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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | September 14, 2020


Should we mandate a COVID-19 vaccine for children?
This Viewpoint examines the evidence for vaccination of children against COVID-19.
Infinite chains of hydrogen atoms have surprising properties, including a metallic phase
An infinite chain of hydrogen atoms is just about the simplest bulk material imaginable -- a never-ending single-file line of protons surrounded by electrons.
Facebook political ads more partisan, less negative than TV
More political candidates may be shifting primarily to social media to advertise rather than TV, according to a study of advertising trends from the 2018 campaign season.
The intricate protein architecture linked to disease
In research published today in the journal Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, scientists at the University of Leeds report that they have been able to visualise the structure of amylin fibrils using the latest electron microscope technology - and have discovered an architecture that they suspect makes some amylin sequences more prone to form amylin aggregates than others: a feature linked to earlier onset of type 2 diabetes.
Immune system affects mind and body, study indicates
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have discovered that a molecule produced by the immune system acts on the brain to change the behavior of mice.
Loneliness doubled among older adults in first months of COVID-19, poll shows
Staying close to home and avoiding crowded places can help older adults reduce their risk of COVID-19.
Tandem devices feel the heat
Researchers develop a better understanding of how novel solar cells developed in the lab will operate under real conditions.
Possible marker of life spotted on venus
An international team of astronomers today announced the discovery of a rare molecule -- phosphine -- in the clouds of Venus.
Neural cartography
A new x-ray microscopy technique could help accelerate efforts to map neural circuits and ultimately the brain itself.
New study explores if flirting is real and shows it can work
A new paper by researchers based at the University of Kansas has been published in the Journal of Sex Research examining if flirting has a particular facial cue effectively used by women to indicate interest in a man.
Single atom-thin platinum makes a great chemical sensor
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, together with colleagues from other universities, have discovered the possibility to prepare one-atom thin platinum for use as a chemical sensor.
Doctors get plenty of advice on starting treatment; this could help them know when to stop
Decades of effort have improved the chances that patients will get the scans, routine tests and medicines that can do them the most good - and avoid the ones that won't help them at all.
Pesco-Mediterranean diet, intermittent fasting may lower heart disease risk
A Pesco-Mediterranean diet rich in plants, nuts, whole grains, extra-virgin olive oil, and fish and/or seafood is ideal for optimizing cardiovascular health, according to a cumulative review published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Smart virus
HSE University researchers have found microRNA molecules that are potentially capable of repressing the replication of human coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2.
Botox for TMJ disorders may not lead to bone loss in the short term, but more research is needed
Botox injections to manage jaw and facial pain do not result in clinically significant changes in jaw bone when used short term and in low doses, according to researchers at NYU College of Dentistry.
Human activities promote disease-spreading mosquitoes; more study needed for prevention
Disease-spreading mosquitoes may be more likely to occupy areas impacted by human activities like pesticide use and habitat destruction, than they are areas less disturbed by humans, a recent Oregon State University study found.
Halogen bonding: a powerful tool for constructing supramolecular co-crystalline materials
Halogen bonding is emerging as an important driving force for supramolecular self-assembly, and shows great potential in the design and synthesis of new multicomponent supramolecular co-crystalline materials.
Certain coping strategies can help offset pandemic's mental health hits
The early days of the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to negative mental health effects for many in the U.S., according to new Penn State research.
NASA's water vapor analysis of Tropical Storm Karina shows wind shear effects
When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Eastern Pacific Ocean, it gathered water vapor data on Tropical Storm Karina.
Wildlife trade threats: The importance of genetic data in saving an endangered species
In a new study, published in the scientific journal Nature Conservation, a research team analyses the genetic diversity of the endangered Four-eyed turtle, a species that has fallen victim to the growing wildlife trade in Vietnam.
Light processing improves robotic sensing, study finds
A team of Army researchers uncovered how the human brain processes bright and contrasting light, which they say is a key to improving robotic sensing and enabling autonomous agents to team with humans.
Shining a light on disordered and fractal systems
A research team led by the University of Tsukuba investigated the acoustic properties of disordered lysozyme proteins by using terahertz spectroscopy.
As domestic violence spikes, many victims and their children have nowhere to live
COVID-19 has left many victims of domestic violence facing difficulties feeding their children and accessing services for safe housing, transportation and childcare once they leave shelters, according to a Rutgers study published in the journal Violence Against Women.
Hitchhiking seeds pose substantial risk of nonnative plant invasions
A team of researchers from the USDA Forest Service, Arkansas State University, and other organizations conducted a study over two seasons at the Port of Savannah, Georgia to inventory nonnative plant seeds that entered the U.S. on refrigerated shipping containers; determine their viability as potential invasive species; and propose strategies for reducing risk to native ecosystems and agricultural commodities.
Predicting the slow death of lithium-ion batteries
A new model offers a way to predict the condition of a battery's internal systems in real-time with far more accuracy than existing tools.
Consumption of sheep or beef liver can contribute considerably to the total intake of PFAS
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are industrial chemicals that have been used for decades in several industrial processes and consumer products due to their special technical properties.
Excessive lung release of neutrophil DNA traps may explain severe complications in Covid-19 patients
Researchers from the University of Liège (Belgium) has detected significant amounts of DNA traps in distinct compartments of the lungs of patients who died from Covid-19.
Some but not all US metro areas could grow all needed food locally, estimates study
How local could food be in the U.S.? A modeling study estimates the distance within which metro centers could meet food needs if they tried to feed themselves locally.
DNA webs may drive lung pathology in severe COVID-19
Sticky webs of DNA released from immune cells known as neutrophils may cause much of the tissue damage associated with severe COVID-19 infections, according to two new studies published September 14 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM).
Detection of PCBs and their metabolites (OH-PCBs) in the fetal brain of a Japanese macaque
This study selected the Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata) as a model animal for the fetal transfer of OH-PCBs in humans, and revealed OH-PCB concentrations and their relationships in the maternal and fetal brains.
New treatments for deadly lung disease could be revealed by 3D modeling
A 3D bioengineered model of lung tissue built by University of Michigan researchers is poking holes in decades worth of flat, Petri dish observations into how the deadly disease pulmonary fibrosis progresses.
Physicists "trick" photons into behaving like electrons using a "synthetic" magnetic field
Scientists have discovered an elegant way of manipulating light using a ''synthetic'' Lorentz force -- which in nature is responsible for many fascinating phenomena including the Aurora Borealis.
Florida State-led team offers new rules for algae species classification
A team of evolutionary biologists and ecologists, led by a Florida State University researcher, has a new idea for how scientists should classify algae species.
Princeton lab discovers small "Cain-and-Abel" molecule
A new bacterial molecule with the unsavory tendency to track down and kill others of its own kind has been discovered in the human microbiome by researchers at Princeton's Department of Chemistry.
Bioactive nano-capsules to hijack cell behavior
Many diseases are caused by defects in signaling pathways of body cells.
ARPA-type funding gives green technology an 'innovation advantage', study finds
Startups funded by US energy agency ARPA-E file patents at twice the rate of similar cleantech firms, according to latest research.
Twist on CRISPR gene editing treats adult-onset muscular dystrophy in mice
UC San Diego researchers demonstrate that one dose of their version of CRISR gene editing can chew up toxic RNA and almost completely reverse symptoms in a mouse model of myotonic dystrophy, a type of adult-onset muscular dystrophy.
NASA-NOAA satellite helps confirm Teddy now a record-setting tropical storm
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided an infrared image of Tropical Depression 20 in that helped confirm it organized and strengthened into Tropical Storm Teddy.
A bifidobacterial protein that can reduce inflammation in COVID-19 found by a RUDN geneticist
A geneticist from RUDN University studied the effect of Bifidobacterium (intestinal bacteria) on the inflammatory process and discovered that their surface protein is capable of stopping excessive or uncontrollable inflammation, like the one observed in COVID-19 patients.
Mediterranean and tropical biodiversity most vulnerable to human pressures
Animals in tropical and Mediterranean areas are the most sensitive to climate change and land use pressures, finds a new study by UCL researchers, published today in Nature Ecology & Evolution.
Magnetic field with the edge!
This study overturns a dominant six-decade old notion that the giant magnetic field in a high intensity laser produced plasma evolves from the nanometre scale.
Big answers from tiny particles
A team of physicists led by Kanazawa University demonstrate a theoretical mechanism that would explain the tiny value for the mass of neutrinos and point out that key operators of the mechanism can be probed by current and future experiments.
New insight into how muscles and fat cells work together to make you more fit
Scientists in Denmark and Brazil find evidence of muscle and adipose cross-talk and gain new insight into the importance of adipose DICER in the adaptive response of muscle to exercise training
Drug for common liver condition may be an effective treatment for dementia
A team of researchers, led by the University of York, have identified new proteins involved in protecting neurons and discovered that Ursodeoxycholic Acid - an already approved drug, with very low toxicity - increases these proteins and protects neurons from death.
How to harness the power of biosolids to make hydrogen
New technology uses biosolids to drive the chemical reactions needed to produce hydrogen from biogas.
The expanding aims of high schools in the 21st century
A new study just published in the most recent issue of the Journal of Education and Social Policy examined how Massachusetts public high schools defined and changed their purpose and expectations over an 18-year period, suggesting that Bay State secondary schools expanded rather than honed their mission to meet society's ever-growing needs, a role exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Studies show strong links between the endocrine system and COVID-19 incidence and mortality
COVID-19 and interlinkages to endocrine and metabolic diseases was an important programme topic at the 2020 European Congress of Endocrinology.
Substance use disorders linked to COVID-19 susceptibility
A National Institutes of Health-funded study found that people with substance use disorders (SUDs) are more susceptible to COVID-19 and its complications.
High-risk patients for colorectal cancer lack knowledge about colonoscopy
Many clinicians rely on self-reports from their high-risk patients about their need and proper interval for repeat surveillance colonoscopy.
Paying GPs to provide contraception information linked to reduced abortions
Providing general practitioners (GPs) with financial incentives to offer information about long-acting contraceptives, such as the hormonal implant, is associated with an increase in their use, and a fall in the number of abortions .
New method to design diamond lattices and other crystals from microscopic building blocks
In a new study appearing in the journal Physical Review Letters, researchers describe a technique for using LEGO®-like elements at the scale of a few billionths of a meter.
Possible genetic link found between hypothyroidism and development of canine T-zone lymphoma
A genetic mutation might be the reason dogs with hypothyroidism are less likely to develop T-zone lymphoma (TZL).
Climate change triggers migration - particularly in middle-income countries
Environmental hazards affect populations worldwide and can drive migration under specific conditions.
COVID-19 patients with sleep apnoea could be at additional risk
People who have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea could be at increased risk of adverse outcomes from COVID-19 according to a new study from the University of Warwick.
DNA damage caused by migrating light energy
Ultraviolet light endangers the integrity of human genetic information and may cause skin cancer.
Doctors develop system which can predict Bipolar Disorder 4 years before onset
An international team of doctors have developed a machine learning system which can predict the development of Bipolar Disorder up to 4 years before onset in young people: at age 18 it was able to predict which individuals would develop the condition at age 22.
Combining two precision medicines can treat drug-resistant cancers
Launching a dual-pronged attack on tumours using a combination of two innovative precision medicines could treat patients with multiple common cancers, a new clinical trial shows.
Physicists discover new magnetoelectric effect
A special material was found, which shows a surprising new effect: Its electrical properties can be controlled with a magnetic field.
Mayo Clinic and TGen ID potential targets for the most-deadly form of pancreatic cancer
In what is believed to be the most comprehensive analysis of adenosquamous cancer of the pancreas (ASCP), the Mayo Clinic and TGen team identified, in preclinical models, therapeutic targets for this extremely fast-moving and deadly form of pancreatic cancer, and identified already available cancer inhibitors originally designed for other types of cancer, according to a study published today in the journal Cancer Research.
CCNY engineer Xi Chen and partners create new shape-changing crystals
Imagine harnessing evaporation as a source of energy or developing next generation actuators and artificial muscles for a broad array of applications.
Animals' magnetic 'sixth' sense may come from bacteria, new paper suggests
A University of Central Florida researcher is co-author of a new paper that may help answer why some animals have a magnetic ''sixth'' sense, such as sea turtles' ability to return to the beach where they were born.
Hints of life on Venus
An international team of astronomers, led by Professor Jane Greaves of Cardiff University, today announced the discovery of a rare molecule - phosphine - in the clouds of Venus.
Henry ford study finds certain immuno suppressing drugs do not increase risk for COVID-19
Patients on immunosuppressive therapy for common skin and rheumatic diseases like psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis are not at increased risk for contracting COVID-19 and should continue taking their medicine as prescribed, say Henry Ford Health System dermatology researchers in a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
TRESK regulates brain to track time using sunlight as its cue
Research from the University of Kent has found that TRESK, a calcium regulated two-pore potassium channel, regulates the brain's central circadian clock to differentiate behaviour between day and night.
"COVID-19 is here to stay for the foreseeable future" -- Field work in a pandemic
Independent group leaders Eleanor Scerri and Denise Kühnert of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (MPI-SHH) have teamed up with other colleagues from the institute and beyond to comment on the future of field-based sciences in a COVID-19 world.
Touch-and-know: Brain activity during tactile stimuli reveals hand preferences in people
Scientists at Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology, Korea, show that it is possible to distinguish between left-handed and right-handed people by noninvasively monitoring just their brain activity during passive tactile stimulation.
Imaging agent developed at Washington University spotlights inflammation
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have created a new PET imaging agent that detects signs of inflammation.
Painless paper patch test for glucose levels uses microneedles
Researchers at The University of Tokyo have developed a microneedle patch for monitoring glucose levels using a paper sensor.
Research explores factors influencing soybean injury by synthetic auxin herbicides
Synthetic auxin products have given growers an important option for managing weed populations resistant to glyphosate and other herbicides.
Immune cells sculpt circuits in the brain
Brain immune cells, called microglia, protect the brain from infection and inflammation.
How the brain creates the experience of time
On some days, time flies by, while on others it seems to drag on.
Early steroids improve outcomes in patients with septic shock
Some critically ill patients with septic shock need medications called vasopressors to correct dangerously low blood pressure.
On the road to conductors of the future
Superconducting wires can transport electricity without loss. This would allow for less power production, reducing both costs and greenhouse gasses.
COVID-19 pandemic halts cancer care and damages oncologists' wellbeing
Delays and cancellation of cancer treatments and other safety measures undertaken to minimise the risk of exposure to the coronavirus (COVID-19) have generated a huge backlog in oncology care and research.
A change at the top before elections boosts MP turnover across Europe, research shows
Appointing a new leader just before an election leads to a higher turnover of MPs after the poll, a study of political parties across Europe during the past 80 years shows.
Heroin-addicted individuals have unique brain disturbances resembling those of Alzheimer's
Herion-addicted individuals have alterations in the expression a gene called FYN - a gene known to regulate the production of Tau, a protein that is highly elevated and implicated in neurocognitive disorders like Alzheimer's disease.
Antarctica: cracks in the ice
In recent years, the Pine Island Glacier and the Thwaites Glacier on West-Antarctica have been undergoing rapid changes, with potentially major consequences for rising sea levels.
COVID-19 measures deepening health inequalities in slum communities
Efforts to stem the impact of COVID-19 in low to middle income countries could be creating a health time bomb in their slum communities by deepening existing inequalities, according to an international team of health researchers led by the University of Warwick.
Novel immune-oncology approach for potential cancer treatment
A research collaboration between Monash University and Lava Therapeutics details a novel immune-oncology approach for the potential treatment of cancer.
Amid pandemic and protests, Americans know much more about their rights
In a period defined by an impeachment inquiry, a pandemic, nationwide protests over racial injustice, and a contentious presidential campaign, Americans' knowledge of their First Amendment rights and their ability to name all three branches of the federal government have markedly increased, according to the 2020 Annenberg Constitution Day Civics Survey.
No benefit from drug used to reduce heart disease in kidney patients
Following a large, seven-year clinical trial, researchers have shown the drug, lanthanum carbonate, does not reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in patients with chronic kidney disease.
You can train your brain to reduce motion sickness
Visuospatial training exercises can train the brain to reduce motion sickness, providing a potential remedy for future passengers riding in autonomous vehicles.
Global study reveals time running out for many soils - but conservation measures can help
Researchers found more than 90 per cent of the conventionally farmed soils in their global study were thinning, and 16 per cent had lifespans of less than a century.
COVID-19 policy makers could learn more about accountability from industries like aviation
Organisations could improve the transparency and accountability of COVID-19 policy making processes by learning from safety-critical industries like aviation, a new paper shows.
Virtual reality trains public to reverse opioid overdoses
The United States has seen a 200% increase in the rate of deaths by opioid overdose in the last 20 years.
SMART researchers develop fast and efficient method to produce red blood cells
Researchers from Singapore-MIT developed a faster and more efficient way to manufacture red blood cells that cuts down on cell culture time by half.
Reducing nitrogen with boron and beer
The industrial conversion of nitrogen to ammonium provides fertiliser for agriculture.
Successful improvement of the catalytic activity of photosynthetic CO2 fixing enzyme Rubisco
A research group consisting of Associate Professor FUKAYAMA Hiroshi (Kobe University) and Professor MATSUMURA Hiroyoshi (Ritsumeikan University) et al. have succeeded in greatly increasing the catalytic activity of Rubisco, the enzyme which fixes carbon from CO2 in plant photosynthesis.
Smartphones can predict brain function associated with anxiety and depression
Phone data such as social activity, screen time and location can predict connectivity between regions of the brain that are responsible for emotion.
Which immune response could cause a vaccine against COVID-19?
Immune reactions caused by vaccination can help protect the organism, or sometimes may aggravate the condition.
NASA night-time image shows Hurricane Paulette's large eye approach Bermuda
Night-time imagery from NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite showed Hurricane Paulette's large eye approaching the island of Bermuda.
Older people with early, asymptomatic Alzheimer's at risk of falls
Older people without cognitive problems who experience a fall may have undetected neurodegeneration in their brains that puts them at high risk of developing Alzheimer's dementia, according to a study from Washington University School of Medicine in St.
Not so similar: Depression, but not anxiety, linked with inflammation and metabolic change
Anxiety and depression are often linked and assumed to be closely related, but now research has shown for the first time that depression and anxiety have different biochemical associations with inflammation and lipid (fat) metabolism.
Study examines how civil wars affect wildlife populations
A new study comprehensively reveals how civil wars impact wildlife in countries affected by conflict.
Curtin research creates faster, on-site way to detect PFAS
Curtin University research has developed a new and easier on-site method to immediately and accurately detect and measure levels of PFAS, which are persistent environmental pollutants sometimes found in contaminated lands and waters around the industrialised world.
Facebook anniversaries inspire reflection, nostalgia
Posted on Facebook, milestones such as birthdays and anniversaries prompt users to reflect on the passage of time and the patterns of their lives -- and help the social media giant recycle content in order to boost engagement, according to new Cornell research.
How do giraffes and elephants alter the African Savanna landscape?
Through their foraging behavior across the diverse topography of the African savanna, megaherbivores may be unknowingly influencing the growth and survival of vegetation on valleys and plateaus, while preserving steep slopes as habitat refugia.
Cool eyes on fever screening: Optimizing infrared thermography
A report published in the Journal of Biomedical Optics provides insights for optimizing infrared thermograph-based fever screening.
Georgetown Global Health Center issues pandemic preparedness report and COVID-19 lessons
In a new report commissioned by the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB), Georgetown global health experts say the success of any effort to redress pandemic preparedness failures demonstrated by COVID-19 requires a re-centering of governance that would include greater accountability, transparency, equity, participation and the rule of law.
World's first major study into MS and pregnancy reveals it delays onset of MS symptoms by more than 3 years
A comprehensive international study, led by Monash researchers, has definitively found that pregnancy can delay the onset of multiple sclerosis (MS) by more than 3 years.
Toxic metals can affect student health performance, say scientists from RUDN university
A group of medical and environmental researchers from RUDN University evaluated the level of heavy metals in the organism of first-year university students from different countries of the world.
Project Phoenix: DNA unlocks a new understanding of coral
A new study challenges more than 200 years of coral classification.
Tiny antibody component highly effective against SARS-COV-2 in animal studies
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine scientists have isolated the smallest biological molecule to date that completely and specifically neutralizes the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is the cause of COVID-19.
Embryos taking shape via buckling
The embryo of an animal first looks like a hollow sphere.
Researchers create morphing crystals powered by water evaporation
New study details the design of materials that enable clean and sustainable water evaporation energy that can be harvested and efficiently converted into motion with the potential to power future mechanical devices and machines.
Frequency of children vs adults carrying SARS-CoV-2 asymptomatically
This case-control study compares the rates of test results indicating SARS-CoV-2 infection among children and adults admitted to a single hospital in Milan, Italy, for noninfectious reasons and without COVID-19 symptoms.
Dams exacerbate the consequences of climate change on river fish
A potential response of river fish to environmental changes is to colonize new habitats.
NASA catches development of eastern Atlantic's tropical storm Vicky
NASA's Aqua satellite analyzed a low-pressure area in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean, and it showed the system becoming more organized.
Gene-edited livestock 'surrogate sires' successfully made fertile
For the first time, scientists have created pigs, goats and cattle that can serve as viable 'surrogate sires,' male animals that produce sperm carrying only the genetic traits of donor animals.
Rubbery properties help RNA nanoparticles target tumors efficiently and quickly leave body
A new study by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G.
Gender harassment and institutional betrayal in high school take toll on mental health
High school students who endure gender harassment in schools that don't respond well enter college and adulthood with potential mental health challenges, according to a University of Oregon study.
Gun laws in neighboring states affect state gun deaths, new evidence
New research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) shows that gun laws in neighboring states have an effect on gun death rates in adjoining states.
Privatized prisons lead to more inmates, longer sentences, study finds
WSU study finds that when states turn to private prisons, the number of criminals incarcerated rises and the length of sentences increases.
Genetic factors in chronic versus episodic migraine
According to existing estimates, migraine is a highly prevalent ailment, with about 15 percent of global population suffering from it at one time or another.
New study from MD Anderson and BridgeBio's Navire Pharma shows SHP2 inhibition overcomes multiple therapeutic-resistance mechanisms in lung cancer
New preclinical research from MD Anderson and Navire finds a novel drug targeting SHP2 can overcome multiple paths of therapeutic resistance in lung cancer.
NASA's Aqua satellite finds Rene barely a depression battered by wind shear  
Tropical Depression Rene continues to be the victim of strong wind shear and forecasters anticipate it will lead to the storm's demise in the next couple of days.
Guidance balances staph infection prevention in critically ill infants with family contact
NICUs should balance prevention of Staph infections in critically ill infants with the need for skin-to-skin contact with parents and siblings, according to a Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America white paper published in the journal Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.
Arctic transitioning to a new climate state
The fast-warming Arctic has started to transition from a predominantly frozen state into an entirely different climate with significantly less sea ice, warmer temperatures, and more rain, according to a comprehensive new study of Arctic conditions.
A warm Jupiter orbiting a cool star
A planet observed crossing in front of, or transiting, a low-mass star has been determined to be about the size of Jupiter.
Structure of ATPase, the world's smallest turbine, solved
The chemical ATP, adenosine triphosphate, is the fuel that powers all life.

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