Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 06, 2020
Algorithm created by deep learning finds potential therapeutic targets throughout genome
A team of researchers have developed an algorithm through machine learning that helps predict sites of DNA methylation - a process that can change the activity of DNA without changing its overall structure - and could identify disease-causing mechanisms that would otherwise be missed by conventional screening methods.

Delay in breast cancer operations appears non-life-threatening for early-stage disease
A new breast cancer study brings reassuring findings for women with early-stage breast cancer who were forced to delay their cancer operations because of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Tellurium makes the difference
The periodic system contains 118 chemical elements. However, only a few of them are of major importance in our daily lives.

Grow faster, die sooner
Bacteria are survival artists: When they get nutrition, they multiply rapidly, albeit they can also survive periods of hunger.

Arecibo Observatory returns from tropical storm Isaias lockdown to track asteroid for NASA
Arecibo's Planetary Radar Group quickly shift from storm response to track asteroid 2020 NK1.

Study shows variation in hospital visitor & ICU communication policies due to COVID-19
A new study documents how 49 hospitals in a state hit hard by COVID-19 changed their visitor policies and communications with families of intensive care unit patients in the first months of the pandemic -- and how those efforts varied.

Anode material for safe batteries with a long cycle life
Researchers at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Jilin University in Changchun/China investigated a highly promising anode material for future high-performance batteries - lithium lanthanum titanate with a perovskite crystal structure (LLTO).

New fossil discovery shows how ancient 'hell ants' hunted with headgear
A fossil recently recovered from the age of the dinosaurs is giving scientists the most vivid picture yet of how one of the most enigmatic and fearsome groups of ants to exist once used their uncanny tusk-like mandibles and diverse horns to successfully hunt down victims for nearly 20 million years, before vanishing from the planet.

Molecular viral shedding among asymptomatic, symptomatic patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection
SARS-CoV-2 molecular viral shedding in asymptomatic and symptomatic patients who were isolated in a community treatment center in South Korea is quantitatively described in this observational study.

New insight into the evolution of complex life on Earth
A novel connection between primordial organisms and complex life has been discovered, as new evidence sheds light on the evolutionary origins of the cell division process that is fundamental to complex life on Earth.

'Roaming reactions' study to shed new light on atmospheric molecules
For the first time, a team of chemists has lifted the hood on the mechanics involved in the mysterious interplay between sunlight and molecules in the atmosphere known as 'roaming reactions', which could make atmospheric modelling more accurate.

Study: Most Americans don't have enough assets to withstand 3 months without income
A new study from Oregon State University found that 77% of low- to moderate-income American households fall below the asset poverty threshold, meaning that if their income were cut off they would not have the financial assets to maintain at least poverty-level status for three months.

COVID-19: Immune system derails
Contrary to what has been generally assumed so far, a severe course of COVID-19 does not solely result in a strong immune reaction - rather, the immune response is caught in a continuous loop of activation and inhibition.

Faster rates of evolution are linked to tiny genomes, study finds
Inside every cell lies a genome - a full set of DNA that contains the instructions for building an organism.

Children's pester power a future target for interventions
Children's pester power may contribute to improvements in their family's food environments.

Unveiled: A channel SARS-CoV-2 may use to proceed with viral replication in the host cell
By visualizing coronavirus replication in an infected host cell, researchers may have answered a long-standing question about how newly synthesized coronavirus components are able to be incorporated into fully infectious viruses.

Gut bacteria in people with Huntington's disease may be a potential drug target
A world first clinical study of the gut microbiome in people with Huntington's disease (HD) has found that it is not just a disease of the brain, but also of the body.

Bone-anchored leg prostheses also prove to be a valuable procedure after 5-year follow-up
After above-knee amputation, there is the option of a prosthesis that is placed directly in the thigh bone.

NASA satellites capture Isaias' nighttime track into Canada
Tropical Storm Isaias has transitioned into a post-tropical storm as it moved out of the U.S. and into eastern Canada on Aug.

Prioritizing cancer care during pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced oncology clinicians and administrators in the United States to set priorities for cancer care because of resource constraints.

Scientists identify missing source of atmospheric carbonyl sulfide
Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) report that anthropogenic sources of carbonyl sulfide (OCS), not just oceanic sources, account for much of the missing source of OCS in the atmosphere.

Study finds benefit in more frequent HIV screenings for young men who have sex with men
A new study has found that HIV screening every three months compared to annually will improve clinical outcomes and be cost-effective among high-risk young men who have sex with men (YMSM) in the United States.

Racial disparities in high-cost cancer treatment for children
This observational study looked at whether race and socioeconomic factors were associated with children enrolled in national clinical trials receiving high-cost proton radiotherapy for treatment of cancer.

Inconsistent EPA regulations increase lead poisoning risk to kids, study finds
As new lead protection rules from the Environmental Protection Agency move toward finalization, research shows that tens of thousands of children are at increased risk under the current set of inconsistent standards.

Embryonic heart development: Unprecedented insight from 4D OCT
Thanks to innovations in light-based technology, fresh insights are now available into the biomechanics of mammalian cardiogenesis--and in particular, the pumping dynamics of the mammalian tubular embryonic heart.

Penn's 'Enhanced Recovery' program significantly reduces post-op opioid use
Penn Medicine researchers found that when an ''Enhanced Recovery After Surgery'' protocol was employed--which optimizes patients' surgical care before, during, and after surgery--the majority of patients did not need opioids for pain management at one, three, and six months after elective spinal and peripheral nerve surgery.

The bouncer in the brain
How do you keep orientation in a complex environment, like the city of Vienna?

Completing the set: 'Coupon-collection behavior' reduces sex-ratio variation among families
A new analysis of sibling records from more than 300,000 individuals suggests that some parents continue to reproduce until they have children of both sexes.

Placebos prove powerful even when people know they're taking one
A team of researchers from Michigan State University, University of Michigan and Dartmouth College is the first to demonstrate that placebos reduce brain markers of emotional distress even when people know they are taking one

DNA from an ancient, unidentified ancestor was passed down to humans living today
A new analysis of ancient genomes suggests that different branches of the human family tree interbred multiple times, and that some humans carry DNA from an archaic, unknown ancestor.

Sports settings may help engage Australian men in weight loss
Men in Australia are more likely than women to be obese, yet they are underrepresented in weight loss trials.

This fruit attracts birds with an unusual way of making itself metallic blue
Instead of relying solely on pigments, the metallic blue fruits of Viburnum tinus use structural color to reflect blue light, a mechanism rarely seen in plants.

A new tool for modeling the human gut microbiome
MIT engineers designed a device that replicates the lining of the colon.

Digital buccaneers boost box office bang
Pirated movies circulated online after their theatrical release saw about 3% higher box office receipts because of the increase in word-of-mouth advertising.

Hubble uses Earth as proxy for identifying oxygen on potentially habitable exoplanets
Taking advantage of a total lunar eclipse, Hubble used the Moon as a mirror to study sunlight that had passed through Earth's atmosphere.

What will our cities look like after COVID-19?
UBC planning experts Jordi Honey-Ros├ęs and Erick Villagomez analyze the implications of COVID-19 measures on city planning and space design.

NASA's Maven observes martian night sky pulsing in ultraviolet light
Vast areas of the Martian night sky pulse in ultraviolet light, according to images from NASA's MAVEN spacecraft.

Researchers: What's in oilfield wastewater matters for injection-induced earthquakes
Specifically, he pointed out that oilfield brine has much different properties, like density and viscosity, than pure water, and these differences affect the processes that cause fluid pressure to trigger earthquakes.

Pulmonary fibrosis treatment shows proof of principle
A pre-clinical study led by scientists at Cincinnati Children's demonstrates that in mice the drug barasertib reverses the activation of fibroblasts that cause dangerous scar tissue to build up in the lungs of people with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

Surface tension, not gravity, drives viscous bubble collapse
By demonstrating that surface tension -- not gravity -- drives the collapse of surface bubbles in viscous liquids, a new study flips the previous understanding of how viscous bubbles pop on its head.

Study finds dedicated clinics can reduce impact of flu pandemic
A new study concludes that opening clinics dedicated specifically to treating influenza can limit the number of people infected and help to 'flatten the curve,' or reduce the peak prevalence rate.

Identifying and contending with radioisotopes of concern at Fukushima
In this Perspective, Ken Buesseler describes the enormous challenges that remain in doing clean-up on land in Japan following the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster in 2011, even as some progress has been made offshore.

Tasmanian devil research offers new insights for tackling cancer in humans
Researchers found a single genetic mutation that leads to reduced growth of a transmissible cancer in Tasmanian devils in the wild.

Effect of gadolinium-based contrast agent on breast diffusion-tensor imaging
An ''Original Research'' article published in ARRS' American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR) concluded that the accuracy of breast cancer diagnosis via diffusion-tensor imaging (DTI) was equivalent both before and after the administration of a gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA), despite a value change in DTI parameters.

Credible assumptions replace missing data in COVID analysis
How contagious is COVID-19, and how severe is the virus for those who've caught it?

Fossil mystery solved: Super-long-necked reptiles lived in the ocean, not on land
By CT scanning crushed fossilized skulls and digitally reassembling them, and by examining the fossils' growth rings, scientists were able to describe a new species of prehistoric sea creature.

Long neck helped reptile hunt underwater
Its neck was three times as long as its torso, but had only 13 extremely elongated vertebrae: Tanystropheus, a bizarre giraffe-necked reptile which lived 242 million years ago, is a paleontological absurdity.

Make the best of bad reviews by leveraging consumer empathy
When confronted with unfair negative reviews, firms can strategically leverage consumer empathy and benefit from potential downstream consequences.

Large proportion of NHS workers may have already had COVID-19
New research finds a high prevalence of anosmia among NHS healthcare workers between February and April.

Brain noise contains unique signature of dream sleep
Dream or REM sleep is distinguished by rapid eye movement and absence of muscle tone, but electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings are indistinguishable from those of an awake brain.

New tool compares rates of severe pregnancy complications across US hospitals
NIH-funded researchers have developed a new system for classifying severe maternal morbidity--life-threatening complications associated with childbirth--across U.S. hospitals.

Chemists create the brightest-ever fluorescent materials
By formulating positively charged fluorescent dyes into a new class of materials called small-molecule ionic isolation lattices (SMILES), a compound's brilliant glow can be seamlessly transferred to a solid, crystalline state, researchers report August 6 in the journal Chem.

Researchers discover sex-specific differences in neural mechanisms for glucose regulation
Researchers from Tufts have discovered neural mechanisms in mice specific to females that switch estrogen from playing a protective role in glucose metabolism to a disruptive role.

Analysis of renewable energy points toward more affordable carbon-free electricity
A study identifies long-term storage technologies that would enhance the affordability and reliability of renewable electricity.

Mix of contaminants in Fukushima wastewater, risks of ocean dumping
Nearly 10 years after the Tohoku-oki earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power, radiation levels have fallen to safe levels in all but the waters closest to the shuttered power plant.

Why the 'wimpy' Y chromosome hasn't evolved out of existence
The Y chromosome has shrunken drastically over 200 million years of evolution.

Research explores the impacts of mobile phones for Maasai women
For a population that herds livestock across wide stretches of wild savanna, mobile phones are a boon to their economy and life.

Fuel from disused tyres
The journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews has published a study by the UPV/EHU's Department of Chemical Engineering, which describes the work relating to the catalytic pyrolysis of tyres to see which products can be obtained in this process and their possible applications as fuel.

"Ample evidence" that Cape Hatteras beach closures benefit birds
The National Park Service (NPS) requested that the American Ornithological Society (AOS) assemble an expert panel to produce an independent report assessing the appropriateness of the current NPS beach management plan for the barrier islands of North Carolina's Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

'Avoid surgery' for most cases of common wrist fracture in young people, urge researchers
Study finds plaster casts are just as effective at healing scaphoid waist fractures in the wrist as surgery.

First record of invasive shell-boring worm in the Wadden Sea means trouble for oyster
n October 2014, the suspicion arose that the parasite worm Polydora websteri had found its way to the Wadden Sea.

Non-invasive nerve stimulation boosts learning of foreign language sounds
New research by neuroscientists at the University of Pittsburgh and UC San Francisco (UCSF) revealed that a simple, earbud-like device developed at UCSF that imperceptibly stimulates the brain could significantly improve the wearer's ability to learn the sounds of a new language.

GSA's journals publish nine new articles on COVID-19 and Aging
The Gerontological Society of America's highly cited, peer-reviewed journals are continuing to publish scientific articles on COVID-19, and all are free to access.

Identifying local solutions in the barotse floodplain for sustainable agriculture development
To develop locally relevant strategies that improve food security, nutrition, and conservation, researchers employed a gendered ecosystem services approach in Zambia.

Citizen scientists help geologists to identify earthquakes and tectonic tremors
A new study shows that citizen scientists can help professionals in identifying seismic events.

New multiple myeloma therapy shows promise in preclinical study
A new alpha-radioimmunotherapy, 212Pb-anti-CD38, has proven effective in preventing tumor growth and increasing survival in multiple myeloma tumor-bearing mice, according to new research published in the July issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

How soft hair deforms the sharpest steel blades
Why do the edges of a steel razor dull from cutting far softer materials?

New method makes magnetic maps of the solar corona
The twisting, ever-shifting and metrically elusive magnetic field of the Sun's ephemeral outer atmosphere can be mapped using near-infrared observations of the solar corona.

New CT scanning method may improve heart massage
As part of an international collaboration, researchers from Aarhus University, Denmark, and University of Leicester, UK, have succeeded in developing a dynamic 3D CT scanning method that shows what happens inside the body during simulated heart massage.

CU researcher: Non-hormonal treatment for menopausal symptoms offers hope of relief
A non-hormonal therapy to treat hot flashes and other symptoms associated with menopause was found to be effective in a recent clinical trial, according to a published study by a team of researchers including faculty from the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

LSU Health discovers key to dialogue between brain cells to protect against stroke
LSU Health New Orleans research has unlocked a key fundamental mechanism in the communication between brain cells when confronted with stroke and found DHA not only protected neuronal cells and promoted their survival, but also helped maintain their integrity and stability.

COVID-19: The long road to recovery
Researchers have identified a pattern of longer-term symptoms likely to be experienced by people who were hospitalised with the COVID-19 infection.

New science behind algae-based flip-flops
Sustainable flip-flops: A team of UC San Diego researchers has formulated polyurethane foams made from algae oil to meet commercial specifications for midsole shoes and the foot-bed of flip-flops.

Impact of climate change on tropical fisheries would create ripples across the world
Seafood is the most highly traded food commodity globally, with tropical zone marine fisheries contributing more than 50% of the global fish catch, an average of $USD 96 billion annually.

Cancer vs. COVID: When a pandemic upended cancer care
A team of researchers interviewed physicians and patients at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to identify eight scenarios impacting cancer care.

ASH releases new clinical practice guidelines on acute myeloid leukemia in older adults
Today, ASH published new guidelines to help older adults with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and their health care providers make critical care decisions, including if and how to proceed with cancer treatment and the need for blood transfusions for those in hospice care.

Chemotherapy is used to treat less than 25% of people with localized sarcoma
UCLA researchers have found that chemotherapy is not commonly used when treating adults with localized sarcoma, a rare type of cancer of the soft tissues or bone.

Why shaving dulls even the sharpest of razors
Engineers at MIT have studied the simple act of shaving up close, observing how a razor blade can be damaged as it cuts human hair -- a material that is 50 times softer than the blade itself.

First food-grade intermediate wheatgrass released
University of Minnesota researchers report the release of the first commercially available intermediate wheatgrass cultivar.

A new look at Mars' eerie, ultraviolet nighttime glow
An astronaut standing on Mars couldn't see the planet's ultraviolet ''nightglow.'' But this phenomenon could help scientists to better predict the churn of Mars' surprisingly complex atmosphere.

Electric cooker an easy, efficient way to sanitize N95 masks, study finds
Owners of electric multicookers may be able to add another use to its list of functions, a new study suggests: sanitization of N95 respirator masks.

NTU develops peptide that makes drug-resistant bacteria sensitive to antibiotics again
Scientists at NTU Singapore have developed a synthetic peptide that can make multidrug-resistant bacteria sensitive to antibiotics again when used together with traditional antibiotics, offering hope for the prospect of a combination treatment strategy to tackle certain antibiotic-tolerant infections.

Researchers take the ultimate Earth selfie
In a new study, a team of scientists set out to achieve something new in planetary photography: The group used the Hubble Space Telescope to try to view Earth as if it were an exoplanet.

People who feel dizzy when they stand up may have higher risk of dementia
Some people who feel dizzy or lightheaded when they stand up may have an increased risk of developing dementia years later, according to a new study published in the August 12, 2020, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

New studies highlight racial disparities among stroke patients with COVID-19
Two new studies indicate that racial disparities related to outcomes exist among stroke patients, including one study that specifically examines stroke patients with COVID-19.

Genes related to down syndrome abnormalities may protect against solid tumors
Scientists from Stanley Manne Children's Research Institute at Ann & Robert H.

Study gauges specific site stomach cancer risks among ethnic groups
Non-white Americans, especially Asian Americans, are at disproportionately higher risk for gastric cancer compared to non-Hispanic white Americans.

New study sheds light on evolution of hell ants from 100 million years ago
An international research team co-led by Prof. WANG Bo from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology (NIGPAS) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has confirmed the special trap-jaw predation mechanism of hell ants, providing new insights into their evolution.

A closer look at water-splitting's solar fuel potential
Scientists at Berkeley Lab and the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) have gained important new insight into how the performance of a promising semiconducting thin film can be optimized at the nanoscale for renewable energy technologies such as solar fuels.

Flexible management of hydropower plants would contribute to a secure electricity supply
UPV/EHU and BC3 researchers have analyzed the expected evolution of power supply and demand over the coming decades in Spain; they consider a future without nuclear and coal-based plants but with a greater share of renewable sources.

Childhood connection to nature has many benefits but is not universally positive, finds review
A literature review by Dr Louise Chawla, Professor Emerita at the University of Colorado, finds that children are happier and more likely to protect the natural world when they have a greater connection to it, but this connection is complex and can also generate negative emotions linked to issues like climate change.

Training neural circuits early in development improves response, study finds
When it comes to training neural circuits for tissue engineering or biomedical applications, a new study suggests a key parameter: Train them young.

UCF-developed new class of laser beam doesn't follow normal laws of refraction
University of Central Florida researchers have developed a new type of laser beam that doesn't follow long-held principles about how light refracts and travels.

Metallic blue fruits use fat to produce color and signal a treat for birds
Researchers have found that a common plant owes the dazzling blue colour of its fruit to fat in its cellular structure, the first time this type of colour production has been observed in nature.

Researchers hope to save seabirds by calculating the value of their poop
To raise awareness of the importance of seabirds to people and the ecosystems we depend on, a Science & Society article appearing August 6 in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution looks at something that most of us find off-putting: their poop.

Spintronics: Researchers show how to make non-magnetic materials magnetic
A complex process can modify non-magnetic oxide materials in such a way to make them magnetic.

Research suggests viability of brain computer to improve function in paralyzed patient
Researchers demonstrated the success of a fully implantable wireless medical device called a stentrode brain-computer interface designed to improve functional independence in patients with severe paralysis.

Provider access to chronic opioid prescribing resources improves guideline adherance
Results of a new study find that providers participating in an intervention with education and resources to help manage chronic opioid therapy for patients with HIV and chronic pain are more likely to adhere to national chronic opioid therapy guidelines compared to providers who do not take part.

Few changes seen in 'Big Five' personality traits during early days of COVID-19 pandemic
A new study suggests that adults experienced few changes in 'Big Five' personality traits as a result of the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.

Perspectives on oncology-specific language during COVID-19 pandemic
A practical communication guide designed for oncologists to assuage the fear, anger and anxiety among patients with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic is proposed in this qualitative study.

Brain waves can be used to predict future pain sensitivity
Rhythms produced by the brain can reliably be used to predict how sensitive we are to pain, new research shows.

1 in 4 UK puppies may be being acquired before minimum recommended age
One in four puppies in the UK may be being acquired before the recommended minimum age--a figure that is considerably higher than what has been reported before--suggests research published in the latest edition of Vet Record.

Small towns have highest risk of intimate partner violence
Despite common perceptions that big cities have more violence, women living in small towns are most at risk of violence from current or former partners.

Blood test may point to patients at higher risk for COVID-19 deterioration, death
George Washington University researchers found five biomarkers associated with higher odds of clinical deterioration and death in COVID-19 patients.

Are we medically intervening in maternity care when we don't need to?
Researchers from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Trinity College Dublin have provided an international perspective on differences in key birth interventions as part of a European research network which aims to understand and contextualise physiological labour and birth.

Nanoparticle system captures heart-disease biomarker from blood for in-depth analysis
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a method combining sticky nanoparticles with high-precision protein measurement to capture and analyze a common marker of heart disease to reveal details that were previously inaccessible.

Chemists build natural anti-cancer compound with lean new process
Creative chemists employ enzymes to build a complex but promising natural anti-cancer agent called cepafungin I in a lean nine steps.

REM sleep tunes eating behavior
REM sleep tunes eating behavior.

Scientists discover new concept of bacterial gene regulation
Microbiologist Prof. Kai Papenfort and his team at Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany) discovered a new mechanism of autoregulation during gene expression that relies on small regulatory ribonucleic acids (sRNAs) and the major endoribonuclease RNase E.

Researchers propose strategy to evaluate tumor photothermal therapy in real-time
Researchers from USTC reported an ''intelligent'' strategy of using organic nanoparticles to evaluate photothermal therapy efficiency on tumor in real time.

BCG vaccine is safe and does not lead to an increased risk of COVID-19 symptoms
The BCG vaccine, an vaccine originally made against tuberculosis, has a general stimulating effect on the immune system and is therefore effective against multiple infectious diseases - possibly also against COVID-19.

Study finds high levels of toxic pollutants in stranded dolphins and whales
Researchers examined toxins in tissue concentrations and pathology data from 83 stranded dolphins and whales from 2012 to 2018.

Surgical delays for very early stage breast cancer not tied to worse survival outcomes
Retrospective analysis of patients treated between 2010 and 2016 found that delays were associated with a small increase in pathological upstaging for 'stage zero' breast cancer but did not impact overall survival.
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