Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 31, 2020
Surprising number of exoplanets could host life
A new study shows other stars could have as many as seven Earth-like planets in the absence of a gas giant like Jupiter.

Cooling of Earth caused by eruptions, not meteors
Ancient sediment found in a central Texas cave appears to solve the mystery of why the Earth cooled suddenly about 13,000 years ago, according to a research study co-authored by a Texas A&M University professor.

Reduced coral reef fish biodiversity under temperatures that mirror climate predictions
A team of researchers, led by Simon Brandl and Jacob Johansen, recently studied cryptobenthic reef fishes in the Arabian Gulf and the Sea of Oman and found that the more thermally extreme coral reef habitat in the Arabian Gulf adversely impacted the diversity and productivity of these important fishes.

Surprisingly young galaxy breaks low-oxygen record
A galaxy in the constellation Hercules that only recently started making stars has broken the record for having the lowest level of oxygen ever seen in a young galaxy.

NASA sun data helps new model predict big solar flares
Using data from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, scientists have developed a new model that successfully predicted seven of the Sun's biggest flares from the last solar cycle, out of a set of nine.

Texas cave sediment upends meteorite explanation for global cooling
Texas researchers from the University of Houston, Baylor University and Texas A&M University have discovered evidence for why the earth cooled dramatically 13,000 years ago, dropping temperatures by about 3 degrees Centigrade.

The Lancet Public Health: UK and US healthcare workers report higher rates of COVID-19 compared to general population in early pandemic period
Frontline healthcare workers may have substantially higher risk of reporting a positive test for COVID-19 than people from the general population, according to an observational study of almost 100,000 healthcare workers in the UK and USA published today in The Lancet Public Health journal.

Sharing a secret...the quantum way
Researchers at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, have demonstrated a record setting quantum protocol for sharing a secret amongst many parties.

Epilepsy: International researchers propose better seizure classification
A new ''mathematical language'' to classify seizures in epilepsy could lead to more effective clinical practice, researchers from Europe, the US, Australia and Japan propose in a new publication in eLife.

The need for progressive national narratives
The recent rise of authoritarian nationalist movements has reinforced the tendency of many on the left, and some on the right, to reject all forms of nationalism, writes Rogers M.

Huntsman Cancer Institute illuminates potential new treatment in acute myeloid leukemia
In a study published in the journal Leukemia, lead author Ami Patel, MD, Huntsman Cancer Institute researcher and assistant professor in the Division of Hematology and Hematologic Malignancies at the University of Utah, showed that factors produced by bone marrow support cells allowed leukemia cells to survive treatment with quizartinib, a type of TKI.

Rosalind Franklin University Researcher awarded NIH grant for CLN3 Batten disease study
Michelle Hastings, PhD, director of the Center for Genetic Diseases, is leading an NIH-funded team in the study of a new therapeutic approach for CLN3 Batten disease in children.

Google searches during pandemic hint at future increase in suicide
Googling for financial issues, disaster help rose sharply early in the COVID-19 pandemic and may portend a future increase in suicides, found researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

UArizona-TGen led team identifies new biomarkers to diagnose and monitor brain injuries
A scientific team led by the University of Arizona and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), an affiliate of City of Hope, identified a robust set of biomarkers through proteomics and metabolomic analysis that could help guide treatment for tens of millions of patients who each year sustain brain injuries, potentially preventing severe long-term disabilities.

Low-cost moist heat treatment of N95 masks eliminates SARS-CoV-2, bacteria
A new study shows that moist heat treatment of N95 masks eliminates severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and bacteria, which would allow reuse of these scarce resources.

Portable, injectable clotting agent could treat trauma victims on the front lines
In a hospital, internal bleeding can be controlled with the transfusion of clotting agents, such as platelets, but they require careful storage and refrigeration and can't be carried by first responders.

Tinkering with roundworm proteins offers hope for anti-aging drugs
KAIST researchers have been able to dial up and down creatures' lifespans by altering the activity of proteins found in roundworm cells that tell them to convert sugar into energy when their cellular energy is running low.

HudsonAlpha scientists help identify important parts of the human genome
During the third phase, ENCODE consortium researchers drew closer to their goal of developing a comprehensive map of the functional elements of human and mouse genomes by adding to the ENCODE database millions of candidate DNA switches that regulate when and where genes are turned on.

Insight on novel genetic approaches to metabolic liver diseases
Faculty from Wayne State University's Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences are leading a team of researchers to understand the causal relationships between diabetes, obesity and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in hopes of developing a treatment.

Satellite survey shows California's sinking coastal hotspots
Using precise measurements from state-of-the-art satellite-based radar that can detect the land surface rise and fall with millimeter accuracy, an ASU research team has, for the first time, tracked the entire California coast's vertical land motion.

Differences between discs of active and non-active galaxies detected for the first time
A study led by researchers at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), making comparison between the discs of several pairs of spiral galaxies, active and non-active, concludes that in the discs of the former the rotational motion of the stars is of greater importance.

Unusual electron sharing found in cool crystal
Tungsten atoms are seen to come together in a way that is similar to an outer space ion.

When Dirac meets frustrated magnetism
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics have discovered one of the largest anomalous Hall effects (15,506 siemens per centimeter at 2 Kelvin) ever observed in the new compound, KV3Sb5.

A new chemical analysis upends conventional explanation for global cooling
Scientists have long known the earth cooled dramatically about 13,000 years ago, and the most likely explanation has been that it was caused by a massive object slamming into earth from space or bursting in the atmosphere.

Quantum machines learn "quantum data"
Skoltech scientists have shown that quantum-enhanced machine learning can be used on quantum (as opposed to classical) data, overcoming a significant slowdown common to these applications and opening a ''fertile ground to develop computational insights into quantum systems''.

Tiny plants crucial for sustaining dwindling water supplies: Global analysis
Miniscule plants growing on desert soils can help drylands retain water and reduce erosion, UNSW researchers have found.

Pandemic leads to higher depression, anxiety and fear, studies show
Using an internet survey distributed in the last week of March that sampled 10,368 adults from across the country, researchers found increased levels of depression, anxiety, suicidal tendencies and psychological trauma among American adults.

New guidelines say breastfeeding is safe after anaesthesia
New guidelines published by the Association of Anaesthetists in the journal Anaesthesia, to coincide with the start of World Breast Feeding Week (1-7 August) say that breastfeeding is safe after the mother has had anaesthesia, as soon as she is alert and able to feed.

A simple screening process may enhance monoclonal antibody-based drug development
By screening potential monoclonal antibody (mAb)-based drugs solely based on a measure of their colloidal stability, scientists may be able to weed out mAbs that do not respond efficiently in solution early in the

A rebranding of 'freedom'?
According to recent Gallup polls, socialism is now more popular than capitalism among Democrats and young people, and support for ''some form of socialism'' among all Americans is at 43% (compared to 25% in 1942).

ESMO experts: Do not discontinue or delay cancer treatment impacting on overall survival
An ESMO interdisciplinary expert consensus paper on how to manage cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic has been published today in Annals of Oncology, encouraging medical oncologists worldwide not to discontinue or delay any type of anti-cancer treatment that may potentially impact on overall survival.

Targetable biological mechanisms implicated in emergent psychiatric conditions associated with SARS-CoV-2
Targetable biological mechanisms implicated in emergent psychiatric conditions associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection are discussed in this Viewpoint.

SARS-CoV-2 screening strategies for safe reopening of college campuses
This study defines the screening performance standards for SARS-CoV-2 tests that would permit the safe return of students to US residential college campuses this fall.

Sweet-taste perception changes as children develop
While adults prefer levels of sweetness similar to typical soft drinks, children and adolescents are less sensitive to the taste and prefer concentrations that are 50% sweeter, according to research by professor of food science and human nutrition M.

Using games to study law of motions in mind
At Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, researchers have successfully established relationships between games and law of motions in mind through analogy of physics and game refinement theory.

Way, shape and form: Synthesis conditions define the nanostructure of manganese dioxide
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology explore a novel and simplistic method to synthesize manganese dioxide with a specific crystalline structure called β-MnO2.

To distinguish contexts, animals think probabilistically, study suggests
A new statistical model may help scientists understand how animals make inferences about whether their surroundings are novel or haven't changed enough to be regarded a new context.

Nano-sponges of solid acid transform carbon dioxide to fuel and plastic waste to chemicals
The primary cause of climate change is atmospheric CO2, whose levels are rising every day.

New printing process advances 3D capabilities
More durable prosthetics and medical devices for patients and stronger parts for airplanes and automobiles are just some of the products that could be created through a new 3D printing technology invented by a UMass Lowell researcher.

Insights on the gut microbiome could shape more powerful, precise treatment
In a recently published study, investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital explore how the dynamics of bacterial species may influence the success of fecal microbiota transplantation in treating recurrent C. difficile infection.

ETRI develops eco-friendly color thin-film solar cells
Research on solar cells to secure renewable energy sources are ongoing around the world.

The behavior of coral reefs is simulated in order to optimize space in industrial plants
University of Cordoba researchers Laura García and Lorenzo Salas improved an algorithm inspired by the life of these underwater structures where there is a struggle for space to survive

Frontline healthcare workers more likely to test positive for COVID despite PPE
A new study published today in Lancet Public Health has found that front-line healthcare workers with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) have a three-fold increased risk of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test, compared to the general population.

Policies to mitigate wildfire impacts have public health implications, amplified amid COVID
A review of the human health hazards, risks, and impacts of California wildfires, and impacts of policies aimed to prevent and mitigate wildfires to serve as a resource in the development and deployment of California wildfire management policies within a human health context.

DNA metabarcoding detects ecological stress within freshwater species
Metabarcoding allows scientists to extract DNA from the environment, in order to rapidly detect species inhabiting a particular habitat.

Mandatory country-wide BCG vaccination found to correlate with slower growth rates of COVID-19 cases
Scientists have found that countries with mandatory Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination until at least the year 2000 tended to exhibit slower infection and death rates during the first 30 days of the outbreak

Minimally invasive percutaneous treatment for osteoid osteoma of the spine
Osteoid osteomas are benign but painful bone-forming tumors usually involving long bones, with localization at the spine in 10-20% of the cases.

Short wind turns with strong cooling effect
Why is the sea surface temperature of the northern tropics in the summer months often lower than expected?

Physicists find misaligned carbon sheets yield unparalleled properties
A material composed of two one-atom-thick layers of carbon has grabbed the attention of physicists worldwide for its intriguing -- and potentially exploitable -- conductive properties.

Reducing corticosteroid use in rheumatoid arthritis
Is the long-term use of glucocorticoids essential in people with chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, or can early discontinuation prevent characteristic side effects?

Youth more likely to stick with CGM if they are part of decision to start
In a new study published in Diabetes Care, researchers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have found that youth who are involved with the decision to start CGM are more likely to continue using the monitoring technology more than two months after starting.

High COVID-19 risk among health care workers, especially those from minority backgrounds
At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US and the UK, frontline healthcare workers -- Black, Asian, and minority ethnic backgrounds -- faced much higher risks of testing positive.

A new synthesis method for three-dimensional nanocarbons
A Nagoya University team has developed a new method of synthesis for three-dimensional nanocarbons, utilizing a catalytic reaction to connect benzene rings and create an eight-membered ring structure.

'Little brain' or cerebellum not so little after all
When we say someone has a quick mind, it may be in part thanks to our expanded cerebellum that distinguishes human brains from those of macaque monkeys, for example.

Adjustable lordotic expandable vs static lateral lumbar interbody fusion devices
The objective of this study is to compare the clinical and radiographic outcomes between patients treated with static and expandable interbody spacers with adjustable lordosis for MIS LLIF.

To improve students' mental health, Yale study finds, teach them to breathe
When college students learn specific techniques for managing stress and anxiety, their well-being improves across a range of measures and leads to better mental health, a new Yale study finds.

Memory loss reversed or abated in those with cognitive decline
Affirmativ Health sought to determine whether a comprehensive and personalized program, designed to mitigate risk factors of Alzheimer's disease could improve cognitive and metabolic function in individuals experiencing cognitive decline.

Machine learning finds a surprising early galaxy
New results achieved by combining big data captured by the Subaru Telescope and the power of machine learning have discovered a galaxy with an extremely low oxygen abundance of 1.6% solar abundance, breaking the previous record of the lowest oxygen abundance.

Scientists discover new class of semiconducting entropy-stabilized materials
The design of novel materials with superior characteristics by entropy stabilization is a very dynamic emerging research area in materials science.

How to improve climate modeling and prediction
Mathematicians propose ideas that make it possible to perform much more effective climate simulations than the traditional approach allows.

NASA examines water vapor and structure in Hurricane Isaias
When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the North Atlantic Ocean, it gathered water vapor data on Isaias, while NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided forecasters with a visible image that showed a more organized tropical cyclone.

Inbreeding detrimental for survival
Inbred birds don't live as long and have fewer offspring.

Study reveals COVID-19 transmission rate on trains
A study by scientists from the University of Southampton has examined the chances of catching COVID-19 in a train carriage carrying an infectious person.

How human sperm really swim: New research challenges centuries-old assumption
A breakthrough in fertility science by researchers from Bristol and Mexico has shattered the universally accepted view of how sperm 'swim'.
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