Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 02, 2020
Study provides clues on curbing the aggressive nature of coronavirus
Recent study by Estonian researchers in University of Tartu explains how coronavirus is activated before attacking the cell and what could help to impede that.

Ultrapotent COVID-19 vaccine candidate designed via computer
An ultrapotent nanoparticle candidate vaccine against COVID-19 has been developed with structure-based vaccine design techniques invented at UW Medicine.

Flying through wildfire smoke plumes could improve smoke forecasts
The biggest study yet of West Coast wildfire plumes shows how a smoke plume's chemistry changes over time.

New simulation finds max cost for cost-effective health treatments
As health care costs balloon in the U.S., experts say it may be important to analyze whether those costs translate into better population health.

More Republicans follow COVID guidelines when they're told it will protect themselves
According to new research from the UBC Sauder School of Business, a different approach to public health messaging related to COVID-19 could potentially save more lives.

In your gut: How bacteria survive low oxygen environments
Researchers from ITQB NOVA, in collaboration with the Institut Pasteur in Paris, have shed light on the mechanisms that allow Clostridioides difficile, a pathogen that can only grow in oxygen-free environments, to survive low oxygen levels.

Intelligent cameras enhance human perception
A team of FAU researchers has developed an intelligent camera that achieves not only high spatial and temporal but also spectral resolution.

Root bacterium to fight Alzheimer's
A bacterium found among the soil close to roots of ginseng plants could provide a new approach for the treatment of Alzheimer's.

An underwater navigation system powered by sound
Underwater backscatter localization developed at MIT could allow for battery-free ocean exploration.

Innovative strategies sustain children's preventative care during pandemic
Nemours Children's Health System increased patient immunizations by 4.6% from January - September 2020, compared with the same period in 2019, through an innovative hybrid approach to care using both in-person and telemedicine, according to new data presented today at the Children's Hospital Association's 2020 Annual Leadership Conference.

A loan for lean season
For farmers in rural Zambia, payday comes just once a year, at harvest time.

Researchers develop a high-power, portable terahertz laser
Researchers at MIT and the University of Waterloo have developed a high-power, portable version of a device called a quantum cascade laser, which can generate terahertz radiation outside of a laboratory setting.

Room temperature conversion of CO2 to CO: A new way to synthesize hydrocarbons
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and their colleagues have demonstrated a room-temperature method that could significantly reduce carbon dioxide levels in fossil-fuel power plant exhaust, one of the main sources of carbon emissions in the atmosphere.

Age is a primary determinant of melanoma treatment resistance, two studies find
Age may cause identical cancer cells with the same mutations to behave differently.

A.I. tool provides more accurate flu forecasts
Yue Ning and her team at Stevens Institute of Technology trained their A.I. tool using real-world state and regional data from the U.S. and Japan, then tested its forecasts against historical flu data.

A new curriculum helps surgical trainees comprehensively treat victims of firearm violence
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Mo., developed a multidisciplinary curriculum to train surgical residents so that they can best treat victims of firearm violence and feel confident in contributing to the national conversation on firearm violence as a public health problem.

Sleep-deprived mice find cocaine more rewarding
Sleep deprivation may pave the way to cocaine addiction. Too-little sleep can increase the rewarding properties of cocaine, according to new research in mice published in eNeuro.

Do octopuses' arms have a mind of their own?
Octopuses are strange creatures, with three hearts, eight arms and a nervous system distinct from any other animal.

Hungry plants rely on their associated bacteria to mobilize unavailable iron
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research have found that, faced with limiting iron, plants direct their microbiota to mobilise this essential nutrient for optimal growth.

Rural areas have fewer mental health services for young people
Very rural areas in the United States have fewer mental health services for young people, yet that's where the help is most needed, says a study published in JAMA Network Open.

NUS researchers invent flexible and highly reliable sensor
Known as Tactile Resistive Annularly Cracked E-Skin (TRACE), this novel sensor material developed by the National University of Singapore researchers is five times better than conventional soft materials, and could be used in wearable health technology devices, or in robotics to perceive surface texture.

Canada should approve HIV self-testing
Canada should integrate self-testing for HIV into the health system to help reduce the burden of the disease, argues a commentary published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) http://www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.201160.

Biologists shed light on mystery of how microbes evolve and affect hosts
While associations between microbes and their hosts have long been known, little is known about how microbes evolve and how their evolution affects the health of their hosts.

Scientists identify specific brain region and circuits controlling attention
A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that norepinephrine-producing neurons in the locus coeruleus produce attention focus and impulse control via two distinct connections to prefrontal cortex

Election angst? In states that back losing nominee, residents' mental health may falter
Whether a Trump triumph or a Biden victory, millions of Americans may expect a decline in their mental health if they live in states that favor the losing candidate.

Outcomes of contact tracing in San Francisco
Researchers evaluated case investigation and contact tracing outcomes in San Francisco during shelter-in-place restrictions in that California city because of COVID-19.

New analysis method can lead to better cancer drugs
While proteins on the surface of cells are the targets for most drugs, refined methods are needed to analyse how these membrane proteins are organised.

Silk road contains genomic resources for improving apples
The fabled Silk Road is responsible for one of our favorite and most valuable fruits: the domesticated apple.

Monkey see others, monkey do: How the brain allows actions based on social cues
Researchers at the National Institute for Physiological Sciences in Japan have shown that when monkeys make decisions based on social cues provided by other monkeys, information flow from one part of the brain (the ventral premotor cortex) to another (medial prefrontal cortex) is vital.

Decennial 2020 research sets the agenda for advancing safe healthcare
More than 700 studies, including 250 international abstracts, highlighting worldwide progress in preventing and controlling healthcare-associated infections and addressing antibiotic resistance were published today as part of the proceedings from the Sixth Decennial International Conference on Healthcare-Associated Infections.

Covid-19 "super-spreading" events play outsized role in overall disease transmission
MIT researchers find Covid-19 super-spreading events, in which one person infects more than six other people, are much more frequent than anticipated, and that they have an outsized contribution to coronavirus transmission.

Molecular interactions regulating trans-synaptic signalling and synapse formation
Scientists at Korea's Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST) and colleagues have uncovered some of the complex molecular mechanisms involved in the formation of the brain's neural circuits.

New research on COVID-19 and aging: policy considerations for a post-COVID preside
The Gerontological Society of America's highly cited, peer-reviewed journals are continuing to publish scientific articles on COVID-19, and all are free to access.

Removing this hidden nasty from our food could save thousands of lives
Banning a harmful ingredient from the Australian food supply could prevent thousands of deaths from heart disease according to new research from The George Institute for Global Health.

The role of the Sun in the spread of viral respiratory diseases
Why do most viral epidemics spread cyclically in autumn and winter in the globe's temperate regions?

For plant and animal immune systems the similarities go beyond sensing
Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research (MPIPZ) and University of Cologne researcher Takaki Maekawa and colleagues have discovered that plants have independently evolved a family of immune proteins that are strikingly similar to animals.

Outcome of 2016 US election associated with poorer mental health in Clinton voters
There were 54.6 million more days of poor mental health among adults in states that voted for Hillary Clinton in December 2016, compared to October 2016, according to a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. No such increase in poor mental health following the 2016 US election was observed in states that voted for Donald Trump.

Early impact of COVID-19 on scientists revealed in global survey of 25,000
The initial impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the scientific community has been revealed in one of the largest academic surveys ever conducted.

Teens who participate in extracurriculars, get less screen time, have better mental health
A new study from UBC researchers finds that teens, especially girls, have better mental health when they spend more time taking part in extracurricular activities, like sports and art, and less time in front of screens.

New remote sensing technique could bring key planetary mineral into focus
The mineral olivine, thought to be a major component inside all planetary bodies, holds secrets about the early formation of the solar system, and a team of Brown University researchers has a new way to study it remotely.

Printing plastic webs to protect the cellphone screens of the future
Follow the unbreakable bouncing phone! A Polytechnique Montréal team recently demonstrated that a fabric designed using additive manufacturing absorbs up to 96% of impact energy -- all without breaking.

Hot or cold, weather alone has no significant effect on COVID-19 spread
Research led by The University of Texas at Austin is adding some clarity on weather's role in COVID-19 infection, with a new study finding that temperature and humidity do not play a significant role in coronavirus spread.

Consequences of glacier shrinkage
Scientists from Heidelberg University have investigated the causes of a glacial lake outburst flood in the Ladakh region of India.

Analyzing biological and chemical damage on 20th-century construction materials
The UPV/EHU's IBeA research group has accurately determined the deterioration undergone by synthetic construction materials and its origin.

UNH research: Longer mud season, no snow could alter northeast rivers by 2100
University of New Hampshire has found that snow cover is on the decline in northeastern US due to climate change and by the end of century, the vernal window, sometimes referred to as mud season, could be two to four weeks longer which means significantly less melting snow that could be detrimental to key spring conditions in rivers and surrounding ecosystems.

Mayo Clinic study finds 1 in 8 patients with cancer harbor inherited genetic mutations
PHOENIX, Ariz. ? Genetic testing can uncover inherited genetic mutations, and could individualize cancer therapies, improve survival, manage cancer in loved ones and push the boundaries of precision medicine.

it's not if, but how people use social media that impacts their well-being
New research from UBC Okanagan indicates what's most important for overall happiness is how a person uses social media.

Mobile phones help Americans encounter more diverse news
Researchers at the Annenberg School for Communication analyzed the news consumption of tens of thousands of Americans over a five-year period on desktop computers, tablets, and mobile phones.

What's for dinner? Dolphin diet study
More evidence has emerged to support stricter coastal management, this time focusing on pollution and overfishing in the picturesque tourist waters off Auckland in New Zealand.

Where you get depression care matters, study finds
Research shows that collaborative care programs in which primary-care providers work with a depression care manager and a designated psychiatric consultant can more than double the likelihood of improving depression outcomes.

Palm oil certification brings mixed outcomes to neighbouring communities
Research led by the University of Kent's Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) has found that Indonesian communities living near oil palm plantations are impacted in different ways, both positive and negative, during plantation development and certification.

Tunable THz radiation from 3D topological insulator
Wu's research group has been investigating a three-dimensional topological insulator of bismuth telluride (Bi2Te3) as a promising basis for an effective THz system.

Genomic data 'catches corals in the act' of speciation and adaptation
A new study led by the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa revealed that diversity in Hawaiian corals is likely driven by co-evolution between the coral host, the algal symbiont, and the microbial community.

Combo-drug treatment for Type 2 diabetes remains effective after two years
Patients whose Type 2 diabetes is not controlled with metformin can benefit long-term from a two-drug combination treatment that also reduces weight.

Fossils reveal mammals mingled in age of dinosaurs
A cluster of ancient mammal fossils discovered in western Montana reveal that mammals were social earlier than previously believed, a new study finds.

Seven different 'disease forms' identified in mild COVID-19
In a study a team of MedUni Vienna scientists led by immunologist Winfried F.

Malaria test as simple as a bandage
A test for malaria looks like a bandage, but can diagnose the disease in minutes without the need for medical expertise or specialized equipment.

Immunotherapy side effect could be a positive sign for kidney cancer patients
An autoimmune side effect of immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) drugs could signal improved control of kidney cancer, according to a new study by researchers in UT Southwestern's Kidney Cancer Program (KCP).

Avoiding inflammatory foods can lower heart disease, stroke risk
Diets high in red and processed meat, refined grains and sugary beverages, which have been associated with increased inflammation in the body, can increase subsequent risk of heart disease and stroke compared to diets filled with anti-inflammatory foods according to a study published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Focus on COVID-19 deaths in under-65s for better insights into infection rates
Simply comparing the total number of deaths across countries may provide a misleading representation of the underlying level of transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, because of large differences in reported COVID-19 death rates in elderly populations in different countries.

Study suggests increased risk of restraint use in black patients in the emergency setting
A study published in the most recent issue of Academic Emergency Medicine (AEM) journal showed an increased risk of restraint use in Black patients compared with white patients in the emergency setting.

Self-watering soil could transform farming
A new type of soil created by engineers at The University of Texas at Austin can pull water from the air and distribute it to plants, potentially expanding the map of farmable land around the globe to previously inhospitable places and reducing water use in agriculture at a time of growing droughts.

Novel technique spotlights neuronal uptake of amyloid beta in Alzheimer's disease
One of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease is the formation of amyloid plaques that collect between neurons in the brain.

Nerves keep pancreatic cancer cells from starving
Pancreatic cancer cells avert starvation by signaling to nerves, which grow into dense tumors and secrete nutrients.

New cause of COVID-19 blood clots identified
A new study reveals that COVID-19 triggers production of antibodies circulating through the blood, causing clots in people hospitalized with the disease.

New study finds earliest evidence for mammal social behavior
A new study led by paleontologists at the University of Washington indicates that the earliest evidence of mammal social behavior goes back to the Age of Dinosaurs.

Lizard skull fossil is new and 'perplexing' extinct species
A new species of extinct lizard, Kopidosaurus perplexus, has been described by a graduate student at The University of Texas at Austin.

Fighting food fraud from farm to fork with a mobile ingredient tracing system
Savvy shoppers increasingly expect to know the origin of the food they eat, whether they shop at farmers' markets or big-box major retailers.

Discrimination increases against Asian and Asian American population, affecting health
Reports of racial discrimination against Asians and Asian-Americans have increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, coinciding with an increase in reported negative health symptoms, according to Washington State University researchers.

COVID-19 control measures shorten hospital stays for moms, babies
A new study from Cedars-Sinai shows new infection prevention practices implemented during the coronavirus pandemic have resulted in significantly shorter hospital stays for mothers and their babies, with no changes in the rates of cesarean deliveries, complications or poor outcomes.

Lack of understanding of common heart condition leads to missed treatment opportunities
Poor awareness of a condition known as Heart Failure with preserved Ejection Fraction (HFpEF) - the cause of a half of all cases of heart failure in England - could be hindering opportunities to improve care for patients, say researchers from the Universities of Cambridge, Manchester, and Keele.

Follow your gut: How farms protect from childhood asthma
Asthma impacts millions of children already at a young age.

The influence of social norms and behaviour on energy use
People tend to conform to what others do and what others regard as right.

Starting kindergarten on the right foot
Going into kindergarten already well-prepared gives a child advantagesgives a child many advantages later in life and lowers costs for society in the long term, researchers in Canada find.

Biomarker combination predicts kidney injury in critically ill children
Researchers at the University of Liverpool have identified a unique method of identifying the early signs of a potentially serious condition known as Acute Kidney Injury (AKI).

A 40-year-old catalyst unveils its secrets
Activity of the industrial catalyst TS-1 relies on titanium pairs / important discovery for catalyst development

Bats can predict the future, JHU researchers discover
They can't tell fortunes and they're useless with the stock market but bats are quite skilled at predicting one thing: where to find dinner.

New research reports discovery of 5-million-year-old honey badger-like animal
Five million years ago, dangerous carnivores - such as giant wolverines and otters, bears, sabertooth cats, and large hyaenids - prowled the West Coast of South Africa.

How the immune system remembers viruses
For a person to acquire immunity to a disease, T cells must develop into memory cells after contact with the pathogen.

Vitamin D levels during pregnancy linked with child IQ
A study published today in The Journal of Nutrition showed that mothers' vitamin D levels during pregnancy were associated with their children's IQ, suggesting that higher vitamin D levels in pregnancy may lead to greater childhood IQ scores.

Mathematical modeling of processes in neurons to assist the treatment of epilepsy and depression
Researchers study the effect of neural stimulation by ultrasonic waves and analyzing the influence of ultrasonic wave parameters on the excitation of electrical signals in the nerves.

Devil in the defect detail of quantum emissions unravelled
Emerging quantum technologies require a means to transmit quantum information effectively requiring new ways to reliably encode, transmit and detect quantum properties on individual particles of light, or photons.

Microfluidics helps MTU engineers watch viral infection in real time
Watching a viral infection happen in real time is like a cross between a zombie horror film, paint drying, and a Bollywood epic on repeat.

Abnormal blood pressure levels while sleeping increase risk of heart disease, stroke
Nighttime blood pressure levels that are higher than daytime levels, as well as a pattern of blood pressure rising at night (rather than decreasing slightly), were associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease and heart failure.

Higher risk of future fecal incontinence after sphincter injuries
The risk of subsequent fecal incontinence and intestinal gas leakage is significantly higher among women who, during childbirth, have suffered a sphincter injury and consequent damage to the anal sphincter muscle, was shown in a new study from the University of Gothenburg.

What digital revolution? Hundreds of millions of farmers still cannot get online
In the first assessment of its kind, researchers found that small farmers across the globe have woefully low access to mobile networks and the internet.

Cockroaches and lizards inspire new robot developed by Ben-Gurion University researcher
'The AmphiSTAR uses a sprawling mechanism inspired by cockroaches, and it is designed to run on water at high speeds like the basilisk lizard,' says Ben-Gurion University Prof.

Warming of 2°C would release billions of tonnes of soil carbon
Global warming of 2°C would lead to about 230 billion tonnes of carbon being released from the world's soil, new research suggests.

ACA's expansion of Medicaid improved maternal health
The period of time before pregnancy is critically important for the health of a woman and her infant, yet not all women have access to health insurance during this time.

Neanderthal children grew and were weaned similar to us
From the analysis of three milk teeth belonging to Neanderthal children who lived between 70,000 and 45,000 years ago in Northeastern Italy, it emerges that their growth rate was very similar to ours: the discovery leads to exclude that late weaning could be among the causes that led to the disappearance of this human species

To predict how crops cope with changing climate, 30 years of experiments simulate future
Today, a review published in Global Change Biology synthesizes 30 years of 'Free-Air Concentration Enrichment' (FACE) data to grasp how global crop production may be impacted by rising CO2 levels and other factors.

New UTSA research identifies link between food insecurity and unengaged distance learning
A new study by the UTSA Urban Education Institute found that 26% of local students and parents surveyed said they were experiencing food insecurity, meaning food ran out and they didn't have more.

NIST researchers advance efforts to accurately measure glyphosate pesticide in oats
For a commonly used pesticide known as glyphosate, concerns exist over how high a level is safe in food as well as the safety of one of its byproducts, known as AMPA.

Just like us - Neanderthal children grew and were weaned similar to us
Neanderthals behaved not so differently from us in raising their children, whose pace of growth was similar to Homo sapiens.

First light on a next-gen astronomical survey toward a new understanding of the cosmos
The Sloan Digital Sky Survey's fifth generation collected its very first observations of the cosmos at 1:47 a.m. on October 24, 2020.

'Transparent solar cells' can take us towards a new era of personalized energy
Solar power has shown immense potential as a futuristic, 'clean' source of energy.

Building cities with wood would store half of cement industry's current carbon emissions
A new study has found that shifting to wood as a building construction material would significantly reduce the environmental impact of building construction.

Excessive alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic
The full impact of COVID-19 on alcohol use is not yet known, but rates have been rising during the first few months of the pandemic.

Emergency care doctors not getting sufficient 'down time', new study shows
A survey of more than 4,000 UK emergency care doctors has shown that they need more support to recover from work pressures between shifts.

Depression, social anxiety, and use of mobile dating apps
Depression symptoms and social anxiety are associated with greater use of mobile dating applications among women

New study by ESMT Berlin shows political commitment increasingly important for CEOs
Political and social engagement is a relevant topic for European business leaders.

Short-term moisture removal can eliminate downy mildew of spinach
Scientists at the University of Arkansas explored the relationship between available moisture and disease establishment and in a recent article they demonstrated that removing moisture decreased both spore survival and disease.

Rapid method finds potent COVID-19 monoclonal antibody among a trillion possibilities
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine scientists have discovered the fastest way to identify potent, neutralizing human monoclonal antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

During COVID-19 first wave, the proportion of caesarean section deliveries done under
New research from north-west England published in Anaesthesia (a journal of the Association of Anaesthetists) shows that during the first wave of COVID-19, the proportion of caesarean section deliveries carried out under general anaesthesia approximately halved, from 7.7% to 3.7%.

New insight into how brain neurons influence choices
By studying animals choosing between two drink options, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Secrets behind "Game of Thrones" unveiled by data science and network theory
What are the secrets behind one of the most successful fantasy series of all time?

From Health Affairs: Financial consequences of firearm fatalities in OECD countries
Firearm-related fatalities are a global public health issue. However, few data exist about the macroeconomic effect of firearm-related fatalities.

Birdwatching from afar: amazing new AI-enabled camera system to target specific behaviors
Osaka University researchers have developed an innovative animal-borne data-collection system assisted by artificial intelligence to track previously unobserved behaviors in wild animals.

Two centuries of Monarch butterflies show evolution of wing length
North America's beloved Monarch butterflies are known for their annual, multi-generation migrations in which individual insects can fly for thousands of miles.

Quantity, content, and context of social media use may affect adolescents' sleep
A new study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that checking social media often, viewing emotional or violent videos, and starting to use social media at an early age were significantly related to later bedtimes and fewer hours of sleep on school nights for early adolescents.

Artificial night lighting has widespread impacts on nature
Artificial night-time lighting has a diverse range of effects across the natural world and should be limited where possible, researchers say.

'BAH-code' reader senses gene-silencing tag in cells
UNC Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers and colleagues have identified an evolutionarily conserved pathway responsible for ''closing down'' gene activity in the mammalian cell.

Breakdown of gene coordination during aging suggests a substantial challenge to longevity
In a study published in the journal Nature Metabolism, researchers from Bar-Ilan University in Israel report evidence that supports, for the first time, a longstanding theory on the aging process in cells.

New study reveals poisoning exposures in Australian schools
New research from the University of Sydney has found poisoning exposures in children and adolescents while at school are relatively common and appear to be increasing, highlighting the need for more robust prevention measures.

Fashion's underappreciated role in presidential politics
New research reveals style plays an underappreciated role in presidential politics and has meaningful consequences for presidential power.

Study reveals unexpected protective role for brain swelling after injury
Following a brain-injuring bump or blow to the head, brain cells and blood vessels typically swell.

A new lead for disarming antibiotic-resistant bacteria
A virus can stop bacteria from sharing genes for antibiotic resistance among themselves, Texas A&M AgriLife researchers have discovered.

Cancer treatment could be replicated for COVID-19
Beta-blockers could potentially be used to treat COVID-19, according to a new international study by Italian and Australian scientists.
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