Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 01, 2020
Hope for 500 000 insomniacs in Norway
Digital sleep therapy could offer help to people with sleep problems and enable many of them to reduce their sleep medication after treatment.

Scent-sensing cells have a better way to fight influenza
Smell receptors that line the nose get hit by Influenza B just like other cells, but they are able to clear the infection without dying.

University of South Carolina redefining aircraft production process
The University of South Carolina College of Engineering and Computing will transform the manufacturing and simulation processes used in aircraft production through a $5.7 million NASA grant.

There's a shortage of info on drugs for children in Canada
The research team manually reviewed monographs of all new drugs approved by Health Canada between 2007 and 2016.

Elderly people protected against respiratory infections by BCG vaccine
The BCG vaccine has a broad, stimulating effect on the immune system.

Misfiring brain cells may cause swallowing woes in children with developmental disorders
Misfiring brain cells that control key parts of the mouth and tongue may be creating swallowing difficulties in children with neurodevelopmental disorders, according to neuroscientists with Virginia Tech and George Washington University.

VAT cuts do not increase consumer purchasing power
An empirical study published in the Journal of Political Economy finds that VAT cuts are less likely to be passed on to consumer prices than VAT hikes.

Scientists identify promising new ALS drug candidates
Scientists have taken a significant step forward in the search to find effective new drug candidates for the treatment of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neurone disease.

Understanding the psychological aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic
Research at SMU to understand the psychological aspects of COVID-19 points to two main areas: message framing and emotion-regulation.

Awareness raising alone is not enough
Too rarely do nature conservation initiatives or strategies announced by politicians lead to people changing their everyday behaviour.

Graduate student names new trace fossil discovered during coursework
University of Alberta graduate student Scott Melnyk made an intriguing fossil find during a graduate level course--and ended up identifying the fossilized tracks of a newly discovered wood-boring organism in a new study.

Blood pressure-lowering is even more beneficial than previously thought
Blood pressure medication can prevent heart attacks and strokes - even in people with normal blood pressure.

Cancer cells take over blood vessels to spread
In laboratory studies, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and Johns Hopkins University researchers observed a key step in how cancer cells may spread from a primary tumor to a distant site within the body, a process known as metastasis.

Notice me! Neglected for over a century, Black sea spider crab re-described
Even though recognised in the Mediterranean Sea, the Macropodia czernjawskii spider crab was ignored by scientists (even by its namesake, 19th-century biologist Vladimir Czernyavsky) in the regional faunal accounts of the Black Sea for more than a century.

How to weigh a dinosaur
A new study looks at dinosaur body mass estimation techniques revealing different approaches still yield strikingly similar results.

Differing diets of bonobo groups may offer insights into how culture is created
Besides humans, many other social animals are believed to exhibit forms of culture in various ways, too.

Direct observation of desorption of a melt of long polymer chains
Publication in Nature Communication: Simone Napolitano -Laboratory of Polymer and Soft Matter Dynamics, Université libre de Bruxelles - and his collaborators, Xavier Monnier and Daniele Cangialosi, from the International Center of Physics of Donostia and the Centro de Física de Materiales of San Sebastián (Spain) were able to experimentally access the adsorption/desorption transition.

Swedish workers among Europe's best-paid in late 1800s
In 19th-century Sweden, workers' wages rose faster than in other European countries.

American Animal Hospital Association and American Association of Feline Practitioners release new Feline Vaccination Guidelines
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) convened a panel of experts to update the 2013 AAFP Feline Vaccination Advisory Panel Report.

As rural western towns grow, so do their planning challenges
A new study examines the planning challenges that residents and officials in the rural mountain American West have been watching unfold for years.

A small number of self-organizing autonomous vehicles significantly increases traffic flow
With the addition of just a small number of autonomous vehicles (AVs) on the road, traffic flow can become faster, greener, and safer in the near future.

Blood marker may reduce cancer burden
Researchers at Flinders University are expanding work on a promising blood test model to help predict or diagnose head and neck cancer, a difficult cancer to pick up early and treat.

Legal performance-enhancing substances associated with future problematic alcohol use
A new study published in the journal Pediatrics found that young adults aged 18-26 who used legal performance-enhancing substances were significantly more likely to report several problematic alcohol use and drinking-related risk behaviors seven years later.

Severe Covid-19 despite or even due to the strong immunity
A weak immune response isn't the cause of dangerous lung failure in severe Covid-19 infections.

Eye of a fly: Researchers reveal secrets of fly vision for rapid flight control
By examining how fruit flies use eye movements to enhance flight control with a staggeringly fast reaction speed -- about 30 times faster than the blink of an eye -- Penn State researchers have detailed a framework to mimic this ability in robotics.

European study finds screen time and sleep duration predict overweight in children
Screen time and sleep duration independently predict excess weight in children and should be considered as part of prevention strategies to reduce the burden of overweight and obesity and related health conditions, according to a study involving over 4,000 children (aged 2 to 11 years old) from eight European countries, being presented at The European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO 2020), held online this year from 1-4 September.

Growth hormone plays key role in early puberty, breast cancer risk
Girls who enter puberty early in life--as measured by early breast development and age of first menstrual period--have a longer window of susceptibility to breast cancer.

Mastodons traveled vast distances across North America due to climate change: Research
New research from an international team of evolutionary geneticists, bioinformaticians and paleontologists suggests that dramatic environmental changes accompanying the shift or melting of continental glaciers played a key role as American mastodons moved north from their southern ranges.

Yale trial addresses health disparities in alcohol treatment
Yale researchers are completing a first-of-its-kind clinical trial to test the efficacy of an automated bilingual alcohol screening and intervention tool for use in emergency departments (EDs).

Effective cancer immunotherapy further linked to regulating a cell 'suicide' gene
Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers have added to evidence that a gene responsible for turning off a cell's natural ''suicide'' signals may also be the culprit in making breast cancer and melanoma cells resistant to therapies that use the immune system to fight cancer.

Decorating windows for optimal sound transmission
Glass windows typically offer some amount of sound proofing, sometimes unintentionally.

Be generous, live longer
Resource sharing affects mortality worldwide.

Understanding the link between hearing loss and dementia
Scientists have developed a new theory as to how hearing loss may cause dementia and believe that tackling this sensory impairment early may help to prevent the disease.

Relatives in deep grief can be helped earlier
Many relatives who experience severe long-term grief reactions after bereavement have more frequent contact with their general practitioner already prior to bereavement, as well as a higher consumption of antidepressants and sedatives than those who have fewer critical symptoms of grief over time.

One quarter of prescription drugs in Canada may be in short supply
Research from the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences (CHÉOS) sheds new light on the factors behind drug shortages in Canada, a common problem across the country.

Ultraviolet B exposure expands proenkephalin+ regulatory T cells with a healing function
Skin exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) induces expansion of regulatory T (Treg) cells with immunosuppressive activity.

A naturally-occurring metabolite ups lifespan and compresses late-life morbidity in mice
Middle-aged mice that had the naturally-occurring metabolite alpha-ketaglutarate (AKG) added to their chow had a better 'old age.' They were healthier as they aged and experienced a dramatically shorter time of disease and disability before they died, a first for research involving mammals.

Europe's largest Solar Telescope GREGOR unveils magnetic details of the Sun
GREGOR, the largest solar telescope in Europe, which is operated by a German consortium and located on Teide Observatory, Spain, has obtained unprecedented images of the fine-structure of the Sun.

Weight shaming appears to be declining more in the USA than in the UK
Americans are less likely to blame people with obesity for their condition, and are more likely to believe that obesity has a medical explanation now than 3 years ago, suggest the results of two online surveys involving more than 6,000 UK and US adults, being presented at The European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO 2020), held online this year from 1-4 September.

Face shield or face mask to stop the spread of COVID-19?
If CDC guidelines aren't enough to convince you that face shields alone shouldn't be used to stop the spread of COVID-19, then maybe a new visualization study will.

New Research Provides Solution for the 'Dust Bowl Paradox'
During the historic drought and heatwave of the Dust Bowl, grasses better adapted to cool, wet climates moved in.

Monitoring and reporting framework to protect World Heritage Sites from invasive species
A team of international scientists have devised a new monitoring and reporting framework to help protect World Heritage Sites from almost 300 different invasive alien species globally including, rats (Rattus spp.), cats (Felis catus), lantana (Lantana camara) and Argentine ants (Linepithema humile).

Narcolepsy drug did not increase risk of fetal malformation
Modafinil is used to treat conditions such as narcolepsy. Reports have associated the drug with an increased risk of malformation in babies born to mothers who had taken it while pregnant.

Fish invasions follow Panama and Suez canal expansions
Following recent canal expansions, marine fish are entering the Panama and Suez Canal waterways.

Revisiting ratios
There's more to seawater than salt. Ocean chemistry is a complex mixture of particles, ions and nutrients.

Standing the test of time with a perfect partner
Identifying the ideal co-catalyst can significantly extend the working lifetime of solar fuel-generating photocatalysts.

NYUAD study finds gene targets to combat microorganisms binding to underwater surfaces
A group of synthetic biologists at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) have identified new genetic targets that could lead to safe, biologically-based approaches to combat marine biofouling - the process of sea-based microorganisms, plants, or algae binding to underwater surfaces.

Educational mailing fails to improve medication use in patients with atrial fibrillation
Prevention drugs, according to results of the IMPACT-AFib trial presented in a Hot Line session today at ESC Congress 2020.

Words matter: Revealing 'how' restaurateurs land investors online
Online crowdfunding is a multibillion dollar industry, but crafting a compelling pitch that stands out among thousands of projects and lands investors is challenging, especially in the restaurant industry.

Venom from honeybees found to kill aggressive breast cancer cells
Honeybee venom induces cancer cell death in hard to treat triple-negative breast cancer with minimal effect on healthy cells

Pregnant women with COVID-19 may more likely need intensive care and give birth early
Pregnant women seen in hospitals with covid-19 are less likely to show symptoms, and seem to be at increased risk of needing admission to an intensive care unit than non-pregnant women of similar age, finds a study published by The BMJ today.

Scientists shed new light on pollen tube growth in plants
New insight on how an enzyme ensures the correct growth of pollen tubes in flowering plants has been published today in the open-access journal eLife.

Community outbreak investigation of SARS-CoV-2 transmission among bus riders in Eastern China
This observational study examined the potential for airborne spread of COVID-19 through investigation of an outbreak among bus riders in Eastern China.

Keeping the beat - it's all in your brain
How do people coordinate their actions with the sounds they hear?

Red fox displaces Arctic fox thanks to littering
Red foxes are moving to the mountains to feed on trash along roadsides.

Giant leap for molecular measurements
Spectroscopy is an important tool of observation in many areas of science and industry.

Story tips: Cool smart walls, magnetism twist, fuel cost savings and polymers' impact
ORNL Story Tips: Cool smart walls, magnetism twist, fuel cost savings and polymers' impact, September 2020

Minimal SARS-CoV-2 diversity suggests a global vaccine is feasible
Genetic analysis of sequences from more than 27,000 individuals infected with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 reveals that the virus has mutated minimally since December 2019, suggesting one vaccine would be sufficient to combat global infections.

First treatment identified for fainting
Fainting affects one in two people during their lifetime. Those with recurrent episodes are often afraid to socialise or go to work.

Opportunities for research on treatment of substance use disorders context of COVID-19
The different ways treatment and research on psychiatric disorders have shifted because of COVID-19 are assessed in this Viewpoint, which suggests what changes should remain after the pandemic.

Different responses in individual cells give muscles more control
Minute differences in individual muscle cell contractions allow the entire muscle to flex with greater control and accuracy.

Mastodons took frequent trips north when climate changed
New research suggests that American mastodons were avid travelers, migrating vast distances across North America in response to dramatic climate change during the ice ages of the Pleistocene.

Loggerhead turtles record a passing hurricane
Caught in an Atlantic hurricane, satellite-tagged loggerhead turtles changed their dive behavior and movement patterns as the storm passed.

New in the Hastings Center Report: Ethical challenges of the opioid crisis
The nationwide surge in drug abuse predates the Covid-19 pandemic but has risen to new highs during it.

AGA recommends bidirectional endoscopy for most patients with iron deficiency anemia
The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) published new clinical guidelines outlining an evidence-based approach for the initial gastrointestinal evaluation of chronic iron deficiency anemia in asymptomatic patients.

A surprising opportunity for telehealth in shaping the future of medicine
Expanded telehealth services at UT Southwestern have proved effective at safely delivering patient care during the pandemic, leading to an increase in patients even in specialties such as plastic surgery, according to a new study.

NAMS releases the 2020 Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause Position Statement
The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) announces publication of its 2020 Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM) Position Statement.

Detecting small amounts of virus in early infections
Diagnostic devices that are used at home or in doctors' offices are often not sensitive enough to detect small amounts of a virus that might be present in samples from asymptomatic patients, which can occur in early stage COVID-19.

Miniature antenna enables robotic teaming in complex environments
A new, miniature, low-frequency antenna with enhanced bandwidth will enable robust networking among compact, mobile robots in complex environments.

Tel Aviv University study sheds light on brain mechanism activated by uncertainty
A new Tel Aviv University study examined the brain's reactions in conditions of uncertainty and stressful conflict in an environment of risks and opportunities.

One in two Americans fear a major health event could lead to bankruptcy
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to put lives and livelihoods at risk, 1 in 2 Americans say they fear a major health event could lead them to file for bankruptcy, marking a 5% increase since 2019.

Managing data flow boosts cyber-physical system performance
Researchers have developed a suite of algorithms to improve the performance of cyber-physical systems - from autonomous vehicles to smart power grids - by balancing each component's need for data with how fast that data can be sent and received.

Drones can be a source of disturbance to wintering waterbird flocks
Newly published research, carried out by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) in Scotland, shows that wintering waterbirds, such as ducks, geese, swans and wading birds can easily be scared into flight by drones.

How dangerous are burning electric cars?
What happens if an electric car burns in a road tunnel or an underground car park?

The effect of military training on the sense of agency and outcome processing
A collaborative study between researchers from the Université libre de Bruxelles (Belgium), the Royal Military Academy of Belgium , found that working in a highly hierarchical environment such as the military is detrimental for the sense of agency and for the neural processing of outcomes of one's own actions.

Unravelling mother to baby transmission of Zika virus
Researchers have discovered that when a pregnant mother is infected by Zika virus, it can remain in the placenta for months, causing damage that can be dangerous to the fetus.

Face shields, masks with valves ineffective against COVID-19 spread
As countries experience a steep surge in COVID-19 infections, face masks have become increasingly accepted as an effective means for combating the spread of the disease when combined with social distancing and frequent hand-washing.

Can sunlight convert emissions into useful materials?
A team of researchers at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering has designed a method to break CO2 apart and convert the greenhouse gas into useful materials like fuels or consumer products ranging from pharmaceuticals to polymers.

Mobile e-shredding may pose risks for workers: bu study
A new Boston University School of Public Health study published in Annals of Work Exposure and Health is the first to evaluate the exposures faced by workers in mobile e-shredding, a new service to securely destroy hard drives, laptops, and other electronics containing confidential information on site.

New York and California may have already achieved herd immunity -- Ben-Gurion U. researcher
Prof. Last of the BGU Department of Software and Information Systems Engineering, presented these finding virtually at the Artificial Intelligence and the Coronavirus workshop at the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Medicine (AIME) on August 26.

Scientists discover earliest fossil evidence of an insect lichen mimic
Scientists have uncovered the earliest known evidence of an insect mimicking a lichen as a survival strategy, according to new findings published today in eLife.

Small fish populations accumulate harmful mutations that shorten lifespan
Population bottlenecks contribute to the accumulation of several harmful mutations that cause age-related illnesses in killifish - a finding that may help answer a key question about aging.

RethiNKing which immune cells are the best weapon against lung cancer
Immune cells called 'natural killer' (NK) cells could be a powerful weapon for fighting lung cancer, according to Melbourne researchers.

Surgical backlog in Ontario from COVID-19 will take 84 weeks to clear
The estimated time to clear surgeries postponed in Ontario because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is 84 weeks, with a target of 717 surgeries per week, according to a new modelling study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

NASA-NOAA satellite provides a nighttime view of new Atlantic tropical depression
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a nighttime view of the Atlantic Ocean hurricane season's latest tropical cyclone off the coast of North Carolina.

More than half of people struggled to manage their weight during COVID-19 lockdown, suggests UK survey
More than half of adults have found it difficult to manage their weight during the COVID-19 lockdown, according to the results of an online survey involving over 800 UK adults, being presented at The European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO), held online this year (1-4 September).

First randomised trial backs safety of common heart drugs in COVID-19 patients
Heart patients hospitalised with COVID-19 can safely continue taking angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), according to the BRACE CORONA trial presented in a Hot Line session today at ESC Congress 2020.

How to get the upper body of a burrowing frog
If you want shredded pecs, you should train like a burrowing frog.

HSS doctors offer practical advice on reaching peak performance during surgical training
Studies show that athletes and musicians achieve peak performance not only by constant practice but also by setting specific goals, engaging with strong mentors and cultivating the attributes of perseverance, stoicism and grit.

Brain estrogen is key to brain protection when oxygen is low
When the brain isn't getting enough oxygen, estrogen produced by neurons in both males and females hyperactivates another brain cell type called astrocytes to step up their usual support and protect brain function.

Study tracks human milk nutrients in infant microbiome
A new study in mice helps explain why gut microbiomes of breastfed infants can differ greatly from those of formula-fed infants.

Men with larger waists more likely to die of prostate cancer
A study of more than 200,000 UK men, being presented at this year's European and International Conference on Obesity (ECOICO), held online this year from September 1-4, reveals that there is a link between central adiposity (concentration of body fat around the belly and waist) and the risk of death from prostate cancer.

New electronic skin can react to pain like human skin
New pain-sensing prototype mimics the body's near-instant feedback response and reacts to painful sensations with the same lighting speed that nerve signals travel to the brain.

From virtual to reality! Virtual training improves physical and cognitive functions
Researchers at the Smart-Aging Research Center (IDAC) at Tohoku University have developed an innovative training protocol that, utilizing immersive virtual reality (IVR), leads to real physical and cognitive benefits.

Estrogen replacement may protect against Alzheimer's disease in women
Amsterdam, September 1, 2020-Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease and the leading cause of dementia.

An embedded ethics approach for AI development
The increasing use of AI (artificial intelligence) in the development of new medical technologies demands greater attention to ethical aspects.

Memory in a metal, enabled by quantum geometry
Berkeley researchers led by Professor Xiang Zhang in collaboration with a Stanford University team invented a new data storage method by making odd numbered layers slide relative to even-number layers in tungsten ditelluride, which is only 3nm thick.

UH Mānoa researchers predict location of novel candidate for mysterious dark energy
UH researchers explain what may be the cause of the universe's accelerating growth.

Your paper notebook could become your next tablet
Purdue engineers developed a simple printing process that renders any paper or cardboard packaging into a keyboard, keypad or other easy-to-use human-machine interfaces.

Scientists discover key regulator of neuron function and survival
Scientists studying neuronal energy metabolism found evidence the loss of an important energy regulator called AMPK in neural stem cells or glial cells called astrocytes causes neuronal death in laboratory rodents.
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