Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 26, 2021
UOC researchers have analysed 13 apps developed for the treatment and control of neglected tropical diseases, identifying the main weaknesses and evaluating possible improvements
A study performed by the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) provided eight recommendations for improving the online technology to help with the treatment and diagnosis of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).

Prevalence, risk factors associated with self-reported psychological distress among children, adolescents during COVID-19 pandemic in China
Survey data from school-age children and adolescents in Guangdong province, China, were used to assess self-reported psychological distress associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Crunch! Underwater acoustics expose 'shell-crushing' sounds in a large marine predator
''Shell-crushing,'' an explosive sound, occurs when marine animals crack open hard shells like clams to eat the edible tissue.

Study finds water quality improvements in Maryland's Choptank River
The Chesapeake Bay has a long history of nutrient pollution resulting in degraded water quality.

90-day vaginal ring shows promise as method for preventing both HIV and pregnancy
A vaginal ring containing the antiretroviral drug dapivirine and the contraceptive hormone levonorgestrel delivered sustained levels of each drug when used continuously for 90 days - levels likely sufficient to serve its dual purpose for protecting against both HIV and unwanted pregnancy, according to results being presented at HIVR4P.

AI used to predict early symptoms of schizophrenia in relatives of patients
University of Alberta researchers have taken a step forward in developing an artificial intelligence tool to predict schizophrenia by analyzing brain scans.

'Brain training' may be an effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder
Neurofeedback, also called 'brain training,' consists of exercises where individuals regulate their own brain activity.

Scientists developed energy saving ceramic phosphors for high power LED systems
Materials scientists of Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), in collaboration with an international research team, have advanced the design of composite ceramic materials (Ce3+:YAG-Al2O3), i.e. solid-state light converters (phosphors) that can be applied in ground and aerospace technologies.

Breakthrough design at UBCO vastly improves mechanical heart valve
New research coming out of UBC's Okanagan campus may take the current 'gold standard' for heart valves to a new level of reliability.

New research: Monitoring online posts by consumers could help improve food safety
An estimated 48 million cases of foodborne illness are contracted in the U.S annually, causing about 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths, according to CDC.

Can dogs rapidly learn words?
A new study found that talented dogs can learn new words after hearing them only four times.

Toddlers who use touchscreens may be more distractible
New research published in Scientific Report highlights some of the effects regular use of touchscreens might have on toddlers.

Tungsten-substituted vanadium oxide breathes fresh air into catalyst technology
Tokyo, Japan - Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have created a new tungsten-substituted vanadium oxide catalyst for breaking down harmful nitrogen oxides in industrial exhaust.

Study sheds new light on the behaviour of the giant carnivorous dinosaur Spinosaurus
New research from Queen Mary University of London and the University of Maryland, has reignited the debate around the behaviour of the giant dinosaur Spinosaurus.

A research team from Denmark discovers new control mechanism in the innate immune system
Although the protein ITIH4 is found in large amounts in the blood, its function has so far been unknown.

Autistic kids may have a harder time recognizing healthy vs. toxic arguments
A new study suggests children on the autism spectrum may be more likely to misinterpret healthy arguments between their parents as being negative, compared to children who aren't on the autism spectrum.

Addressing health disparities in diabetes requires a broader look at systemic racism
Poor social conditions caused by systemic racism contribute to health disparities in people with diabetes, according to a paper published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Wirelessly rechargeable soft brain implant controls brain cells
Researchers have invented a smartphone-controlled soft brain implant that can be recharged wirelessly from outside the body.

Iron-carrying extracellular vesicles are key to respiratory viral-bacterial co-infection
The vesicles associate with bacterial cells and supply them with essential nutrients, promoting the growth of expansive bacterial communities.

Soil health is as environmentally important as air and water quality, say microbiologists
Healthy, sustainably managed soil is a critical ecosystem for continuous sustenance of plants, animals and humans globally.

Beauty in imperfection: How crystal defects can help convert waste heat into electricity
Half-Heusler Ni-based alloys are thermoelectric materials with the potential for converting waste heat into electricity.

Children cannot ignore what they hear when detecting emotions
Children determine emotion by what they hear, rather than what they see, according to new research.

When looking at species declines, nuances and long-term data are important
After an initial report told of collapsing food webs in Puerto Rico, a group of researchers conducting long-term research on the island took a closer look at the issue.

The longevity gene mammalian Indy (mINDY) is involved in blood pressure regulation
Reduced expression of mINDY, which is known to extend life span in lower organisms and to prevent from diet induced obesity, fatty liver and insulin resistance in mice, has now been shown to lower blood pressure and heart rate in rodents.

Drug to treat rare genetic disease may help control transmission of African Trypanosomiasis
African trypanosomiasis (also known as sleeping sickness) is a disease transmitted by tsetse flies and is fatal to humans and other animals; however, there is currently no vaccine, this disease is mainly controlled by reducing insect populations and patient treatment.

Fighting racial inequity by funding Black scientists
In a paper in Cell, a network of bioengineering academics review data on racial inequities in research funding, and suggest ways to address disparities in allocating support.

Development of rapid method for extraction of natural blue chromophore from cyanobacteria
A research group at Toyohashi University of Technology succeeded in developing an efficient and rapid extraction method for Phycocyanobilin (PCB) by treating cyanobacterial cells with alcohol under high-temperature and high-pressure conditions.

Study provides first real-world evidence of Covid-19 contact tracing app effectiveness
An international research collaboration, involving scientists from the UK, US and Spain, has shed new light on the usefulness of digital contact tracing (DCT) to control the spread of Covid-19.

Multiple sclerosis: Immune cells silence neurons by removing synapses
Damage to the brain gray matter plays an important role in the progression of multiple sclerosis.

How did Florida fail to respond to a coral disease epizootic and what's to follow?
By 2020, losses of corals have been observed throughout Florida and into the greater Caribbean basin in what turned out to be likely the most lethal recorded case of Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease.

At three days old, newborn mice remember their moms
For mice, the earliest social memories can form at three days old and last into adulthood, scientists report on January 26 in the journal Cell Reports.

Air purifiers may do more harm than good in confined spaces with airborne viruses
The positions of air inlets and outlets in confined spaces, such as elevators, greatly affect airborne virus transmission.

Myeloid immune cells in the blood tied to severe COVID-19
Individual variations in how the immune system responds to SARS-CoV-2 appear to impact the severity of disease.

Researchers use nanomaterials to make 2D diamond clusters at room temperature
2D hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) is a promising material that can undergo transition to strong, super lightweight films.

Solar hydrogen: Photoanodes made of alpha-SnWO4 promise high efficiencies
Photoanodes made of metal oxides are considered to be a viable solution for the production of hydrogen with sunlight.

Intercontinental study sheds light on the microbial life of sourdough
In a study of 500 sourdough starters spanning four continents, scientists have garnered new insights into the environmental factors that contribute to each sourdough starter's microbial ecosystem, and how different types of microbes influence both a sourdough's aroma and how quickly the sourdough rises.

Rates of skin cancer have increased dramatically over recent decades
Incidence rates of skin cancer (cutaneous malignant melanoma) have increased more than 550% in males and 250% in females since the early 1980s in England - according to a new study by Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS).

Cancer deaths attributable to cigarette smoking in 152 US metropolitan and micropolitan areas
A new study shows 4 in 10 cancer deaths are attributable to cigarette smoking in parts of the South region and Appalachia.

Roadblocks to success for PhD grads could mean missed opportunities for Canada
Canada could be sitting on a significant untapped resource, as the number of PhD holders in this country rises, but persistent barriers make it hard for them to put their skills to work.

Metoclopramide inhibits proliferation of leukemia stem cells
A research team at Inselspital, Bern University Hospital and the University of Bern has identified and tested the use of an agent that can effectively inhibit the proliferation of leukemia stem cells.

Highly specific synaptic plasticity in addiction
Addiction, or substance use disorder (SUD), is a complex neurological condition that includes drug-seeking behavior among other cognitive, emotional and behavioral features.

Research shows people with high omega-3 index less likely to die from COVID-19
Researchers with the Fatty Acid Research Institute (FARI) and collaborators at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and in Orange County, CA, have published the first direct evidence that higher omega-3 blood levels may reduce risk for death from COVID-19 infection.

Vaccine shows potential against deadly leptospirosis bacteria
Scientists have designed a single-dose universal vaccine that could protect against the many forms of leptospirosis bacteria, according to a study published today in eLife.

Southern Africa's most endangered shark just extended its range by 2,000 kilometers
A team of marine scientists led by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has confirmed that southern Africa's most threatened endemic shark - the Critically Endangered shorttail nurse shark (Pseudoginglymostoma brevicaudatum) - has been found to occur in Mozambique; a finding that represents a range extension of more than 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles).

Mouse study identifies novel compound that may help develop diabetes drugs
Research led by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine identified a new compound that might serve as a basis for developing a new class of drugs for diabetes.

Cannabis use both helps and hurts entrepreneurial creativity
When entrepreneurs dream up ideas for new businesses, cannabis use might help, and hinder, their creativity, according to a new study by WSU researchers.

Marketing has major benefits for entrepreneurs in emerging markets, study shows
New research from Notre Dame shows marketers can help entrepreneurs in emerging markets grow their businesses, which in turn helps them to improve lives, sustain livelihoods, enhance overall living standards and strengthen societies.

No overall difference in concussion recovery time for male and female college athletes
Researchers found female and male collegiate athletes take approximately the same amount of time to recover from a concussion, with subtle differences in recovery time depending on the type of sports being played and the division level of the sport.

Gut microbiota reveals whether drug therapies work in inflammatory bowel diseases
A study recently completed at the University of Helsinki indicates that the gut microbiota of patients suffering from inflammatory gastrointestinal disorders can be used to predict whether they will benefit from expensive therapies.

Neonatal antibiotic use associated with reduced growth in boys
Exposure to antibiotics in the first few weeks of life is associated with reduced weight and height in boys up to the age of six, but not girls, reports a paper in Nature Communications.

Microwaves used to deactivate coronavirus, flu, other aerosolized viruses
As the pandemic continues, scientists are increasingly focused on developing methods to assist in decontaminating surfaces and spaces.

Hospital worker flu shots could mean fewer deaths
Research shows that state laws promoting flu vaccinations for hospital workers can substantially reduce the number of influenza-related deaths.

Concordia researchers find melatonin is effective against polycystic kidney disease
Melatonin, a hormone commonly associated with sleep-wake regulation, has been found to reduce cysts in fruit flies, according to Concordia researchers.

Nuclear physicist's voyage towards a mythical island
Theories were introduced as far back as the 1960s about the possible existence of superheavy elements.

Nixing bone cancer fuel supply offers new treatment approach, mouse study suggests
An innovative approach to treating bone tumors - starving cancer cells of the energy they need to grow - could one day provide an alternative to a commonly used chemotherapy drug without the risk of severe side effects, suggests a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Holocaust Remembrance Day: COVID-19 changed how we remember
Educators have successfully leveraged new forms of Holocaust remembrance using social media tools.

New neural network enables easy screening of sleep apnoea in patients with cerebrovascular disease
A new neural network developed by researchers at the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital enables an easy and accurate assessment of sleep apnoea severity in patients with cerebrovascular disease.

TGen-led study results suggest more accurate diagnostic for breast cancer
Patrick Pirrotte, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor and Director of TGen's Collaborative Center for Translational Mass Spectrometry, and an international team of researchers developed a test that can detect infinitesimally small breast cancer biomarkers that are shed into the bloodstream from cells surrounding cancer known as extracellular matrix (ECM), according to the findings of their study recently published in the scientific journal Breast Cancer Research.

To combat false news, correct after reading
A new study co-authored by MIT scholars finds that fact-checking labels, when attached to online news headlines, actually work better after people read false headlines, not when the labels precede the headline or accompany it.

Mouse study: gabapentin prevents harmful structural changes in spinal cord
Research led by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine found that the widely prescribed pain-relief drug gabapentin can prevent harmful structural changes in the injured spinal cords of mice, and also block cardiovascular changes and immune suppression caused by spinal cord injury.

Ocean toxin a heartbreaking threat for sea otters
Heart disease is a killer threat for southern sea otters feasting on domoic acid in their food web, according to a study led by the University of California, Davis.

UMass Amherst researchers develop technique to replicate bone-remodeling processes
A multidisciplinary research team at the University of Massachusetts Amherst's Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS) have developed a technique to replicate bone tissue complexity and bone-remodeling processes.

Change of course on the journey to the island of stability
An international research team succeeded in gaining new insights into the artificially produced superheavy element flerovium, element 114, at the accelerator facilities of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, Germany.

LSD may offer viable treatment for certain mental disorders
Researchers from McGill University have discovered, for the first time, one of the possible mechanisms that contributes to the ability of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) to increase social interaction.

Satellite data reveals bonds between emissions, pollution and economy
Burning fossil fuels has long powered world economies while contributing to air pollution and the buildup of greenhouse gases.

First direct band gap measurements of wide-gap hydrogen using inelastic X-ray scattering
Utilizing a newly developed state-of-the-art synchrotron technique, a group of scientists led by Dr.

Reef fish futures foretold
There are markedly different outcomes for different species of coral reef fishes under climate change - scientists are now another step closer to uncovering the 'winners and losers'.

Mangroves threatened by plastic pollution from rivers, new study finds
Mangrove ecosystems are at particular risk of being polluted by plastic carried from rivers to the sea.

Strokes after TIAs have declined over time, study shows
Patients who have transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) are at risk of subsequent stroke and require longer follow-up that previously thought, according to researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and Harvard Medical School.

UC study: The dangers of drugged driving are outpacing drunk driving
A recent study of drugged driving, by a team of University of Cincinnati researchers, shows that a sizable percentage of individuals reported the use of marijuana and other illicit drugs while operating behind the wheel.

Compelling evidence of neutrino process opens physics possibilities
The COHERENT particle physics experiment at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has firmly established the existence of a new kind of neutrino interaction.

'Tri-active' contraceptive gel combines spermicidal, anti-viral, libido-enhancing agents
Researchers have created a trifunctional contraceptive gel that contains spermicidal, anti-viral and libido-enhancing agents in one formulation.

Spike in use of online communication apps could be driven by isolation during COVID-19
The use of online messaging and social media apps among Singapore residents has spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic, an NTU Singapore study has found.

Corona vaccination: Approach receives approval
Anyone who belongs to a risk group, lives in a nursing home or works in healthcare is first entitled to a vaccination against the novel coronavirus.

A benchmark for single-electron circuits
Manipulating individual electrons with the goal of employing quantum effects offers new possibilities in electronics.

Increase in minimum wage will save infant lives, study shows
A new study published recently by researchers from Syracuse University shows that a higher minimum wage will reduce infant deaths.

Anonymous cell phone data can quantify behavioral changes for flu-like illnesses
New method could potentially provide a useful tool to help monitor and control infectious diseases outbreaks, without comprising privacy.

Study helps understand why kids of obese mothers may be susceptible to metabolic diseases
The phenomenon may be associated with a deficiency of the protein mitofusin-2 in the mother's eggs, which affects the shape and functioning of mitochondria.

Smart algorithm cleans up images by searching for clues buried in noise
In a new study published in Nature Machine Intelligence, researchers at Texas A&M University have unveiled a machine learning-based algorithm that can reduce graininess in low-resolution images and reveal new details that were otherwise buried within the noise.

Race plays a role in children's food allergies
Black children have significantly higher rates of shellfish and fish allergies than white children, confirming that race plays an important role in how children are affected by food allergies, researchers at Rush University Medical Center have found.

Solar material can 'self-heal' imperfections, new research shows
A material that can be used in technologies such as solar power has been found to self-heal, a new study shows.

Arctic ocean expedition advances climate modeling
In-situ cloud, radiation, and surface energy budget data collected by a September 2014 expedition of the Japanese Research Vessel Mirai from a stationary point in the ice-free Arctic Ocean were used to investigate the skill of regional climate models.

Biodegradable displays for sustainable electronics
Increasing use of electronic devices in consumables and new technologies for the internet of things are increasing the amount of electronic scrap.

Extreme black holes have hair that can be combed
Black holes depend on only three parameters (mass, angular momentum, and charge), a uniqueness property known as the ''no-hair'' theorem.

Invasive mussels now control a key nutrient in the American Great Lakes
The spread of quagga mussels across the American Great Lakes has transformed the supply of phosphorus - a key biological nutrient - to the ecosystem, according to research published this week in PNAS.

Genetically-modified mosquitoes key to stopping Zika virus spread
In 2016, the World Health Organization called the Zika virus epidemic a ''public health emergency of international concern'' due to the virus causing birth defects for pregnant women in addition to neurological problems.

Cell 'bones' mystery solved with supercomputers
Supercomputer simulations allocated by XSEDE on TACC's Stampede2 have helped solve the mystery of how actin filaments polymerize.

CT imaging features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus
CT Imaging Features of Patients Infected with 2019 Novel Coronavirus https://doi.org/10.15212/bioi-2020-0038 Announcing a new publication for BIO Integration journal.

Over half of cannabis users with Parkinson's disease report clinical benefits
With medicinal cannabis now legalized in many parts of the world, there is growing interest in its use to alleviate symptoms of many illnesses including Parkinson's disease (PD).

When push comes to shove, what counts as a fight?
Biologists often study animal sociality by collecting observations about behavioral interactions.

A compound that slows bone loss, and a resource for developing treatments to slow aging
A compound that extends lifespan in a tiny nematode worm slows bone loss in aging mice.

Not everyone has equal access to crucial information that can stop the spread of COVID-19
A newly-published global survey of national health authority websites in nearly 200 countries has directly quantified COVID-19 information accessibility.

NSU researcher part of team studying impact of rising sea temperatures on marine life
Global warming or climate change. It doesn't matter what you call it.

Life-threatening complications during pregnancy: greater long-term risk of death
A research team from the CHUM Research Centre (CRCHUM) has shown that women who have had serious complications during pregnancy are twice as likely to die up to three decades later.

Two anti-viral enzymes transform pre-leukemia stem cells into leukemia
Viral infections and space travel similarly trigger inflammation and the enzymes APOBEC3C and ADAR1; UC San Diego researchers are developing ways to inhibit them as a means to potentially lower cancer risk for both astronauts and people on Earth.

Hypertension symptoms in women often mistaken for menopause
Pregnancy complications and early menopause increase women's future risk of heart disease.

New study: Malaria tricks the brain's defence system
Malaria is one of the most common causes of death in children in Africa.

Avoid repeating old mistakes
Global goals for biodiversity must apply to all member states of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) also at national level.

Medicaid expansion helps uncover undiagnosed HIV infections
Expanding eligibility for Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for low-income individuals, was associated with a 13.9% increase in HIV diagnoses, says new research co-written by Dolores Albarracín, a professor of psychology and of business administration at Illinois, and Bita Fayaz Farkhad, pictured, an economist and a postdoctoral researcher in psychology at Illinois.

Building a corn cob--cell by cell, gene by gene
CSHL scientists analyzed where and when thousands of genes are activated in baby corn.

For older adults, specific Facebook activities more important than overall use
The actions that older adults take on Facebook may be more important to their user experience and well-being than their overall use of the site, according to researchers.

Partners in crime: genetic collaborator may influence severity of the rare disease, NGLY1
In 2012, four-year-old Bertrand Might became the first-ever patient diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called N-glycanase (NGLY1) deficiency.

Scientists identify flank instability at a volcano with history of collapse
Landslides caused by the collapse of unstable volcanoes are one of the major dangers of volcanic eruptions.

Metamaterial tiles boost sensitivity of large telescopes
A multi-institutional group of researchers has developed new metamaterial tiles that will help improve the sensitivity of telescopes being built at the preeminent Simons Observatory in Chile.

Kombucha tea sparks creative materials research solution
With Army funding, researchers developed a new way to generate tough, functional materials using a mixture of bacteria and yeast similar to the kombucha mother used to ferment tea.

Hybrid closed-loop insulin therapy improves glycemic control
Hybrid closed-loop insulin therapy improved glycemic control in adolescents and young adults with type 1 diabetes.

Anti-poverty policies can reduce reports of child neglect
A University of Washington study analyzes how a state's refundable Earned Income Tax Credit can lead to fewer reports of child neglect, by reducing the financial stress on families.

Researchers simplify the study of gene-environment interactions
Researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine and Cornell University's Ithaca campus have developed a new computational method for studying genetic and environmental interactions and how they influence disease risk.

Researchers develop virus-based treatment platform to fight pancreatic cancer
Researchers from Queen Mary University of London and Zhengzhou University have developed a powerful therapeutic platform that uses a modified virus for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Ludwig Cancer Research study reveals how certain gut bacteria compromise radiotherapy
A study led by Ludwig Chicago Co-director Ralph Weichselbaum and Yang-Xin Fu of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center has shown how bacteria in the gut can dull the efficacy of radiotherapy, a treatment received by about half of all cancer patients.

Commuting patterns could explain higher incidence of Covid-19 in Black Americans
The disproportionately high Covid-19 infection rates observed in Black Americans could be linked to their daily commuting patterns, according to a new study published today in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface.

Targeted health messaging needed in era of vaping, researchers say
Health authorities should develop targeted health messages for vaping product and e-liquid packaging to encourage smokers to switch from cigarettes to e-cigarettes and to prevent non-smokers from taking up vaping, a researcher at the University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand, says.

Deep-sea plastic accumulations by turbidity currents: NW South China sea
Benthic plastic litter is a main source of pollutants in oceans, but how it disperses is largely unknown.

Newly discovered fossil named after U of A paleontologist
A newly discovered trace fossil of an ancient burrow has been named after University of Alberta paleontologist Murray Gingras.
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