Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 18, 2020
Roadmap to renewables unites climate and sustainability goals
Are clean energy plans missing the forest for the GHGs?

'Poverty line' concept debunked by new machine learning model
Mathematicians have used machine learning to develop a new model for measuring poverty in different countries that junks old notions of a fixed 'poverty line'.

Developing smarter, faster machine intelligence with light
Researchers at the George Washington University, together with researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the deep-tech venture startup Optelligence LLC, have developed an optical convolutional neural network accelerator capable of processing large amounts of information, on the order of petabytes, per second.

New topological properties found in "old" material of Cobalt disulfide
Researchers working with the Schoop Lab discovered the presence of Weyl nodes in bulk CoS2 that allow them to make predictions about its surface properties.

Machine intelligence accelerates research into mapping brains
Scientists in Japan's brain science project have used machine intelligence to improve the accuracy and reliability of a powerful brain-mapping technique, a new study reports.

Simple and cost-effective extraction of rare metals from industrial waste
Researchers from Kanazawa University developed a protocol to efficiently purify palladium and silver ions from industrial waste, and convert the ions into pure metallic elements.

New study identifies greatest risk factors of mortality from COVID-19
Hospitalized COVID-19 patients have a greater risk of dying if they are men or are obese or have complications from diabetes or hypertension, according to a new study conducted by University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) researchers.

APS plays foundational role in development of COVID-19 vaccines
More than a decade of virus research at the APS laid the groundwork for more effective COVID-19 vaccines and helped speed their rapid development.

US public attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccine mandates
Researchers assessed the acceptability of COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the U.S. public.

Novel crystalline oxide may solve the problem of overheating in composite materials
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology recently synthesized a novel material that displays unique thermal expansion properties.

Stem cell treatment for vascular diseases can be predicted through real-time observation
The Korea Institute of Science and Technology(KIST) recently announced that the collaborative research team led by Dr.

Researchers reveal link between cryptocurrency coding and market behavior
City, University of London's Dr Andrea Baronchelli and colleagues analyse 297 cryptocurrencies and challenge the 'code is law' operating principle which has been widely accepted as granting transparency to currencies created by cryptographic algorithms.

Will we still need Covid-19 volunteers in the new year?
During the first national lockdown of the Covid-19 pandemic earlier this year, and subsequent social restrictions, thousands of volunteers provided a vital lifeline for many vulnerable people throughout an unprecedented time of anxiety and social restrictions.

Living environment affects the microbiota and health of both dogs and their owners
In urban environments, allergic diseases are more common among dogs and their owners compared to those living in rural areas.

New discovery brings analogue spintronic devices closer
The observation of nonlinearity in electron spin-related processes in graphene makes it easier to transport, manipulate and detect spins, as well as spin-to-charge conversion.

Concern about loved ones might motivate people to mask up and get vaccine
In a recent survey, people who said social distancing and COVID-safety guidelines violated their personal freedoms responded more positively to these ideas when they felt a loved one might be at risk of severe illness for COVID-19.

Study finds growing numbers of critically endangered sawfish in Miami waters
MIAMI--A new collaborative study lead by scientists at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found evidence of growing numbers of critically endangered smalltooth sawfish within coastal waters off Miami, Florida, an area where the regular presence of this rare species had gone largely undocumented, until now.

NASA finds what a glacier's slope reveals about Greenland Ice Sheet thinning
As glaciers flow outward from the Greenland Ice Sheet, what lies beneath them offers clues to their role in future ice thinning and sea-level rise contribution.

Three-dimensionally reconstituted organoids that are just like human organs
POSTECH-Seoul National University Hospital research team publishes the new concept of assembloids in Nature.

Study sets baseline for sleep patterns in healthy adult dogs
A new canine sleep study could serve as a baseline for research on chronic pain and cognitive dysfunction in dogs, potentially improving detection and treatment of these conditions.

Zika virus affects eye development before but not after birth
A new study from UC Davis finds that Zika infection during the first trimester of pregnancy can impact fetal retinal development and cause congenital ocular anomalies.

Blood pressure drug may be key to increasing lifespan, new study shows
A stress response of mitochondria, the part of our cells that produce energy to power bodily functions, is important to a longer life.

Genetic exchange discovered in anciently asexual rotifers
Skoltech's evolutionary biologists discovered recombination in bdelloid rotifers, microscopic freshwater invertebrates, which have long been regarded as 'an evolutionary scandal' due to their presumed ancient asexuality.

Discovery finds a cellular building block acts as a gel, not liquid as previously believed
University of Alberta researchers have found an answer to a fundamental question in genomic biology that has eluded scientists since the discovery of DNA: Within the nucleus of our cells, is the complex package of DNA and proteins called chromatin a solid or a liquid?

Shifting gears toward chemical machines
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering have utilized a catalytic reaction that causes a two-dimensional, chemically-coated sheet to spontaneously ''morph'' into a three-dimensional gear that performs sustained work.

New mechanism of force transduction in muscle cells discovered
Researchers at the University of Münster (Germany) have now discovered how the muscle-specific adhesion molecule metavinculin modulates mechanical force transduction on the molecular level.

Scientists develop new land surface model including multiple processes and human activities
Researchers from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics developed a land surface model CAS-LSM that has improved the descriptions of biogeochemical process and urban modules, compared with the earlier version of this model.

Fire-resistant tropical forest on brink of disappearance -
A new study reveals the extreme scale of loss and fragmentation of tropical forests, which once covered much of the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan.

Scientists take a step towards expanding the use of magnetic fluids in medicine
Magnetic fluids are used in many different areas, including medicine, electronics, mechanical engineering, ecology, etc.

World's first transmission of 1 Petabit/s using a single-core multimode optical fiber
A group of researchers from the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT, Japan) and NOKIA Bell Labs (USA) and Prysimian Group (France) succeeded in the world's first transmission exceeding 1 petabit per second in a single-core multi-mode optical fiber.

Prenatal testing has halved the number of babies born with Down syndrome in Europe
For the first time, a study has aggregated data on the number of babies born with Down syndrome in each European country.

The 'crazy beast' that lived among the dinosaurs
New research published today in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology describes a bizarre 66 million-year-old mammal that provides profound new insights into the evolutionary history of mammals from the southern supercontinent Gondwana - recognized today as Africa, South America, Australia, Antarctica, the Indian subcontinent, and the Arabian Peninsula.

Ice sheet uncertainties could mean sea level will rise more than predicted
Sea level could rise higher than current estimates by 2100 if climate change is unchallenged, according to a new assessment.

What's the 'true' rate of dislocation after total hip replacement?
The cumulative incidence of hip dislocation following total hip replacement is about 50 percent higher than suggested by simple analysis of hospital data, reports a study in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Power boost thanks to gold lamellae
Terahertz light holds enormous potential for tomorrow's technologies. It might succeed 5G by enabling extremely fast mobile communications connections and wireless networks.

CAPTUREing Whole-Body 3D movements
Neuroscientists have made major advances in their quest to study the brain; however, there are no tools to precisely measure the brain's principal output -- behavior -- in freely moving animals.

Breast cancer study uncovers how macrophages may contribute to a therapeutic weak spot
Clinical trials have investigated pairing PARP inhibitor therapy with immunotherapy.

Sound waves spin droplets to concentrate, separate nanoparticles
Mechanical engineers at Duke University have devised a method for spinning individual droplets of liquid to concentrate and separate nanoparticles for biomedical purposes.

Potentially damaging surface ozone levels rose in lockdown
Less traffic on the roads during the first lockdown led to a reduction in air pollution but may have caused potentially damaging surface ozone levels to rise, a new study has revealed.

Researchers make 'high vis vests' to help monitor bee behaviour
A team of researchers from the University of Sheffield and The Bumblebee Conservation Trust have been trialling new, low-cost ways to monitor bee species in the UK, by dressing bees in high visibility retroreflective vests.

Self-managed abortion attempts among US women
Researchers used nationally representative survey data to estimate the proportion of women of reproductive age in the United States who have ever attempted to end an unwanted pregnancy on their own without medical assistance.

When light and atoms share a common vibe
Scientists from EPFL, MIT, and CEA Saclay demonstrate a state of vibration that exists simultaneously at two different times.

UH Mānoa researcher examines why people choose to wear face coverings
A new study discovered key motivators on why people choose to wear face coverings amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than half of Hudson River tidal marshes were created accidentally by humans
In a new study of tidal marsh resilience to sea level rise, geologist and first author Brian Yellen at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and colleagues observed that Hudson River Estuary marshes are growing upward at a rate two to three times faster than sea level rise, ''suggesting that they should be resilient to accelerated sea level rise in the future,'' he says.

Researchers deconstruct ancient Jewish parchment using multiple imaging techniques
Scientists in Romania used multiple, complementary imaging techniques to non-invasively study the composition of an aged Jewish parchment scroll.

A weather station for epileptic seizure
The onset of epileptic seizures is unpredictable. Neuroscientists from the University of Geneva, the University Hospital of Bern and the University of California in San Francisco, have succeeded in developing a technique that can predict seizures between one and several days in advance.

Satellite data identifies companies fishing in high seas
A team of researchers, using satellite data and other analytical tools, has identified companies fishing in high seas--waters that lie outside of national jurisdiction where fishing has raised fears about environmental and labor violations.

Covid-19: contaminated surfaces as a risk factor
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic poses a threat to the health of millions of people worldwide.

AI-supported test predicts eye disease three years before symptoms
A pioneering new eye test, developed by scientists at UCL in collaboration with the Western Eye Hospital, London, may predict wet AMD, a leading cause of severe sight loss, three years before symptoms develop, finds a new study in Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics.

Artificial Intelligence that can run a simulation faithful to physical laws
Researchers led by Associate Professor YAGUCHI Takaharu (Kobe University) and Associate Professor MATSUBARA Takashi (Osaka University) have successfully developed technology to simulate phenomena for which the detailed mechanism or formula are unexplained.

A step toward understanding why COVID-19 boosts stroke risk
A UCLA-led study may help explain how COVID-19 increases the risk for stroke.

Gene biomarkers indicate liver toxicity quickly and accurately
When agrochemical and pharmaceutical companies develop new products, they must test extensively for potential toxicity before obtaining regulatory approval.

Social holidays improve overall well-being
Social holidays improve holiday makers' overall satisfaction with life, as well as satisfaction with the quantity and quality of their leisure time, and social life, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland.

New solutions for addressing systemic risks
Systemic risks like climate change, cybersecurity and pandemics are characterised by high complexity, uncertainty, ambiguity, and effects beyond the system in which they originate.

The incredible, variable bacteria living in your mouth
In a study published in Genome Biology researchers led by Harvard University examined the human oral microbiome and discovered tremendous variability in bacterial subpopulations living in certain areas of the mouth.

Inverted fluorescence
Fluorescence usually entails the conversion of light at shorter wavelengths to light at longer wavelengths.

Devastating skin disease covering up to 70% of a dolphin's body tied to climate change
The Marine Mammal Center, in collaboration with Australian researchers, provides the first-ever case definition for fresh-water skin disease in bottlenose dolphins tied to climate change.

Stroke and altered mental state increase risk of death for COVID-19 patients
People hospitalized with COVID-19 and neurological problems including stroke and confusion, have a higher risk of dying than other COVID-19 patients, according to a study published online today by researchers at Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the journal Neurology. These findings have the potential to identify and focus treatment efforts on individuals most at risk and could decrease COVID-19 deaths.

Cell atlas of tropical disease parasite may hold key to new treatments
The first cell atlas of an important life stage of Schistosoma mansoni, a parasitic worm that poses a risk to hundreds of millions of people each year, has been developed by researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and their collaborators.

Humpback whale songs provide insight to population changes
Following reports of unusually low whale numbers that began in 2015-16, UH researchers examined song chorusing recorded at six sites off Maui.

Like tentacles catching fish
Researchers decode the structure of the molecular complex that carries detoxifying enzymes in cells to the right place

Identifying where to reforest after wildfire
Forest managers can now look to a newly enhanced, predictive mapping tool to learn where forests are likely to regenerate on their own and where replanting efforts may be beneficial.

New drug molecules hold promise for treating rare inherited terminal childhood disease
Scientists at the University of Exeter have identified a way to ''rescue'' cells that have genetically mutated, paving the way to a possible new treatment for rare terminal childhood illness such as mitochondrial disease.

COVID-19: what strategies are beneficial to the state
Based on the classic Prisoner's Dilemma, HSE researchers modeled human behavior strategies in the face of COVID restrictions.

Experts call for Europe-wide COVID-19 targets
A group of more than 300 leading scientists across the globe are calling for European governments to work together in managing the pandemic and make a clear commitment to COVID-19 case number targets.

New curriculum improves students' understanding of electric circuits in schools
The topic of electricity often poses difficulties for many secondary school students in physics lessons.

Researchers determine factors associated with ovary removal in patients with ovarian torsion
To determine the factors associated with an increased likelihood for ovary removal during the time of surgery for ovarian torsion, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), conducted a retrospective study of patients from a racially diverse, urban safety-net hospital with a diagnosis of ovarian torsion during a four-and-a-half-year period.

Study shows incorporating telemedicine helps surgical practices
A new study that records patient volume at Stony Brook Medicine's Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center reveals that follow-up telehealth visits are highly effective during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Media Alert: The CRISPR Journal publishes special issue on expanding the CRISPR toolbox
A Special Issue on Expanding the CRISPR Toolbox. The Journal is dedicated to validating and publishing outstanding research and commentary on all aspects of CRISPR and gene editing, including CRISPR biology, technology, and genome editing, and commentary and debate of key policy, regulatory, and ethical issues affecting the field.

New class of cobalt-free cathodes could enhance energy density of next-gen lithium-ion batteries
Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have developed a new family of cathodes with the potential to replace the costly cobalt-based cathodes typically found in today's lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles and consumer electronics.

Research brief: Researchers discover new way to deliver DNA-based therapies for diseases
University of Minnesota Twin Cities researchers in the Department of Chemistry have created a new polymer to deliver DNA and RNA-based therapies for diseases.

Recently discovered comet seen during 2020 total solar eclipse
As Chile and Argentina witnessed the total solar eclipse on Dec.

Researchers propose process to detect and contain emerging diseases
University of Arkansas biologist Kristian Forbes is part of a global team of researchers developing a strategy to detect and intercept diseases emerging from wildlife in Africa that could eventually infect humans.

Compressive fluctuations heat ions in space plasma
New simulations carried out in part on the ATERUI II supercomputer in Japan have found that the reason ions exist at higher temperatures than electrons in space plasma is because they are better able to absorb energy from compressive turbulent fluctuations in the plasma.

NYS can achieve 2050 carbon goals: Here's how
By delving into scientific, technological, environmental and economic data, Cornell University engineering researchers examined whether New York could achieve a statewide carbon-free economy by 2050.

Water limitations in the tropics offset carbon uptake from arctic greening
More plants and longer growing seasons in the northern latitudes have converted parts of Alaska, Canada and Siberia to deeper shades of green.

Plants can be larks or night owls just like us
Plants have the same variation in body clocks as that found in humans, according to new research that explores the genes governing circadian rhythms in plants.

In liver, a stressed cell can be bad news for its neighbors
When a stressed liver cell starts communicating with its neighbors, it can send stress signals to neighboring cells, causing significant problems that can lead to fatty liver disease and metabolic disease.

Nanotechnology -- nanoparticles as weapons against cancer
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich researchers have developed a novel type of nanoparticle that efficiently and selectively kills cancer cells, thus opening up new therapeutic options for the treatment of tumors.

Scientists get the most realistic view yet of a coronavirus spike's protein structure
Coronaviruses like the one that causes COVID-19 are studded with protein ''spikes'' that bind with receptors on the cells of their victims ¬- the first step in infection.

The Milky Way primordial history and its fossil findings
Recently discovered and named, the ''Bulge Fossil Fragments'' represent a new class of stellar systems composed of the relics of primordial massive clumps of gas and stars that originated the core of our galaxy approximately 12 billion years ago

Land ecosystems are becoming less efficient at absorbing CO2
Land ecosystems currently play a key role in mitigating climate change.

Ultra-fast gas flows through tiniest holes in 2D membranes
Researchers from the National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester and the University of Pennsylvania have identified ultra-fast gas flows through the tiniest holes in one-atom-thin membranes, in a study published in Science Advances .

How does the brain project manage its learning?
In a paper published today in the prestigious journal Science, a collaboration between University of Ottawa and Humbolt University of Berlin reveals a critical role for a brain area called the perirhinal cortex in managing this learning process.

Low-income preschoolers exposed to nurturing care have with higher IQ scores later on
Preschoolers living in impoverished communities who have access to a nurturing home environment have significantly higher intelligence quotient (IQ) scores in adolescence compared to those raised without nurturing care.

Monkeys, like humans, persist at tasks they've already invested in
Humans are generally reluctant to give up on something they've already committed time and effort to.

Seeking answers in ferroelectric patterning
Why do some ferroelectric materials display 'bubble'-shaped patterning, while others display complex, labyrinthine patterns?

SARS-CoV-2 induces inflammation, cytokine storm and stress in infected lung cells
The researchers Wasco Wruck and Prof. James Adjaye from the Institute of Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine, Medical Faculty of Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf, Germany, employed a bioinformatic approach on transcriptome data pertaining to human lung epithelial cells infected with SARS-CoV-2.

Cannabis could reduce fentanyl use, reduce overdose risk: Study
New research suggests that cannabis use by people in care for opioid addiction might improve their treatment outcomes and reduce their risk of being exposed to fentanyl in the contaminated unregulated drug supply.
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