Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 28, 2020
HKU chemists develop a new drug discovery strategy for "undruggable" drug targets
A research team led by Dr Xiaoyu LI from the Research Division for Chemistry, Faculty of Science, in collaboration with Professor Yizhou LI from School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chongqing University and Professor Yan CAO from School of Pharmacy, Second Military Medical University in Shanghai has developed a new drug discovery method targeting membrane proteins on live cells.

Beverage prices, volume sold after sweetened beverage tax repeal in Chicago's county
This observational study examined whether lasting change in sweetened beverage prices or the volume sold was associated with the implementation and repeal of a sweetened beverage tax in Cook County, Illinois, where Chicago is.

Obesity, eating disorder disparities among sexual, gender minority children
The likelihood of having obesity or eating disorders was compared between sexual and gender minority children ages 9 to 10 and other children in this study.

High-speed atomic force microscopy takes on intrinsically disordered proteins
Kanazawa University's pioneering high-speed atomic force microscope technology has now shed light on the structure and dynamics of some of life's most ubiquitous and inscrutable molecules - intrinsically disordered proteins.

New studies suggest vaping could cloud your thoughts
Both adults and kids who vape were more likely to report difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions than their non-vaping, non-smoking peers on two annual national surveys.

Surveys identify relationship between waves, coastal cliff erosion
Researchers have always known that waves were an important part of the cliff erosion process, but they haven't been able to separate the influence of waves and rain before.

Industry collaboration leads to important milestone in the creation of a quantum computer
One of the obstacles for progress in the quest for a working quantum computer has been that the working devices that go into a quantum computer and perform the actual calculations, the qubits, have hitherto been made by universities and in small numbers.

Faster, greener way of producing carbon spheres
A fast, green and one-step method for producing porous carbon spheres, which are a vital component for carbon capture technology and for new ways of storing renewable energy, has been developed by Swansea University researchers.

Comparing health outcomes of privileged Americans with residents of other developed countries
Researchers looked at whether health outcomes of white citizens living in the richest U.S. counties were better than that of average individuals in other developed countries.

The brain network driving changes in consciousness
The loss and return of consciousness is linked to the same network of brain regions for both sleep and anesthesia, according to new research published in JNeurosci.

Big bumblebees learn locations of best flowers
Big bumblebees take time to learn the locations of the best flowers, new research shows.

One psychedelic experience may lessen trauma of racial injustice
A single positive experience on a psychedelic drug may help reduce stress, depression and anxiety symptoms in Black, Indigenous and people of color whose encounters with racism have had lasting harm, a new study suggests.

New research makes strong case for restoring Hong Kong's lost oyster reefs
New research produced jointly by The Swire Institute of Marine Science (SWIMS), Faculty of Science, The University of Hong Kong (HKU), and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), published recently in the scientific journal Restoration Ecology, shows the enormous potential of restoring lost oyster reefs, bringing significant environmental benefits.

The liverwort oil body is formed by redirection of the secretory pathway
In the study published in Nature Communications, the evolutionary relationship between two different organelles in liverwort cells has been revealed: the cell plate, which divides cells during cell division, and the oil body, which is a reservoir for various chemical substances.

Switching DNA functions on and off by means of light
Biochemists at Münster University have developed a new strategy for controlling the biological functions of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) by means of light and therefore provide a tool to investigate processes which take place in cells.

Extremely energy efficient microprocessor developed using superconductors
Researchers from Yokohama National University in Japan have developed a prototype microprocessor using superconductor devices that are about 80 times more energy efficient than the state-of-the-art semiconductor devices found in the microprocessors of today's high-performance computing systems.

Neurologists say there is no medical justification for police use of neck restraints
A number of Americans have died during encounters with police officers who used chokeholds and other forms of neck restraint.

Common brain malformation traced to its genetic roots
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown that Chiari 1 malformation can be caused by variations in two genes linked to brain development, and that children with large heads are at increased risk of developing the condition.

Carotid physiology, neck restraints in law enforcement
This Viewpoint reviews the potential neurologic consequences of any restriction of blood flow or oxygen to the brain and calls for an examination of the safety and appropriateness of the use of neck restraints by law enforcement.

The evolving role of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in plastic surgery
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment, which involves injecting a small amount of a patient's own blood to release various growth factors from platelets, continues to increase in popularity.

Heart transplantations: prospects of success increase with larger case volumes
Heart transplantations: prospects of success increase with larger case volumes The survival probabilities for patients undergoing surgery are higher in hospitals where heart transplants are performed more frequently.

Discovery about how cancer cells evade immune defenses inspires new treatment approach
Researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering have learned how chromosomal instability allows cancer cells to avoid immune defenses and metastasize (spread).

Gut cells sound the alarm when parasites invade
When the parasite Cryptosporidium enters the body, it's cells in the intestines that first recognize the invader, triggering an early immune response, according to a new study led by a team from the University of Pennsylvania.

Music-induced emotions can be predicted from brain scans
Researchers at the University of Turku have discovered what type of neural mechanisms are the basis for emotional responses to music.

Study identifies distinct sub-types of aggressive tumours to allow for targeted treatment
- Angiosarcomas are clinically aggressive tumours that are more prevalent in Asian populations -Study led by Singapore clinician-scientists has found a way to classify angiosarcomas into three subtypes, allowing for more targeted treatment, better outcomes for patients and the development of new therapies - Findings were published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation this year

Quick look under the skin
Imaging techniques enable a detailed look inside an organism. But interpreting the data is time-consuming and requires a great deal of experience.

$3.9M project on self-deleting genes takes aim at mosquito-borne diseases
To control mosquito populations and prevent them from transmitting diseases such as malaria, many researchers are pursuing strategies in mosquito genetic engineering.

Despite recommendations, patients with treatment-resistant hypertension rarely tested for primary al
A retrospective cohort study found that testing for primary aldosteronism in patients with treatment-resistent hypertension was rare and also associated with higher rates of evidence-based treatment and better longitudinal blood pressure control.

One year later, how does COVID-19 affect children?
We have all lived with COVID-19 for about a year now.

Groups of bacteria can work together to better protect crops and improve their growth
Certain bacteria, known as plant-growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB), can improve plant health or protect them from pathogens and are used commercially to help crops.
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