Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 23, 2020
Regeneration of eye cells: Warning lights discovered
Moving around in the half-light is difficult but not impossible.

Not all cats are grey in the dark!
Using two mode-locked femtosecond lasers and a single photon counting detector, scientists have recorded broad spectra with close to one hundred thousand colors in almost complete darkness.

Seropositive prevalence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan, China
This study examined the seropositive prevalence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan, China, by sex and age group.

Plant compound reduces cognitive deficits in mouse model of Down syndrome
The plant compound apigenin improved the cognitive and memory deficits usually seen in a mouse model of Down syndrome, according to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

Coastal permafrost more susceptible to climate change than previously thought
Research led by Micaela Pedrazas, who earned her masters at The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences working with Professor Bayani Cardenas, has found permafrost to be mostly absent throughout the shallow seafloor along a coastal field site in northeastern Alaska.

Researchers create human airway stem cells from patients' cells
For the first time, researchers have successfully created airway basal stem cells in vitro from induced pluripotent stem cells by reprogramming blood cells taken from patients.

Fipronil, a common insecticide, disrupts aquatic communities in the U.S.
The research team found a common insecticide, fipronil, and related compounds were more toxic to stream communities than previous research has found.

Coating implants with 'artificial bone' to prevent inflammation
Bone disease is becoming increasingly prevalence in modern society due to population aging among other factors, and the use of dental and orthopedic implants to treat bone disease has been on the rise.

PTSD and alcohol abuse go hand-in-hand, but males and females exhibit symptoms differently
Through intricate experiments designed to account for sex-specific differences, scientists at Scripps Research have collaborated to zero-in on certain changes in the brain that may be responsible for driving alcohol abuse among people with PTSD.

Elkhorn coral actively fighting off diseases on reef, study finds
MIAMI--As the world enters a next wave of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are aware now more than ever of the importance of a healthy immune system to protect ourselves from disease.

Regenerated forests offset 12% of carbon emissions in Brazilian Amazon in 33 years
A study quantified the size and age of the forests that grow naturally in degraded and abandoned areas, creating 131 benchmark maps for Brazil.

Extruded grains may be better for pigs
Extrusion is the norm in the pet and aqua feed industries, yet it remains unusual for swine feed in the United States.

Scientists from NUST MISIS manage to improve metallic glasses
Researchers at National University of Science and Technology MISIS (NUST MISIS) have managed to develop a unique method to process bulk metallic glasses.

Study finds field of forensic anthropology lacks diversity
The field of forensic anthropology is a relatively homogenous discipline in terms of diversity (people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, people with mental and physical disabilities, etc.) and this is highly problematic for the field of study and for most forensic anthropologists.

Keeping the spark lit into the golden years
Have you passed your supposed prime and feel like it takes more to get fired up?

Study reveals bat-winged dinosaurs had short-lived gliding abilities
Research Assistant Professor Dr Michael PITTMAN (Vertebrate Palaeontology Laboratory, Division of Earth and Planetary Science & Department of Earth Sciences) at The University of Hong Kong (HKU), recently showed that powered flight potential evolved at least three times and that many ancestors of close bird relatives neared the thresholds of powered flight potential, suggesting broad experimentation with wing-assisted locomotion before flight evolved.

COVID-19 a double blow for chronic disease patients
The COVID-19 pandemic has escalated into a 'syndemic' for people with chronic illnesses, a new UNSW study analysing data from low and middle-income countries shows.

Happiness and the evolution of brain size
Serotonin can act as a growth factor for the stem cells in the fetal human brain that determine brain size.

New imaging method reveals HIV's sugary shield in unprecedented detail
Scientists from Scripps Research have devised a method for mapping in unprecedented detail the thickets of slippery sugar molecules that help shield HIV from the immune system.

New algorithm predicts likelihood of acute kidney injury
In a recent study, a new algorithm outperformed the standard method for predicting which hospitalized patients will develop acute kidney injury.

Stars and planets grow up together as siblings
ALMA shows rings around the still-growing proto-star IRS 63

Exploring the source of stars and planets in a laboratory
New computer simulation aims to verify a widely held but unproven theory of the source of celestial bodies.

Metal deposits from Chinese coal plants end up in the Pacific Ocean, USC research shows
Emissions from coal-fired power plants in China are fertilizing the North Pacific Ocean with a metal nutrient important for marine life, according to new findings from a USC-led research team.

Time crystals lead researchers to future computational work
Time crystals sound like something out of science fiction, but they may be the next major leap in quantum network research.

Response to adjuvant bevacizumab among patients with resected melanoma may vary by age
Younger patients with resected melanoma had some benefit from adjuvant treatment with the anti-VEGF therapeutic bevacizumab (Avastin) while older patients with resected melanoma did not.

New data on increasing cloth mask effectiveness
A new study published in Risk Analysis, 'Reinventing cloth masks in the face of pandemics,' by Stephen Salter, P.Eng., describes how Effective Fiber Mask Programs (EFMPs) can help communities find a balance between the economy and curbing community spread.

Residents of U.S. counties with more connections to China or Italy were more likely to follow early pandemic restrictions
Residents of U.S. counties with more social connections (measured as Facebook friends) to China or Italy - the first countries to report major COVID-19 outbreaks - were more likely to adhere to social distancing restrictions at the onset of the pandemic, according to a new study.

Poor women in Bangladesh reluctant to use healthcare
A study, published in PLOS ONE, found that the women living in Dhaka slums were reluctant to use institutionalised maternal health care for fear of having to make undocumented payments, unfamiliar institutional processes, lack of social and family support, matters of honour and shame, a culture of silence and inadequate spousal communication on health issues.

Marine biology -- Sponges as biomonitors of micropollution
Sponges are filter feeders that live on particulate matter -- but they can also ingest microscopic fragments of plastics and other pollutants of anthropogenic origin.

Seabird response to abrupt climate change 5,000 years ago transformed Falklands ecosystems
A 14,000-year paleoecological reconstruction of the sub-Antarctic islands led by University of Maine researchers has found that seabird establishment occurred during a period of regional cooling 5,000 years ago.

Knowing the model you can trust - the key to better decision-making
As much of Europe is engulfed by a second wave of Covid-19, and track and trace struggles to meet demand, modelling support tools are being increasingly used by policymakers to make key decisions.

The hidden threat of the home office
Working at home has given many people the opportunity to arrange their working hours more freely than usual.

Discovery of pH-dependent 'switch' in interaction between pair of protein molecules
All biological processes are in some way pH-dependent. Our human bodies, and those of other organisms, need to maintain specific- and constant- pH regulation in order to function.

RUDN University chemist created a catalyst from orange peel for organic compounds production
N-heterocycles are organic substances used in the chemical industry and medicine.

QCLs exhibit extreme pulses
Based on a quantum cascade laser (QCL) emitting mid-infrared light, the researchers developed a basic optical neuron system operating 10,000× faster than biological neurons.

Acute kidney injury among African Americans with sickle cell trait and disease
New research examines the risk of acute kidney injury in people with sickle cell trait or disease, as well as the effect of acute kidney injury on kidney function decline in these individuals.

Achieving high concentrations of sunitinib in tumors is linked to improved survival
A strategy for giving intermittent, high doses of the anti-cancer drug sunitinib is well-tolerated by patients with advanced cancer and increases concentrations of the drug in tumors, which is associated with improved survival, according to research to be presented at the 32nd EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, which is taking place online.

War on plastic is distracting from more urgent threats to environment, experts warn
A team of leading environmental experts, spearheaded by the University of Nottingham, have warned that the current war on plastic is detracting from the bigger threats to the environment.

COVID-19 lockdown reduced mental health, sleep, exercise
A first-of-its-kind global survey shows the initial phase of the COVID-19 lockdown dramatically altered our personal habits, largely for the worse.

New test method to standardize immunological evaluation of nucleic acid nanoparticles
Recent successes of several FDA-approved therapeutic nucleic acids, together with the rapid preclinical progression of nucleic acid nanoparticles (NANPs), have made it apparent that immunological effects of NANPs must be carefully assessed to permit their successful clinical translation.

The unexpected repair function of neutrophils
Scientists at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC) have discovered that neutrophils, the most abundant cells of the innate immune system, have many more functions in the body than previously thought.

Examining association of stay-at-home orders, state-level African American population with COVID-19 case rates
Researchers investigated whether state-imposed stay-at-home orders and the proportion of African American population in a state were associated with the state-level COVID-19 cases from March to May 2020.

Clinical trial shows experimental drug safely slows progression of diabetic kidney disease
Patients with diabetic kidney disease can potentially be treated with a new investigational medication that may slow the progress of their illness without harmful side effects to their hearts, according to the results of a global clinical trial announced Friday.

Timekeeping theory combines quantum clocks and Einstein's relativity
Cool research story with connections to atomic clocks, Einstein and quantum mechanics.

Study: 34% of older adults in the US are prescribed potentially inappropriate drugs
The prescription of potentially inappropriate medications to older adults is linked to increased hospitalizations, and it costs patients, on average, more than $450 per year, according to a new University at Buffalo study.

Molecular processes in kidney cells may 'prime' diabetics for COVID-19 infection
People with diabetes -- especially those with diabetic kidney disease -- are among the most at risk for COVID-19.

Research team discovers molecular processes in kidney cells that attract and feed COVID-19
What about the kidneys make them a hotspot for COVID-19's cytokine storm?

New population of immune cells could play a role in multiple sclerosis
Researchers uncover defining features of a subset of T-cells that may drive autoimmunity in MS, and could prove to be a new target for therapy.

Bone density is associated with regular use, study finds
Researchers at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have found that bone density and frame size of women is associated with habitual use in tasks that involve domestic labor.

Burt's Bees presents clinical data on brand's natural lip and anti-aging skincare efficacy
Burt's Bees, a pioneer in natural skin care, today announced new research supporting the role of efficacy-first, natural regimens to defend, replenish and restore vibrant, healthier-looking skin.

ASTRO: Proton therapy for lung cancer may help reduce risk of heart diseases
Treating lung cancer patients with proton therapy may help reduce the risk of radiation-induced heart diseases.

ASTRO highlights Winship study showing increased failure-free survival in prostate cancer
The EMPIRE-1 trial is the first randomized trial of men with prostate cancer with recurring cancer to show that treatment based on advanced molecular imaging can improve disease-free survival rates.

SARS-CoV-2 antibodies detectable up to seven months post COVID-19 onset, shows new Portuguese study
A new study led by Marc Veldhoen, principal investigator at Instituto de Medicina Molecular with an interdisciplinary team of clinicians and researchers from FMUL and CHLN and collaborators at IPST, shows that 90% of subjects have detectable antibodies 40 days up to 7 months post contracting COVID-19.

New therapeutic approach against leukemia
Using an RNA molecule complex, researchers can prevent retention of cancer stem cell in their tumor supporting niche

Engineering drought-resistant crops with Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) photosynthesis
This work examines requirements for introducing CAM and alternative water-saving pathways into C3 plants in different environments.

New study details atmosphere on 'hot Neptune' 260 light years away that 'shouldn't exist'
A team led by an astronomer from the University of Kansas has crunched data from NASA's TESS and Spitzer space telescopes to portray for the first time the atmosphere of a highly unusual kind of exoplanet dubbed a 'hot Neptune.'

Chemists develop framework to enable efficient synthesis of 'information-dense' molecules
A team led by scientists at Scripps Research has developed a theoretical approach that could ease the process of making highly complex, compact molecules.

Oncotarget: A novel format for recombinant antibody-interleukin-2 fusion proteins
Oncotarget recently published ''A novel format for recombinant antibody-interleukin-2 fusion proteins exhibits superior tumor-targeting properties in vivo which reported that here, the authors describe four novel formats for the L19-IL2 fusion, featuring different arrangements of antibody and IL2.

Charging electric cars up to 90% in 6 minutes
POSTECH Professor Byoungwoo Kang's research team uncovers a new Li-ion battery electrode material that can achieve high-energy density and high power capability per volume without reducing particle size.

Fish exposed to even small amounts of estrogen produce fewer males
UC assistant professor Latonya Jackson conducted experiments with North American freshwater fish called least killifish.

Bioplastics no safer than other plastics
Bioplastics contain substances that are as toxic as those in ordinary plastics.

Healthcare's earthquake: Lessons from COVID-19
Leaders and clinician researchers from Beth Israel Lahey Health propose using complexity science to identify strategies that healthcare organizations can use to respond better to the ongoing pandemic and to anticipate future challenges to healthcare delivery.

Mathematical modeling suggests optimal timing for antiviral therapies against COVID-19
A new mathematical modeling study by Ashish Goyal and colleagues, informed by data collected from 25 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in 4 different countries, offers some important new insights into the optimal timing of 4 different antiviral therapies to combat the disease.

Mental health disorders among university students confined during COVID-19
University students in France who experienced quarantine during COVID-19 were surveyed to assess how common were mental health issues and to identify factors associated with these disorders.

Where will the seabirds go?
A new study of a 14,000-year record, published in Science Advances, shows that seabird poop transformed an entire ecosystem in the Falkland Islands, raising questions about the birds' survival and the potential impact of climate change on sensitive terrestrial-marine ecosystems

Media alert: new articles in the CRISPR Journal
The CRISPR Journal announces the publication of its October 2020 issue.

Why do minorities have higher rates of kidney failure?
A new study indicates that Blacks and Hispanics have experienced higher rates of kidney failure compared with whites due to more rapid kidney function decline.

Super-resolution microscopy and machine learning shed new light on fossil pollen grains
Plant biology researchers at the University of Illinois and computer scientists at the University of California Irvine have developed a new method of fossil pollen identification through the combination of super-resolution microscopy and machine learning.

Endangered vaquita remain genetically healthy even in low numbers, new analysis shows
The critically endangered vaquita has survived in low numbers in its native Gulf of California for hundreds of thousands of years, a new genetic analysis has found.

'Patient activation' may improve quality of life in individuals with kidney disease
In individuals with chronic kidney disease who received online peer mentoring, improved patient activation correlated with improvements in various aspects of quality of life.

Easy home cancer test means patients can avoid hospital for colonoscopies
Findings from the largest international research study found that using FIT is almost 100% accurate at ruling out bowel cancer in patients with suspicious symptoms.

Protective shield: Membrane-attached protein protects bacteria & chloroplasts from stress
Stress is present everywhere, even bacteria and plant cells have to cope with it.

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. to publish Journal of Correctional Health Care
The National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) has awarded the contract to publish Journal of Correctional Health Care to Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers, effective January 2021.

How a Twitter hashtag provides support for people with breast cancer
A UCLA-led review of nine years of social media posts with the hashtag #BCSM suggests that Twitter can be a useful resource not only for patients, but also for physicians and researchers.

Texas A&M expert: New clues revealed about Clovis people
There is much debate surrounding the age of the Clovis -- a prehistoric culture named for stone tools found near Clovis, New Mexico in the early 1930s -- who once occupied North America during the end of the last Ice Age.

Researchers uncover crucial gene for growth of Ewing sarcoma
Researchers have discovered a gene that is critical for the development of Ewing sarcoma, a rare type of developmental cancer that presents in bones and soft tissues.

SPOTlight supercharges cell studies
Researchers develop a new method to isolate specific cells, and in the process find a more robust fluorescent protein.
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