Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 12, 2020
Simpler and faster microscopy system enabling broader biomedical applications
Optical-resolution photoacoustic microscopy (OR-PAM) has demonstrated great values in biomedical research.

Dignity and respect go a long way in county jail, new research shows
A University of Wisconsin Oshkosh study indicates a little respect and decency can go a long way in improving some aspects of America's criminal justice system.

Scientists propose method for eliminating damaging heat bursts in fusion device
Researchers discover a technique for widening the windows of plasma current to enhance suppression of edge localized modes (ELMs) that can damage tokamak facilities.

Warming threat to tropical forests risks release of carbon from soil
Billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide risk being lost into the atmosphere due to tropical forest soils being significantly more sensitive to climate change than previously thought.

Group produces materials via self-organization in chemical systems
Applications range from sensors and batteries to fuel cells, among other technological possibilities.

Cremation in the Middle-East dates as far back as 7,000 B.C.
The gender of the human remains found inside a cremation pyre pit in Beisamoun, Israel remains unknown.

Human milk based fortifiers improve health outcomes for the smallest premature babies
More than 380,000 babies are born prematurely in the United States each year, according to the March of Dimes.

After Stillbirth, New Genetic Analyses May Give Parents Answers
Columbia researchers have uncovered an array of new genes that cause stillbirth, significantly increasing the understanding of the genetic foundations of common, but little studied, condition.

NASA finds hurricane Elida's eye covered
NASA's Aqua satellite obtained visible imagery of Hurricane Elida in the Eastern Pacific as it continued to weaken.

KERI creates a super-high-resolution nano display based on the 3D printing close to virtual reality
Companies across the world are competing fiercely to provide high-resolution displays to electronic devices such as TVs and smartphones.

Why black rhinos may get sick in captivity
Inflammation and oxidative stress may be involved in the pathogenesis of iron overload disorder in captive black rhinoceroses, making this syndrome a potential common denominator to various diseases described in captivity in this species, according to a study published August 12 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Hanae Pouillevet of Oniris Nantes-Atlantic National College of Veterinary Medicine, and colleagues.

Maternal obesity and the risk of early-onset hypertensive disorders of pregnancy
Pregnant obese women were more at risk of experiencing early and late-onset hypertensive disorders, and that risk progressively increased in women with higher body mass indexes (BMI), according to a study led by researchers at UTHealth.

New microrobot with in situ, in vivo bioprinting offers promise for gastric wounds
Researchers in China have taken the first step towards a new way of treating gastric wounds by using a microrobot combined with the new concept of ''in situ in vivo bioprinting'' to carry out tissue repair inside the body.

New nitrogen products are in the air
A nifty move with nitrogen has brought the world one step closer to creating a range of useful products -- from dyes to pharmaceuticals -- out of thin air.

Significantly improved COVID-19 outcomes in countries with higher TB vaccination coverage
The researchers discovered that BCG regimes are associated with better COVID-19 outcomes, both in reducing infection rates and death rates per million, especially for ages 24 or younger who had received the vaccination in the last 15 years.

Children think robots can help the elderly -- but not their own grandparents
A study that asked children to assess three different robots showed that they responded most positively to simple robots shaped like flower pots, and were most sceptical of Pepper the robot, which looks more human.

Spider silk inspires new class of functional synthetic polymers
Synthetic polymers have changed the world around us. However, It is hard to finely tune some of their properties, such as the ability to transport ions.

Japanese biologists discover new species of sea worm in the southern ocean
A Japanese research team observed a new species of polychaetes amid the seafloor materials collected near the South Orkney Islands, a remote region of the Southern Ocean about 400 miles northeast of the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Emerging infectious disease and challenges of social distancing in human and non-human animals
Humans are not the only social animal struggling with new infectious diseases.

Quieting the storm
Experiments show acupuncture modulates inflammation in mice. Findings reveal site, intensity and timing of acupuncture affect disease course.

Selective conversion of reactive lithium compounds made possible
Researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum have developed a new catalyst that can catalyse reactions to produce pharmaceuticals or chemicals used in agriculture.

Coffee stains inspire optimal printing technique for electronics
Using an alcohol mixture, researchers modified how ink droplets dry, enabling cheap industrial-scale printing of electronic devices at unprecedented scales.

Meditation-relaxation therapy may offer escape from the terror of sleep paralysis
Sleep paralysis - a condition thought to explain a number of mysterious experiences including alleged cases of alien abduction and demonic night-time visits - could be treated using a technique of meditation-relaxation, suggests a pilot study published today.

Short-term use of HIV-prevention medication protects at-risk men on vacation
Men at particular risk for HIV are very likely to consistently take prevention medication during vacations when their odds of contracting the virus are higher, according to a new study.

Some physicians are ordering thyroid tests for unsupported reasons
Up to one-third of physicians reported sending patients for a thyroid ultrasound for reasons not supported by clinical care guidelines, a new study led by University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center researchers finds.

Young children would rather explore than get rewards
Young children will pass up rewards they know they can collect to explore other options, a new study suggests.

Public health consequences of policing homelessness
In a new study examining homelessness, researchers find that policy such a lifestyle has massive public health implications, making sleeping on the street even MORE unhealthy.

A cancer mystery of more than 40 years ago is solved thanks to epigenetics
In an article that was just published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) by the group of Dr.

Perovskite and organic solar cells rocketed into space
For the first time, researchers in Germany sent perovskite and organic solar cells on a rocket into space.

Early spread of COVID-19 appears far greater than initially reported
Patients with undiagnosed flu symptoms who actually had COVID-19 last winter were among thousands of undetected early cases of the disease at the beginning of this year.

OECD countries' politicians follow each other
The more democratic a country is, the greater the probability that its politicians decide in the same way as in neighbouring countries, without further analysis.

Swallowing this colonoscopy-like bacteria grabber could reveal secrets about your health
Your gut bacteria could say a lot about you, such as why you're diabetic or how you respond to certain drugs.

Researchers identify a protein that may help SARS-CoV-2 spread rapidly through cells
Eric Ross and Sean Cascarina, biochemistry and molecular biology researchers at Colorado State University, have released a research paper identifying a protein encoded by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, that may be associated with the quick spread of the virus through cells in the human body.

Researchers unlock secrets of the past with new international carbon dating standard
Radiocarbon dating is set to become more accurate than ever after an international team of scientists improved the technique for assessing the age of historical objects.

Porous liquids allow for efficient gas separation
Jointly with partners, a researcher of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology has developed 'porous liquids': Nanoparticles, that are able to separate gas molecules of different sizes from each other, float - finely distributed - in a solvent.

Sea-level rise could make rivers more likely to jump course
A new study shows that sea level rise will cause rivers to change course more frequently.

How anxiety--and hope--can drive new product adoption
When considering new products, anxiety creates approach response (i.e., interest, purchase) rather than avoidance response (i.e., disinterest, failure to purchase) when consumers hope for the goal-congruent outcomes.

Yoga shown to improve anxiety, study shows
A new study led by NYU Grossman School of Medicine finds yoga improves symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, suggesting the popular practice may be helpful in treating anxiety in some people.

Seafood study finds plastic in all samples
A study of five different seafoods has found traces of plastic in every sample tested.

Singapore researchers discover genetic link to predict positive response to immunotherapy in patient
Findings offer cost and clinical benefits for patients with natural-killer T-cell lymphoma undergoing novel anti PD-1 therapy.

Comparing yoga, other treatments for anxiety
Researchers in this randomized clinical trial assessed whether Kundalini yoga and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for generalized anxiety disorder are each more effective than stress education and whether yoga is noninferior to CBT for the treatment of the disorder.

Combination therapy improves survival outcomes for patients with acute myeloid leukemia
A combination regimen of venetoclax and azacitidine was safe and improved overall survival (OS) over azacitidine alone in certain patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), according to the Phase III VIALE-A trial led by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Preliminary study of 300+ COVID-19 patients suggests convalescent plasma therapy effective
A preliminary analysis of an ongoing study of more than 300 COVID-19 patients treated with convalescent plasma therapy at Houston Methodist suggests the treatment is safe and effective.

PAD patients with depression had worse recovery, women twice as likely to be depressed
Patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) and symptoms of depression had worse recovery, according to an analysis of PAD patients receiving vascular care at a specialty clinic.

Glass blowing inspires new class of quantum sensors
A glass artist's work with diamonds has opened the door to a new class of quantum sensors able to monitor changes in magnetic fields, with implications for mining and underwater monitoring.

ALMA sees most distant Milky Way look-alike
Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have revealed an extremely distant and therefore very young galaxy that looks surprisingly like our Milky Way.

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite finds a stubborn tropical depression 06W
Tropical Depression 06W has been around for days, and continues to hold together as it moves in a westerly direction toward Taiwan in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.

Programmed bacteria have something extra
Rice University chemists expand the genetic code of Escherichia coli bacteria to produce a synthetic building block, a ''noncanonical amino acid'' that makes it a living indicator for oxidative stress.

Security gap allows eavesdropping on mobile phone calls
Calls via the LTE mobile network, also known as 4G, are encrypted and should therefore be tap-proof.

Nanotubes in the eye that help us see
A new mechanism of blood redistribution that is essential for the proper functioning of the adult retina has just been discovered in vivo by researchers at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM).

New study suggests ADHD- like behavior helps spur entrepreneurial activity
Many people have experienced a few nights of bad sleep that resulted in shifting attention spans, impulsive tendencies and hyperactivity the next day -- all behaviors resembling ADHD.

Researchers identify human influence as key agent of ocean warming patterns in the future
Scientists from the Department of Physics at Oxford University have discovered that the influence of circulation changes on shaping ocean warming will diminish in the future.

First in Human Study with Novel Antisense Oligonucleotide
A single intravenous dose of MRG-110, an anti-microRNA drug, significantly reduced miR-92a levels in the blood of healthy humans.

Secretion of sugar polymers modulates multicellularity in the bacterium Myxococcus xanthus
Research by INRS (Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique) Professor Salim Timo Islam has revealed that multicellular physiology in the social bacterium Myxococcus xanthus--a bacterium that can actively reorganize its community according to the environment in which it is found--is modulated by the secretion of two natural sugar polymers in separate zones of a swarm.

Why walking to work may be better for you than a casual stroll
Walking with a purpose -- especially walking to get to work -- makes people walk faster and consider themselves to be healthier, a new study has found.

Despite large numbers tested, kids in England made up just 1% of COVID-19+ cases during first wave
Children made up a very small proportion--just 1%--of all confirmed COVID-19 cases in England during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, despite the large numbers of them tested, reveals a study based on national monitoring data, and published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

A novel strategy for quickly identifying twitter trolls
Two algorithms that account for distinctive use of repeated words and word pairs require as few as 50 tweets to accurately distinguish deceptive ''troll'' messages from those posted by public figures.

Internal differences: A new method for seeing into cells
The new technology may help answer outstanding questions about the immune system, cancer, Alzheimer's, and more.

New way to check the quality of nanomaterials like graphene
A new way to check the quality of nanomaterials like graphene has emerged from a team at the University of Sussex.

Evidence in mice that electroacupuncture reduces inflammation via specific neural pathways
Stimulating the nervous system using small electric current by acupuncture could tamp down systemic inflammation in the body, suggests new research in mice from a team of neuroscientists in the US and China.

Stay-at-home orders significantly associated with reduced spread of COVID-19, study finds
As COVID-19 swept across the nation, most states went into lockdown -- new research and state-by-state data suggests that stay-at-home orders helped slow the pandemic significantly.

Unlocking how cellular proteins control cancer spread
A new insight into cell signals that control cancer growth and migration could help in the search for effective anti-cancer drugs.

Improving treatment of spinal cord injuries
A group led by UC Riverside bioengineering professor Victor G.

Lipoic acid supplements help some obese but otherwise healthy people lose weight
A compound given as a dietary supplement to overweight but otherwise healthy people in a clinical trial caused many of the patients to slim down.

Pressure-induced 2D-3D conversion in hybrid lead iodide layered perovskite
Here, we demonstrate that 2D D-J perovskites experience various transitions under pressure, such as crystalline-amorphous and 2D-three-dimensional structural transformation, and the probable metallization are strongly suggested.

Countries transitioning to zero carbon should look at more than technology cost
A 'one-size-fits-all' approach to producing cleaner energy based on cost alone could create social inequalities, finds a new study.

Face mask insert could help diagnose conditions
Given current events, many people are wearing face masks to protect themselves and others.

Impact of family income on learning in children shaped by hippocampus in brain
A new study by a team of researchers at the University of Toronto identifies the region of the brain's hippocampus that links low income with decreased memory and language ability in children.

SMART researchers find new way to make bacteria more sensitive to antibiotics
Researchers from SMART have discovered a new way to reverse antibiotic resistance in some bacteria using hydrogen sulphide (H2S).

Molecular additives enhance mechanical properties of organic solar cell material
Ganesh Balasubramanian, P.C. Rossin assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering & Mechanics at Lehigh University, and his graduate student Joydeep Munshi demonstrated that adding small molecules to a semiconducting polymer blend enhances the performance and stability of material used in organic solar cells.

A quick, cost-effective method to track the spread of COVID-19
A group of researchers have demonstrated that, from seven methods commonly used to test for viruses in untreated wastewater, an adsorption-extraction technique can most efficiently detect SARS-CoV-2.

New generation of drugs show early efficacy against drug-resistant TB
New drug regimen for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis shows early effectiveness in 85 percent of patients in a cohort including many with serious comorbidities.

New super-resolution method reveals fine details without constantly needing to zoom in
Since the early 1930s, electron microscopy has provided unprecedented access to the alien world of the extraordinarily small, revealing intricate details that are otherwise impossible to discern with conventional light microscopy.

No increased skin cancer risk with topical immunosuppressant ointments
Two topical immunosuppressant medications commonly prescribed to treat skin conditions do not appear to increase the risk for the most common forms of skin cancer, despite package label warnings to the contrary.

Breast screening women in their forties saves lives
Breast screening women aged 40-49 reduces breast cancer mortality, with minimal increased overdiagnosis, according to a study led by Queen Mary University of London that looked at data from 160,000 women.

Quantum materials quest could benefit from graphene that buckles
Graphene, an extremely thin two-dimensional layer of the graphite used in pencils, buckles when cooled while attached to a flat surface, resulting in beautiful pucker patterns that could benefit the search for novel quantum materials and superconductors, according to Rutgers-led research in the journal Nature.

Scientists unveil nature of active site in nitrogen-doped carbon for electrocatalytic CO2 reduction
A research group led by Prof. DENG Dehui from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) unveiled the nature of the active site in N-doped carbon materials for the electrocatalytic CO2 reduction to CO.

Paper: Industry concentration contributes to job quality erosion, wage stagnation
Dominant firms in concentrated industries can play a role in job quality erosion and wage stagnation for U.S. workers, says new research co-written by U. of I. labor and employment relations professor Richard Benton and U. of I. graduate student Ki-Jung Kim.

Soldiers could teach future robots how to outperform humans
In the future, a Soldier and a game controller may be all that's needed to teach robots how to outdrive humans.

A phylogenetic analysis reveals the evolution of the mitochondrial calcium transporter
The system that regulates cellular calcium levels duplicated, generating two non-equivalent systems, some one billion years ago before fungi and animals diverged evolutionarily.

Searching the ancient depths of a reptilian genome yields insight into all vertebrates
An Iowa State University scientists contributed to a global effort to assemble the genome of the tuatara, a rare reptile species native to New Zealand.

Coastal flooding study finds trust-building, power-sharing key for environmental justice
It took two years and $11 million, but eventually ranchers, politicians and scientists came to a consensus about how to prevent flooding in Tillamook, a coastal Oregon town.

The (neuro)science of getting and staying motivated
Neuroscientists at EPFL and the University of Edinburgh have discovered that the degree of motivation and the stamina to keep it up depends on the ratio between the neurotransmitters glutamine and glutamate in the nucleus accumbens of the brain.

'Reelin' in a new treatment for multiple sclerosis
In an animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS), decreasing the amount of a protein made in the liver significantly protected against development of the disease's characteristic symptoms and promoted recovery in symptomatic animals, UTSW scientists report.

Mutations may have saved brown howlers from yellow fever virus
From 2007 to 2009, a devastating yellow fever virus outbreak nearly decimated brown and black and gold howler monkey populations at El Parque El Piñalito in northeastern Argentina.

Research suggests bias against natural hair limits job opportunities for black women
New research suggests Black women with natural hairstyles, such as curly afros, braids or twists, are often perceived as less professional than Black women with straightened hair.

Adaptation in single neurons provides memory for language processing
To understand language, we have to remember the words that were uttered and combine them into an interpretation.

Trustful collaboration critical for outcome of therapy
A trusting therapeutic relationship and outcome-oriented collaboration between therapist and patient are critical for the successful treatment of mental illness.

Scientists identify hundreds of drug candidates to treat COVID-19
Scientists at the University of California, Riverside, have used machine learning to identify hundreds of new potential drugs that could help treat COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, or SARS-CoV-2.

Exercise induces secretion of biomarkers into sweat
The aim was to reveal the potential of microRNAs in sweat extracellular vesicles in monitoring exercise performance.

New research reveals mysterious blue whirl flame structure
A recently discovered soot-free flame called a blue whirl - which consumes all fuel it encounters -- actually consists of three different flame structures that swirl together into one otherworldly blue ring, according to the first study to identify how these unique flames form.

Engaging undergrads remotely with an escape room game
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, many universities canceled classes or held them online this spring -- a change likely to continue for many this fall.

Examining Congress members' popularity on Instagram
New research on the popularity of Congress members' Instagram posts reveals some surprising factors at play that could elevate their influence on the platform and make for more effective campaigns.

Robot technology for everyone or only for the average person?
Robot technology is being used more and more in health rehabilitation and in working life.

Stress and anger may exacerbate heart failure
Mental stress and anger may have clinical implications for patients with heart failure according to a new report published in the Journal of Cardiac Failure.

Survey finds most parents nervous to take their kids for vaccinations due to COVID-19
Vaccination rates in the U.S. have plummeted amid COVID-19. A new national survey by Orlando Health finds while the vast majority of parents (84%) believe vaccines are the best way to protect their children from infectious diseases, two-thirds are still nervous to take their kids to their pediatrician's office due to COVID-19.

Survival on heart transplant waiting list
Survival of patients on the heart transplant waiting list was examined in this observational study.

KIST finds a strong correlation between ultrasonic stroke rehabilitation treatment and brain waves
The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) announced that a research team led, by Dr.

Zeroing out their own zap
African fish called mormyrids communicate using pulses of electricity. New research from biologists in Arts & Sciences shows that a time-shifted signal in the brain helps the fish to ignore their own pulse.

Having COVID-19
This essay describes the author's experience of having COVID-19.

Yale quantum researchers create an error-correcting cat
Yale physicists have developed an error-correcting cat -- a new device that combines the Schrödinger's cat concept of superposition (a physical system existing in two states at once) with the ability to fix some of the trickiest errors in a quantum computation.

Lack of females in drug dose trials leads to overmedicated women
Women are more likely than men to suffer adverse side effects of medications because drug dosages have historically been based on clinical trials conducted on men, suggests new research from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Chicago.

New advance in superconductors with 'twist' in rhombohedral graphite
An international research team led by The University of Manchester has revealed a nanomaterial that mirrors the 'magic angle' effect originally found in a complex man-made structure known as twisted bilayer graphene -- a key area of study in physics in recent years.

Analysis: Health sector, big pharma spent big on lobbying for COVID-19 funding
To date, Congress has authorized roughly $3 trillion in COVID-19 relief assistance -- the largest relief package in history.

Efficient valves for electron spins
Researchers at the University of Basel in collaboration with colleagues from Pisa have developed a new concept that uses the electron spin to switch an electrical current.

New Analysis Reveals Worsening Shortage of Emergency Physicians in Rural Areas
Despite the nation's growing reliance on emergency departments, large areas of rural America are experiencing shortages emergency physicians, according to a new emergency medicine workforce analysis in Annals of Emergency Medicine.

TV-watching snackers beware: you won't notice you're full if your attention is elsewhere
Eating while doing something perceptually-demanding makes it more difficult to notice when you feel full, shows new research from the University of Sussex.

Nutrition labelling is improving nation's diet - new study
Households eat more healthily when retailers display clear nutritional information on own-brand food products, say researchers.

Technology can help speed soil recovery after oil spills
Researchers use spectroscopy to quickly and cheaply analyze soils samples.

Flipping a metabolic switch to slow tumor growth
The enzyme serine palmitoyl-transferase can be used as a metabolically responsive ''switch'' that decreases tumor growth, according to a new study by a team of San Diego scientists, who published their findings Aug.

Research Finds Women Often Overprescribed Opioids After Childbirth
Excessive opioid prescriptions following childbirth may lead to higher rates of addiction within communities, according to a new report in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

Age, education, and surgical history affect hormone use after oophorectomy
CLEVELAND, Ohio (August 12, 2020)--Removal of the ovaries before natural menopause (surgical menopause) often exacerbates menopause symptoms and places women at increased risk for heart disease, osteoporosis, and cognitive decline.

Demographics data helps predict NY flood insurance claims
In flood-prone areas of the Hudson River valley in New York state, census areas with more white and affluent home owners tend to file a higher percentage of flood insurance claims than lower-income, minority residents, according to a new study.

Assessment of lupus anticoagulant positivity in patients with COVID-19
How common lupus anticoagulant (LA) positivity is in patients with COVID-19 was assessed in this observational study, which also examined the association of LA positivity with patient outcomes.

PLOS special collection launch
On August 12 2020, a Special Collection of articles addressing how to improve access to safe, quality medicines in East Africa by simplifying the regulatory processes in the region was published in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine.

Study provides insights into how Zika virus suppresses the host immune system
A research team led by scientists at the University of California, Riverside, has outlined how the Zika virus, which constituted an epidemic threat in 2016, suppresses the immune system of its host.

Researchers make green chemistry advance with new catalyst for reduction of carbon dioxide
Researchers have made a key advance in the green chemistry pursuit of converting the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into reusable forms of carbon via electrochemical reduction.

Oxygen therapy harms lung microbiome in mice
A new mouse study hints that oxygen therapy may have unintended consequences via an unexpected source--the microbiome.

The oldest known cremation in the near east dates to 7000 BC
Ancient people in the Near East had begun the practice of intentionally cremating their dead by the beginning of the 7th millennium BC, according to a study published August 12, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Fanny Bocquentin of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and colleagues.

Novateur Ventures explores new strategy to reduce hyperinflammatory response caused by COVID-19
Novateur's research proposes simple treatment paradigm using two generic drugs, directed to blocking inflammation in airways of patients with asthma, to target hyper-inflammatory response insevere COVID-19.

How stars form in the smallest galaxies
The question of how small, dwarf galaxies have sustained the formation of new stars over the course of the Universe has long confounded the world's astronomers.

Some dinosaurs could fly before they were birds
New research using the most comprehensive study of feathered dinosaurs and early birds has revised the evolutionary relationships of dinosaurs at the origin of birds.
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