Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 22, 2021
Consenting for treatment in advance to reduce leaving the hospital against medical advice among patients with addiction - Experts debate pros and cons
Patients with substance use disorders (SUDs) being treated for serious medical conditions are more likely to leave the hospital against medical advice (AMA) than those without addiction.

Exercising muscle combats chronic inflammation on its own
Biomedical engineers at Duke University have demonstrated that human muscle has an innate ability to ward off damaging effects of chronic inflammation when exercised.

Predictive value of blood pressure, heart rate, and blood pressure/heart rate ratio in a Chinese subpopulation with vasovagal syncope
In a new publication from Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications; DOI https://doi.org/10.15212/CVIA.2019.1266, Zhuzhi Wen, Jingying Hou, Zun Mai, Huifen Huang, Yangxin Chen, Dengfeng Geng and Jingfeng Wang from Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China and Guandong Province Key Laboratory of Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, Guangzhou, China consider predictive value of blood pressure, heart rate, and blood pressure/heart rate ratio in a Chinese subpopulation with vasovagal syncope.

Experts call for more pragmatic approach to higher education teaching
Millions of students around the world could benefit if their educators adopted a more flexible and practical approach, say Swansea University experts.

Patients of Asian and black backgrounds more likely to die from COVID, large study reveals
Patients of Asian and black backgrounds suffered disproportionate rates of premature death from COVID-19, according to a study of 1,737 patients by Queen Mary University of London and Barts Health NHS Trust.

Study highlights factors that predict success for treating canine behavioral disorders
Canine behavioral problems are one of the leading causes of why pets are abandoned at shelters.

New variety of paintbrush lily developed by a novel plant tissue culture technique
Scientists at Hokkaido University and Chiba University have developed simultaneous triploid and hexaploid varieties of Haemanthus albiflos by the application of endosperm culture, thus extending the use of this technique.

Depression in new fathers connected to relationship insecurities
Becoming a parent often brings great joy, but not always.

Rhesus macaques develop promising immune response to SARS-CoV-2
In a promising result for the success of vaccines against COVID-19, rhesus macaque monkeys infected with the human coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 developed protective immune responses that might be reproduced with a vaccine.

MRI helps unravel the mysteries of sleep
Scientists at EPFL and the Universities of Geneva, Cape Town and Bochum have joined forces to investigate brain activity during sleep with the help of MRI scans.

Covid lockdown loneliness linked to more depressive symptoms in older adults
Loneliness in adults aged 50 and over during the COVID-19 lockdown was linked to worsening depressive and other mental health symptoms, according to a large-scale online study.

SUTD research team extends 4D printing to nanophotonics
The newly developed shape memory polymer resist which allows for high-resolution 4D printing, promises a platform for information hiding for optical anti-counterfeiting and tunable photonic devices.

UK public supports usage of tracking technology and immunity passports in global pandemic
New research suggests the majority of people in the UK are willing to use privacy-encroaching tracking technology and support the introduction of 'immunity passports' to protect themselves and others in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Study recommends rugby league invests in young players' diets
New QUT study recommends NRL rugby league clubs 'invest' in young players' diets to aid performance and recovery with the research outlining specific nutritional needs for the high-impact sport.

Pancreatic β cell-derived exosomal miR-29 family enhances hepatic glucose output
In a new study published in Journal of Extracellular Vesicles, Chen-Yu Zhang's group at Nanjing University, School of Life Sciences, and Antonio Vidal-Puig's group at University of Cambridge report that pancreatic β cells secrete miR-29 family members (miR-29s) via exosomes in response to high levels of free fatty acids (FFAs).

Scientists improved eye tracking technology in VR systems
The tracking of eye movement is one of the key elements of virtual and amplified reality technologies (VR/AR).

Navigating uncertainty: Why we need decision theory during a pandemic
Modern decision theory can assist policymakers in critical times such as the COVID-19 crisis, argue Bocconi University's Massimo Marinacci and Valentina Bosetti in a paper coauthored by Nobel laureate Lars Peter Hansen

Novel target identified that could improve safety of therapy for pancreatic cancer
Researchers from Queen Mary University of London, have identified a protein that may represent a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Proteins unspool DNA so cells can take on unique properties
New research reveals how proteins, called 'pioneer transcription factors,' help turn on key genes that give cell types their unique properties and functions.

Placental function can illuminate future disease in adults and children
Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have discovered a direct association between placental function in pregnant women and future metabolic disorders in children and adults, a finding that could lead to earlier intervention and diagnosis of disease.

A large number of gray whales are starving and dying in the eastern North Pacific
It is now the third year that gray whales have been found in very poor condition or dead in large numbers along the west coast of Mexico, USA and Canada, and scientist have raised their concerns.

Reducing traps increases performance of organic photodetectors
Physicists at the Dresden Integrated Center for Applied Physics and Photonic Materials (IAPP) discovered that trap states rule the performance of organic photodetectors, ultimately limiting their detectivity.

New perspectives challenge the idea that saturated fats cause heart disease
Why do saturated fats increase blood cholesterol, and why should this be dangerous?

Lack of sleep, stress can lead to symptoms resembling concussion
A new study suggests that a lot of people might be going through life with symptoms that resemble concussion - a finding supporting researchers' argument that athletes recovering from a brain injury should be assessed and treated on a highly individualized basis.

Rediscovery of the 'extinct' Pinatubo volcano mouse
When Mount Pinatubo exploded in 1990, the surrounding Philippine ecosystem was devastated.

Role of dams in reducing global flood exposure under climate change
A new collaborative study led by researchers at the National Institute for Environmental Studies, the University of Tokyo, and Michigan State University exposes the role of dams for mitigating flood risk under climate change.

Cargo delivery by polymers
Degradable, bio-based polymers offer options for chemical recycling, and they can be a tool to store and release useful molecules.

A quarter of known bee species haven't appeared in public records since the 1990s
Researchers at the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) in Argentina have found that, since the 1990s, up to 25% of reported bee species are no longer being reported in global records, despite a large increase in the number of records available.

UMD researcher expands plant genome editing with newly engineered variant of CRISPR-Cas9
Recently named a Web of Science 2020 Highly Cited Researcher, Yiping Qi of the University of Maryland already has a new high-profile publication in 2021 introducing SpRY, a newly engineered variant of the famed gene editing tool CRISPR-Cas9.

Magnetic waves explain mystery of Sun's outer layer
in a new study published in The Astrophysical Journal, researchers combined observations from a telescope in New Mexico, the United States, with satellites located near Earth to identify a link between magnetic waves in the chromosphere and areas of abundant ionised particles in the hot outer atmosphere.

Addressing the impact of structural racism on disparities in children with Type 1 diabetes
Advancements in diabetes technology have improved quality of life and glycemic control in children with type 1 diabetes.

Massey researchers review geographic factors that affect HPV vaccination rates
A team of researchers from VCU Massey Cancer Center conducted the first-ever systematic review of area-level data reported in the United States between 2006 and 2020 to determine how geography, neighborhoods and sociodemographic factors impact HPV vaccination rates among adolescents and young adults.

From fins to limbs
In a new study an international team of researchers examined three-dimensional digital models of the bones, joints, and muscles of the fins and limbs of two extinct early tetrapods and a closely related fossil fish and discover these early tetrapods had a very distinct pattern of muscle leverage that didn't look like a fish fin or modern tetrapod limbs and their limbs were more adapted for propulsion rather than weight bearing.

CT identifies patients with high-risk nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
According to ARRS' American Journal of Roentgenology, Fibrosis-4 and multiple CT findings can identify patients with high-risk nonalcoholic fatty liver disease--advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis, that is--though the presence of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis remains elusive on CT.

The seven rocky planets of TRAPPIST-1 seem to have very similar compositions
A new international study led by astrophysicist Eric Agol from the University of Washington has measured the densities of the seven planets of the exoplanetary system TRAPPIST-1 with extreme precision, the values obtained indicating very similar compositions for all the planets.

ACSL1 as a main catalyst of CoA conjugation of propionic acid-class NSAIDs in liver
Researchers from Kanazawa University have found that propionic acid-class nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including ibuprofen, form ''conjugates'' with coenzyme A (CoA) by one of the acyl-CoA synthetases, ACSL1, in liver.

NIH-funded study examines mono, chronic fatigue syndrome in college students
Many college students fully recover from infectious mononucleosis (which is almost always caused by Epstein-Barr virus) within 1-6 weeks, but some go on to develop chronic fatigue syndrome, also called myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS).

University of Cincinnati research unveils possible new combo therapy for head and neck cancer
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have tested a new combination therapy in animal models to see if they could find a way to make an already effective treatment even better.

UTMB team proves potential for reducing pre-term birth by treating fetus as patient
The results of a study by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch may pave the way for a new medicine delivery system that could reduce the incidence of pre-term labor and premature birth by allowing physicians to treat the 'fetus as the patient'.

Growing up in a bilingual home has lasting benefits
New research has found that growing up in a bilingual home can provide unexpected cognitive benefits later in life.

University of Cincinnati student uses zebrafish to study spinal deformities
Oriana Zinani, a doctoral student in molecular developmental biology at the University of Cincinnati, is part of a team of researchers using zebrafish embryos to study a gene mutation that causes scoliosis, a sideways curvature of the spine that typically occurs in humans just before puberty.

Shift in caribou movements may be tied to human activity
Human activities might have shifted the movement of caribou in and near the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, according to scientists who tracked them using isotopic analysis from shed antlers.

SARS-CoV-2 infection in children, their parents in southwest Germany
In this observational study, the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection during a period of lockdown in southwest Germany was particularly low in children ages 1 to 10 years old. Overall, this large SARS-CoV-2 prevalence study in children is instructive for how ad hoc mass testing provides the basis for rational political decision-making in a pandemic setting.

A study explores the alteration of the functional dynamics of the human brain associated with ageing
A study published in Cerebral Cortex, led by Gustavo Deco, director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, with Anira Escrichs as first author, in collaboration with several research centres in Lleida and Girona and participation by the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg (Canada).

Fungi strengthen plants to fend off aphids
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have demonstrated that unique fungi strengthen the ''immune systems'' of wheat and bean plants against aphids.

Single atoms as a catalyst: Surprising effects ensue
Catalysts are getting smaller - ''single-atom'' catalysts are the logical end point of this downsizing.

Highly efficient grid-scale electricity storage at fifth of cost
Researchers in WMG at the University of Warwick, in collaboration with Imperial College London, have found a way to enhance hybrid flow batteries and their commercial use.

New blueprint for more stable quantum computers
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have put forward a detailed plan of how faster and better defined quantum bits - qubits - can be created.

Combined river flows could send up to 3 billion microplastics a day into the Bay of Bengal
New research shows the Ganges River - with the combined flows of the Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers - could be responsible for up to 3 billion microplastic particles entering the Bay of Bengal every day.

Record-breaking laser link could help us test whether Einstein was right
Scientists from Australia have set a world record for the most stable transmission of a laser signal through the atmosphere.

Do promotions make consumers more generous?
Price promotions can have a positive effect on consumers' donation behavior because the monetary savings from price promotions increase consumers' perceived resources.

Meta-Apo supports cheaper, quicker microbiome functional assessment
A new algorithm called Meta-Apo, developed by researchers led by JING Gongchao of the Qingdao Institute of BioEnergy and Bioprocess Technology (QIBEBT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) may reduce the need for expensive, time-consuming whole-genome sequencing computations to understand how a microbiome functions.

New technique builds super-hard metals from nanoparticles
Brown University researchers have shown a way to make bulk metals by smashing tiny metal nanoparticles together, which allows for customized grain structures and improved mechanical and other properties.

Microbiome Search Engine 2 helps researchers explore microbiome space
To correlate the newly developed microbiomes with existing data sets, researchers from the Qingdao Institute of BioEnergy and Bioprocess Technology (QIBEBT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and their collaborators developed the Microbiome Search Engine 2 (MSE 2).

Climate and carbon cycle trends of the past 50 million years reconciled
In a study published today in Science Advances, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa oceanographers fully reconciled climate and carbon cycle trends of the past 50 million years--solving a controversy debated in the scientific literature for decades.

Targeted coating improves graphene oxide membranes for nanofiltration
A research group led by Prof. WAN Yinhua from the Institute of Process Engineering (IPE) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences developed a stable graphene oxide nanofiltration membrane with uniform pore size to remove organic micropollutants.

A professor from RUDN University developed new liquid crystals
A professor from RUDN University together with his Indian colleagues synthesized and studied new dibenzophenazine-based liquid crystals that could potentially be used in optoelectronics and solar panels.

Wet and wild: There's lots of water in the world's most explosive volcano
Conditions inside the Shiveluch volcano include roughly 10%-14% water by weight (wt%), according to research from Washington University in St.

Tiny particles that seed clouds can form from trace gases over open sea
New results from an atmospheric study over the Eastern North Atlantic reveal that tiny aerosol particles that seed the formation of clouds can form out of next to nothingness over the open ocean.

A method for calculating optimal parameters of liquid chrystal displays developed at RUDN University
A professor from RUDN University together with his colleagues from Saratov Chernyshevsky State University and D.

No more needles for diagnostic tests?
The lab of Srikanth Singamaneni at the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St.

Chimpanzee friends fight together to battle rivals
Humans cooperate with each other in large groups to defend territories or wage war.

ECMO/CRRT in the treatment of critically ill SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia patients
In a new publication from Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications; DOI https://doi.org/10.15212/CVIA.2019.1267, Hai Zou and Shengqing Li from the Institute of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China consider ECMO/CRRT combined support in the treatment of critically ill SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia patients.

Sliding life expectancy poses gender and inequity questions
Life expectancy gain is slowing in Australia - and figures show these figures are already sliding backwards in both the US and UK - yet little is being done by policy makers to understand specific gender and inequity reasons why this slip is occurring.

Ageing dams pose growing threat: UN
By 2050, most people on Earth will live downstream of tens of thousands of large dams built in the 20th century, many of them already operating at or beyond their design life, according to a UN University analysis.

NSAIDs might exacerbate or suppress COVID-19 depending on timing, mouse study suggests
New research shows that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduced both antibody and inflammatory responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice.

Research shows preference for male children is declining in Bangladesh
Research from the University of Kent has demonstrated a decline in 'son preference' by women of childbearing age in Bangladesh.

AI trained to read electric vehicle charging station reviews to find infrastructure gaps
Although electric vehicles that reduce greenhouse gas emissions attract many drivers, the lack of confidence in charging services deters others.

Genetic sequence for parasitic flowering plant Sapria
A team of Harvard-led researchers presented the most complete genome yet assembled of one of the major Rafflesiaceae lineages, Sapria himalayana.

New maintenance treatment for acute myeloid leukemia prolongs the lives of patients
Patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the most common form of acute leukemia in adults, that has gone into remission following initial chemotherapy remain in remission longer and have improved overall survival when they are given a pill form of the cancer drug azacitidine as a maintenance treatment, according to a randomized, international phase 3 clinical trial for which Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian are trial sites.

Regulating the ribosomal RNA production line
The enzyme that makes RNA from a DNA template is altered to slow the production of ribosomal RNA (rRNA), the most abundant type of RNA within cells, when resources are scarce and the bacteria Escherichia coli needs to slow its growth.

Dramatic changes to radiotherapy treatments due to COVID-19
Dramatic changes were seen in the delivery of radiotherapy treatments for cancer during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic in England.

Risk factors for intraoperative pressure injury in aortic surgery
In a new publication from Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications; DOI https://doi.org/10.15212/CVIA.2019.1263, Yao Dong, Jun-E Liu and Ling Song from the Capital Medical University, Beijing, China consider risk factors for intraoperative pressure injury in aortic surgery.

Flowery diets help predatory insects help farmers keep pests in check
Predatory insects have been shown to live longer when they have access to nectar and pollen, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Copenhagen.

Potential combined drug therapy for lung cancer
Researchers at Kanazawa University report in Clinical Cancer Research that in the most common type of lung cancer, certain secondary mutations occurring with another gene alteration known as ALK make the efficacy of alectinib, an otherwise commonly used drug for treating lung cancer, become unfavorable.

Crystal structures in super slow motion
Laser beams are used to change the properties of materials in an extremely precise way.

Abusive bosses 'fake nice' instead of 'make nice'
Rather than take steps to genuinely repair damage caused by their abusive behavior, such as offering sincere apologies, many of the bosses in this study were more concerned about repairing their social images.
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