Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 24, 2020
Artificial intelligence technology helps Parkinson's patients during COVID-19 pandemic
Jessica Huber, a professor of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and associate dean for research in Purdue's College of Health and Human Sciences, leads Purdue's Motor Speech Lab.

Black, Hispanic adolescents significantly more likely to die by police intervention than whites
A recent study evaluating the use of force by police against children found that Black and Hispanic adolescents are significantly more likely to die from shootings related to police intervention compared to non-Hispanic white adolescents.

USPSTF recommendation on behavioral counseling to promote healthy diet, activity for adults with risk of CVD
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends offering or referring adults with cardiovascular disease risk factors to behavioral counseling interventions to promote a healthy diet and physical activity.

How dolphins avoid "the bends"
New evidence indicates that dolphins are able to consciously slow down their heart rates when preparing to dive, and can even adjust their heart rates according to the length of their intended dive.

New research shows Vype ePen 3 highly preferred by vapers
New research published today shows that Vype ePen 3, BAT's flagship vapour product, can provide smokers with similar levels of nicotine as standard cigarettes and, with exclusive use, could be used to avoid many of the risks associated with smoking.

Restoration of degraded grasslands can benefit climate change mitigation and key ecosystem services
New research has demonstrated how, in contrast to encroachment by the invasive alien tree species Prosopis julifora (known as `Mathenge` -in Kenya or `Promi` in Baringo), restoration of grasslands in tropical semi-arid regions can both mitigate the impacts of climate change and restore key benefits usually provided by healthy grasslands for pastoralists and agro-pastoralist communities.

Most adults over 50 say they'll get vaccinated against COVID-19, but many want to wait
A new poll of older adults - one of the highest-priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination - suggests an uphill climb lies ahead to reach the goal of widespread protection.

Scoring system improves screening for "dual" heart disease
Aortic stenosis is one of the most common heart valve defects.

Potential new therapies for Alzheimer's disease are revealed through network modeling of its complex molecular interactions
Researchers from Mount Sinai and the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology in Japan have identified new molecular mechanisms driving late-onset Alzheimer's Disease.

Can drinking cocoa make you smarter?
Increased consumption of flavanols - a group of molecules which occur naturally in fruit and vegetables - can increase your mental agility, according to new research at the University of Birmingham.

Popular weight-loss surgery in teenagers weakens bones
A common weight loss surgery for adolescents with obesity called sleeve gastrectomy has harmful effects on bones, according to a study being presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Quantum magic squares
The magic of mathematics is particularly reflected in magic squares.

Experimental evolution reveals how bacteria gain drug resistance
A research team at RIKEN in Japan has succeeded in experimentally evolving the common bacteria under pressure from a large number of individual antibiotics, and identified the mechanisms and constraints underlying evolved drug resistance.

COVID-19 virus survives on surfaces within thin film
To find out how the COVID-19 virus survives on surfaces, researchers are exploring the drying times of thin liquid films that persist after most respiratory droplets evaporate.

Study shows protective role sex steroids play in COVID-19
''Sex and Covid-19: A protective role for reproductive steroids,'' by Graziano Pinna, research associate professor in psychiatry, analyzes existing research to look at reasons why COVID-19 symptom severity and mortality are more frequent in men than in women and in older people.

Historical bias overlooks genes related to COVID-19
A historical bias -- which has long dictated which human genes are studied -- is now affecting how biomedical researchers study COVID-19, causing many virus-related genes to go largely unexplored.

Less sedentary time reduces heart failure risk for older women
The more waking hours older women spend sitting or lying down, the more likely they are to require hospitalization for heart failure.

1 in 3 who are aware of deepfakes say they have inadvertently shared them on social media
An NTU Singapore study has found that one in three Singaporeans who said they were aware of deepfakes believe they have circulated deepfake content on social media which they later found out was a hoax.

Minorities value, perceive, and experience professionalism differently than their peers
Marginalized groups of people value professionalism more -- and are more likely to leave a job at an institution due to issues of professionalism -- compared to their white, male counterparts, according to a Penn Medicine study of staff, faculty, and students who were affiliated with a large, academic health system in 2015 and 2017.

Pre-treating progenitor cells with protein-activator slows progression of atherosclerosis
A new treatment for atherosclerosis, commonly known as hardening of the arteries, may be on the horizon, according to a study released in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine (SCTM).

Memories of past events retain remarkable fidelity even as we age
Even though people tend to remember fewer details about past events as time goes by, the details they do remember are retained with remarkable fidelity, according to a new study.

Researchers reveal switch used in plant defense against animal attack
UC San Diego researchers have identified the first key biological switch that sounds an alarm in plants when plant-eating animals attack.

Decoding gigantic insect genome could help tackle devastating locust crises
A 'game changing' study deciphering the genetic material of the desert locust by researchers at the University of Leicester, could help combat the crop-ravaging behaviour of the notorious insect pest which currently exacerbates a hunger crisis across many developing countries.

Narcissists love being pandemic 'essential workers'
There's one group of essential workers who especially enjoy being called a ''hero'' during the COVID-19 pandemic: narcissists.

Study examines remission of obesity-related complications in teens after bariatric surgery
Researchers at Children's Hospital Colorado have shown that, with the exception of cholesterol and triglyceride levels, remission of obesity-related complications in teens following bariatric surgery was not dependent on major sustained weight loss.

Pitt scientists provide insights into the quality of life of bariatric surgery patients
While most patients are at least somewhat satisfied with their surgery long-term, satisfaction decreased from 85% to 77% three to seven years post-surgery.

Face masks slow spread of COVID-19; types of masks, length of use matter
Using face masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19 has been widely recommended by health professionals.

Liver cancer ten times more likely in men with common genetic disorder haemochromatosis
Men who have the Western world's most common genetic disorder, haemochromatosis, are ten times more likely to develop liver cancer, according to a major new study.

Channeling the immune system for head and neck cancer
University of Cincinnati researchers have discovered new clues into why some people with head and neck cancer respond to immunotherapy, while others don't.

Exploring blended materials along compositional gradients
A new platform could accelerate the development of blended materials with desired properties.

World's first: Drug guides stem cells to desired location, improving their ability to heal
Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute have created a drug that can lure stem cells to damaged tissue and improve treatment efficacy--a scientific first and major advance for the field of regenerative medicine.

Scientists apply the METRIC model to estimate the land surface evapotranspiration in Nepal
Scientists apply the METRIC model to estimate the land surface evapotranspiration in Nepal

Act now to meet global heart disease targets
Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of mortality in Europe, and World Health Organization (WHO) heart disease goals will not be achieved by 2025 unless urgent action is taken.

Researchers develop low-cost, portable brain imaging scanner
Investigators have developed and tested a low-cost, compact, portable and low-power ''head only'' MRI scanner for brain tests.

Commonly used antibiotic shows promise for combating Zika infections
Recently, National Institutes of Health researchers used a variety of advanced drug screening techniques to test out more than 10,000 compounds in search of a cure.

Novel chemical process a first step to making nuclear fuel with fire
Developing safe and sustainable fuels for nuclear energy is an integral part of Los Alamos National Laboratory's energy security mission.

51% of Americans agree paying college athletes should be allowed
More Americans than not believe that college athletes should be allowed to be paid more than what it costs them to go to school, a new national study of nearly 4,000 people suggests.

Research shows bariatric surgery may reduce severity of COVID-19 in patients with obesity
A Cleveland Clinic study shows that among patients who have obesity and who tested positive for COVID-19, a past history of bariatric surgery was significantly associated with a lower risk of hospital and intensive care unit admission.

Hormone found to switch off hunger could help tackle obesity
A hormone that can suppress food intake and increase the feeling of fullness in mice has shown similar results in humans and non-human primates, says a new study published today in eLife.

Young people's anxiety levels doubled during first COVID-19 lockdown, says study
The number of young people with anxiety doubled from 13 per cent to 24 per cent, during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown 1, according to new research from the University of Bristol.

Team uses copper to image Alzheimer's aggregates in the brain
A proof-of-concept study conducted in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease offers new evidence that copper isotopes can be used to detect the amyloid-beta protein deposits that form in the brains of people living with -- or at risk of developing -- Alzheimer's.

NIST AI system discovers new material
When the words ''artificial intelligence'' (AI) come to mind, your first thoughts may be of super-smart computers, or robots that perform tasks without needing any help from humans.

Potential treatment against antibiotic-resistant bacteria causing gonorrhea and meningitis
A team from the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) has demonstrated the effectiveness of an inexpensive molecule to fight antibiotic-resistant strains of the bacteria responsible for gonorrhea and meningococcal meningitis.

Tackling metabolic complexity
CRISPRi screens reveal sources of metabolic robustness in E. coli.

Areas where the next pandemic could emerge are revealed
An international team of human- and animal health experts has incorporated environmental, social and economic considerations -- including air transit centrality - to identify key areas at risk of leading to the next pandemic.

Predi-COVID preliminary results
Launched under the aegis of the Research Luxembourg COVID-19 Task Force on April 24th, ''Predi-COVID '' is a cohort study promoted by the Luxembourg Institute of Health that aims to identify the key risk factors and biomarkers associated with COVID-19 severity and comprehend the long-term health consequences of the disease.

Secrets of the 'lost crops' revealed where bison roam
Blame it on the bison. If not for the wooly, boulder-sized beasts that once roamed North America in vast herds, ancient people might have looked past the little barley that grew under those thundering hooves.

Which speaker are you listening to? Hearing aid of the future uses brainwaves to find out
In a noisy room with many speakers, hearing aids can suppress background noise, but they have difficulties isolating one voice - that of the person you're talking to at a party, for instance.

NSF's National Solar observatory predicts a large sunspot for Thanksgiving
On November 18 scientists from the US National Science Foundation's National Solar Observatory predicted the arrival of a large sunspot just in time for Thanksgiving.

Animal-free method predicts nanoparticle toxicity for safer industrial materials
Researchers at Helmholtz Zentrum München together with scientists across Europe developed a novel animal-free method to predict the toxic effect of nanoparticles to the human lung.

Strengthening the climate change scenario framework
Over the past decade, the climate change research community developed a scenario framework that combines alternative futures of climate and society to facilitate integrated research and consistent assessment to inform policy.

Anxiety associated with faster Alzheimer's disease onset
Anxiety is associated with an increased rate of progression from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer's disease, according to a study being presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Miniscule robots of metal and plastic
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a technique for manufacturing micrometre-long machines by interlocking multiple materials in a complex way.

Gender differences in academic productivity during COVID-19 pandemic
During the COVID-19 pandemic, most science and medical faculty began working from home, with women reporting a significant decrease in manuscript submissions.

Defined blockade
The addition and removal of methyl groups on DNA plays an important role in gene regulation.

From the woodworking shop to the operating room: New technique uses mortise and tenon joints to repair unstable shoulders
Orthopaedic surgery techniques for treatment of recurrent shoulder instability are effective, but prone to problems with nonunion of bone grafts held in place by screws alone.

First exhaustive review of fossils recovered from Iberian archaeological sites
The Iberian Peninsula has one of the richest paleontological records in Western Europe.

Extraction method affects the properties of a sustainable stabiliser, spruce gum
Spruce gum is a hemicellulose extracted from wood. It can be used to provide yoghurts, salad dressings, cosmetics and other products with a suitable texture.

COVID-19: Air quality influences the pandemic
An interdisciplinary team from the University of Geneva and the ETH Zürich spin-off Meteodat investigated possible interactions between acutely elevated levels of fine particulate matter and the virulence of the coronavirus disease.

COVID-19 second wave in Myanmar causes dramatic increases in poverty
New evidence combining surveys from urban and rural Myanmar and simulation analysis find COVID-19 second wave dramatically increasing poverty and food insecurity.

Sound waves power new advances in drug delivery and smart materials
Sound waves have been part of science and medicine for decades, but the technologies have always relied on low frequencies.

For African American men with prostate cancer, decision regret linked to medical mistrust
Medical mistrust is one reason why African American patients are more likely to have regrets about their choice of treatment for prostate cancer, suggests a study in The Journal of Urology®, Official Journal of the American Urological Association (AUA).

Treatment shows reduction in heart failure after myocardial infarction
Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine identified potential preventative therapies for heart failure after a significant heart attack.

Can we harness a plant's ability to synthesize medicinal compounds?
Anthraquinones are a class of naturally occurring compounds prized for their medicinal properties, as well as for other applications, including ecologically friendly dyes.

Shining a light on nanoscale dynamics
Watching metamaterials at work in real time using ultrafast electron diffraction: a research team led by University of Konstanz physicist Peter Baum succeeds in using ultrashort electron pulses to measure light-matter interactions in nanophotonic materials and metamaterials.

Taking a shine to polymers: Fluorescent molecule betrays the breakdown of polymer materials
Scientists at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have come up with a simple method to evaluate the strength and performance of polymer materials.

Sestrin makes fruit flies live longer
Researchers identify positive effector behind reduced food intake.

To push or to pull? How many-limbed marine organisms swim
Couinter-intuitively, small marine animals don't use their limbs or propulsors to push themselves through the water while swimming.

Simple new testing method aims to improve time-release drugs
UC Riverside engineers filled a glass tube bent like a tuning fork, kept vibrating by a circuit at its resonance frequency, with simulated stomach and intestine contents and passed an over-the-counter time-release drug granule through the tube.

COVID's collateral damage: Germicidal lamps may damage corneas
In a paper published in the journal of Ocular Immunology and Inflammation, physicians from the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine reported that several patients using germicidal lamps in an attempt to sanitize against the coronavirus, developed painful inflammation of the cornea, a condition called photokeratitis.

New material 'mines' copper from toxic wastewater
A team of scientists led by Berkeley Lab has designed a new material -- called ZIOS (zinc imidazole salicylaldoxime) -- that targets and traps copper ions from wastewater with unprecedented precision and speed.

Trinity researchers discover how the brain 're-wires' after disease
Trinity College researchers are studying how the brain re-wires itself in neurological disease.

New light on polar explorer's last hours
Chemical analyzes of a black spot in a diary shed new light on the destiny and tragic death of legendary Inuit polar expedition member Jørgen Brønlund in Northeast Greenland in 1907.

Understanding the utility of plasmas for medical applications
Plasma medicine is an emerging field, as plasmas show promise for use in a wide range of therapies from wound healing to cancer treatment, and plasma jets are the main plasma sources typically used in plasma-surface applications.

Study: gut hormones' regulation of fat production abnormal in obesity, fatty liver disease
Gut hormones play an important role in regulating fat production in the body.

RASi associated with reduced risk of KRT compared with CCB in CKD patients
In a population-based Swedish database, researchers studied the clinical outcomes of starting renin-angiotensin system inhibitor (RASi) or calcium channel blockers (CCB) in 2,458 patients with CKD G4-5.

New paper proposes framework for eliminating defects in psychiatric care
A new paper from University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center proposes a framework for eliminating defects in behavioral health treatment.

Eating dried fruit may be linked with better diet quality and health markers
Penn State research found that people who ate dried fruit were generally healthier than those who did not, and on days when people ate dried fruit they consumed greater amounts of some key nutrients than on days when they skipped.

How an infectious tumor in Tasmanian devils evolved as it spread
A transmissible cancer in the Tasmanian devil has evolved over the past two decades, with some lineages spreading and replacing others, according to a new study in the open access journal PLOS Biology by Young Mi Kwon, Kevin Gori, and Elizabeth Murchison of the University of Cambridge (UK) and colleagues.

Microbes help unlock phosphorus for plant growth
A research team led by the University of Washington and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has shown that microbes taken from trees growing beside pristine mountain-fed streams in Western Washington could make phosphorus trapped in soils more accessible to agricultural crops.

T. rex had huge growth spurts, but other dinos grew "slow and steady"
By cutting into dinosaur bones and analyzing the growth lines, a team of researchers discovered that T. rex and its closest relatives got big thanks to a huge growth spurt in adolescence, while its more distant cousins kept on growing a little bit every year throughout their lives.

Cocoa flavanols boost brain oxygenation, cognition in healthy adults
The brains of healthy adults recovered faster from a mild vascular challenge and performed better on complex tests if the participants consumed cocoa flavanols beforehand, researchers report in the journal Scientific Reports. In the study, 14 of 18 participants saw these improvements after ingesting the flavanols.

Guiding the way to improved solar cell performance
Small molecules could hold the key to enhancing the efficiency of organic solar cells.

Young Brazilians are increasingly keen on conservation- and biodiversity-related topics
An article in Science Advances shows high school students are steadily becoming more sensitive to environmental and scientific ideas.

Closing the racial disparity gap in survival after in-hospital cardiac arrest
In-hospital cardiac arrests (IHCA) represent catastrophic and often terminal events.

AI detects COVID-19 on chest x-rays with accuracy and speed
Northwestern University researchers have developed a new artificial intelligence (A.I.) platform that detects COVID-19 by analyzing X-ray images of the lungs.

Creating higher energy density lithium-ion batteries for renewable energy applications
Lithium-ion batteries that function as high-performance power sources for renewable applications, such as electric vehicles and consumer electronics, require electrodes that deliver high energy density without compromising cell lifetimes.

New therapy for flu may help in fight against COVID-19
A new therapy for influenza virus infections that may also prove effective against many other pathogenic virus infections, including HIV and COVID-19, has been developed by Purdue University scientists.

Barriers to police investigations into widespread financial crime unveiled
A majority of police detectives in England and Wales investigating financial crime do not have sufficient knowledge to build a successful case.

Magnet swallowing by children after changes in federal regulations
Researchers looked at changes in the rates of emergency department visits for children who swallowed small high-powered magnets over a period of change in federal regulations of these magnets.

New graph-based statistical method detects threats to vehicular communications networks
Researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) have worked to create methods for improving the safety of technologically complex vehicles.

Tracking COVID-19 trends in hard-hit states
Currently, there are over 10 million confirmed cases and more than 240,000 casualties attributed to COVID-19 in the U.S.

Tel Aviv University researchers go underwater to study how sponge species vanished
Researchers from Tel Aviv University embarked on an underwater journey to solve a mystery: Why did sponges of the Agelas oroides species, which used to be common in the shallow waters along the Mediterranean coast of Israel, disappear?

For people with diabetes, medicaid expansion helps, but can't do it all: BU study
Medicaid expansion through the Affordable Care Act has insured millions of low-income people in the United States, improving outcomes for patients with many different diseases.

Stress in pregnancy may influence baby brain development
Infants' brains may be shaped by levels of stress their mother experiences during pregnancy, a brain scanning study has revealed.

Lung-on-chip provides new insight on body's response to early tuberculosis infection
Scientists have developed a lung-on-chip model to study how the body responds to early tuberculosis (TB) infection, according to findings published today in eLife.

Pesticide deadly to bees now easily detected in honey
A common insecticide that is a major hazard for honeybees is now effectively detected in honey thanks to a simple new method.

Why experiences are better gifts for older children
What should we get for our kids this holiday? As children get older, giving them something they can experience (live through) instead of material things makes them happier, according to new research led by Lan Nguyen Chaplin, associate professor of marketing at the University of Illinois Chicago.

Study: Clean Air Act saved 1.5 billion birds
US pollution regulations meant to protect humans from dirty air are also saving birds.

Ireland's only dinosaurs discovered in antrim
The only dinosaur bones ever found on the island of Ireland have been formally confirmed for the first time by a team of experts from the University of Portsmouth and Queen's University Belfast, led by Dr Mike Simms, a curator and palaeontologist at National Museums NI.

Brain waves guide us in spotlighting surprises
A new study by MIT and Boston University neuroscientists finds that the dynamic interplay of different brain wave frequencies, rather than dedicated circuitry, appears to govern the brain's knack for highlighting what's surprising and downplaying what's predictable.

Rhythm and bleughs: changes in our stomach's rhythms steer us away from disgusting sights
Does the sight of maggots squirming in rotten food make you look away in disgust?

More skin-like, electronic skin that can feel
POSTECH-Stanford joint research team develops multimodal ion-electronic skin that distinguishes temperature from mechanical stimuli.

Efficient and durable perovskite solar cell materials
POSTECH professor Kilwon Cho's research team fabricates highly efficient and stable perovskite solar cells through molecular designing of organic spacers.

Head in the game
Researchers at the University of Tsukuba find that blind soccer players rotate their heads downward when trapping an incoming pass.

Stable catalysts for new energy
Looking for the perfect catalyst is not only about finding the right material, but also about its orientation.

Stronger memories can help us make sense of future changes
Research from the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences in Arts & Sciences finds a new relationship between memory and the ability to incorporate changes into one's understanding of the world.

'Crisis decision making at the speed of COVID-19' - Bay Area public health officials share their experience with shelter-in-place order
In mid-March, public health officials across the San Francisco area issued the first US regional shelter-in-place order in response to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic.

Progress in electronic structure and topology in nickelates superconductors
Recently, superconductivity was discovered in the hole-doped nickelates, wh ich provide us a new platform to study the mechanism of high-temperature superconductivity.

A new species of rare phylum Loricifera discovered in the deep-sea surrounding Japan
The Loricifera is a microscopic, sediment-dwelling marine invertebrate, with a head covered in over 200 spines and an abdomen with a protective shell - known as a lorica.

Attosecond interferometry in time-energy domain
Analogous to the conventional spatial double-slit experiment, the time domain Young's experiment can be realized by using temporal slits for diffraction instead, and fringes in the energy domain are expected.

New physical picture leads to a precise finite-size scaling of (3+1)-dimensional O(n) critical system
Logarithmic finite-size scaling of O(n) critical systems at upper critical dimensionality has been a long-standing issue.

Ideal type-II Weyl points are observed in classical circuits
As one kind of elementary particles, Weyl fermions manifest themselves as Weyl points from dispersion relations.

Immune strategy based on limited information in the network
For cases of global pandemics such as e.g., the current COVID-19, it is impossible to know the full interactions of all individuals and immunize the most centrals.

New plant-based gel to fast-track 'mini-organs' growth, improve cancer treatment
Monash University researchers have created the world's first bioactive plant-based nanocellulose hydrogel to support organoid growth for biomedical applications.
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