Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 13, 2020
On the trail of novel infectious agents in wildlife
A research team led by Kristin Mühldorfer from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) and Tobias Eisenberg from the Hessian State Laboratory investigated the causes of severe respiratory disease in peccaries and taxonomically characterised a novel Streptococcus species (Streptococcus catagoni sp. nov.) based on its phenotypic properties and genetic features.

A tiny jaw from Greenland sheds light on the origin of complex teeth
A team of scientists led from Uppsala University have described the earliest known example of dentary bone with two rows of cusps on molars and double-rooted teeth.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Nangka soaking Hainan Island
Using a NASA satellite rainfall product that incorporates data from satellites and observations, NASA estimated Nangka's rainfall rates as the storm soaked Hainan Island, China early on Oct.

Study links eating disorders with body dysmorphia
People with eating disorders are 12 times more likely to be preoccupied with perceived flaws in their physical appearance than those without, according to new research published in the journal Eating and Weight Disorders.

Experiencing police violence worsens mental health in distinct ways
The experience of police violence is associated with mental and emotional trauma distinct from that caused by other kinds of violence, creating a public health crisis for communities most affected.

'Less pain' to remove tonsils
A 10-year study from Flinders University has found ''shrinking'' tonsils results in far less pain and bleeding than a full tonsillectomy.

Bacterial toxin with healing effect
A bacterial toxin promoting tissue healing has been discovered by an international research team led by scientists from University of Jena (Germany).

Children's pain 'swept under the carpet for too long' - Lancet Commission
The launch of the Lancet Child and Adolescent Health Commission - the first ever to address paediatric pain - aims to raise the profile of children's pain from early years to early adulthood.

Blood tests could be developed to help predict pregnancy complications new study suggests
UCLA researchers say a blood test commonly used to detect fetal genetic abnormalities may help predict complications associated with pregnancy before symptoms develop.

Act now on wildfires, global climate change, human health, study says
Immediate actions are needed to limit the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change that helps fuel wildfires, a Monash University study says.

Crayfish 'trapping' fails to control invasive species
Despite being championed by a host of celebrity chefs, crayfish 'trapping' is not helping to control invasive American signal crayfish, according to new research by UCL and King's College London.

Physical activity in the morning could be most beneficial against cancer
The time of day when we exercise could affect the risk of cancer due to circadian disruption, according to a new study with about 3,000 Spanish people  

Machine learning predicts how long museum visitors will engage with exhibits
In a proof-of-concept study, education and artificial intelligence researchers have demonstrated the use of a machine-learning model to predict how long individual museum visitors will engage with a given exhibit.

SARS-CoV-2 antibodies provide lasting immunity, say UArizona Health Sciences researchers
University of Arizona Heath Sciences researchers developed one of the most accurate COVID-19 antibody tests available and now have shown antibodies persist for months after infection, providing long-term immunity.

Genomic study of 6000 NCI-MATCH cancer patients leads to new clinical trial benchmarks
In a major contribution to tumor gene testing for cancer treatment selection, a molecular study of 6000 patients in the NCI-MATCH precision medicine cancer trial has broad relevance/will guide future trials.

Eyeglass-attached display device provides fluoroscopic guidance during spine surgery
Researchers from Tokyo tested a device that, when attached to everyday eyeglasses, displays fluoroscopic images used for surgical guidance directly to the surgeon.

Evolution: No social distancing at the beginning of life
Bacteria are a dominant form of life that inhabit every environment on Earth.

Empathy prevents COVID-19 spreading
The more empathetic we are, the more likely it is that we will keep our distance and use face masks to prevent coronavirus spreading.

Researchers develop new model of the brain's real-life neural networks
Researchers at the Cyber-Physical Systems Group at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, in conjunction with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have developed a new model of how information deep in the brain could flow from one network to another and how these neuronal network clusters self-optimize over time.

A study indicates that hair loss might be prevented by regulating stem cell metabolism
An international research group headed by Associate Professor Sara Wickstrom at the University of Helsinki has identified a mechanism that is likely to prevent hair loss.

Scientists use holographic imaging to detect viruses and antibodies
A team of scientists has developed a method using holographic imaging to detect both viruses and antibodies.

Oncotarget: miR-708-5p targets oncogenic prostaglandin E2 production in lung cancer cell
Volume 11, Issue 26 of Oncotarget reported that Lung cancer is of particular importance, as it is the deadliest cancer worldwide.

Magnitude comparison distinguishes small earthquakes from explosions in US west
By comparing two magnitude measurements for seismic events recorded locally, researchers can tell whether the event was a small earthquake or a single-fire buried chemical explosion.

Athletes don't benefit from relying on a coach for too long
Athletes increasingly relying on a coach over the course of a season may be a sign that they aren't progressing in their development, according to new research from Binghamton University.

The mountains of Pluto are snowcapped, but not for the same reasons as on Earth
In 2015, the New Horizons space probe discovered spectacular snowcapped mountains on Pluto, which are strikingly similar to mountains on Earth.

NIH-funded study links adolescent brain differences to increased waist circumference
Differences in the microstructure of the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), a region in the brain that plays an important role in processing food and other reward stimuli, predict increases in indicators of obesity in children, according to a study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and nine other institutes, all part of the National Institutes of Health.

Study: There's work to be done before people feel ready for COVID-19 vaccine
A new study in the journal Vaccines indicates some significant public messaging should be communicated before any COVID-19 vaccines are made available in the US.

Cover crop could solve weed problems for edamame growers
For vegetable growers, weeds can mean lost income from reduced yield and foreign plant matter contaminating the harvest.

Neural crest cell migration in Hirschsprung disease
Ankush Gosain, MD, PhD, of Le Bonheur Children's Hospital and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center has focused his research on determining the mechanisms underlying abnormal development of the enteric nervous system in Hirschsprung disease.

Cameras that can learn
Intelligent cameras could be one step closer thanks to a research collaboration between the Universities of Bristol and Manchester who have developed cameras that can learn and understand what they are seeing.

Perovskite materials: Neutrons show twinning in halide perovskites
Solar cells based on hybrid halide perovskites achieve high efficiencies.

Controlling the speed of enzyme motors brings biomedical applications of nanorobots closer
A new study, published in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition, describes a tool for modulating nanomotors powered by enzymes, broadening their potential biomedical and environmental applications.

The deep sea is slowly warming
New research reveals temperatures in the deep sea fluctuate more than scientists previously thought and a warming trend is now detectable at the bottom of the ocean.

Research team discovers mechanism that restores cell function after genome damage
Researchers at the University of Cologne have found out how cells can recover their development and longevity after damage by UV / discovery may enable therapy against premature aging

New deep learning models: Fewer neurons, more intelligence
An international research team from TU Wien, IST Austria and MIT has developed a new artificial intelligence system based on the brains of tiny animals, such as threadworms.

NASA animation tracks the end of Tropical Storm Delta  
NASA's Terra satellite obtained visible imagery as Tropical Storm Delta made landfall in Louisiana and moved northeastward soaking the U.S. southeast and Mid-Atlantic states.

Clinic reduces GA1 brain injury risk by 83% with therapies developed over 30 years
A new study summarizes over 30 years of clinical experience in the treatment and management of glutaric acidemia type 1 (GA1), a rare and potentially devastating metabolic disorder caused by variants in the GCDH gene.

Popularity of COVID-19 conspiracies and links to vaccine 'hesitancy' revealed by international study
Study of UK, US, Ireland, Mexico and Spain suggests ''Wuhan lab'' myth is seen as reliable by between a fifth and a third of populations.

Temperature evolution of impurities in a quantum gas
A new, Monash-led theoretical study advances our understanding of the role of thermodynamics in the 'quantum impurity' problem, which studies the behaviour of deliberately introduced atoms (ie, 'impurities') that behave as particularly 'clean' quasiparticles within a background atomic gas, allowing a controllable 'perfect test bed' study of quantum correlations.

How deadly parasites 'glide' into human cells
A group of scientists led by EMBL Hamburg's Christian Löw provide insights into the molecular structure of proteins involved in the gliding movements through which the parasites causing malaria and toxoplasmosis invade human cells.

Long-term, frequent phone counseling helps cancer patients who smoke quit
Recently diagnosed cancer patients who smoke are significantly more likely to quit and remain tobacco-free if they receive frequent and sustained telephone counseling, according to a new study.

New insight on mole growth could aid development of skin cancer treatments
Moles stop growing when they reach a certain size due to normal interactions between cells, despite having cancer-associated gene mutations, says a new study published today in eLife.

Technique to recover lost single-cell RNA-sequencing information
MIT and Ragon Institute researchers have greatly boosted the amount of information that can be obtained using Seq-Well, a technique for rapidly sequencing RNA from single cells.

Ten or more medications, often prescribed to older heart failure patients, raises concerns
More than half of older patients hospitalized for heart failure are discharged with 10 or more prescriptions, and most are not medications to treat heart failure or other cardiovascular conditions.

Cancer-killing T cells 'swarm' to tumors, attracting others to the fight
When immune system T cells find and recognise a target, they release chemicals to attract more T cells which then swarm to help subdue the threat, shows a new study published today in eLife.

Scientists develop detector for investigating the sun
Researchers from MIPT have developed a prototype detector of solar particles.

Illinois research links soil nitrogen levels to corn yield and nitrogen losses
What exactly is the relationship between soil nitrogen, corn yield, and nitrogen loss?

Respiratory symptoms among adolescent e-cigarette users
Researchers examined the association between use of e-cigarettes and self-reported wheezing among adolescents ages 12 to 17.

Researchers discover a cell type responsible for cardiac repair after infarction
The researcher of the Faculty of Science of the UMA Adrián Ruiz-Villalba, who is also member of the Andalusian Center for Nanomedicine and Biotechnology (BIONAND) and the Biomedical Research Institute of Malaga (IBIMA), is the first author of an international study that has identified the heart cells in charge of repairing the damage caused to this organ after infarction.

To make mini-organs grow faster, give them a squeeze
To make organoids grow faster, give them a squeeze, suggests an MIT study, which finds compressing cells, and crowding their contents, can coax them to grow and divide.

Modelling extreme magnetic fields and temperature variation on distant stars
New research is helping to explain one of the big questions that has perplexed astrophysicists for the past 30 years - what causes the changing brightness of distant stars called magnetars.

Scientists who discovered SARS just revealed the immune system's response to COVID-19
In this study, which was published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology on September 30th, researchers used sequencing to characterize the immune system of patients who survive from COVID-19 infection from symptom onset through recovery.

Diamond-studded silk wound dressing detects infection and improves healing
Scientists have developed a next generation wound dressing that can detect infection and improve healing in burns, skin grafts and chronic wounds.

Multiple neurodevelopmental conditions may lead to worse educational outcomes
Scottish children with multiple neurodevelopmental conditions experience greater school absenteeism and exclusion, poorer exam attainment and increased unemployment, according to a study published October 13 in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine by Michael Fleming of the University of Glasgow, and colleagues.

Alcohol use changed right after COVID-19 lockdown
One in four adults reported a change in alcohol use almost immediately after stay-at-home orders were issued: 14% reported drinking more alcohol and reported higher levels of stress and anxiety than those who did not drink and those whose use stayed the same.

Foreign election interference: A global response
The increasing threat of foreign interference in elections has driven six nations to take similar approaches to combat this pervasive threat.

First reported UK case of sudden permanent hearing loss linked to COVID-19
Although uncommon, sudden permanent hearing loss seems to be linked to COVID-19 infection in some people, warn doctors, reporting the first UK case in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

The puzzle of the strange galaxy made of 99.9% dark matter is solved
At present, the formation of galaxies is difficult to understand without the presence of a ubiquitous, but mysterious component, termed dark matter.

IU study examines effects of low-level lead exposure and alcohol consumption
A new IU study examining effects of low-level developmental lead exposure in mice could explain why some people dependent on alcohol return to using.

Before the US general election, evidence of agreement -- and division -- on climate issues
A new survey finds that while partisan divides persist on certain issues, the majority of Americans want action on climate change and believe unchecked warming will be a serious problem.

Well-formed disorder for versatile light technologies
Researchers at ETH have managed to make an efficient material for broadband frequency doubling of light using microspheres made of disordered nanocrystals.

Without the North American monsoon, reining in wildfires gets harder
New research shows that while winter rains can temper the beginning of the wildfire season, monsoon rains are what shut them down.

New method uses noise to make spectrometers more accurate
Optical spectrometers are instruments with a wide variety of uses.

And the winner is... dependent on judging accountability
A new study suggests that the status of award nominees combined with the level of social connection that they have with members of a judging panel can work both ways towards determining how successful they are -- depending on whether or not they are judged publicly or privately.

COVID-19 frequently causes neurological injuries
Without directly invading the brain or nerves, the virus responsible for COVID-19 causes potentially damaging neurological injuries in about one in seven infected, a new study shows.

Building 'ToxAll' -- a smart, self-assembling nano-vaccine to prevent toxoplasmosis
A team of researchers at the University of Chicago are developing a toolbox of self-assembling nanoparticles to be used as vaccines against infections including the parasitic Toxoplasma gondii.

UCF researchers are working on tech so machines can thermally 'breathe'
In the era of electric cars, machine learning and ultra-efficient vehicles for space travel, computers and hardware are operating faster and more efficiently.

New study shows which medical procedures pose COVID-19 risk to health-care providers
Autopsy, airway suctioning and cardiopulmonary resuscitation are among the list of medical procedures that pose a risk of spreading COVID-19 from a patient to their health-care provider by creating aerosols, according to new research published in the journal BMJ Open Respiratory Research.

RUDN University mathematician refined the model of predator-prey relations in the wild
The traditional mathematical model of predator-prey relations in the wild does not take into account indirect nonlocal interactions.

New 3-D model of a DNA-regulating complex in human cells provides cancer clues
Scientists have created an unprecedented 3-dimensional structural model of a key molecular ''machine'' known as the BAF complex, which modifies DNA architecture and is frequently mutated in cancer and some other diseases.

Port engineers need guidance incorporating sea level rise into construction designs
A survey of maritime infrastructure engineers by University of Rhode Island researchers found that the rising sea level is often not factored into designs of ports, breakwaters, fishing piers and other coastal infrastructure.

College of Medicine researcher makes novel discoveries in preventing epileptic seizures
A team of researchers from the Florida State University College of Medicine has found that an amino acid produced by the brain could play a crucial role in preventing a type of epileptic seizure.

Quantum physics: Physicists successfully carry out controlled transport of stored light
A team of physicists at Mainz University has successfully transported light stored in a quantum memory over a distance of 1.2 millimeters.

New global temperature data will inform study of climate impacts on health, agriculture
A new data set provides high-resolution, daily temperatures from around the globe that could prove valuable in studying human health impacts from heat waves, risks to agriculture, droughts, potential crop failures, and food insecurity.

Scientists replicated self-cleaning anti-reflective coating of insects' eyes
Scientists from Russia and Switzerland have probed into nanostructures covering the corneas of the eyes of small fruit flies.

Combination therapy against cancer
In their quest to destroy cancer cells, researchers are turning to combinational therapies more and more.

Smartphone data helps predict schizophrenia relapses
Passive data from smartphones -- including movement, ambient sound and sleep patterns -- can help predict episodes of schizophrenic relapse, according to new Cornell Tech research.

World first study shows that some microorganisms can bend the rules of evolution
The dominant thinking in evolution focuses on inheritance between parent and offspring - or 'vertical gene transfer (VGT)'.

University of Guam part of international effort to understand cycad pollinators
The Guam team's 2017 discovery of the new Cycadophila samara beetle and its pollination of cycads is now contributing to an international effort to more fully understand the intimate relationship between plant and insect.

Examining e-cigarette use among current, former smokers
National survey data were used to look at how common electronic cigarette use is among US adults, if they were current or former smokers and used e-cigarettes to help quit smoking.

Computer model uses virus 'appearance' to better predict winter flu strains
Combining genetic and experimental data into models about the influenza virus can help predict more accurately which strains will be most common during the next winter, says a study published recently in eLife.

Lack of diversity among cardiovascular health-care professionals continues
Despite working for more than two decades to address underrepresentation of women in cardiology, disparities among cardiovascular professionals continue to exist.

Young women who suffer a heart attack have worse outcomes than men
Women aged 50 or younger who suffer a heart attack are more likely than men to die over the following 11 years, according to a new study published in the European Heart Journal.

The Great Barrier Reef has lost half its corals
Populations of corals on the Great Barrier Reef have halved in the past three decades - in both shallow and deeper water, and across virtually all species - especially branching and table-shaped corals.

Perception of risk and optimism barriers in behavior during coronavirus
Until a vaccine and/or effective cure for COVID-19 becomes available, battling the current pandemic strongly relies on how well people follow behavioural advice, such as adhering to local restrictions, social distancing rules, and engaging in effective personal hygiene.

Trees and lawns beat the heat
As climate change pushes many cities towards dangerous temperatures, planners are scrambling to mitigate excessive heat.

Cognitive behavioral therapy normalizes brain abnormality in OCD patients
UCLA scientists and colleagues studying the effects of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) discovered an abnormality in the brains of people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) that may help to predict who is most likely to respond to CBT.

Scientists release previously unseen footage showing environmental impacts of pot fishing
The findings of research by the University of Plymouth go against previous thinking around the damage caused by pot fishing to the seabed

Study first to tally biomass from oceanic plastic debris using visualization method
Scientists examined cell abundances, size, cellular carbon mass, and how photosynthetic cells differ on polymeric and glass substrates over time, exploring nanoparticle generation from plastic like polystyrene and how this might disrupt microalgae.

Properties of catalysts studied with gamma ray resonance
Steam-assisted oil extraction methods for heavy deposits have long been the focus of attention at Kazan Federal University.

Television advertising limits can reduce childhood obesity, study concludes
Limiting the hours of television advertising for foods and beverages high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) could make a meaningful contribution to reducing childhood obesity, according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Oliver Mytton of the University of Cambridge, UK, and colleagues.

Watching nature on TV can boost wellbeing, finds new study
Watching high quality nature programmes on TV can uplift people's moods, reduce negative emotions, and help alleviate the kind of boredom associated with being isolated indoors.

Winners and losers of energy transition
Drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector could have substantial economic and social impacts.

Kegels: Underused by women to treat and prevent urinary incontinence
Kegels are underused to treat and prevent urinary incontinence, especially during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

When reproductive rights are less restrictive, babies are born healthier
American women living in states with less restrictive reproductive rights policies are less likely to give birth to low-birth weight babies, according to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, published by Elsevier.

Record high values of peak power with picosecond generators
Powerful picosecond generators are in demand in various fields of experimental electrophysics to produce ultrashort electron beams and X-ray pulses in vacuum diodes and to form runaway electron flows in gases and researchers are constantly striving to obtain shorter and more powerful pulses.

Scientists shed new light on mechanisms of malaria parasite motility
New insight on the molecular mechanisms that allow malaria parasites to move and spread disease within their hosts has been published today in the open-access eLife journal.

Layer of strength, layer of functionality for biomedical fibers
Wound dressing, tissue scaffolding, controlled and sustained drug delivery, and cardiac patching are all biomedical processes requiring a material that combines strength with functionality.

Sleep health dictates success of practicing mindfulness
Sleeping an extra 29 minutes each night can be the key to improving mindfulness, a critical resource that has benefits for daily well-being and work performance.

Statins may reduce cancer risk through mechanisms separate to cholesterol
Cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins may reduce cancer risk in humans through a pathway unrelated to cholesterol, says a study published today in eLife.

How psychological ownership can enhance stewardship for public goods
How can consumers be encouraged to take better care of public goods and resources?

Modeling organic-field effect transistors with a molecular resolution
Organic field-effect transistors represent a promising type of organic electronic device with applications including (bio)sensors, electrical circuits, or data storage.

UCI study points to how skin cells cooperate to thwart cancer
Melanoma is a life-threatening skin cancer that spreads quickly to other organs if not treated early.

Study provides new hope for children suffering from rare muscle diseases
Stephen Greenspan and Laura Zah were devastated when they learned their son Alexander had a rare genetic mutation, which causes a deadly neuromuscular disease with no known treatment or cure.

The ur-Iris likely had purple flowers, pollinated by insects for nectar
Plant scientists use genomic data to build a family tree of over 200 species in the highly diverse genus Iris, onto which they map traits related to flower color and morphology, and mating system.

Anticancer compounds for B cell cancer therapy targeting cellular stress response
Wistar and collaborators from the University of Notre Dame are developing anticancer compounds targeting a pathway of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response implicated in the development of multiple myeloma (MM), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and lymphoma.

Mathematical tools predict if wave-energy devices stay afloat in the ocean
Ocean waves represent an abundant source of renewable energy. But to best use this natural resource, wave-energy converters need to be capable of physically handling ocean waves of different strengths without capsizing.

American Pikas show resiliency in the face of global warming
The American pika is a charismatic, diminutive relative of rabbits that some researchers say is at high risk of extinction due to climate change.

Mental accounting is impacting sustainable behavior
Human beings tend to create separate mental budget compartments where specific acts of consumption and payments are linked.

If the glove fits
Israeli archaeologists found an astonishing common denominator among storage jars in Israel over a period of 350 years: the inner-rim diameter of the jar's neck.

Want to wait less at the bus stop? Beware real-time updates
Smartphone apps that tell commuters when a bus will arrive at a stop don't result in less time waiting than reliance on an official bus route schedule, a new study suggests.

A call for more comprehensive smoking cessation programs for cancer patients who smoke
In an editorial published in JAMA, UNC Lineberger's Adam Goldstein, MD, MPH, director of the UNC Tobacco Treatment Programs and professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine, and his co-authors called for more funding and better reimbursement for smoking cessation counseling for cancer patients who smoke.

Wearable IT devices: Dyeing process gives textiles electronic properties
Whether in fitness, medicine or in the entertainment industry, IT devices worn on the body, such as smart watches, are becoming increasingly popular.

Ultrasound screening may be limited in ability to predict perinatal complications
Delivering a newborn with macrosomia (weighing more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces at birth) may be associated with higher risk of adverse outcomes, including perinatal death and injuries related to traumatic delivery, such as stuck shoulders (shoulder dystocia).
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