10 Science News Roundup #8

Here are 10 science news that I find interesting and important to take note.

How fever in early pregnancy causes heart, facial birth defects – Duke researchers now have evidence indicating that the fever itself, not its root source, is what interferes with the development of the heart and jaw during the first three to eight weeks of pregnancy. Science Daily

When the brain’s wiring breaks – Among all the bad things that can happen to the brain when it is severely jolted — in a car accident, for example — one of the most common and worrisome is axon damage. Axons are the long stalks that grow out of the bodies of neurons and carry signals to other neurons. They are part of the brain’s “wiring,” and they sometimes grow to amazing lengths — from the brain all the way down to the spinal cord. But axons are thin and fragile. When the brain receives a strong blow, axons are often stressed past their structural limits. They either break or swiftly degenerate. Science Daily

Superbugs may meet their match in these nanoparticles – Antibiotics may have a new teammate in the fight against drug-resistant infections. Researchers have engineered nanoparticles to produce chemicals that render bacteria more vulnerable to antibiotics. These quantum dots, described online October 4 in Science Advances, could help combat pathogens that have developed resistance to antibiotics (SN: 10/15/16, p. 11).

Secret Supereruption That Once Changed The World Found In North America – Yellowstone’s supervolcano gets all the attention these days, but it’s not the only vessel of apocalyptic eruptions. Today, there are several spots around the world that could bring about a game-changing eruption, and volcanologists are always on the hunt for ancient ones that until now have slipped beneath the radar.

Turns Out The Great Barrier Reef Can Actually Heal Itself, But We Have to Help It – he Great Barrier Reef is suffering from recent unprecedented coral bleaching events. But the answer to part of its recovery could lie in the reef itself, with a little help. In our recent article published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, we argue that at least two potential interventions show promise as means to boost climate resilience and tolerance in the reef’s corals: assisted gene flow and assisted evolution.

Bright light therapy at midday helped patients with bipolar depression – Daily exposure to bright white light at midday significantly decreased symptoms of depression and increased functioning in people with bipolar disorder, a recent Northwestern Medicine study found. Science Daily

NASA Is Running Out of The Most Precious Ingredient Needed For Future Space Missions – Classroom models lie – our Solar System isn’t a bunch of bright, closely nestled orbs. Instead, other planets are separated from Earth by unfathomable distances – and are often too cold, dim, and remote for any spacecraft to explore on solar power alone. Science Alert

EPA Says “The War on Coal Is Over” in Major Reversal of Obama’s Clean Power Plan – The Trump administration has formally announced its plan to repeal the Clean Power Plan – President Obama’s key policy to cut greenhouse gas emissions produced by power plants. Science Alert

This Is How Online Dating Has Changed The Very Fabric of Society – Digital match-making services have done more than just change how we find our perfect squeeze; they’re changing the fundamental nature of our social networks. According to a pair of researchers investigating online dating, the way we’re looking for love (and lust) is connecting communities in completely novel ways, breaking down boundaries and possibly even making for stronger long-term relationships. Science Alert

How to make the cosmic web give up the matter it’s hiding – Evidence is piling up that much of the universe’s missing matter is lurking along the strands of a vast cosmic web. A pair of papers report some of the best signs yet of hot gas in the spaces between galaxy clusters, possibly enough to represent the half of all ordinary matter previously unaccounted for. Previous studies have hinted at this missing matter, but a new search technique is helping to fill in the gaps in the cosmic census where other efforts fell short. The papers were published online at arXiv.org on September 15 and September 29. Science News

10 Science News Roundup #6

Here are 10 science news that I find interesting and important to take note.

The list of diseases linked to air pollution is growing – To the residents of Donora, Pa., a mill town in a crook of the Monongahela River, the daily haze from nearby zinc and steel plants was the price of keeping their families fed. Science News

Diabetes medicine reduces Parkinson’s risk – Researchers at the Department of Clinical Medicine at the University of Bergen (UiB) have discovered that medical treatment against diabetes reduces the risk of getting Parkinson´s disease by 35 per cent. Science Daily

Does your back feel stiff? Well, it may not actually be stiff, study finds – Well, that doesn’t mean your friend’s back is actually stiff, according to a new study at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. Science Daily

Experimental nerve-stimulation therapy partially revives man in long-term vegetative state—but experts urge caution – Fifteen years ago, a 20-year-old man in France suffered traumatic brain injury in a car collision and fell into a persistent state of unconsciousness known as a vegetative state.

“Super Malaria” Is Spreading, And We Should Be Very Worried – Fears are mounting about the spread of a new “superbug” strain of malaria. First identified in Cambodia, but since spreading to another four countries in the region, the strain of Plasmodium falciparum is resistant to drug artemisinin, often the first line of defense against malaria infection, researchers report in a letter to The Lancet Infectious Diseases.IFL Science

This Researcher Thinks There’s a Case For Having a 3-Hour Workday – Over the course of an 8-hour workday, the average employee works for about 3 hours – 2 hours and 53 minutes, to be more precise. Science Alert

This Needle-Covered Patch Dissolves Excess Body Fat Wherever You Stick It – A skin patch that effectively melts excess body fat wherever you decide to apply it sounds too good to be true, but this thing actually exists, thanks to new research. Science Alert

Gene variant linked to Alzheimer’s disease is a triple threat – A genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease is a double, make that triple, whammy. In addition to speeding up the development of brain plaques associated with Alzheimer’s, a gene variant known as APOE4 also makes tau tangles — another signature of the disease — worse, researchers report online September 20 in Nature. Science News

Botanic gardens ‘best hope’ for saving endangered plants – The world’s botanic gardens contain about a third of all known plants and help protect 40% of endangered species, a study has found.
Scientists say that with one in five of the world’s plants on the brink of extinction, botanic collections hold the key to saving rare plant life. BBC

New antibody attacks 99% of HIV strains – Scientists have engineered an antibody that attacks 99% of HIV strains and can prevent infection in primates.
It is built to attack three critical parts of the virus – making it harder for HIV to resist its effects. BBC

10 Science News Roundup #5

Here are 10 science news that I find interesting and important to take note.

Sleep deprivation is an effective anti-depressant for nearly half of depressed patients, study suggests – Sleep deprivation — typically administered in controlled, inpatient settings — rapidly reduces symptoms of depression in roughly half of depression patients, according the first meta-analysis on the subject in nearly 30 years, from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Science Daily

Getting emotional after failure helps you improve next time, study finds – New research led by a University of Kansas marketing professor has found emotional responses to failure rather than cognitive ones are more effective at improving people’s results for the next time they tackle the next related task. Science Daily

‘Big Chicken’ chronicles the public health dangers of using antibiotics in farming – Journalist Maryn McKenna opens Big Chicken by teasing our taste buds with a description of the succulent roasted chickens she bought at an open-air market in Paris. Science News

Thanks To Lobbying, It’s Illegal To Power Your Home With Solar Panels In Florida – It may have ravaged much of the Caribbean, but Hurricane Irma weakened mercifully quickly as it passed over Florida. IFL Science

Congress Defies Trump And Votes To Boost American Science Funding For 2018 – For all its many failings, Congress is doing one thing right: It’s repeatedly ignoring President Trump’s requests to drastically cut federal science funding to historic lows, at least for the most part. IFL Science

Human semen can host up to 27 different viruses – When scientists discovered that the Zika virus can survive in semen for up to 6 months, people exposed to the disease—especially those hoping to have children—were horrified. Science Mag

Team of ITE staff develops device to simplify kidney stones removal – SINGAPORE: A new innovation to simplify the process of removing large or complex kidney stones has been developed by a team of staff from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), said a joint press release on Tuesday morning (Sep 19).
Channel Newsasia

Raw Deal: Is ‘Chicken Sashimi’ Safe? – t’s not uncommon to find raw foods on a restaurant menu — think sushi or steak tartare — but if you see uncooked poultry as an option the next time you’re dining out, you may want to opt for something else. Live Science

Ambitious 1.5C Paris climate target is still possible, new analysis shows – The highly ambitious aim of limiting global warming to less than 1.5C remains in reach, a new scientific analysis shows. The Guardian

JPMorgan and Citigroup pledge to be powered by 100% renewables by 2020 – US investment banking giants Citigroup and JPMorgan have both committed to being powered entirely by renewable energy by 2020. Independent

10 Science News Roundup #4

Here are 10 science news that I find interesting and important to take note.

USA threatened by more frequent flooding – The East Coast of the United States is threatened by more frequent flooding in the future. Science Daily

How openings in Antarctic sea ice affect worldwide climate – In 1974, images acquired from NOAA satellites revealed a puzzling phenomenon: a 250,000 square kilometer opening in the winter sea ice in the Weddell Sea, south of South America. Science Daily

Looking stressed can help keep the peace – Scratching is more than an itch — when it is sparked by stress, it appears to reduce aggression from others and lessen the chance of conflict. Science Daily

The sun’s strongest flare in 11 years might help explain a solar paradox – A series of rapid-fire solar flares is providing the first chance to test a new theory of why the sun releases its biggest outbursts when its activity is ramping down. Science News

Brain chemical lost in Parkinson’s may contribute to its own demise – The brain chemical missing in Parkinson’s disease may have a hand in its own death. Science News

A Monster ‘Fatberg’ The Size of 20 Elephants Is Clogging London’s Sewer Right Now – Those ‘flushable’ wipes sure are a gross problem. Combined with nappies (diapers), condoms, tampons and congealed fat, they can stick together to form a gargantuan ‘fatberg’, like the one currently clogging up a section of London’s sewers. Science Alert

Uncontacted Tribe in The Amazon Reportedly Massacred by Illegal Gold Miners – Prosecutors in Brazil are investigating reports that illegal gold miners allegedly massacred up to 10 members of a remote, uncontacted tribe in the Brazilian Amazon. Science Alert

Lost Spanish Town Emerges From A Reservoir During A Drought – A drought has caused the ruins of a lost Spanish town to emerge out of the waters that usually cover it, revealing the remains of the old town as it stood when it was abandoned decades ago. IFLScience

Scientist Slams Climate Change Deniers In Brilliant Viral Post – The overwhelming consensus on climate change in the scientific community is that it’s real, and it’s man-made. The most commonly-cited figure is that 97.1 percent of scientific studies support the view that climate change is caused by humans. IFLScience

Scientists Just Added a Shocking 20 New Branches to The Tree of Life – Scientists have identified the genomes of close to 8,000 microorganisms from samples taken out in the field – and around a third of them are distinct from any life forms known to science, adding a crazy 20 new branches to our tree of microscopic life. Science Alert

10 Science News Roundup #2

How gut bacteria may affect anxiety – Tiny molecules in the brain may help gut bacteria hijack people’s emotions. Science News

Moderate consumption of fats, carbohydrates best for health, international study shows – Research with more than 135,000 people across five continents has shown that a diet which includes a moderate intake of fat and fruits and vegetables, and avoidance of high carbohydrates, is associated with lower risk of death. Science Daily

Electricity consumption in Europe will shift under climate change – Rising temperatures due to greenhouse gas emissions will fundamentally change electricity consumption patterns in Europe. Science Daily

Fire ants survive Houston flooding by creating terrifying rafts made of their bodies – Tropical Storm Harvey is no match for the determined ferocity of fire ants. Mashable

Human influence may prolong ocean cycle that gave birth to Harvey – Last weekend, Hurricane Harvey put an end to a lucky streak: It became the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since 2005. Science Mag

Endangered right whales are dying in record numbers off Canada, raising alarm – The highly endangered North Atlantic right whale is having its worst year in decades. Science Mag

Slow walking pace is good predictor of heart-related deaths – The data analysed was collected between 2006 and 2010 by the UK Biobank from nearly half a million middle-aged people across the UK. Science Daily

Mysterious Toxic Haze Swept Southern England, And No One Knows What It Was – This weekend saw a mysterious chemical cloud sweep the southern coast of England, causing over 150 people to be admitted to hospital with symptoms ranging from coughing, vomiting, irritated eyes and throat. IFLScience

Kenya Imposes World’s Toughest Laws Against Using Or Producing Single-Use Plastic Bags – Using an innocuous plastic bag in Kenya may well be something you come to regret. IFLScience

We Finally Know Why The Caspian Sea Is Evaporating Off The Face of The Planet – Like a puddle under hot sunshine, the world’s largest inland body of water is shrinking in the face of heat – in this case, a scorching climate the modern world has never before seen. Science Alert