Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 12, 2020
Children with kidney disease have longer hospital stays
Children with chronic kidney disease (CKD) often require hospitalization; however, outcomes of this high risk population are unknown.

Update on excess deaths from COVID-19, other causes
This study updates a previous report of the estimated number of excess deaths in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic through August 1 and describes causes of those deaths and relationships with lifting of coronavirus restrictions.

Enzyme SSH1 impairs disposal of accumulating cellular garbage, leading to brain cell death
The protein p62 plays a major role in clearing misfolded tau proteins and dysfunctional mitochondria, the energy powerhouse in all cells including neurons.

Moms report mild to high levels of COVID-19 anxiety and insomnia in study by Ben-Gurion University
The results indicated that maternal clinical insomnia (Insomnia Severity Score > 15) during the COVID?19 pandemic more than doubled to 23% during the pandemic, compared with only 11% before the pandemic.

New bioengineering approach to fix fetal membranes
New research led by Queen Mary University of London and UCL has shown that small bioengineered molecules can be used to repair defects in the fetal membranes that surround and protect babies developing in the womb.

A new approach to analyzing the morphology of dendritic spines
Dendritic spines are small protrusions from a neuron's dendrite membrane, where contact with neighboring axons is formed to receive synaptic input.

Customers prefer partitions over mannequins in socially-distanced dining rooms
Restaurants have had to get creative to enforce social distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic, including utilizing mannequins.

Unraveling the network of molecules that influence COVID-19 severity
Researchers from the Morgridge Institute for Research, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Albany Medical College have identified more than 200 molecular features that strongly correlate with COVID-19 severity, offering insight into potential treatment options for those with advanced disease.

Death by spaghettification: Scientists record last moments of star devoured by black hole
A rare blast of light, emitted by a star as it is sucked in by a supermassive black hole, has been spotted by scientists using telescopes from around the world.

Primates aren't quite frogs
Researchers in Japan demonstrated for the first time the 'spinal motor module hypothesis' in the primate arm, wherein the brain recruits interneuronal modules in the spinal cord rather than individual muscles to create movement and different modules can be combined to create specific movements.

Nearly 1 in 8 patients receive unexpected out-of-network bills after colonoscopy
Nearly 1 in 8 commercially insured patients nationwide who underwent an elective colonoscopy between 2012 and 2017 performed by an in-network provider received potential 'surprise' bills for out-of-network expenses, often totaling hundreds of dollars or more.

How consumers responded to COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic has been a catalyst for laying out the different threats that consumers face, and that consumers must prepare themselves for a constantly shifting landscape moving forward.

The perfect angle for e-skin energy storage
Researchers at DGIST have found an inexpensive way to fabricate tiny energy storage devices that can effectively power flexible and wearable skin sensors along with other electronic devices, paving the way towards remote medical monitoring & diagnoses and wearable devices.

Stopping lethal lung damage from the flu with a natural human protein
The raging lung inflammation that can contribute to death from the flu can be stopped in its tracks by a drug derived from a naturally occurring human protein, a new animal study suggests.

Fuels, not fire weather, control carbon emissions in boreal forest
A team led by Northern Arizona University found that the amount of carbon that burns in wildfires in western boreal forests depends more on available fuels than on fire weather such as drought conditions, temperature, or rain.

Relationship value and economic value are evaluated by the same part of the brain
Researchers from several Japanese universities have revealed that the orbitofrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for calculating economic value, is also responsible for judging the value of relationships with friends based on the received commitment signals.

New virtual reality software allows scientists to 'walk' inside cells
Virtual reality software which allows researchers to 'walk' inside and analyze individual cells could be used to understand fundamental problems in biology and develop new treatments for disease.

Mental health disorders related to COVID-19-related deaths
This devastating pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of daily life.

Very low risk to newborns from moms with COVID-19, finds study
Moms with COVID-19 who take basic precautions rarely pass the virus to their newborns, even if breastfeeding and rooming together, finds a new study at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and NewYork-Presbyterian.

Single gene disorders not so simple after all
Traditionally, geneticists divide disorders into ''simple,'' where a single gene mutation causes disease, or complex, where mutations in many genes contribute modest amounts.

CAR NKT cells offer a promising novel immunotherapy for solid tumors
Natural killer T (NKT) cells, a type of immune cells known for their potent anti-cancer properties in murine tumor models, have been developed into a novel form of immunotherapy to treat patients with cancer.

Depression/anxiety in mums-to-be linked to heightened asthma risk in their kids
Depression and anxiety in mums-to-be is linked to a heightened risk of asthma and poorer lung function in their 10 year old children, finds research published online in the journal Thorax.

Can an antibody 'cocktail' prevent COVID-19 infection?
In a new COVID-19 clinical trial, Stuart Cohen at UC Davis Health tests monoclonal antibody combination to prevent COVID-19 in adults exposed to infected patients.

Skeletal muscle development and regeneration mechanisms vary by gender
Researchers at Kumamoto University, Japan generated mice lacking the estrogen receptor beta (ERβ) gene, both fiber-specific and muscle stem cell-specific, which resulted in abnormalities in the growth and regeneration of skeletal muscle in female mice.

A circular economy could save the world's economy post-COVID-19
The World's economy is feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic with many industries under threat.

Computational approach to optimise culture conditions required for cell therapy
Collaboration by researchers in Singapore and Australia lead to first-of-its-kind computational biology algorithm that could enable more effective cellular therapies against major diseases.

Tighter border policies leave migrants vulnerable to effects of climate change
New Princeton University research suggests that restrictive border policies could increase many people's vulnerability to extreme climate conditions and weaken economic prosperity by limiting their ability to emigrate from countries that are facing worsening conditions due to climate change, such as drought, heat waves, and rising seas.

Which is more creative, the arts or the sciences?
International expert in creativity and innovation, UniSA's Professor David Cropley, is calling for Australian schools and universities to increase their emphasis on teaching creativity, as new research shows it is a core competency across all disciplines and critical for ensuring future job success.

Ancient tiny teeth reveal first mammals lived more like reptiles
Pioneering analysis of 200 million-year-old teeth belonging to the earliest mammals suggests they functioned like their cold-blooded counterparts - reptiles, leading less active but much longer lives.

Serology study provides critical insight into COVID-19 immune response
New research, published in Clinical and Translational Immunology, provides a clearer picture of the protective antibodies induced by SARS-CoV-2 and their role in serious illness and what's needed for full protection.

People can do more than use less plastic to help save the GBR: QUT research
There are many threats to Australia's Great Barrier Reef - cyclones, shipping, crown-of-thorns starfish - but QUT researchers say climate change is its worst enemy.

Scientists find neurochemicals have unexpectedly profound roles in the human brain
In first-of-their-kind observations in the human brain, an international team of researchers has revealed two well-known neurochemicals -- dopamine and serotonin -- are at work at sub-second speeds to shape how people perceive the world and take action based on their perception.

2016 US presidential election associated with uptick in heart attacks and stroke
The hospitalization rate for acute cardiovascular disease (CVD) events in a large southern California health system was 1.62 times higher in the two days immediately after the 2016 presidential election when compared with the same two days in the week prior to the 2016 election.

IPK scientists discover gene that ensures slim inflorescence shape of barley
The inflorescences of grasses often have very different shapes. An international research team led by IPK has now succeeded in identifying a gene that plays a decisive role in ensuring that barley develops its characteristic slender inflorescences, called spikes.

Studies find even minimal physical activity measurably boosts health
Two research teams at UC San Diego School of Medicine sought to understand sedentary lifestyles, with one study finding that even light physical activity, including just standing, can benefit health, and the other that Americans are sitting too much.

Penn engineers create helical topological exciton-polaritons
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Engineering and Applied Science are the first to create an even more exotic form of the exciton-polariton, one which has a defined quantum spin that is locked to its direction of motion.

Pandemic-related stress leads to less employee engagement
As COVID-19 cases surged this spring, the pandemic led some people more than others to ponder their own mortality.

Finding the right colour to control magnets with laser pulses
Scientists have discovered a new way to manipulate magnets with laser light pulses shorter than a trillionth of a second.

Stacking and twisting graphene unlocks a rare form of magnetism
A team of researchers at Columbia University and the University of Washington has discovered that a variety of exotic electronic states, including a rare form of magnetism, can arise in a three-layer graphene structure.

Age does not contribute to COVID-19 susceptibility
Scientists have estimated that the age of an individual does not indicate how likely they are to be infected by SARS-CoV-2.

Sea star's ability to clone itself may empower this mystery globetrotter
The identity of wild cloning sea star larvae has been a mystery since they were first documented in the Caribbean.

COVID-19 recovery at home possible for most patients
A new study shows that the vast majority of patients who visited the Ruth and Harry Roman Emergency Department at Cedars-Sinai with suspected COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) symptoms, and who were treated and sent home to recuperate, recovered within a week.

Using robotic assistance to make colonoscopy kinder and easier
Scientists have made a breakthrough in their work to develop semi-autonomous colonoscopy, using a robot to guide a medical device into the body.

Unique view into the "new Arctic": international MOSAiC expedition successfully completed
With the return of the Polarstern, the largest Arctic expedition of all times has come to a successful end.

Studying the sun as a star to understand stellar flares and exoplanets
New research shows that sunspots and other active regions can change the overall solar emissions.

Using electric current to stabilize low-permeability soils
EPFL scientists have developed a new approach to stabilizing clay soils.

E-modules increase knowledge, attitude and confidence related to childhood adversity and trauma-informed care
Training health care professionals in the skills and capacity to respond adequately to children and adults who have been exposed trauma, such as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), is recognized as an essential need in health care.

New therapy improves treatment for multiple sclerosis
A new therapy that binds a cytokine to a blood protein shows potential in treating multiple sclerosis, and may even prevent it.

ESO telescopes record last moments of star devoured by a black hole
Using telescopes from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and other organisations around the world, astronomers have spotted a rare blast of light from a star being ripped apart by a supermassive black hole.

Outcomes of babies born to mothers with SARS-CoV-2 infection
The risk of mother-to-newborn transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection was examined in this study.

The valuation of a company's investment properties may bring surprises
In addition to the financial statements and balance sheet, an investor should also go through the notes and understand their content.

Atmospheric dust levels are rising in the Great Plains
A study finds that atmospheric dust levels are rising across the Great Plains at a rate of up to 5% per year.

Study: Darwin's theory about coral reef atolls is fatally flawed
Charles Darwin's 1842 theory about the formation of ring-shaped reefs, called atolls, is incorrect, but ''it's so beautiful, so simple and pleasing'' that it still appears in textbooks and university courses, said marine geologist André Droxler.

Study shows proof of concept of BioIVT HEPATOPAC cultures with targeted assay to evaluate bioactivation potential and drug-induced liver injury (DILI) risk
New in vitro Bioactivation Liver Response Assay used HEPATOPAC model to demonstrate utility of in vitro transcriptomic signature-based strategy in preclinical DILI risk assessment.

Mosquitoes' taste for blood traced to four types of neurons
The female mosquito has an amazing ability to detect blood using her syringe-like ''tongue.'' Now scientists have identified the neurons that give her blood-seeking powers.

Carnivores living near people feast on human food, threatening ecosystems
MADISON - Ecologists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found that carnivores living near people can get more than half of their diets from human food sources, a major lifestyle disruption that could put North America's carnivore-dominated ecosystems at risk.

Menacing assaults on science causing alarming and avoidable deaths in the U.S.
In 2016, the U.S. was judged to have been best prepared for the existential threat of a pandemic, but turned out to be the least prepared for the actual threat.

Central Asian horse riders played ball games 3,000 years ago
UZH researchers have investigated ancient leather balls discovered in the graves of horse riders in northwest China.

Ultrafast fiber laser produces record high power
Researchers have developed an ultrafast fiber laser that delivers an average power more than ten times what is available from today's high-power lasers.

Australian valley a 'natural laboratory' to test carbon sequestration theory
An idea to enhance natural carbon capture from olivine weathering has never been tested at scale.

COVID-19, excess all-cause mortality in US, 18 comparison countries
COVID-19 deaths and excess all-cause mortality in the U.S. are compared with 18 countries with diverse COVID-19 responses in this study.

One-two punch
Drought is endemic to the American West along with heatwaves and intense wildfires.

The making of memory B cells and long-term immune responses
Researchers at Osaka University in Japan have identified two factors necessary for the production of memory B cells, the cells of the immune system that allow fast responses to re-infection.

Chemists create new crystal form of insecticide, boosting its ability to fight mosquitoes and malaria
Through a simple process of heating and cooling, New York University researchers have created a new crystal form of deltamethrin -- a common insecticide used to control malaria -- resulting in an insecticide that is up to 12 times more effective against mosquitoes than the existing form.

Engineers print wearable sensors directly on skin without heat
Wearable sensors are evolving from watches and electrodes to bendable devices that provide far more precise biometric measurements and comfort for users.

MHz, multi-beams coherent XUV source by intracavity high-order harmonic generation
We demonstrate a novel method of realizing a MHz repetition-rate coherent extreme ultraviolet (XUV) light source by utilizing intracavity high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in a mode-locked oscillator.

Dual checkpoint blockade promising as pre-surgical approach for certain patients with localized bladder cancer
Phase I trial finds neoadjuvant combination checkpoint inhibitors (anti-CTLA-4 plus anti-PD-1) was well tolerated and showed early signs of activity in certain patients with bladder cancer.

New mechanism affecting nerve impulses discovered
Researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, have discovered a new mechanism by which substances can open a certain type of ion channel and in this way regulate nerve impulses.

Research pinpoints major drivers of tobacco epidemic among teens in South Asia
The findings of a new study pinpoint the major drivers of the tobacco epidemic among teens in South Asia.

Study examines cancer's effects on young women's employment and finances
Cancer and its treatment can impact an individual's ability to work, and employment disruptions can lead to financial hardships.

Sound the alarm: More effective ways to awaken families during house fire
Researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Sleep Disorders Center at Nationwide Children's Hospital conducted a series of studies to identify smoke alarm signals that would more effectively awaken children and other members of the household in the event of a fire.

Black police officers disciplined disproportionately for misconduct, IU research finds
An examination of racial differences in the disciplining of police officers in three of the largest U.S. cities consistently found that Black officers were more frequently disciplined for misconduct than White officers, despite an essentially equal number of allegations being leveled.

EPFL scientist gains fresh insight into the origins of earthquakes
The speed and intensity with which seismic waves propagate after an earthquake depend mainly on forces occurring deep inside the rocks along a fault line, according to a study by EPFL scientist François Passelègue.

Prospective parents' mental health linked to premature births
Both a mother's and father's mental health are associated with increased risk that their baby will be born premature, a new study has found.

The distance local energy goes to bring power to the people
A study published today in the journal Frontiers in Sustainability by the University of California, Davis, sheds light on the lengths alternative energy providers go to bring electrical power to customers.

Multi-state data storage leaving binary behind
Electronic data is being produced at a breath-taking rate. Around ten zettabytes (ten trillion gigabytes) of data is stored in global server farms, and that's doubling every two years.

USC study underscores the gut-brain connection, shows hunger hormone impacts memory
Rats that lacked the hormone ghrelin tended to eat more frequently and gained more weight.

Penn Medicine scientists engineer bacteria-killing molecules from wasp venom
A team led by scientists in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has engineered powerful new antimicrobial molecules from toxic proteins found in wasp venom.

Scientists develop new precise therapeutic leukemia vaccine
Researchers from the Institute of Process Engineering (IPE) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Zhujiang Hospital of Southern Medical University have developed a new type of precise therapeutic vaccine against leukemia.

Novel map reveals how immune cells fight and remember infections
Researchers have created the first full dynamic map of how cells learn to fight microbes and then preserve a memory of this for future infections, by mapping the activity of tens of thousands of genes in mouse immune cells over the course of an infection.

Labor epidurals do not cause autism; Safe for mothers and infants, say anesthesiology, obstetrics
Five medical societies aim to clearly reassure pregnant women that the article ''Association Between Epidural Analgesia During Labor and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Offspring,'' a new retrospective database study published in JAMA Pediatrics on October 12th, 2020 does not provide credible scientific evidence that labor epidurals for pain relief cause autism.

14 recommendations for the protection of freshwater biodiversity beyond 2020
Worldwide, the conservation of biodiversity remains a major challenge -- this applies particularly to freshwater ecosystems which so far are not sufficiently taken into account in political processes and regulations.

Scientists author papers in Nature Astronomy chronicling legacy of Spitzer space telescope
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, decommissioned earlier this year, made important discoveries about comets, stars, exoplanets and distant galaxies, leaving a lasting legacy of solar system science.

KIST addressing algal bloom in conventional water treatment facilities
An algal bloom refers to a phenomenon in which phytoplankton including blue-green algae rapidly proliferate in summer marked by high levels of solar irradiation and water temperature.

Therapy using immune system cells preserves vision in mice implanted with rare eye cancer
A treatment that uses immune system T cells, combined with an immune-boosting drug packaged in an injectable gel, was found to preserve the vision of mice implanted with retinoblastoma tissue.

Brain regions with impaired blood flow have higher tau levels
In Alzheimer's disease, impaired blood flow to brain regions coincides with tau protein buildup.

Even mild fatty liver disease is linked to increased mortality
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, NAFLD, affects nearly one in four adults in Europe and the U.S.

Rainforest at biosphere 2 offers glimpse into future of the Amazon
Tropical Forests may be more resilient to climate change than previously thought, according to a study led by University of Arizona ecologists.

Casting call: why immobilizing helps in healing
DALLAS - Oct. 12, 2020 - By far, the most common injuries seen in emergency rooms in the United States are those affecting extremities.

NFL teams with critical mass of women executives have fewer football player arrests
The study from Syracuse University finds a link between fewer player arrests and having a critical mass of women (two or more) in front office positions, The authors theorize that this relationship results from positive changes to the organizational culture and improved decision making when two or more women serve on the top management team.

Improved mobility in frail and elderly adults linked to common gene variant
Variations in a gene that regulates dopamine levels in the brain may influence the mobility of elderly and frail adults, according to research published today.

Making disorder for an ideal battery
The lithium batteries that power our electronic devices and electric vehicles have a number of drawbacks.

Proactive steps linked to reduced medical costs, hospital visits for children with asthma
A new study looking at data from tens of thousands of children with asthma finds that several widely available interventions are associated with both reduced medical costs and a reduced likelihood that the children will need to visit an emergency room or stay in the hospital.

Dueling proteins give shape to plants
In order to thrive, plants must integrate a variety of sometimes-subtle signals in their environment, from day length to nutrient presence.

The unending waste management challenge - are we at our wits' end?
The doctoral dissertation by Beatrice Obule-Abila (University of Vaasa, Finland) focuses on changing the paradigm of waste management by exploring the adoption of knowledge management framework, developing and deploying more knowledge management tools, systems, and approaches in seeking solutions to the problem of waste: so that waste no longer constitutes a nuisance, but a valuable resource.

Excess deaths from COVID-19, community bereavement, restorative justice for communities of color
Ways the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded existing health, human rights and economic disparities in communities of color are discussed in this Viewpoint, which also proposes a program of restorative justice in response, comprising investments in education and housing, reforms in lending practices and criminal justice, and more.

Tetrahedra may explain water 's uniqueness
Scientists at The University of Tokyo used computer simulations and a two-state mathematical model to analyze previous data on water and predicted the location of a liquid-liquid critical point in supercooled water.

Head and neck injuries make up nearly 28% of all electric scooter accident injuries
A Henry Ford study is sounding the alarm on the rise of electric scooter injuries, and particularly head and neck injuries, since the 2017 introduction of e-scooter rideshare programs in urban centers.

COVID-19 pandemic and $16 trillion virus
This Viewpoint aggregates mortality, morbidity, mental health conditions, and direct economic losses to estimate the total cost of the pandemic in the US on the optimistic assumption that it will be substantially contained by the fall of 2021.

Scientists report role for dopamine and serotonin in human perception and decision-making
Scientists at Wake Forest School of Medicine have recorded real time changes in dopamine and serotonin levels in the human brain that are involved with perception and decision-making.

To protect nature's benefits, focus on people
New paper calls for the consideration of people's diverse needs in order to develop effective nature-based policies and investments in ecosystems.

Proactivity and partnership pay off for nursing homes in a pandemic, study suggests
A new study details how three Michigan nursing homes limited the spread of the coronavirus within their walls after the first cases were diagnosed in that early peak state.

Scientists discover mosquitoes' unique blood-taste detectors
Scientists aren't sure how mosquitoes sense taste of blood, or how they know that this, of all things, is something to gorge on.

Hurricanes, heavy rains are critical for Hawai'i's groundwater supply
New research led by University of Hawai'i at Mānoa scientists indicates that rain brought to the islands by hurricanes and Kona storms can often be the most important precipitation for re-supplying groundwater in many regions of the island of O'ahu.

"Game-changing" procedure shown to discontinue insulin treatment in type 2 diabetics
The study found that 75% of previously insulin-dependent people with type 2 diabetes treated with the ablation technique did not need insulin six months later, with HbA1c readings of 7.5% or below.

Professional view of vitamin D jeopardizing elderly care home residents' health
The professional perception of vitamin D as a medicine, rather than as a key nutrient, is constraining practice and jeopardising the health of elderly care home residents in England, conclude researchers in the journal BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health.

More young adults are abstaining from alcohol
Fewer college-age Americans drink alcohol, compared to nearly 20 years ago, according to a new study.

Revealing the reason behind jet formation at the tip of laser optical fiber
When an optical fiber is immersed in liquid, a high temperature, high speed jet is discharged.

Oncotarget: The role of miRNA-133b and its target gene SIRT1 in FAP-derived desmoid tumor
Volume 11, Issue 26 of Oncotarget reported that in this study the authors studied the differences in mi RNA expression between sporadic and FAP-associated Desmoid tumors using microarray confirmed by quantitative PCR.

Mass loss driven shape evolution model unveils formation of flattened 'snowman' (486958) Arrokoth
An international research team led by Assoc. Prof. ZHAO Yuhui from the Purple Mountain Observatory has built and applied a mass-loss-driven shape evolution model (MONET) and suggested that the current flattened shape of Arrokoth could be of evolutionary origin due to volatile outgassing in a timescale of about 1-100 Myr, which provides a natural explanation for the flattening shape of the body.

Navigating through health care data disrupted by COVID-19 pandemic
The association between the COVID-19 pandemic and health care-related data collection is examined in this Viewpoint article.

Surface waves can help nanostructured devices keep their cool
A research team led by The Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo demonstrated that hybrid surface waves called surface phonon-polaritons provide enhanced thermal conductivity in nanoscale membranes.

Total deaths recorded during the pandemic far exceed those attributed to COVID-19
For every two deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the U.S., a third American dies as a result of the pandemic, according to new data publishing Oct.

As genome-editing trials become more common, informed consent is changing
As public interest and expanded research in human genome editing grows, many questions remain about ethical, legal and social implications of the technology.

UMD astronomers find x-rays lingering years after landmark neutron star collision
It's been three years since the landmark detection of a neutron star merger from gravitational waves.

Damaged muscles don't just die, they regenerate themselves
Researchers building a model of muscle damage in a cultured system found that components leaking from broken muscle fibers activate ''satellite cells,'' which are muscle stem cells.

Software spots and fixes hang bugs in seconds, rather than weeks
Hang bugs - when software gets stuck, but doesn't crash - can frustrate both users and programmers, taking weeks for companies to identify and fix.

Earphone tracks facial expressions, even with a face mask
Cornell University researchers have invented an earphone that can continuously track full facial expressions by observing the contour of the cheeks - and can then translate expressions into emojis or silent speech commands.
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