Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 14, 2021
Discrimination may increase risk of anxiety disorders regardless of genetics, study finds
Exposure to discrimination plays a significant role in the risk of developing anxiety and related disorders, even - in a first - after accounting for potential genetic risks, according to a multidisciplinary team of health researchers led by Tufts University and the Harvard T.H.

USTC makes security analysis and improvement of quantum random number generation
Recently, the research team led by academician GUO Guangcan from the USTC of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has made security analysis and improvement of source independent quantum random number generators with imperfect devices.

Fast food restaurant proximity likely doesn't affect children's weight
A new paper in Q Open, published by Oxford University Press, finds that the availability of fast food restaurants on the route between children's houses and their schools does not affect children's weight.

Low cost chlorine dispensing device improves tap water safety in low-resource regions
Engineers have developed an inexpensive chlorine dispensing device that improves the safety of drinking water in remote and low resource regions at the point of collection.

Acting quickly after heart attack symptoms start can be a heart saver
The degree of heart muscle damage from a heart attack is associated with how long it takes from when heart attack symptoms start to when patients receive an artery-clearing procedure called percutaneous coronary intervention, or PCI.

Water and gender equality
New Stanford research finds installing piped water in rural Zambian homes frees up time in the daily lives of women and girls, while also promoting economic growth and food security - making an argument for piped water infrastructure investments across rural, low-income areas.

COVID-19: Science scepticism may be reinforced by UK rush to approve vaccines
Former director of public health Professor John Ashton has said that scientific scepticism may be reinforced by the UK's rush to approve COVID vaccines for public use and the apparent political desire to be the first out of the blocks in contrast to our European neighbours.

A climate in crisis calls for investment in direct air capture, news research finds
There is a growing consensus among scientists as well as national and local governments representing hundreds of millions of people, that humanity faces a climate crisis that demands a crisis response.

Giant 2D atlas of the universe helps dark energy spectroscopic survey
Researchers from the National Astronomical Observatories of Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) and their collaborators released a giant 2D map of the universe, which paves the way for the upcoming new-generation dark energy spectroscopic survey.

New combination drug therapy offers hope against methamphetamine addiction
A new treatment that combines two existing medications may provide long-sought relief for many battling debilitating methamphetamine use disorder, according to a study to be published tomorrow in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Concept for a hybrid-electric plane may reduce aviation's air pollution problem
A proposed hybrid-electric plane could ''eliminate aviation's air pollution problem,'' say MIT engineers.

How the brain paralyzes you while you sleep
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba have discovered a group of neurons in the mouse brainstem that control muscle tone.

Effects of head trauma from intimate partner violence largely unrecognized
Carrie Esopenko, assistant professor at the Rutgers School of Health Professions, speaks on new international effort to understand ramifications of concussions and head and neck injuries sustained due to intimate partner violence.

Giving the hydrogen economy an acid test
Tsukuba University scientists show that the effectiveness of hydrogen-producing metal catalysts protected by graphene depends on the ability of protons to penetrate into the inner metallic surface.

Chemotherapy with light; only one injection required
Researchers in South Korea have developed a phototherapy technology that can significantly increase efficiency while reducing the pain of chemotherapy and minimizing side effects after treatment.

Researchers link cellular transport pathway to aggressive brain cancer
Researchers at McGill University have identified a new cellular pathway that limits the growth and spread of brain tumors by controlling the recycling of cell surface receptor proteins.

Study demonstrates efficacy of new treatment for neurofibromatosis type 1-related tumors
Based on preclinical studies of an investigational drug to treat peripheral nerve tumors, researchers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) as part of the Neurofibromatosis Clinical Trials Consortium have shown that the drug, cabozantinib, reduces tumor volume and pain in patients with the genetic disorder neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1).

Unexplained 7-fold variation in euthanasia rates across the Netherlands
There's a 7-fold unexplained variation in rates of euthanasia across The Netherlands, reveals an analysis of health insurance claims data, published online in the journal BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care.

Temperature scanners of limited value in detecting Covid-19
Making people stand in front of a scanner to have their body temperature read can result in a large number of false negatives, allowing people with Covid-19 to pass through airports and hospitals undetected.

Environment: Seagrass meadows may facilitate marine plastic removal from the sea
Underwater seagrass meadows may trap, extract and carry marine plastic debris to shore, thereby helping to remove plastic litter from the sea, according to a study published in Scientific Reports.

Flip the script: cardiac rehabilitation is underused, but a simple change could fix that
Making doctors opt out from prescribing cardiac rehabilitation instead of opting in increased referrals by roughly 70 percent

Not as simple as thought: How bacteria form membrane vesicles
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba identified a novel mechanism by which bacteria form membrane vesicles, which bacteria employ to communicate with each other or to defend themselves against antibiotics.

Physical frailty syndrome: a cacophony of multisystem dysfunction
Aging experts synthesize converging evidence that the aging-related pathophysiology underpinning the clinical presentation of phenotypic frailty is a state of lower functioning due to severe dysregulation of the complex dynamics in our bodies that maintains health and resilience.

Bees respond to wildfire aftermath by producing more female offspring
Researchers have found that the blue orchard bee, an important native pollinator, produces female offspring at higher rates in the aftermath of wildfire in forests.

Sexual harassment claims considered more credible if made by 'prototypical' women
A new UW-led study reveals people's perceptions that sexual harassment primarily affects young, feminine and conventionally attractive women.

Geologic history written in garnet sand
Syracuse University researchers probe deep secrets of trapped inclusions in garnet sand from Papua New Guinea

Emotionally neglected or severely sexually abused girls report riskier sexual behavior
Girls who are emotionally neglected or severely sexually abused early in their lives report riskier sexual behaviors during adolescence, Mount Sinai researchers report.

Greenland melting likely increased by bacteria in sediment
Bacteria are likely triggering greater melting on the Greenland ice sheet, possibly increasing the island's contribution to sea-level rise, according to Rutgers scientists.

Population density and virus strains will affect how regions can resume normal life
As a new, apparently more transmissible version of the virus that causes COVID-19 has appeared in several countries, new research finds that the transmissibility of viral strains and the population density of a region will play big roles in how vaccination campaigns can help towns and cities return to more normal activities.

UNH researchers discover new inhibitor drug combination for rare form of cancer
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire took the novel approach of targeting specific cell proteins that control DNA information using inhibitors, or drugs, that were effective in reducing the growth of the Waldenström macroglobulinemia cancer cells and when combined with a third drug were even more successful in killing the WM cancer cells which could lead to more treatment options.

Moffitt researchers discover biochemical pathway that protects cells from ferroptosis
In an article published in Cell Metabolism, Moffitt Cancer Center researchers report on a newly discovered biochemical pathway that protects cells from a type of cell death called ferroptosis.

MicroRNA may serve as therapeutic targets for traumatic brain injury
WRAIR scientists have shown that traumatic brain injury causes coordinated microRNA dysregulation followed by increased amounts of the beta-site amyloid cleaving enzyme, or BACE1, and loss of amyloid precursor protein.

Turn off that camera during virtual meetings, environmental study says
A new study says that despite a record drop in global carbon emissions in 2020, a pandemic-driven shift to remote work and more at-home entertainment still presents significant environmental impact due to how internet data is stored and transferred around the world.

Hard to crack research reveals how crop roots penetrate hard soils
Scientists have discovered a signal that causes roots to stop growing in hard soils which can be 'switched off' to allow them to punch through compacted soil - a discovery that could help plants to grow in even the most damaged soils.

Honeybees reveal how our floral landscape has changed over the last 65 years
Honeybees have been helping researchers from the National Botanic Garden of Wales track how the UK's fields, hedgerows, wild spaces and gardens have changed since the 1950s.

Esophageal cancer patients show abundance of oral pathogens
DNA from various oral bacterial pathogens has been found in tumors from esophageal cancer patients.

New method makes better predictions of material properties using low quality data
By combining large amounts of low-fidelity data with smaller quantities of high-fidelity data, nanoengineers from the Materials Virtual Lab at UC San Diego have developed a new machine learning method to predict the properties of materials with more accuracy than existing models.

Progression of myopia in children after COVID-19 home confinement
Researchers investigated the association of home confinement during the COVID-19 outbreak with myopia (nearsightedness) development in school-age children in China.

Research reveals new insight into why breastfed babies have improved immune systems
Research has revealed new insight into the biological mechanisms of the long-term positive health effects of breastfeeding.

Climate change doesn't spare the smallest
With a combined century of experience in the tropics, the University of Pennsylvania's Daniel Janzen and Winnie Hallwachs have seen a striking contraction of insect numbers and diversity.

Stretching more effective than walking to lower high blood pressure: USask study
A new University of Saskatchewan (USask) study has found that stretching is superior to brisk walking for reducing blood pressure in people with high blood pressure or who are at risk of developing elevated blood pressure levels.

Overactive food quality control system triggers food allergies, Yale scientists say
In a paper published Jan. 14 in the journal Cell, four Yale immunobiologists propose an expanded explanation for the rise of food allergies -- the exaggerated activation of our food quality control system, a complex and highly evolved program designed to protect us against eating harmful foods.

Accounting for the gaps in ancient food webs
Studying ancient food webs can help scientists reconstruct communities of species, many long extinct, and even use those insights to figure out how modern-day communities might change in the future.

Galaxies hit single, doubles, and triple (growing black holes)
When three galaxies collide, what happens to the huge black holes at the centers of each?

Sexual harassment claims by less feminine women perceived as less credible
Women who do not fit female stereotypes are less likely to be seen as victims of sexual harassment, and if they claim they were harassed, they are less likely to be believed, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

The regulatory network of sugar and organic acid in watermelon fruit is revealed
The innovation project watermelon and melon cultivation and physiology team of Zhengzhou Fruit Research Institute has made new progress in the metabolism regulation of sugar and organic acid in watermelon fruit.

New way to control electrical charge in 2D materials: Put a flake on it
Gaining control of the flow of electrical current through atomically thin materials is important to potential future applications in photovoltaics or computing.

Lack of managers keeps India's businesses small
In today's economy, American businesses often tap into professional management to grow, but most firms in India and other developing countries are family owned and often shun outside managers.

Triggering tumor antiviral immune response in triple negative breast cancer
Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have discovered how therapeutics targeting RNA splicing can activate antiviral immune pathways in triple negative breast cancers (TNBC) to trigger tumor cell death and signal the body's immune response.

Measuring the belowground world
Life above ground depends on the soil and its countless inhabitants.

Common workplace interactions can trigger suicidal thoughts for employees with mood disorders
Perceived low-grade forms of workplace mistreatment, such as avoiding eye contact or excluding a coworker from conversation, can amplify suicidal thoughts in employees with mood disorders, based on a West Virginia University study.

Spectacular fossil discovery:
A team led by Sebastian Stumpf from the University of Vienna describes an well-preserved skeleton of the ancient shark Asteracanthus.

Faeces and algorithms: Artificial Intelligence to map our intestinal bacteria
The intestines and their bacteria are sometimes called our 'second brain', but studying these bacteria in their natural environment is difficult.

New classification marks paradigm shift in how conservationists tackle climate change
A new study co-authored by researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society's (WCS) Global Conservation Program and the University of British Columbia (UBC) Faculty of Forestry introduces a classification called Resistance-Resilience-Transformation (RRT) that enables the assessment of whether and to what extent a management shift toward transformative action is occurring in conservation.

Tetris is no longer just a game, but an algorithm, which ensures maximum room occupancy
The software was developed by the University of Trento. It is a new and revolutionary method to manage the accommodation of guests in hotel.

Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine collection highlights 15 years of scientific discovery
Editors of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine have identified some of the most significant articles in the publication's history, publishing new commentaries on them in a special 15th anniversary collection.

Socioeconomic disparities in patient use of telehealth during COVID-19 surge
Which demographic and socioeconomic factors were associated with patient participation in telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic surge was examined in this observational study.

How insects activate muscles to adapt to limbs removed
Adaptability explains why insects spread so widely and why they are the most abundant animal group on earth.

New study: Without right messaging, masks could lead to more COVID-19 spread
A novel study showed that people who wear face coverings tend to have more contacts with others, putting them at risk of contracting COVID-19.

Research breaks new ground in understanding how a molecular motor generates force
A team of biophysicists set out to tackle the long-standing question about the nature of force generation by myosin, the molecular motor responsible for muscle contraction.

Scholars link diet, dentition, and linguistics
University of Miami anthropologist Caleb Everett and former student Sihan Chen used a novel data analysis of thousands of languages, in addition to studying a unique subset of celebrities, to reveal how a soft food diet--contrasted with the diet of hunter-gatherers--is restructuring dentition and changing how people speak.

Retinal cell transplant clears experimental hurdle toward treating blindness
Retinal cells derived from adult human eye stem cells survived when transplanted into the eyes of monkeys, an important early step in the validation of this approach for treating blindness, according to a study by Liu, et al recently published in Stem Cell Reports.

Behavioral traits converge for humans and animals sharing an environment
Humans, mammals and birds that live in a particular environment share a common set of behavioral traits, according to a new study, which identifies a local convergence of foraging, reproductive and social behaviors across species.

Foraging humans, mammals and birds who live in the same place behave similarly
Foraging humans find food, reproduce, share parenting, and even organise their social groups in similar ways as surrounding mammal and bird species, depending on where they live in the world, new research has found.

Metformin use reduces risk of death for patients with COVID-19 and diabetes
Use of the diabetes drug metformin -- before a diagnosis of COVID-19 -- is associated with a threefold decrease in mortality in COVID-19 patients with Type 2 diabetes, according to a racially diverse study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

CCNY's David Lohman finds Asian butterfly mimics different species as defense mechanism
Many animal and insect species use Batesian mimicry - mimicking a poisonous species - as a defense against predators.

Model analyzes how viruses escape the immune system
MIT researchers have devised a way to computationally model viral escape, using models that were originally developed to model language.

Scientists uncover new path toward treating a rare but deadly neurologic condition
Molybdenum cofactor (Moco) is a compound that is little known but is essential for life.

Micro-climate moulds and reshapes northern insect communities, herbivory and predation
Climate and changes in it have direct impacts on species of plant and animals - but climate may also shape more complex biological systems like food webs.

Cancer models created by mechanical engineers offer new insight into tumor growth
In research published today in Integrative Biology, a team of engineers from Rensselaer developed an in vitro -- in the lab -- lymphatic vessel model to study the growth of tumor emboli, collections of tumor cells within vessels that are often associated with increased metastasis and tumor recurrence.

Eating omega-3 fat helps hibernating Arctic ground squirrels warm up during deep cold
By feeding arctic ground squirrels special diets, researchers have found that omega-3 fatty acids, common in flax seed and fish oil, help keep the animals warmer in deep hibernation.

Climate change is hurting children's diets, global study finds
A first-of-its-kind, international study of 107,000 children finds that higher temperatures are an equal or even greater contributor to child malnutrition than the traditional culprits of poverty, inadequate sanitation, and poor education.

A scanning transmission X-ray microscope for analysis of chemical states of lithium
A new method to analyze chemical status of lithium was developed by using a synchrotron-based scanning transmission soft X-ray microscope (STXM).

Toadlet peptide transforms into a deadly weapon against bacteria
Researchers at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Hamburg have discovered remarkable molecular properties of an antimicrobial peptide from the skin of the Australian toadlet.

New PTSD biotypes enables improved tests, sheds light on divergent treatments efficacy
Researchers from the PTSD Systems Biology Consortium identified distinct biotypes for post-traumatic stress disorder, the first of their kind for any psychological disorder.

SolarEV City concept: Building the next urban power and mobility systems
Cities are responsible for 60-70% of energy-related CO2 emissions. As the world is increasingly urbanized, it is crucial to identify cost-effective pathways to decarbonize.

New algorithm mimics electrosensing in fish
Weakly electric fish are specially adapted to traverse murky waters without relying on vision; instead, they sense their environment via electric fields.

New suspicious lesions on breast MRI in neoadjuvant therapy
According to ARRS' American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR), new suspicious findings occurred in 5.5% of breast MRI examinations performed to monitor response to neoadjuvant therapy; none of these new lesions were malignant.

Pillarene hybrid material shows enhanced tunable multicolor luminescence and sensing ability
Tunable luminescent materials are highly desirable owing to their broad application potential in various fields.

Scientists take important step toward using retinal cell transplants to treat blindness
Latest discovery is promising step in use of cell therapy to treat retinal diseases

Experts reduce search times for novel high-entropy alloys 13,000-fold using Cuckoo Search
A major roadblock to computational design of high-entropy alloys has been removed, according to scientists at Iowa State University and Lehigh University.

Following the hops of disordered proteins could lead to future treatments of Alzheimer's disease
Researchers from the University of Cambridge, the University of Milan and Google Research have used machine learning techniques to predict how proteins, particularly those implicated in neurological diseases, completely change their shapes in a matter of microseconds.

Keeping the costs of superconducting magnets down using ultrasound
Although magnesium diboride (MgB2) is an interesting superconductor made from abundant materials, increasing its critical current density through easily accessible means has proven challenging.

Algorithms designed to study language predict virus 'escape' mutations for SARS-CoV-2 and others
By bridging the conceptual divide between human language and viral evolution, researchers have developed a powerful new tool for predicting the mutations that allow viruses to 'escape' human immunity or vaccines.

Human-induced climate change caused the northwestern Pacific warming record in August 2020
A new study led by National Institute for Environmental Studies researchers, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, revealed that the record-warm sea surface temperature over the northwestern Pacific in August 2020 could not be expected to occur without human-induced climate changes.

Smoking directly linked to a higher risk of subarachnoid hemorrhage
The relationship between smoking and risk of a serious type of bleeding stroke called subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) appeared to be linear, with risk of SAH increasing significantly among people considered heavy smokers.

Scientists discover electric eels hunting in a group
Deep in the Brazilian Amazon River basin, scientists discovered a small, river-fed lake filled with more than 100 adult electric eels.

Bladder cancer -- When to use chemotherapy
In patients with bladder cancer, chemotherapy effectiveness is partially determined by the body's immune system response to the malignancy.

Neither 'meniscal' nor 'mechanical' symptoms predict findings on knee arthroscopy
Orthopaedic surgeons have traditionally been taught that certain types of knee symptoms indicate damage to specialized structures called the menisci.

Researchers rewind the clock to calculate age and site of supernova blast
Astronomers are winding back the clock on the expanding remains of a nearby, exploded star.

Astronomers document the rise and fall of a rarely observed stellar dance
Astronomers have catalogued 126 years of changes to HS Hydra, a rare evolving eclipsing binary star system.

A highly sensitive technique for measuring the state of a cytoskeleton
Researchers have developed a highly sensitive technique to quantitatively evaluate the extent of cytoskeleton bundling from microscopic images.

Study the boundary between bulk, nano and molecule scale of gold plasmonic physics
The collective behavior of electrons in metal plasmons reflects the important difference between condensed matter and molecule-like ones.

Physical virology shows the dynamics of virus reproduction
The reproductive cycle of viruses requires self-assembly, maturation of virus particles and, after infection, the release of genetic material into a host cell.

Deep learning outperforms standard machine learning in biomedical research applications
Compared to standard machine learning models, deep learning models are largely superior at discerning patterns and discriminative features in brain imaging, despite being more complex in their architecture.

Plant roots sense compacted soil through gaseous hormone signals
The volatile plant hormone ethylene allows plant roots to sense and avoid compacted soils, researchers report.

Sperm-specific gene expression in organisms including mice, macaques and men
A large class of mammalian genes is not completely shared throughout sperm development and differentiation, according to a new study of sperm in organisms including mice, macaques and men.

Scientists discover the secret of Galápagos' rich ecosystem
New research has unlocked the mystery of how the Galápagos Islands, a rocky, volcanic outcrop, with only modest rainfall and vegetation, is able to sustain its unique wildlife habitats.

The richer you are, the more likely you'll social distance, study finds
The higher a person's income, the more likely they were to protect themselves at the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States, Johns Hopkins University economists find.

Lead poisoning of children
A remediation and public education effort at an abandoned battery recycling facility in Bangladesh eliminated most lead soil contamination, but levels of the toxic metal in children living near the site did not decrease nearly as much.

A rift in the retina may help repair the optic nerve
In experiments in mouse tissues and human cells, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have found that removing a membrane that lines the back of the eye may improve the success rate for regrowing nerve cells damaged by blinding diseases.

How aerosols are formed
ETH Zurich researchers conducted an experiment to investigate the initial steps in the formation of aerosols.

Teeth pendants speak of the elk's prominent status in the Stone Age
The elk was the most important animal to the people inhabiting the northern coniferous belt, with its incisors being perhaps the most coveted part of the body.

The role of T cells in fighting cancer
Why do some hosts' immune systems reject tumors easily, while others have a harder time doing so?

Exposure to violence takes a toll on the socioemotional well-being of Californians
A survey of Californians shows that exposure to violence has pervasive social and emotional impacts on people, especially when firearms are involved.

Catalyticity of molybdenum-dinitrogen complexes in organic reactions
Molybdenum dinitrogen complexes supported by monodentate arylsilylamido ligand, [Ar(Me3Si)N]3MoN2Mg(THF)2[N(SiMe3)Ar] and [Ar(Me3Si)N]3MoN2SiMe3 (Ar = 3,5-Me2C6H3) were synthesized and structurally characterized, which were proved to be effective catalysts for the disproportionation of cyclohexadienes and isomerization of terminal alkenes.

Comparing reactions of flu vaccines in older adults
Researchers in this randomized clinical trial compared injection-site pain and other reactions among adults age 65 and older who received flu vaccines.

Mapping our sun's backyard
Astronomers have curated the most complete list of nearby brown dwarfs to date thanks to discoveries made by thousands of volunteers participating in the Backyard Worlds citizen science project.

Acute itching in eczema patients linked to environmental allergens
New research from Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Study shows sharp decline in cancer screenings, diagnoses during the first COVID-19 surge
In one of the first studies to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer diagnoses, researchers at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center document a substantial decline in cancer and precancer diagnoses at the Northeast's largest health care system during the first peak of the pandemic because of a drop in the number of cancer screening tests performed.

Cancer research reveals how mutations in a specific gene cause different types of disease
Leading cancer expert solve long-standing question of how various types of mutations in just one gene cause different types of diseases

Presidential inaugurations boost tourism, but not this year
While new research from West Virginia University economists finds that presidential inaugurations have gained popularity as must-see tourist events in recent years, major security threats will keep visitors away for the inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden.

Researchers show Irish soil can offer more hope in fight against antibiotic resistance
Scientists who highlighted the bug-busting properties of bacteria in Northern Irish soil have made another exciting discovery in the quest to discover new antibiotics.

Quantum computers to study the functioning of the molecules of life
A breakthrough that has implications for molecular biology, pharmacology and nanotechnologies.

Understanding future species distribution: new data for biogeographers
A new CMCC global and free access dataset of 35 bioclimatic indicators just presented on Nature Scientific Data.

Cancer screening tests, cancer diagnoses during COVID-19 pandemic
The number of patients undergoing cancer screening tests and of subsequent cancer diagnoses during the COVID-19 pandemic in the largest health care system in the northeastern United States was assessed in this study.

Posidonia marine seagrass can catch and remove plastics from the sea
Posidonia oceanica seagrass -an endemic marine phanerogam with an important ecological role in the marine environment- can take and remove plastic materials that have been left at the sea, according to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Behaviors surrounding oral sex may increase HPV-Related cancer risk
A wide breadth of behaviors surrounding oral sex may affect the risk of oral HPV infection and of a virus-associated head and neck cancer that can be spread through this route, a new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center suggests.

Reverse engineering 3D chromosome models for individual cells
A new computational technique that uses heat map data to reverse engineer highly detailed models of chromosomes and researchers have uncovered new information about the close spatial relationships that chromatin folding creates between genes.

Borrowing from birds, experts reduce search times for novel high-entropy alloys to seconds
Computational materials science experts at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory enhanced an algorithm that borrows its approach from the nesting habits of cuckoo birds, reducing the search time for new high-tech alloys from weeks to mere seconds.

New state of matter in one-dimensional quantum gas
By adding some magnetic flair to an exotic quantum experiment, physicists produced an ultra-stable one-dimensional quantum gas with never-before-seen ''scar'' states - a feature that could someday be useful for securing quantum information.

COVID-19 reduced US life expectancy, especially among Black and Latino populations
A new study finds that due to COVID-19 deaths last year, life expectancy at birth for Americans will shorten by 1.13 years to 77.48 years -- the largest single-year decline in life expectancy in at least 40 years.

Wits University scientists artificially infect mosquitoes with human malaria to advance treatment
Scientists at the Wits Research Institute for Malaria (WRIM) in partnership with the University of Pretoria and colleagues in the US, Spain and Switzerland have identified novel antiplasmodial lead compounds for mass drug administration and vector control to eliminate malaria.

Rare lichen unique to Florida discovered in museum collections, may be extinct
Scientists have found a new species of fleshy verdigris lichen, thanks to DNA analysis of museum specimens.

Extreme fire weather
When the Thomas Fire raged through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties in December 2017, Danielle Touma, at the time an earth science researcher at Stanford, was stunned by its severity.

New England Journal of Medicine publishes COVID-19 treatment trial results
In a multicenter study funded by the National Institutes of Health, a combination of two drugs, baricitinib and remdesivir, reduced time to recovery in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

ADA lowers target HbA1C levels for children with type-1 diabetes
In early 2020, upon recommendation by leading endocrinologists, American Diabetes Association lowered the target hemoglobin A1C guidelines for children with type 1 diabetes.

Towards applications: ultra-low-loss on-chip zero-index materials
Dirac-cone materials behave like an isotropic and impedance-matched zero-index medium at Dirac-point wavelength, enabling light-matter interactions in a spatially uniform optical mode with arbitrary shapes.

Bio-inspired spiral hydrogel fiber qualified to be surgical suture
A team led by Prof. YU Shuhong from the University of Science and Technology of China reported a bio-inspired lotus-fiber-mimetic spiral structure BC hydrogel fiber with high strength, high toughness, excellent biocompatibility, good stretchability, and high energy dissipation.

Snakes evolve a magnetic way to be resistant to venom
Certain snakes have evolved a unique genetic trick to avoid being eaten by venomous snakes, according to University of Queensland research.

Dual-shot dynamics and ultimate frequency of all-optical magnetic recording on GdFeCo
Achieving ultrafast and energy-efficient optical control of magnetism beyond light's 'diffraction limit' could revolutionize information-processing technology.
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