Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (November 2016)

Science news and science current events archive November, 2016.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from November 2016

Can artery 'banks' transform vascular medicine?
The Morgridge Institute for Research and the University of Wisconsin-Madison will address both the engineering and biomedical hurdles involved in creating stem cell-derived arteries for transplant as part of a five-year, $8 million project funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

Retinitis pigmentosa may be treated by reprogramming sugar metabolism
Columbia University researchers slowed vision loss in mice with a form of retinitis pigmentosa by reprogramming the metabolism of photoreceptors in the retina.

HKU-led biologists identify the switch for Neuroglobin gene
A study led by Dr K.C. Tan-Un and her team at the School of Biological Sciences, the University of Hong Kong has discovered a crucial part of the genetic machinery that switches on the Neuroglobin gene. This discovery opens up a new opportunity in treating Alzheimer's disease, such with the development of gene therapy. The study was published recently in the journal Nucleic Acids Research.

Telemedicine program provides life-saving kidney care to patients in rural areas
A telemedicine program that partners a national dialysis provider with a rural hospital in Kentucky can surmount traditional barriers to deliver kidney care to rural hospitals. The program will be described at ASN Kidney Week 2016 Nov. 15-20 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill.

Protein and salt drive post-meal sleepiness
Sleepiness after a large meal is something we all experience, and new research with fruit flies suggests higher protein and salt content in our food, as well as the volume consumed, can lead to longer naps.

Plants that soak up sun more quickly could improve crop yields
Researchers have identified a way to manipulate photosynthesis in plants to increase both their light-harvesting ability and biomass production.

X-ray pulsars fade as propeller effect sets in
MIPT's scientists were part of an international team of astrophysicists that used NASA's X-ray space telescope to make a first-ever observation of the transition of two brightest pulsars into a low X-ray emission mode. By measuring their threshold luminosity just before they 'blacked out,' the team obtained indispensable data that furthers our understanding of the formation and evolution of pulsars with their immensely strong magnetic fields that can never be studied in an Earth-based laboratory.

Cancer cells hijack DNA repair networks to stay alive, Pitt study shows
Research by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute has revealed how cancer cells hijack DNA repair pathways to prevent telomeres, the endcaps of chromosomes, from shortening, thus allowing the tumor to spread.

EU Horizon 2020 project APPLICATE kicks off
An EU-financed project investigating ways to improve weather and climate prediction in the face of a rapidly changing Arctic officially started this month.

Louisiana Tech University professor elected to National Academy of Construction
Dr. Tom Iseley, professor of civil engineering and construction engineering technology and director of the Trenchless Technology Center at Louisiana Tech University, has been elected to the Class of 2016 of the National Academy of Construction.

A study warns of Spanish children's overexposure to 'junk food' ads on TV
Spanish children are overexposed to TV ads of unhealthy food (burgers, pizzas, soft drinks, chocolate, bakery, etc.) both in generalist and children-oriented channels, a situation that could be described as 'worrying' and which promotes childhood obesity.

Making artificial 'cells' move like real cells (video)
Artificial 'cells' could someday zoom around in the body and deliver medicines to specific locations, act as in-tissue diagnosticians and provide viable replacements for whole cells and organs. To do this, they will need to be able to navigate the complex environments of our bodies. Now, in ACS Central Science, researchers report development of lab-made cells that use enzymes to move just like real cells.

How do musician's brains work while playing?
Musical styles and strengths vary dramatically: Some musicians are better at sight reading music, while others are better at playing by ear. Does this mean that their brains are processing information differently? This is a question posed by Eriko Aiba, an assistant professor in Tokyo, Japan, who will present research that delves into the various ways the brain engages in music signal processing.

New studies provide more insight into Zika effects
Three new studies reporting on the effects of the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil will be presented next week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Women with congenital heart disease have better shot at healthy pregnancies
New research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania reveals that women with CHD who are deemed high risk by conventional measures are more likely to have safe, healthy pregnancies than current risk-assessments suggest. Their findings will be presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2016.

UMass receives $2.3 million from NIH to address health disparities in African-American men
UMass Amherst researchers have been awarded a five-year, $2.3 million federal grant to study and build upon the success of an innovative program in Springfield, MA to improve the health of low-income African-American men. The team, partnering with Men of Color Health Awareness (MOCHA), will use the NIH grant to test and improve MOCHA's efforts to address eating habits, exercise, and stress stemming from impoverished economic conditions, racial and class discrimination, and gender role strain.

International engineering team develop self-powered mobile polymers
n international group involving Inha University, University of Pittsburgh and the Air Force Research Laboratory has built upon their previous research and identified new materials that directly convert ultraviolet light into motion without the need for electronics or other traditional methods. The research, 'Photomotility of Polymers,' was published (today) in the journal Nature Communications.

How a Mediterranean-style diet may reduce heart failure in the aged
In mouse experiments, researchers have shown how aging and excess dietary fat create signals that lead to heart failure after a heart attack. Clarifying the mechanism of this harmful pathway is important because nearly 5 million people in the United States suffer heart failure as an age-related disease following heart attacks. Knowledge of the dysfunctional lipid signaling that triggers heart inflammation and heart failure could be essential to discovering therapeutic treatments.

Study says salt marshes have limited ability to absorb excess nitrogen
Results suggest that society can't simply rely on salt marshes to clean up nutrient pollution, but instead needs to do a better job at keeping nutrients out of the water in the first place.

Healthy living equals better brain function
New research suggests living a healthier lifestyle could also increase executive function, which is the ability to exert self-control, set and meet goals, resist temptation, and solve problems.

Adding hydrogen to graphene
IBS researchers report a fundamental study of how graphene is hydrogenated.

Northerly climes linked to younger age for start of multiple sclerosis symptoms
Latitude is strongly linked to the age at which symptoms of multiple sclerosis first start, reveals a large international study, published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

Cardiovascular health linked to cellular aging
The age of a person's immune cells may predict risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a preliminary study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2016.

First steps to neutralizing Zika
A team of researchers at Duke-NUS Medical School, in collaboration with scientists from the University of North Carolina, have discovered the mechanism by which C10, a human antibody previously identified to react with the Dengue virus, prevents Zika infection at a cellular level.

System opens up high-performance programming to nonexperts
Researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Stony Brook University have developed a new system that allows users to describe what they want their programs to do in very general terms. It then automatically produces versions of those programs that are optimized to run on multicore chips. It also guarantees that the new versions will yield exactly the same results that the single-core versions would, albeit much faster.

TSRI scientists develop new toolkit for exploring protein biology
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have developed a broadly useful method to unmask new functional features of human proteins.

Are parents willing to have their children receive placebos?
Placebos are essential in any controlled clinical trial, providing a yardstick against which the test drug is measured. Placebos are even starting to be used as a treatment in their own right, as studies show that they make people feel better via a 'mind-body' healing effect. But do parents find placebos acceptable for their children?

IOF Young Investigator Awards presented at Singapore meeting
At the IOF Regionals 6th Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting in Singapaore, five researchers from Australia, Hong Kong, India and Japan were awarded the prestigious IOF Young Investigator Research Awards. The award winning studies, submitted by investigators aged 40 years or younger, were selected from 168 abstracts submitted to the meeting.

Lehigh scientists fabricate a new class of crystalline solid
Scientists at Lehigh University, in collaboration with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, have demonstrated the fabrication of what they call a new class of crystalline solid by using a laser heating technique that induces atoms to organize into a rotating lattice without affecting the macroscopic shape of the solid. The group reported its findings today (Nov. 3) in Scientific Reports, a Nature journal, in an article titled 'Rotating lattice single crystal architecture on the surface of glass.'

Palliative care helpful for cancer patients receiving bone marrow transplants
Integrating palliative care into the treatment of patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation - commonly known as bone marrow transplantation -- for cancers like leukemia and lymphoma can improve their quality of life, relieve symptoms associated with the procedure, and reduce depression and anxiety.

UTMB study offers new insight into how Alzheimer's disease begins
A new study from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston offers important insight into how Alzheimer's disease begins within the brain. The researchers found a relationship between inflammation, a toxic protein and the onset of the disease. The study also identified a way that doctors can detect early signs of Alzheimer's by looking at the back of patients' eyes.

Princeton-led team finds new method to improve predictions
Researchers at Princeton, Columbia and Harvard have created a new method to analyze big data that better predicts outcomes in health care, politics and other fields.

Greater efforts are needed to encourage patients to report adverse drug reactions
In a review of published studies addressing patients' perceptions and factors influencing their reporting of adverse drug reactions, most patients were not aware of reporting systems and others were confused about reporting.

Study reveals 82 percent of the core ecological processes are now affected by climate change
A new study representing an international collaboration by ecologists and conservation biologists shows that global changes in climate have already impacted every aspect of life on Earth, from genes to entire ecosystems. It was published in the prestigious journal Science on Nov. 10, 2016.

Special JAMA Internal Medicine theme series focuses on firearm violence
JAMA Internal Medicine has published online a collection of research and opinion articles in a special theme series focused on firearm violence.

Acoustic buoy now detecting rare & endangered whales in New York Bight
An acoustic buoy recently deployed by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and WCS's (Wildlife Conservation Society) New York Aquarium is making its first near real-time detections of two rare great whale species in the New York Bight, including the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale.

Upward mobility boosts immunity in monkeys
The richest and poorest Americans differ in life expectancy by more than a decade. Health inequalities across the socioeconomic spectrum are often attributed to medical care and lifestyle habits. But a study of rhesus monkeys shows the stress of life at the bottom can impact immunity even in the absence of other risk factors. Infection sends immune cells of low-ranking monkeys into overdrive, but social mobility can turn things around, researchers report in Science.

Innovative technique to curtail illegal copying of digital media
In today's digital world it can be challenging to prevent photos, videos and books from being illegally copied and distributed. A new light-based technique is making it more practical to create secure, invisible watermarks that can be used to detect and prosecute counterfeiting.

Mutant prion protein could help reveal neurodegenerative disease mechanisms
For the first time, scientists have isolated a mutated prion protein that can multiply in the lab but not in living animals, according to a PLOS Pathogens study. The mutant prion provides new insights into the mechanisms that make prions infectious, says co-author Ilaria Vanni of the Department of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, and colleagues.

Antibody drug conjugates have shown clinical efficacy with acceptable toxicity
Antibody drug conjugates have shown a clearly documented efficacy and acceptable toxicity and can be easily implemented in oncology departments where chemotherapy administration is a routine practice. A similar efficacy with acceptable toxicity has been documented with antibody radionuclide conjugates which need to be injected with the help of a nuclear medicine department which can be a limitation for referral from an oncologist.

Canadian and European boreal forests differ but neither is immune to climate change
The boreal forest in Canada and Northwestern Europe differ quite dramatically as a result of different climates.

Study examines effectiveness of probation program
Within the criminal justice community, an approach to community supervision known as Honest Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) has generated widespread enthusiasm and praise as a way to reduce substance use, violations, new arrests, and revocations to prison, while also leading to significant cost savings for local justice systems. A new study casts doubts on the benefits of HOPE over probation as usual, however.

Making the microbiome part of precision medicine
Studies of the microbiome should be integral to future precision medicine initiatives, argue scientists from the University of Chicago in a new commentary published Nov. 1 in Trends in Pharmacological Sciences.

Patrick Stiff, M.D., awarded Loyola's Stritch Medal
Patrick J. Stiff, M.D., a world renowned cancer physician, researcher and teacher, has received the Stritch Medal, the highest honor given by Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

When Jews and Christians changed the Ten Commandments
Bible scolar J. Cornelis de Vos presents the first full study of all ancient texts about the Decalogue -- Jewish and Christian groups tightened or extended the prohibitions and commandments in order to strengthen their group identity -- sexual ethical norms were added, but none of the Ten Commandments was ever rejected in the course of the centuries.

Turkeys were a major part of ancestral Pueblo life
While the popular notion of the American Thanksgiving is less than 400 years old, the turkey has been part of American lives for more than 2,000 years. But for much of that time, the bird was more revered than eaten.

Komodo dragons help researchers understand microbial health in captive animals
Researchers at the University of California San Diego, the University of Colorado-Boulder, the University of Chicago and Argonne are the first to identify similarities in the way in which Komodo dragons and humans and their pets share microbes within closed environments.

New guidelines for the investigation of sudden unexpected death in infancy launched
National guidance for professionals handling cases of sudden unexpected child death which draws upon University of Warwick expertise are published today. The guidelines, 'Sudden unexpected death in infancy and childhood,' have been published by The Royal College of Pathologists and The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and draws on research by Dr. Peter Sidebotham and Dr. Joanna Garstang from the University's Warwick Medical School.

Who knew? Ammonia-rich bird poop cools the atmosphere
Publishing in Nature Communications, atmospheric scientists Jeff Pierce and Jack Kodros present evidence linking ammonia emissions from summertime Arctic seabird-colony excrement, called guano, to newly formed atmospheric aerosol particles.

Bullied children excluded from digital communication forums
There is a conception that bullied children with few friends can find new ones online.

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