Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Science X Newsletter Tuesday, Jan 23

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for January 23, 2018:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

New Eocene fossil data suggest climate models may underestimate future polar warming

Three 'super-Earths' orbiting a cool dwarf star discovered

Brain chemical differences suggest possible reason for humans having social edge over other primates

Theoretical study shows how to make wireless localization much more accurate

Toxin in centipede venom identified

Scientists block the siren call of two aggressive cancers

Discovery of the 'pioneer' that opens the genome

Intel halts chip flaw fix due to problem with patches

The seemingly unremarkable crystals that could help predict volcanic eruptions

Makers can enjoy depth sensing capabilities via Intel cameras

Optical nanoscope images quantum dots

Scientist proposes new definition of a planet

Mystery solved for mega-avalanches in Tibet

Stable, self-disrupting microbubbles as intravenous oxygen carriers

Interacting Antarctic glaciers may cause faster melt and sea level contributions

Astronomy & Space news

Three 'super-Earths' orbiting a cool dwarf star discovered

Using NASA's prolonged Kepler mission, known as K2, astronomers have found three new "super-Earth" exoplanets. The newly detected alien worlds orbit the cool dwarf star designated LP415-17. The finding is reported January 18 in a paper published on the arXiv pre-print server.

Scientist proposes new definition of a planet

Pluto hogs the spotlight in the continuing scientific debate over what is and what is not a planet, but a less conspicuous argument rages on about the planetary status of massive objects outside our solar system. The dispute is not just about semantics, as it is closely related to how giant planets like Jupiter form.

Dust storms linked to gas escape from Martian atmosphere

Some Mars experts are eager and optimistic for a dust storm this year to grow so grand it darkens skies around the entire Red Planet. This type of phenomenon in the environment of modern Mars could be examined as never before possible, using the combination of spacecraft now at Mars.

TRAPPIST-1 system planets potentially habitable

Two exoplanets in the TRAPPIST-1 system have been identified as most likely to be habitable, a paper by PSI Senior Scientist Amy Barr says.

How comet dust reveals the history of the solar system

We are not used to considering dust as a valuable material – unless it comes from space. And more precisely, from the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. An analysis of its dust has provided valuable information about this celestial object, and, more generally, on the history of the solar system.

Spacewalking astronauts give new hand to robot arm

Spacewalking astronauts gave a hand to the International Space Station's big robot arm Tuesday.

Astronomers produce first detailed images of surface of giant star

An international team of astronomers has produced the first detailed images of the surface of a giant star outside our solar system, revealing a nearly circular, dust-free atmosphere with complex areas of moving material, known as convection cells or granules, according to a recent study.

Two US spacewalkers replace latching end of robotic arm

Two US astronauts floated outside the International Space Station on Tuesday for a seven-hour, 24-minute spacewalk to repair the orbiting outpost's aging robotic arm, NASA said.

Is the origin of life just cosmic dust in the wind?

"The cosmos is within us. We're made of star stuff." Thanks to a new study, this famous phrase by iconic astronomer Carl Sagan, now has some more support.

Technology news

Theoretical study shows how to make wireless localization much more accurate

With billions of GPS devices in use today, people are beginning to take it for granted that services on their handheld devices will be location-aware.

Intel halts chip flaw fix due to problem with patches

Intel on Monday called for a halt in deployment of patches for a troubling vulnerability in its computer chips because they could cause "unpredictable" problems in affected devices.

Makers can enjoy depth sensing capabilities via Intel cameras

Intel has two new depth cameras creating a buzz, the new D415 and D435, from their Intel RealSense product family. This is in the D400 Series.

Drones learn to navigate autonomously by imitating cars and bicycles

All today's commercial drones use GPS, which works fine above building roofs and in high altitudes. But what, when the drones have to navigate autonomously at low altitude among tall buildings or in the dense, unstructured city streets with cars, cyclists or pedestrians suddenly crossing their way? Until now, commercial drones are not able to quickly react to such unforeseen events.

Adding graphene girders to silicon electrodes could double the life of lithium batteries

New research led by WMG, at the University of Warwick has found an effective approach to replacing graphite in the anodes of lithium-ion batteries using silicon, by reinforcing the anode's structure with graphene girders. This could more than double the life of rechargeable lithium-ion based batteries and also increase the capacity delivered by those batteries.

Apple says delayed HomePod speaker ready to go

Apple said Tuesday its HomePod speaker, the digital assistant device challenging rivals from Amazon and Google, was now ready after a delay of several months.

Research determines integration of plug-in electric vehicles should play a big role in future electric system planning

An influx of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) charging without coordination could prove challenging to the nation's electric grid, according to research conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Engineer says new study forces researchers to rethink how elderly break their bones

To better understand why many elderly people are prone to break a bone in a fall (known as bone fragility fractures), perhaps doctors and researchers should look at the human skeleton in much the same way civil engineers analyze buildings and bridges, according to a new study from a University of Utah mechanical engineering professor.

AI can read! Tech firms race to smarten up thinking machines

Seven years ago, a computer beat two human quizmasters on a "Jeopardy" challenge. Ever since, the tech industry has been training its machines to make them even better at amassing knowledge and answering questions.

Easing stance, South Korea to adopt real-name crypto trading

Softening its tough stance on crypto trading for now, South Korea said Tuesday it would adopt a system requiring that transactions that until now were anonymous be traceable. It also will more closely monitor trading for signs that transactions may be linked to tax evasion or other crimes.

Google to open AI research centre in Paris

Google on Monday announced it will open a research centre in Paris devoted to artificial intelligence, following a meeting between the tech giant's boss and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Netflix lifted by 'beautiful' quarterly report

Netflix shares raced higher in after-hours trade Monday as the streaming television giant reported better-than-expected gains in its global subscriber base and a quarterly profit that nearly tripled from a year ago.

Microsoft to open 4 data centres in France

Microsoft is to open four data storage centres in France to meet strong customer demand for cloud computing, the head of the software giant's French operations told AFP on Tuesday.

e-Genie tool could grant energy saving wishes for businesses

A new monitoring tool for businesses has been developed by researchers at the University of Nottingham to help reduce energy use and cut costs.

Internet use at home soars to more than 17 hours per week

Since the internet became mainstream less than 20 years ago, faith in traditional institutions and consumption of traditional media has also been displaced by faith in newer, digital institutions and consumption of newer, digital media, according to the 15th annual Digital Future Report recently produced by the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future.

There are better ways to foster solar innovation and save jobs than Trump's tariffs

President Donald Trump's decision to impose punitive duties on imported solar panels and related equipment is rankling most of the industry.

Bitcoin wallet devices vulnerable to security hacks, study shows

Devices used to manage accounts on the innovative payment system Bitcoin could be improved to provide better protection against hackers, research suggests.

Tesla proposes big payout if Musk meets lofty goals

Elon Musk is known for his bold predictions on electric and self-driving cars. Now his pay could depend on whether those predictions come true.

Music firms sue to keep hit songs off fitness streaming app

Some of the nation's largest recording studios have joined forces in an effort to stop a music streaming service aimed at fitness enthusiasts from using songs by Beyonce, Justin Bieber, Green Day and other stars.

Ex-racing driver Lauda back at the controls of his airline Niki

Austrian former racing driver Niki Lauda has been selected to buy the assets of Niki, the budget airline he founded in 2003, the administrators of the former Air Berlin subsidiary said Tuesday.

21st Century Fox/Sky takeover thrown into doubt by UK regulator

Britain's competition regulator provisionally ruled Tuesday that a planned takeover of pan-European satellite TV giant Sky by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox entertainment group was "not in the public interest".

Opinion: Australia's 'electric car revolution' won't happen automatically

Electric cars might finally be having their moment in Australia, after British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta approached the South Australian government about retooling Adelaide's defunct Holden factories into a new manufacturing hub.

Spacewalking from the comfort of your armchair

Meet the Aussies behind a virtual reality application that is really out of this world.

Drones take off in agriculture industry

Could the newest farmhand be a drone?

Emerging 5G networks – new opportunities for drone detection?

Researchers from Aalto University and Tampere University of Technology in Finland have addressed new possibilities for efficient detection of drones by relying on future 5G communication systems. There, mmWave base stations may act as multistatic radar system receivers, thus acquiring the reflected signal from nearby flying drones.

Twitter second-in-command leaving for finance startup SoFi

Twitter bade farewell Tuesday to its number two executive Anthony Noto, who is taking a job heading internet age finance company SoFi.

Palestinians get 3G internet after decade-long row

Palestinians in the occupied West Bank began receiving 3G mobile telecommunications services on Tuesday, after years of wrangling with the Israeli authorities.

Medicine & Health news

Scientists block the siren call of two aggressive cancers

Aggressive cancers like glioblastoma and metastatic breast cancer have in common a siren call that beckons the bone marrow to send along whatever the tumors need to survive and thrive.

Discovery of the 'pioneer' that opens the genome

Our genome contains all the information necessary to form a complete human being. This information, encoded in the genome's DNA, stretches over one to two metres long but still manages to squeeze into a cell about 100 times smaller than a green pea. To do so, the genome has to be compacted.

Curcumin improves memory and mood, study says

Lovers of Indian food, give yourselves a second helping: Daily consumption of a certain form of curcumin—the substance that gives Indian curry its bright color—improved memory and mood in people with mild, age-related memory loss, according to the results of a study conducted by UCLA researchers.

Energy storehouses in the brain may be source of Alzheimer's, targets of new therapy

Alzheimer's disease, a severely debilitating and ultimately fatal brain disorder, affects millions worldwide. To date, clinical efforts to find a cure or adequate treatment have met with dispiriting failure.

Biomechanical mapping method aids development of therapies for damaged heart tissue

Researchers have developed a new way to capture the detailed biomechanical properties of heart tissue. The high-resolution optical technique fills an important technology gap necessary to develop and test therapies that might eventually be used to heal heart damage after a heart attack.

Lifting the veil on 'valence,' brain study reveals roots of desire, dislike

The amygdala is a tiny hub of emotions where in 2016 a team led by MIT neuroscientist Kay Tye found specific populations of neurons that assign good or bad feelings, or "valence," to experience. Learning to associate pleasure with a tasty food, or aversion to a foul-tasting one, is a primal function key to survival.

Cognitive training helps regain a younger-working brain

Relentless cognitive decline as we age is worrisome, and it is widely thought to be an unavoidable negative aspect of normal aging. Researchers at the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas, however, say their research could provide new hope for extending our brain function as we age.

A new therapeutic avenue for Parkinson's disease

Systemic clearing of senescent astrocytes prevents Parkinson's neuropathology and associated symptoms in a mouse model of sporadic disease, the type implicated in 95% of human cases. Publishing in Cell Reports, researchers in the Andersen lab at the Buck Institute provide a new potential therapeutic avenue for the incurable, progressive neurological disorder that affects up to one million Americans, robbing them of the ability to control movement.

When the eyes move, the eardrums move, too

Simply moving the eyes triggers the eardrums to move too, says a new study by Duke University neuroscientists.

Essure female sterilization device appears safe: study

(HealthDay)—Essure implants used in female sterilization have come under fire in recent years, with women reporting a wide array of problems to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Use evidence to inform Isle of Man draft abortion bill debate, urge researchers

The most up to date evidence shows that women in the Isle of Man need full spectrum, accessible abortion services, free of any age or timing restrictions, conclude researchers in an editorial, published online in BMJ Sexual and Reproductive Health.

Civic engagement in adolescence and young adulthood beneficial for adult development

Adolescents and young adults are encouraged to get involved in their communities through voting, volunteering, or becoming active in a cause. A new study sought to determine whether civic engagement during adolescence and young adulthood promotes better health, education, and income over the course of adulthood. The study found a pattern of positive associations of voting and volunteering with these important aspects of adult development, but a mix of positive and negative outcomes in adulthood for activism as a form of civic engagement.

Children view people's behavior, psychological characteristics as shaped by environments

A new study has found that 5- to 6-year-olds view people's environments, not their skin color, as the most important determinant of their behavior and psychological characteristics. These findings contradict the idea that views of race that are known to lead to prejudice - such as believing that race naturally divides the world into distinct kinds of people - inevitably develop early in childhood. The study also found that the extent to which children endorsed such beliefs varied by the environments in which they were raised, especially exposure to people of different racial-ethnic backgrounds in their neighborhoods.

You've lost the weight. How soon before it comes back?

(HealthDay)—If you've just shed a lot of pounds, you might want to hold off on buying a new wardrobe full of "thin" clothes.

Will smoking pot harm your heart? Experts weigh in

(HealthDay)—Anyone worried that smoking a lot of pot could lead to a heart attack or stroke will just have to keep worrying for the time being.

New ACC/AHA recs developed for BP evaluation, management

(HealthDay)—New recommendations have been developed for the prevention, detection, evaluation, and management of high blood pressure (BP). The recommendations are summarized in an article published online Jan. 23 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Obamacare helping poor families the most

(HealthDay)—Poor families have benefited the most from Obamacare, spending less on both out-of-pocket care and health insurance premiums, a new study shows.

Number of older people with four or more diseases will double by 2035, say researchers

A study published today in Age and Ageing, the scientific journal of the British Geriatrics Society, reports that the number of older people diagnosed with four or more diseases will double between 2015 and 2035. A third of these people will be diagnosed with dementia, depression or a cognitive impairment.

Reduced attention to audiovisual synchrony in infancy predicts autism diagnosis

An ability to integrate information from different sensory modalities is important for infants' development and for their perception of the environment. A new study suggests that infants who pay little attention to synchronous sights and sounds may be at elevated risk for developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This knowledge about early development in ASD may contribute to earlier detection and intervention in the future.

Study shows how fetal infections may cause adult heart disease

Recent studies have shown that infants born prematurely have a higher risk of developing heart disease later in life. Now, a study led by researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle shows that, in preterm animal models, inflammation due to infection can disrupt the activity of genes that are crucial for normal development of the heart

Scientists find mechanisms to avoid telomere instability found in cancer and aging cells

Researchers from Instituto de Medicina Molecular (iMM) João Lobo Antunes have found that a functional component of telomeres called TERRA has to be kept constantly in check to prevent telomeric and chromosomal instability, one of the underlying anomalies associated with cancer.

Researchers identify a protein that keeps metastatic breast cancer cells dormant

A study headed by ICREA researcher Roger Gomis at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) has identified the genes involved in the latent asymptomatic state of breast cancer metastases. The work sheds light on the molecular basis underlying how the expression of certain genes facilitates the spread of metastatic lesions.

How very low birth weight affects brain development

Every year, one in 10 babies worldwide are born too early. That's roughly 15 million children, according to the World Health Organization. When children are born too soon, they are at higher risk of mental and physical disabilities, especially if they weigh less than 1500 grams at birth.

Your brain responses to music reveal if you're a musician or not

How your brain responds to music listening can reveal whether you have received musical training, according to new Nordic research conducted in Finland (University of Jyväskylä and AMI Center) and Denmark (Aarhus University).

High-tech imaging could reveal mysteries of bone damage in kids with chronic disease

Kyla Kent had just finished conducting CT scans of bones in a 10-year-old boy's forearm and lower leg. Walking him back to the waiting room, she asked how he wanted to explain the images to his mom.

Mobile phones can worsen healthcare inequalities

The fast spread of mobile phones across low-income countries like India can make it harder for poorer people without phones to access essential health services, new research has suggested.

Helicobacter pylori infection permanently changes gastric environment

The make-up of the human gut flora is highly individual and extremely diverse. However, when a Helicobacter pylori infection is present, this bacterium displaces all other bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, leaving only Helicobacter bacteria in the stomach. This was demonstrated in a recently published study conducted by a research team led by infectionologist Christoph Steininger from MedUni Vienna's Division of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine. If the gut flora are disrupted, it is advisable to consider the possibility of a Helicobacter infection when making a diagnosis.

Should raw sushi eaters be worried about tapeworms?

Australians love their sushi and consume more than 115 million servings of seaweed-wrapped rolls and sashimi (slices of raw fish) per year.

Social and emotional skills linked to better student learning

Students with well-developed and adaptive social and emotional behaviours are most likely to excel in school, according to UNSW researchers in educational psychology.

Forces from fluid in the developing lung play an essential role in organ development

It is a marvel of nature: during gestation, multiple tissue types cooperate in building the elegantly functional structures of organs, from the brain's folds to the heart's multiple chambers. A recent study by Princeton researchers explored this process in lungs and offers insights into the formation of their delicately branching, tree-like airways.

Staying awake—the surprisingly effective way to treat depression

The first sign that something is happening is Angelina's hands. As she chats to the nurse in Italian, she begins to gesticulate, jabbing, moulding and circling the air with her fingers. As the minutes pass and Angelina becomes increasingly animated, I notice a musicality to her voice that I'm sure wasn't there earlier. The lines in her forehead seem to be softening, and the pursing and stretching of her lips and the crinkling of her eyes tell me as much about her mental state as any interpreter could.

Priming can negate stressful aspects of negative sporting environments, study finds

The scene is ubiquitous in sports: A coach yells at players, creating an environment where winning is the sole focus and mistakes are punished. New research from the University of Kansas shows that when participants find themselves in such an environment, a priming session that includes information about how successful athletes sustain motivation over time can help keep cortisol, a hormone linked to stress and negative health outcomes, in check.

Gaps in public and expert views on cancer risk

There are substantial gaps between expert recommendations and public knowledge about risk factors for cancer, though these gaps are closing for some cancer types, according to new University of Otago research.

Neuroscientists put the dubious theory of 'phrenology' through rigorous testing for the first time

Nobody really believes that the shape of our heads are a window into our personalities anymore. This idea, known as "phrenonolgy", was developed by the German physician Franz Joseph Gall in 1796 and was hugely popular in the 19th century. Today it is often remembered for its dark history – being misused in its later days to back racist and sexist stereoptypes, and its links with Nazi "eugenics".

Clarifying the interplay between bone cells in bone remodeling

Bones have numerous functions, including providing mechanical support of soft tissues, acting as levers for muscle action, and protecting the central nervous system. To accomplish their functions, bones undergo continuous destruction (resorption) carried out by osteoclasts, and formation by osteoblasts.

Where you live may influence whether you are overweight, study finds

The old real estate adage of "location, location, location" may also apply to obesity.

Ice psychosis—what is it, and why do only some users get it?

There is growing concern about crystal methamphetamine (ice) use in Australia and internationally, in part because of the psychological effects of the drug. Although most people who use ice do not experience psychological problems, about one in three people who use it regularly report experiencing psychosis in their lifetime.

Everything you need to know about fresh produce and E. coli

While the recent outbreak of E. coli infections linked to romaine lettuce has been declared over, Canadian public health officials are still working to determine the cause of the contamination.

How to understand and harness your workplace rage

As you're sitting there, about to throw an office chair, your temperature and heart rate rising, know that it isn't all in vain.

Why boredom can be good for you

Being trapped in a tedious job, with no possibility of escape, is a recipe for real boredom. This kind of boredom is unpleasant and definitely bad for us. But a flurry of recent media interest on the subject of boredom suggests that it is a frequent experience that really bothers people and is not limited to the workplace. This must tell us something about contemporary life.

What happens when you age—a scientist debunks popular myths about sex and brain power

People over the age of 65 make up a larger percentage of the global population than ever before. As this ageing of society only really took off in the last century, it's unsurprising that much of what we think we know about ageing is untrue.

Public health study finds stress over gender roles linked to maladjustment in girls

Stress over not conforming to feminine gender roles could make adolescent girls more vulnerable to substance abuse, risky sexual behavior, mood disorders and feelings of hopelessness, according to a study led by an instructor at the School of Public Healthat Georgia State University.

Flu infection study increases understanding of natural immunity

People with higher levels of antibodies against the stem portion of the influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) protein have less viral shedding when they get the flu, but do not have fewer or less severe signs of illness, according to a new study published in mBio. HA sits on the surface of the influenza virus to help bind it to cells and features a head and stem region. Scientists only recently discovered that humans naturally generate anti-HA stem antibodies in response to flu infection, and this is the first study of its kind to evaluate pre-existing levels of these specific antibodies as a predictor of protection against influenza. The findings could have implications for flu vaccine development, according to the authors. Scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, conducted the research.

Short-course treatment for combat-related PTSD offers expedited path to recovery

Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be debilitating and standard treatment can take months, often leaving those affected unable to work or care for their families. But, a new study demonstrated that many PTSD sufferers can benefit from an expedited course of treatment. In the first study of its kind, Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy was found to be as effective when administered over two weeks as when it is provided over eight weeks for treating PTSD in active-duty military personnel. The study was conducted by researchers from Penn Medicine, under the leadership of Edna B. Foa, PhD, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) and the STRONG STAR Consortium. The findings were published in the January 23 issue of JAMA.

When it comes to your health, where you live matters

According to a recent report, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and West Virginia have the worst health in the U.S. These states have higher rates of premature deaths, chronic diseases and poor health behaviors year after year.

A video database for cellular tracking created, useful in the fight against cancer

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), the University Hospital Gregorio Marañón (HGUGM) and Universidad de Navarra, together with other international institutions, have developed a video database for cellular tracking that can be used to determine alterations involved in illnesses such as cancer.

Medicaid work requirements could cost the government more in the long run

After the Trump administration gave states permission to impose new restrictions on Medicaid eligibility, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin wasted no time.

Compassion fatigue low in wildlife carers

A survey of New Zealanders who work and volunteer as wildlife rehabilitators has found that most are able to keep a healthy balance despite the pressures of the role.

Married veterans more at risk of suicide than single soldiers

Among recently returned veterans, a new study says those who are married or living with a partner are at higher suicide risk than soldiers who are single, and older married female veterans are at the greatest risk.

Enzyme inhibitor combined with chemotherapy delays glioblastoma growth

In animal experiments, a human-derived glioblastoma significantly regressed when treated with the combination of an experimental enzyme inhibitor and the standard glioblastoma chemotherapy drug, temozolomide.

'Hijacker' drives cancer in some patients with high-risk neuroblastoma

Researchers have identified mechanisms that drive about 10 percent of high-risk neuroblastoma cases and have used a new approach to show how the cancer genome "hijacks" DNA that regulates other genes. The resulting insights may help scientists develop more effective therapies, including precision medicines.The research involved investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston; and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts. The findings appeared online recently in the journal Cancer Discovery.

Racial and ethnic disparities in live donor kidney transplants

Despite efforts over the past two decades to increase the number of black and Hispanic patients receiving kidney transplants from related or unrelated living donors, these racial/ethnic minority patients are still much less likely to undergo such transplants than white patients, Johns Hopkins researchers report. In fact, the investigators say, the disparities have worsened in the last 20 years.

Warning follows report into online child sexual abuse risk

If the public are serious about wanting to protect children from online sexual abuse more investment in skilled professionals is needed now.The stark warning comes from researchers following publication of a new report commissioned by the Independent Inquiry on Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) which coincided with the first day of the public hearing into online child sexual abuse.

Using epigenetic signatures and machine learning to improve diagnosis

Greenwood Genetic Center (GGC) researchers in collaboration with scientists from Canada have identified unique epigenetic signatures for nine neurodevelopmental disorders lending to a better method of diagnosis for disorders with much clinical overlap. The epigenetic signatures were developed through methylation array analysis and were reported in the January issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics.

Parent misconceptions may hinder child organ donation

Children in need of an organ transplant often wait longer than adults for available organs, as in many cases, they require organ donations from another child of a similar age or size.

Deaf children learn words faster than hearing children

For many years scientists tinkered to find a perfect replacement for the damaged or dysplastic inner ear. Cochlear implants receive a sound, convert it into electrical stimuli and send these impulses directly to the auditory nerve, thereby giving hearing impaired children the chance to connect to the world of sounds and noises.

Plotting the downward trend in traditional hysterectomy

Fewer women are getting hysterectomies in every state across the country.

Updated guideline for molecular testing and targeted therapies in lung cancer

A panel of leading experts in molecular pathology has issued new recommendations and updates to guidelines for molecular diagnostic testing of patients with lung cancer. The new guidelines reflect recent advancements, as well as decades of work, to identify the genetic underpinnings of the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. They are intended to help guide the treatment of patients around the world, and help oncologists and pathologists match patients with the most effective therapies. Based on the panel's findings, published in The Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, three leading medical societies— the College of American Pathologists (CAP), the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), and the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP)—have updated their 2013 evidence-based guideline.

Prosecuting background check and straw purchase violations depends on state laws

A new study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that prosecutions in Pennsylvania for violating the state's straw purchase law increased by nearly 16 times following the 2012 passage of a law requiring a mandatory minimum five-year sentence for individuals convicted of multiple straw purchase violations. So-called straw purchases involve a prohibited person, such as someone with a criminal record, enlisting the aid of another person to buy the firearm on their behalf.

Large study finds higher rates of early substance use among children with ADHD

A new study published online in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry found that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) engaged in substance use at a younger age than those without ADHD and had a significantly higher prevalence of regular marijuana and cigarette use into adulthood.

Study: Cells of three advanced cancers die with drug-like compounds that reverse chemo failure

Researchers at Southern Methodist University have discovered three drug-like compounds that successfully reverse chemotherapy failure in three of the most commonly aggressive cancers—ovarian, prostate and breast.

Vascular bypass grafting: A biomimetic engineering approach

When a patient with heart disease is in need of a vascular graft but doesn't have any viable veins or arteries in his or her own body, surgeons can rely on synthetic, tissue-engineering grafts. However, the body often treats these substitutes as a threat and rejects them. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh are developing synthetic grafts that mimic the body's own blood vessels to mitigate many of the complications of bypass surgery.

Personality changes during transition to developing mild cognitive impairment

A key feature of Alzheimer's disease is memory loss and losing one's ability to think and make decisions (also called "cognitive ability"). Those changes can begin slowly, during a phase called "mild cognitive impairment" (or MCI). A variety of diseases can cause MCI, but the most common is Alzheimer's disease.

PCOS may reduce gut bacteria diversity

Women who have a common hormone condition that contributes to infertility and metabolic problems tend to have less diverse gut bacteria than women who do not have the condition, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

C-sections linked to long-term risks and benefits

Compared to vaginal deliveries, caesarean deliveries are associated with a decreased risk of urinary incontinence and pelvic prolapse, but an increased risk of miscarriage or placenta previa in future pregnancies. Those are just some of the conclusions on a large literature review on the long-term risks and benefits associated with caesarean delivery, by Sarah Stock from the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health at the University of Edinburgh, UK, and colleagues, published this week in PLOS Medicine.

New York hits big pharma with $500mn lawsuit in opioid crisis

New York turned the screws on pharmaceutical giants in America's opioid epidemic, suing manufacturers for $500 million on Tuesday as a photographer kickstarted a petition to hold Purdue Pharma accountable as a recovering addict.

Vaping may be bad for kids, good for adults: study

Vaping, or smoking battery powered devices known as e-cigarettes, may encourage youths to start smoking but may also help adults quit, said a US review of scientific research out Tuesday.

New approach attacks 'undruggable' cancers from the outside in

Cancer researchers have made great strides in developing targeted therapies that treat the specific genetic mutations underlying a patient's cancer. However, many of the most common cancer-causing genes are so central to cellular function throughout the body that they are essentially 'undruggable'. Now, researchers at UC San Francisco have found a way to attack one of the most common drivers of lung, colorectal, and pancreatic cancer by targeting the proteins it produces on the outside of the cell.

A new theory on reducing cardiovascular disease risk in binge drinkers

A new study shows that binge drinkers have increased levels of a biomarker molecule—microRNA-21—that may contribute to poor vascular function.

Live tissue vs synthetic tissue training for critical procedures: No difference in performance

Training on the synthetic training model (STM) or live tissue (LT) model does not result in a difference in subsequent performance for five of the seven critical procedures examined: junctional hemorrhage wound packing, tourniquet, chest seal, nasopharyngeal airway, and needle thoracostomy. That is the primary finding of a study reported in the Proceedings of the 2017 AEM Consensus Conference, to be published in the February 2018 issue of Academic Emergency Medicine (AEM), a journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM).

Lack of vitamin D can sideline college football players

(HealthDay)—Nearly 60 percent of college football players have low levels of vitamin D, a new study suggests.

How to sit less, move more

(HealthDay)—Even if you're parked in front of a computer during the day, new research suggests that some simple changes can offset the health damage of all that sitting.

Dinner companions may influence how much you eat

(HealthDay)—When eating out, helpful tricks like sharing an entree or ordering an appetizer instead of a main dish can curb calories. But your choice of dining companions may factor into the equation, too.

Spending more on health care? Here's why

(HealthDay)—Americans spent more on health care in 2016, even though their use of health care did not increase, and rising costs are the reason why, a new report shows.

Recommendations developed for optimizing child health

(HealthDay)—In a policy statement published online Jan. 22 in Pediatrics, recommendations are presented for increasing cooperation between pediatricians and public health professionals in order to ensure optimal health for children.

Prevalence of cigarette smoking 15.5 percent in 2016

(HealthDay)—The prevalence of cigarette smoking was 15.5 percent in 2016, which was not significantly different from the 15.1 percent prevalence in 2015, according to research published in the Jan. 19 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Diabetes tied to higher rates of serious infection

(HealthDay)—Patients with diabetes, particularly type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), are at increased risk of serious infection, according to a study published online Jan. 12 in Diabetes Care.

Closed-head injury may induce TBI even if no concussive Sx

(HealthDay)—Closed-head impact injuries can induce pathologic traumatic brain injury, independent of concussive signs, according to a study published online Jan. 18 in Brain.

Anti-thyroid Rx exposure ups risk of congenital malformations

(HealthDay)—Exposure to anti-thyroid drugs (ATDs) during the first trimester of pregnancy is associated with increased risk of congenital malformations, according to a study published online Jan. 23 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Carbon monoxide hazards rise in wintry weather

(HealthDay)—Along with other hazards, winter storms bring with them an increased risk for illness and death from carbon monoxide poisoning.

VideoL Do low-carb diets really do anything?

Some fads never die. Low-carb diets were a thing in the late 90s and they're still a thing now. But why does this fad have staying power?

New report one of the most comprehensive studies on health effects of e-cigarettes

A new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine takes a comprehensive look at evidence on the human health effects of e-cigarettes. Although the research base is limited given the relatively short time e-cigarettes have been used, the committee that conducted the study identified and examined over 800 peer-reviewed scientific studies, reaching dozens of conclusions about a range of health impacts.

Study to test sleep technology in chronic insomnia

If you spend your nights staring at the bedroom ceiling, you're not alone. About a quarter of U.S. adults suffer from insomnia, which significantly impacts their quality of life.

Nearly 70 have died from yellow fever in three Brazilian states

Authorities say that nearly 70 people have died from yellow fever in three southeastern Brazilian states in the current outbreak.

Philadelphia wants safe injection sites to help opioid fight

Philadelphia wants to become the first U.S. city to allow supervised drug injection sites as a way to combat the opioid epidemic, officials announced Tuesday, saying they are seeking outside operators to establish one or more in the city.

Sao Paulo shuts parks as yellow fever outbreak kills 70

Sao Paulo closed its zoo and botanical gardens Tuesday as a yellow fever outbreak that has led to 70 deaths is picking up steam.

San Diego declares end to Hepatitis A emergency

San Diego's public health emergency for Hepatitis A has ended after no new cases of the liver-damaging virus were reported in the past month and no deaths since October.

Biology news

Brain chemical differences suggest possible reason for humans having social edge over other primates

A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in the U.S. has found some key differences in brain chemicals between humans and other primates. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group suggests these differences could explain the social edge humans have over other primates.

Toxin in centipede venom identified

A team of researchers from several institutions in China has identified the toxin in golden head centipede venom. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes how they found the toxin that makes the venom so deadly to prey and also identified a possible antidote for it.

Survival mode in a tiny worm's brain

Caenorhabditis elegans, or C. elegans, are tiny worms with tiny brains—their whole bodies are the width of a pencil tip and contain only 302 neurons. These nematodes live out their two-week-long lifespans in rotting vegetation, eating bacteria, and avoiding predators. However, C. elegans does not always live such a simplistic lifestyle. Under environmental stress—such as when overcrowding leads to lack of food—these creatures can switch into survival mode, halting aging for months and attempting to hitch a ride to a new location by attaching to other animals.

Genetic study of plains zebra finds that six subspecies made by appearance-only do not match genetic evidence

A team of researchers with members from Denmark, the U.S., Portugal and France has found that the six subspecies classifications currently used to categorize plains zebras living in Africa do not match with genetic evidence. In their paper published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, the group describes their DNA analysis of zebras living in several parts of Africa and what they found by doing so.

Root microbiome valuable key to plants surviving drought

Just as the microorganisms in our gut are increasingly recognized as important players in human health and behavior, new research from the University of Toronto Mississauga demonstrates that microorganisms are equally critical to the growth and health of plants. For example, plants that are able to recruit particular bacteria to their root microbiomes are much more drought resistant than their fellows, says UTM PhD candidate Connor Fitzpatrick.

Viral probe gives ringside view of cell-to-cell combat

A fascinating blow-by-blow account of the arms struggle between plants and viral pathogens, is revealed in new research.

All the buzz—bigger honeybee colonies have quieter combs

When honeybee colonies get larger, common sense suggests it would be noisier with more bees buzzing around.

Rethinking environmental legislation to include the conservation ideas of tomorrow

Rewilding has potential to help address the current global biodiversity crisis, but its impact will be limited unless agreed definitions can be reached, backed by further scientific research and helped by a policy backdrop that enables greater integration with current environmental legislation. These are the key findings of a new study into the controversial technique, led by international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London) and published in the Journal of Applied Ecology.

Dietary fiber protects against obesity and metabolic syndrome, study finds

Consumption of dietary fiber can prevent obesity, metabolic syndrome and adverse changes in the intestine by promoting growth of "good" bacteria in the colon, according to a study led by Georgia State University.

Over 100 endangered turtles hatch in Singapore

Over 100 baby turtles have hatched on a Singapore beach before being released into the sea, authorities said Tuesday, in a boost for the critically endangered creatures.

Biomarkers helped solving the mystery of 500-million-year-old macroorganisms

Researchers have conducted chemical analysis of biomarkers remaining after the decomposition of the genus Beltanelliformis. These organisms populated the Earth in the Ediacaran period (about 575-541 million years ago), and their position on the evolutionary tree was unknown. The data show that Beltanelliformis were colonies of cyanobacteria. The results of the work were published in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

A bacterial powder for quickly stabilizing gravel surfaces

EPFL's Laboratory of Soil Mechanics has developed an easily reproducible technique using bacteria and urea to reinforce sandy or gravelly terrain. A series of chemical reactions lead to the rapid formation of mineral crystals that bind the ground particles together.

Function of protein 'smallish' unraveled

To make a fully grown organism in the right shape, the forms of many cells need to be changed in a coordinated way. Researchers from the Cluster of Excellence for Aging Research (CECAD) in Cologne identified a gene that is in charge of the shape of the cell. Their results have been published in the Journal of Cell Biology.

American lobsters feeling the heat in the northwest Atlantic

Rising temperatures along the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean will force American lobsters farther offshore and into more northern waters, a new study finds.

Accurate estimation of biodiversity is now possible on a global scale

We know remarkably little about the diversity of life on Earth, which makes it hard to know with any certainty whether we're succeeding in our efforts to conserve it. The goal of the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is to provide policymakers with objective scientific assessments about the status of the planet's biodiversity and its services to people. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has also set its ambitious Aichi Targets on better monitoring and reporting of biodiversity.

How single-cell archaea determine what direction to swim

Dr. Tessa Quax has identified the structure of a central protein used by archaea to determine the direction to swim. Archaea are single-cell life forms without a nucleus. She also studied which molecular mechanisms are involved in the transmission of signals from the archaea's environment to its motility structure. Quax, who is a researcher in the lab of Prof. Dr. Sonja-Verena Albers at the Institute of Biology II of the University of Freiburg, has published her research in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Better predicting mountains' flora and fauna in a changing world

Climbing a mountain is challenging. So, too, is providing the best possible information to plan for climate change's impact on mountain vegetation and wildlife. Understanding how plant and animal species in mountainous areas will be affected by climate change is complicated and difficult.

Protecting piping plovers

Visitors to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore are often treated to tiny scurrying beachcombers - piping plovers. Future visitors, however, could see fewer of these celebrated shorebirds.

Canada limits crab fishing to save right whales

Snow crab fishing in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence will be curtailed to protect endangered right whales from tangling in fishing gear, a Canadian official said Tuesday.

Study shows invading toads adjusting rapidly to different environmental conditions

A new paper published in Conservation Physiology examines the thermal tolerance of Cane Toads in Hawaii and Australia and finds that some of them are adapting very quickly to lower temperatures. This has serious implications for the spread of the toad within Australia, a major and persistent ecological problem.

Japan's latest overtime example? Xiang Xiang the panda

By popular demand, Tokyo's new panda cub Xiang Xiang is working extra hours from Tuesday, the latest example of overtime in a country famous for its hard-working "salarymen."

Scientists suggest way to predict the behavior of invasive weeds

Is it possible to predict which nonnative plant species will become invasive weeds and when? According to research featured in the journal Invasive Plant Science and Management, the answer is "hopefully yes." And those predictions can lead to more effective and cost-efficient weed management.

Los Angeles Zoo puts baby okapi on display

The Los Angeles Zoo has put on display a baby okapi (oh-KAH-pee), a reclusive species that in the wild is found deep in the now-vanishing dense rainforests of central Africa.


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