Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 09, 2020
Graphene microbubbles make perfect lenses
Jia and fellow researchers from Swinburne University of Technology recently teamed up with researchers from National University of Singapore, Rutgers University, University of Melbourne, and Monash University, to develop a method to generate precisely controlled graphene microbubbles on a glass surface using laser pulses.

School absences correlate to impaired air quality
In Salt Lake City schools, absences rise when the air quality worsens, and it's not just in times of high pollution or ''red'' air quality days--even days following lower levels of pollutions saw increased absences.

Droughts are threatening global wetlands: new study
University of Adelaide scientists have shown how droughts are threatening the health of wetlands globally.

NASA shows heaviest rainfall displaced in Typhoon Chan-hom
Typhoon Chan-hom was still moving parallel to Japan's east coast as NASA's satellite rainfall product, that incorporates data from satellites and observations, showed its heaviest rainfall was pushed northeast of center.

A dance of histones silences transposable elements in pluripotent stem cells
A study lead by SciLifeLab Fellow Simon Elsässer elucidates the mechanism of a peculiar type of heterochromatin, used by embryonic stem cells to silence 'parasitic' DNA-elements within the context of their highly dynamic pluripotent chromatin.

UMD researchers use artificial intelligence language tools to decode molecular movements
University of Maryland researchers used language processing AI to turn molecular movements into stories that reveal what forms a protein can take and how and when it changes form--key information for understanding disease and developing targeted therapeutics.

Population health and the COVID-19 pandemic: Emerging stronger next time
Battling the COVID-19 pandemic and preparing for the inevitable next surge requires a data-driven population health approach.

Urine-based liquid biopsy test outperforms urine cytology in detecting bladder cancer
Analysis of DNA copy number variants (CNVs) in the cells exfoliated in urine showed better sensitivity and similar specificity in detecting urothelial carcinoma compared with urine cytology

Hydroxychloroquine does not counter SARS-CoV-2 in hamsters, high dose of favipiravir does
Virologists from the KU Leuven Rega Institute in Belgium have shown that a treatment with the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine does not limit SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus replication in hamsters.

Black and Asian patients have increased risk of severe COVID-19 at different stages of the disease
Patients of Black ethnicity have an increased risk of requiring hospital admission for COVID-19, while patients of Asian ethnicity have an increased risk of dying in hospital from COVID-19, compared to White patients, a study has found.

Most nations failing to protect nature in COVID-19 pandemic recovery plans
The COVID-19 pandemic provides an opportunity to reset the global economy and reverse decades of ecosystem and species losses, but most countries are failing to invest in nature-related economic reforms or investments, according to a Rutgers-led paper.

More than 40% of women suffer from constipation during pregnancy and right after childbirth
Women are 2-3 times more likely to suffer from constipation during pregnancy and right after childbirth than at any other time in their life, a new study from the University of Eastern Finland shows.

Post-traumatic stress experienced by partners following miscarriage
One in 12 partners experience post-traumatic stress after miscarriage, suggests a new study.

HSE University researcher develops global HIV prevention index for drug users
St. Petersburg, together with colleagues from Georgia State University (USA) and Tarbiat Modares University (Tehran), have developed the HIV-PWID Policy Index (HPPI)--an international policy index for HIV prevention among people who inject drugs.

Geologists solve puzzle that could predict valuable rare earth element deposits
Pioneering new research has helped geologists solve a long-standing puzzle that could help pinpoint new, untapped concentrations of some the most valuable rare earth deposits.

Ice melt projections may underestimate Antarctic contribution to sea level rise
Fluctuations in the weather can have a significant impact on melting Antarctic ice, and models that do not include this factor can underestimate the global impact of sea level rise, according to Penn State scientists.

Global initiative IDs keys that could unlock better personalized cancer treatments
Scientists from an initiative launched by the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI) and the Cancer Research Institute called the Tumor Neoantigen Selection Alliance (TESLA) have discovered parameters to better predict which neoantigens can stimulate a cancer-killing effect.

Investing in protective gear for health care workers pays off
Providing adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for all health care workers around the world requires an initial investment of billions of dollars, but the returns on that investment could be close to 8000% in productivity gains, according to a new study published this week in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Nicholas Risko of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and colleagues.

Scientists find upper limit for the speed of sound
A research collaboration between Queen Mary University of London, the University of Cambridge and the Institute for High Pressure Physics in Troitsk has discovered the fastest possible speed of sound.

Female surgeons perform less complex cases than male peers, likely due to systemic bias
Female surgeons at a large academic medical center perform less complex surgical procedures than their male counterparts, according to a new study.

Antibodies from patients infected with SARS-CoV in 2003 cross-neutralized SARS-CoV-2 in vitro
Antibodies in serum samples collected from patients infected with SARS-CoV during the 2003 outbreak effectively neutralized SARS-CoV-2 infection in cultured cells, according to a new study.

The choroid plexus: A conduit for prenatal inflammation?
New work offers an unprecedented real-time view of the choroid plexus in a mouse model, providing a glimpse of how disturbances of the mother's immune system during pregnancy disrupt the developing brain.

Oncotarget: Rapid onset type 1 diabetes with anti-PD-1 directed therapy
Volume 11, Issue 28 of Oncotarget features 'Rapid onset type 1 diabetes with anti-PD-1 directed therapy', by Yun et al. and reported that Type 1 diabetes is a rare immune-related adverse event caused by checkpoint inhibitors with serious risk for diabetic ketoacidosis.

Researchers 3D print unique micro-scale fluid channels used for medical testing
In a groundbreaking new study, researchers have 3D printed unique fluid channels at the micron scale that could automate production of diagnostics, sensors, and assays used for a variety of medical tests and other applications.

NYUAD researchers discover immune evasion strategy used by Malaria-causing parasite
A team of researchers at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) has found that the Plasmodium parasite, which transmits malaria to humans through infected mosquitos, triggers changes in human genes that alter the body's adaptive immune response to malarial infections.

Scientists suggest global guidelines for sustainable use of non-native trees to protect bi
Scientists have collaborated to propose a series of global guidelines for the sustainable use of non-native tree species to help protect biodiversity and ecosystems already threatened by climate change.

Rutgers experts urge ban of menthol cigarettes nationwide
Rutgers experts discuss why actions at the state and federal level need to be taken to ban menthol-flavored tobacco products.

When it comes to arthritic bone spurs, stem cells hurt instead of heal
The same stem cells that heal broken bones can also generate arthritic bone spurs called osteophytes, according to a new study in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.

More evidence of benefits of REGN-COV2 antibody cocktail to both protect from and treat disease
In June, two studies in Science reported an antibody cocktail against SARS-CoV-2 developed from studies in humanized mice and recovering patients.

Stay-at-home orders cut noise exposure nearly in half
People's exposure to environmental noise dropped nearly in half during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, according to University of Michigan researchers who analyzed data from the Apple Hearing Study.

Four in 10 extra deaths in Lombardy not linked to COVID-19
The study, published in PLOS ONE, looked at the number of deaths in each of the 7,251 local authority areas of Italy during the first four months of the year and compared these figures with predictions based on data from 2016-2019.

Metoprolol: an old drug with unique cardioprotective properties
A a study carried out by scientists at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC) shows that the cardioprotective effect of metoprolol during a heart attack is not shared by other beta-blockers commonly administered by intravenous injection, such as atenolol and propranolol.

NASA finds hurricane delta packing heavy rainfall  
NASA's satellite rainfall product that incorporates data from satellites and observations found that Hurricane Delta was bringing along heavy rainfall as it headed to the US Gulf Coast on Oct.

Risk of dying from COVID-19 greater for men, unmarried and born in low and middle income countries
Being a man, having a lower income, having a lower level of education, not being married, and being born abroad in low- or middle-income countries - these are factors that, independent of one another, are related to an elevated risk of dying from COVID-19 in Sweden.

Meltwater lakes are accelerating glacier ice loss
Meltwater lakes that form at glacier margins cause ice to recede much further and faster compared to glaciers that terminate on land, according to a new study.

Climate patterns linked in Amazon, North and South America, study shows
University of Arkansas researchers developed a tree-ring chronology from the Amazon River basin that established a link between climate patterns in the Amazon and the Americas.

Identification of a viral factor that impairs immune responses in COVID-19 patients
A research team at The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo (IMSUT) aimed to characterize the viral factor(s) determining immune activation upon SARS-CoV-2 infection and found that ORF3b, a gene encoded by SARS-CoV-2, is a potent IFN antagonist.

Pulmonary artery thrombosis a complication of radiation therapy
According to ARRS' American Journal of Roentgenology, the imaging findings of in situ pulmonary artery thrombosis (PAT) associated with radiation therapy (RT) are different from those of acute pulmonary emboli and do not appear to embolize.

Nerve cell activity shows how confident we are
Should I or shouldn't I? The activity of individual nerve cells in the brain tells us how confident we are in our decisions.

Six-Year MiSight contact lens study: 23% of eyes showed no additional myopia progression
The latest findings from the long-running CooperVision MiSight 1 day clinical study provide new insights about myopia management and the proven efficacy of the specially designed contact lens.

'Universal law of touch' will enable new advances in virtual reality
Seismic waves, commonly associated with earthquakes, have been used by scientists to develop a universal scaling law for the sense of touch.

Spitzer space telescope legacy chronicled in Nature Astronomy
A national team of scientists Thursday published in the journal Nature Astronomy two papers that provide an inventory of the major discoveries made possible thanks to Spitzer and offer guidance on where the next generation of explorers should point the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) when it launches in October 2021.

New NIST project to build nano-thermometers could revolutionize temperature imaging
Cheaper refrigerators? Stronger hip implants? A better understanding of human disease?

Palladium catalysts can do it
Palladium catalysts help synthesize key chemicals for many industries. However, direct reaction of two basic reagents, aryl halides and alkyllithium compounds, remains a challenge.

Hubble sees swirls of forming stars
At around 60 million light-years from Earth, the Great Barred Spiral Galaxy, NGC 1365, is captured beautifully in this image by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

What tiny surfing robots teach us about surface tension
Propelled by chemical changes in surface tension, microrobots surfing across fluid interfaces lead researchers to new ideas.

HKUMed develops a novel therapeutic approach against Epstein-Barr virus-associated tumours
A research team at LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong (HKUMed) discovered that exosomes derived from Vδ2-T cells (Vδ2-T-Exos) can effectively control Epstein-Barr virus-associated tumours and induce T-cell anti-tumour immunity.

The Colorado river's water supply is predictable owing to long-term ocean memory
A team of scientists at Utah State University has developed a new tool to forecast drought and water flow in the Colorado River several years in advance.

Oldest monkey fossils outside of Africa found
Three fossils found in a lignite mine in southeastern Yunan Province, China, are about 6.4 million years old, indicate monkeys existed in Asia at the same time as apes, and are probably the ancestors of some of the modern monkeys in the area, according to an international team of researchers.

RUDN University chemists developed a domino reaction for producing new antitumor drugs
A team of chemists from RUDN University suggested a new reaction to produce organic compounds in one vessel.

Study shows how climate impacts food webs, poses socioeconomic threat in Eastern Africa
For the first time, a research team has obtained high resolution sedimentary core samples from Lake Tanganyika.

Immune cell activation in severe COVID-19 resembles lupus
In severe cases of COVID-19, activation patterns of B cells resemble those seen in systemic lupus erythematosus, an autoimmune disease.

Development of cost-efficient electrocatalyst for hydrogen production
The key to promoting the hydrogen economy represented by hydrogen vehicles is to produce hydrogen for electricity generation at an affordable price.

New research provides fresh hope for children suffering from rare muscle diseases
Results of an international study published today in Autophagy and led by researchers from Monash University, School of Biological Sciences, provides renewed hope for children suffering from a progressive and devastating muscle disease.

RUDN University ecologists developed new models to identify environmental pollution sources
According to a team of ecologists from RUDN University, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can be used as pollution indicators and help monitor the movement of pollutants in environmental components such as soils, plants, and water.

Future ocean conditions could cause significant physical changes in marine mussels
Scientists from the University of Plymouth showed increased temperature and acidification of our oceans over the next century could have a range of effects on an economically important marine species

Perforated bone tissue from too little sugar
Bone marrow cancer is currently an incurable disease that affects about 400 people in Norway every year.

Genomes offer new insights into fig-wasp symbiotic system
In a recent study, researchers from Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University (FAFU) and the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) provided insights into fig-wasp coevolution through comparative analyses of two Ficus genomes - one with aerial roots and one without, one monecious and one dioecious, as well as the genome of a coevolving wasp pollinator.

Game 'pre-bunks' COVID-19 conspiracies as part of UK's fight against fake news
Cambridge research shows a 'pre-bunk' game can reduce susceptibility to fake news for up to three months after just one play.

A new look at sunspots
NASA's extensive fleet of spacecraft allows scientists to study the Sun extremely close-up - one of the agency's spacecraft is even on its way to fly through the Sun's outer atmosphere.
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