Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 15, 2020
Did our early ancestors boil their food in hot springs?
Scientists have found evidence of hot springs near sites where ancient hominids settled, long before the control of fire.

Reforestation can only partially restore tropical soils
Tropical forest soils play a crucial role in providing vital ecosystem functions.

Ocean algae get 'coup de grace' from viruses
Scientists have long believed that ocean viruses always quickly kill algae, but Rutgers-led research shows they live in harmony with algae and viruses provide a 'coup de grace' only when blooms of algae are already stressed and dying.

Scientists develop a technique to dynamically curve a photon jet
Scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University jointly with international colleagues have found a simple technique to dynamically curve a photonic jet, turning it into a photonic hook.

Europe's primary forests: What to protect? What to restore?
Expanding the protected areas by 1% could save most remaining primary forests in Europe.

Rising temperatures could shift US West Nile virus transmission
West Nile virus spreads most efficiently in the US at temperatures between 24-25 degrees Celsius (75.2-77 degrees Fahrenheit), a new study published today in eLife shows.

New research provides global analysis of storm surge footprints
New research provides a global analysis of the footprint of storm surges, providing a first step toward helping decision-makers coordinate flood management and emergency response plans across borders.

NASA Aqua satellite casts three eyes on sally and finds heavy rain potential
NASA's Aqua satellite analyzed the cloud top temperatures and water vapor content in Hurricane Sally as it crawls toward landfall, and found the potential for large amounts of rainfall, which, coupled with slow movement, can lead to catastrophic flooding.

Chimpanzees show greater behavioural and cultural diversity in more variable environments
An international team led by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) has investigated the influence of environmental variability on the behavioural repertoires of 144 social groups.

New on/off functionality for fast, sensitive, ultra-small technologies
Researchers from Osaka University have developed an ultra-small actuator that can be turned on and off in a fraction of a millisecond and exhibits nanometer-scale position control.

Parkinson's patient skin samples provide clues to disease mechanism and clinical test
A recent study from Finland reports that a protein kinase called LRRK2 is hyperactive in skin samples from Parkinson's disease patients which leads to a decrease in protein synthesis.

You want be a leader? You've got to be fast!
Using state-of-the-art robotics, a research team from the University of Konstanz, Science of Intelligence, and the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) shows that animals' speed is fundamental for collective behavioral patterns, and that ultimately it is the faster individuals that have the strongest influence on group-level behavior.

Scientists predict that COVID-19 will become a seasonal virus - but not yet
Researchers predict that COVID-19 will likely become seasonal, waning in the summer and prevalent in the winter.

Fish oil without the fishy smell or taste
A new study, co-led by University of Cincinnati researchers, describes the development of a refining process that scientists deem a superior method to help produce better dietary omega-3 health and dietary supplements containing fish oil.

Personal protective respirator masks (PPE) often do not fit correctly, especially for women and Asian healthcare workers
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has put the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), including face masks, under the global spotlight.

Phosphine on Venus
An international team of astronomers detected phosphine (PH3) in the atmosphere of Venus.

Newly discovered mechanism regulates myocardial distensibility
A team of researchers headed by Münster University physiologist Prof.

University of South Carolina study reveals how cannabinoids may be useful to prevent colon cancer
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are caused by inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.

Energy harvesting goes organic, gets more flexible
The race is on to create natural biocompatible piezoelectric materials for energy harvesting, electronic sensing, and stimulating nerves.

Factors associated with high performance improvement in VA primary care settings
VA researchers whose aim was to identify organizational and contextual factors associated with greater use of patient engagement processes found that high performing clinics were more likely to have fully-staffed primary care teams, clearly defined roles for team members, leadership responsible for implementing team-based care, and team meetings to discuss performance improvement, compared to clinics that performed poorly with regard to use of patient engagement processes.

NAU's Keim leads ACGU to publish findings of study tracking strains of SARS-CoV-2 in state
Initial findings reported by the Arizona COVID-19 Genomics Union (ACGU) suggest that following Arizona's first reported case of COVID-19 in late January, the state experienced no subsequent cases that went undetected and was COVID-free until at least 11 distinct incursions occurred between mid-February and early April.

Identifying, preventing and managing heart rhythm side effects of medicines
Arrhythmias are irregular heartbeats and can be caused by a variety of factors, such as genetics, heart disease, high blood pressure or electrolyte imbalances.

Camera monitoring significantly improves safety of HGV driving
A new study has shown HGV drivers drive much more safely when there are cameras in their cabs monitoring their behaviour.

Fish, seaweed inspire slippery surfaces for ships
Fish and seaweed secrete a layer of mucus to create a slippery surface, reducing their friction as they travel through water.

New dopamine sensors could help unlock the mysteries of brain chemistry
In 2018, Tian Lab at UC Davis Health developed dLight1, a single fluorescent protein-based biosensor.

Satellite images display changes in the condition of European forests
The forest canopy, the closed vegetation cover consisting of treetops, is rapidly declining according to a research team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna.

Study reveals impact of centuries of human activity in American tropics
The devastating effects of human activity on wildlife in the American tropics over the last 500 years are revealed in a new study published today.

Study finds concussions are a risk for young athletes in all sports - not just football
A recent Henry Ford Sports Medicine Research study suggests that high school athletes competing, not only in football, but other sports are at risk for concussion and may need longer recovery time than previously thought.

Poor health contributing to digital divide among older Singaporeans
Singapore's many ambitious digital inclusion initiatives are doing a lot to arm all Singaporeans with digital skills and literacy to go online safely and confidently.

Cannabis farms are a modern slavery 'blind spot' for UK police, study suggests
Migrants arrested for tending plants in the flats, houses and attics where cannabis is grown in bulk are often victims of trafficking and ''debt bondage'' - yet many are not recognised as such by police, according to a new study.

Vaping, marijuana use in 2019 rose in college-age adults
Vaping marijuana and vaping nicotine rose sharply in the past three years among college-age (19-22 years old) adults, according to 2019 survey results from the Monitoring the Future (MTF) study.

With digital phenotyping, smartphones may play a role in assessing severe mental illness
Digital phenotyping approaches that collect and analyze Smartphone-user data on locations, activities, and even feelings - combined with machine learning to recognize patterns and make predictions from the data - have emerged as promising tools for monitoring patients with psychosis spectrum illnesses, according to a report in the September/October issue of Harvard Review of Psychiatry.

Dust may have controlled ancient human civilization
When early humans began to travel out of Africa and spread into Eurasia over a hundred thousand years ago, a fertile region around the eastern Mediterranean Sea called the Levant served as a critical gateway between northern Africa and Eurasia.

The Josep Carreras Institute identifies a marker of poor evolution in Hodgkin's lymphoma
Dr. Manel Esteller, director of the Josep Carreras Leukemia Research Institute, published today in Blood journal, the discovery of a marker that allows predicting which patient with Hodgkin's lymphoma will present the aggressive clinical course, and will therefore be a case of special risk.

New study finds two amino acids are the Marie Kondo of molecular liquid phase separation
a team of biologists at the Advanced Science Research Center at The Graduate Center, CUNY (CUNY ASRC) have identified unique roles for the amino acids arginine and lysine in contributing to molecule liquid phase properties and their regulation.

NASA sees Tropical Depression Rene dissipating
NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Depression Rene as it was dissipating in the central North Atlantic Ocean.

Modern theory from ancient impacts
It is generally accepted that the inner region of the early solar system was subject to an intense period of meteoric bombardment referred to as the late heavy bombardment.

CU researchers now better understand ovarian cancer tumors and treatment outcomes
After nearly four years of work, a group of researchers and clinicians from CU published a paper this week in the Clinical Cancer Research that shares findings from research looking at how the composition of ovarian cancer tumors changes during chemotherapy and contributes to therapeutic response.

Researchers identify key role of immune cells in brain infection
Researchers at the University of Liverpool have identified the specific type of immune cell that induces brain inflammation in herpes simplex virus (HSV) encephalitis.

PTSD may double risk of dementia
People who have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are up to twice as likely to develop dementia later in life, according to a new study by UCL researchers, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Study: Synthetic medication and desiccated thyroid equally effective to treat hypothyroidism
A study by researchers at Kaiser Permanente in Denver, Colorado evaluated the stability of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in patients using synthetic medication versus those using desiccated thyroid products to treat hypothyroidism.

Human white blood cells use molecular paddles to swim
Human white blood cells, known as leukocytes, swim using a newly described mechanism called molecular paddling, researchers report in the September 15th issue of Biophysical Journal.

Biologic therapy for psoriasis may reduce heart disease
Biologic therapy for psoriasis - protein-based infusions to suppress inflammation - was associated with a significant reduction in high-risk plaque in heart arteries, over one-year, according to new research.

Online tool informs recovery prospects for sepsis survivors
A doctor at Guy's and St Thomas', working with colleagues at the Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre (ICNARC), has developed a tool to predict the risk of readmission to hospital or death in the first year after leaving hospital for adult survivors of sepsis.

Rare pattern observed in migrating common swifts
Compared with other migratory birds, the common swift follows a very unusual pattern when it migrates from the breeding areas in Europe to its wintering locations south of the Sahara.

Aiming for accuracy
Artificial intelligence and machine learning could enhance scientific peer review as scientists rush to publish COVID-related research.

Theoretically, two layers are better than one for solar-cell efficiency
Solar cells have come a long way, but inexpensive, thin film solar cells are still far behind more expensive, crystalline solar cells in efficiency.

Elements of surprise: neutron stars contribute little, but something's making gold, research finds
Neutron star collisions do not create the quantity of chemical elements previously assumed, a new analysis of galaxy evolution finds.

Canadian researchers identify four barriers to use of 'gold-standard' abortion pill
Canada is the first country to facilitate provision of medical abortion in primary care settings through evidence-based deregulation of mifepristone, which is considered the 'gold standard' for medical abortion.

Estimation of carbonate stratal completeness via stratigraphic forward modeling
Hiatuses are ubiquitous in stratigraphic records at various temporal scales, but they cannot be easily identified and quantified owing to the lack of adequate analytical methods.

People react better to both negative and positive events with more sleep
New research from UBC finds that after a night of shorter sleep, people react more emotionally to stressful events the next day--and they don't find as much joy in the good things.

Future autonomous machines may build trust through emotion
Army research has extended the state-of-the-art in autonomy by providing a more complete picture of how actions and nonverbal signals contribute to promoting cooperation.

Evergreen needles act as air quality monitors
Every tree, even an evergreen, can be an air quality monitor.

Improved physician-patient relationships are associated with improved health
This study found an association between improved physician-patient relationships and improved patient-reported health status.

September/October 2020 Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet
Annals of Family Medicine is a peer-reviewed, indexed research journal that provides a cross-disciplinary forum for new, evidence-based information affecting the primary care disciplines.

Many women suffering from severe migraine might avoid pregnancy, but should they?
A survey of 607 women who suffer from severe migraine found twenty percent of the respondents are currently avoiding pregnancy because of their migraines.

Popular messenger services are extremely insecure
Researchers from the Technical University of Darmstadt and the University of Würzburg show that popular mobile messengers expose personal data via discovery services that allow users to find contacts based on phone numbers from their address book.

Mount Sinai study shows widespread epigenetic defects in the human genome
This study shows, for the first time, that epigenetic defects in the human genome are widespread, and occur at hundreds of genes known to cause genetic diseases.

The public charge rule: What physicians can do to support immigrant health
Physicians from the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine summarize current knowledge on the public benefits included in the 'public charge' rule and offer suggestions for family physicians to support the health of their immigrant patients and families.

Arizona COVID-19 Genomics Union tracks strains of SARS-CoV-2
Faculty at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), an affiliate of City of Hope, Northern Arizona University (NAU), University of Arizona (UArizona) and Arizona State University (ASU) launched the ACGU in April with the express purpose of tracking the causative agent of COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2: how it evolves and how it spreads into, within and out of Arizona.

Patient access to after-hours primary care could prevent some less urgent ER visits
Patients who receive in-home nursing care have lower emergency room utilization if they have access to after-hours primary care.

Glass tables can cause life-threatening injuries
Faulty glass in tables can cause life-threatening injuries, according to a Rutgers study, which provides evidence that stricter federal regulations are needed to protect consumers.

New shark research targets a nearly endangered species
They are some of the most iconic and unique-looking creatures in our oceans.

Loneliness predicts development of type 2 diabetes
New King's College London research has shown for the first time that people over 50 who report higher levels of loneliness are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.

Researchers use soy to improve bone cancer treatment
Researchers showed that the slow release of soy-based chemical compounds from a 3D-printed bone-like scaffold resulted in a reduction in bone cancer cells while building up healthy cells and reducing harmful inflammation.

Expenditures for primary care may affect how primary care is delivered
This study looks at trends in out-of-pocket and total visit expenditures for visits to primary care physicians.

A NASA-NOAA nighttime view finds a slightly better organized tropical storm Karina
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided an infrared look at Tropical Storm Karina in the Eastern Pacific Ocean that gave forecasters a nighttime view of the storm.

Mayo scientists develop mathematical index to distinguish healthy microbiome from diseased
What causes some people to develop chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and metabolic syndrome while others stay healthy?

Decoding the genetics that drive disease
From Alzheimer's to obesity, life can change dramatically if you discover you have a genetic risk of disease.

Lessons from coronavirus surveillance testing in Seattle-area homeless shelters
A coronavirus surveillance study undertaken at Seattle-area homeless shelters, starting as the pandemic emerged, provides possible community-based strategies for detecting SARS-CoV-2 infections and protecting homeless populations, as well as others in close-living quarters such as prisons, refugee camps and evacuation centers.

TV ads for psoriasis and eczema medications portray few people of color
Commercials from pharmaceutical companies advertising medication to treat psoriasis and eczema lack people from racial and ethnic minorities, according to research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Study offers real world perspective on how Black patients experience mental healthcare
In a novel study the authors hope will contribute to improved patient care, Richard L.

Study shows difficulty in finding evidence of life on Mars
While scientists are eager to study the red planet's soils for signs of life, researchers must ponder a considerable new challenge: Acidic fluids - which once flowed on the Martian surface - may have destroyed biological evidence hidden within Mars' iron-rich clays, according to researchers at Cornell University and at Spain's Centro de Astrobiología.

A scientific advance in studying early-stage lung cancer
Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in the US.

NASA satellite imagery shows Teddy consolidating
When a tropical cyclone consolidates, it means that it is getting more organized and its circulation is improving.

Artificial intelligence system developed to help better select embryos for implantation
Investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital are developing an artificial intelligence system with the goal of improving IVF success by helping embryologists objectively select embryos most likely to result in a healthy birth.

Ultrahigh energy density transition-metal-free cathodes designed by band structure engineering
An effective strategy for tuning the electrochemical potentials of carbonaceous electrodes is proposed, which can dramatically shift-down the Fermi level of systems to enhance the electrochemical potentials as well as improve structural stabilities.

1 in 10 COVID-19 patients return to hospital after being sent home from ER
Penn study finds patients with low pulse oximetry readings or fever were more than three times as likely to require hospitalization after their initial discharge as compared to other COVID patients.

Rural counties with access to obstetrics have healthier infant birth outcomes
This study does not prove a causal link between access to obstetrical care and infant health outcomes, but it does suggest that obstetrical access may play a role in these disparities.

Predicting poor pain control following elective spine surgery
Researchers at the University of Calgary have developed and validated a clinical prediction scale that can be used to determine which patients are more likely to experience inadequate pain control following elective spine surgery.

Study suggests financial holdings influenced key votes for house lawmakers
A recent study found strong associations between the financial holdings of legislators in the US House of Representatives and how those lawmakers voted on key financial legislation.

Immunotherapy: Enhancing the therapeutic effectiveness of photothermal cancer treatments
Immune checkpoint blockade is the most promising therapy mode of cancer immunotherapy.

Reward and punishment take similar paths in the mouse brain
One brain pathway, originating from the striosome, regulates the motivations that influence behavior.

COVID-19 virus uses heparan sulfate to get inside cells
UC San Diego researchers discovered that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can't grab hold of cell receptor ACE2 without a carbohydrate called heparan sulfate, which is also found on lung cell surfaces -- disrupting that interaction with a repurposed drug may help treat COVID-19.

Study connects hormones we're born with to lifetime risk for immunological diseases
Differences in biological sex can dictate lifelong disease patterns, says a new study by Michigan State University researchers that links connections between specific hormones present before and after birth with immune response and lifelong immunological disease development.

OBS deep seismic survey uncovered crustal structure mystery of NW sub-basin of the SCS
The formation and evolution history of Northwestern sub-basin has many different opinions due to its own short-period spreading and strong volcanic activities.

Molecular basis underlying colorectal cancer revealed
A team of scientists has unraveled the molecular mechanism behind one of the causes of colorectal cancer, and a treatment target.

The Wnt pathway gets even more complicated
A new role for Casein Kinase-1 on RNF43 is identified - Study by Tadasuke Tsukiyama and IMBA - Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences group leader Bon-Kyoung Koo published in Nature Communications

Peritonsillar abscess risk following respiratory infection is low with/without antibiotics
While widespread unnecessary use of antibiotics can diminish their effectiveness, reducing antibiotic prescribing may increase the risk of serious bacterial infections.

Stem cells engineered to evade immune system hold promise for 'off-the-shelf' grafts
Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) are hampered by the body's tendency to reject any donor cells or tissue.

Biomarker reveals how aggressive biliary tract cancer is in patients
Researchers from University of Copenhagen and Herlev and Gentofte Hospital have discovered a biomarker that might predict the course of the disease in patients with the rare and aggressive biliary tract cancer (BTC).

Signalling research waves red flag for commercial drug target candidate
Researchers at the Babraham Institute, Cambridge, UK, have used their understanding of cellular signalling to highlight a pitfall in an emerging treatment for cancer and inflammation.

Risk gene for Alzheimer's has early effects on the brain
A genetic predisposition to late-onset Alzheimer's disease affects how the brains of young adults cope with certain memory tasks.

COVID-19 works with bacteria to increase disease severity in obesity and diabetes
The combined effects of the body's microbiota working together with COVID-19 in the lungs could explain the severity of the disease in people with obesity and diabetes, according to a new article published today in eLife.

An effective way to increase capacity for mental health
Researchers at UW Medicine found that primary-care physicians and rural clinic staff felt more skilled in delivering mental health care if they used a model known as collaborative care.

Water vapor imagery reveals hurricane Paulette's strongest side, dry air
NASA's Aqua satellite analyzed Hurricane Paulette's water vapor content as it continued to move away from Bermuda and found structural changes, the strongest side, and dry air moving in.

Ultra-fast magnetic switching with potential to transform fibre optical communications
Researchers have discovered that a new material can act as a super-fast magnetic switch.

NASA-NOAA satellite's "night vision" find wind shear battering Tropical Storm Vicky
Infrared imagery is like having night vision, and NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a nighttime view of Tropical Storm Vicky that revealed outside winds are weakening the storm.

From star to solar system: How protoplanetary rings form in primordial gas clouds
The star HL Tauri is glowing at the center of a system of concentric rings made from gas and dust and producing planets, one for each gap in the ring.

Exercise protocol mitigates one of the most incapacitating symptoms of Parkinson's disease
Brazilian researchers use complex training program to stimulate different motor and cognitive skills simultaneously and restore brain regions associated with freezing of gait in advanced-stage patients.

Single photons from a silicon chip
Quantum technology holds great promise: Quantum computers are expected to revolutionize database searches, AI systems, and computational simulations.

A new approach to understanding the biology of wound healing
Researchers use discarded wound dressings as a novel and non-invasive way to study the mechanisms that promote healing.

Nature: Humanity at a crossroads, UN warns in new Global Biodiversity Outlook report
The UN Convention on Biological Diversity's new GBO5 report provides: A final report card on the 20 Aichi biodiversity targets (2010-2020) and lessons learned as nations negotiate a global framework and targets for managing nature this decade, to be agreed at CBD's 193 member nations at COP15 next May in China.

To repair a damaged heart, three cells are better than one
CardioClusters use three types of cells to reduce scar tissue and improve function by integrating into and persisting within damaged heart tissue.

Metabolic surgery offers health benefits for patients with high blood pressure
Metabolic surgeries, such as gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgery, are not only effective for treating Type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Tiny protein motor fuels bacterial movement
The ability to move is key for bacteria like some strains of salmonella and E. coli to efficiently spread infections.

Progress toward antiviral treatments for COVID-19
COVID-19 is caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, which is structurally similar to the viruses that cause SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV.

Real neurons are noisy. Can neural implants figure that out?
Signals sent from the retina to the brain have a lot of background noise, yet we see the world clearly.

Scientists uncover a novel approach to treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys, Fondazione Santa Lucia IRCCS, and Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore have shown that pharmacological (drug) correction of the content of extracellular vesicles released within dystrophic muscles can restore their ability to regenerate muscle and prevent muscle scarring.

There's no place like home: Cleaning toxic tobacco smoke residue in our homes
Researchers tested different cleaning methods for thirdhand smoke in homes.

Telehealth supports collaborative mental health care in the needs of rural patients
Traditionally, primary care clinics connect patients who have mental health care needs to specialists like psychiatrists in a collaborative care model.

Primary care clinicians drove increasing use of Medicare's chronic care management codes
To address the problem of care fragmentation for Medicare recipients with multiple chronic conditions, Medicare introduced Chronic Care Management (CCM) in 2015 to reimburse clinicians for care management and coordination.

Teacher stress linked with higher risk of student suspensions, MU researcher finds
Just how stressed are teachers? A recent Gallup poll found teachers are tied with nurses for the most stressful occupation in America today.

CNIC researchers discover a cell-cleaning system that keeps hearts healthy
The study published in Cell shows that macrophages, a type of immune cell, help cardiac cells to get rid of their waste material, and that this maintains the metabolic and contractile properties of the heart.

Going small for big solutions: sub-nanoparticle catalysts made from coinage elements as effective c
'Sub-nanometer' particles (SNPs) are very popular because of their diverse applications, but technical difficulties in their synthesis has hindered research in this field.

Cigarette smoking associated with worse outcomes for bladder cancer patients after surgery
Study from Keck Medicine of USC links smoking with a higher risk of death and cancer recurrence, and less responsiveness to chemotherapy.

100-million-year-old amber reveals sexual intercourse of ostracods
Dr. WANG He and Prof. WANG Bo, from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NIGPAS), and their collaborators presented exceptionally well-preserved ostracods with soft parts (appendages and reproductive organs) from mid-Cretaceous Myanmar amber (~100 million years old), which revealed sexual intercourse of ostracods.
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.