Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 22, 2020
Research news tip sheet: Story ideas From Johns Hopkins Medicine
Research story ideas from Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Reliable anti-counterfeit checks under extreme conditions
NUS researchers invented DeepKey, a new anti-counterfeiting technology that performs reliable AI-based authentication under extreme environmental conditions.

Variation in US hospital mortality rates for patients admitted with COVID-19 during the 1st 6 months of pandemic
Researchers used data from a large national health insurer in the U.S. to examine whether hospital outcomes for patients with COVID-19 are improving.

Assessing maternal, neonatal SARS-CoV-2 viral load, transplacental antibody transfer, placental pathology
This report of maternal viral load, transplacental antibody transmission and placental pathology in 127 pregnancies during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic provides needed data about maternal viral control, reduced transplacental transfer of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and lack of vertical transmission in mother-newborn pairs.

Artificial intelligence predicts gestational diabetes in Chinese women
Machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence, can predict which women are at high risk of developing gestational diabetes and lead to earlier intervention, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

One in four women with ADHD has attempted suicide
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) can have negative consequences on mental health into adulthood.

Masks not enough to stop COVID-19's spread without distancing
Wearing a mask may not be enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19 without social distancing.

How the American child welfare system lost its way
Black children are removed from their families at much greater rates than any other race or ethnicity in this country.

Regulatory RNAs promote breast cancer metastasis
A gene-regulating snippet of RNA may contribute to the spread of many breast cancers.

Cannabis use blunts stress reactivity in female rats
Female rats that inhaled vaporized cannabis daily for a month developed a blunted physiological response to stress, according to a new study by Washington State University researchers.

A groggy climate giant: subsea permafrost is still waking up after 12,000 years
After the Last Glacial Maximum some 14,000 years ago, rising temperature melted glaciers and ice caps worldwide.

Pandemic and forthcoming stimulus funds could bring climate targets in sight -- or not
The lockdowns that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic have reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Cornell University to extract energy from manure to meet peak heating demands
Cornell University is developing a system to extract energy from cattle manure to meet the campus's peak demands for heat in the winter months.

The first endovascular technology that can explore capillaries
EPFL scientists have invented a technique to navigate electronic devices that are smaller than human hair inside blood vessels and reach arterioles.

Visible hydrogels for rapid hemorrhage control and monitoring
A collaborative team of clinical intervention radiology specialist and bioengineering researchers create a visual hydrogel for rapid hemorrhage control and monitoring by adding imaging particles made from tantalum hydrogel mixture.

Newly discovered receptor helps to sneak a peek at evolution
Certain proteins call for unusual ways to get incorporated into membranes, because the signal sequence required for this process is located at their rear end instead of at the front.

Slow start of plate tectonics despite a hot early Earth
Writing in PNAS, scientists from Cologne university present important new constraints showing that plate tectonics started relatively slow, although the early Earth's interior was much hotter than today.

Increased meat consumption associated with symptoms of childhood asthma
Substances present in cooked meats are associated with increased wheezing in children, Mount Sinai researchers report.

Ancient DNA sheds light on the peopling of the Mariana Islands
Compared to the first peopling of Polynesia, the settlement of the Mariana Islands in the Western Pacific, which happened around 3,500 years ago, has received little attention.

Pregnant women in third trimester unlikely to pass SARS-CoV-2 infection to newborns
Pregnant women who are infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, during the third trimester are unlikely to pass the infection to their newborns, suggests a study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Better learners in collared flycatchers are more likely to imitate competitors
Researchers have shown for the first time in wild birds that the capacity to use information from competing species when choosing a nest site depend partly on individual cognitive ability.

Review on functional hydrogel coatings
Hydrogel-coated substrates combine the merits of both the substrates and hydrogels, enabling new functions and applications.

How a large protein complex assembles in a cell
A team of ETH researchers led by Karsten Weis has developed a method that allows them to study the assembly process for large protein complexes in detail for the first time.

Controlling cardiac waves with light to better understand abnormally rapid heart rhythms
Over 300,000 people die each year in the US due to sudden cardiac death.

A blazar in the early universe
Observations with the continent-wide Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) reveal previously unseen details in a jet of material ejected from the core of a galaxy seen as it was when the universe was only about 7% of its current age.

Global study on bird song frequency
Competition for mates leads to a deeper voice than expected based on size

Droughts, viruses and road networks: Trends that will impact our forests
A new UCPH study assembled an array of experts to highlight major trends that will impact the world's forests, and the people living around them, in the decade ahead.

Promising clinical data for fenofibrate's ability to prevent lung damage in COVID patients
In what has the potential to significantly change how Corona patients are being treated and the severity of the disease, research spearheaded at Jerusalem's Hebrew University gathered early clinical evidence demonstrating the efficacy of an existing drug in treating COVID-19.

Mayo Clinic Model of Care and Research leads to favorable outcomes for patients with COVID-19
Patients with COVID-19 who received care at Mayo Clinic, whether in the hospital or at home, had outcomes that compared favorably to those reported nationally and internationally.

Frozen: Cutting-edge technology reveals structures within cells
Temperatures of minus 196 degrees Celsius enable high-resolution imaging of the cell's interior.

NIH neuroscientists isolate promising mini antibodies against COVID-19 from a llama
National Institutes of Health researchers have isolated a set of promising, tiny antibodies, or ''nanobodies,'' against SARS-CoV-2 that were produced by a llama named Cormac.

Study shows significant sex, age differences for nonfatal opioid overdoses in youth
Results of a national study show significant sex and age-based differences among youth and young adults who experience a nonfatal opioid overdose.

Surgery may offer survival advantage in certain metastatic breast cancers
Surgery, in addition to treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy, may increase the length of survival for metastatic breast cancer patients, according to Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Cancer Institute researchers.

'Soft' nanoparticles give plasmons new potential
Rice University scientists couple gold nanoparticles with soft polymers that pull energy from the gold's plasmonic response to light.

New electron microscopy technique offers first look at previously hidden processes
Northwestern researchers have developed a new microscopy method that allows scientists to see the building blocks of 'smart' materials being formed at the nanoscale.

Scientists discover mutations associated with early onset dementia
Scientists at Trinity College Dublin today announced a significant advance in our understanding of an early onset form of dementia that may also progress our understanding of conditions such as Alzheimer's disease.

Astigmatism measures and corneal power obtained with different devices
The aim of the research is to compare the keratometric and total corneal astigmatism measures provided by three different technologies as well as to assess the level of interchangeability among them.

Nanoparticles could improve oil production
A team of scientists from Siberian Federal University together with their colleagues from Novosibirsk studied the effect of nanoparticles on oil production efficiency.

It's electrifying! This is how Earth could be entirely powered by sustainable energy
Can you imagine a world powered by 100% renewable electricity and fuels?

Scientists suggested a way to measure soil properties at any depth without digging
A team of scientists from RUDN University and the Dokuchyaev Soil Science Institute developed a method for identifying the color of soil at different depths and the structure of soil profile using ground-penetrating radar.

In shaky times, focus on past successes, if overly anxious, depressed
The more chaotic things get, the harder it is for people with clinical anxiety and/or depression to make sound decisions and to learn from their mistakes.

Assessing progress in health care quality through lens of COVID-19
Observations about health system performance during the COVID-19 pandemic are offered in this Viewpoint, with an emphasis on system cohesion and 2 of 3 levels of health care described earlier by the National Academy of Medicine: health care organizational capabilities and the environment of care.

Voluntary or compulsory? New evidence on motivation for anti-COVID-19 policies
A study by the University of Konstanz shows that voluntary motivation to comply with anti-Covid-19 policies is relatively high in Germany, but can be undermined by enforcement -- the consequence of this finding differs depending on the policy.

New mammogram measures of breast cancer risk could revolutionise screening
World-first techniques for predicting breast cancer risk from mammograms that were developed in Melbourne could revolutionise breast screening by allowing it to be tailored to women at minimal extra cost.

Hand-held device measures aerosols for coronavirus risk assessment
Understanding aerosol concentrations and persistence in public spaces can help determine infection risks.

New imaging method views soil carbon at near-atomic scales
The Earth's soils contain more than three times the amount of carbon than is found in the atmosphere, but the processes that bind carbon in the soil are still not well understood.

Study finds patients with kidney failure are ready and willing to use mobile health
* In a survey of adults with kidney failure who were receiving dialysis, most owned mobile devices and had intermediate or advanced mobile health proficiency.

Pregnant women with COVID-19 pass no virus but fewer-than-expected antibodies to newborns
Pregnant women may be especially vulnerable to developing more severe cases of COVID-19, but little is known about their anti-SARS-CoV-2 immune response or how it may affect their offspring.

Even after long-term exposure, bionic touch does not remap the brain
A new study by neuroscientists at the University of Chicago and Chalmers University of Technology demonstrates that the brain does not remap itself even with long-term bionic limb use, posing challenges for the development of realistic prosthetic limbs.

Liquid bandage detects tissue oxygenation without the drawbacks of wired oximeters
A paint-on, transparent bandage containing phosphorescent materials reads the amount of oxygen reaching transplanted tissue -- a critical component of a transplant's success.

NTU Singapore scientists invent glue activated by magnetic field
Scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), have developed a new way to cure adhesives using a magnetic field.

Can we be manipulated into sharing private info online? Yes, says Ben-Gurion U. study
The Ben-Gurion U. researchers showed that by using digital ''foot-in-the-door'' techniques, such as requesting personal information from less important to more private (ascending privacy-intrusion order), websites can successfully entice users to reveal more of their private information.

What pandemic messaging around changing holiday rituals gets wrong
From Catholics performing the sign of the cross to Americans reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, group rituals have strikingly consistent features over time.

Secondary bloodstream infections associated with severe COVID-19
People with severe COVID-19 and a secondary blood infection were significantly sicker upon hospital admission, had longer hospital stays and poorer outcomes, according to a Rutgers study.

Scientists suggested a method to improve performance of methanol fuel cells
Fuel cells based on methanol oxidation have a huge potential in the motor and technical industries.

Diversity, severity of autism symptoms linked to mutation locations
In children with certain autism mutations, the diversity and severity of symptoms are often related to the identity and properties of gene units, called exons, targeted by the mutations.

Too much of a good thing - persistent IFNγ depletes progenitor blood cells via BST2
Long-term exposure to IFNγ stimulates the production of protein BST2 on blood stem cells, which resulted in their emergence from the quiescent state, persistent proliferation and finally exhaustion.

COVID immunity lasts up to 8 months, new data reveals
Australian researchers have revealed -- for the first time -- that people who have been infected with the COVID-19 virus have immune memory to protect against reinfection for at least eight months.

New drug inhibits the growth of cancer cells
Blocking gene expression in mitochondria in mice stops cancer cells from growing

Strategies for adults experiencing sheltered homelessness during COVID-19 pandemic
What The Study Did: In this modeling study of simulated adults living in homeless shelters, daily symptom screening with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing of individuals who had positive symptom screening paired with management at a nonhospital care site of people with mild to moderate COVID-19 was associated with a substantial decrease in infections and lowered costs over four months compared with no intervention across a wide range of epidemic scenarios.

Why an early start is key to developing musical skill later in life
Is there, as some have suggested, a developmental period early in life when the brain is especially receptive to musical training?

Use of diagnosis code for COVID-19 among US hospitalizations
Researchers examined the use of COVID-19-specific coding, the transition from legacy coding and the accuracy of the COVID-19-specific code using SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing as the reference standard.

A powerful computational tool for efficient analysis of cell division 4D image data
A joint research team co-led by City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has developed a novel computational tool that can reconstruct and visualise three-dimensional (3D) shapes and temporal changes of cells, speeding up the analysing process from hundreds of hours by hand to a few hours by the computer.

Global disparities in vaccination persist and leave many children at risk
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, tens of millions of children worldwide were not receiving basic doses of vaccines.

Fluvial mapping of Mars
It took fifteen years of imaging and nearly three years of stitching the pieces together to create the largest image ever made, the 8-trillion-pixel mosaic of Mars' surface.

Mapping out a transient atom
A new experiment provides better understanding of fundamental photo-induced processes with special importance for photocatalysis, photosynthesis and radiation damage

COVID-19 isolation hurting women more than men
A study by University of Calgary researchers with the Hotchkiss Brain Institute examining sex and gender differences on sleep, empathy and mood during months of isolation due to COVID-19 has found that women are suffering more than men with poorer sleep and more anxiety, depression and trauma, while also feeling more empathetic than men.

New report reveals human, economic toll of air pollution in India
Air pollution has devastating consequences for India, accounting for 1.67 million deaths in 2019 and economic losses of $36.8 billion (US), according to a new report by an international group of scientists led by researchers from Boston College's Global Observatory on Pollution and Health, the Indian Council of Medical Research, and the Public Health Foundation of India.

Americans underestimate public support for key gun policies
Gun safety policies, including universal background checks and mandatory waiting periods, receive wide support among American gun owners, yet most Americans fail to recognize this fact, a new study suggests.

New drug combination could improve glucose and weight control in diabetes
Scientists have shown that adding an experimental cancer drug to a widely used diabetes treatment improves blood glucose control and weight loss in mice, according to a study published today in eLife.

Chemists synthesize 'flat' silicon compounds
Chemists at the University of Bonn (Germany) have synthesized extremely unusual compounds.

Enzyme discovery can help rein in blood vessels that fuel cancer
Most living things need oxygen to grow and thrive. Even cancerous tumors.

BioAFMviewer software for simulated atomic force microscopy of biomolecules
Atomic force microscopy (AFM) allows to obtain images and movies showing proteins at work, however with limited resolution.

Wi-Fi technology with fiber optic-like performance for Industry 4.0
It is the first step towards high performance wireless communications in the manufacturing industry

Trade in wild animals is thriving online, despite risk of disease transmission
Despite COVID-19 restrictions and the risk of animal to human disease transmission, illegal wildlife trade on social media networks has continued, with wild animals sometimes sold as 'lockdown pets'.

Mouse-controlled mouse helps researchers understand intentional control
Researchers at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre have devised a brain machine interface (BMI) that allows mice to learn to guide a cursor using only their brain activity.

How roundworms decide the time is right
The roundworm C. elegans matches its development to the amount of food in its environment.

Bio-inspired endoscope provides 3D visible and near-infrared images simultaneously
Researchers have developed a new bio-inspired medical endoscope that can acquire 3D visible light and near-infrared fluorescence images at the same time.

Scientists pinpoint molecular cause for severe disorder in children
A team of scientists from the University of Ottawa have opened a window into the cause of a rare genetic disorder that causes mortality in young children.

Community spread of COVID-19 tied to patient survival rates at area hospitals
Discovering wide variation in hospitals' COVID-19 survival rates, researchers found that the levels of novel coronavirus in the surrounding community was likely the driving factor

Bait and switch
Seafood is the world's most highly traded food commodity, and reports of seafood mislabeling have increased over the past decade.

Keeping up appearances: male fairy-wrens show looks can be deceiving
A new study examines whether conspicuous colours of superb fairy-wrens signal male quality.

Putting on the pressure improves glass for fiber optics
Rapid, accurate communication worldwide is possible via fiber optic cables, but as good as they are, they are not perfect.

Perspective: Why opioids cannot fix chronic pain
New epidemiological and neuroscientific evidence suggests that the relationship between chronic pain and emotional distress is bidirectional.

Community-based programs reduce sexual violence, study shows
Through small, neighborhood classes, researchers at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and Promundo-US significantly reduced sexual violence among teenage boys living in areas of concentrated disadvantage.

Study finds cancer survivors run greater risk of developing, dying from second cancers
A new American Cancer Society study finds that adult-onset cancer survivors run a greater risk of developing and dying from subsequent primary cancers (SPCs) than the general population.

Light flips genetic switch in bacteria inside transparent worms
Researchers from Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine have shown that colored light can both activate and deactivate genes of gut bacteria in the intestines of worms.

Safe gun storage counseling and lock distribution could lower military suicide rate
Military members who receive gun locks and lethal means counseling, which focuses on ways to limit a person's access to specific methods for suicide, are more likely to use a gun safe and unload firearms before they are stored, according to the Gun Violence Research Center, based at Rutgers

COVID-19 pandemic has shown the need to share precious intensive care bed resources across Europe
New research shows that a majority of European anesthesiologists and intensive care specialists believe that precious intensive care (ICU) capacity should be shared between nations during international emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing countries with excess capacity to help those that are being overwhelmed at any particular moment.

CVIA has just published a new issue, Volume 5 Issue 2
The journal Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications (CVIA) has just published the second issue of Volume 5.

The college student in a pandemic
A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP), published by Elsevier, reports that in a group of first-year university students COVID-19 mitigation protocols, including remote learning and stay-at-home orders had a modest, but persistent, impact on mood and wellness behaviors.

The brain's protein factories at work
Protein synthesis is a finely tuned process in the cell by macromolecules known as ribosomes.

Chemists describe a new form of ice
Scientists from the United States, China, and Russia have described the structure and properties of a novel hydrogen clathrate hydrate that forms at room temperature and relatively low pressure.

Brain gene expression patterns predict behavior of individual honey bees
An unusual study that involved bar coding and tracking the behavior of thousands of individual honey bees in six queenless bee hives and analyzing gene expression in their brains offers new insights into how gene regulation contributes to social behavior.

Japanese art technique inspires new engineering technique
A team of Northwestern University engineers is using ideas taken from paper-folding practices to create a sophisticated alternative to 3D printing.

A new species of mammal may have been found in Africa's montane forests
A research team from the University of Helsinki has discovered a tree hyrax in the Taita Hills, Kenya, which may belong to a species previously unknown to science.

Gates Foundation helps UC study sexual health of South African youth
An important new finding by University of Cincinnati researchers could help slow the transmission of HIV/AIDS and reduce pregnancies among adolescent girls in rural South Africa.

Model predicts where ticks, Lyme disease will appear next in Midwest states
By drawing from decades of studies, scientists created a timeline marking the arrival of black-legged ticks, also known as deer ticks, in hundreds of counties across 10 Midwestern states.

Results of NIH-sponsored ACTIV-3 trial published
Preliminary results of a Phase 3, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial testing the investigative monoclonal antibody LY-CoV555 in hospitalized COVID-19 patients were published today in NEJM.

E-cigarettes, as consumer products, do not help people quit smoking, study finds
E-cigarette use has risen steeply and mostly without regulation over the past decade.

Maternal Immune Activation Induces Sustained Changes in Fetal Microglia Motility
Researchers at the Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine have revealed that alterations in fetal microglia resulting from maternal inflammation could contribute towards the onset of developmental and psychiatric disorders.

Cancer's intelligence
Dr. J. James Frost and The International Journal of Unconventional Computing will soon be publishing 'Cancer's Intelligence' which reports that Cancer can be analyzed as an intelligent system of collaborating and computing cells.

Researcher uses machine learning to demonstrate that DNA impacts cancer risk
University of Calgary researcher uses machine learning to demonstrate that DNA impacts cancer risk.

Record-setting thermoelectric figure of merit achieved for metal oxides
Scientists at Hokkaido University have developed a layered cobalt oxide with a record-setting thermoelectric figure of merit, which can be used to enhance thermoelectric power generation.
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