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Seasonal variation in daylight influences brain function
A Finnish research group has studied how seasons influence the function of the brain. Researchers at the Turku PET Centre showed that the length of daylight affects the opioid receptors, which in turn regulates the mood we experience. (2021-02-23)

Enormous ancient fish discovered by accident
Fossilised remains of a fish that grew as big as a great white shark and the largest of its type ever found have been discovered by accident. (2021-02-15)

Placing cosmological constraints on quantum gravity phenomenology
Through new research published in EPJ C, researchers have used well-established cosmological observations to place tighter constraints on the quadratic model of the Generalized Uncertainty Principle, while discrediting the linear model. (2021-02-10)

Endovascular aneurysm repair linked to higher readmission rates
Ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms (rAAA) are responsible for nearly 2% of all deaths in U.S. men over the age of 65. Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) has emerged as a newer and less invasive alternative to open repair for rAAA. But researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine have discovered that while EVAR is more commonly utilized for rAA, the odds of hospital readmission after EVAR are 1.5 times higher compared to traditional open repair. (2021-02-10)

Children's finger length points to mothers' income level
Low-income mothers feminize their children in the womb by adjusting their hormones, whereas high-income mothers masculinize their children, a major study based on finger length, led by a Swansea University expert, has found. The phenomenon is an unconscious evolutionary response aimed at boosting their offspring's chances of successful reproduction. It helps, in part, explain associations between low income, low levels of testosterone before birth, and major causes of mortality such as cardiovascular disease. (2021-02-09)

Experiment shows how our visual system avoids overloading
Russian researchers from HSE University have studied a hypothesis regarding the capability of the visual system to automatically categorize objects (i.e., without requiring attention span). The results of a simple and beautiful experiment confirmed this assumption. The paper was published in the journal Scientific Reports. The study was supported by a Russian Science Foundation grant. (2021-02-09)

Nitrate in maternal drinking water may impair fetal growth
Women whose household drinking water contained nitrate had babies that weighed, on average, 10 grams less than babies born to mothers where household water had no detectible nitrate, according to a new study. Even low nitrate levels -- about half of the allowable level set by the US Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA -- caused an adverse effect. (2021-02-09)

Synthetic protein quality control system in bacteria
Synthetic protein quality control system in bacteria. (2021-02-08)

Shuffling bubbles reveal how liquid foams evolve
Tokyo, Japan - Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University studied the dynamics of foams. When a drop of water was added to a foam raft, the bubbles rearranged themselves to reach a new stable state. The team found that bubble movement was qualitatively different depending on the range of bubble sizes present. Along with analogies with soft-jammed materials, these findings may inspire the design of new foam materials for industry. (2021-02-06)

Fish in warming Scottish seas grow faster but reach a smaller size
Researchers have found new evidence that global warming is affecting the size of commercial fish species, documenting for the first time that juvenile fish are getting bigger, as well as confirming that adult fish are getting smaller as sea temperatures rise. The findings are published in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology. (2021-02-03)

Efficient fluorescent materials and OLEDs for the NIR
Near-infrared emitters (NIR) will be of crucial importance for a variety of biomedical, security and defence applications, as well as for (in)visible light communications and the internet-of-things (IoT). Researchers from the UK and Italy have developed porphyrin oligomer NIR emitters which afford high efficiencies despite being totally free from heavy metals. They demonstrated organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) at 850 nm with 3.8% peak external quantum efficiency, together with a novel quantitative model of device efficiency. (2021-01-28)

In tune with the moon
Does the moon affect women's menstrual cycles? This question has been controversial for a long time. A new study by chronobiologists from Würzburg (Germany) now suggest that such an influence does exist. It's complicated, though. (2021-01-27)

Researchers develop new graphene nanochannel water filters
Brown University researchers have shown that tiny channels between graphene sheets can be aligned in a way that makes them ideal for water filtration. (2021-01-21)

Angstrom multilayer metrology by combining spectral measurements and machine learning
The 3D-NAND is the most commercially successful 3D memory device today, and its demand is growing exponentially. As each layer thickness corresponds to the effective channel length, accurate characterization and control of layer-by-layer thickness is critical. Engineers in South Korea invented a nondestructive thickness characterization method of each layer in semiconductor multilayer stacks with more than 200 layers used for 3D-NAND. The method will provide new ways for total inspection in 3D semiconductor device manufacturing. (2021-01-20)

New algorithm mimics electrosensing in fish
Weakly electric fish are specially adapted to traverse murky waters without relying on vision; instead, they sense their environment via electric fields. Researchers developed an innovative algorithm for observing objects via electrosensing that is based on the real behavior of weakly electric fish. (2021-01-14)

Spectacular fossil discovery:
A team led by Sebastian Stumpf from the University of Vienna describes an well-preserved skeleton of the ancient shark Asteracanthus. This rare fossil find comes from the famous Solnhofen limestones in Bavaria, which was formed in a tropical-subtropical lagoon landscape during the Late Jurassic, about 150 million years ago. The almost complete skeleton shows that Asteracanthus was two-and-a-half meters long, which makes this ancient shark one of the largest of its time. The study is published in Papers in Palaeontology. (2021-01-14)

Study finds neglected mutations may play important role in autism spectrum disorder
Mutations that occur in certain DNA regions, called tandem repeats, may play a significant role in autism spectrum disorders, according to research led by Melissa Gymrek, assistant professor in the UC San Diego Department of Computer Science and Engineering and School of Medicine. The study, which was published in Nature on Jan. 14, was co-authored by UCLA professor of human genetics Kirk Lohmueller and highlights the contributions these understudied mutations can make to disease. (2021-01-13)

Inpatient mammograms can reduce disparities in breast cancer screening rates
Inpatient mammograms are a feasible approach to deliver preventive care to hospitalized women who may face significant barriers to completing the test in the outpatient setting. (2021-01-13)

Groundwater drives rapid erosion of the Canterbury coastline, New Zealand
Groundwater flow and seepage can form large gullies along coastal cliffs in the matter of days, it has been discovered. (2021-01-12)

A CNIO study links severe COVID-19 disease to short telomeres
The data show that telomeres are shorter in patients suffering more severe COVID-19 pathologies. The researchers propose that one of the consequences of the viral infection is shortening of the telomeres, which, in turn, hampers the regeneration of lung tissue and causes prolonged sequelae in some patients. The study, published in the journal 'Aging', suggests the usefulness of a possible therapy for patients with post-COVID pulmonary injury based on activation of the enzyme telomerase. (2021-01-11)

Megalodons gave birth to large newborns that likely grew by eating unhatched eggs in womb
A new study shows that the gigantic Megalodon or megatooth shark, which lived nearly worldwide roughly 15-3.6 million years ago and reached at least 50 feet (15 meters) in length, gave birth to babies larger than most adult humans. (2021-01-10)

Gene therapy strategy found effective in mouse model of hereditary disease TSC
Patients with a genetic disorder called tuberous sclerosis complex have noncancerous tumors growing in numerous organs, and their treatment options are limited. A gene therapy strategy effectively treated mice that express one of the mutated genes that cause the disease. (2021-01-08)

COVID-19 outcomes for patients on immunosuppressive drugs on par with non- immunosuppressed patients
People taking immunosuppressive drugs to prevent organ transplant rejection or to treat inflammatory or autoimmune diseases do not fare worse than others on average when they are hospitalized with COVID-19. (2021-01-07)

Mental health of UK women, ethnic minorities especially affected during pandemic
In the UK, men from ethnic minorities and women may have experienced worse mental health declines than White British men, according to a study published January 6, 2021 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Eugenio Proto and Climent Quintana-Domeque of institutions including the University of Glasgow and the University of Exeter, UK. (2021-01-06)

Convex to concave: More metasurface moiré results in wide-range lens
The odd, wavy pattern that results from viewing certain phone or computer screens through polarized glasses has led researchers to take a step toward thinner, lighter-weight lenses. Called moiré, the pattern is made by laying one material with opaque and translucent parts at an angle over another material of similar contrast. (2021-01-04)

Surgery may offer survival advantage in certain metastatic breast cancers
Surgery, in addition to treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy, may increase the length of survival for metastatic breast cancer patients, according to Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Cancer Institute researchers. They studied nearly 13,000 stage four breast cancer patients and found that those who had surgery in addition to their other treatments had a survival advantage over those who had other treatments alone. (2020-12-22)

How long's too long? Effects of crosslinker length on anion-exchange membrane fuel cells
Anion exchange membrane (AEM) fuel cells (AEMFCs), which produce electricity using hydrogen, are considered an alternative to currently used proton exchange membrane fuel cells. However, AEMs have problems with stability in alkaline conditions, which can be overcome by crosslinking--but effects of crosslinker length on AEMFC performance are not well understood. Now, scientists from Korea have elucidated such effects for oxygen-containing crosslinkers and, using an optimally long crosslinker, produced a novel AEMFC with greater performance. (2020-12-17)

How long do doctor visits last? Electronic health records provide new data on time with patients
How much time do primary care physicians actually spend one-on-one with patients? Analysis of timestamp data from electronic health records (EHRs) provides useful insights on exam length and other factors related to doctors' use of time, reports a study in the January issue of Medical Care. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer. (2020-12-15)

"Electronic amoeba" finds approximate solution to traveling salesman problem in linear time
Researchers at Hokkaido University and Amoeba Energy in Japan have, inspired by the efficient foraging behavior of a single-celled amoeba, developed an analog computer for finding a reliable and swift solution to the traveling salesman problem -- a representative combinatorial optimization problem. (2020-12-10)

Signs of healthy aging found in ergothioneine telomere study
Signs of healthy aging found in ergothioneine telomere in vitro study, published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements, demonstrating Blue California ErgoActive ergothioneine helped to preserve telomere length and reduced the rate of telomere shortening under oxidative stress. The conclusion suggests ergothioneine helps to support healthy aging. (2020-12-10)

New study shows every week of lockdown increases binge drinking
Study participants who regularly drank at harmful levels shown to consume six drinks per session, compared to two alcoholic beverages for those less regular binge drinkers. (2020-12-07)

Electrical spin filtering the key to ultra-fast, energy-efficient spintronics
A new UNSW study is a step towards even-faster, more energy-efficient 'spintronic' technology - an exciting, beyond-CMOS technology. The new study applies 'spin-filtering' to separate spin orientation, allowing generation and detection of spin via electrical (rather than magnetic) means, because electric fields are a lot less energetically costly to generate than magnetic fields. (2020-12-03)

Telomere shortening protects against cancer
Researchers have found the first evidence that telomere shortening is not just a sign of aging, but a key component of the body's cancer prevention system. (2020-12-01)

Major differences in palliative care provision across the globe
A major review of palliative care services around the world has highlighted huge inconsistencies in provision, with patients in some countries receiving a fraction of the support provided elsewhere. More than 11 million cases have been reviewed. (2020-11-30)

Study explores how telemedicine may ease ER overcrowding
Researchers led by Dr. Shujing Sun at UT Dallas found that the adoption of telemedicine in the emergency room significantly shortened average length of stay and wait time. (2020-11-30)

In temperate trees, climate-driven increase in carbon capture causes autumn leaves to fall sooner
For decades, scientists have expected that the shedding of leaves from temperate trees will get later and later under ongoing climate change. (2020-11-26)

Research provides new insights on health effects of long-duration space flight
Among the new findings, the research team found that chronic oxidative stress during spaceflight contributed to the telomere elongation they observed. They also found that astronauts had shorter telomeres after spaceflight than they did before. (2020-11-25)

Guiding the way to improved solar cell performance
Small molecules could hold the key to enhancing the efficiency of organic solar cells. (2020-11-24)

The Lancet Microbe: Infectiousness peaks early in COVID-19 patients, emphasising the need to rapidly isolate cases
Although SARS-CoV-2 genetic material may still be detected in respiratory or stool samples for several weeks, no live virus (that can cause infection) was found in any type of sample collected beyond nine days of symptoms starting and people with SARS-CoV-2 are mostly likely to be highly infectious from symptom onset and the following five days, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis of three human coronaviruses published in The Lancet Microbe journal. (2020-11-19)

Possible 1,000-kilometer-long river running deep below Greenland's ice sheet
Computational models suggest that melting water originating in the deep interior of Greenland could flow the entire length of a subglacial valley and exit at Petermann Fjord, along the northern coast of the island. Updating ice sheet models with this open valley could provide additional insight for future climate change predictions. (2020-11-12)

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