Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (October 2017)

Science news and science current events archive October, 2017.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from October 2017

Scientist devises a solar reactor to make water and oxygen from moon rocks
With the successful test of this solar reactor design, Denk has achieved the first step, creating H2O on the Moon using solar thermal energy. For the second step, solar electrolysis would break the H2O into hydrogen and oxygen.

Two studies explore gender, language, and treatment setting as barriers in screening and patient care in lung cancer
More people die of lung cancer than any other type of cancer, and two new studies from CHEST 2017 reveal disparities in lung cancer screening and care that may impact detection, as well as mortality and survival rates in the disease.

DNA barcoding technology helping monitor health of all-important boreal forests
The Boreal forest is essential to Canada and the world, storing carbon, purifying water and air and regulating climate. But keeping tabs on the health of this vulnerable biome has proven to be a painstaking and time-consuming undertaking - until now. Cutting-edge DNA metabarcoding technology developed by the University of Guelph can help speed up and improve the monitoring process, according to a new study published today in Scientific Reports.

New drug hope for rare bone cancer patients
Patients with a rare bone cancer of the skull and spine -- chordoma -- could be helped by existing drugs, suggest scientists from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, University College London Cancer Institute and the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust. In the largest genomics study of chordoma to date, published today in Nature Communications, scientists show that a group of chordoma patients have mutations in genes that are the target of existing drugs, known as PI3K inhibitors.

Game time: To increase exercise, study shows gaming strategies and a buddy are key
New research shows families who used activity trackers with specially designed gaming elements increased daily step counts by nearly one mile per day and achieved daily fitness goals 27 percent more than families who did not.

Biology study suggests father's nutrition before sex could contribute to health of baby
Doctors long have stressed the importance of good nutrition for expectant mothers. Now biologists at the University of Cincinnati say the father's diet, too, could play a similar role in the health of a baby.

New technology uses mouth gestures to interact in virtual reality
Researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York have developed a new technology that allows users to interact in a virtual reality environment using only mouth gestures.

Androgen receptor targeted imaging of prostate cancer as future modality for diagnosis
Future direction in prostate cancer imaging involves the development of androgen receptor based imaging using nonsteroidal antiandrogen agent for early diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Brain training shows promise for patients with bipolar disorder
Researchers at McLean Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, have discovered for the first time that computerized brain training can result in improved cognitive skills in individuals with bipolar disorder.

Researchers demonstrate new ways to achieve selectivity for biomarkers in bioelectronics
Two UA materials science and engineering researchers have experimentally verified the electrochemical processes that control charge transfer rate from an organic polymer to a biomarker molecule. Their findings, reported in Nature Communications, may enhance selectivity for biomarkers in bioelectronic devices.

West Virginians say Opioid epidemic most important health issue in the state
The opioid epidemic is the most important health issue in West Virginia, above obesity, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and dental disease, according to a state-based public opinion survey commissioned by Research!America. A strong majority of West Virginians (84%) say prescription pain medication abuse and addiction is a major problem in their community, and more than two-thirds (71%) say they know someone who experienced pain so severe they sought prescription medicines to treat it.

Is your partner's hearing loss driving you mad?
New research by academics at the University of Nottingham has suggested that the impact of a person's hearing loss on their nearest and dearest should be considered when personalizing rehabilitation plans for patients with deafness.

Exposure to childhood bullying and mental health
To what degree does childhood exposure to bullying contribute to mental health difficulties and do the direct contributions of exposure to bullying persist over time?

Genome-wide data from a 40,000-year-old man in China reveals complicated genetic history of Asia
The biological makeup of humans in East Asia is shaping up to be a very complex story, with greater diversity and more distant contacts than previously known, according to a new study analyzing the genome of a man that died in the Tianyuan Cave near Beijing, China 40,000 years ago. His bones had enough DNA molecules left that a team led by Professor FU Qiaomei could use advanced ancient DNA sequencing techniques to retrieve DNA from him that spans the human genome.

Genetically boosting the nutritional value of corn could benefit millions
Rutgers scientists have found an efficient way to enhance the nutritional value of corn -- the world's largest commodity crop -- by inserting a bacterial gene that causes it to produce a key nutrient called methionine, according to a new study.

New 'movie' technique reveals bacterial signalling in sharper resolution
John Innes Centre researchers used a study of the plant-growth promoting bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens to develop an advanced analysis method which, they hope, will increase our capacity to understand plant and human diseases.

Universities drive innovation in the classroom
The current issue of Technology and Innovation, Journal of the National Academy of Inventors ® (19.2) examines innovation from the university perspective, highlighting what the most innovative institutions and educators worldwide are doing to prepare future engineers and industry leaders to effectively manage IP to grow their companies and the global economy as a whole.

Investigating the most common genetic contributor to Parkinson's disease
LRRK2 gene mutations are the most common genetic cause of Parkinson's disease (PD), but the normal physiological role of this gene in the brain remains unclear. In a paper published in Neuron, Brigham and Women's Hospital principal investigator, Jie Shen, Ph.D., of the Department of Neurology, and her team describe an essential role of LRRK in the brain during aging that may help to shed light on the causes of PD in human patients.

Study reveals benefits of having GPs in Emergency Departments
A new study from the University of Liverpool provides evidence that locating a General Practitioner (GP) in a hospital emergency department (ED) can reduce waiting times and admissions, but may increases antibiotic prescribing.

New study demonstrates importance of studying sleep and eating in tandem
A new study offers important insights into possible links between sleep and hunger.

Reduced exposure to bullying could reduce mental illness in extreme preemies
Researchers say meaningful interventions for extremely low birth weight survivors and their parents can improve the lives of preterm survivors and potentially prevent the development of depression and anxiety in adulthood. The study utilized the McMaster Extremely Low Birth Weight (ELBW) Cohort, which includes a group of 179 extremely low birth weight survivors and 145 normal birth weight controls born between 1977 and 1982, which has 40 years' worth of data.

Chronic inflammation plays critical role in sustained delivery of new MD therapy
Macrophages, a type of white blood cell involved in inflammation, readily take up a newly approved medication for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and promote its sustained delivery to regenerating muscle fibers long after the drug has disappeared from circulation, an experimental model study finds.

Curve-eye-ture: How to grow artificial corneas
Research reveals corneal cells grown on curved surfaces arrange themselves in a regular lattice structure giving the artificial cornea strength and transparency like that normally found in the human eye.

High-deductible health care plans curb both cost and usage, including preventive care
A team of researchers based at IUPUI has conducted the first systematic review of studies examining the relationship between high-deductible health care plans and the use of health care services. They found these plans reduce both the cost and the use of health care services, according to an article published in the October issue of the journal Health Affairs.

Mental training changes brain structure and reduces social stress
Meditation can have positive effects on our health and well-being. However it has been unclear which mental practice has which effect, and what the underlying processes are. Researchers at MPI CBS in Leipzig, Germany discovered that different trainings affect either our attention or our social competencies and modify different brain networks. One mental technique was able to reduce the stress hormone cortisol. These results may influence the adaptation of mental trainings in clinics and education.

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry: Cryo-electron microscopy explained (video)
Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson have claimed this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The trio earned the prize for their work on cryo-electron microscopy, which is an imaging technique that lets researchers see proteins and other large biomolecules with atomic precision. Learn more about this discovery and its impact in this video from Speaking of Chemistry: https://youtu.be/026rzTXb1zw.

Genome architecture caught in motion
Researchers at The Wistar Institute have uncovered new aspects of the three-dimensional organization of the genome, specifically how the genetic material is compacted and de-compacted in a timely fashion during the different phases of the cell cycle.

Bariatric surgery lowers cancer risk for severely obese patients
Bariatric surgery lowers the risk of cancer for severely obese patients. The risks drop most for postmenopausal breast cancer, endometrial cancer, pancreatic cancer and colon cancer.

New electro-organic synthesis allows sustainable and green production of fine chemicals
In the cooperative EPSYLON research project, scientists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and Evonik Performance Materials GmbH have succeeded in developing a state-of-the-art and innovative electro-organic synthesis.

Pushy or laid back? Economic factors influence parenting style
A new study co-authored by Yale economist Fabrizio Zilibotti argues that parenting styles are shaped by economic factors that incentivize one strategy over others.

Making fat mice lean: Novel immune cells control neurons responsible for fat breakdown
The biological causes underlying obesity have been under intense scrutiny with studies suggesting a link between the nervous and the immune systems. Now, in a breakthrough study to be published in Nature Medicine on Oct. 9, a research team led by Ana Domingos, from Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, discovered an unforeseen population of immune cells associated with neurons that play a direct role in obesity.

Anxiety and depression caused by childhood bullying decline over time
A new UCL-led study has provided the strongest evidence to date that exposure to bullying causes mental health issues such as anxiety years later.

University of Guelph researchers discover why females have heart health advantage
University of Guelph Prof. Tami Martino has revealed in a first-ever study the biological reasons why females have a heart health advantage over men and it's tied to ovarian hormones. Essentially the interplay between female ovarian hormones and a circadian 'clock' molecule protects the heart health of women until they reach menopause.

Risk factors for heart health linked to marital ups and downs -- at least for men
Risk factors for heart health seem to be linked to changes over time in the quality of marital relationships -- at least for men--finds a study published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Preeclampsia triggered by an overdose of gene activity
Preclampsia, the most dangerous form of hypertension during a pregnancy, is known to originate in the placenta. But the root causes remain largely a mystery. Findings from MDC scientists reveal that it is not a single disease caused solely by genetic factors: Epigenetically regulated genes play an important role. The Berlin research team also developed an in vitro model of the disorder which demonstrates the dysregulation of an important transcription factor.

Feeling sated can become a cue to eat more
When hunger pangs strike, we usually interpret them as a cue to reach for a snack; when we start to feel full, we take it as a sign that we should stop eating. But new research shows that these associations can be learned the other way around, such that satiety becomes a cue to eat more, not less. The findings suggest that internal, physical states themselves can serve as contexts that cue specific learned behaviors.

Creating the engineer of 2020: Innovation at Eindhoven University of Technology
Engineering education is chronically challenged by dynamics in information technology, work environments, and the public's perception of the engineer's role in society. Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands has risen to this challenge, redesigning its entire undergraduate program in an effort to meet the demands of the 21st century engineering profession. Rudi Bekkers and Gunter Bombaerts chronicle this journey and the lessons learned in the current issue of Technology and Innovation.

Electron behavior under extreme conditions described for the first time
Researchers have modeled the actions of electrons under extreme temperatures and densities, such as those found within planets and stars.

NASA sees a new depression form after another fizzled
The Northwestern Pacific Ocean generated another tropical depression hours after a different system quickly faded. NASA's Aqua satellite provided a look at Tropical Depression 27W after it developed about 300 miles from Chuuk. Earlier in the day, Tropical Depression 26W dissipated in the South China Sea.

A candidate genetic factor for the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure has been found
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have found a genetic variation, which associates with the damage caused by maternal alcohol consumption. This genetic variation clarifies the role of genetic factors in the alcohol-induced developmental disorders and could be useful in future diagnostics.

Gluten intolerance appears largely undiagnosed in Canada
Research on a large sample of Canadians suggests that most people with celiac disease don't know they have it.

A mosquito's secret weapon: a light touch and strong wings
How do mosquitoes land and take off without our noticing? Using high-speed video cameras, a team from UC Berkeley and Wageningen University have found part of the answer: mosquitoes' long legs allow them to slowly and gently push off, but their wings provide the majority of the lift, even when fully laden with a blood meal. For comparison, mosquitoes push off with forces much less than those of an escaping fruit fly.

Likely new treatment target identified for diabetic retinopathy
In oxygen-compromising conditions like diabetes, the body grows new blood vessels to help, but the result is often leaky, dysfunctional vessels that make bad matters worse. Now scientists have identified a new target for reducing that dysfunctional blood vessel development in the eye in a common condition called diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness in working-age adults.

Healthy lifestyle reduces cardiovascular risk after gestational diabetes, NIH study shows
Women who have had gestational diabetes may be able to reduce or even eliminate their risk for cardiovascular disease by following a healthy lifestyle in the years after giving birth, according to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health.

Autism often associated with multiple new mutations
Most autism cases are in families with no previous history of the disorder. New mutations, that occur in offspring but not in their parents, might play a role. These mutations have now been found, not just in protein-coding genome areas, but also in regulatory regions. Many are in areas that influence gene activity in the brain's striatum, which coordinates motivation, planning and other aspects of cognition.

Biosimilar drugs could cut US health spending by $54 billion over next decade
Biosimilar drugs have been touted as one strategy to help curb the runaway costs of biologics that have advanced the treatment of illness such as rheumatoid arthritis and many cancers. A new study finds biosimilars could cut health care spending in the United States by $54 billion over the next decade. The savings are about 20 percent larger than a similar, widely cited analysis done three years ago by the same researchers.

Efforts to revive coal industry unlikely to work, may slow job growth
Current federal efforts to revive the coal industry will likely do more harm than good to fragile Appalachian communities transitioning from coal as a major source of employment, according to a study conducted by Indiana University researchers.

Penn team shows how seemingly acute viral infections can persist
Led by Carolina López of the University of Pennsylvania, a multi-disciplinary research team has resolved a paradox of viral infection. They've identified how a viral product can both trigger an immune response aimed at eliminating the virus or, conversely, allow the virus to survive and persist.

Road pricing most effective in reducing vehicle emissions
For decades municipal and regional governments have used various traffic management strategies to reduce vehicle emissions, alongside advancements like cleaner fuel and greener cars. But not all traffic management strategies are created equal, says UBC transportation expert and civil engineering professor Alexander Bigazzi. After reviewing more than 60 studies on the subject, Bigazzi has concluded that road pricing -- or pay per use -- is the most effective strategy to reduce emissions and traffic.

Playing a conversation game may encourage advance care planning
Few people may want to spend a Saturday night planning their end-of-life care, but playing a game designed to spur conversation about advance care planning may be a more enjoyable way to ease into the process, according to researchers.

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