Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (October 2018)

Science news and science current events archive October, 2018.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from October 2018

Don't treat e-cigarettes like cigarettes
Assuming e-cigarettes are equal to cigarettes could lead to misguided research and policy initiatives, reports a new Northwestern Medicine commentary, published Friday, Sept. 28, in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research. The commentary distills articles and published studies that compare e-cigarettes to cigarettes and supports the importance of investigating e-cigarettes as a unique nicotine delivery system. It was published less than a month after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration declared youth vaping an epidemic.

Electrical enhancement: Engineers speed up electrons in semiconductors
Researchers from Graduate School of Bio-Applications and Systems Engineering at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT) have sped up the movement of electrons in organic semiconductor films by two to three orders of magnitude. The speedier electronics could lead to improved solar power and transistor use across the world, according to the scientists.

The 10-foot-tall microscopes helping combat world's worst diseases
The century-old mission to understand how the proteins responsible for amyloid-based diseases such as Alzheimer's, Huntingdon's and Parkinson's work has taken major steps forward in the last 12 months, thanks to a revolution in a powerful microscopy technique used by scientists.

3D bioprinting technique could create artificial blood vessels, organ tissue
University of Colorado Boulder engineers have developed a 3D printing technique that allows for localized control of an object's firmness, opening up new biomedical avenues that could one day include artificial arteries and organ tissue.

Aequatus -- a free, open-source visualization tool enabling in-depth comparison of homologous genes
Aequatus -- a new bioinformatics tool developed at Earlham Institute -- is helping to give an in-depth view of syntenic information between different species, providing a system to better identify important, positively selected, and evolutionarily conserved regions of DNA.

How wasp and bee stinger designs help deliver the pain
Next time you're stung by a wasp or a honeybee, consider the elegantly designed stinger that caused you so much pain. In a new study, researchers found that the stingers of the two species are about five times softer at the tip than at the base to make it easier to pierce skin. The stingers are harder closer to the insect's body so they don't bend too much, or break, as you yelp in agony.

MIT system aims to prevent attacks made possible by Meltdown/Spectre
Researchers from MIT have developed a new security system that has been shown to outperform Intel's own approach at preventing so-called 'timing attacks' made possible by vulnerabilities like Meltdown and Spectre.

Study finds people with type 2 diabetes at higher risk of death from both obesity-related and non-obesity related cancers
Being overweight or obese may put adults with diabetes at greater risk of dying from cancer than their diabetes-free counterparts, particularly for obesity-related cancers such as those arising from the bowel, kidney, and pancreas in men and women, and from the breast and endometrium (lining of the uterus) in women.

Text messages quickly track health care use during Ebola outbreak
A new study from the NYU College of Global Public Health and NYU Tandon School of Engineering, published in Nature Digital Medicine, used text message surveys to determine in real time how people used maternal health services during a recent Ebola outbreak and measured a drop in hospital-based births during the outbreak.

A new study indicates the possibility to monitor the progression of Alzheimer's Disease by monitoring major brain antioxidant levels using noninvasive techniques
In a breakthrough human study, anti-oxidant, glutathione (GSH), which protects the brain from stress, has been found to be significantly depleted in Alzheimer's patients compared to normal subjects. As GSH is a very important anti-oxidant that protects the brain from free radicals, the findings give us another measure to use when diagnosing potential for the advancement of Alzheimer's disease or recognizing those that are in the throes of Alzheimer's advancement.

Hearing and visual aids linked to slower age-related memory loss
Hearing aids and cataract surgery are strongly linked to a slower rate of age-related cognitive decline, according to new research by University of Manchester academics. According to Dr. Piers Dawes and Dr. Asri Maharani, cognitive decline -- which affects memory and thinking skills -- is slowed after patient's hearing and sight are improved.

Digital marketing exposure increases energy drink usage among young adults
Energy drinks represent a new category of nonalcoholic beverage with global sales of over $50 billion. Containing caffeine as a main ingredient, energy drinks are a central part of partying and sporting culture. A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that digital marketing of energy drinks was more persuasive with young adults than other marketing methods.

New study reveals association between diuretic drug use in type 2 diabetes and risk of lower limb amputation
New research presented at this year's annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Berlin, Germany, reveals that the use of diuretic drugs in individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2D) is associated with a significantly increased risk of serious problems in their lower limbs which can lead to amputation.

Combination therapy targets latent reservoir of HIV
In a new study, Dan H. Barouch, MD, PhD, Director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and colleagues demonstrate that administering broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAb) designed to target HIV in combination with agents that stimulate the innate immune system delayed viral rebound following discontinuation of ART in monkeys. The findings suggest that this two-pronged approach represents a potential strategy for targeting the viral reservoir.

Novel insights into the heart health benefits of cocoa flavanols and procyanidins
A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition adds to the body of data demonstrating that bioactive compounds found in cocoa can keep the heart healthy -- but two types of bioactives called flavanols and procyanidins behave differently in the body.

Wearable tech becomes top fitness trend for 2019, says survey of health and fitness professionals
Fitness trackers, smart watches, and other wearable technology are the number one fitness trend for 2019, according to an annual survey of health and fitness professionals published in the November issue of ACSM's Health & Fitness JournalĀ®, an official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

$5.1 million grant will fund research to develop a stem cell-based therapy for blinding eye condition
Scientists at the UCLA Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research and the Stein Eye Institute have been awarded a $5.1 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to advance the development of a novel therapy for blinding retinal conditions.

More bad news for artificial sweetener users according to Ben-Gurion University researchers
The collaborative study indicated relative toxicity of six artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, saccharine, neotame, advantame, and acesulfame potassium-k) and 10 sport supplements containing these artificial sweeteners. The bacteria found in the digestive system became toxic when exposed to concentrations of only one mg./ml. of the artificial sweeteners.

A dog's color could impact longevity, increase health issues
New research led by the University of Sydney has revealed the life expectancy of chocolate Labradors is significantly lower than their black and yellow counterparts.

Light switch: Scientists develop method to control nanoscale manipulation in high-powered microscopes
Researchers from Japan have taken a step toward faster and more advanced electronics by developing a way to better measure and manipulate conductive materials through scanning tunneling microscopy.

Consequences-focused cognitive training may promote healthier habits
Interventions aimed at reducing unhealthy behaviors often focus on retraining people's mental associations, but a series of studies suggests that showing people the consequences of the behaviors may be more effective. The findings are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Financial education key to reducing student loan stress
It is estimated that a quarter of American adults currently have student loans to pay off, and most do not have the financial literacy to manage debt successfully. The average student in the Class of 2016 has $37,172 in student loan debt. Graduates from the University of Missouri have an average debt of $21,884.

Newly discovered compounds shed fresh light on whole grain health benefits
Scientists have discovered new compounds that may explain whole grain health benefits, reports a new study led by the University of Eastern Finland. A high intake of whole grains increased the levels of betaine compounds in the body which, in turn, was associated with improved glucose metabolism, among other things. The findings shed new light on the cell level effects of a whole grain-rich diet, and can help in development of increasingly healthy food products.

New display design could make lightweight, compact smart glasses a reality
Researchers have developed a fundamentally new approach to a see-through display for augmented reality, or smart glasses. By projecting images from the glass directly onto the eye, the new design could one day make it possible for a user to see information such as directions or restaurant ratings while wearing a device almost indistinguishable from traditional glasses.

En route to custom-designed natural products
Microorganisms often assemble natural products similar to industrial assembly lines. Certain enzymes, non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS) play a key role in this process. Biotechnologists at Goethe University have now been able to discover how these enzymes interact with each other. This brings them one step closer to their goal of engineering the production of such peptide natural products.

Novel material could make plastic manufacturing more energy-efficient
An innovative filtering material may soon reduce the environmental cost of manufacturing plastic. The material, a metal-organic framework, can extract ethylene, the key ingredient in the most common form of plastic, from a mixture of other chemicals -- while consuming far less energy than usual.

Securing access to optimal cancer care through innovation, integration and sustainability
Securing access to optimal cancer care for all patients can only be achieved through integrated, sustainable translation of today's scientific advances into tomorrow's treatments, reinforced by a clear understanding of the magnitude of clinical effects and accurate identification of patients most likely to benefit.

Artificial intelligence used in clinical practice to measure breast density
An artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm measures breast density at the level of an experienced mammographer, according to a new study. The researchers said the study, the result of a collaboration between breast imagers and AI experts, represents a groundbreaking implementation of AI into routine clinical practice.

CU researchers provide resource for patient care in chemical and biological attacks
The neurologic effects and treatment options for exposure to biologic and chemical agents are outlined in a newly published article by neurologists from the University of Colorado School of Medicine who collaborated on the article with military physicians.

Non-VA healthcare providers are uncertain how to care for veterans
A study published in Family Practice indicates that healthcare providers outside of the Veterans Affairs Department are uncertain how to address veterans' needs. The study says that this is due to limited knowledge of resources and coordination problems.

Clapping Music app reveals that changing rhythm isn't so easy
Scientists at Queen Mary University of London have developed an app to understand why some rhythms are more difficult to perform than others.

Vitamin D levels in the blood linked to cardiorespiratory fitness
Vitamin D levels in the blood are linked to cardiorespiratory fitness, according to a study published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a publication of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

New epigenetic drug strategy to treat cancer
A team led by researchers at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University has discovered that inhibiting CDK9, a DNA transcription regulator, reactivates genes that have been epigenetically silenced by cancer. Reactivation leads to restored tumor suppressor gene expression and enhanced anti-cancer immunity. It is the first time this particular kinase has been linked to gene silencing in mammals.

Social media for medical journals operates in 'wild west,' needs more support to succeed
In this first study to examine social media editor roles at medical journals, researchers at Northwestern Medicine found that while medical journals are using social media more to extend the reach of new research, the responsibilities and measures of success for these roles aren't well defined or supported. More support is needed to get the information to the public more efficiently.

High-dose, high-precision radiation therapy safe, effective for solitary kidney cancer patients with only one kidney
Treatment of renal cell carcinoma with stereotactic radiation therapy is as safe and effective for patients with one kidney as it is for those who have two, according to an analysis of the largest-ever, international dataset of solitary kidney patients to receive this emerging treatment. Findings will be presented in a news briefing today at 12 p.m. from the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting.

New data provides guidance for management of moderately dysplastic moles
Study suggests close observation is a reasonable management strategy for moderately dysplastic moles, but certain patients require continued screening for risk for melanoma.

Novel use of NMR sheds light on easy-to-make electropolymerized catalysts
In the world of catalytic reactions, polymers created through electropolymerization are attracting renewed attention. A group of Chinese researchers recently provided the first detailed characterization of the electrochemical properties of polyaniline and polyaspartic acid (PASP) thin films. In AIP Advances, the team used a wide range of tests to characterize the polymers, especially their capacity for catalyzing the oxidation of popularly used materials, hydroquinone and catechol.

Energy insecure New Yorkers face multiple health risks
Nearly one-third of Washington Heights residents surveyed report problems with lack of heat in the winter and/or paying their electric bills. The study by researchers at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health found these energy insecure New Yorkers were more likely to have breathing problems, mental health issues, and poor sleep.

Belgian researchers discover a novel method to block immunosuppression in cancer
Belgian research groups from the UCLouvain and WELBIO, VIB and Ghent University, and the biotechnology company argenx elucidated the three-dimensional structure of an assembly of proteins operating on cells that dampen immune responses. They also discovered how an antibody can block this assembly and the immunosuppression it induces downstream. Such an antibody could serve to stimulate immunity against tumor cells in cancer patients, triggering the destruction of their tumors by immune cells.

New EASD-ADA consensus guidelines on managing hyperglycaemia in type 2 diabetes launched at EASD meeting
Following a review of the latest evidence --including a range of recent trials of drug and lifestyle interventions -- the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) have produced an updated consensus statement on how to manage hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar) in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Small risks may have big impact on breast cancer odds of childhood cancer survivors
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists found that the combined effect of common genetic variations can dramatically increase risk of breast cancer for female pediatric cancer survivors.

Expert roundtable discusses impact of thyroid autoimmune testing on women's health
A group of expert panelists gathered to discuss 'Thyroid Immune Testing -- Guidelines, Testing Platforms, and Clinical Impact on Women's Health.'

Can attending a top high school reduce teens' marijuana abuse?
Low-income students who attended a top-achieving high school were less likely to abuse marijuana than those who weren't offered admission. For boys, the risk dropped 50 percent by 11th grade.

New driverless car technology could make traffic lights and speeding tickets obsolete
New driverless car technologies developed at a University of Delaware lab could lead to a world without traffic lights and speeding tickets. Researchers also hope the innovations will bring about the development of driverless cars that use 19 to 22 percent less fuel.

Cleveland Clinic shows better cardiorespiratory fitness leads to longer life
Cleveland Clinic researchers have found that better cardiorespiratory fitness leads to longer life, with no limit to the benefit of aerobic fitness. Researchers retrospectively studied 122,007 patients who underwent exercise treadmill testing at Cleveland Clinic between Jan. 1, 1991, and Dec. 31, 2014, to measure all-cause mortality relating to the benefits of exercise and fitness. The paper was published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open.

Thirteen ocean solutions for climate change
Over a dozen international researchers from the Ocean Solutions Initiative -- including scientists from the CNRS, IDDRI, and Sorbonne University -- have evaluated the potential of 13 ocean-based measures to counter climate change. Their findings are published in Frontiers in Marine Science. They hope their analysis will inform decision-makers gathering in Katowice, Poland, for the COP24 conference in early December.

New guidelines on best practices for videoconferencing-based telemental health
New guidance is available from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) to assist in the development and delivery of effective and safe interactive videoconferencing-based mental health services.

Preliminary evidence for use of board games to improve knowledge in health outcomes
Board games can engage patients in play and fantasy, and by enabling face-to-face interaction, can help educate patients on health-related knowledge and behaviors.

Scientists identify critical cancer immunity genes using new genetic barcoding technology
Mount Sinai Scientists developed a novel way to barcode and track different CRISPRs by utilizing synthetic proteins built from combinations of smaller proteins, called epitopes. By being able to mark each CRISPR with a unique identifier, the protein barcodes, or Pro-Codes for short, enable hundreds of CRISPRs to be used together to knockout a multitude of genes.

Pregnancy possible after chemotherapy for breast cancer patients, but many no longer wish
Chemotherapy is known to have a negative impact on the reproductive potential of young breast cancer patients. Its effects on women's post-treatment fertility, however, are still poorly understood. A study to be presented at the ESMO 2018 Congress in Munich, has confirmed that natural pregnancies are possible after chemotherapy but that survivors' desire to have children decreases greatly after treatment, calling into question the need for systematic recourse to fertility preservation measures.

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