Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 16, 2020
Graphene-Adsorbate van der Waals bonding memory inspires 'smart' graphene sensors
Electric field modulation of the graphene-adsorbate interaction induces unique van der Waals (vdW) bonding which were previously assumed to be randomized by thermal energy after the electric field is turned off.

Will telehealth services become the norm following COVID-19 pandemic?
In JAMA Oncology, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center's Trevor Royce, MD, MS, MPH, and his coauthors address whether the routine use of telehealth for patients with cancer could have long-lasting and unforeseen effects on the provision and quality of care.

Pine beetles successful no matter how far they roam -- with devastating effects
Whether they travel only a few metres or tens of kilometres to a new host tree, female pine beetles use different strategies to find success--with major negative consequences for pine trees, according to new research by University of Alberta biologists.

Skoltech scientists use ML to optimize hydraulic fracturing design for oil wells
Skoltech researchers and their industry colleagues have created a data-driven model that can forecast the production from an oil well stimulated by multistage fracturing technology.

Yale researchers discover potential treatment for rare degenerative disease
Yale pharmacology professor Barbara Ehrlich and her team have uncovered a mechanism driving a rare, lethal disease called Wolfram Syndrome and also a potential treatment.

Immediate dialysis no better than wait-until-necessary approach, researchers find
In the largest international study of its kind, researchers at the University of Alberta and Toronto's St.

Genome guardians stop and reel in DNA to correct replication errors
New research shows how proofreading proteins prevent DNA replication errors by creating an immobile structure that calls more proteins to the site to repair the error.

More porn, worse erectile function
A study has shown that the amount of porn a man watches is linked to worse erectile function.

Heat stress in gestating dairy cows impairs performance of future generations
In a recent article appearing in the Journal of Dairy Science, scientists from the University of Florida and the University of California, Davis investigated the performance and profitability of two future generations of cows born to mothers exposed to heat stress during pregnancy.

Vaccine additives can enhance immune flexibility -- Implications for flu and SARS-CoV-2
A vaccine additive known as an adjuvant can enhance responses to a vaccine containing the exotic avian flu virus H5N1, so that both rookie and veteran elements of the immune response are strengthened, according to results from an Emory Vaccine Center study.

Blood iron levels could be key to slowing ageing, gene study shows
Genes linked to ageing that could help explain why some people age at different rates to others have been identified by scientists.

Oral herpes rates are falling in children
Fewer people are being exposed to herpes simplex type 1 - also known as oral herpes - in their childhood and the prevalence amongst the population in Europe is falling by 1% per year, suggests research published in the journal BMJ Global Health.

Avoiding food contamination with a durable coating for hard surfaces
A new study from a team of University of Missouri engineers and food scientists demonstrates that a durable coating, made from titanium dioxide, is capable of eliminating foodborne germs, such as salmonella and E. coli, and provides a preventative layer of protection against future cross-contamination on stainless steel food-contact surfaces.

Industry-made pits are beneficial for beavers and wolverines, study shows
Beavers and wolverines in Northern Alberta are using industry-created borrow pits as homes and feeding grounds, according to a new study by University of Alberta ecologists.

Opium linked with more deaths after bypass surgery
The largest study on opium use and outcomes after bypass surgery has found that - in contrast to widely held beliefs - it is linked with more deaths and heart attacks.

Mouse model of contained tuberculosis infection could lead to a more effective vaccine
A novel mouse model of the protective effects of contained tuberculous infection could lead to the development of a more effective vaccine, according to a study published July 16 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Alan Diercks of Seattle Children's Research Institute, and colleagues.

Aging-associated inflammation may worsen COVID-19 outcomes in older individuals
The increased severity and mortality of SARS-CoV-2 infections in older individuals may be related to inflammageing -- an age-associated phenomenon of increased general inflammation.

Recognising fake images using frequency analysis
They look deceptively real, but they are made by computers: so-called deep-fake images are generated by machine learning algorithms, and humans are pretty much unable to distinguish them from real photos.

Breeding new rice varieties will help farmers in Asia
New research shows enormous potential for developing improved short-duration rice varieties.

An ISGlobal team develops an approach to facilitate the diagnosis of tuberculosis as cause of death
The approach, which combines a simple-to-use molecular test with the minimally invasive autopsy, could be a valuable tool in regions with high burden of the disease

ENSO influences trans-Pacific ozone transport from vegetation fires in Southeast Asia
Ding and colleagues revealed that the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-modulated vegetation fires in Southeast Asia, rather than fossil fuel plumes from China, dominate the springtime trans-Pacific transport of ozone across the entire North Pacific Ocean.

Membrane technology could cut emissions and energy use in oil refining
New membrane technology developed by a team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Imperial College London, and ExxonMobil could help reduce carbon emissions and energy intensity associated with refining crude oil.

Breakthrough blood test detects positive COVID-19 result in 20 minutes
World-first research by Monash University in Australia has been able to detect positive COVID-19 cases using blood samples in about 20 minutes, and identify whether someone has contracted the virus.

Weaving Indigenous knowledge with scientific research: a balanced approach
Insights from bicultural research can enhance practical applications from a palaeotsunami database to land-use decisions, according to a new review in Earth Surface Dynamics

Scientists uncover SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell immunity in recovered COVID-19 and SARS patients
The T cells, along with antibodies, are an integral part of the human immune response against viral infections due to their ability to directly target and kill infected cells.

COVID-19 lockdown reduced dangerous air pollutants in five Indian cities by up to 54 percent
The COVID-19 crisis and subsequent lockdown measures have led to a dramatic reduction of harmful air pollutants across major cities in India, finds a new study from the University of Surrey.

Combating drug resistance in age-related macular degeneration
An international team of researchers led by Baylor College of Medicine and Houston Methodist has discovered a strategy that can potentially address a major challenge to the current treatment for age-related macular degeneration,

Recently discovered CRISPR enzyme from huge bacteriophages expands genome editing toolbox
A recently discovered hypercompact CRISPR enzyme found only in huge bacteriophages, and known as CRISPR-CasΦ, is functional, a new study by Patrick Pausch, Jennifer Doudna and colleagues reports, and it provides a powerful new tool in the CRISPR genome editing toolbox, including because it can target a wider range of genetic sequences compared to Cas9 and Cas12.

Exotic neutrinos will be difficult to ferret out
An international team tracking the 'new physics' neutrinos has checked the data of all the relevant experiments associated with neutrino detections against Standard Model extensions proposed by theorists.

Researchers discover 2 paths of aging and new insights on promoting healthspan
Scientists have unraveled key mechanisms behind the mysteries of aging.

Streamlining quantum information transmission
The Internet has deeply changed our ways of living but at the same time introduced serious security and privacy issues.

Composing creativity: Children benefit from new painting materials
New research out of the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) utilizes digital image analysis technology to shed light on some of the challenges children face when representing their imaginations through the medium of paint.

New study provides evidence for decades-old theory to explain the odd behaviors of water
A new study provides strong evidence for a controversial theory that at very cold temperatures water can exist in two distinct liquid forms, one being less dense and more structured than the other.

Patients with substance use disorder discriminated against by post-acute care facilities
A new study shows that 29 percent of private post-acute care facilities in Massachusetts explicitly discriminated against hospitalized individuals with opioid use disorder, rejecting their referral for admission.

Study finds link between too much or too little sleep and increased death rates in patients with or without diabetes
New research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]) reveals that too much or too little sleep in people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) is linked to sharply increased death rates, with the effect much larger than that found in the non-diabetic population.

Cancer cells in inhospitable brain fluids hijack iron to survive
In order to survive within the remote and harsh anatomical microenvironments of the central nervous system, the disseminated cancer cells that cause rare yet deadly leptomeningeal metastases (LM) hijack crucial iron micronutrients from native macrophages, researchers report.

Scientists discover how deep-sea, ultra-black fish disappear
In the July 16 issue of the journal Current Biology, a team of scientists led by Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History research zoologist Karen Osborn and Duke University biologist Sönke Johnsen report on how a unique arrangement of pigment-packed granules enables some fish to absorb nearly all of the light that hits their skin, so that as little as 0.05% of that light is reflected back.

New test offers clarity for couples struggling to conceive
A male fertility test based on Cornell research could help predict which men might need treatment and which couples might have success with different forms of assisted reproduction.

Analysis finds multiple social disadvantages magnify stroke risk
Living with multiple social disadvantages, including low education, low annual household income, social isolation, living in a neighborhood with high poverty or with poor public health infrastructure, lack of health insurance or being Black, collectively increases the risk of stroke.

Air pollution from wildfires linked to higher death rates in patients with kidney failure
Exposure to higher amounts of fine particulate air pollution was associated with higher death rates among patients with kidney failure.

New map for radioactive soil contamination in Western Europe
An international consortium of scientists has refined the map of caesium and plutonium radionuclide concentrations in soils in Switzerland and several neighbouring countries.

Genetics could help protect coral reefs from global warming
The research provides more evidence that genetic-sequencing can reveal evolutionary differences in reef-building corals that one day could help scientists identify which strains could adapt to warmer seas.

Study: Dangerous parasite controls host cell to spread around body
Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine have discovered new information about how a dangerous parasite takes control of a patient's cells as it spreads throughout their body, an important finding that could help in the development of new drugs to treat this infection.

Fish reef domes a boon for environment, recreational fishing
Manmade reefs can be used in conjunction with the restoration or protection of natural habitat to increase fish abundance in estuaries, UNSW researchers have found.

Quantum simulation: Particle behavior near the event horizon of block hole
Scientists from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Nanjing University propose and demonstrate a quantum evolution of fermions near an artificial black hole on a photonic chip.

Chest x-rays show more severe COVID-19 in non-white patients
Racial/ethnic minority patients admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 infection are more likely to have more severe disease on chest X-rays than white/non-Hispanic patients, increasing the likelihood of adverse outcomes, such as intubation or death, according to a new study.

Research helping to improve detection of disease in newborn babies
New research will help health-care practitioners to more accurately diagnose disease and illness in newborn babies from urine samples, according to a study by researchers at the University of Alberta and the Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas.

Divining monsoon rainfall months in advance with satellites and simulations
Researchers affiliated with The University of Texas at Austin have developed a strategy that more accurately predicts seasonal rainfall over the Asian monsoon region and could provide tangible improvements to water resource management on the Indian subcontinent, impacting more than one fifth of the world's population.

Difference between cystatin C- and creatinine-based eGFRs contains clinical information
It is common to see clinic patients whose eGFR by creatinine and cystatin are different by >15 mL/min.

Lesion of doom -- how a parasitic bacterium induces blood vessel formation to cause lesions
A research team from Fujita Health University, Japan, has found that bacteria of the genus Bartonella release a protein--which they have named BafA--that stimulates the production of new blood vessels that support bacterial lesions.

When power is toxic: Dominance reduces influence in groups
New study by researchers from the University of Konstanz, the co-located Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior (both in Germany) and the University of Texas at Austin finds that groups led by subordinate males outperform those led by dominant and aggressive males

Study: Five-year review of all alzheimer's drugs in development shows reason for optimism
Dr. Jeffrey L. Cummings, UNLV research professor and a leading expert on Alzheimer's disease clinical trials, led a five-year review of all Alzheimer's drugs in the development pipeline.

The Lancet Public Health: Speed of testing is most critical factor in the success of contact tracing strategies to slow COVID-19 transmission
Speed of contact tracing strategies is essential to slowing COVID-19 transmission, according to a mathematical modelling study in The Lancet Public Health journal which models the effectiveness of conventional and app-based strategies on community transmission of the virus.

Improving lung cancer CT screening performance in real-world settings
An Online First Accepted Manuscript published in ARRS' American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR) finds that focusing on lung cancer screening (LCS) subjects less likely to remain in the program -- those with negative low-dose CT exams and those who still smoke -- can improve that program's cost-effectiveness and maximize its societal benefits.

Un-natural mRNAs modified with sulfur atoms boost efficient protein synthesis
A group of Japanese scientists has succeeded in the development of modified messenger RNAs (mRNAs) that contain sulfur atoms in the place of oxygen atoms of phosphate moieties of natural mRNAs.

Ultra-black skin allows some fish to lurk unseen
Scientists report that at least 16 species of deep-sea fish have evolved ultra-black skin that absorbs more than 99.5% of the light that hits them, making them nearly impossible to pick out from the shadows.

Machining the heart: New predictor for helping to beat chronic heart failure
Researchers from Kanazawa University have used machine learning to predict which classes of chronic heart failure patients are most likely to experience heart failure death, and which are most likely to develop an arrhythmic death or sudden cardiac death.

Rare mutation of TP53 gene leaves people at higher risk for multiple cancers
Researchers detail the potential implications of a specific TP53 mutation, including an association with a specific type of Li-Fraumeni syndrome, an inherited predisposition to a wide range of cancers.

Heat stress: The climate is putting European forests under sustained pressure
No year since weather records began was as hot and dry as 2018.

Healthy offspring from testicular tissue plantation in mice: Retinoic acid key
Germ cell depletion in recipient testis has adverse effects on spermatogenesis in orthotopically transplanted testis pieces via retinoic acid insufficiency.

New very short-lived isotope 222Np is observed
In a recent study, researchers at the Institute of Modern Physics (IMP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and their collaborators reported the first discovery of 222Np, a new very short-lived Np isotope, and validated the N = 126 shell effect in Np isotopes.

New evidence for a dynamic metallocofactor during nitrogen gas reduction
A key mystery about the gas comprising most of our atmosphere is closer to being solved following a discovery by University of California, Irvine biologists.

CBD may help avert lung destruction in COVID-19
Cannabidiol, or CBD, may help reduce the cytokine storm and excessive lung inflammation that is killing many patients with COVID-19, researchers say.

Widening cancer gene testing is cost effective and could prevent millions of cancer cases
Screening entire populations for breast and ovarian cancer gene mutations could prevent millions more breast and ovarian cancer cases across the world compared to current clinical practice, according to an international study led by Queen Mary University of London.

Publicizing police killings of unarmed black people causes emotional trauma, says Rutgers study
Rutgers study finds majority of college students of color show symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder after watching social media videos of unarmed Black men being killed by police

Breakthrough in studying ancient DNA from Doggerland that separates the UK from Europe
Scientists from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick have studied sedimentary ancient DNA (sedaDNA) from sediment deposits in the southern North Sea, an area which has not previously been linked to a tsunami that occurred 8150 years ago.

Solid-state intramolecular motions in continuous fibers for fluorescent humidity sensor
One striking feature of molecular rotors is their ability to change conformation with detectable optical signals through molecular motion when stimulated.

A "feeling" for dementia?
A research team led by the DZNE concludes that personal perception can be an important indicator for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease.

Timing key in understanding plant microbiomes
Oregon State University researchers have made a key advance in understanding how timing impacts the way microorganisms colonize plants, a step that could provide farmers an important tool to boost agricultural production.

Megaphages harbor mini-Cas proteins ideal for gene editing
Cas proteins like CRISPR-Cas9 have great potential for gene therapy to treat human disease and for altering crop genes, but the gene-targeting and gene-cutting Cas proteins are often large and hard to ferry into cells with viral vectors such as adenovirus.

Why governments have the right to require masks in public
Requirements for consumers to wear masks at public places like retail stores and restaurants are very similar to smoking bans, according to three university experts.

Revealing Brazil's rotten agribusinesses
Groundbreaking study first to identify Brazil's 'bad apple' beef and soy producers, illegally chopping down forests to feed Europe's appetite; Researchers show that transparent data and science-based monitoring are the most potent weapons against illicit forest loss

Phantom-limb pain reduced through brain power
Osaka University researchers have used a brain-computer-interface to reduce phantom-limb pain after only three days of training.

When many act as one, data-driven models can reveal key behaviors
Researchers from Rice University and the University of Georgia have shown that data science approaches can reveal subtle clues about the origins of such collective behaviors as aggregation of bacteria.

A simple laboratory test can aid in early recognition of COVID-19 in patients
A rapid laboratory test, the eosinophil count, readily obtained from a routine complete blood cell count (CBC) can aid in the early recognition of COVID-19 in patients, as well as provide prognostic information, according to new research in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

Finding hints at novel target for Ewing sarcoma therapy
A genetic code-reading machine that is overactive in the pediatric cancer Ewing sarcoma causes cell structures called nucleoli to break up, researchers found.

A population of asteroids of interstellar origin inhabits the Solar System
Discovery by Brazilian researcher reported in Royal Astronomical Society's Monthly Notices provides clues for understanding the star nursery from which the Sun emerged.

Decision support system within the EHR system can increase provider awareness of CKD
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects approximately 37 million U.S. adults and less than 25% are aware of their disease.

Wonders of animal migration: How sea turtles find small, isolated islands
One of Charles Darwin's long-standing questions on how turtles find their way to islands has been answered thanks to a pioneering study by scientists.

Tuning frontal polymerization for diverse material properties
Researchers from the Beckman Institute have further expanded the technique of frontal polymerization in order to synthesize materials with a wide range of properties.

Principles to enhance research integrity and avoid 'publish or perish' in academia
Amid growing criticism of the traditional ''publish or perish'' system for rewarding academic research, an international team has developed five principles that institutions can follow to measure and reward research integrity.

Some decontamination processes damage N95 face masks
Certain methods of decontaminating medical face masks for repeated use during the COVID-19 pandemic appear to damage the masks' integrity and protective function, according to research by a University of Massachusetts Amherst environmental health scientist.

Pre-brain surgery test protects language in some tumors
A preoperative procedure might enable surgeons to protect the language centers during brain tumor removal without needing to keep patients awake during surgery.

Polymers self-assembling like links of a chain for innovative materials
Nature just published the research on unprecedented ''Self-assembled poly-catenanes'', which involved PoliTo's Professor Giovanni M.

Range of commercial infant foods has grown markedly in past seven years
The range of commercial foods on sale for babies has grown rapidly in recent years but their sugar levels are still too high, suggests research published in Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Does "naming and shaming" of colleges with large tuition increases make a difference?
A study published in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis today found that the U.S.

When you're 84...What should life look like as we age?
What will your life look like when you're 84? When a health system leader put that question to Lewis A.

Gel that breaks down, puts itself back together could improve delivery of oral drugs
An emerging hydrogel material with the capacity to degrade and spontaneously reform in the gastrointestinal tract could help researchers develop more effective methods for oral drug delivery.

Significant drop in stroke recurrence found among Mexican Americans
The rate of recurrent strokes significantly declined among Mexican Americans in a long-term study.

Self-eating decisions
Harvard Medical School researchers systematically surveyed the entire protein landscape of normal and nutrient-deprived cells to identify which proteins and organelles are degraded by autophagy.

Pioneering method reveals dynamic structure in HIV
The method reveals that the lattice, which forms the major structural component of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is dynamic.

'Blinking" crystals may convert CO2 into fuels
Imagine tiny crystals that ''blink'' like fireflies and can convert carbon dioxide, a key cause of climate change, into fuels.

Signs of early heart failure revealed in patients with type 2 diabetes
Adults with type 2 diabetes that have no history, signs or symptoms of heart problems have been shown to have severely limited exercise capacity.

ATS publishes new guidance on safely restoring elective pulmonary and sleep services
An American Thoracic Society-led international task force has released a guidance document to help guide clinicians on restoring elective in-person pulmonary and sleep services as COVID-19 incidence decreases in their communities.

Can high-quality coral genomes be used to predict bleaching events?
In a new approach to conservation genetics, researchers used a high-quality genome of the coral Acropora millepora, along with environmental data, to study this coral's variable responses to climate change, a trait of key conservation importance.

Scientists find a switch which may make prostate cancer spread
Scientists have found a switch which is associated with prostate cancers spreading or forming metastases (secondary tumours).

Scientists identify new species of sea sponge off the coast of British Columbia, Canada
A UAlberta research team has published a study on the discovery of a new sponge that is abundant in the region, making up nearly 20 per cent of the live sponges in the reefs off the coast of British Columbia.

Ethical recommendations for triage of COVID-19 patients
An international expert group led by Mathias Wirth, Professor of Systematic Theology and Ethics at the University of Bern, has developed recommendations for avoiding triage of COVID-19 patients in extreme situations.

Sea turtles' impressive navigation feats rely on surprisingly crude 'map'
Since the time of Charles Darwin, scientists have marvelled at sea turtles' impressive ability to make their way--often over thousands of kilometers--through the open ocean and back to the very places where they themselves hatched years before.

Beautyberry leaf extract restores drug's power to fight 'superbug'
Laboratory experiments showed that the plant compound works in combination with oxacillin to knock down the resistance to the drug of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.

Blood vessels communicate with sensory neurons to decide their fate
The researchers, using real-time videos, have discovered that both the neurons and the cells of blood vessels emit dynamic protrusions to be able to 'talk' to each other.

Widely used blood test could advance heart failure treatment
Researchers at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM) and FuWai Heart Hospital (Beijing, China) have developed a new use for a common blood test, which could provide a potentially life-saving treatment for heart failure.

Researchers solve a long-standing problem in organic chemistry
Chemists have for a long time been interested in efficiently constructing polyenes - not least in order to be able to use them for future biomedical applications.

Dangerous blood clots form in leg arteries of COVID-19 patients
COVID-19 is associated with life-threatening blood clots in the arteries of the legs, according to a new study.

ESA/NASA's solar orbiter returns first data, snaps closest pictures of the sun
The first images from ESA/NASA's Solar Orbiter are now available to the public, including the closest pictures ever taken of the Sun.
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