Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 05, 2021
If healthy people are purposefully infected with COVID-19 for the sake of science, they should be paid
Multidisciplinary team of international experts suggests participants should receive a ''substantial'' amount, be paid ethically.

The Lancet Public Health: Survey taken after France's first COVID-19 wave indicates almost one-third of working-age people could reject a vaccine
Nearly one in three working-age adults in France (29%) surveyed in July 2020 - when lockdown restrictions had been eased - were outright opposed to being vaccinated against the virus, according to new research published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

Chinese scientists use knowledge from climate system modeling to develop a global prediction system for the COVID-19 pandemic
Chinese scientists use knowledge from climate system modeling to develop a global prediction system for the COVID-19 pandemic

Trapping gases better with boron nitride "nanopores"
Porous activated carbon (AC) is well-known for its ability to efficiently trap gases and help in catalyzing chemical reactions on its surface.

Not all banking crises involve panics
Historically, even ''quiet'' banking crises without customer panics can cause losses leading to economy-wide downturns, according to new research co-led by MIT Sloan's Emil Verner.

Vegan diet better for weight loss and cholesterol control than Mediterranean diet
A vegan diet is more effective for weight loss than a Mediterranean diet, according to a groundbreaking new study that compared the diets head to head.

Nehandertals' gut microbiota and the bacteria helping our health
Through the study of ancient DNA from 50,000-year-old Neanderthal faecal sediments, an international research group isolated a group of micro-organisms whose characteristics are similar to those of modern Sapiens: such findings can be instrumental to the protection of our gut microbiota

Research establishes a new method to predict individual risk of cognitive decline
This work shows that direct measures of brain signatures during mental activity are more sensitive and accurate predictors of memory decline than current standard behavioral testing.

Link found between time perception, risk for developmental coordination disorder
Neuroscientists at McMaster University have found a link between children who are at risk for developmental coordination disorder (DCD), a common condition that can cause clumsiness, and difficulties with time perception such as interpreting changes in rhythmic beats.

Climate change may have driven the emergence of SARS-CoV-2
Global greenhouse gas emissions over the last century have made southern China a hotspot for bat-borne coronaviruses, by driving growth of forest habitat favoured by bats.

Audiovisual professionalisation affects how the brain perceives media content
According to a study conducted by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, the Instituto Radio Televisión Española and the Universidad Pablo de Olavide in Seville, audiovisual professionals decrease their eyeblink rate after cuts, suggesting that they can better manage the loss of visual information that blinking entails.

SSRgenotyper: A new tool to digitally genotype simple sequence repeats
Simple sequence repeats (SSRs) are common components of genomic DNA that are widely used in genetic studies at the level of populations and individuals.

Sleep studies in children with sleep disordered breathing could influence treatment
A new study recommends healthy children with symptoms of sleep disordered breathing, such as snoring or temporary cessation of breathing, should consider undergoing a sleep study (polysomnography) and should discuss the potential benefits of this with their pediatrician or otolaryngologist to possibly manage the child's symptoms medically and before surgery.

Machine learning generates realistic genomes for imaginary humans
Machines, thanks to novel algorithms and advances in computer technology, can now learn complex models and even generate high-quality synthetic data such as photo-realistic images or even resumes of imaginary humans.

Pushed to the limit: A CMOS-based transceiver for beyond 5G applications at 300 GHz
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology and NTT Corporation develop a novel CMOS-based transceiver for wireless communications at the 300 GHz band, enabling future beyond-5G applications.

Bioplastics in the sustainability dilemma
Scientists at the University of Bonn (Germany) found that the sustainability of plant-based bioplastics depends largely on the country of origin, its trade relationships and the raw material processed.

Silicon anode structure generates new potential for lithium-ion batteries
New research has identified a nanostructure that improves the anode in lithium-ion batteries.

Packing more juice in lithium-ion batteries through silicon anodes and polymeric coatings
Although silicon anodes could greatly boost the capacity of Li-ion batteries, their performance rapidly degrades with use.

Technion researchers discover new pathway for attacking cancer cells
The folate cycle is a process essential to DNA and RNA production.

Mapping hotspots of undersized fish and crustaceans may aid sustainable fishing practices
The seafood fished out of certain areas of southern European seas is consistently too small to keep, shows a recent study.

Birds living in natural habits can help inform captive care
Bird species that live in their natural habitats can help zoos learn how to manage those in captivity, according to a new review.

RUDN University mathematicians reduced neural network size six times without post-training
A team of mathematicians from RUDN University found a way to reduce the size of a trained neural network six times without spending additional resources on re-training it.

Signs of burnout can be detected in sweat
EPFL engineers, working in association with startup Xsensio, have developed a wearable system that can continually measure the concentration of cortisol - the stress hormone - in human sweat.

Grape consumption may protect against UV damage to skin
A recent human study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that consuming grapes protected against ultraviolet (UV) skin damage.

New research sheds light on vision loss in Batten disease
Progressive vision loss, and eventually blindness, are the hallmarks of juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (JNCL) or CLN3-Batten disease.

Novel immunotherapy approach to treat cat allergy
Researchers from the Department of Infection and Immunity of the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH) brought forward the potential of high doses of a specific adjuvant molecule, namely CpG oligonucleotide, in successfully modulating the immune system's allergic response to the main cat allergen Fel d 1, thereby inducing a tolerance-promoting reaction and reverting the main hallmarks of cat allergy.

Mathematics developed new classes of stellar dynamics systems solutions
The Vlasov-Poisson equations describe many important physical phenomena such as the distribution of gravitating particles in the interstellar space, high-temperature plasma kinetics, and the Landau damping effect.

Energy harvesting: Printed thermoelectric generators for power generation
Thermoelectric generators, TEGs for short, convert ambient heat into electrical power.

Biosensors to detect P. jirovecii, responsible for Pneumocystis pneumonia
Currently, the detection of the fungus in patients, who may be asymptomatic carriers until they develop pneumonia, uses the PCR technique, which takes several hours and requires adequate facilities and qualified personnel.

In-silico modelling helps with the integrated study of the intervertebral disc in health and disease
Published in the journal Bioinformatics and conducted entirely by members of the BCN MedTech Research Unit, with Laura Baumgartner as first author under the guidance of Jérôme Noailly.

Center for BrainHealth researchers create virtual reality cognitive assessment
Virtual reality isn't just for gaming. Researchers can use virtual reality, or VR, to assess participants' attention, memory and problem-solving abilities in real world settings.

New drug targets for childhood cancer neuroblastoma identified
The largest single cell study to date of the childhood cancer, neuroblastoma, has discovered that all neuroblastomas arise from a single type of embryonic cell called sympathoblasts.

Critical flaw found in lab models of the human blood-brain barrier
Cells used to study the human blood-brain barrier in the lab aren't what they seem, a new study has found, throwing nearly a decade's worth of research into question.

Computer can determine whether you'll die from COVID
Using patient data, artificial intelligence can make a 90 percent accurate assessment of whether a person will die from COVID-19 or not, according to new research at the University of Copenhagen.

Study identifies 'Achilles heel' of bacteria linked to Crohn's disease
The discovery of an ''Achilles heel'' in a type of gut bacteria that causes intestinal inflammation in patients with Crohn's disease may lead to more targeted therapies for the difficult to treat disease, according to Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian investigators.

COVID-19 transmission extremely low at group of North Carolina day camps
Cases of symptomatic COVID-19 were extremely low among children and staff at a network of YMCA summer camps held last year in North Carolina that took precautions like masking and physical distancing, with close to zero transmissions occurring at the camps, according to researchers at Duke Health, Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian.

Establishment testing standards for particulate photocatalysts in solar fuel production proposed
Recently, an international research team initiated the establishment of international efficiency accreditation and testing protocols for particulate photocatalysts toward solar fuel production.

Non-teleost ray-finned fishes exhibit mosaic genomic features of lobe- and ray-finned fishes
A research team led by Prof. HE Shunping from the Institute of Hydrobiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has discovered through genome sequencing that the non-teleost ray-finned fishes--bichir, paddlefish, bowfin and alligator gar--exhibit mosaic genomic features of lobe- and ray-finned fishes.

Drop the stress
Under stress conditions, cells switch quickly from the normal to the crisis mode to prevent themselves from being damaged.

Sensor and detoxifier in one
Ozone is a problematic air pollutant that causes serious health problems.

'Runway Roadkill' rapidly increasing at airports across the world, UCC study finds
The number of reported collisions (i.e. strikes) between aircraft and wildlife is increasing globally, with consequences for personnel and passenger safety as well as for industry economics.

Study highlights risk of new SARS-CoV-2 mutations emerging during chronic infection
SARS-CoV-2 mutations similar to those in the B1.1.7 UK variant could arise in cases of chronic infection, where treatment over an extended period can provide the virus multiple opportunities to evolve, say scientists.

Healthy oceans need healthy soundscapes
Rain falls lightly on the ocean's surface. Marine mammals chirp and squeal as they swim along.

Genes for face shape identified
Genes that determine the shape of a person's facial profile have been discovered by a UCL-led research team.

Pandemic increases substance abuse, mental health issues for those struggling with obesity
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a detrimental impact on substance use, mental health, and weight-related health behaviors among people with obesity, according to a new study by researchers at UT Southwestern and the UTHealth School of Public Health.

New AI tool can thwart coronavirus mutations
USC computer scientists used AI to create a new tool that rapidly identifies potential solutions to coronavirus mutations and screens vaccines much faster to give humans an advantage over the contagion.

Forests of the world in 3D
Primeval forests are of great importance for biodiversity and global carbon and water cycling.

Ural Federal University scientists developed a new way of synthesis of high-purity zircon
A research group from Ural Federal University synthesized high-purity single-phase zircon (ZrSiO4) and analyzed its structural, thermal, vibrational and optical properties.

Study: 'Hidden' genes could be key in development of new antibiotics
A study from the Center for Phage Technology, part of Texas A&M's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Texas A&M AgriLife Research, shows how the ''hidden'' genes in bacteriophages -- types of viruses that infect and destroy bacteria -- may be key to the development of a new class of antibiotics for human health.

Pangolin coronavirus could jump to humans
Scientists at the Francis Crick Institute have found important structural similarities between SARS-CoV-2 and a pangolin coronavirus.

The Ramanujan Machine
The study, which was published in the journal Nature, was carried out by undergraduates from different faculties under the tutelage of Assistant Professor Ido Kaminer of the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the Technion.

Anticancer drug may improve outcome for severe COVID-19 patients
Treating severe COVID-19 patients with the anticancer drug bevacizumab may reduce mortality and speed up recovery, according to a small clinical study in Italy and China that was led by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden between February and April 2020.

Researchers find a way to increase spatial resolution in brain activity visualization
Researchers from the HSE Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience have proposed a new method to process magnetoencephalography (MEG) data, which helps find cortical activation areas with higher precision.

New way to power up nanomaterials for electronic applications
UCLA materials scientists and colleagues have discovered that perovskites, a class of promising materials that could be used for low-cost, high-performance solar cells and LEDs, have a previously unutilized molecular component that can further tune the electronic property of perovskites.

Tom Hanks' COVID-19 diagnosis likely shaped behaviors, thoughts toward virus
When actor Tom Hanks announced his COVID-19 diagnosis on March 11, 2020, many Americans were still learning about the virus and its severity.

New study shows pandemic's toll on jobs, businesses, and food security in poorer countries
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a sharp decline in living standards and rising food insecurity in low- and middle-income across the globe, according to a new study published Feb.

US counties with more social capital have fewer COVID-19 infections and deaths
US counties with more social capital have fewer COVID-19 infections and deaths - perhaps because these communities have greater concern for the health of others.

Peginterferon-lambda shows strong antiviral action to accelerate clearance of COVID-19
A clinical study led by Dr. Jordan Feld, a liver specialist at Toronto Centre for Liver Disease, University Health Network (UHN), showed an experimental antiviral drug can significantly speed up recovery for COVID-19 outpatients - patients who do not need to be hospitalized.

Raised mortality from cardiac arrest in people with COVID-19
Sudden cardiac arrest is more often fatal in people with COVID-19, a new study shows.

Women's voices in the media still outnumbered by those of men - study
New research from Simon Fraser University shows that women's voices continue to be underrepresented in the media, despite having prominent female leaders across Canada and internationally.

Gap between the 'haves' and 'have nots' widened by the COVID pandemic, an IU study found
A new study by Indiana University found women, younger individuals, those with lower levels of formal education, and people of color are being hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Civil engineers find link between hospitals and schools key to community resilience
Health care and education systems are two main pillars of a community's stability.

Tiny sensor technique reveals cellular forces involved in tissue generation
A team of Brown University researchers developed a technique that uses tiny polymer spheres to sense the forces at play as body tissue forms and grows.

New research studies 'domino effects' and synchrony in brain activity
Scientists have made a significant breakthrough in the quest to understand the intricate processes that occur in the brain during seizures that are the key symptom of epilepsy.

Fungi in the gut prime immunity against infection
Common fungi, often present in the gut, teach the immune system how to respond to their more dangerous relatives, according to new research from scientists at Weill Cornell Medicine.

Arctic stew: Understanding how high-latitude lakes respond to and affect climate change
To arrive at Nunavut, turn left at the Dakotas and head north.

Fingerprint for the formation of nitrous oxide emissions
Scientists led by Eliza Harris and Michael Bahn from the Institute of Ecology at the University of Innsbruck have succeeded in studying emissions of the greenhouse gas N2O under the influence of environmental impacts in an unprecedented level of detail.

Breakthrough in quantum photonics promises a new era in optical circuits
In recently published work, researchers at USC have shown that single photons can be emitted in a uniform way from quantum dots arranged in a precise pattern.

Drug 'breakthrough' gives longest-ever survival in nonresectable liver cancer patients
New follow-up data from a landmark study of liver cancer patients treated with a combination of an immunotherapy drug (atezolizumab) and a monoclonal antibody (bevacizumab) has shown the longest-ever survival time in a frontline phase 3 trial of systemic therapy in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), demonstrating a 'major breakthrough' in the field.

Pandemic caused 'staggering' economic, human impact in developing counties, research says
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year led to a devastating loss of jobs and income across the global south, threatening hundreds of millions of people with hunger and lost savings and raising an array of risks for children, according to new research co-authored at the University of California, Berkeley.

Physical discipline and cognitive deprivation associated with specific types of developmental delay
A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP), published by Elsevier, reports that in a diverse, cross-national sample of youth, physical discipline and cognitive deprivation had distinct associations with specific domains of developmental delay.

At the core of the Integrator complex
A new paper from the Galej group at EMBL Grenoble describes the structure of key parts of the Integrator complex.

COVID-19: Schools urgently need guidelines on improving ventilation in classrooms
There is an urgent need for guidelines on how schools can use ventilation to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the classroom, according to doctors at Imperial College London and the headteacher of a secondary school in Pinner, Middlesex.

Today's stem cell special: Small intestine on a plate!
A team of scientists from Japan have found success in growing small intestinal cells, akin to those found in the human body, from human-induced pluripotent stem cells.

New microscopy concept enters into force
The first demonstration of an approach that inverts the standard paradigm of scanning probe microscopy raises the prospect of force sensing at the fundamental limit.

How iodine-containing molecules contribute to the formation of atmospheric aerosols
As part of a worldwide collaboration, Carnegie Mellon University chemists have helped discover that iodic acids can rapidly form aerosol particles in the atmosphere, giving scientists more knowledge of how iodine emissions can contribute to cloud formation and climate change.

'Hidden biological link' among autism genes revealed in study
A new study of autism risk genes by UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley scientists implicates disruption in prenatal neurogenesis - a process in which specialized ''progenitor'' cells give rise to new brain cells - in the development of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).

Study finds Americans went out more after face mask mandates
Face masks mandates have led people to spend less time at home, but whether this has exposed Americans to more risk is still a question, according to a new study published Thursday in Scientific Reports.
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