Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 25, 2020
Fast, accurate and non-destructive: the new method to analyze food quality
Researchers at the University of Cordoba's School of Agricultural and Forestry Engineering (ETSIAM) proved the effectiveness of NIRS technoloogy in analyzing vegetable quality, in farm fields and in the industry

Higher narcissism may be linked with more political participation
A politically engaged electorate is key to any thriving democracy, but not everyone participates in elections and other political activities.

Spin clean-up method brings practical quantum computers closer to reality
Researchers at Osaka City University create a quantum algorithm that removes spin contaminants while making chemical calculations on quantum computers.

Comparing face coverings in controlling expired particles
Laboratory tests of surgical and N95 masks by researchers at UC Davis show that they do cut down the amount of aerosolized particles emitted during breathing, talking and coughing.

Trends in treatment, survival among women with advanced ovarian cancer
This observational study examined survival rates and the use of chemotherapy before surgery among women with advanced-stage epithelial ovarian cancer in the United States from 2004 to 2016.

New funerary and ritual behaviors of the Neolithic Iberian populations discovered
This finding opens new lines of research and anthropological scenarios, where human and animal sacrifice may have been related to ancestral cults, propitiatory rituals and divine prayers in commemorative festivities

FSU researchers help develop sustainable polymers
Researchers at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering have made new discoveries on the effects of temperature on sustainable polymers.

Potential drug target for dangerous E. coli infections identified
Treatment for a deadly E. coli strain may be possible in the future, after UNSW Sydney researchers identify a new molecular pathway that controls the potent Shiga toxin.

US hospital admissions for non-COVID-19 have only partially rebounded from initial decline
While declines in U.S. hospital admissions during the onset of COVID-19 has been well-documented, little is known about how admissions during the rebound varied by age, insurance coverage and socioeconomic groups.

Last-resort life support option helped majority of critically ill COVID-19 patients survive
It saved lives in past epidemics of lung-damaging viruses. Now, the life-support option known as ECMO appears to be doing the same for many of the critically ill COVID-19 patients who receive it.

Study delivers new knowledge about what causes thunderstorms and cloud bursts
Thunderstorms often provoke violent cloud bursts that can result in devastating flooding.

New study highlights success of a mobile outreach van helping people on the street w
Novel mobile health program has proven to be an effective model for bringing opioid addiction treatment services directly to marginalized individuals, particularly the homeless.

Shorter time from symptom onset to hospitalization is associated with worse outcome in patients with COVID-19
New research presented at this week's ESCMID Conference on Coronavirus Disease (ECCVID, held online) shows that a shorter time from symptom onset to hospitalisation is associated with more serious disease and death in patients with COVID-19.

How to better understand what makes a virus win during transmission?
The framework, published in Frontiers in Microbiology, was applied on transmission data of the influenza virus, and offers to be a new tool for anticipating the consequences of microbial diversity and optimizing disease control measures.

An enhanced ruthenium-based catalyst for primary amine synthesis
Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have developed a high-performance reusable ruthenium-based catalyst for the production of primary amines.

Study shows Massachusetts response to COVID-19 in nursing homes helped stem infection rate
A paper just published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that adherence to infection control processes, especially proper wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE) and cohorting strategies, such as grouping residents based on their risk of infection or whether they tested positive for COVID-19, was significantly associated with declines in weekly infection and mortality rates.

The Lancet: First nationally representative estimate of COVID-19 seroprevalence in the U.S. suggests few in the population developed antibodies in the first wave
The first cross-sectional, nation-wide analysis of more than 28,000 patients on dialysis in the U.S. found that fewer than 10% of U.S. adults had COVID-19 antibodies as of July 2020 and fewer than 10% were diagnosed.

First measurements of radiation levels on the moon
In the current issue (25 September) of the prestigious journal Science Advances, Chinese and German scientists report for the first time on time-resolved measurements of the radiation on the moon.

Nerve cells let others "listen in"
How many ''listeners'' a nerve cell has in the brain is strictly regulated.

Study reveals design flaws of chatbot-based symptom-checker apps
Millions of people turn to their mobile devices when seeking medical advice.

Marine heatwaves are human made
Heatwaves in the world's oceans have become over 20 times more frequent due to human influence.

A better alternative to Phthalates?
In collaboration with the Medical University of South Carolina, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) analyzed urine samples from pregnant women to look for the presence of DINCH, which is short for di(isononyl)cyclohexane-1,2-dicarboxylate.

Dealing with the global tsunami of mental health problems during and post COVID-19
In a special session addressing global mental health before, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic held at the ESCMID Conference on Coronavirus Disease (ECCVID) Professor Vikram Patel H(arvard Medical School, USA) will present a new review of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global mental health.

Novel neuroimaging study on dissociative symptoms reveals wounds of childhood trauma
Brain imaging analyses can uncover changes in functional connections between brain regions linked to dissociative symptoms.

Machine learning takes on synthetic biology: algorithms can bioengineer cells for you
Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a new tool that adapts machine learning algorithms to the needs of synthetic biology to guide development systematically.

An app monitors cancer patients' health status and rewards participation
Gamification is becoming increasingly common in educational settings, but can also be used in other fields such as health.

An area of the brain where tumor cells shelter from chemotherapy in childhood leukaemia
Sometimes, the central nervous system harbours tumour cells that elude treatment and thus become one of the main sources of relapse.

New vulnerability found in lung squamous cancer may facilitate drug targeting
New cancer research by scientists at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and colleagues, shows the potential for targeting a specific circular RNA, known as CDR1as, to attack lung squamous cell cancer.

Stem cells can repair Parkinson's-damaged circuits in mouse brains
University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers demonstrated a proof-of-concept stem cell treatment in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease.

RAP tag: A new protein purification approach
A research team from the University of Tsukuba described a new approach for protein labelling and purification using plant cells.

Dartmouth study offers new details on pediatric mental health boarding
A Dartmouth-led study, published in the journal Pediatrics, offers new details on the prevalence of pediatric mental health boarding in emergency departments across the country while identifying factors among patients and hospitals that increase the likelihood of the practice.

160 genes linked to brain shrinkage in study of 45,000 adults
An analysis conducted in 45,000 adults mainly of European ancestry associated 160 genes with brain shrinkage seen on MRI.

Astronomers model, determine how disk galaxies evolve so smoothly
By developing better computer simulations, researchers have determined that the scattering of stars from their orbits by the gravity of massive clumps within galaxies leads to a common look in galaxy disks -- bright centers fading away to dark edges.

Adequate levels of vitamin D reduces complications, death among COVID-19 patients
Hospitalized COVID-19 patients who were vitamin D sufficient, with a blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D of at least 30 ng/mL (a measure of vitamin D status), had a significant decreased risk for adverse clinical outcomes including becoming unconscious, hypoxia (body starved for oxygen) and death.

COVID-19 spurs anxious, upsetting dreams
The anxiety, stress and worry brought on by COVID-19 is not limited to daytime hours.

New Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug shows benefit in Duke trial
A new drug offers hope for young boys with the progressive neuromuscular disease Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) by potentially offering an alternative to high-dose glucocorticoids that have significant side effects.

Ascorbic acid-mediated reactions in organic synthesis
In this review, we report ascorbic acid-catalyzed reactions in organic synthesis.

Ultrapotent compound may help treat C. diff, reduce recurrence
Purdue University innovators have advanced novel compounds they developed to help treat patients with C. diff, one of only four bacteria considered an urgent threat by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection among children, adolescents compared with adults
This systematic review and meta-analysis evaluates current evidence on the susceptibility to and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 among children and adolescents compared with adults.

3D printed nasal swabs work as well as commercial swabs for COVID-19 diagnostic testing
A multisite clinical trial led by the University of South Florida Health (USF Health) Morsani College of Medicine and its primary hospital affiliate Tampa General Hospital (TGH) provides the first evidence that 3D-printed alternative nasal swabs work as well for COVID-19 diagnostic testing as commercial synthetic flocked nasal swabs.

A genetic variant that protects against Alzheimer's disease promotes immune cell functions
A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Eastern Finland found that the PLCG2-P522R genetic variant, which protects against Alzheimer's disease, enhances several key functions of immune cells.

NASA finds wind shear displacing Lowell's strongest storms
NASA's Aqua satellite provided an infrared view of Tropical Storm Lowell that revealed the effects of outside winds battering the storm.

Anxious, moody older adults are vulnerable to worse cognitive function
Some older adults with the neuropathology that causes dementia have more cognitive resilience than others, reports a new study.

The male Y chromosome does more than we thought
While the Y chromosome's role was believed to be limited to the functions of the sexual organs, an University of Montreal's scientist has shown that it impacts the functions of other organs as well.

Tree rings show scale of Arctic pollution is worse than previously thought
The largest-ever study of tree rings from Norilsk in the Russian Arctic has shown that the direct and indirect effects of industrial pollution in the region and beyond are far worse than previously thought.

Scholars untangle marketing's complex role in understanding political activities
This month's special issue of the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing acknowledges the role that marketing does and can play in addressing political activities with articles that explore key topics like elections, voting, corporate political advocacy, and consumer political identities.

Study demonstrates SARS-CoV-2 emergence was associated with a large drop in the circulation of other respiratory viruses during the first wave
Analysis of samples taken to test for respiratory viruses over the past five years suggests that the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 was associated with a large drop in circulation of other common respiratory viruses during the first wave.

PLUS takes 3D ultrasound images of solids
A two-in-one technology provides 3D images of structural defects, such as those that can develop in aircraft and power plants.

LSU physicists develop a method to improve gravitational wave detector sensitivity
Gravitational wave detectors opened a new window to the universe by measuring the ripples in spacetime produced by colliding black holes and neutron stars, but they are ultimately limited by quantum fluctuations induced by light reflecting off of mirrors.

Race, ethnicity, comorbidities, survival among patients with COVID-19
This observational study investigated whether presenting comorbidities in patients with COVID-19 in New York differed by race/ethnicity and whether case fatality rates varied among different ethnic and racial groups while accounting for presenting comorbidities and other risk factors.

Criticism of COVID-19 models by democratic political leaders may erode public trust in science
Criticisms of COVID-19 models by Democratic elites in May 2020 appeared to undermine public support for the models' use - and trust in science more broadly -- according to a series of survey experiments conducted with the participation of more than 6,000 Americans.

Reusing tableware can reduce waste from online food deliveries
In China, approximately 10 billion online food orders were served to over 400 million customers in 2018.

Cocaine addiction: Impact of genetic mutations elucidated
Cocaine addiction is a chronic disorder with a high rate of relapse for which no effective treatment is currently available.

Materials scientists learn how to make liquid crystal shape-shift
A new 3D-printing method will make it easier to manufacture and control the shape of soft robots, artificial muscles and wearable devices.

Theater improvisation techniques show promising results for science classroom engagement
A researcher at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) has developed a unique method to improve class participation in a graduate-level thermodynamics course by incorporating theater improvisation activities in the classroom.

High-performance single-atom catalysts for high-temperature fuel cells
Platinum (Pt)-based catalysts demonstrate such excellent performance in fuel cell electrode reactions.

Major wind-driven ocean currents are shifting toward the poles
The severe droughts in the USA and Australia are the first sign that the tropics, and their warm temperatures, are apparently expanding in the wake of climate change.

Secure nano-carrier delivers medications directly to cells
Medications often have unwanted side-effects. One reason is that they reach not only the unhealthy cells for which they are intended, but also reach and have an impact on healthy cells.

Coldest Northern Hemisphere temperature, first recorded by UW, officially confirmed
Nearly 30 years after recording a temperature of minus 93.2 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 69.6 Celsius) in Greenland, the measurement has been verified by the World Meteorological Organization as the coldest recorded temperature in the Northern Hemisphere.

Study could be first step in providing personalized care to patients with ureteral stents
Published today in Cell Reports Medicine, researchers at Lawson Health Research Institute and Western University conducted a novel microbiome study to examine bacteria associated with ureteral stents.

"Stretching rack" for cells
The behavior of cells is controlled by their environment, physical factors such as pressure or tension have an effect.

Pets linked to maintaining better mental health and reducing loneliness during lockdown, new research shows
Sharing a home with a pet appeared to act as a buffer against psychological stress during lockdown, a new survey shows.

NASA observations aid efforts to track California's wildfire smoke from space
Wildfires have been burning across the state of California for weeks - some of them becoming larger complexes as different fires merge.

Contact tracing study results recommend consistent wearing of masks, handwashing, and social distancing in public to protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection
A contact tracing study presented at this year's ESCMID Conference on Coronavirus Disease (ECCVID) confirms the effectiveness of wearing of masks in public, handwashing, and social distancing to protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection.

NASA finds post-tropical storm Beta's clouds blanketing the Southeastern US   
NASA's Terra satellite obtained visible imagery of Post-Tropical Cyclone Beta as it continued moving slowly through the Tennessee Valley.

Racial disparities in incidence, outcomes among patients with COVID-19
Researchers investigated the association between race and COVID-19 after accounting for age, sex, socioeconomic status and comorbidities.

Lockdown impact: Worsening symptoms for people with bone, joint and muscle pain
A new study reveals the impact of lockdown for people with bone, joint and muscle pain.

Faced with shortages, researchers combine heat and humidity to disinfect N95 masks
They found that gently heating N95 masks in high relative humidity could inactivate SARS-CoV-2 virus trapped within the masks, without degrading the masks' performance.

Education: an influencing factor for intergenerational mobility in Canada
The relationship between the income levels of parents and their children once they reach adulthood is complex, but education could be one of the factors that influence Canadian intergenerational mobility.

Ultrapotent antibody mix blocks COVID-19 virus attachment
A mix of ultrapotent antibodies from recovered COVID-19 patients has been shown to recognize and lock down the infection machinery of the pandemic coronavirus and keep it from entering cells.

The surprising organization of avian brains
Some birds can perform amazing cognitive feats - even though their forebrains seem to just consist of lumps of grey cells, while mammalian forebrains harbour a highly complex neocortex.

Low level alcohol use during pregnancy can impact child's brain development
A new study finds any alcohol use during pregnancy, even low levels, is associated with subtle, yet significant behavioural and psychological effects in children including anxiety, depression and poor attention.

Chemists from RUDN University developed biodegradable antibacterial film for storing food
A team of chemists from RUDN University created an antibacterial coating for food products.

A clearer view of what makes glass rigid
Scientists led by the Institute of Industrial Science at the University of Tokyo used computer simulations to better understand the mechanical transition in glassy materials.

Primate brain size does not predict their intelligence
A research team from the German Primate Center has systematically investigated the cognitive abilities of lemurs, which have relatively small brains compared to other primates.

Novel educational program puts a human face on biomedical research
The goal of translational research is to speed research breakthroughs into clinical practice.

Bird genes are multitaskers, say scientists
Scientists from the University of Sheffield have found that although male and female birds have an almost identical set of genes, they function differently in each sex through a mechanism called alternative splicing.

Switching up: Marine bacteria shift between lifestyles to get the best resources
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba and ETH Zurich have found that marine bacteria exploit resource patches efficiently by switching between attached and planktonic lifestyles, and fine-tuning the time spent on patches depending on their quality.

Women could conceive after ovarian tumors
Women receiving fertility-sparing surgery for treatment of borderline ovarian tumours were able to have children, a study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in Fertility & Sterility shows.

New method allows precise gene control by light
A novel optical switch makes it possible to precisely control the lifespan of genetic ''copies''.

Changes by income level in cardiovascular disease in US
Researchers examined changes in how common cardiovascular disease was in the highest-income earners compared with the rest of the population in the United States between 1999 and 2016.

New storage battery more efficient and heat-resistant
The more important renewable energy sources become, the more urgent is the need to store the electricity produced in this way.

Historical racial & ethnic health inequities account for disproportionate COVID-19 impact
A new Viewpoint piece published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society examines the ways in which COVID-19 disproportionately impacts historically disadvantaged communities of color in the United States, and how baseline inequalities in our health system are amplified by the pandemic.

New way of analyzing soil organic matter will help predict climate change
A new way of analyzing the chemical composition of soil organic matter will help scientists predict how soils store carbon -- and how soil carbon may affect climate in the future, says a Baylor University researcher.

Pair of massive baby stars swaddled in salty water vapor
Using ALMA, astronomers spotted a pair of massive baby stars growing in salty cosmic soup.
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