Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 06, 2020
Study reveals strategy to create COVID-19 drugs to inhibit virus's entry and replication
A new study offers insight into designing antiviral drugs against COVID-19 by showing that some existing compounds can inhibit both the main protease (Mpro), a key viral protein required for SARS-CoV-2 replication inside human cells, and the lysosomal protease cathepsin L, a human protein important for viral entry into host cells.

Minority patients with rheumatic diseases have worse COVID-19 outcomes
New research at ACR Convergence, the American College of Rheumatology's annual meeting, reveals that people of color with rheumatic disease have worse health outcomes from COVID-19 infection, are more likely to be hospitalized to treat their coronavirus infection, and are more likely to require invasive ventilator treatment.

A better test for the tumor-targeting of CAR-T therapies
Ludwig Cancer Research scientists have developed a method to significantly improve the preclinical evaluation of chimeric antigen-receptor (CAR) T cell therapies, in which the immune system's T cells are extracted from a patient, engineered to target a specific tumor-associated molecule and then grown and reinfused for cancer treatment.

Study dives into genetic risk of Alzheimer's and dementia for diverse Latinx groups
To better understand the association of the APOE gene with cognitive decline in Latinx populations, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and collaborators analyzed metrics of cognitive decline in six diverse Latinx populations: those of Cuban, Central American, Dominican, Mexican, Puerto Rican, and South American backgrounds.

Paleogenomics -- the prehistory of modern dogs
An international team of scientists has used ancient DNA samples to elucidate the population history of dogs.

Plastics and rising CO2 levels could pose combined threat to marine environment
An international team of scientists found that after three weeks of being submerged in the ocean, the bacterial diversity on plastic bottles was twice as great as on samples collected from the surrounding seawater

Final dance of unequal black hole partners
Lousto and James Healy (both of Rochester Institute of Technology) used the Frontera supercomputer to model for the first time a black hole merger of two black holes with very different sizes (128:1).

Steroid injections do not hasten the need for knee replacement
New research shows that corticosteroid injections for knee OA treatment do not hasten a patient's progression to a total knee replacement when compared with hyaluronic acid injections.

Study shows disadvantaged communities may get overlooked for climate adaptation funding
While extreme heat threatens the wellbeing of people all over the world, a new study from scientists at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science found that some disadvantaged communities in California could be overlooked for state climate adaptation funds.

'Electronic skin' promises cheap and recyclable alternative to wearable devices
Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder are developing a wearable electronic device that's 'really wearable'--a stretchy and fully-recyclable circuit board that's inspired by, and sticks onto, human skin.

Optimizing the design of new materials
A new approach developed by Professors James Rondinelli and Wei Chen combines statistical inference, optimization theory, and computational materials physics to design new materials without large amounts of existing data.

Game 'pre-bunks' political misinformation by letting players undermine democracy
An online game helps ''inoculate'' players against fake news by showing them how political misinformation is created and circulated.

Photopharmacology -- light-gated control of the cytoskeleton
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich researchers have developed photoresponsive derivatives of the anticancer drug Taxol®, which allow light-based control of cytoskeleton dynamics in neurons.

Two-birds-one-stone strategy shows promise in RNA-repeat expansion diseases
A new strategy for treating a variety of diseases known as RNA-repeat expansion disorders, which affect millions of people, has shown promise in proof-of-principle tests conducted by scientists at Scripps Research.

New insights into 3D printing of spacers and membranes
To also address the controversies on the feasibility of 3D printing for membranes, researchers from SUTD and NTU have coined a new term 'hybrid additive manufacturing' for the water treatment industry.

Investigating optical activity under an external magnetic field
A new study published in EPJ B by Chengping Yin, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Quantum Engineering and Quantum Materials, South China, aims to derive an analytical model of optical activity in black phosphorous under an external magnetic field.

Seeing dark matter in a new light
A small team of astronomers have found a new way to 'see' the elusive dark matter haloes that surround galaxies, with a new technique 10 times more precise than the previous-best method.

Therapeutic drug monitoring does not improve remission for patients starting infliximab
New research presented at ACR Convergence, the American College Rheumatology's annual meeting, showed that patients with rheumatic diseases whose infliximab treatment was individually assessed and adjusted with a new strategy called therapeutic drug monitoring did not achieve remission at higher rates compared to those who received standard care.

Social distancing may have saved more than 59,000 u.s. Lives if implemented two weeks earlier
Implementing social distancing, business closures, and other non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) in the U.S. two weeks sooner, during the earliest stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, may have

Reducing dementia in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
The incidence of dementia in patients with rheumatoid arthritis is lower in patients receiving biologic or targeted synthetic disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) than in patients who receive conventional synthetic DMARDs, according to a new study.

Children with Kawasaki Disease at higher risk for heart problems 10 years later
New research shows that children with Kawasaki Disease remain at an increased risk for cardiovascular events more than 10 years after hospitalization for their condition, highlighting the need for long-term heart disease surveillance and risk reduction strategies for these young patients.

Telemedicine reduces cancellations for care during COVID in large Ohio heath center
New research shows that expanded use of telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic improved cancellation rates in one large Ohio health system.

Safe pregnancy is possible for women with interstitial lung disease
A new study shows that women with interstitial lung disease (ILD) related to autoimmune disease may not need to terminate their pregnancies--despite the increased risk of adverse outcomes--provided they have close monitoring from their team of multidisciplinary physicians before, during and after pregnancy.

Osteoporosis is underdiagnosed and undertreated in older men
A new study reveals that many older men who experience a fracture are still underdiagnosed with and undertreated for osteoporosis.

Pre-existing coronavirus antibodies could help protect children against new pandemic strain
Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute and University College London have found that some antibodies, created by the immune system during infection with common cold coronaviruses, can also target SARS-CoV-2 and may confer a degree of protection against the new viral strain.

A new candidate material for quantum spin liquids
Using a unique material, EPFL scientists have been able to design and study an unusual state of matter, the Quantum Spin Liquid.

New RA guideline emphasizes maximizing methotrexate and biologics, minimizing steroids
The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) will preview its 2020 Guideline for the Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) at ACR Convergence, the ACR's annual meeting.

Changes in birth rates after elimination of cost sharing for contraception
Researchers assessed changes in birth rates by income level among commercially insured women before and after the elimination of cost sharing for contraception under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

New juvenile idiopathic arthritis guideline emphasizes disease-modifying treatments
The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) will preview the 2021 Guideline for the Treatment of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis at ACR Convergence, the ACR's annual meeting.

Cancer researchers train white blood cells to attacks tumor cells
Scientists at the National Center for Tumor Diseases Dresden (NCT/UCC) and Dresden University Medicine, together with an international team of researchers, were able to demonstrate that certain white blood cells, so-called neutrophil granulocytes, can potentially - after completing a special training program -- be utilized for the treatment of tumors.

Green prescriptions could undermine the benefits of spending time in nature
Spending time in nature is believed to benefit people's mental health.

Black patients with lupus have three times higher risk of stroke
New research reveals that, in the U.S., Black patients with lupus have a threefold higher risk of stroke and a 24-fold higher risk of ischemic heart disease.

Study projects more rainfall in Florida during flooding season
A new study by researchers at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science projects an increase in Florida's late summertime rainfall with rising Atlantic Ocean temperatures.

More plant diversity, less pesticides
Increasing plant diversity enhances the natural control of insect herbivory in grasslands.

New findings for viral research on bicycle crashes at railroad crossings
Professor Chris Cherry's new work, ''A jughandle design will virtually eliminate single bicycle crashes at a railway crossing,'' provides a unique opportunity to assess the before and after safety performance of fixing a skewed rail crossing for single bicycle crashes.

Ultrasound-guided percutaneous needle biopsy excellent for small pleural lesions diagnosis
According to an open-access article in ARRS' American Journal of Roentgenology, ultrasound (US)-guided percutaneous pleural needle biopsy (PCPNB) has excellent diagnostic accuracy for small pleural lesions.

Diet and lifestyle during pregnancy linked to modifications in infants' DNA
A new study has shown pregnant women with obesity could reduce the health risks for their infants through improved diet and more physical activity.

Vaccine shows promise against herpes virus
A genetically edited form of a herpes simplex virus has outperformed a leading vaccine candidate in a new study published in Nature Vaccines.

Key features of chronic nonbacterial osteomyelitis identified in groundbreaking study
New research presented at ACR Convergence, the American College of Rheumatology's annual meeting, identified key clinical features of chronic nonbacterial osteomyelitis (CNO), which leads to an important step toward the development of much-needed classification criteria for a disease that affects children and young adults worldwide.

A brief pilot intervention enhances preschoolers' self-regulation and food liking
Mindfulness training and engaging in classroom-based games can influence self-regulation and food liking when introduced during the preschool years according to a new study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, published by Elsevier.

Climate change and food demand could shrink species' habitats by almost a quarter by 2100
Mammals, birds and amphibians worldwide have lost on average 18% of their natural habitat range as a result of changes in land use and climate change, a new study has found.

Methotrexate improves function in people with knee OA after 3 months
A new study presented at ACR Convergence, the American College of Rheumatology's annual meeting, shows that after three months of treatment with oral methotrexate, adults with primary knee osteoarthritis (OA) with inflammation had significant improvements in physical function and inflammation, a sign that this inexpensive, generic pill may be an important intervention for knee OA.

Romosozumab substantially builds bone density in hip and spine
New research presented at ACR Convergence, the American College Rheumatology's annual meeting, reveals that romosozumab, an osteoporosis drug, produces substantial gains in bone mineral density in the hip and lumbar spine within one year, and that transitioning patients to a potent antiresorptive drug can lead to even more bone density gains.

How cell processes round up and dump damaged proteins
Reporting unexpected processes, chemist Eric Strieter at UMass Amherst says he and his group have discovered how an enzyme known as UCH37 regulates a cell's waste management system.

Black patients with RA less likely to receive biologic, more likely to get glucocorticoids
A new study reveals that Black patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were less likely to be prescribed a biologic treatment and more likely to use glucocorticoids, which carry a risk of serious long-term side effects.

Here's how to improve packaged foods nutrition
FOP nutrition labeling results in a significant improvement in the nutritional quality of food products.

HCQ has no significant impact on heart rhythm in lupus patients, even those with CKD
New research shows that adults with lupus who take the antimalarial drug, hydroxychloroquine, do not have any differences in their corrected QT (QTc) intervals, an electrocardiogram (EKG) measurement of the heart's electrical signals, even if they have chronic kidney disease (CKD), a complication of lupus that can be associated with increased levels of the medication.

Hydroxychloroquine not linked to longer heart rhythm intervals in RA or lupus patientsti
New research presented at ACR Convergence, the American College of Rheumatology's annual meeting, discovers that use of hydroxychloroquine, a generic drug, does not cause any significant differences in QTc length or prolonged QTc, key measures of heart rate, in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or systemic lupus erythematosus.

Anti-hacking based on the circular polarization direction of light
The Internet of Things (IoT) allowing smart phones, home appliances, drones and self-driving vehicles to exchange digital information in real time requires a powerful security solution, as it can have a direct impact on user safety and assets.

Clinicians' experiences of patient care on limited resources during COVID-19
Clinicians in the US were interviewed and described their experiences of planning and providing care for patients in settings of limited resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 infection rates low in people with rheumatic diseases, most report mild illness
A new study shows that the COVID-19 infection incidence has been low in people with rheumatic diseases, and most of those infected experience a mild course of illness.

Preexisting antibodies targeting SARS-CoV-2 discovered in small proportion of uninfected individuals
Scientists have detected preexisting antibody-driven immunity against SARS-CoV-2 in a small proportion of individuals who were uninfected at the time of sampling.

Get on the grid: 'Micro-doses' of Botox provide up-close improvement of facial skin
Botulinum toxin - best known by the brand name Botox - is a popular treatment to reduce facial lines and wrinkles.

Rivers melt Arctic ice, warming air and ocean
A new study shows that increased heat from Arctic rivers is melting sea ice in the Arctic Ocean and warming the atmosphere.

Global survey reveals that few children with rheumatic disease report contracting COVID-19
Results from a large, international survey shows that only a small fraction of children with rheumatic diseases reported contracting COVID-19.

An Amazonian tea stimulates the formation of new neurons
For centuries, indigenous societies in the Amazon have used ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic tea, for shamanic purposes.

Tuberculosis screening needed for methotrexate users in at-risk locales
New research presented at ACR Convergence, the American College of Rheumatology's annual meeting, shows that tuberculosis (TB) screening and ongoing clinical care is needed for people on methotrexate who live in areas where the highly infectious illness is common.

New study reveals undetected rare neurodegenerative disorder that looks like Parkinson's disease
New Singapore study suggests that patients who are carriers of NIID gene mutation may also present with symptoms and signs of Parkinson's disease (PD), and respond to PD drugs.

Reduction of environmental pollutants for prevention of cardiovascular disease
A group of international scientists summarized the epidemiologic and mechanistic evidence in support of an association between noise and air pollution with cardiovascular and metabolic disease, and recommended comprehensive mitigation measures.

Scientists design magnets with outstanding properties
An international team of researchers led by the Centre de Recherche Paul Pascal (UMR 5031, CNRS -University of Bordeaux) has discovered a novel way to design magnets with outstanding physical properties, which could make them complementary to, or even competitive with traditional inorganic magnets, which are widely used in everyday appliances.

The applications of liquid crystals have been extended to drug encapsulation
Widely used in the manufacture of LCD screens and, more recently, phosphorescent sensors, liquid crystals may also have an important application in biomedicine.

Policy, not tech, spurred Danish dominance in wind energy
In a new study focused on Denmark, a global leader in wind energy - a relatively mature and low-cost renewable technology - researchers found that government policies have been the primary driver of that industry's growth and development.

Underinsurance is growing, but HSAs aren't keeping up: BU study
High deductible health plans (HDHPs) have become much more common among all racial/ethnic and income groups, but the health savings accounts (HSAs) that make these plans potentially workable are far less common among Black, Hispanic, and lower-income enrollees--and the gap is growing.

Coming out as bisexual associated with increased risk of smoking: BU study
For many years, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and other non-heterosexual (LGB+) folks have been known to be more likely to smoke than their straight counterparts.

Has the hidden matter of the universe been discovered?
Astrophysicists consider that around 40% of the ordinary matter that makes up stars, planets and galaxies remains undetected, concealed in the form of a hot gas in the complexe cosmic web.

Atrophy can be combated by boosting expression of an enzyme produced in muscles
Study showed that targeted stimulation of PKA production promoted muscle growth and enhanced resistance to fatigue.

UM research essential to global arctic animal migration archive
Now, scientists can track the movements of thousands of Arctic and sub-Arctic animals over three decades with the new global Arctic Animal Movement Archive.

Many with lupus at high risk for adverse reactions to pneumocystis pneumonia drug
New research shows that adults with systemic lupus erythematosus, who receive trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX), a prophylactic therapy to help prevent pneumocystis pneumonia, are at high risk for adverse reactions to the drug, particularly if they are also positive for anti-Smith (anti-Sm) antibodies.

Staying in touch!
New mechanism regulating the adhesion of cells to the surrounding extracellular support structures discovered at the University of Konstanz - New options for the treatment of inflammatory processes and tumour metastasis

Terminator salvation? New machine learning program to accelerate clean energy generation
A new type of machine learning model will predict the efficiency of materials that can be used in next-generation organic solar panels, including 'virtual' compounds that don't exist yet.

Neural stem and progenitor cell diversity in brain development may contribute to cortical complexity
Stem and progenitor cells exhibit diversity in early brain development that likely contributes to later neural complexity in the adult cerebral cortex, this according to a new study published Nov.

Decrease in fossil-fuel CO2 emissions due to COVID-19 detected by atmospheric observations
Atmospheric observations at Hateruma Island, Japan, successfully detected the decrease in fossil-fuel CO2 emissions in China associated with the COVID-19 outbreak.

Anti-depressant repurposed to treat childhood cancer
A new study has found that a commonly prescribed anti-depressant may halt growth of a type of cancer known as childhood sarcoma, at least in mice and laboratory cell experiments.

Perspectives of infrared spectroscopy in quantitative estimation of proteins
The present review describes the basic principle and the instrumentation of IR spectroscopy along with its advancements.

Scientists and students publish blueprints for a cheaper single-molecule microscope
A team of scientists and students from the University of Sheffield has designed and built a specialist microscope, and shared the build instructions to help make this equipment available to many labs across the world.

Higher-resolution imaging of living, moving cells using plasmonic metasurfaces
Researchers at Kyushu University have demonstrated that placing cells on a plasmonic metasurface of self-assembled gold nanoparticle can improve the resolution of images of living cells taken in real-time under a widefield fluorescence microscope.

AI accurately detects radiographic sacroiliitis in axial spondyloarthritis
New research presented at ACR Convergence, the American College of Rheumatology's annual meeting, shows that an artificial intelligence-based analysis model, called an artificial neural network, enables accurate detection of definite radiographic sacroiliitis in people with axial spondyloarthritis, an advance that could be useful for both diagnosis in the clinic and classification of patients for inclusion in clinical trials.

Lead-free magnetic perovskites
Scientists at Linköping University, Sweden, working with the perovskite family of materials have taken a step forwards and developed an optoelectronic magnetic double perovskite.

Germanium telluride's hidden properties at the nanoscale revealed
Germanium Telluride is an interesting candidate material for spintronic devices.

On the hunt for wild bananas in Papua New Guinea
Scientists are racing to collect and conserve wild banana species.

New kind of superconductivity discovered
Superconductivity is a phenomenon where an electric circuit loses its resistance and becomes extremely efficient under certain conditions.

Patients reported international hydroxychloroquine shortages due to COVID-19
A new study shows that patients with rheumatic diseases across Africa, Southeast Asia, the Americas and Europe had trouble filling their prescriptions of antimalarial drugs, including hydroxychloroquine, during the 2020 global coronavirus pandemic, when antimalarials were touted as a possible COVID-19 treatment.

Indian fossils support new hypothesis for origin of hoofed mammals
New research published today in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology describes a fossil family that illuminates the origin of perissodactyls - the group of mammals that includes horses, rhinos, and tapirs.

Why a "board-certified cosmetic surgeon" isn't a plastic surgeon, and what that means for you
Cosmetic surgery is not just another way of saying plastic surgery.

Warfarin use significantly increases risk of knee and hip replacement in people with OA
New research shows that use of warfarin is associated with a significantly greater risk of knee and hip replacements in patients with OA.

When malaria parasites trick liver cells to let themselves in
A new study led by Maria Manuel Mota, group leader at Instituto de Medicina Molecular, now shows that malaria parasites secrete the protein EXP2 that is required for their entry into hepatocytes.

phyloFlash: New software for fast and easy analysis of environmental microbes
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen are developing a user-friendly method to reconstruct and analyze SSU rRNA from raw metagenome data.

Ancient crocodiles' family tree reveals unexpected twists and turns
Despite 300 years of research, and a recent renaissance in the study of their biological make-up, the mysterious, marauding teleosauroids have remained enduringly elusive.

Baby dinosaurs were 'little adults'
Paleontologists at the University of Bonn (Germany) have described for the first time an almost complete skeleton of a juvenile Plateosaurus and discovered that it looked very similar to its parents even at a young age.

Physical distancing polices not enough to protect lower-income people: BU study
A new Boston University School of Public Health study of the first four months of America's coronavirus epidemic, published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, shows that physical distancing (also called ''social distancing'') policies had little effect on lower income people still needing to leave their homes to go to work--but does show them staying home when they could.

Variety in the migratory behavior of blackcaps
The birds have variable migration strategies.

Swirl power: how gentle body movement will charge your mobile phone
Scientists have discovered a way to generate electricity from nylon - the stretchy fabric used widely in sportswear and other shape-hugging apparel - raising hopes that the clothes on our backs will become an important source of energy.

Mystery of glacial lake floods solved
A long-standing mystery in the study of glaciers was recently and serendipitously solved by a team led by University of Hawai'i at Mānoa.

Expanded birth control coverage may help reduce disparities in unplanned pregnancies
Removing out-of-pocket costs for contraception may help reduce the income-related disparities that play such a significant role in unintended pregnancies, a new Michigan Medicine-led study suggests.

Migration and molt affect how birds change their colors
Before their big journey, many birds molt their bright feathers, replacing them with a more subdued palette.

Using light to reprogramme the brain's GPS
Neuroscientists at UCL have used laser beams to ''switch on'' neurons in mice, providing new insight into the hidden workings of memory and showing how memories underpin the brain's inner GPS system.
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