Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 17, 2021
Mentally ill kids become less healthy adults
A new pair of studies from a Duke research team's long-term work in New Zealand make the case that early-life mental health problems can lead to physical diseases and advanced aging in adulthood.

Wintering bird communities track climate change faster than breeding communities in Europe and North America
A study recently completed in Europe and North America indicates that the composition of wintering and breeding bird communities changes in line with global warming.

Ceramic fuel cells: Reduced nickel content leads to improved stability and performance?
A research team in Korea has developed a ceramic fuel cell that offers both stability and high performance while reducing the required amount of catalyst by a factor of 20.

Foreign language learners should be exposed to slang in the classroom and here's why....
Experts say English slang and regional dialect should not be banned from classrooms but when you're getting to grips with a second language how helpful is it to learn non-standard lingo?

New tech aims to tackle 'disseminated intravascular coagulation' blood disorder
Researchers have developed a new tool for addressing disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) - a blood disorder that proves fatal in many patients.

Fish diet heats up marine biodiversity hotspot
A never-before-seen biodiversity pattern of coral reef fishes suggests some fishes might be exceptionally vulnerable to environmental change.

More sustainable recycling of plastics
Plastics belong to the most widely used materials, and they are vital components of all modern technologies.

Fueling the future: Novel two-polymer membrane boosts hydrogen fuel cell performance
Fuel cells are an attractive sustainable energy source due to their eco-friendly by-product, water.

Timing of physical activity linked to fitness levels, CV risk for men with type 2 diabetes
Research published in Diabetes Care by Brigham and Women's Hospital and Joslin Diabetes Center investigators, along with collaborators, reports a correlation between the timing of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and cardiovascular fitness and health risks for individuals who have type 2 diabetes and obesity or overweight.

New study evaluates the advancement of ecology from a 2D to 3D science
A new study, published in Bioscience, considers the future of ecology, where technological advancement towards a multidimensional science will continue to fundamentally shift the way we view, explore, and conceptualize the natural world.

People with this muscle protein gene variant tolerate the cold better
A gene variant that affects muscle function may have protected humans against cold during migrations from Africa to Europe more than 50,000 years ago, suggests a study appearing February 17 in the American Journal of Human Genetics. Researchers show that deficiency of a protein called α-actinin-3 caused by a gene variant improves cold tolerance in humans by increasing muscle tone.

Capturing the contours of live cells with novel nanoimaging technique using graphene
Researchers from DGIST have now found a way to keep living, wet cells viable in an ultra-high-vacuum environment, using graphene, allowing--like never before--accurate high-resolution visualization of the undistorted molecular structure and distribution of lipids in cell membranes.

Radiological images confirm 'COVID-19 can cause the body to attack itself'
Muscle soreness and achy joints are common symptoms among COVID-19 patients.

COVID-19 associated with leukoencephalopathy on brain MRI
According to an open-access article in ARRS' American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR), COVID-19-related disseminated leukoencephalopathy (CRDL) represents an important--albeit uncommon--differential consideration in patients with neurologic manifestations of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Plastic recycling results in rare metals being found in children's toys and food packaging
Scientists from the University of Plymouth and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign tested a range of new and used products - including children's toys, office equipment and cosmetic containers - and found they contained quantities of rare earth elements.

CT scans of Egyptian mummy reveal new details about the death of a pivotal pharaoh
A CT scan study of the mummy of Pharaoh Seqenenre-Taa-II, an Egyptian ruler whose death eventually helped reunite the kingdom, revealed new details about how the king died.

'Smart' asthma inhaler sensors improve pediatric asthma control
Sensor-based inhalers integrated into health care providers' clinical workflows may help improve medication adherence and support children with asthma - and their families - to more effectively manage this condition, according to a new Northwestern and Lurie Children's study published in Pediatrics.

Most teen bullying occurs among peers climbing the social ladder
Findings suggest why anti-bullying programs don't work. Paper is the first known to show that teens' rivals are often their own friends.

Termite gut microbes could aid biofuel production
Wheat straw, the dried stalks left over from grain production, is a potential source of biofuels and commodity chemicals.

Phase I clinical trial shows promise of adipose-derived stem cells in treating lymphedema
Results of a phase I clinical trial released in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine shows there is a strong possibility that stem cells may alleviate lymphedema, a chronic debilitating condition affecting up to one in three women treated for breast cancer.

High patient uptake for text message system monitoring opioid use in real-time
Among the orthopaedic surgery patients in a study using text messaging to monitor opioid use, 61 percent of their tablets were found to be left over

Changing livestock in ancient Europe reflect political shifts
In ancient European settlements, livestock use was likely primarily determined by political structure and market demands, according to a study published February 17, 2021 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Ariadna Nieto-Espinet and colleagues of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Barcelona.

Mimicking a chronic immune response changes the brain
Abnormal production of Inflammatory cytokines by the immune system is responsible for a host of autoimmune disorders.

Megadroughts in arid central Asia delayed the cultural exchange along the proto-Silk Road
Over the past four millennia the main corridor of ancient cultural dispersal passed through Arid Central Asia; historically, this marked the central artery of the Silk Road.

A 'twisted elevator' could be key to understanding neurological diseases
For the first time, researchers have found one of the most important molecular machines in our cells uses a 'twisting elevator' mechanism, solving a mystery of how it transports crucial chemical signals from one cell to another.

Cosmetic laser may boost effectiveness of certain anti-cancer therapies
In mice treated with cancer immunotherapy, shining a cosmetic laser on a tumor boosted the therapy's effectiveness.

Scientists develop blood test to predict environmental harms to children
Scientists at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health developed a method using a DNA biomarker to easily screen pregnant women for harmful prenatal environmental contaminants like air pollution linked to childhood illness and developmental disorders.

Modeling a better catalyst for PIBSAs
Polyisobutenyl succinic anhydrides (PIBSAs) are important for the auto industry because of their wide use in lubricant and fuel formulations.

Body shape, beyond weight, drives fat stigma for women
Fat stigma in women contributes to poor medical outcomes and negatively affects educational and economic opportunities.

Scientists able to see how potential cancer treatment reacts in single cell
Using a 185 metre beamline at the Diamond synchrotron, researchers could see how Osmium, a rare precious metal that could be used for cancer treatments, reacts in a single human lung cancer cell.

How the 'noise' in our brain influences our behavior
The brain's neural activity is irregular, changing from one moment to the next.

Study shows how some neurons compensate for death of their neighbors
By studying several neuron pairs that innervate distinct muscles in a fruit fly model, researchers found that some neurons compensate for the loss of a neighboring partner.

Fishes contribute roughly 1.65 billion tons of carbon in feces and other matter annually
Scientists have little understanding of the role fishes play in the global carbon cycle linked to climate change, but a Rutgers-led study found that carbon in feces, respiration and other excretions from fishes - roughly 1.65 billion tons annually - make up about 16 percent of the total carbon that sinks below the ocean's upper layers.

Helping behavior may mitigate academic risk for children from low-income neighborhoods
Children raised in neighborhoods with low socio-economic status are at risk for low academic achievement.

RUDN University physicists analyzed the role of gravity in elementary particles formation
Gravity might play a bigger role in the formation of elementary particles than scientists used to believe.

How Spanish children get to school: New study on active commuting
The researchers analysed how Spanish children and adolescents get to school, based on studies examining the commuting patterns of 36,781 individuals over a 7-year period (2010-2017)

Skoltech's recent achievement takes us one step closer to Mars
Scientists have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system that enables processing images from autonomous greenhouses, monitoring plant growth, and automating the cultivation process.

Breeding better seeds: Healthy food for more people
For thousands of years, farmers have worked to perfect their crops.

Making swimming pools safer by reducing chlorine disinfection byproducts
Swimming in indoor or outdoor pools is a healthy form of exercise and recreation for many people.

A (pollen-free) sigh of relief for Japan: The genetics of male sterility in cedar trees
Pollen from Cryptomeria japonica, or Japanese cedar, is widely known to cause allergies.

On the quest for other Earths
An international research team with members from ETH has developed a new method for directly imaging smaller planets in the habitable zone of a neighbouring star system.

Genotoxic E. coli 'caught in the act'
Max Planck researchers and their collaborators reveal transformation of colon organoids in vitro.

Immune system protects children from severe COVID-19
Children are protected from severe COVID-19 because their innate immune system is quick to attack the virus, a new study has found.

One in 10 Ohio women thought abortion illegal amid attempts to ban at 6 weeks
Though Ohio never formally enacted a so-called ''heartbeat bill'' banning abortions after six weeks of gestation, legislative and legal actions appear to have fueled beliefs that abortion is illegal in the state, a new study has found.

Physical therapy after c-section improves outcomes
Women who received physical therapy after undergoing a cesarean section had significantly improved outcomes compared to those who did not according to a new study from University of Missouri Health Care.

Protein linked to Alzheimer's, strokes cleared from brain blood vessels
Amyloid deposits in the brain increase the risk of dementia and strokes.

Blockchain-based copyright protect
The study describes the technological and scientific challenges for the improvement and implementation of these systems.

Researchers find diverse supportive partnerships among older gay men with and without HIV
Recent data reveals that gay men living with HIV report having supportive relationships with family, friends, or in informal relationships rather than with primary romantic partners, while gay men who are HIV negative report having relationships mainly with primary partners.

Proton therapy induces biologic response to attack treatment-resistant cancers
Mayo Clinic researchers have developed a novel proton therapy technique to more specifically target cancer cells that resist other forms of treatment.

The market advantage of a feminine brand name
Linguistically feminine brand names are perceived by consumers as warmer and are therefore better liked and more frequently chosen.

A new, clearer insight into Earth's hidden crystals
Geologists have developed a new theory about the state of Earth billions of years ago after examining the very old rocks formed in the Earth's mantle below the continents.

Antibiotic could be repurposed and added to tuberculosis treatment arsenal
Research has found fidaxomicin, an antibiotic usually used to treat bowel infections, prevents growth of resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTb) in the lab.

Researchers have proved that that ozone is effective in disinfecting Coronavirus
It is possible to destroy the virus within minutes by gaseous ozone, which can be produced synthetically indoors.

Could a nasal spray prevent coronavirus transmission?
A nasal antiviral created by researchers at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons blocked transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in ferrets, suggesting the nasal spray also may prevent infection in people exposed to the new coronavirus, including recent variants.

Fatty tissue accumulated in the neck linked to heart problems, study finds
Researchers from the University of Granada warn that an accumulation of fatty tissue in the neck (both the double chin and the deeper deposits, located between muscles and around the cervical vertebrae) is a predictor of central and overall adiposity, cardiometabolic risk, and a pro-inflammatory profile in sedentary young adults

Quickly identify high-performance multi-element catalysts
Catalysts consisting of at least five chemical elements could be the key to overcoming previous limitations in the production of green hydrogen, fuel cells, batteries or CO2 reduction.

Friends fur life help build skills for life
A new UBC Okanagan study finds children not only reap the benefits of working with therapy dogs-they enjoy it too.

Exaggerated radar data above the freezing level induced by terrain
Scientists find exaggerated radar data above the freezing level are induced by terrain.

Climate change and suppression tactics are critical factors increasing fires
Both climate change and forest management have been blamed for wildfire hazards increasing across western North America, but the relative influence of these drivers is still heavily debated.

SuperAger brains resist protein tangles that lead to Alzheimer's
A new study showed cognitive SuperAgers have resistance to the development of fibrous tangles in a brain region related to memory and which are known to be markers of Alzheimer's disease.

Poking the paradigm
Deprive a mountain range of its wolves, and soon the burgeoning deer population will strip its slopes bare.

An mRNA vaccine for cancer immunotherapy
Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines to prevent COVID-19 have made headlines around the world recently, but scientists have also been working on mRNA vaccines to treat or prevent other diseases, including some forms of cancer.

Self-healing concrete for regions with high moisture and seismic activity
Preparing regular concrete scientists replaced ordinary water with water concentrate of bacteria Bacillus cohnii, which survived in the pores of cement stone.

Do sweat it! Wearable microfluidic sensor to measure lactate concentration in real time
Lactate, a compound present in sweat, is an important biomarker to quantify during exercise.

ADHD, DBD and aggressiveness: Risky genetic factors
People with attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) combined with disruptive behaviour disorders (DBDs) share about the 80% of genetic variants associated with aggressive and antisocial behaviours.

Toward a disease-sniffing device that rivals a dog's nose
A new system can detect the chemical and microbial content of an air sample with even greater sensitivity than a dog's nose.

Skies of blue: Recycling carbon emissions to useful chemicals and reducing global warming
Researchers optimize a novel process for the efficient conversion of carbon emissions into useful chemicals like acetate using microbes

Latinx youth's helping behavior tied to cultural processes as well as parenting practices
Although interest in studying prosocial behaviors among US Latinx individuals has increased recently, there is still limited existing research with this population.

New potential therapy for Crohn's disease in children
Scientists from the Stanley Manne Children's Research Institute at Ann & Robert H.

This robot doesn't need any electronics
Engineers at the University of California San Diego have created a four-legged soft robot that doesn't need any electronics to work.

You snooze, you lose - with some sleep trackers
Wearable sleep tracking devices - from Fitbit to Apple Watch to never-heard-of brands stashed away in the electronics clearance bin - have infiltrated the market at a rapid pace in recent years.

Researchers identify gene implicated in neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer
A new study by Mayo Clinic researchers has identified that a chromosome instability gene, USP24, is frequently missing in pediatric patients with neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of childhood cancer.

Silencing the alarm
Like a scene from a horror movie, tomato fruitworm caterpillars silence their food plants' cries for help as they devour their leaves.

New highly radioactive particles found in Fukushima
The 10 year anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident occurs in March.

Understanding cellular clock synchronization
In humans, the disruption of circadian clocks is the cause of many metabolic diseases.

A peptide that inhibits virus transmission among ferrets may point to a promising treatment
An engineered peptide given to ferrets two days before they were co-housed with SARS-CoV-2-infected animals prevented virus transmission to the treated ferrets, a new study shows.

One in five has a mutation that provides superior resilience to cold
Almost one in five people lacks the protein α-actinin-3 in their muscle fibre.

To reduce stunting in India, space out births
Adequate spacing between births can help to alleviate the likelihood of stunting in children, according to a new study from TCI.

Study: Including videos in college teaching may improve student learning
As higher education institutions worldwide transition to new methods of instruction, including the use of more pre-recorded videos, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many observers are concerned that student learning is suffering as a result.

In response to Stephen Colbert, FAU professor says 'spice it up'
A research professor gives a ''shout out'' to comedian Stephen Colbert.

Advances in x-ray imaging can help patients with breast cancer
A new approach to X-ray imaging can help surgeons performing breast cancer tumour removal surgery, giving 2.5 times better detection of diseased tissue around the edge of the tumour than with standard imaging.

Upending complex crystal formation
PNNL researchers discover a new route to forming complex crystals.

Wolves, dogs and dingoes, oh my
Dogs are generally considered the first domesticated animal, while its ancestor is generally considered to be the wolf, but where the Australian dingo fits into this framework is still debated, according to a retired Penn State anthropologist.

Columbia researchers uncover altered brain connectivity after prolonged anesthesia
A body of evidence supports the association between prolonged anesthesia and cognitive impairment, but the Columbia study is first to address the effect of the procedure on neural connections.

How inflammatory signalling molecules contribute to carcinogenesis
A team of MedUni Vienna researchers led by Johannes A.

Vets' depression, social support & psychological resilience play role in later well being
Veterans who experienced the combination of low depression, high social support and high psychological resilience as they left military service were most likely to report high well-being a year later.

Online tool helps estimate COVID's true toll on sub-Saharan Africa
Although early reporting portrayed sub-Saharan Africa as being largely spared from the coronavirus pandemic, an international team led by Princeton researchers reported that determining the true impact of the novel coronavirus in sub-Saharan Africa may be complicated by a tremendous variability in risk factors and obscured by surveillance challenges.

Mutation in SARS-CoV-2 spike protein renders virus up to eight times more infectious
A mutation in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2--one of several genetic mutations in the concerning variants that have emerged in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil -- makes the virus up to eight times more infectious in human cells than the initial virus that originated in China, according to research published in the journal eLife.

Dr. Frederick Boop presents at the ISPN 2020 Virtual Meeting
Understanding the molecular biology of brain tumors is key to prognosis and treatment said Le Bonheur Neuroscience Institute Co-Director Frederick Boop, MD, in his presentation ''How Molecular Biology Impacts Clinical Practice'' at the International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery (ISPN) 2020 Virtual Meeting.

Dennis tamed the protein from hell in seven years
A research group from Aarhus University has succeeded in understanding why a very extended structure is important for an essential protein from the human immune system.

University of Limerick research finds new link between personality and risk of death
Ground-breaking research led by University of Limerick, Ireland has revealed for the first time that the immune system directly links personality to long-term risk of death.

Decade of reducing self-inflicted deaths in Japan hindered by COVID-19
More people than expected ended their own lives in 2020 in Japan, overturning a decadelong slow decline in the nation's annual number of suicides, according to a new analysis by public health experts at the University of Tokyo.

IU study finds unintended consequences of state, opioid policies
Study reveals the unintended and negative consequences of policies designed to reduce the supply of opioids in the population for overdose.

Edible holograms could someday decorate foods
Holograms are everywhere, from driver's licenses to credit cards to product packaging.

3D microscopy clarifies understanding of body's immune response to obesity
Researchers who focus on fat know that some adipose tissue is more prone to inflammation-related comorbidities than others, but the reasons why are not well understood.

Researchers ID blood protein that sheds light on common, post-operative complication
In a new study led by an interdisciplinary team of gerontologists, geriatricians, precision medicine experts, and bioinformaticians at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), researchers identified a single protein present in the blood that is associated with increased risk of post-operative delirium.

Credit card-sized soft pumps power wearable artificial muscles
Robotic clothing that is entirely soft and could help people to move more easily is a step closer to reality thanks to the development of a new flexible and lightweight power system for soft robotics.

Robotic dogs & laughter therapy: combating loneliness & isolation while social distancing
Robotic dogs, laughter therapy and mindfulness are some of the ways that might help people - particularly the elderly - cope with loneliness and social isolation while social distancing, say researchers at the University of Cambridge.

New data on COVID-19 patients with diabetes show that one in five die within
Updated results from the CORONADO study, analysing the outcomes of patients with diabetes admitted to hospital with COVID-19, shows that one in five patients die within 28 days while around half are discharged.

New research finds drive-through mass-vaccination clinics could alter COVID-19 trajectory
Policymakers at all levels of government are racing to vaccinate hundreds of millions of people to save lives and blunt the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

NASA-funded network tracks the recent rise and fall of ozone depleting pollutants
A short-lived resurgence in the emission of ozone depleting pollutants in eastern China will not significantly delay the recovery of Earth's protective 'sunscreen' layer, according to new research published Feb.

3D-printing perovskites on graphene makes next-gen X-ray detectors
By using 3D aerosol jet-printing to put perovskites on graphene, scientists at EPFL have made X-ray detectors with record sensitivity that can greatly improve the efficiency and reduce the cost and health hazard of medical imaging devices.

Global mapping projects aid humanitarian organisations
In disaster management and the implementation of the UN Sustainability Development Goals, free digital world maps like OpenStreetMap open up new possibilities to coordinate aid interventions and carry out sustainability projects.

FSU College of Medicine researcher develops new possibilities to prevent sudden cardiac death
Stephen Chelko, an assistant professor of biomedical sciences at the Florida State University College of Medicine, has developed a better understanding of the pathological characteristics behind arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy, as well as promising avenues for prevention.

Salk team reveals never-before-seen antibody binding, informing liver cancer, antibody design
In structural biology, some molecules are so unusual they can only be captured with a unique set of tools.

TB vaccine may protect newborns against other infectious diseases
The tuberculosis (TB) vaccine Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) could protect newborns against a variety of common infections, such as upper respiratory tract infections, chest infections and diarrhoea, according to a new study in Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Study: Screen surgery patients for frailty
A study of mortality after various kinds of surgery suggests that frailty, a clinical syndrome marked by slow walking speed, weak grip and other indicators, should be assessed before all noncardiac surgeries.

Neural network could help clinicians look for 'ugly duckling' pre-cancerous skin lesions
A neural network system that analyzes photographs can rank and distinguish suspicious, potentially precancerous skin lesions, which can turn into the deadly skin malignancy melanoma if not caught and removed early.

Hide-and-seek can lead to higher drug prices
Pharmaceutical manufacturers and national authorities often negotiate secret rebates when determining drug prices.

Suggesting healthy food 'swaps' to online shoppers may reduce the calories they buy
Suggesting healthy food 'swaps' to online shopping customers may effectively reduce the calories they buy, according to simulation study.

Youth exposed to natural disasters report low post-traumatic stress
A study of over 1,700 U.S. young people exposed to four major hurricanes found that just a few of them reported chronic stress, and the trajectories among most youth reflected recovery or low-decreasing post-traumatic stress (PTS) symptoms, according to recently published research.

Immunosuppressive cell and cytokine response linked to bone nonunion
An abnormal suppression of the immune system linked to the onset of numerous diseases has been associated with poor functional regeneration of traumatic bone injuries.

Waste into wealth: Harvesting useful products from microbial growth
Anca Delgado, a researcher in the Biodesign Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology at Arizona State University, has been exploring how bacteria can convert organic waste into useful products.

Discovery of biomarker could help predict Alzheimer's years before symptoms emerge
A unique brain protein measured in the blood could be used to diagnose Alzheimer's disease decades before symptoms develop, according to new Edith Cowan University (ECU) research.

Penn-developed CAR T therapy shows long-lasting remissions in non-hodgkin lymphoma
A significant number of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) patients in a Penn Medicine-initiated clinical trial continue to be in remission five years after receiving the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy Kymriah™, researchers in Penn's Abramson Cancer Center reported today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Electrons living on the edge
University of Tsukuba researchers calculated the electronic structure of topological insulators excited by laser beams and found that massless states can be generated.
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