Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 02, 2020
Native American ancestry associated with more mutations in EGFR gene among Latin Americans
Among patients with lung cancer from Latin America, genomic and ancestry analyses revealed that Native American ancestry was associated with increased mutations in the EGFR gene, independent of smoking status.

Study: Telemedicine use disparity during COVID-19 among head and neck cancer patients
Retrospective research by Henry Ford otolaryngologists found telemedicine use disparity among head and neck cancer patients.

Octapharma presents results of study on Octagam® 10% for severe COVID-19 patients at ASH
Clinical research presented by Octapharma USA at the 62nd American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition will highlight the investigational use of high-dose Octagam® 10% [Immune Globulin Intravenous (Human)] for the most severe COVID-19 patients.

Differences in immunity and blood vessels likely protect children from severe COVID-19
Differences in the immune systems and better blood vessel health were among the factors protecting children from severe COVID-19, according to a new review.

Patients with heart rhythm disorder warned against heavy alcohol consumption
Fourteen drinks a week is linked with a higher risk of health problems including stroke and embolism in patients with atrial fibrillation, according to research published in EP Europace, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Drug attenuates weight gain in animals fed a high-fat diet
Medication originally developed to kill bacteria displayed the capacity to increase cell energy expenditure in tests with mice.

Oddly satisfying metamaterials store energy in their skin
Researchers have developed a way for a material to store energy in its skin through invertible domes.

Common neural circuit and potential target for anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder
Anxiety disorders are the most frequent comorbid conditions with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Living with autonomous systems "we can trust"
Autonomous systems are affecting virtually all aspects of society, so future designs must be guided by a broad range of societal stakeholders, according to a new report led by the Oden Institute at UT Austin.

Major depressive disorder may be defined by a distinct gut microbiome
Scientists have identified 3 bacteriophages, 47 bacterial species, and 50 fecal metabolites that were significantly more or less abundant in people with major depressive disorder (MDD) compared with healthy controls, according to a study in 311 individuals.

Keeping California a powerhouse of almond production
Research shows nitrogen efficiency and productivity not a tradeoff.

ETRI, DGIST develop new electrode structure for all-solid-state secondary battery
South Korean researchers have developed a new type of electrode structure for all-solid-state secondary batteries.

Carbon dioxide converted to ethylene -- the 'rice of the industry'
In recent times, 'e-chemical' technology -- which converts carbon dioxide to high-value-added compounds using renewable electricity -- has gained research attention as a carbon capture utilization technology.

Scientists reverse age-related vision loss, eye damage from glaucoma in mice
Researchers at Harvard Medical School have successfully reversed age-related vision loss in animals as well as eye damage stemming from with a condition mimicking human glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness around the world.

SMART researchers develop plant nanobionic sensor to monitor arsenic levels in soil
Researchers from Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) have developed -- for the first time -- a novel type of plant nanobionic optical sensor that can, in real-time, detect and monitor arsenic levels in the belowground environment, with significant advantages over conventional methods used to measure arsenic in the environment.

Personality changes predict early career outcomes
A new study by a University of Houston psychologist may hold the key to job success.

Brexit opens the door to tougher anti-smoking measures
No-deal Brexit likely to raise cigarette and tobacco prices It offers the UK opportunities to strengthen its world-leading tobacco control measures, by creating greater flexibility to respond to industry action and market developments, according to new research from the University of Bath.

Social, behavioral modifications can be positive trigger to mitigating gun violence
Large-scale behavior change is a critical component when it comes to mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Operations on screen: Creating an accessible surgery simulator
The Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) is hosting a project to create a low-cost surgery simulator; a much more accessible tool than those currently available and which could be used to train both surgeons who are in the early stages of their career and those who are more experienced.

A French team has improved the measurement of a fundamental physical constant
A team of French researchers has just conducted the most accurate measurement to date of the fine-structure constant, which characterizes the strength of interaction between light and charged elementary particles, such as electrons.

Discovery of plant amyloids could help create varieties with improved seed quality
A research team, which included scientists from St Petersburg University, has shown for the first time that special amyloid fibrils are found in plants.

Study finds 10 metabolites associated with risk of stroke
Metabolites are small molecules found in our body's cells. They come from the food we eat, chemical processes happening within our bodies and microbes.

Self-repairing gelatin-based film could be a smart move for electronics
Dropping a cell phone can sometimes cause superficial cracks to appear.

To increase organs available for transplant, reassess organ procurement organizations' metrics
A new paper analyzes the metrics used to evaluate organ procurement organizations and proposes three complimentary metrics to reflect more accurate and equitable performance rankings.

Discrimination on social media results in higher depression, anxiety among minority males
Exposure to ethnic discrimination on social media is associated with higher symptoms of depression and anxiety among young Hispanic males, according to a study by researchers at Florida International University's Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work.

Parents shouldn't worry about their baby's inconsistent sleep patterns
New parents often expect their baby to start sleeping through the night around the time they reach six months of age.

COVID-19 can impact young children's hearts
A 2-month-old infant diagnosed with COVID-19 experienced reversible myocardial injury and heart failure, similar to COVID-19 related heart issues seen in adults, according to a case published in JACC: Case Reports. The infant recovered with normal heart function and was discharged with no heart failure medications.

Healthy muscles are a carrot on a string for healthy lungs
Scientists show effectiveness of carrot-based Japanese herbal medicine called ''Ninjin'yoeito'' in improving muscle atrophy in the hind legs of mice exposed to cigarette smoke through an increased expression of PGC-1α, positioning the medicine as a potential treatment for sarcopenia frailty-related complications with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

A hint of new physics in polarized radiation from the early universe
Yuto Minami at KEK and Eiichiro Komatsu at Kavli IPMU developed a new method to calibrate detectors to the light from dust in our Galaxy, thereby describing a new physics, with 99.2 percent accuracy, that may show parity symmetry breaking.

New microscope technique reveals details of droplet nucleation
A microscopy technique developed at MIT and elsewhere allows researchers to directly observe the process of nucleation, which leads to the formation of droplets and bubbles on surfaces.

Plant-inspired alkaloids protect rice, kiwi and citrus from harmful bacteria
Plants get bacterial infections, just as humans do. When food crops and trees are infected, their yield and quality can suffer.

Scientists invent a new type of microscope that can see through an intact skull
Researchers at IBS invented a new type of microscope called reflective matrix microscope, which uses adaptive optics techniques

AI abdominal fat measure predicts heart attack and stroke
Automated deep learning analysis of abdominal CT images produces a more precise measurement of body composition and predicts major cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke, better than overall weight or body mass index (BMI), according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

The making of mysterious mazes: how animals got their complex colorations
A researcher at Osaka University uncovered a simple mechanism underlying the intricate skin patterns of animals through comprehensive analyses of the diversity of fish colorations.

Stress hormones can reawaken sleeping tumor cells, raising risk of cancer recurrence
Stress hormones and immune cells called neutrophils may contribute to the recurrence of tumors years after treatment by awakening dormant cancer cells, suggests a study of mice and data from 80 patients with lung cancer.

LGB adults may be less likely to take statins to prevent heart disease
Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) adults are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease than non-LGB adults.

Peeking into the pods of black soybeans
Nagoya University scientists have furthered understanding of how plants make a common pigment that might have medicinal applications.

Protein molecules in cells function as miniature antennas
Researchers led by Josef Lazar from IOCB Prague have demonstrated that molecules of fluorescent proteins act as antennas with optical properties (i.e. the ability to absorb and emit light) dependent on their spatial orientation.

Study shows promising material can store solar energy for months or years
Lancaster University researchers studying a crystalline material have discovered it has properties that allow it to capture energy from the sun.

People returning home from skilled nursing facilities need tailored instructions
Transitions from a skilled nursing facility to home are burdensome to already vulnerable individuals and are points in time where errors and gaps in care are more likely.

New machine learning tool tracks urban traffic congestion
Using public data from the entire 1,500-square-mile Los Angeles metropolitan area, PNNL researchers reduced the time needed to create a traffic congestion model by an order of magnitude, from hours to minutes.

Researchers determine how the SARS-CoV-2 virus hijacks and rapidly causes damage to human lung cells
In a multi-group collaborative involving the National Emerging Infectious Disease Laboratories (NEIDL), the Center for Regenerative Medicine (CReM), and the Center for Network Systems Biology (CNSB), scientists have reported the first map of the molecular responses of human lung cells to infection by SARS-CoV-2.

New lab-on-a-chip infection test could provide cheaper, faster portable diagnostics
A tiny new silicon-based lab-on-chip test could pave the way for cheap handheld infectious disease testing.

Natural three-dimensional nonlinear photonic crystal
Nonlinear photonic crystals are playing a prominent role in laser and nonlinear optics.

RUDN University professor suggested how to clean up space debris
A specialist in spacecraft movement control analyzed the process of placing vehicle stages, boosters, and other space debris into the so-called disposal orbit and suggested cleaning lower orbits up with a spacecraft that has modules with engine units on board.

Supernova surprise creates elemental mystery
Michigan State University (MSU) researchers have discovered that one of the most important reactions in the universe can get a huge and unexpected boost inside exploding stars known as supernovae.

Sensors for a 'smart' wound bandage may track healing, immune response: Study
Researchers from Skoltech and the University of Texas at Austin have presented a proof-of-concept for a wearable sensor that can track healing in sores, ulcers, and other kinds of chronic skin wounds, even without the need to remove the bandages.

Unmet job expectations linked to a rise in suicide, deaths of despair
The study, published in JAMA Network Open, is the first to link the rise in suicide and drug-poisoning deaths among men without a college degree to declines in working-class jobs.

'Message in a bottle' tracks plastic pollution
Electronic tags released in the Ganges river show plastic pollution can travel thousands of kilometres in just a few months.

Flightless birds more common globally before human-driven extinctions
There would be at least four times as many flightless bird species on Earth today if it were not for human influences, finds a study led by UCL researchers, published in Science Advances.

Unexpected finding reveals new target for aggressive form of lung cancer
An MSK team has found that a particular subset of lung adenocarcinomas is aggressive due to a combination of two mutations that allow them to block ferroptosis, a type of cell death.

Academic dishonesty: Fear and justifications
Why do some students cheat by looking over someone's shoulder, furtively searching for test answers on the internet, using cheat sheets during exams or paying others to complete their coursework?

Nanomaterials enable dual-mode heating and cooling device
Engineers at Duke University have demonstrated a dual-mode heating and cooling device for building climate control that, if widely deployed in the U.S., could cut HVAC energy use by nearly 20 percent.

Drinking blocks a chemical that promotes attention
UT Health San Antonio scientists studied the cascade of events that begins when alcohol diminishes norepinephrine release in a brain structure called the locus coeruleus.

Active camouflage artificial skin in visible-to-infrared range
Cephalopods' exceptional ability to hide into any background has inspired researchers to replicate their fascinating ability to camouflage in the infrared (IR) and visible spectrum.

Videoscope analysis of a Neanderthal skeleton reveals detailed dental information
Videoscope analysis of a well-preserved Neanderthal skeleton from Altamura, Italy reveals detailed dental information, including tooth wear and tooth loss.

After shipping, pallets pose big risk to public, cause many accidents, injuries
Shipping pallets -- often used as display platforms in retail settings or seen as raw material for household projects -- were responsible for sending more than 30,000 people to the emergency rooms of U.S. hospitals over a recent five-year period, according to a new study.

This 3D printer doesn't gloss over the details
A new 3D printing system designed by MIT researchers enables realistic variations in glossiness across a 3D printed surface.

Rethinking race and kidney function
Removing race from clinical tools that calculate kidney function could have both advantages and disadvantages for Black patients.

Big data analysis suggests role of brain connectivity in epilepsy-related atrophy
An international study has found a link between the brain's network connections and grey matter atrophy caused by certain types of epilepsy, a major step forward in our understanding of the disease.

Best region for life on Mars was far below surface
The most habitable region for life on Mars would have been up to several miles below its surface, likely due to subsurface melting of thick ice sheets fueled by geothermal heat, a Rutgers-led study concludes.

Visualisation reveals how a protein 'hunkers down' to conserve energy
A visualisation made from nearly 100,000 electron microscope images has revealed the ingenious way a protein involved in muscle activity shuts itself down to conserve energy.

Glass beads from medieval sites suggest more complex trade networks
Glass beads from remote medieval sites in Mali and Senegal suggest long distance trade networks may have been more extensive than previously thought -- while a modern bead fragment also implicates a modern grave looter!

What's killing killer whales?
Pathology reports on more than 50 killer whales stranded over nearly a decade in the northeast Pacific and Hawaii show that orcas face a variety of mortal threats -- many stemming from human interactions.

New butterfly-inspired hydrogen sensor is powered by light
A new bioinspired prototype offers a total package of features unmatched by any hydrogen sensor currently on the market.

CNIC scientists identify a new diagnostic and therapeutic target for cardiovascular disease
Scientists at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC) have identified a mitochondrial protein as a potential marker for the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and as a possible target for future treatments.

Chaotic early solar system collisions resembled 'asteroids' arcade game
One Friday evening in 1992, a meteorite ended a more than 150 million-mile journey by smashing into the trunk of a red Chevrolet Malibu in Peekskill, New York.

Sensor can detect scarred or fatty liver tissue
MIT engineers have now developed a diagnostic tool, based on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), that could be used to detect both fatty liver disease and liver fibrosis.

New activity found for CHD7, a protein factor vital in embryonic development
Research has yielded fundamental insights into the causes of severe birth defects known as CHARGE syndrome cases.

Physical activity key to helping reduce menopause symptoms
CLEVELAND, Ohio (December 2, 2020)--Women being treated for cancer often experience menopause quite suddenly with common symptoms, such as hot flashes, amplified more than had menopause occurred naturally.

Continents prone to destruction in their infancy, study finds
Monash University geologists have shed new light on the early history of the Earth through their discovery that continents were weak and prone to destruction in their infancy.

What social distancing does to a brain
Scientists discover a neuropeptide that reflects the current state of a fish's social environment

Less COVID-19 transmission seen in countries with more intense testing
Lacking vaccines, countries have relied on multiple non-pharmaceutical interventions to control COVID-19 transmission.

RUDN University physicists described a new type of amorphous solid bodies
Many substances with different chemical and physical properties, from diamonds to graphite, are made up of carbon atoms.

New glue sticks easily, holds strongly, and is a gas to pull apart
Research introduces temporary adhesives that don't require tearing or ripping to pull apart.

Research reveals how a fungal infection activates inflammation
Scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have shed light on the mechanisms that underlie how Aspergillus fumigatus activates the inflammasome, with implications for therapeutic development.

Xenophobic and racist policies in the US may have harmful effect on birth outcomes
The first U.S. Executive Order of the 2017 travel ban targeting individuals from Muslim majority countries may be associated with preterm births for women from those countries residing in the U.S., according to a new study conducted at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

Smoking, tobacco use among teens continues to drop even as use of e-cigs grows
Despite the increase in use of e-cigarettes among adolescents, cigarette and smokeless tobacco prevalence declined more rapidly between 2012 and 2019 than in previous periods, according to a new study.

Understanding quality of life for caregivers of persons with traumatic brain injury
New research uses a unique survey tool to understand how caring for a person with TBI impacts the caregiver's mental health and well-being.

Why does it matter if most Republican voters still think Biden lost?
As President-elect Joe Biden and his administrative team officially begin the transition process, only about 20 percent of Republican voters consider him the true winner of the election.

Kidney disease leading risk factor for COVID-related hospitalization
An analysis of Geisinger's electronic health records has revealed chronic kidney disease to be the leading risk factor for hospitalization from COVID-19.

The tree of cortical cell types describes the diversity of neurons in the brain
The tree of cortical cell types provides one of the most detailed and complete characterizations of the diversity of neural types in the brain so far.

Roly polies transfer environmental toxins to threatened fish populations in California
New research finds steelhead trout in a stream on the California coast accumulate mercury in their bodies when the fish eat roly polies and similar terrestrial bugs that fall into local waterways.

Small and large birth weight linked to genetics of mother and baby -- except in tiniest babies
Genetics of mother and baby contribute to most cases where babies are born very large or very small, according to new research.

New Yorkers believe pandemic will persist, but express hope in wake of election
As COVID-19 surges nationwide, 78% of New York City residents believe it is likely or very likely the city will again experience a resurgence of cases similar to that seen last April.

Birth defects linked to greater risk of cancer in later life
People born with major birth defects face a higher risk of cancer throughout life, although the relative risk is greatest in childhood and then declines, finds a study published by The BMJ today.

Cell membranes in super resolution
For the first time ever, expansion microscopy allows the imaging of even the finest details of cell membranes.

When the rains stopped
What can archaeologists tell us about the impacts of climate change on human history?

After CDC guidance, little change in opioid prescriptions to those at risk of misuse
Research from Saint Louis University finds that among patients at risk for opioid misuse, the odds of receiving a Schedule II opioid (those with high abuse potential) for non-cancer pain were similar to those not at risk, despite new prescribing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Nine years on, the psychological effects of the Syrian war on school children in Damascus
Almost a decade of civil and military unrest has left Syrian children mentally scarred, angry and traumatised, according to new research.

Research suggests our galaxy's brightest gamma-ray binary system may be powered by a magnetar star
A research team led by Kavli IPMU graduate student Hiroki Yoneda has shed new night on the massive star and its neutron star companion, which are thought to be at the core of the gamma-ray binary system LS 5039.

Ozone breaks down THC deposited on surfaces from thirdhand cannabis smoke
Second- and thirdhand tobacco smoke have received lots of attention, but much less is known about the compounds deposited on surfaces from cannabis smoke.

Amphibian die-offs worsened malaria outbreaks in Central America
The global collapse of frogs and other amphibians due to the amphibian chytrid fungus exacerbated malaria outbreaks in Costa Rica and Panama during the 1990s and 2000s, according to new research.

Optimal horse racing speed pinpointed by mathematical analysis
Optimal horse racing speed over the course of a flat race pinpointed by mathematical analysis to help achieve the fastest time, including adjustments for racecourse topography

Anti-doping education: Teaching athletes about morality in sport can help reduce doping
Elite athletes can be persuaded not to take banned substances - either by appealing to their sense of morality or educating them about the risks of using performance-enhancing drugs, according to a new study.

Reconstruction of eye tissue gives new insight into outer retina
Researchers used a newly developed imaging technique called serial block face scanning electron microscopy, to produce a digital reconstruction of eye tissues from the outer retina, at very high resolution.

Incredible vision in ancient marine creatures drove an evolutionary arms race
Ancient deep sea creatures called radiodonts had incredible vision that likely drove an evolutionary arms race according to new research published today.

Having it both ways: a combined strategy in catalyst design for Suzuki cross-couplings
cientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have designed a novel catalyst for the Suzuki cross-coupling reaction, which is widely used in the synthesis of industrial and pharmaceutical organic chemicals.

Satellite-tagged bottles show promise for tracking plastic litter through rivers
A new study demonstrates the potential for plastic bottles tagged with tracking devices to deepen our understanding of how plastic pollution moves through rivers.

A baseline comparison of killer whale stranding deaths in the northeastern Pacific/Hawaii
One of the first studies to analyze trends across orca necropsy reports reveals human activity as a cause of death for studied orcas across every age group, according to a study published December 2, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Stephen Raverty from the Ministry of Agriculture, Canada, and colleagues.

No nanoparticle risks found in field tests of spray sunscreens
People can continue using mineral-based aerosol sunscreens without fear of exposure to dangerous levels of nanoparticles or other respirable particulates, according to Penn State research published in the journal Aerosol Science and Engineering.

Once in a lifetime floods to become regular occurrences by end of century
Superstorm Sandy brought flood-levels to the New York region that had not been seen in generations.

Replacing red meat with plant foods may reduce the risk of heart disease
Replacing red meat with high quality plant foods such as beans, nuts, or soy may be associated with a modestly reduced risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), suggests a study published by The BMJ today.

Greenland ice sheet faces irreversible melting
Scientists predict Greenland ice sheet will pass a threshold beyond which it will never fully regrow and sea levels will be permanently higher in as little as 600 years under current climate change projections, as Greenland's climate would be permanently altered as the ice sheet shrinks.

Bluestar Genomics, UChicago publish whole genome map of key biomarker for detecting cancer
Bluestar Genomics, an innovative company leading the development of next-generation epigenomic approaches to cancer detection, and University of Chicago today announce the publication of a genome-wide 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) map across multiple human tissue types.

Circadian gene mutation increases self-administration of cocaine in mice
University of Pittsburgh researchers reveal a molecular basis for the deep and fundamental connection between the disruption in circadian rhythms and predisposition to substance abuse.

New platform generates hybrid light-matter excitations in highly charged graphene
Columbia University researchers report that they have achieved plasmonically active graphene with record-high charge density without an external gate.

Autism study suggests connection between repetitive behaviors, gut problems
In children with autism, repetitive behaviors and gastrointestinal problems may be connected, new research has found.

No poaching occurring within most Channel Islands marine protected areas
Fish are thriving and poachers are staying out of marine protected areas around California's Channel Islands, a new population analysis by an Oregon State University researcher shows.

African trade routes sketched out by mediaeval beads
The chemical composition of glass beads and their morphological characteristics can reveal where they come from.

Study on placenta membrane cells identifies genetic markers associated with preterm birth
A new research study from the March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center led by investigators at the University of Chicago has identified new genetic markers associated with gestational length, providing new insights into potential risk factors for preterm birth.

Combined exercise, mindfulness training may help reduce fatigue in cancer survivors
A new study shows that breast cancer survivors may benefit from a combination of exercise and mindfulness training.

NUS engineers invent fast and safe way to store natural gas for useful applications
Engineers from NUS have devised a method to convert natural gas into a non-explosive solid form known as gas hydrates, which can be easily stored and transported.

SWOG Cancer Research Network hits SABCS with high impact research
SWOG Cancer Research Network members will share results of five network-led studies at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, or SABCS, an international gathering of breast cancer physicians and researchers expected to draw 8,000 virtual attendees from more than 80 countries that runs Dec.

Menopausal palpitations causing distress
Many menopausal women report having palpitation distress. The likelihood of women reporting palpitation distress was higher with worse insomnia, depressive symptoms, perceived stress, and menopausal quality of life (QOL) issues.

Impactful science teaching requires minimum five hours instruction weekly
Middle-grades science teachers that dedicate a minimum of five hours of instructional time to science each week are more likely to implement inquiry-based teaching, a best practice among science and education experts, in their classrooms.
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