
New heart valve could transform open heart surgery for millions of patients globally
A new polymeric heart valve with a life span potentially longer than current artificial valves that would also prevent the need for the millions of patients with diseased heart valves to require life-long blood thinning tablets has been developed by scientists at the universities of Bristol and Cambridge.
Researchers discover unknown consumer base for unsustainable bear product use
A team of researchers led by San Diego Zoo Global made an unexpected discovery: the use of bear bile and body parts in traditional remedies consumed by new and pregnant mothers.
New eye drops may prevent a common cause of blindness
New eye drops could prevent vision loss after retinal vein occlusion, a major cause of blindness for millions of adults, a study by Columbia University researchers has found.
USC scientists examine the impact of a very specific defect in DNA replication
The new lab study finds an unexpected glitch in a gene that supervises mitosis, one that has important implications for cancer treatment.
Microbiome confers resistance to cholera
Many parts of the world are in the midst of a deadly pandemic of cholera, an extreme form of watery diarrhea.
Casting a wider net: New system measures brain activity of several zebrafish concurrently
For a wide variety of reasons, zebrafish are one of the most widely used animal models for drug-testing related to neurological disorders.
An accurate simulation of high-pressure plasma for an economical helical fusion reactor
In order to realize fusion energy, it is economically desirable to confine higher pressure plasma with the same strength of the magnetic field.
Integrating pharmacists into general practice can optimize patient treatment
Research undertaken by RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences suggests that integrating pharmacists into general practice (GP) teams facilitates collaboration to optimise treatment plans for patients with long-term medical needs and alleviate pressures on GP practices.
Native Amazonians, Americans and monkeys show similar thinking patterns
Humans and monkeys may not speak the same lingo, but our ways of thinking are a lot more similar than previously thought, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley, Harvard University and Carnegie Mellon University.
WFIRM scientists prove bioengineered uteri support pregnancy
WFIRM scientists were able to show that bioengineered uteri in an animal model developed the native tissue-like structures needed to support normal reproductive function.
Researchers control elusive spin fluctuations in 2D magnets
A Cornell team developed a new imaging technique that is fast and sensitive enough to observe these elusive critical fluctuations in two-dimensional magnets.
Examining association between low to moderate drinking, cognitive function in adults
The association between low to moderate alcohol drinking and the rate of age-related decline in cognitive function from middle to older age was investigated in a nationally representative sample of US adults.

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