Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 14, 2020
NASA finds wind shear affecting Tropical Storm Josephine
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided forecasters with a visible image of Tropical Storm Josephine east of the Lesser Antilles island chain.

Pregnant mother's immunity tied to behavioral, emotional challenges for kids with autism
Children with autism born to mothers who had immune conditions during their pregnancy are more likely to have behavioral and emotional problems, a UC Davis Health study has found.

Organic chemistry -- a brilliant tool
An international team led by the chemist Heinz Langhals of LMU Munich succeeded in molecular deflection of light radiation by means of Diamantane.

This online calculator can predict your stroke risk, study finds
Doctors can predict patients' stroke risk by using an online tool that measures the severity of their metabolic syndrome, a conglomeration of conditions that includes high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels and excess body fat.

Montana State researcher featured in Nature for work on rare reptile genome
Chris Organ worked with an international group of scientists to sequence the genome of the tuatara, a reptile found only in New Zealand with an evolutionary history stretching back 250 million years.

Mathematical tool helps calculate properties of quantum materials more quickly
Many quantum materials have been nearly impossible to simulate mathematically because the computing time required is too long.

Cardiovascular risk factors tied to COVID-19 complications and death
COVID-19 patients with cardiovascular comorbidities or risk factors are more likely to develop cardiovascular complications while hospitalized, and more likely to die from COVID-19 infection, according to a new study published August 14, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Jolanda Sabatino of Universita degli Studi Magna Graecia di Catanzaro, Italy, and colleagues.

Exploring connections between ovarian cancer and blood cells
Recent discoveries made by researchers at Texas A&M University could change the way ovarian cancer is understood and treated.

Historical redlining linked to premature births, lower birth weight babies
Adverse birth outcomes -- including premature births, low birth weight babies and babies who are small for their gestational age -- are more likely to occur in neighborhoods that were once redlined, finds a new study by University of California, Berkeley, researchers.

A light bright and tiny: NIST scientists build a better nanoscale LED 
A new design for light-emitting diodes achieves a dramatic increase in brightness as well as the ability to create laser light -- characteristics that could make it valuable in a range of applications.

Synthetic drug ebselen could be repurposed to treat SARS-CoV-2 by targeting main protease at distant
The synthetic drug ebselen can bind to both the catalytic region and a previously unknown distant site on the SARS-CoV-2 virus' main protease, according to a molecular simulation analysis of the drug's interactions with this enzyme.

Using infrared eye tracking to study infant behavior
Researchers have adapted infrared technology to automate the tracking of visual tasks in infants in order to more accurately measure memory and cognitive behavior.

TGen review suggests postmenopausal women at risk for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
NAFLD is the most common cause of liver damage, and can lead to liver cirrhosis and death.

Targeting a conserved cell pathway may offer treatments for numerous viruses, including SARS-CoV-2
Scientists have identified a small molecule that inhibits multiple different viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, in tissue culture and in mice by targeting the same signaling pathway.

Dynamic membranes set to solve problems of liquid waste treatment
The co-authors, Associate Professor Dinar Fazullin and Associate Professor Gennady Mavrin, have been engaged in the topic of membrane elements for water purification for ten years.

An AI algorithm to help identify homeless youth at risk of substance abuse
While many programs and initiatives have been implemented to address the prevalence of substance abuse among homeless youth in the United States, they don't always include data-driven insights about environmental and psychological factors that could contribute to an individual's likelihood of developing a substance use disorder.

Program achieves 85% reduction in malaria cases, but does not eliminate the disease
The intensive implementation of currently available tools to fight malaria can achieve a drastic reduction in disease burden, but is not enough to interrupt its transmission.

German-Argentinean doctoral program bears first fruits
The Faculty of Biology at TU Dresden and the Faculty of Biochemistry and Biological Sciences at the Universidad Nacional del Litoral (UNL) in Santa Fe, Argentina have had a very special partnership for more than five years.

Preexisting drug shows promise in fight against COVID-19
A team of researchers at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) at the University of Chicago used state-of-the-art computer simulations to identify a preexisting drug that could fast-track a solution to the worldwide pandemic.

UCLA computer scientists set benchmarks to optimize quantum computer performance
Two UCLA computer scientists have shown that existing compilers, which tell quantum computers how to use their circuits to execute quantum programs, inhibit the computers' ability to achieve optimal performance.

Anschutz researchers overturn hypothesis underlying the sensitivity of the mammalian auditory system
A new study from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus challenges a decades-old hypothesis on adaptation, a key feature in how sensory cells of the inner ear (hair cells) detect sound.

Weight between young adulthood and midlife linked to mortality: BU study
A new Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) study finds that changes in weight between young adulthood and midlife may have important consequences for a person's risk of early death.

Climate stabilization: Lessons from the corona crisis
Highlighting the parallels between the global health and the climate emergency, a team of researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) has analyzed what policy makers and citizens can learn from the corona outbreak and how to apply it to the global effort of reducing CO2 emissions.

PARP inhibitor becomes new treatment option for some men with advanced prostate cancer
Results from an international clinical trial found that men with advanced prostate cancer who have mutated BRCA1/BRCA2 genes can be treated successfully with a targeted therapy known as rucaparib.

For pregnant patients, number of clinic visits not tied to risk of getting COVID-19
In an analysis of the data collected during that time, a team of investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital found no association between the number of in-person health care visits and risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2.

AI software enables real-time 3D printing quality assessment
Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have developed artificial intelligence software for powder bed 3D printers that assesses the quality of parts in real time, without the need for expensive characterization equipment.

A method has been developed to study extreme space weather events
An international team of scientists developed a method to study fast Coronal Mass Ejections, powerful ejections of magnetized matter from the outer atmosphere of the Sun.

Targeting the LANDO pathway holds a potential clue to treating Alzheimer's disease
Reducing neuroinflammation by disrupting a protein involved in recycling cellular components may provide a potential therapeutic approach for treating neurodegeneration and memory loss.

Newly identified gut cells nurture lymph capillaries
IBS research team has identified new subsets of gut connective cells, which are crucial for lymphatic growth.The findings imply a crucial link between the physiology of intestinal environment and biological interactions between cell types.

Traces of ancient life tell story of early diversity in marine ecosystems
If you could dive down to the ocean floor nearly 540 million years ago just past the point where waves begin to break, you would find an explosion of life--scores of worm-like animals and other sea creatures tunneling complex holes and structures in the mud and sand--where before the environment had been mostly barren.

200 000 years ago, humans preferred to kip cozy
Researchers in South Africa's Border Cave have found evidence that people have been using grass bedding to create comfortable areas for sleeping and working on at least 200 000 years ago.

Green electricity for Europe: Small scale solutions also affordable
The European Union aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and is relying largely on renewable electricity to reach this goal.

Liquid crystals that can replace color shifting ink in preventing counterfeiting
A research team in Korea has developed a material that may potentially replace color shifting ink in prevention of forgery of bank notes, ID cards, and so on.

Comparing ICD-10 Codes With Electronic Medical Records Among Patients With COVID-19 Symptoms
The goal of this study was to compare International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes with manual electronic medical records review in capturing symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath (dyspnea) among patients being tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Linking sight and movement
Harvard researchers found that image-processing circuits in the primary visual cortex not only are more active when animals move freely, but that they receive signals from a movement-controlling region of the brain that is independent from the region that processes what the animal is looking at.

UMD discovers a new role for a well-known molecule as a plant hormone
Researchers at the University of Maryland have discovered a new role for a well-known plant molecule, providing the first clear example of ACC acting as a likely plant hormone.

NIH-supported scientists demonstrate how genetic variations cause eczema
New research supported by the National Institutes of Health delineates how two relatively common variations in a gene called KIF3A are responsible for an impaired skin barrier that allows increased water loss from the skin, promoting the development of atopic dermatitis, commonly known as eczema.

Study explores the association of malaria, HIV with anemia during pregnancy
Pregnant women from sub-Saharan Africa with malaria and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have a higher prevalence of anemia than pregnant women without infections, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

Researchers capture footage of fluid behaving like a solid
Researchers using a high-speed camera have captured the moments a fluid reacts like a solid, through a new method of fluid observation under pressurized conditions.

Gene variants help explain connection between skin disorder and food allergy risk
Two common variants in the KIF3A gene increase the risk of young children having a dysfunctional skin barrier and developing the skin condition atopic dermatitis, according to study led by scientists at Cincinnati Children's.

How people and ecosystems fit together on the Great Barrier Reef
A world-first study examines the scales of management of the Great Barrier Reef.

Research helps explain source of pathogen that causes bitter rot disease
Fungal spores responsible for bitter rot disease, a common and devastating infection in fruit, do not encounter their host plants by chance.

Researchers one step closer to bomb-sniffing cyborg locusts
Research from the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St.

Decline in US bird biodiversity related to neonicotinoids, study shows
Bird biodiversity is rapidly declining in the US. The overall bird population decreased by 29% since 1970, while grassland birds declined by an alarming 53%.

Oregon study rewrites the recent history of productive Cascade Arc volcanoes
Volcanic eruptions in the Cascade Range of the Pacific Northwest over the last 2.6 million years are more numerous and closely connected to subsurface signatures of currently active magma than commonly thought, according to newly publish research.

Aurora mysteries unlocked with NASA's THEMIS mission
A special type of aurora, draped east-west across the night sky like a glowing pearl necklace, is helping scientists better understand the science of auroras and their powerful drivers out in space.

Sounds of action: Using ears, not just eyes, improves robot perception
People rarely use just one sense to understand the world, but robots usually only rely on vision and, increasingly, touch.

Unexpectedly-fast conduction electrons in Na3Bi
An Australian-led study uses a scanning-tunnelling microscope 'trick' to map electronic structure in Na3Bi, seeking an answer to that material's extremely high electron mobility and finding that exchange and correlation effects are crucial to electron speed, and therefore mobility, and thus to the use of this exciting class of materials in future ultra-low energy electronics.

Is the COVID-19 virus pathogenic because it depletes specific host microRNAs?
Why is the COVID-19 virus deadly, while many other coronaviruses just cause colds?

Watching changes in plant metabolism -- live
Almost all life on Earth, e.g. our food and health, depend on metabolism in plants.

Achieving highly efficient ammonia synthesis by altering the rate-determining step
The electrochemical conversion of nitrogen to ammonia is the most promising alternative of the traditional Haber-Bosch process to achieve nitrogen fixation under ambient conditions.

Study shows frequently used serology test may not detect antibodies that could confirm protection against reinfection of COVID-19
Two different types of detectable antibody responses in SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) tell very different stories and may indicate ways to enhance public health efforts against the disease, according to researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Study identifies social connection as the strongest protective factor for depression
Study says social connection as the strongest protective factor for depression.

The flax wilt agent has been sequenced
Researchers teamed up to sequence and assemble genome of Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. lini, a highly destructive fungal parasite infecting flax.

Versatile new material family could build realistic prosthetics, futuristic army platforms
Nature's blueprint for the human limb is a carefully layered structure with stiff bone wrapped in layers of different soft tissue, like muscle and skin, all bound to each other perfectly.

Patients' access to opioid treatment cumbersome
The 'secret shopper' study used trained actors attempting to get into treatment with an addiction provider in 10 US states.

Changes in climate and land cover affecting European migratory bird populations
Changes in climate and habitat on the breeding and non-breeding grounds of migratory birds are both playing an important part in driving their long-term population changes.

Remains of 17th century bishop support neolithic emergence of tuberculosis
In a recent study published in Genome Biology, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Lund University and the Swedish Natural Historical Museum present analysis of the highest quality ancient Mycobacterium tuberculosis genome to date, suggesting the pathogen is much younger than previously believed.

Poor hygiene is significant risk for antimicrobial-resistant bacteria colonization
Scientists have found clear indicators for how the interaction of poor hygiene and antibiotic use contribute to the colonization of antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) bacteria in humans, a problem that contributes to hundreds of thousands of deaths annually.

NASA finds wind shear making Tropical Depression 10E struggle
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided forecasters with a visible image of a struggling Tropical Depression 10E in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Sustainable biosynthetic transparent films for plastic substitute
A team lead by Prof. YU Shuhong from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) report an ultra-strong, ultra-tough and transparent nacre-inspired nanocomposite film, which is constructed from sustainable ingredients by living bacteria.
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