Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 07, 2020
Poetry in motion: Engineers analyze the fluid physics of movement in marine snails
In a new interdisciplinary study that combines intellectual curiosity with awe, researchers show in detail that the swimming and sinking behaviors of tropical marine snails are influenced by body size and shell shape, as predicted from fluid physics theory.

Vitamin D levels in the blood can predict future health risks and death
Free, circulating vitamin D levels in the blood may be a better predictor of future health risks in aging men, according to a study being presented at e-ECE 2020.

Could singing spread COVID-19?
If silence is golden, speech is silver - and singing the worst.

Ancient bony fish forces rethink of how sharks evolved
Sharks' non-bony skeletons were thought to be the template before bony internal skeletons evolved, but a new fossil discovery suggests otherwise.

New insight into mammalian stem cell evolution
The genes regulating pluripotent stem cells in mammals are surprisingly similar across 48 species, Kyoto University researchers report in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution.

'Deep dive' into biology of kidney tumors identifies markers of response to immunotherapy
An international team of investigators led by Memorial Sloan Kettering's Robert Motzer has identified biological attributes of kidney cancer tumors that correlate with better responses to immunotherapies and targeted therapies.

Rubbing skin activates itch-relief neural pathway
Stop scratching: rubbing skin activates an anti-itch pathway in the spinal cord, according to research in mice recently published in JNeurosci.

Gulls pay attention to human eyes
Herring gulls notice where approaching humans are looking, and flee sooner when they're being watched, a new study shows.

A new twist on DNA origami
A team* of scientists from ASU and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) led by Hao Yan, ASU's Milton Glick Professor in the School of Molecular Sciences, and director of the ASU Biodesign Institute's Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics, has just announced the creation of a new type of meta-DNA structures that will open up the fields of optoelectronics (including information storage and encryption) as well as synthetic biology.

Is APM the best way to evaluate NBA players?
A recent study by sport analytics professors shows the Adjusted Plus-Minus (APM) statistic used to evaluate the performance of NBA players is sometimes misleading because it does not accurately account for the quality of a player's teammates.

Multinationals' supply chains account for a fifth of global emissions
A fifth of carbon dioxide emissions come from multinational companies' global supply chains, according to a new study led by UCL and Tianjin University that shows the scope of multinationals' influence on climate change.

Acorn woodpeckers wage days-long battles over vacant territories, radio tag data show
When acorn woodpeckers inhabiting high-quality territories die, nearby birds begin a battle royal to win the vacant spot.

Children use both brain hemispheres to understand language, unlike adults
Infants and young children have brains with a superpower, of sorts, say Georgetown University Medical Center neuroscientists.

Children with asthma could benefit from prescribing according to genetic differences
Selecting treatments according to genetic differences could help children and teenagers with asthma, according to research presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress.

How to have a blast like a black hole
Scientists at Osaka University have created magnetized-plasma conditions similar to those near a black hole using very intense laser pulses.

New process for efficient removal of steroid hormones from water
Micropollutants contaminate the water worldwide. Among them are steroid hormones that cannot be eliminated efficiently by conventional processes.

'Wild West' mentality lingers in modern populations of US mountain regions
Scientists looked at links between the personality profiles of over 3.3m US residents and the ''topography'' of 37,227 ZIP codes.

Scientists uncover secret of material for promising thermal imagers
Russian researchers have discovered what makes vanadium dioxide films conduct electricity.

International registries show PCI rates increased in Japan, US
Japan and the US have seen an increase in percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedures, which is driven primarily by a rise in elective PCIs in Japan compared to non-elective in the U.S., according to a study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

African wild dogs have vestigial first digit and muscular adaptations for life on the run
African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) are known for their unique hunting style, often referred to as ''exhaustive predation'', in which they chase their prey to exhaustion, rather than hunting using speed, strength, or stealth.

Viruses play critical role in evolution and survival of the species
New research in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology shows viruses also play a key evolutionary role in mammals' ability to reproduce and survive, according to scientists in the Cincinnati Children's Perinatal Institute and at Azabu University in Japan.

Inheritance in plants can now be controlled specifically
A new application of the CRISPR/Cas molecular scissors promises progress in crop cultivation.

Rare immune cells drive gut repair
Scientists from King's College London have discovered an unexpected tissue reparative role for a rare immune cell type in the gut that could tip toward fibrosis or cancer if dysregulated.

New surgical tools with smart sensors can advance cardiac surgery and therapy
Researchers developed a new class of medical instruments equipped with an advanced soft electronics system that could dramatically improve the diagnoses and treatments of a number of cardiac diseases and conditions.

Distribution range of Ebola virus carriers in Africa may be larger than previously assumed
Zaire ebolavirus is among the deadliest of all known Ebola viruses for humans and is most likely transmitted by various species of bats.

Changing what we eat could offset years of climate-warming emissions, new analysis finds
Plant protein foods--like lentils, beans, and nuts--can provide vital nutrients using a small fraction of the land required to produce meat and dairy.

Card-based system, designed to monitor asymptomatic persons, helps limit COVID-19 spread
In this research article, for the first time, the researchers have introduced a quantitative index; asymptomatic growth, to indicate whether COVID-19 community spread is under control and if economic activities can be resumed.

Ancient hunters stayed in frozen Northern Europe rather than migrating to warmer areas, evidence from Arctic fox bones shows
Ancient hunters stayed in the coldest part of Northern Europe rather than migrating to escape freezing winter conditions, archaeologists have found.

Genetic study of proteins is a breakthrough in drug development for complex diseases
An innovative genetic study of blood protein levels, led by researchers in the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit (MRC-IEU) at the University of Bristol, has demonstrated how genetic data can be used to support drug target prioritisation by identifying the causal effects of proteins on diseases.

Improving European healthcare through cell-based interceptive medicine
Hundreds of innovators, research pioneers, clinicians, industry leaders and policy makers from all around Europe are united by a vision of how to revolutionize healthcare.

Massively parallel sequencing unlocks cryptic diversity of eye parasites in fish
Scientists developed a methodology that uses next-generation sequencing technology for fast and efficient screening of genetic diversity of fish eye parasites.

First 'plug and play' brain prosthesis demoed in paralyzed person
In a significant advance, researchers working towards a brain-controlled prosthetic limb at the UC San Francisco Weill Institute for Neurosciences have shown that machine learning techniques helped a paralyzed individual learn to control a computer cursor using their brain activity without requiring extensive daily retraining, which has been a requirement of all past brain-computer interface (BCI) efforts.

Markers may predict patient response to immune therapy of cancer
Researchers have developed an approach to help identify potential clinical markers that may indicate which patients will respond to immune checkpoint inhibitors and which should be treated with other strategies.

BEAT-HIV Delaney collaboratory issues recommendations measuring persistent HIV reservoirs
Spearheaded by Wistar scientists, top worldwide HIV researchers from the BEAT-HIV Martin Delaney Collaboratory to Cure HIV-1 Infection by Combination Immunotherapy (BEAT-HIV Collaboratory) compiled the first comprehensive set of recommendations on how to best measure the size of persistent HIV reservoirs during cure-directed clinical studies.

Comparing the controllability of young hand-raised wolves and dogs
During domestication, dogs most probably have been selected for increased tractability.

Probiotics may help manage childhood obesity
Probiotics may help children and adolescents with obesity lose weight when taken alongside a calorie-controlled diet, according to a study being presented at e-ECE 2020.

The brain can induce diabetes remission in rodents, but how?
In rodents with type 2 diabetes, a single surgical injection of a protein called fibroblast growth factor 1 can restore blood sugar levels to normal for weeks or months.

Fungus leather substitute could be eco-friendlier than animal and plastic kinds
''Promising'' fungal leather that looks and feels like traditional leather could be eco-friendlier and cheaper than animal and plastic versions.

Why rats would win Australian survivor
Australian rodents skulls all correspond to one simple, size-dependent shape that is more than ten million years old but it turns out this lack of change is the secret behind their survivor reputation.

COVID-19 high-risk groups: Why the immune system is less effective at fighting the virus
Older people and people with underlying medical conditions are at particular risk of severe COVID-19.

Brain astrocytes show metabolic alterations in Parkinson's disease
A new study using induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology links astrocyte dysfunction to Parkinson's disease (PD) pathology.

A tiny instrument to measure the faintest magnetic fields
Physicists at the University of Basel have developed a minuscule instrument able to detect extremely faint magnetic fields.

The mathematical values of Linear A fraction signs
A recent study by a team based at the University of Bologna, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, has shed new light on the Minoan system of fractions, one of the outstanding enigmas tied to the ancient writing of numbers.

Vortex top-hats emerge in superfluids
An Australian-led study provides new insight into the behaviour of rotating superfluids, including the emergence of a 'top hat' shaped super-vortex phenomenon.

Paving the way for tunable graphene plasmonic THz amplifiers
Tohoku University Professor Taiichi Otsuji has led a team of international researchers in successfully demonstrating a room-temperature coherent amplification of terahertz (THz) radiation in graphene, electrically driven by a dry cell battery.

Genome sequencing accelerates cancer detection
Recent cancer studies have shown that genomic mutations leading to cancer can occur years, or even decades, before a patient is diagnosed.

Predicting heat death in species more reliable with new mathematical model
An international research with the involvement of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), published in Science, has developed a new dynamic mathematical model which represents a change in paradigm in predicting the probability of heat-related mortality in small species.

Gen Z not ready to eat lab-grown meat
New research by the University of Sydney and Curtin University that will be published on 8 September in Frontiers in Nutrition, found that, despite having a great concern for the environment and animal welfare, 72 percent of Generation Z were not ready to accept cultured meat - defined in the survey as a lab-grown meat alternative produced by in-vitro cell cultures of animal cells, instead of from slaughtered animals.

'Wrong-way' migrations stop shellfish from escaping ocean warming
Ocean warming is paradoxically driving bottom-dwelling invertebrates -- including sea scallops, blue mussels, surfclams and quahogs that are valuable to the shellfish industry -- into warmer waters and threatening their survival, a Rutgers-led study shows.

How do stone forests get their spikes? New research offers pointed answer
A team of scientists has now shed new light on how stone forests and other natural structures are created.

Producing leather-like materials from fungi
Leather is used as a durable and flexible material in many aspects of everyday life including furniture and clothing.

A difficult year for forests, fields and meadows
The warm, dry summer of 2018 has left clear traces in various ecosystems.

Prophylactic antivirals prevent chronic HCV in patients receiving kidneys from positive donors
Prophylactic treatment with direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) prevented chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in 10 patients receiving kidneys from HCV positive deceased donors.

Gene test can predict risk of medications causing liver injury
A team of scientists from Cincinnati Children's, Japan and Europe report in a study published Sept.

Extracting order from a quantum measurement finally shown experimentally
In physics, it is essential to be able to show a theoretical assumption in actual, physical experiments.

Mini-organs could offer treatment hope for children with intestinal failure
Pioneering scientists at the Francis Crick Institute, Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (ICH) have grown human intestinal grafts using stem cells from patient tissue that could one day lead to personalised transplants for children with intestinal failure, according to a study published in Nature Medicine.

Researchers show how mutations in DNA packaging machines cause cancer
Like wrenches made of Legos, SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complexes tighten or loosen DNA in our cells to control how genes are turned on and made into proteins.

Warning: Epidemics are often followed by unrest
History teaches that social tension accumulated over an epidemic can lead to significant episodes of rebellion, according to a study.

Rare hyperinflammatory syndrome in children with COVID-19 described
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Science for Life Laboratory in Sweden and Tor Vergata University of Rome in Italy have mapped the immune response in children affected by a rare but life-threatening inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19.
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