Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 16, 2020
The mental health impact of pandemics for front line health care staff
New research shows the impact that pandemics have on the mental health of front-line health care staff.

Drug repurposing
University of New Mexico researchers identify three existing drugs with the potential to clear SARS-CoV-2 infections.

Results from the DEFINE-FLOW study reported at TCT Connect
A new observational study of deferred lesions following combined fractional flow reserve (FFR) and coronary flow reserve (CFR) assessments found that untreated vessels with abnormal FFR but intact CFR do not have non-inferior outcomes compared to those with an FFR greater than 0.8 and a CFR greater than or equal to two when treated medically.

Covid-19: Pooled testing among recommendations to fix test, trace and isolate system
In a series of recommendations to fix the struggling Covid-19 test, trace and isolate system in England, health researchers from University College London and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine say that pooled testing for Covid-19 could significantly increase testing capacity in a relatively short space of time and help with the identification of asymptomatic cases in key workers.

Long-term data show a recent acceleration in chemical and physical changes in the ocean
New research published in Nature Communications Earth & Environment uses data from two sustained open-ocean hydrographic stations (Hydrostation 'S' and the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study) in the North Atlantic Ocean near Bermuda to demonstrate recent changes in ocean physics and chemistry since the 1980s.

When honey flows faster than water
Physicists surprised to find that in specially coated tubes, the more viscous a liquid is, the faster it flows

Two planets around a red dwarf
The 'SAINT-EX' Observatory, led by scientists from the National Centre of Competence in Research NCCR PlanetS of the University of Bern and the University of Geneva, has detected two exoplanets orbiting the star TOI-1266.

RUDN University soil scientist: Paddy soil fertilization can help reduce greenhouse effect
A soil scientist from RUDN University discovered the effect of fertilization on the ability of the soil to retain carbon.

World's greatest mass extinction triggered switch to warm-bloodedness
Mammals and birds today are warm-blooded, and this is often taken as the reason for their great success.

Study explains the process that exacerbates MS
People with multiple sclerosis (MS) gradually develop increasing functional impairment.

Zeptoseconds: new world record in short time measurement
In the global race to measure ever shorter time spans, physicists from Goethe University Frankfurt have now taken the lead: together with colleagues at the accelerator facility DESY in Hamburg and the Fritz-Haber-Institute in Berlin, they have measured a process that lies within the realm of zeptoseconds for the first time: the propagation of light within a molecule.

Slowing light in an optical cavity with mechanical resonators and mirrors
Kamran Ullah from Pakistan and Hameed Ullah from Porto Alegre, Brazil have demonstrated the theory behind how a cavity optomechanical system induces OMIT and reduces the speed of light, in a paper in EPJ D entitled 'Enhanced optomechanically induced transparency and slow/fast light in a position-dependent mass optomechanics'

USask scientists develop model to identify best lentils for climate change impacts
With demand for lentils growing globally and climate change driving temperatures higher, a University of Saskatchewan-led international research team has developed a model for predicting which varieties of the pulse crop are most likely to thrive in new production environments.

Catholic OB-GYNs can face moral dilemmas in issues of family planning
A study of Catholic obstetrician-gynecologists shows that many face moral dilemmas when dealing with issues of family planning and abortion due to their religious faith, according researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

Energy System 2050: solutions for the energy transition
To contribute to global climate protection, Germany has to rapidly and comprehensively minimize the use of fossil energy sources and to transform the energy system accordingly.

Results from the FORECAST Trial reported at TCT Connect
In the FORECAST randomized clinical trial, the use of fractional flow reserve management derived from computed tomography (FFRCT) did not significantly reduce costs but did reduce the use of invasive coronary angiography (ICA).

Explaining teamwork in male lions
Biologists from the Wildlife Institute of India and the University of Minnesota demonstrated the hows and whys of cooperation among male lions.

During COVID, scientists turn to computers to understand C4 photosynthesis
When COVID closed down their lab, a team from the University of Essex turned to computational approaches to understand what makes some plants better adapted to transform light and carbon dioxide into yield through photosynthesis.

NIH begins large clinical trial to test immune modulators for treatment of COVID-19
The National Institutes of Health has launched an adaptive Phase 3 clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of three immune modulator drugs in hospitalized adults with COVID-19.

uOttawa researchers find cheaper, faster way to measure the electric field of light
Researchers at the University of Ottawa have created a new method to measure the temporal evolution of electric fields with optical frequencies.

Justice for all: How race and American identity may affect politics
New Penn State research examined whether feeling like you belong in America -- or not -- affected how members of different races and ethnicities participated in politics.

Unprecedented energy use since 1950 has transformed humanity's geologic footprint
A new study makes clear the extraordinary speed and scale of increases in energy use, economic productivity and global population that have pushed the Earth towards a new geological epoch, known as the Anthropocene.

Pinpointing the 'silent' mutations that gave the coronavirus an evolutionary edge
We know that the coronavirus behind the COVID-19 crisis lived harmlessly in bats and other wildlife before it jumped the species barrier and spilled over to humans.

New study may reveal link to lipids playing a key role in Parkinson's disease
New Parkinson's disease model breaks conventional thinking about the roots of Parkinson's disease and may lead to development of new therapies.

Humans and climate drove giants of Madagascar to extinction
The entire endemic megafauna of Madagascar and the Mascarene islands Mauritius and Rodrigues was eliminated during the past millennium.

Malice leaves a nasty smell
Unhealthy behaviours trigger moral judgments that are similar to the basic emotions that contribute to our ability to survive.

Surrey is leading the way in perovskite tandem solar cells
Scientists from the University of Surrey have revealed the significant improvements they are making in perovskite-based solar cells.

Arctic Ocean sediments reveal permafrost thawing during past climate warming
Sea floor sediments of the Arctic Ocean can reveal how permafrost responds to climate warming.

Quarter of partially-sighted have unmet needs
Almost a quarter of people with severe sight loss in the UK are going without the treatment they need, according to a new study being presented at the World Congress on Public Health today

Gel instrumental in 3D bioprinting biological tissues
The eventual creation of replacement biological parts requires fully three-dimensional capabilities that two-dimensional and three-dimensional thin-film bioprinting cannot supply.

Lineage tracing of direct astrocyte-to-neuron conversion for brain repair
A research team led by Prof. Gong Chen at Jinan University (Guangzhou, China) published a work on October 9th in Neural Regeneration Research, providing unambiguous data that brain internal astrocytes are directly converted into neurons through lineage tracing studies.

New dimensions in the treatment of muscle spasticity after stroke and nervous system defects
Chronic muscle spasticity after nervous system defects like stroke, traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis and painful low back pain affect more than 10% of the population, with a socioeconomic cost of about 500 billion USD.

Instituting a minimum price for alcohol reduces deaths, hospital stays
When governments create a minimum price for alcoholic beverages, deaths and hospitalizations related to alcohol use significantly decrease, according to results from a new report in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Internet connectivity is oxygen for research and development work
Fast and reliable internet access is fundamental for research and development activity around the world.

Study reveals kidney disease or injury is associated with much higher risk of mortality for COVID-19 patients in ICU
New research published in Anaesthesia (a journal of the Association of Anaesthetists) reveals the much higher risk of mortality faced by COVID-19 patients in intensive care who have chronic kidney disease (CKD) or, those who develop new (acute) kidney injury (AKI) as a result of developing COVID-19.

Moffitt researchers develop tool to better predict treatment course for lung cancer
In a new article published in Nature Communications, Moffitt Cancer Center researchers demonstrate how a deep learning model using positron emission tomography/computerized tomography radiomics can identify which non-small cell lung cancer patients may be sensitive to tyrosine kinase inhibitor treatment and those who would benefit from immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy.

Trees prefer the big city life
A new study examines how trees respond to different urban intensities by comparing tree size and age, foliage nitrogen signature, nutrient and heavy metal content and other factors in forests in Newark, Del., and Philadelphia, Pa.

Diabetes researchers spot dangerous T cells in the pancreas -- even in healthy people
It's long been thought that having 'autoreactive' T cells in the pancreas was a sure sign of type 1 diabetes.

When good governments go bad
When anthropologists examined a broad, global sample of 30 pre-modern societies, they found that when 'good' governments -- ones that provided goods and services for their people and did not starkly concentrate wealth and power -- fell apart, they broke down more intensely than collapsing despotic regimes.

ctDNA may predict outcomes with first-line, but not second-line immunotherapy for melanoma
Baseline levels of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) predicted responses to first-line, but not second-line, immune checkpoint inhibition in patients with melanoma.

Peptides+antibiotic combination may result in a more effective treatment for leishmaniasis
A combination of peptides and antibiotics could be key to eliminating the parasite causing leishmaniasis and avoiding the toxicity to people and animals caused by current drugs.

Fats fighting back against bacteria
With antibiotic-resistant superbugs on the rise, this research shows a new way that cells are using to protect themselves - using fats as a covert weapon, and giving us new insights into alternative ways to fight infection.

Investigational ALS drug prolongs patient survival in clinical trial
An experimental medication that was recently shown to slow the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis has now demonstrated the potential to also prolong patient survival.

NASA supercomputing study breaks ground for tree mapping, carbon research
A new method for mapping the location and size of trees growing outside of forests helped scientists discover billions of trees in arid and semi-arid regions and lays the groundwork for more accurate global measurement of carbon storage on land.

How is STEM children's programming prioritizing diversity?
The first large-scale analysis of characters featured in STEM-related educational programming revealed that of the characters appearing in STEM television programming for kids ages 3 to 6, Latinx and females are left behind.

Ultrafast camera films 3-D movies at 100 billion frames per second
Lihong Wang's latest camera technology captures ultrafast video in three dimensions and may help solve some scientific mysteries.

USC study reveals one-two punch of symptoms that exacerbate Alzheimer's
A new Alzheimer's study found that impaired blood flow in the brain is correlated with the buildup of tau tangles, a hallmark indicator of cognitive decline.The work suggests that treatments targeting vascular health in the brain -- as well as amyloid plaques and tau tangles -- may be more effective in preserving memory

Membranes for capturing carbon dioxide from the air
CO¬2 capture from the air can mitigate further CO2 emissions, related increase in global temperature and climate change.

Novel mechanical mechanism of metastatic cancer cells in substrates of different stiffness revealed
Metastasis, the spread of cancer cells to a different body part from where it started, is considered as the most dangerous phase of cancer development.

Ground-breaking discovery finally proves rain really can move mountains
A pioneering technique which captures precisely how mountains bend to the will of raindrops has helped solve a long-standing scientific enigma.

Oncotarget: Geriatric nutritional risk index - prognostic marker of esophageal carcinoma
Oncotarget Volume 11, Issue 29 reported that In multivariate analyses, serum albumin, GNRI, pathological tumor-node-metastasis stage, and tumor differentiation were independent prognostic factors for CSS.

The future of krill
Although the krill catch is regulated, caution is required to avoid endangering the population itself and the species that depend on it, warns a group of krill experts headed by Prof.

New research comparing HIV medications set to change international recommendations
A new study by UBC researchers is set to change international treatment recommendations for people who are newly diagnosed with HIV--an update that could affect nearly two million people per year worldwide.

Study finds room for improvement when hospital patients transition to hospice care
Terminally ill patients referred to hospice care from a hospital setting tend to be on hospice for shorter periods than those who enter hospice while living at home or in a residential care facility.

Those funky cheese smells allow microbes to 'talk' to and feed each other
Researchers found that bacteria essential to ripening cheese can sense and respond to compounds produced by fungi in the rind and released into the air, enhancing the growth of some species of bacteria over others.

How bacteria adapt their machinery for optimum growth
The tiny 'machines' that keep the processes in bacterial cells going are made up of a large number of different proteins and RNA molecules.

A flash of light to identify tumors: the results of the VIBRA project of the Politecnico di Milano
The VIBRA project, ''Very fast Imaging by Broadband coherent Raman'', has just ended at the Politecnico di Milano.

Immunotherapy combo halts rare, stage 4 sarcoma in teen
The patient, whose tumor responded within two weeks after receiving the combination, resumed normal activity and was in a complete remission at the time of the report.

Additional data, advanced analytics improve performance of machine learning referral app
In a study published in JMIR Medical Informatics, researchers from Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University report they have further improved the performance of Uppstroms, a machine learning application they developed that identifies patients who may need referrals to wraparound services, by incorporating additional personal and population-level data sources and advanced analytical approaches.

Results from the TARGET FFR study reported at TCT Connect
Results from the randomized controlled TARGET FFR trial show that while a physiology-guided percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) optimization strategy did not achieve a significant increase in the proportion of patients with final FFR ?0.90, it reduced the proportion of patients with a residual FFR ?0.80 following PCI.

A promising new tool in the fight against melanoma
An Edith Cowan University (ECU) study has revealed that a key blood marker of cancer could be used to select the most effective treatment for melanoma.

Study: More than 200 million Americans could have toxic PFAS in their drinking water
A peer-reviewed study by scientists at the Environmental Working Group estimates that more than 200 million Americans could have the toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS in their drinking water at a concentration of 1 part per trillion, or ppt, or higher.

In recovering COVID-19 patients, antibodies fade quickly
This week in mBio, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, researchers report that antibody levels in the blood of COVID-19 patients drop rapidly during the weeks after their bodies have cleared the virus and symptoms have subsided.

Viral 'molecular scissor' is next COVID-19 drug target
Inhibiting the SARS-CoV-2-PLpro enzyme is a novel avenue to explore in rational design of COVID-19 drugs, according to new research from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and collaborators in Wroclaw, Poland.

Remember that fake news you read? It may help you remember even more
Thinking back on a time you encountered false information or ''fake news'' may prime your brain to better recall truthful memories.

Non-obese Vietnamese Americans are 60% more likely to have diabetes
A new study has found that Vietnamese-American adults who were not obese were 60% more likely to have diabetes than non-obese, non-Hispanic, White Americans, after accounting for age, sex, sociodemographic factors, smoking history and exercise level.

Octopus-inspired sucker transfers thin, delicate tissue grafts and biosensors
Thin tissue grafts and flexible electronics have a host of applications for wound healing, regenerative medicine and biosensing.

Utilizing telemedicine in the ER can reduce wait times and patient length of stay
Telemedicine has become more common given the current global pandemic.

High fructose intake may drive aggressive behaviors, ADHD, bipolar
New research suggests that conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity syndrome (ADHD), bipolar disorder, and even aggressive behaviors may be linked with sugar intake, and that it may have an evolutionary basis.

Congenital heart defects may not increase the risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms
People with congenital heart disease had a lower-than-expected risk for severe symptoms from COVID-19, a new study has found.

Researchers discover a uniquely quantum effect in erasing information
Researchers from Trinity College Dublin have discovered a uniquely quantum effect in erasing information that may have significant implications for the design of quantum computing chips.

A controllable membrane to pull carbon dioxide out of exhaust streams
A system developed by chemical engineers at MIT could provide a way of continuously removing carbon dioxide from a stream of waste gases, or even from the air.

Deep-sea corals reveal secrets of rapid carbon dioxide increase as the last ice age ended
The Southern Ocean played a critical role in the rapid atmospheric carbon dioxide increase during the last deglaciation that took place 20,000 to 10,000 years ago, an international team of researchers report in Science Advances.

Enzymatic DNA synthesis sees the light
Researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and Harvard Medical School have applied photolithographic techniques from the computer chip industry to enzymatic DNA synthesis, and thus developed a new method to multiplex the superior DNA writing ability of Terminal deoxynucleotidyl Transferase TdT's.

Are climate scientists being too cautious when linking extreme weather to climate change?
Climate science has focused on avoiding false alarms when linking extreme events to climate change.

COVID: women are less likely to put themselves in danger
Women's attitudes and behaviors may have contributed to their reduced vulnerability and mortality.

Safe sex or risky romance? Young adults make the rational choice
Eros, the fabled Greek god of love, was said to bring confusion and weaken the mind.

Body MRI reinterpretations plagued by discrepancies and errors
According to an article in ARRS' American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR), secondary interpretations of body MRI at tertiary care centers identify a high rate of discrepancies--with primary errors being interpretive in origin--suggesting that subspecialty interpretations should be encouraged, and institutions should provide adequate resources for these interpretations to occur.

Deep sea coral time machines reveal ancient CO2 burps
The fossilised remains of ancient deep-sea corals may act as time machines providing new insights into the effect the ocean has on rising CO2 levels, according to new research carried out by the Universities of Bristol, St Andrews and Nanjing and published today [16 October 2020] in Science Advances.

LGBTQ+ campus centers 'more important than ever' argue scholars
In a new commentary piece, scholars from Lehigh University and Ohio State University argue that LGBTQ+ college and university campus resource centers are essential to the health, well-being and academic achievement of LGBTQ+ students.

Suicide prevention in COVID-19 era
COVID-19 presents a new and urgent opportunity to focus political will, federal investments, and global community on the vital imperative of suicide prevention.

Natural nanodiamonds in oceanic rocks
Natural diamonds can form through low pressure and temperature geological processes on Earth, as stated in an article published in the journal Geochemical Perspectives Letters.

Calcium bursts kill drug-resistant tumor cells
Multidrug resistance (MDR) -- a process in which tumors become resistant to multiple medicines -- is the main cause of failure of cancer chemotherapy.

American Frozen Food Institute's international expert panel publishes new manuscript
The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) announces the publication of a new manuscript, ''Alternative Approaches to the Risk Management of Listeria monocytogenes in Low Risk Foods,'' now available online in Food Control, an international scientific journal for food safety and process control professionals.

'Classified knots': uOttawa researchers create optical framed knots to encode information
In a world first, researchers from the University of Ottawa in collaboration with Israeli scientists have been able to create optical framed knots in the laboratory that could potentially be applied in modern technologies.

Study shows main cell type in the liver has key role in defending against some viruses
Scientists at Scripps Research have uncovered an important disease-fighting role for cells called hepatocytes, which constitute most of the liver.

New study highlights the role of risk communication in coping with COVID-19
New research from the International Joint Laboratory of Cognitive and Behavioural Scienc (iLCBC) at ZZNU demonstrates the importance of risk communication aimed at encouraging appropriate countermeasures against virus outbreaks.

A new strategy for siRNA stabilization by an artificial cationic oligosaccharide
Instability of small interfering RNA (siRNA) is one of the obstacles in the development of siRNA-based drugs.

Stopping the virus and closing borders
Travel restrictions implemented early on in the pandemic have been crucial in slowing the spread of the coronavirus and keeping death rates low.

Is sitting always bad for your mind? A new study suggests maybe not
It's generally accepted health advice that adults of all ages should sit less, move more, and engage in regular exercise to feel better and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
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