Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (September 2017)

Science news and science current events archive September, 2017.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from September 2017

Smartphone apps reduce depression
New Australian-led research has confirmed that smartphone apps are an effective treatment option for depression, paving the way for safe and accessible interventions for the millions of people around the world diagnosed with this condition.

NUS scientists combine antimalarial drug with light sensitive molecules for promising treatment of cancer
NUS scientists discovered that a combination of artemisinin, which is a potent anti-malarial drug, and aminolaevulinic acid, which is a photosensitizer, could kill colorectal cancer cells and suppress tumor growth more effectively than administering artemisinin alone. This novel combination therapy could also have fewer side effects.

Forgoing chemo linked to worse survival in older patients with advanced colon cancer who had dementia
A pre-existing diagnosis of dementia was associated with increased risk of death for older patients with advanced colon cancer; however, some of the effects of dementia on survival could be mediated by receipt of chemotherapy.

Better, cheaper bio-ink may be used to create artificial organs
A new bio-ink that may support a more efficient and inexpensive fabrication of human tissues and organs has been created by researchers at UBC's Okanagan campus. The UBC team analyzed the physical and biological properties of three different GelMA hydrogels -- porcine skin, cold-water fish skin and cold-soluble gelatin.

Poor sleep hastens progression of kidney disease
People with chronic kidney disease may be especially vulnerable to the deleterious effects of poor sleep, according to a new paper published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

A 'virtual heart' to simulate arrhythmia
A group of researchers from MIPT and Ghent University have proposed a mathematical model which is able to determine the factors responsible for the formation of different fibrosis patterns, which are believed to cause arrhythmia. To reproduce the formation of cardiac tissue, the researchers took a mathematical model -- one that is widely applied to study tissue growth -- and optimized it using the previously collected experimental data.

Cholesterol-like molecules switch off the engine in cancer-targeting Natural Killer cells
The engine used by cancer-killing 'Natural Killer' cells is turned on by a protein called Srebp, which can be blocked by certain sterols like cholesterol. Tumor cells can produce oxysterols and cholesterol levels tend to be higher in people with obesity.

Immune cells halt fungal infection by triggering spore suicide
To protect the body from infection, immune cells in the lungs can exploit cell death programs in inhaled fungal pathogens, scientists have revealed, helping explain why most people aren't harmed by breathing in mold spores, and potentially offering new therapeutic strategies for people who do get infected.

Your stools reveal whether you can lose weight
Something as simple as a feces sample reveals whether you can lose weight by following dietary recommendations characterized by a high content of fruit, vegetables, fibers and whole grains. This is a finding of a new study conducted at the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Antarctica: Return of the Weddell polynya supports Kiel climate model
After 40 years, a large ice-free area appears again in the Southern Ocean in mid-winter.

Improving communication, education and parent satisfaction with NICU discharge
Parents whose children have lengthy stays in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) dream of one day taking their baby home. But the actual day of NICU discharge can be an overwhelming experience for both families and hospital staff.

Test may miss diabetes in some African-Americans
More than 200 scientists teamed up to report that they have identified 60 genetic variants that influence HbA1c measurements, as well as the ability of this test to diagnose diabetes. The gene variants, including one that could lead to African-Americans being underdiagnosed with T2D, are described in PLOS Medicine in a paper by James Meigs of Harvard Medical School, USA, and Inês Barroso of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK, and colleagues.

Celebrity fossil reveals all for science
With the help of an artist, a geology professor at Lund University in Sweden has figuratively speaking breathed life into one of science's most well-known fossil species; Agnostus pisiformis. The trilobite-like arthropod lived in huge numbers in Scandinavia a half-billion years ago. Today, this extinct species provides important clues for science in several ways.

Altitude training for cancer-fighting cells
Oxygen starvation could toughen up immune T cells for cancer immunotherapy.

Talking to older adults about health prognosis may be helpful
In a new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, researchers examined how older adults with disabilities later in life might react to learning their prognosis, and how they evaluated their own prognosis compared to 'official' estimates.

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene
Berkeley Lab scientists have harnessed the power of photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide into fuels and alcohols at efficiencies far greater than plants. The achievement marks a significant advance in the effort to move toward sustainable sources of fuel.

To avoid a post-antibiotic world, researchers target animal farming and meat intake
A new study in Science by researchers at the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP) and partners analyzes and describes a comprehensive strategy for preserving antibiotic effectiveness by reducing antibiotic use in farm animals up to 80 percent globally by the year 2030. The study was co-authored by researchers at the Princeton Environmental Institute, Princeton University (USA); Institute of Integrative Biology, ETH Zurich (Switzerland); the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium); and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (Italy).

Study on climate change shows how cities can prioritize public health
Involving health experts in planning can have profound consequences.

Vaping doubles risk of smoking cigarettes for teens
Teenagers who try e-cigarettes double their risk for smoking tobacco cigarettes, according to a new study. The study -- from the University of Waterloo and the Wake Forest School of Medicine -- found that students in grades seven to 12 who had tried an e-cigarette are 2.16 times more likely to be susceptible to cigarette smoking.

A stinging report: FSU reserach shows climate change a major threat to bumble bees
New research from a team of Florida State University scientists and their collaborators is helping to explain the link between a changing global climate and a dramatic decline in bumble bee populations worldwide.

A sweeter way to make green products
University of Delaware researchers have invented a more efficient process for extracting the sugars from wood chips, corn cobs and other organic waste from forests and farms. This biorenewable feedstock could serve as a cheaper, sustainable substitute for the petroleum used in manufacturing tons of consumer goods annually -- goods that consumers want to be greener.

Study finds girl soccer players 5 times more likely than boys to return to play same day
A new study found girls were significantly more likely than boys to return to play the same day following a soccer-related concussion, placing them at risk for more significant injury. More than half of girls in the study resumed playing in a game or practice the same day as their injury, compared to just 17 percent of boys.

ACA marketplace plans offer fewer mental health providers compared to primary care
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 aimed to achieve parity in coverage between mental health care and other forms of health care. A new study from researchers at Penn Medicine suggests that ACA plans may still fall short of that goal. The Penn researchers found that ACA plan networks last year included, on average, only 11 percent of all mental health care providers in their coverage areas -- compared, for example, to 24 percent for primary care providers.

Delaying child's tonsillectomy does not lower risk of developmental disorder
Children under age 5 who underwent minor surgery requiring anesthesia had a 26 percent increased risk of later diagnosis with a mental disorder. However, the timing of the procedure did not affect this risk, according to a new study. Based on these findings, there is little support for delaying a minor procedure to reduce the potential neurodevelopmental risks of anesthesia in children.

Cigarette price differences and infant mortality in the European Union
Higher cigarette prices were associated with reduced infant mortality in the European Union, while increased price differences between premium and budget cigarettes were associated with higher infant mortality, according to a new article published by JAMA Pediatrics.

Parents not confident schools can assist child with chronic disease, mental health
Most parents are sure schools would be able to provide basic first aid but are less confident about a school's ability to respond to more complex health situations, such as an asthma attack or mental health problem.

Army refines recipe for quantum-enhanced technologies
The US Army Research Laboratory and its partners have made a breakthrough in understanding the structure of entanglement in quantum systems with long-range interactions.

NASA gets a dramatic 3-D view of Typhoon Talim's large eye
NASA created a dramatic 3-D image of powerful Typhoon Talim using data from the Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite. Talim's large eye really made the storm stand out as it moved toward landfall.

NASA sees Hurricane Jose off the US east coast
Hurricane Jose producing dangerous surf and rip currents along the east Coast of the United States. Satellite imagery shows Jose is now close enough to the coast to also trigger a tropical storm warnings and watches.

New study changes our view on flying insects
For the first time, researchers are able to prove that there is an optimal speed for certain insects when they fly. At this speed, they are the most efficient and consume the least amount of energy. Corresponding phenomena have previously been demonstrated in birds, but never among insects.

Study identifies factors that limit work ability of young adult cancer survivors
Factors that limit the work ability of young adult cancer survivors are reported today at the ESMO 2017 Congress in Madrid.

Welfare of zoo animals set to improve
The wellbeing of zoological animals is set to improve following the successful trial of a new welfare assessment grid, a new study in the journal Veterinary Record reports.

Scientific study review presents health promoting potential of mangoes
Research continually unveils new insights about mangoes and their role in the diet for health. According to a comprehensive review of the available scientific literature published in the May issue of Food & Function, mangoes and their individual components have anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties, which may help to reduce risk for chronic disease.

What mediates the beneficial effects of exercise on breast cancer outcomes?
The ability of serum obtained from women with breast cancer immediately after finishing two hours of moderate to intense exercise to prevent the growth and survival of breast cancer cells lines in vitro and in mice was attributable, at least in part, to epinephrine activation of the Hippo signaling pathway.

When electrons ride a wave
Conventional electron accelerators are an indispensable tool in modern research. But even smaller versions of these super microscopes are the size of a soccer field. Laser plasma acceleration could offer an alternative with a smaller footprint and higher peak currents. So far, the challenge with laser accelerators has been to create a reliable and stable electron beam, which is the prerequisite for applications. HZDR physicists have developed a method to increase beam stability and quality.

UTA study finds public-private partnerships key to making telemedicine sustainable
RadhaKanta Mahapatra, a professor in the Department of Information Systems and Operations Management in the UTA College of Business, conducted the study, A Collaborative Approach to Creating ICT-based Sustainable Development, which was published as part of the Americas Conference on Information Systems' proceedings earlier this year. ICT is Information and Communication Technology. Former Odisha Chief Secretary Sahadeva Sahoo co-authored the study.

Improving mannequin design and training sessions could boost residents' success in clinic
As mannequins go, preemie Hal is on the top of his game. Because he's not real, that's where Hal and mannequins like him fall short, Children's National Health System researchers explained during the 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics national conference.

Endobronchial valve treatment appears to improve lung function in patients with severe emphysema
People with severe emphysema may breathe better after a minimally invasive procedure that places valves in the airways leading to diseased portions of their lungs, according to a randomized, controlled trial published online in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Satellite sees Atlantic Tropical Depression 14 forms off Africa's west coast
NOAA's GOES East satellite captured a visible image of the latest tropical cyclone to form in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean. Tropical Depression 14E formed, despite battling northerly wind shear.

Predicting atypical development in infants at high risk for autism?
New research from the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) identifies a potential biomarker that predicts atypical development in 1- to 2-month-old infants at high versus low familial risk for developing autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

RNA discovery could help boost plant heat, drought tolerance
The discovery of a RNA that can increase drought and salt tolerance in thale cress could illuminate a new research approach and hold implications for other plants, including food crops.

South Asians with family history of heart disease at greater risk
New research by UT Southwestern cardiologists shows that people of South Asian descent with a family history of coronary heart disease are significantly more likely to have high levels of calcium buildup in their arteries - an indicator of higher risk for heart attacks.

Financial stress is associated with migraine, if you have specific circadian gene variants
People with a specific variation in the CLOCK gene have more migraines under financial stress. This work, the first time that the genetics of circadian rhythms has been shown to have an effect on migraine, is presented at the ECNP conference in Paris.

Machine learning enabled mobile microscope for monitoring air quality
Accurate on-site air-quality monitoring can be performed using lens-free microscopy on a chip coupled with machine learning. A portable system built by Aydogan Ozcan and co-workers from UCLA, generates statistics of particle size and density from microscopic images of particulate matter in air. The system can screen 6.5 liters of air in about 30 seconds and has a particle sizing accuracy of about 93 percent.

Asthma symptoms can be improved by diet and exercise in non-obese patients
Non-obese people with asthma could reduce their symptoms and improve their quality of life through diet and exercise, according to research presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress 2017.

Cuts to mental health services putting young people at risk, say experts
Funding cuts and austerity measures are damaging young people's access to mental health services, with potentially long-term consequences for their mental wellbeing, say researchers at the University of Cambridge.

People of color exposed to more pollution from cars, trucks, power plants over 10 years
A new nationwide study finds that the US made little progress from 2000 to 2010 in reducing relative disparities between people of color and whites in exposure to harmful air pollution emitted by cars, trucks and other combustion sources. It found disparities in NO2 exposure were larger by race and ethnicity than by income, age or education, and that those inequities persisted across the decade.

NASA examines Hurricane Lidia's eye on the Baja
Hurricane Lidia's eye was visible in NASA satellite imagery as it approached Baja California, Mexico's southernmost tip. Hurricane Lidia was making landfall on the Baja on Sept. 1 at 5 a.m. PDT and continued to bring soaking rains to the region.

Study advances efforts to screen all children for Type 1 diabetes
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Stanford University and the University of Florida report the development of a novel antibody detection technology that holds promise for improving the accuracy of diagnostic tests for type 1 diabetes in young children and making populationwide screening practical.

New research suggests bird songs isolate species
Two birds that look the same, but have songs so different they can't recognize each other, should be considered distinct species, suggests new research. Among 72 related populations of Central and South American birds the researchers tested, they found evidence for 21 new species.

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