Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 06, 2021
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy affects self-criticism and self-assurance in individuals with depression
Findings from a recent study of individuals with depression suggest that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) can improve how patients feel about themselves in difficult situations in ways that may help protect against relapse of depressive symptoms.

Light-based processors boost machine-learning processing
An international team of scientists have developed a photonic processor that uses rays of light inside silicon chips to process information much faster than conventional electronic chips.

New drug form may help treat osteoporosis, calcium-related disorders
Purdue University innovators developed a stabilized form of human calcitonin, which is a peptide drug already used for people with osteoporosis.

New evidence: Effects of Huntington's disease mutation may begin in childhood
Growing evidence supports the hypothesis that there is a neurodevelopmental component to late-onset neurodegeneration occurring in the brain of huntingtin gene (HTT) mutation carriers, and this increased susceptibility to brain cell death begins during childhood.

Smoking associated with increased risk of COVID-19 symptoms
Smoking is associated with an increased risk of COVID-19 symptoms and smokers are more likely to attend hospital than non-smokers, a study has found.

Majority of biotech companies completing an IPO from 1997-2016 achieved product approvals
A large scale study from Bentley University of the biotechnology companies that completed Initial Public Offerings from 1997-2016 estimates that 78% of these companies are associated with products that reach phase 3 trials and 52% are associated with new product approvals.

How market incumbents can navigate disruptive technology change
Market disruption is neither always quick nor universal because new technologies sometimes coexist as partial substitutes of the old technologies.

Skin-to skin contact with fathers may help newborns after caesarean delivery
Separating infants and their mothers after a Caesarean section delivery is common.

Cattle grazing and soybean yields
Each corn harvest leaves behind leaves, husks and cobs. Research shows cattle can take advantage of this food resource without damaging field productivity.

Statins may protect the heart from chemotherapy treatment of early breast cancer
Women who take statins, the common cholesterol-lowering medication, during chemotherapy with anthracyclines for early-stage breast cancer are half as likely to require emergency department visits or hospitalization for heart failure in the 5 years after chemotherapy.

How can we help victims of torture?
Torture victims often reap less benefit from ordinary treatment. New insight might give new hope.

Common drug may protect hearts from damage caused by breast cancer chemotherapy
New research from UHN's Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (PMCC) shows statins, commonly prescribed to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, may also protect the heart from damaging side-effects of early breast cancer treatment.

How to talk about death and dying
Our reluctance to think, talk or communicate about death is even more pronounced when we deal with others' loss compared to our own, new research finds, but either way we tend to frame attitudes and emotions in a sad and negative way.

COVID-19 infection linked with higher death rate in acute heart failure patients
Patients with acute heart failure nearly double their risk of dying if they get COVID-19, according to research published today in ESC Heart Failure, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).1 The small, single centre study highlights the need for patients with heart failure to take extra precautions to avoid catching COVID-19.

Study finds rising rates of food insecurity among older adults
From 2007 to 2016, food insecurity -- or limited access to nutritious foods because of a lack of financial resources -- increased significantly from 5.5% to 12.4% among older US adults, and the increase was more pronounced among individuals with lower income.

Scientists create ON-OFF switches to control CAR T cell activity
Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Mass General Cancer Center have created molecular ON-OFF switches to regulate the activity of CAR T cells, a potent form of cell-based immunotherapy that has had dramatic success in treating some advanced cancers, but which pose a significant risk of toxic side effects.

Hydroxychloroquine blood levels predict clotting risk in patients with lupus
A new study in Arthritis & Rheumatology shows that monitoring patients' blood levels of hydroxychloroquine can predict their clotting risk.

New review says the ineffective 'learning styles' theory persists in education
A new review by Swansea University reveals there is widespread belief, around the world, in a teaching method that is not only ineffective but may actually be harmful to learners.

Link between dietary fiber and depression partially explained by gut-brain interactions
Fiber is a commonly recommended part of a healthy diet.

Physicists observe competition between magnetic orders
Two-dimensional materials, consisting of a single layer of atoms, have been booming in research for years.

How effective are educational support programs for children with cancer?
As children undergo treatment for cancer, they may miss school and risk falling behind in their education.

Protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 could last eight months or more
The findings, based on analyses of blood samples from 188 COVID-19 patients, suggest that responses to the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, from all major players in the ''adaptive'' immune system, which learns to fight specific pathogens, can last for at least eight months after the onset of symptoms from the initial infection.

Shiga toxin's not supposed to kill you
E. coli food poisoning is one of the worst food poisonings, causing bloody diarrhea and kidney damage.

Living alone may increase risk of dying after hip fracture
Individuals face a higher risk of dying following hip fractures.

A better pen-and-ink system for drawing flexible circuits
Conductive ink is a great tool for printing flexible electronic circuits on surfaces.

DNA-editing method shows promise to treat mouse model of progeria
Researchers have successfully used a DNA-editing technique to extend the lifespan of mice with the genetic variation associated with progeria, a rare genetic disease that causes extreme premature aging in children and can significantly shorten their life expectancy.

'Virtual biopsies' could replace tissue biopsies in future thanks to new technique
A new advanced computing technique using routine medical scans to enable doctors to take fewer, more accurate tumour biopsies, has been developed by cancer researchers at the University of Cambridge.

Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 immune response several months post-infection hints at protective immunity
Researchers who studied antibody and immune cell responses in more than 180 men and women who had recovered from COVID-19 report these patients' immune memory to the virus - across all immune cell types studied - was measurable for up to 8 months after symptoms appeared.

Antibiotics not needed after most sinus surgeries: randomized controlled trial
Randomized controlled trial comparing antibiotics and placebo after routine endoscopic sinus surgery found no difference in outcomes including infection rates and symptoms.

It's getting hot in here: Warming world will fry power plant production in coming years
During the year's hottest months, many people rely on electricity-generated cooling systems to remain comfortable.

Businesses stand to benefit from sustainable restructuring
Is it profitable for a company to switch to sustainable production?

New strategy to fight botulinum toxin - expert available
Published research shows a new ''Trojan horse'' approach that produces strong antidotal efficacy in treating lethal botulism.

The revelation of the crustal geometry of the western Qilian Mountains, NE Tibetan Plateau
The western Qilian Mountains in the northeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau is an ideal place to test the crustal deformation mechanisms of the plateau.

Study reports patient-reported loss of smell in 86% of mild COVID-19 cases
A reduced sense of smell, or olfactory dysfunction, is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19.

Study: Black Americans, women, conservatives more hesitant to trust COVID-19 vaccine
A survey of approximately 5,000 Americans suggests that 31.1 percent of the US public does not intend to get the COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available to them - and the likelihood of vaccine refusal is highest among Black Americans, women and conservatives.

Why we use our smartphone at cafés
Why do people fiddle with their smartphones when they're with other people?

Citizenship tasks tax women physicians
Women physicians feel pressured to spend more time in work-related citizenship tasks, based largely on their age and race.

A new approach to study autoimmune diseases
A team of researchers led by the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute Diabetes Center's Scientific Director Decio L.

The world's first integrated quantum communication network
Chinese scientists have established the world's first integrated quantum communication network, combining over 700 optical fibers on the ground with two ground-to-satellite links to achieve quantum key distribution over a total distance of 4,600 kilometers for users across the country.

When Uber and Lyft enter cities, vehicle ownership increases
When ridesourcing companies Uber and Lyft show up in urban areas, vehicle registrations per capita increase by 0.7% on average, increasing even more in car-dependent cities.

Gut microbe may promote breast cancers
A microbe found in the colon and commonly associated with the development of colitis and colon cancer also may play a role in the development of some breast cancers, according to new research from investigators with the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and its Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.

In changing oceans, sea stars may be 'drowning'
New Cornell University-led research suggests that starfish, victims of sea star wasting disease (SSWD), may actually be in respiratory distress - literally 'drowning' in their own environment - as elevated microbial activity derived from nearby organic matter and warm ocean temperatures rob the creatures of their ability to breathe.

Orange is the new 'block'
New research from Washington University in St. Louis reveals the core structure of the light-harvesting antenna of cyanobacteria or blue-green algae -- including key features that both collect energy and block excess light absorption.

Does a mother's pre-pregnancy weight affect her children's future fertility?
A recent study published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica found that sons born to mothers who fell within the overweight range were more likely to be diagnosed with infertility during adulthood than sons of mothers with normal-range weight.

Liver cancer cells manipulate stromal cells involved in fibrosis to promote tumor growth
Researchers led by Osaka University have found that liver cancer cells induce autophagy in hepatic stellate cells, causing them to produce a growth factor called GDF15 that promotes tumor growth.

Out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, fatalities in Detroit area during COVID-19 pandemic
Changes in out-of-hospital cardiac arrests and fatalities in the Detroit area during the COVID-19 pandemic are compared with year-earlier events for the same period in this observational study.

Detecting CRISPR/Cas gene doping
All athletes want to be at the top of their game when they compete, but some resort to nefarious approaches to achieve peak muscle growth, speed and agility.

How Earth's oddest mammal got to be so bizarre
Often considered the world's oddest mammal, Australia's beaver-like, duck-billed platypus exhibits an array of bizarre characteristics: it lays eggs instead of giving birth to live babies, sweats milk, has venomous spurs and is even equipped with 10 sex chromosomes.

Researchers discover how a bio-pesticide works against spider mites
Scientists have uncovered why a food-ingredient-based pesticide made from safflower and cottonseed oils is effective against two-spotted spider mites that attack over a thousand species of plants while sparing the mites' natural predators.

Chinese scientists uncover gene for rice adaption to low soil nitrogen
Chinese scientists from the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have found a gene that plays an important role in helping rice adapt to low soil nitrogen.

A prognostic Alzheimer's disease blood test in the symptom-free stage
Using a blood test, a German-Dutch research team has predicted the risk of Alzheimer's disease in people who were clinically diagnosed as not having Alzheimer's disease but who perceived themselves as cognitively impaired (Subjective Cognitive Declined, SCD).

Modern microbes provide window into ancient ocean
Roughly two billion years ago, microorganisms called cyanobacteria fundamentally transformed the globe.

An epidemic of overdiagnosis: Melanoma diagnoses sky rocket
In a Sounding Board article, Welch and colleagues present evidence for why they believe that increased diagnostic scrutiny is the primary driver of the rapid rise in melanoma diagnoses.

Will global warming bring a change in the winds? Dust from the deep sea provides a clue
In a new paper published in Nature, climate researchers from Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory describe a new method of tracking the ancient history of the westerly winds--a proxy for what we may experience in a future warming world.

Neuronal circuits for fine motor skills
Writing, driving a screw or throwing darts are only some of the activities that demand a high level of skill.

Guinea baboons grunt with an accent
Vocal learning leads to modification of call structure in a multi-level baboon society

Toxin chimeras slip therapeutics into neurons to treat botulism in animals
Taking advantage of the chemical properties of botulism toxins, two teams of researchers have fashioned non-toxic versions of these compounds that can deliver therapeutic antibodies to treat botulism, a potentially fatal disease with few approved treatments.

UCI study first to link disparities and 'pharmacy deserts' in California
In the United States, Black, Latino and low-income communities have historically lacked nearby access to pharmacy services.

Mouse study finds link between gut disease and brain injury in premature infants
Working with mice, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine and the University of Lausanne in Switzerland have identified an immune system cell that they say travels from the gut to the brain and attacks cells rather than protect them as it normally does.

Israel can expect a major earthquake of 6.5 on the Richter scale in the coming years
The researchers warn: In the coming years, it is likely that a devastating earthquake will hit, causing hundreds of deaths.

'Sniffing out' fruity thiols in hoppy beers
Hoppy beers such as pale ales are becoming increasingly popular.

Investment risk & return from emerging public biotech companies comparable to non-biotech
Investing in biotech companies may not be any riskier than investing in other sectors, according to a new report from Bentley University's Center for Integration of Science and Industry.

A third of U.S. families face a different kind of poverty
Before the pandemic, one-third of U.S. households with children were already ''net worth poor,'' lacking enough financial resources to sustain their families for three months at a poverty level, finds new research from Duke University.

A bit too much: reducing the bit width of Ising models for quantum annealing
Quantum annealers are devices that physically implement a quantum system called the 'Ising model' to solve combinatorial optimization problems.

Identifying strategies to advance research on traumatic brain injury's effect on women
Analysis from a workshop convened by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) in 2017 reveals gaps in and opportunities for research to improve understanding of the effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in women.

Sexual dysfunction hits some women harder than others as they age
Sexual dysfunction often accompanies the menopause transition. Yet, not all women experience it the same.

Dual smoking and vaping doesn't cut cardiovascular risk: Boston University study
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death associated with smoking cigarettes.

Wait for me: Cell biologists decipher signal that ensures no chromosome is left behind
UC San Diego cell biologists have found a key clue in the mystery of how chromosomes are inherited correctly every time a cell divides.

Solo seniors with cognitive impairment hit hard by pandemic
The pandemic has exacerbated isolation and fears for one very vulnerable group of Americans: the 4.3 million older adults with cognitive impairment who live alone.

First global study shows uneven urbanization among large cities in the last two decades
In the first-ever study on the characteristics of urbanization in large cities around the world, researchers at the University of Hong Kong analyzed cities' urban built-up areas (BUAs) expansion, population growth and greening BUA changes, and revealed a hugely uneven pace of urbanization in those cities in the last two decades.

Advancing the study of T cells to improve immunotherapy
DALLAS - Jan. 6, 2020 - UT Southwestern scientists have developed a new method to study the molecular characteristics of T cells, critical immune cells that recognize and attack invaders in the body such as viruses, bacteria, and cancer.

The new face of the Antarctic
In the future, the Antarctic could become a greener place and be colonised by new species.

Designer protein patches boost cell signaling
A new class of protein material that interacts with living cells without being absorbed by them can influence cell signaling, a new study shows.

Resist the resistance: fighting the good fight against bacteria
Drug-resistant bacteria could lead to more deaths than cancer by 2050, according to a report commissioned by the United Kingdom in 2014 and jointly supported by the U.K. government and the Wellcome Trust.

CytoDel announces successful intra-neuronal antibody delivery without a viral vector
Preclinical data published in Science Translational Medicine showed that post-symptomatic administration of Cyto-111 produced antidotal rescue in three animal species following a lethal botulism challenge.

Surrey unveils breakthrough manufacturing process of ultra-thin sensor for smart contact lenses
Smart contact lenses could soon become mainstream thanks to a new manufacturing process that has allowed the University of Surrey to develop a multifunctional ultra-thin sensor layer.

The Lancet Planetary Health: Meeting India's air quality targets across south Asia may prevent 7% of pregnancy losses, modelling study estimates
Poor air quality is associated with a considerable proportion of pregnancy loss in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, according to a modelling study published in The Lancet Planetary Health journal.

COVID-19 maps, public knowledge, risk perceptions and behavioral intentions
The findings of this survey study suggest that simply providing maps with COVID-19 case information wasn't necessarily associated with improved public knowledge, risk perception or reported intent to adhere to health guidelines.

Researcher cracks the hidden strengthening mechanism in biological ceramics
In addition to adding strength, this design allows the structure to use its crack patterns to minimize damage into the inner shell.

Mighty morphing 3D printing
Engineers at the University of Maryland have created a new shape-changing or ''morphing'' 3D printing nozzle, which offers researchers new means for 3D printing ''fiber-filled composites.''

uOttawa study shows that mindfulness can help ease the pain of breast cancer survivors
A study led by University of Ottawa researchers provides empirical evidence that mindfulness has a significant impact on the brain of women suffering from neuropathic pain related to breast cancer treatment.

New research finds ginger counters certain autoimmune diseases in mice
The main bioactive compound of ginger root lowers autoantibody production and helps halt disease progression in mice with antiphospholipid syndrome and lupus.

New paper describes use of geographic monitoring for early COVID cluster detection
Researchers describe development of a near-real time spatial assessment of COVID-19 cases to help guide local medical responses to clusters of outbreaks of the virus at the local level, in a paper, entitled 'Geographic monitoring for early disease detection (GeoMEDD),' in Nature Scientific Reports

Long-term study finds dozens of new genetic markers associated with lifetime bone growth
A multidisciplinary team of researchers has discovered several genetic markers associated with bone mineral accrual, which could ultimately help identify causes of eventual osteoporosis earlier in life through genetic testing.

Light-carrying chips advance machine learning
An international team of researchers found that so-called photonic processors, with which data is processed by means of light, can process information very much more rapidly and in parallel than electronic chips.

Young adults say porn is their most helpful source of information about how to have sex
Young adults ages 18-24 years old in the U.S. say that porn is their most helpful source of information about how to have sex, according to a new study led by a Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researcher published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Mental health of UK women, ethnic minorities especially affected during pandemic
In the UK, men from ethnic minorities and women may have experienced worse mental health declines than White British men, according to a study published January 6, 2021 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Eugenio Proto and Climent Quintana-Domeque of institutions including the University of Glasgow and the University of Exeter, UK.

The link between opioid medication and pancreatic cancer
Using Center for Disease Control's national population health and cancer statistics datasets, Rush University Medical Center researchers determined that a state's opioid death rate significantly predicted the trend in the incidence of pancreatic cancer years later.

Old silicon learns new tricks
Researchers from Nara Institute of Science and Technology fabricated regular arrays of iron-coated silicon crystals that are atomically smooth.

An analysis of 145 journals suggests peer review itself may not explain gender discrepancies in publication rates
An analysis of 145 scholarly journals found that, among various factors that could contribute to gender bias and lesser representation of women in science, the peer review process itself is unlikely to be the primary cause of publishing inequalities.

Scientists need to understand how gill development limits fish growth
The distribution and concentration of dissolved oxygen and water temperature in the oceans and freshwaters are usually far more influential in shaping the growth and reproduction of fish than the distribution of their prey.

Researchers turn coal powder into graphite in microwave oven
The University of Wyoming team created an environment in a microwave oven to successfully convert raw coal powder into nano-graphite, which is used as a lubricant and in items ranging from fire extinguishers to lithium ion batteries.

The biggest chemistry stories of 2020
2020 was an eventful year, with science at the front and center of most news cycles.

Hawai'i drought during El Niño winter? Not always, according to new research
El Niño events have long been perceived as a driver for low rainfall in the winter and spring in Hawai'i, creating a six-month wet-season drought.

Low risk of severe COVID-19 in children
Sweden kept preschools, primary and lower secondary schools open during the spring of 2020.

Swinburne-led research team demonstrates world's fastest optical neuromorphic processor
A Swinburne-led team has demonstrated the world's fastest and most powerful optical neuromorphic processor for artificial intelligence.

Beating the bulge with a nice cup of tea
Researchers led by the University of Tsukuba found that healthy volunteers who consumed oolong tea every day had much higher levels of fat breakdown compared with the placebo group, and that the effects were most noticeable during sleep.

Not just a guys' club: Resistance training benefits older women just as much as older men
Sure, everything might come down to sex - but not when strength training is concerned.

Vaccine myths on social media can be effectively reduced with credible fact checking
Researchers found that fact-check tags located immediately below or near a social media post can generate more positive attitudes toward vaccines than misinformation alone, and perceived source expertise makes a difference.
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