Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (October 2019)

Science news and science current events archive October, 2019.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from October 2019

Global danger
Freiburg hydrologist presents new results showing how sinking groundwater levels threaten the vitality of riverine ecosystems

Science reveals improvements in Roman building techniques
In research published in EPJ Plus, researchers have carried out scientific analysis of the materials used to build the Atrium Vestae in Rome. They found that successive phases of modification to the building saw improvements, including higher quality raw materials, higher brick firing temperatures, and better ratios between carbonate and silicate building materials.

A cosmic pretzel
Astronomers using ALMA have obtained an extremely high-resolution image showing two disks in which young stars are growing, fed by a complex pretzel-shaped network of filaments of gas and dust. Observing this remarkable phenomenon sheds new light on the earliest phases of the lives of stars and helps astronomers determine the conditions in which binary stars are born.

Smaller than a coin
ETH researchers have developed a compact infrared spectrometer. It's small enough to fit on a computer chip but can still open up interesting possibilities -- in space and in everyday life.

Fun run
Attention runners: The next time you go out for a jog, you might want to strap a light resistance band between your feet. This rather quirky but oddly effective hack, according to UC Santa Barbara mechanical engineer Elliot Hawkes, could make you a more efficient runner by approximately 6.4%.

DNA exchange among species is major contributor to diversity in Heliconius butterflies
Exchange of genetic material among species played a major role in the wide diversity of Heliconius butterflies, according to a new study, results of which inform a centuries-long debate about the value of hybridization to species evolution.

Electric cloth
Evening gowns with interwoven LEDs may look extravagant, but the light sources need a constant power supply from devices that are as well wearable, durable, and lightweight. Chinese scientists have manufactured fibrous electrodes for wearable devices that are flexible and excel by their high energy density. A microfluidic technology was key for the preparation of the electrode material was a microfluidic technology, as shown in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

The fast dance of electron spins
Metal complexes show a fascinating behavior in their interactions with light, which for example is utilized in organic light emitting diodes, solar cells, quantum computers, or even in cancer therapy. In many of these applications, the electron spin, a kind of inherent rotation of the electrons, plays an important role. Sebastian Mai and Leticia González from the University of Vienna succeeded in simulating the extremely fast spin flip processes that are triggered by the light absorption of metal complexes.

Searching for water
What does the presence of 1,000 year old water mean for the future of water supplies under the desert regions of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, Oman, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates? New research has sought to identify how much good water is available in the Arabian Peninsula, where water is stored in what are known as 'fossil aquifers.'

Spying on topology
Topological insulators are quantum materials, which, due to their exotic electronic structure, on surfaces and edges conduct electric current like metal, while acting as an insulator in bulk. Scientists from the Max-Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy (MBI) have demonstrated for the first time how to tell apart topological materials from their regular -- trivial -- counterparts within a millionth of a billionth of a second by probing it with ultra-fast laser light.

Managing stormwater and stream restoration projects together
A unified approach may benefit water quality, environment more than piecemeal.

Metabolic disturbance in the brain exacerbates, may forewarn Alzheimer's pathology
A better understanding of the metabolic processes in the brain -- specifically disturbances resulting from neurodegenerative diseases -- has important implications for potential treatments. The research was presented at Neuroscience 2019, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

Mutation of the co-chaperone Tsc1 in bladder cancer diminishes Hsp90 acetylation and reduces drug sensitivity and selectivity
The researchers have recently identified the tumor suppressor tuberous sclerosis complex 1 as a new co-chaperone of Hsp90 that affects Hsp90 binding to its inhibitors. Their findings suggest that TSC1 status may predict response to Hsp90 inhibitors in patients with bladder cancer, and co-targeting HDACs can sensitize tumors with Tsc1 mutations to Hsp90 inhibitors.

Physics vs. asthma
A research team from the MIPT Center for Molecular Mechanisms of Aging and Age-Related Diseases has collaborated with colleagues from the U.S., Canada, France, and Germany to determine the spatial structure of the CysLT1 receptor.

MIT engineers develop a new way to remove carbon dioxide from air
A new way of removing carbon dioxide from a stream of air could provide a significant tool in the battle against climate change. The new system can work on the gas at virtually any concentration level, even down to the roughly 400 parts per million currently found in the atmosphere.

Kallikrein 6 protease advances colon tumorigenesis via induction of the high mobility group A2 protein
In the CRC patients, KLK6 protein levels were elevated in the non-cancerous distant and adjacent tissues, compared to their paired tumor tissues. Patients with mutant K-RAS tumors had significantly higher level of KLK6 protein in the luminal surface of non-cancerous distant tissue, compared to the corresponding tissues of the patients with K-RAS wild type tumors.

Stanford study shows why even well-controlled epilepsy can disrupt thinking
A study by Stanford University School of Medicine investigators may help explain why even people benefiting from medications for their epilepsy often continue to experience bouts of difficulty thinking, perceiving and remembering clearly.

How roots grow hair
The roots of plants can do a lot of things: They grow in length to reach water, they can bend to circumvent stones, and they form fine root hairs enabling them to absorb more nutrients from the soil. A team of researchers led by scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now identified an important regulator of this process.

Growing and moving
How interactions between neuronal migration and outgrowth shape network architecture.

Adaptive human immunity depends on the factor responsible for the formation of white blood cells
Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF)has a significant regulatory effect not only on innate, but also on adaptive immunity. That's what scientists from the IKBFU and Research Institute of Fundamental and Clinical Immunology have found.

Viagra helps mobilize bone marrow stem cells for transplantation in mice
The combination of two clinically approved drugs -- Viagra and Plerixafor -- rapidly and efficiently mobilizes blood stem cells from the bone marrow into the bloodstream in mice, researchers report Oct. 10 in the journal Stem Cell Reports. This strategy is almost as effective as the current standard protocol for hematopoietic stem cell mobilization.

New public-private research upends traditional carbon pricing and presents a more effective method for pricing emissions
Newly released public-private research proposes a new method for calculating carbon tax rates based on environmental, economic and social factors, including the costs the public pays for carbon usage such as damage to agriculture, vulnerable coastal infrastructure, and risk to human health.

Thin to win
University of Utah electrical and computer engineering researchers have developed a new kind of optical lens that is much thinner and lighter than conventional camera lenses that also works with night imaging, a future boon for smartphones that could flatten those unsightly 'camera bumps' as well as for drones and night vision cameras for soldiers.

Escapism: A powerful predictor of internet gaming disorder among video gamers
A new study in Comprehensive Psychiatry, published by Elsevier, is the first to compare professional electronic sport (esport) players with recreational video game players and explores the similarities and differences between what motivates each group. While the two groups are psychosocially different, they found that both esport and recreational gamers run the risk of developing internet gaming disorder when their intense immersion in the activity is tied to escapism.

Endocrine Society urges policymakers to follow science on transgender health
A custody case in Texas has sparked heated debate and embroiled state policymakers in public discussions about the diagnosis and appropriate medical treatment of transgender children. Unfortunately, many of the claims being made about gender-affirming care for transgender and gender incongruent individuals are inaccurate.

Studies of autism spectrum disorder reveal new avenues of neuroscience research
Advances in the study of cognitive disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), may pave the way for future treatments. The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2019, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

Archaeologists uncover 2,000-year-old street in Jerusalem built by Pontius Pilate
An ancient walkway most likely used by pilgrims as they made their way to worship at the Temple Mount has been uncovered in the 'City of David' in the Jerusalem Walls National Park.

Bacterial lifestyle alters the evolution of antibiotic resistance
How bacteria live - whether as independent cells or in a communal biofilm - determines the course of their evolution, with implications for drug-resistant infections.

New insights into the genomic landscape of meningiomas identified FGFR3 in a subset of patients with favorable prognoses
The identification of oncogenic mutations has provided further insights into the tumorigenesis of meningioma and the possibility of targeted therapy.

Drinking more sugary beverages of any type may increase type 2 diabetes risk
People who increase their consumption of sugary beverages -- whether they contain added or naturally occurring sugar -- may face moderately higher risk of type 2 diabetes.

Chemicals in consumer products during early pregnancy related to lower IQ
Exposure during the first trimester of pregnancy to mixtures of suspected endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in consumer products is related to lower IQ in children by age 7, according to a study by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Karlstad University, Sweden, published in Environment International in October. This study is among the first to look at prenatal suspected endocrine-disrupting chemical mixtures in relation to neurodevelopment.

New clinical research offers possibility of future rehabilitation for patients in minimally conscious or vegetative state
Non-invasive brain stimulation is to be trialled for the first time alongside advanced brain imaging techniques in patients who are minimally conscious or in a vegetative state.

Using the gut-brain connection to impact brain health and disease
Research on gut-brain communication via the immune system may help in the development of novel treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2019, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

Exercise capacity may affect cognitive health of survivors of childhood leukemia
A new study found a link between reduced exercise capacity and neurocognitive problems in survivors of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common childhood cancer. The findings are published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

An oral anticoagulant delays the appearance of Alzheimer's disease in mice
Scientists at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC) have identified a possible treatment for Alzheimer's disease.

Dartmouth lab introduces the next wave of interactive technology
The next-generation technology from Dartmouth's XDiscovery Lab brings humans even closer to the devices that they rely on for everyday work and play.

Increased depression, suicidal thoughts and stress are reported in patients with chronically itchy skin
Itch is a very common symptom in patients suffering from skin diseases. In a new multicenter cross-sectional study on the psychological burden of itch in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, published by Elsevier, investigators report that the presence of itch in dermatological patients was significantly associated with clinical depression, suicidal ideation and stress. They recommend providing patients with access to a multidisciplinary team to prevent and manage problems associated with itch.

Game changer: New chemical keeps plants plump
A UC Riverside-led team has created a chemical to help plants hold onto water, which could stem the tide of massive annual crop losses from drought and help farmers grow food despite a changing climate.

Laser precision: NASA flights, satellite align over sea ice
The skies were clear, the winds were low, and the lasers aligned. In April, instruments aboard NASA's Operation IceBridge airborne campaign and the Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite-2 succeeded in measuring the same Arctic sea ice at the same time, a tricky feat given the shifting sea ice.

Loosen up!
Generally, exercise is considered good for you. However, physicians and medical doctors previously prescribed bedrest to people with heart failure, fearing exercise could potentially lead to additional health problems.

Deciphering the early stages of Parkinson's disease is a matter of time
Researchers at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the University of Virginia School of Medicine, USA, identified for the first time the initial steps of alpha-synuclein protein aggregates related to early onsets of hereditary Parkinson cases. The results may help the understanding of the early stages of the disease and how it develops over time.

Financial hardship in cancer: The role of health insurance literacy
A new American Cancer Society study links health insurance literacy with medical financial hardship as well as non-medical financial sacrifices among adult cancer survivors in the United States.

Increase health benefits of exercise by working out before breakfast -- new research
Exercising before eating breakfast burns more fat, improves how the body responds to insulin and lowers people's risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Combination of techniques could improve security for IoT devices
A multi-pronged data analysis approach that can strengthen the security of Internet of Things (IoT) devices -- such as smart TVs, home video cameras and baby monitors -- against current risks and threats has been created by a team of Penn State World Campus students.

Inhibition of histone deacetylase 2 reduces MDM2 expression and reduces tumor growth in dedifferentiated liposarcoma
Here the researchers present in silico, in vitro, and mouse xenograft studies that suggest that specifically targeting HDAC2 reduces MDM2 expression and has anti-tumor affects in DDLPS. In a murine DDLPS xenograft model, romidepsin reduced tumor growth and lowered tumor MDM2 expression.

Listening in to how proteins talk and learning their language
A research team led by George Church, Ph.D. at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and Harvard Medical School (HMS) has created a third approach to engineering proteins that uses deep learning to distill the fundamental features of proteins directly from their amino acid sequence without the need for additional information.

New design strategy can help improve layered superconducting materials
Tokyo, Japan - Scientists from Tokyo Metropolitan University have created a new layered superconducting material with a conducting layer made of bismuth, silver, tin, sulfur and selenium. The conducting layer features four distinct sublayers; by introducing more elements, they were able to achieve unparalleled customizability and a higher ''critical temperature'' below which superconductivity is observed, a key objective of superconductor research. Their design strategy may be applied to engineer new and improved superconducting materials.

Many women and health care providers assume CBD safe during pregnancy despite lack of research
While most women of childbearing age understand drinking alcohol while pregnant is harmful, they may be less skeptical about the safety of cannabidiol (CBD), even though there is no evidence to support that belief, suggests a study being presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2019 annual meeting.

SLAS Discovery releases special issue
October's SLAS Discovery features part 1 of a 2-part special issue on 'Membrane Proteins: New Approaches to Probes, Technologies and Drug Design.' Part 2 of this special edition will be featured in December.

Should preschool writing be more communication and less ABCs?
Writing instruction in early education should be about more than letter formation and penmanship, argue Michigan State University researchers who found preschool teachers don't often encourage writing for communication purposes.

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