Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 18, 2020
Data omission in key EPA insecticide study shows need for review of industry studies
For nearly 50 years, a statistical omission tantamount to data falsification sat undiscovered in a critical study at the heart of regulating one of the most controversial and widely used pesticides in America -- chlorpyrifos.

Study debunks robocall myths, lays groundwork for stopping them
New research finds that the number of robocalls isn't going up, and that answering a robocall doesn't make you more likely to get additional robocalls.

New 'nanopores' technique offers proof-of-concept of earlier, safer tumor detection
Liquid biopsies--identifying the presence of tumor DNA fragments or cells circulating in bodily fluids--have taken off in the last few years as a non-invasive and more accurate way to detect cancers.

Pothole repair made eco-friendly using grit from wastewater treatment
Potholes are aggravating to drive over, and they can cause billions of dollars of damage every year to automobiles.

Novel method of heat conduction could be a game changer for server farms and aircraft
'We are hopeful that the one-way heat transfer of our bridging-droplet diode will enable the smart thermal management of electronics, aircraft, and spacecraft,' said Boreyko.

Women less likely to receive pay for college internships
The odds of women receiving pay for a college internship are 34% lower than for men, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

People who feel their lives are threatened are more likely to experience miracles
People who experience threats to their existence -- including economic and political instability -- are more likely to experience miracles, according to a Baylor University study.

Persistence of ADHD into adulthood is an important predictor of car crash risk
A new study reports that the risk of being involved in car crashes increases for those diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

A bright idea -- Genetically engineered proteins for studying neurons using light
In neuroscience, tools for controlling the activation and deactivation of individual nerve cells are crucial to gain insights into their functions and characteristics.

Risk of diabetes complications increases with elevated levels of NT-proBNP
Healthy people - especially women - with elevated levels of the heart failure marker NT-proBNP have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Police officers face multifaceted, compounding stressors that can lead to adverse events
Repeated exposure to high-stress calls for service and ongoing exposure to stress without relief were two of the contributing factors that could lead law enforcement officers to become susceptible to adverse events while performing their duties, according to a new study published in BMC Public Health by researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

Shrinking Tasmanian tigers: Resizing an Australian icon
The thylacine, that famous extinct Australian icon colloquially known as the Tasmanian Tiger, is revealed to have been only about half as big as once thought - not a ''big'' bad wolf after all.

NUS-led study considers potential and constraints of reforestation for climate mitigation
A recent study led by NUS researchers showed that practical considerations, beyond where trees could be planted, may limit the climate change mitigation potential of reforestation.

Research story tip: Horse skeletons provide clues to preventing racehorse injuries
In an anatomical comparison of the third metacarpal, or cannon bone, among Thoroughbred racehorses, American Quarter Horses and feral Assateague Island ponies, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers have found that fostering adaptations in these bones through training might help horses better endure the extreme conditions of racing and prevent serious, often life-ending injuries on the track.

Scan for arterial plaque is better at predicting heart attack than stroke
The amount of calcified plaque in the heart's arteries is a better predictor of future heart attacks than of strokes, with similar findings across sex and racial groups, according to new research from UT Southwestern.

Researchers discover novel molecular mechanism that enables conifers to adapt to winter
Unlike broadleaf trees, conifers are evergreen and retain their photosynthesis structure throughout the year.

Study shows how a single gene drives aggression in wild songbird
A new study shows how differentiation of a single gene changes behavior in a wild songbird, determining whether the white-throated sparrow displays more, or less, aggression.

Surprising coral spawning features revealed
When stony corals have their renowned mass spawning events, in sync with the moon's cycle, colonies simultaneously release an underwater 'cloud' of sperm and eggs for fertilization.

Further details revealed about a highly-efficient anticancer drug delivery system
The majority of drug delivery systems use nano carriers to transport drugs due to their small size and ability to distribute drugs to otherwise inaccessible sites of the body.

Examining association of race with death among patients hospitalized with COVID-19
Researchers looked at the association between race and death among patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at 92 hospitals in 12 states.

Exploding stars may have caused mass extinction on Earth, study shows
Imagine reading by the light of an exploded star, brighter than a full moon.

Dynamic full-field optical coherence tomography: 3D live-imaging of retinal organoids
Optical coherence tomography offers astounding opportunities to image the complex structure of living tissue but lacks functional information.

Smartphones are lowering student's grades, study finds
The ease of finding information on the internet is hurting students' long-term retention and resulting in lower grades on exams, according to a Rutgers University-New Brunswick study.

Why doesn't Ebola cause disease in bats, as it does in people?
A new study by researchers from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston uncovered new information on why the Ebola virus can live within bats without causing them harm, while the same virus wreaks deadly havoc to people.

NASA-NOAA satellite snaps image of tropical storm Higos in South China Sea
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over the South China Sea and captured a visible image of Tropical Storm Higos.

Wide variation across hospitals in nurse staffing is threat to public's health
According to a new study published today in BMJ Quality & Safety, many hospitals in New York and Illinois were understaffed right before the first surge of critically ill Covid-19 patients.

Swans reserve aggression for each other
Swans display more aggression to fellow swans than other birds, new research shows.

Humid air can extend lifetime of virus-laden aerosol droplets
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread through natural respiratory activities, but little is known about how the virus is transported through air.

Current lung cancer public health screening guidelines under count African Americans
Public health screening guidelines for lung cancer followed by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) undercount African Americans, contributing to disparities in lung cancer screening and treatment, according to a study published today in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.

Airing commercials after political ads actually helps sell nonpolitical products
About $7 billion reportedly will be spent this fall on television and digital commercials from political campaigns and political action committees.

This 'Cold Tube' can beat the summer heat without relying on air conditioning
The ''Cold Tube'' can offer relief from the summer heat without relying on air conditioning.

Evolution in real-time: How bacteria adapt to their hosts
Bacteria that invade animal cells in order to multiply are widespread in nature.

Stress overload and pain common among patients with traumatic brain injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability.

Breast cancer multidisciplinary management during COVID-19 pandemic
Breast Cancer Multidisciplinary Management during COVID-19 Pandemic: Experiences and Strategies Used by a Singapore Breast Surgical Unit https://doi.org/10.15212/bioi-2020-0012 Announcing a new article publication for BIO Integration journal.

Analysis shows that political speeches now use simpler language, express more sentiments
Research by Kansas State University shows how politicians from both major parties have changed their political speech from previous centuries.

Cover crop mixtures must be 'farm-tuned' to provide maximum ecosystem services
Penn State researchers, in a recent study, were surprised to learn that they could take the exact same number of seeds from the same plants, put them in agricultural fields across the Mid-Atlantic region and get profoundly different stands of cover crops a few months later.

Influence of vitamin D supplementation on a baby's gut microbiome
New research from the CHILD Cohort Study has shed light on the influence of vitamin D supplementation on a baby's developing gut microbiome.

Artificial materials for more efficient electronics
The discovery by a team of the University of Geneva of an unprecedented physical effect in a new artificial material marks a significant milestone in the lengthy process of developing ''made-to-order'' materials and more energy-efficient electronics.

RNA as a future cure for hereditary diseases
ETH Zurich scientists have developed an RNA molecule that can be used in bone marrow cells to correct genetic errors that affect protein production.

Assessment of simulated respiratory droplet spread during ophthalmologic slitlamp exam
Respiratory droplet spread during an ophthalmologic slitlamp exam was simulated to help establish risk of infectious disease contagion in this setting.

Federal and state websites flunk COVID-19 reading-level review
Information about COVID-19 offered by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the White House, and state health departments failed to meet recommendations for communicating with the public.

Assessing SARS-CoV-2 transmission on an international flight
This case series describes SARS-CoV-2 transmission on an international commercial airline flight and among a tourist group.

NIH study suggests opioid use linked to pregnancy loss, lower chance of conception
Opioid use among women trying to conceive may be associated with a lower chance of pregnancy, suggests a National Institutes of Health study.

Research story tip: Down syndrome mice open door to better understanding of the disorder
Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers and their collaborators have created and characterized a new mouse replica of Down syndrome, long considered one of the most challenging disorders to simulate in laboratory animals.

Climate change impact on green energy production
As the climate of the planet is changing, many researchers are looking to more renewable energy sources.

The historical partnership that revolutionized battery research at Argonne
Argonne battery scientist Michael Thackeray highlights the ongoing research into manganese-based lithium-ion batteries, and how his work with Nobel Prize winner John B.

COVID-19 pandemic likely to cause sales tax loss for Ohio municipalities
Small municipalities in Ohio that rely on retail sales taxes from apparel, vehicle sales, restaurants and tourism could see as much as a 50 percent decline in tax revenue because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study has found.

Childhood syndrome linked to COVID-19 causes profound immune changes
Researchers have uncovered how the immune system is altered in a rare COVID-19 related illness in children referred to as paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome (PIMS-TS).

Low humidity increases COVID risk; another reason to wear a mask
University of Sydney study confirms a link between COVID-19 cases and lower humidity.

Flexible and protected
In the fight against the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 researchers from multiple research institutions in Germany have combined their resources to study the spike protein on the surface of the virus.

New building block in plant wall construction
University of Adelaide researchers as part of a multidisciplinary, international team, have uncovered a new biochemical mechanism fundamental to plant life.

Readability of public health information on COVID-19 from governments, international agencies
The readability of information about COVID-19 was evaluated on websites of public health agencies and governments of 15 countries.

Decline in milk consumption by children in school lunch programs may affect future health
Fluid milk consumption among children is vital, as adequate consumption of dairy products, especially during childhood, has beneficial health outcomes later in life.

The MOF-based multicolor single-mode microlaser
Multi-color single-mode polarized micro-lasers with visible to near-infrared outputs are very potential in photonic integration and multimodal biochemical sensing/imaging and yet to realize.

Microbes living on air a global phenomenon
UNSW researchers have found their previous discovery of bacteria living on air in Antarctica is likely a process that occurs globally, further supporting the potential existence of microbial life on alien planets.

Smartphones can tell when you're drunk by analyzing your walk
Your smartphone can tell when you've had too much to drink by detecting changes in the way you walk, according to a new study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Half of breast cancer survivors had delays in care due to COVID-19
The results of an online questionnaire of 609 breast cancer survivors in the US suggest that nearly half of patients experienced delays in care during the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Using a public restroom? Mask up!
Think you don't need to worry about COVID-19 while using a public restroom?

Under pressure, nontoxic salt-based propellant performs well
In smaller spacecraft such as CubeSat satellites, a salt-based monopropellant is showing promise.

Machine learning unearths signature of slow-slip quake origins in seismic data
Combing through historical seismic data, researchers using a machine learning model have unearthed distinct statistical features marking the formative stage of slow-slip ruptures in the earth's crust months before tremor or GPS data detected a slip in the tectonic plates.

Research brief: Bee neighborly -- sharing bees helps more farmers
New paper shows the benefits of cost-sharing the conservation of wild bee habitats on agricultural lands, especially in nearby farming communities, can help overcome the tragedy of the commons.

Biomedical scientists piece together how medication paralyzes parasitic worms
A new study upends the widely held belief that a medication used to treat lymphatic filariasis doesn't directly target the parasites that cause the disease.

High intensity physical activity in early life could lead to stronger bones in adulthood
High intensity physical activity in early life might help maximise peak hip strength and prevent osteoporosis in later life, according to a study published today in JAMA Network Open from researchers at the University of Bristol.

COVID-19 has major impact on psycho-social care of cancer patients
Psychosocial needs of people affected by cancer are not being adequately met due to the disruption in services caused by Covid-19, a new report in the journal Psycho-Oncology reports.

Blocking copper uptake in tumor cells may be clue to boosting immune system
Australian researchers have discovered that removing copper from the blood can destroy some of the deadliest cancers that are resistant to immunotherapy using models of the disease.

Unraveling the initial molecular events of respiration
Physicists from Switzerland, Japan and Germany have unveiled the mechanism by which the first event of respiration takes place in heme proteins.

Behavioural variability in captive African elephants in the use of the trunk while feeding
The behaviours implied in the manipulation of food items by captive African elephants were correlated with the shape and size of these items.

Insect wings inspire new ways to fight superbugs
The wings of cicadas and dragonflies are natural bacteria killers, inspiring scientists who are searching for new ways to defeat drug-resistant superbugs.

Airborne viruses can spread on dust, non-respiratory particles
Influenza viruses can spread through the air on dust, fibers and other microscopic particles, according to new research from UC Davis and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt.

How protein protects against fatty liver
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common chronic liver disease in the world, with sometimes life-threatening consequences.

Ageing heart cells offer clues to susceptibility of older people to severe COVID-19
Genes that play an important role in allowing SARS-CoV-2 to invade heart cells become more active with age, according to research published today in the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology.

Native Hawaiian tiger cowries eat alien invasive species
Researchers at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa's Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology, have discovered the Hawaiian tiger cowrie is a voracious predator of sponges.

School flu vaccine program reduces community-wide influenza hospitalizations
A city-wide school influenza vaccine intervention was associated with a decrease in influenza-associated hospitalizations for all age groups and a decrease in school absence rates among students in seasons with an effective influenza vaccine, according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Jade Benjamin-Chung of University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues.

USPSTF recommendation on behavioral counseling to prevent sexually transmitted infections
The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends behavioral counseling to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) for all sexually active adolescents and for adults at increased risk.

The tropics are expanding, and climate change is the primary culprit
Earth's tropics are expanding poleward and that expansion is driven by human-caused changes to the ocean, according to new research.

Shigella prevents infected cells from sacrificing themselves for the greater good
Researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) investigated how Shigella survive and multiply to cause severe inflammatory colitis.

Concordia student maps global primate habitat endangered by climate change
In a new paper published in the journal Climatic Change, Brogan Stewart argues that climate change may count as yet another threat.

Mother bats use baby talk to communicate with their pups
When addressing infants, human adults tend to change the speed, pitch and ''color'' of their voice.

Cool new worlds found in our cosmic backyard
How complete is our census of the Sun's closest neighbors?

Enzyme cocktail developed in Brazil powers production of second-generation ethanol
Brazilian researchers used genetic engineering to develop a low-cost platform for the production of enzymes that break down sugarcane trash and bagasse for conversion into biofuel.

How Covid-19 smell loss differs from the common cold
New research is the first to compare how Covid-19 smell loss differs from what you might experience with a bad cold or flu.

Digital contact tracing alone may not be miracle answer for COVID-19
In infectious disease outbreaks, digital contact tracing alone could reduce the number of cases, but not as much as manual contract tracing, new University of Otago-led research published in the Cochrane Library reveals.

100 cool worlds found near the sun
Citizen scientists helped astrophysicists discover 100 cool brown dwarfs near the Sun.

Smart AI makes all kinds of shapes on its own
POSTECH research team develops an artificial neural network system that recommends plastic molding process conditions.

Drugs against alpha-ketoglutarate may combat deadly childhood brain tumor
Every year, 150 to 300 children in the United States are diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPGs), aggressive and lethal tumors that grow deep inside the brain, for which there are no cures.

Songbirds, like people, sing better after warming up
If you've ever been woken up before sunrise by the chirping of birds outside your window, you may have wondered: why do birds sing so loud, so early in the morning?

Study identifies optimal timing for phone calls after skin surgery
A new study from the University of Missouri School of Medicine provides insight into how the timing of post-operative phone calls can address pain, bleeding and overall patient satisfaction after Mohs micrographic surgery.

Cold-weather accounts for almost all temperature-related deaths
With the number of extreme weather days rising around the globe in recent years due to global warming, it is no surprise that there has been an upward trend in hospital visits and admissions for injuries caused by high heat over the last several years.

Green apple e-cigarette flavorant triggers reward-related behavior in the brain
A common green apple vape flavor enhances nicotine reward, which could heighten reward and drug-seeking behavior, according to researchers at Marshall University.

Huddersfield research predicted anti-COVID steroid benefits
Huddersfield researchers publish study that found that dexamethasone could reduce death rates in hospitalized COVID-19 patients early in the pandemic.

Low 'good' cholesterol levels found in Latin America and the Caribbean
Low levels of HDL cholesterol, the so-called 'good' cholesterol, are the most common lipid disorder in countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, a new meta-analysis published in eLife shows.

Multivitamin, mineral supplement linked to less-severe, shorter-lasting illness symptoms
Older adults who took a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement with zinc and high amounts of vitamin C in a 12-week study experienced sickness for shorter periods and with less severe symptoms than counterparts in a control group receiving a placebo.

LJI team gets first-ever look at a rare but vital stem cell in humans
Scientists at La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) have tracked down the rare stem cells that generate neutrophils in human bone marrow.

Escape artists: How vibrio bacteria break out of cells
As soon as the foodborne pathogen Vibrio parahaemolyticus infects a human intestinal cell, the bacteria are already planning their escape.

New tool improves fairness of online search rankings
In a new paper, Cornell University researchers introduce a tool they've developed to improve the fairness of online rankings without sacrificing their usefulness or relevance.

New gene therapy approach eliminates at least 90% latent herpes simplex virus 1
Infectious disease researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have used a gene editing approach to remove latent herpes simplex virus 1, or HSV-1, also known as oral herpes.

NASA study maps the roots of global mangrove loss
Using high-resolution data from the joint NASA-U.S. Geological Survey Landsat program, researchers have created the first map of the causes of change in global mangrove habitats between 2000 and 2016 - a valuable tool to aid conservation efforts for these vital coastline defenders.

There is at least 10 times more plastic in the Atlantic than previously thought
Scientists measured 12-21 million tonnes of three of the most common types of plastic in the top 200 metres of the Atlantic.

Free-roaming dogs prevent giant pandas from thriving in the wild
Dogs are still menacing giant pandas. This is in part, because nature reserves in China are often closely connected to human settlements where dogs roam free.

Ratio of two proteins may add kidneys to the transplant donor pool
An investigation by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine, in collaboration with researchers at 13 other medical institutions in the United States, has shown that two proteins found in deceased donor urine can be measured to define which donor organs -- including those with AKI -- are the best candidates for saving the lives of patients with kidney failure.

New links found between diabetes blood markers and Alzheimer's disease pathology
A new study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease provides insight into the association of blood markers of diabetes with brain beta-amyloid accumulation among older people at risk of dementia.

New landmine detection method to reduce false alarm rates
Landmines pose a serious threat in conflict areas, yet modern detection systems struggle to discriminate between explosives and clutter.

Genetics: Romantic relationship dynamics may be in our genes
Variations in a gene called CD38, which is involved in attachment behaviour in non-human animals, may be associated with human romantic relationship dynamics in daily life, according to a study published in Scientific Reports.

Constructing odor objects in the brain
A research team at RIKEN in Japan found how odors can be generalized into categories by combining brain imaging and models of brain activity.

Species competition and cooperation influence vulnerability to climate change
Organisms need to work together to adapt to climate change, especially in the presence of competitors, suggests a new study published today in eLife.

High fructose diet in pregnancy impacts metabolism of offspring, study finds
An increased level of fructose intake during pregnancy can cause significant changes in maternal metabolic function and milk composition and alter the metabolism of their offspring, researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington, have found.

Researchers identify enzyme linked to colitis
An enzyme that usually stops bacterial growth in the large intestine stimulates inflammation in some people, resulting in ulcerative colitis - a chronic digestive disease.

Ultrafast hydrogen bond dynamics of liquid water revealed by THz-induced Kerr effect
Hydrogen bond dynamics in water has always been mysterious, and it is the basis for understanding the behavior of matter in the water environment.

Naming guides how 12-month-old infants encode and remember objects
Even for infants just beginning to speak their first words, the way an object is named guides infants' encoding, representation and memory for that object, according to new Northwestern research.

Cryo-EM study yields new clues to chicken pox infection
Stanford and SLAC scientists studying the varicella zoster virus found that an antibody that blocks infection doesn't work exactly as they'd thought.

Trace vapor generator for detecting explosives, narcotics
Trace vapor detection technologies are crucial for ensuring reliable and safe detection of explosives and illegal drugs.

Recent global warming trends are inconsistent with very high climate sensitivity
Research published this week in Earth System Dynamics reports that the most sensitive climate models overestimate global warming during the last 50 years.

Acidic niche keeps lymphatic system in check during immune response
In a new article published in Nature Communications, Moffitt Cancer Center researchers describe a novel acidic niche within lymph nodes that plays an integral role in regulating T cell activation.

A stepping stone for measuring quantum gravity
A group of theoretical physicists, including two physicists from the University of Groningen, have proposed a 'table-top' device that could measure gravity waves.

Bird skull evolution slowed after the extinction of the dinosaurs
From emus to woodpeckers, modern birds show remarkable diversity in skull shape and size, often hypothesized to be the result of a sudden hastening of evolution following the mass extinction that killed their non-avian dinosaur cousins at the end of the Cretaceous 66 million years ago.

Is turning back the clock in aging fat cells a remedy for lifestyle diseases?
Researchers from Osaka University found that lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and fatty liver are caused by age-related changes in fat cells.

Army researchers explore self-healing materials
Army and Texas A&M University researchers developed a new material that can autonomously heal in air and underwater.

Low-cost home air quality monitors prove useful for wildfire smoke
A new study by Berkeley Lab air quality scientists tested four models of low-cost air quality monitors during actual wildfire pollution events and found that their readings of PM2.5 - or particulate matter under 2.5 microns, which has been linked to respiratory and cardiovascular issues - were consistently higher than the reference monitor used by the regulatory agencies; however, since each monitor had a relatively consistent response to the smoke, it is possible to use the readings to estimate true PM2.5 levels.

Depression and use of marijuana among US adults
This study examined the association of depression with cannabis use among US adults and the trends for this association from 2005 to 2016.

OCT-based technique captures subtle details of photoreceptor function
Researchers have developed a new instrument that has, for the first time, measured tiny light-evoked deformations in individual rods and cones in a living human eye.

Alternative cooling strategies could mitigate COVID-19 and climate change
New research has found radiant cooling could keep people cool without conditioning or dehumidifying the air and use much less energy than comparable AC.

Low-dose real-time X-ray imaging with nontoxic double perovskite scintillators
X-ray imaging is widely used in probing the inside information non-destructively.

These drugs carry risks and may not help, but many dementia patients get them anyway
Nearly three-quarters of older adults with dementia have filled prescriptions for medicines that act on their brain and nervous system, but aren't designed for dementia, a new study shows.

Heart attack damage reduced by shielded stem cells
Bioengineers and surgeons from Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine have shown in rodents that a four-week shielded stem cell treatment can reduce damage caused by a heart attack.

A new two-dimensional carbon allotrope -- semiconducting diamane film synthesized
We demonstrate the realization of a pristine diamane through diamondization of mechanically exfoliated few-layer graphene via compression.

Russian chemists proposed a new design of flow batteries
Redox flow batteries are promising long-term energy storage devices in smart power grids.
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