Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 19, 2020
Controlling the electron spin: Flip it quickly but carefully
Over the past two decades, a new area at the interface of semiconductor physics, electronics and quantum mechanics has been gaining popularity among theoretical physicists and experimenters.

A touch of gold sends crystals electric with excitement
A touch of gold - or another noble metal - can change the structure of a crystal and its intrinsic properties, physicists at the University of Warwick have demonstrated in a display of modern-day alchemy.

Affordable Care Act key to keeping people insured amid COVID 19-related job losses
Widespread layoffs amid the COVID-19 pandemic threaten to cut off millions of people from their employer-sponsored health insurance plans.

Toddlers who use touchscreens show attention differences
New research from the TABLET project recruited 12-month-old infants who had different levels of touchscreen usage.

Researchers discovered new information on the regulation of cancer cell motility
PIM kinases are enzymes that promote metastatic growth and spread of cancer cells.

Bacteria can defuse dangerous chemical in Rassaic River
Bacteria that can help defuse highly toxic dioxin in sediments in the Passaic River - a Superfund hazardous waste site - could eventually aid cleanup efforts at other dioxin-contaminated sites around the world, according to Rutgers scientists.

UCalgary research delivers new insights into how skin can regenerate after severe burns
New research led by Dr. Jeff Biernaskie, PhD, has made an exciting leap forward in understanding how skin heals, which could lead to drug treatments to vastly improve wound healing.

COVID-19 patients who experience cytokine storms may make few memory B cells
The release of massive amounts of proteins called cytokines can lead to some of the most severe symptoms of COVID-19.

Quest for quantum Internet gets a boost with new technique for making entanglement
Traditional ways of producing entanglements, necessary for the development of any 'quantum internet' linking quantum computers, are not very well suited for fiber optic telecoms networks used by today's non-quantum internet.

Telemedicine may well outlast the pandemic, say mental health care staff
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about rapid innovation in mental health care, and the move to telemedicine is likely here to stay to at least some degree, but new research led by UCL and King's College London cautions that serious barriers still need to be overcome.

Clinical and sociodemographic features of early COVID-19 patients
Data from the first COVID-19 patients treated at three large Massachusetts hospitals reveal important trends, including disproportionate representation of vulnerable populations, high rates of disease-related complications, and the need for post-discharge, post-acute care and monitoring.

High blood pressure and salt, anti-aging factor Klotho key
The mechanism behind salt-intake and hypertension has been elucidated for the first time, through vascular non-canonical Wnt5a/RhoA under Klotho deficiency.

Targeting a chronic pain gateway could bring relief
A new approach to chronic pain treatment targets a molecule that moves pain messages into nerve cell nuclei.

Young gay men's health care needs not being met
Young gay men who are uncomfortable discussing sexual issues with their primary care providers and experience health care discrimination are less likely to seek coordinated care, leading to missed opportunities for early diagnosis of chronic and mental health issues, according to Rutgers researchers.

Improving protein digestibility in sorghum
Improving protein digestibility in sorghum

Microscopy approach poised to offer new insights into liver disease
Researchers have developed a new way to visualize the progression of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in mouse models of the disease.

Toward a coronavirus breathalyzer test
Few people who have undergone nasopharyngeal swabs for coronavirus testing would describe it as a pleasant experience.

Creating meaningful change in cities takes decades, not years, and starts from the bottom
New mathematical models reveal the links between the structure of cities and the dynamical nature of growth and inequality in human societies

High blood pressure during pregnancy associated with more bothersome menopause symptoms
Women with high blood pressure during pregnancy are at an increased risk for chronic hypertension, diabetes, coronary artery disease, stroke, and early cardiovascular death.

Lactobacillus hilgardii LMG 7934 genome deciphered at Kazan Federal University
The team is led by Associate Professor Ayrat Kayumov (Department of Genetics, Kazan Federal University).

Disorders in movement
A European research alliance headed by the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the University of Bonn tracks the onset of ataxias.

Can a healthy diet reduce risk of Parkinson's?
While movement problems are the main symptoms of Parkinson's disease, people with the disease often have non-motor symptoms such as constipation, daytime sleepiness and depression 10 or more years before the movement problems start.

Sustained planetwide storms may have filled lakes, rivers on ancient mars
A new study from The University of Texas at Austin is helping scientists piece together the ancient climate of Mars by revealing how much rainfall and snowmelt filled its lake beds and river valleys 3.5 billion to 4 billion years ago.

Researchers find link between gut microbiome and cancer treatment outcomes
City of Hope and TGen have found that greater gut microbial diversity in patients with metastatic kidney cancer is associated with better treatment outcomes on FDA-approved immunotherapy regimens.

Leading-edge technology unmasks protein linked to Parkinson's disease
UC San Diego scientists using leading-edge technologies have produced the first visualizations of LRRK2, the elusive protein that many consider the key of fully understanding the causes of genetic Parkinson's disease, inside its natural cellular environment and the first high-resolution blueprint of the protein.

NASA-NOAA satellite provides overnight watch on hurricane Genevieve
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite kept an eye on Hurricane Genevieve overnight and provided infrared imagery to forecasters who were monitoring the storm's strength, structure and size.

Shifting public health messaging about face coverings could improve uptake
Encouraging the public to see face masks as a social practice, which they can use to express their cultural background or their personality, could encourage more people to use them regularly, say researchers writing in The BMJ today.

Migration and dispersal of butterflies have contrasting effect on flight morphology
Migration and dispersal are vastly different activities with very different benefits and risks.

Trust is key to effectiveness in virtual communities, researchers find
With the global COVID-19 pandemic shifting more and more of our work and school online, virtual communities are more important than ever -- but how do we know, without bias, that our online groups are actually successful in helping us with our goals?

A Reverse Approach to Vessel Surgery May Boost Clinical Outcomes in Dialysis
A new approach to a surgical procedure required for dialysis offers better long-term viability and a lower chance of complications compared with conventional techniques, according to work involving rats and 274 patients.

The most sensitive instrument in the search for life in space comes from Bern
Researchers at the University of Bern have developed the highly sensitive ORIGIN instrument, which can provide proof of the smallest amounts of traces of life, for future space missions.

Seafood could account for 25% of animal protein needed to meet increases in demand
Policy reforms and technological improvements could drive seafood production upward by as much as 75% over the next three decades, research by Oregon State University and an international collaboration suggests.

COVID-19 cytokine storms may prevent a durable immune response
New stud shows high levels of some cytokines seen in COVID-19 patients, as part of a cytokine storm, may prevent the development of long-term immunity to SARS-CoV-2.

Protein influences regeneration of vascular cells
Through their basic research, physicians at the Heart Center of the University Hospital Bonn have discovered how the communication between individual cells can be influenced with the help of a specific protein.

UCI develops low-cost, accurate COVID-19 antibody detection platform
A robust, low-cost imaging platform utilizing lab-on-a-chip technology created by University of California, Irvine scientists may be available for rapid coronavirus diagnostic and antibody testing throughout the nation by the end of the year.

Unconventional monetary policy and bank risk taking
Unconventional monetary policy does not lead to greater risk-taking by banks, according to new research.

Liquid sulfur changes shape and goes critic under pressure
Scientists from the ESRF, together with teams from CEA and CNRS/Sorbonne Université, have found the proof for a liquid-to-liquid transition in sulfur and of a new kind of critical point ending this transition.

Top coma experts develop plan to improve patient outcomes
Leading coma experts have created an ambitious plan to help doctors better care for comatose patients and answer that most awful question: 'Will my loved one wake up?'

Out of sync: Ecologists report climate change affecting bee, plant life cycles
Reporting on the first community-wide assessment of 67 bee species of the Colorado Rockies, ecologists Michael Stemkovski of Utah State University and Rebecca Irwin of North Carolina State University say ''phenological mismatch,'' changing timing of life cycles between bees and flowers, caused by climate change, has the potential to disrupt a mutually beneficial relationship.

Is risk of Alzheimer's linked to specific sleep patterns?
Disturbed sleep patterns do not cause Alzheimer's disease but people who are at high genetic risk of developing Alzheimer's disease may be more likely to be a 'morning person,' have shorter sleep duration and other measures of sleep disturbance and are less likely to have insomnia, according to a study published in the August 19, 2020, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

New study calculates alarming lifetime risk of death from firearms and drug overdoses in the US
A new study appearing in The American Journal of Medicine, published by Elsevier, calculates the lifetime risk of death from firearms and drug overdoses in the United States.

Argonne scientists create water filtration membranes that can clean themselves
Scientists at the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have designed a new, low-cost means to address membrane fouling through the application of a light-activated coating that can make the membrane self-cleaning.

Toward an ultrahigh energy density capacitor
Researchers at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have demonstrated that a common material can be processed into a top-performing energy storage material.

First immune-evading cells created to treat type 1 diabetes
Salk Institute scientists have made a major advance in the pursuit of a safe and effective treatment for type 1 diabetes, an illness that impacts an estimated 1.6 million Americans with a cost of $14.4 billion annually.

Alaska's salmon are getting smaller, affecting people and ecosystems
The size of salmon returning to rivers in Alaska has declined dramatically over the past 60 years because they are spending fewer years at sea, scientists report.

Plastic debris releases potentially harmful chemicals into seabird stomach fluid
A recent study has found that plastic ingested by northern fulmars, a common seabird, could release potentially toxic chemicals in their stomachs.

Microbial ecology yields new insights for future shipwreck conservation
Researchers find distinct differences in the composition of microbial communities on and around the 1960s Pappy Lane shipwreck in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, suggesting niche partitioning based on biotic and abiotic conditions.

Electronic consultations between primary providers and radiologists improve patient care
According to ARRS' American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR), the eConsult electronic consultation system allowed primary care providers to easily consult with radiologists, was perceived as high value by primary care providers, resulted in altered patient management, and avoided unnecessary imaging tests.

Childhood maltreatment linked to higher risk of multiple health conditions in later life
People who suffer one or more forms of maltreatment in childhood have a higher chance of multimorbidity in later life.

Words used to describe alcohol intoxication may give clues to drinking habits
Penn State research suggests the language young adults use to describe the effects they feel from drinking may give insight into their drinking habits.

Increasing graduation rates of students of color with more faculty of color
A new analysis published in Public Administration found that student graduation rates improve as more faculty employed by a college or university share sex and race/ethnic identities with students.

This cuttlefish is flamboyant on special occasions only!
The flashy Flamboyant Cuttlefish is among the most famous of the cephalopods (octopus, squid, and cuttlefish) - but it is widely misunderstood by its legions of fans.

Partner selection ultimately happens in the woman's reproductive tract
The female reproductive tract has the final say in human mate choice, according to new research from the University of Eastern Finland.

Making the DNA melt curve more accurate
NIST researchers find a new (mathematical) twist to improve DNA origami, which could lead to better drug delivery containers and biosensors.

Biomedical research may miss key information by ignoring genetic ancestry
A new study of Black residents of four distinct US cities reveals variations in genetic ancestry and social status that underscore the inadequacy of using skin color as a proxy for race in research.

Protein structural insights chart the way to improved treatments for heart disease
A team including Wei Liu, assistant professor in ASU's School of Molecular Sciences (SMS) and the Biodesign Institute's Center for Applied Structural Discovery, has published a paper today in Molecular Cell that offers promising details for improved therapeutic treatments for cardiac disease.

Major weight loss -- whether from surgery or diet -- has same metabolic benefits
A longstanding theory has suggested that gastric bypass surgery may have unique, weight loss-independent effects in treating type 2 diabetes.

Air pollution linked to higher risk of young children developing asthma
Children exposed to higher levels of fine particles in the air (known as PM2.5) are more likely to develop asthma and persistent wheezing than children who are not exposed, finds a study published by The BMJ today.

Research challenges popular belief that 'unbridled ambition' costs female candidates votes
A new study into voter behaviour in the US and UK argues that electorates value aspiration and ambition among female candidates seeking office challenging common assumptions.

Researchers predict deficits in female birth numbers in India over coming decades
Between 2017 and 2030, an estimated 6.8 million fewer female births will be recorded in India than would be by chance, due to sex-selective abortions, according to a new study published August 19, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Fengqing Chao of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia, and colleagues.

Tennessee agricultural sectors taking a hit from COVID-19
The latest research from the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture indicates that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected all aspects of agricultural commodity production and distribution, leading to substantial price declines and reduced income for farmers.

Osteoarthritis: Conservative therapy delays need for knee and hip joint replacement surgery
With implementation of conservative treatment methods like physiotherapy and individually tailored, adjusted exercises, quality of osteoarthritis care can improve and patients can delay the need for an artificial hip or knee joint.

Hydrogen economy with mass production of high-purity hydrogen from ammonia
The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) has made an announcement about the technology to extract high-purity hydrogen from ammonia and generate electric power in conjunction with a fuel cell developed by a team led by Young Suk Jo and Chang Won Yoon from the Center for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research.

Termite-fishing chimpanzees provide clues to the evolution of technology
Unlike chimpanzees in East and West Africa, who use a single tool to extract termites, chimpanzees in Central Africa's Congo Basin use tool sets--puncturing sticks or perforating twigs plus fishing probes--to harvest the insects from underground nests or towering earthen mounds scattered across lowland forests.

Quick fixes won't stop sexual harassment in academia, experts say
Many academic institutions are failing to address the most common forms of gender-based harassment: behaviors that communicate derision, disgust or disrespect for members of one sex or gender group.

New study identifies better treatment option for common complication of dialysis
Use of drug-coated balloon angioplasty to treat blocked blood vessels used for hemodialysis offers hope for millions of patients globally

Combo therapy may prevent blood vessel complications in children with Kawasaki disease
For children with Kawasaki disease with higher risk of developing blood vessel complications, adding corticosteroids to standard intravenous immunoglobulin treatment could boost initial treatment response and prevent complications.

Heating our climate damages our economies - study reveals greater costs than expected
Rising temperatures due to our greenhouse gas emissions can cause greater damages to our economies than previous research suggested, a new study shows.

Patients with recently discovered antibodies have more severe myasthenia gravis
A study of 181 patients at 16 sites across the country who test negative for two antibodies long known to cause muscle-weakening myasthenia gravis, found that about 15% test positive for one of two newly discovered antibodies that also attack the point of communication between nerves and muscle.

Observational study identifies drug that improves survival in sickest COVID-19 patients
A drug normally used in rheumatoid arthritis and cancer treatments, tocilizumab, improves hospital survival in critically-ill patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU).

World record: Plasma accelerator operates right around the clock
A team of researchers at DESY has reached an important milestone on the road to the particle accelerator of the future.

LSU Health New Orleans team creates better tool to aid COVID diagnosis
An LSU Health New Orleans radiologist and evolutionary anatomist have teamed up to show the same techniques used for research on reptile and bird lungs can be used to help confirm the diagnosis of COVID-19 in patients.

Invasive shrubs in Northeast forests grow leaves earlier and keep them longer
The rapid pace that invasive shrubs infiltrate forests in the northeastern United States makes scientists suspect they have a consistent advantage over native shrubs, and the first region-wide study of leaf timing, conducted by Penn State researchers, supports those suspicions.

One in 10 Tennessee families were food insufficient during early months of COVID-19
The latest research from the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture indicates that during late April and early May 2020, approximately 525,000 Tennessee households were food insufficient, meaning they sometimes or often did not have enough to eat - that's one in 10 families.

Medicaid expansion and outpatient surgical care
This observational study examined the association between state participation in Medicaid expansion through the Affordable Care Act and changes in the use of surgical care for common outpatient procedures.

A key to cheaper renewable fuels: keeping iron from rusting
Washington State University researchers have made a key first step in economically converting plant materials to fuels: keeping iron from rusting.

Prevention of heart disease can start before birth
Babies that experience low oxygen levels in the womb due to pregnancy complications often go on to develop heart disease in adulthood.

Potential link for Alzheimer's disease and common brain disease that mimics its symptoms
A new study by investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital uncovered a group of closely related genes that may capture molecular links between Alzheimer's disease and Limbic-predominant Age-related TDP-43 Encephalopathy, or LATE, a recently recognized common brain disorder that can mimic Alzheimer's symptoms.

Unlocking the cell enhances student learning of the genetic code
An open-source educational biotechnology called the 'Genetic Code Kit' allows students to interact with the molecular process inside cells in new ways.

No more playing with fire: Study offers insight into 'safer' rechargeable batteries
Lithium-ion batteries are used in various electronic devices. But, they also come with potential hazards, particularly if the battery is damaged or overcharged.

The secret of lymph: How lymph nodes help cancer cells spread
For decades, physicians have known that many kinds of cancer cells often spread first to lymph nodes before traveling to distant organs through the bloodstream.

Older adults with existing depression show resilience during the pandemic
Older adults with existing depression are showing resilience during the pandemic, research shows.

Hypoxia in hospitalized COVID-19 patients may be treatable
Covid-19 patients with hypoxia respond positively to icatibant treatment, Radboud university medical center researchers wrote in JAMA Network Open.

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite snaps Tropical Storm Higos' landfall
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided forecasters with a visible image of the landfall of Tropical Storm Higos on Aug.

Analysis of ancient Mesoamerican sculptures supports universality of emotional expressions
An analysis of facial expressions in ancient Mesoamerican sculptures finds that some emotions expressed in these artworks match the emotions that modern US participants would anticipate for each discernible context, including elation, sadness, pain, anger, and determination or strain.

Premature delivery linked to heightened risk of early death for mothers
Preterm and early term delivery are independent risk factors for premature death in women up to 40 years later, finds a study from Sweden published by The BMJ today.

Vagabonding female butterflies weigh in on reproductive strategies
A new study by researchers from the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bengaluru, published today in the Royal Society's journal Biology Letters, shows that dispersals, when undertaken by butterflies in search of unpredictable resources, selectively burden the egg-carrying females on their long flights.

New mechanism for stroke treatment shows successful proof-of-concept
Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the US; new research from UConn Health suggests a promising treatment for patients by successfully inhibited an important receptor implicated in post-stroke damage and recovery.

Ultrafast electrons in magnetic oxides: A new direction for spintronics?
Special metal oxides could one day replace semiconductor materials that are commonly used today in processors.

Mystery gas discovered near center of Milky Way
An international team of researchers have discovered a dense, cold gas that's been shot out from the centre of the Milky Way ''like bullets''.

Castration-resistant prostate cancer at high risk of metastasis: enzalutamide has added benefit
Castration-resistant prostate cancer at high risk of metastasis: enzalutamide has added benefit.

High blood pressure during pregnancy may mean worse hot flashes during menopause
Women with a history of high blood pressure disorders during pregnancy are more likely to experience bothersome menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats, according to a study published Wednesday, Aug.

Illegal trade with terrestrial vertebrates in markets and households of Laos
Scientists provide the first interdisciplinary assessment of human involvement into the terrestrial vertebrate trade in Laos and its impact on the survival of the local fauna populations.

New clues to a 500-year old mystery about the human heart
Researchers used artificial intelligence and genetic analyses to examine the structure of the inner surface of the heart using 25 000 MRI scans.

Portrait of a virus
Researchers create a centralized electronic medical records tool to gather, monitor, analyze clinical trends in COVID-19 across multiple countries.

Brain remapping dysfunction causes spatial memory impairment in Alzheimer's disease
A research group elucidated the brain circuit mechanism that cause of spatial memory impairment in Alzheimer's disease.In the future, improving brain remapping function may reverse spatial memory impairment in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Food from the sea
Demand for food is set to rise substantially in the coming decades, which raises a question: How well can the ocean fill the gap between current supply and future need?

UAlberta researchers find way to speed up nerve regrowth for trauma patients
A University of Alberta researcher has found a treatment that increases the speed of nerve regeneration by three to five times, leading to much better outcomes for trauma surgery patients.

A how-to guide for teaching GIS courses online with hardware or software in the cloud
In a new paper this week, geographer Forrest Bowlick at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and colleagues at Texas A&M offer first-hand accounts of what is required for GIS instructors and IT administrators to set up virtual computing specifically for providing state-of-the-art geographic information systems (GIS) instruction.

Machine learning, meet human emotions: How to help a computer monitor your mental state
An international team of scientists has tested state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms for the challenging tasks of determining the mental workload and affective states of a human brain.

Is COVID-19 transmitted through breast milk? Study suggests not likely
A recent study by researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine suggests transmission of COVID-19 through breast milk is not likely.

Small set of genes may provide unique barcode for different types of brain cells in worms
When it comes to brain cells, one size does not fit all.

Biomorphic batteries could provide 72x more energy for robots
Like biological fat reserves store energy in animals, a new rechargeable zinc battery integrates into the structure of a robot to provide much more energy, a team led by the University of Michigan has shown.

Lungfish fins reveal how limbs evolved
New research on the fin development of the Australian lungfish by an international team of researchers from the University of Konstanz (Germany), Macquarie University in Sydney (Australia) and the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn in Naples (Italy) elucidates how fins evolved into limbs with hands with digits.

Genetic background may affect adaptions to aging
How we adapt to aging late in life may be genetically influenced, according to a study led by a psychologist at the University of California, Riverside.

Researchers identify better classification system for adult idiopathic scoliosis
Researchers have designed a new X-ray classification system for adult idiopathic scoliosis that can more precisely define which parts of the spine need correction

Pumice arrives delivering "vitamin boost" to the reef
The giant pumice raft created by an underwater volcanic eruption last August in Tonga has begun arriving on the Australian eastern seaboard, delivering millions of reef-building organisms that researchers say could be a ''vitamin boost'' for the Great Barrier Reef.

Study sheds new light on certainty of opinions
Researchers for years have understood how attitudes held with certainty might predict behavior, but a series of new studies led by a University at Buffalo psychologist suggest there may be a more general disposition at work that predicts the certainty of newly formed evaluations, just as they do for pre-existing opinions.

Deep learning will help future Mars rovers go farther, faster, and do more science
NASA JPL are developing autonomous capabilities that could allow future Mars rovers to go farther, faster and do more science.

Study of one million Danish children: Childhood adversity increases the risk of early death
Social adversity in early childhood appears to be a significant risk factor for death in early adulthood.

New database could help lead to personalized treatments for breast cancer patients
New database of cell lines helps expand the current way of doing research -- enabling the development of better therapies through the evaluation of the entire genomic signature.

Understanding the inner workings of the human heart
Researchers used artificial intelligence and genetic analyses to examine the structure of the inner surface of the heart using 25,000 MRI scans.

New research highlights 'challenging nature' of vested interests in the energy transition
Pioneering new research has highlighted some of the political difficulties with the UK's energy transition, in particular around vested fossil fuel interests.

Crust and upper mantle velocity structure in SE Tibet and its geodynamic implications
Southeastern Tibet is a major area for transport of the Tibetan Plateau materials.
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