Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Science X Newsletter Tuesday, Aug 23

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for August 23, 2016:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Astronomers discover a large cavity around the Tycho's supernova

Chemicals banned decades ago linked to increased autism risk today

Researchers find complex relationship between major earthquake faulting and mountain building in the Himalaya

Cybersecurity researchers design a chip that checks for sabotage

New microchip demonstrates efficiency and scalable design

'Cyclops' beetles hint at solution to 'chicken-and-egg' problem in novel trait evolution

Global forecast assesses countries' invasive species risk, response capacity

Reef castaways: Can coral make it across Darwin's 'impassable' barrier?

Battery you can swallow could enable future ingestible medical devices

Stretchy supercapacitors power wearable electronics

Scientists discover a distinct new way in which we move our eyes

Chaos could provide the key to enhanced wireless communications

Shortwave infrared instrument could see deeper, help improve diagnosis of ear infections

How individuals experience the psychological effects of power and powerlessness

Removing certain sugars from cancer cell surfaces alerts immune system

Astronomy & Space news

Astronomers discover a large cavity around the Tycho's supernova

Chinese astronomers have detected a large cavity existing around Tycho's supernova, also know as SN 1572, exhibiting stream-like structures. The findings, reported in a paper published Aug. 18 on arXiv.org, show that the environments of the supernovae may be much more complicated than previously thought.

Image: Planck's flame-filled view of the Polaris Flare

This image from ESA's Planck satellite appears to show something quite ethereal and fantastical: a sprite-like figure emerging from scorching flames and walking towards the left of the frame, its silhouette a blaze of warm-hued colours.

Mystery of 'eclipse wind' solved after 300 years

Edmund Halley – of Halley's Comet fame – noted the 'Chill and Damp which attended the Darkness' of an eclipse in 1715, causing 'some sense of Horror' among the spectators.

Why are we now? Researchers suggest life on Earth may be early in cosmic terms

Why are we now? We know that the universe is roughly 14 billion years old, and that someday it is likely to end—perhaps because of a Big Freeze, Big Rip or Big Crunch.

Fossilized rivers suggest warm, wet ancient Mars

Extensive systems of fossilised riverbeds have been discovered on an ancient region of the Martian surface, supporting the idea that the now cold and dry Red Planet had a warm and wet climate about 4 billion years ago, according to UCL-led research.

NASA establishes contact with STEREO mission

On Aug. 21, 2016, contact was reestablished with one of NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatories, known as the STEREO-B spacecraft, after communications were lost on Oct. 1, 2014. Over 22 months, the STEREO team has worked to attempt contact with the spacecraft. Most recently, they have attempted a monthly recovery operation using NASA's Deep Space Network, or DSN, which tracks and communicates with missions throughout space. 

MAVEN spacecraft gears up to observe global dust storm on Mars

NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN Mission (MAVEN) orbiter will have a front-row seat to watch a marvelous dusty spectacle in late 2016. The spacecraft, nearing its second anniversary in Martian orbit, has already gathered a wealth of scientific data about the Red Planet's atmosphere and is expected to provide crucial insights on the nature of intense dust storms occurring periodically on Mars.

Image: Dione's contrasts

Dione reveals its past via contrasts in this view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The features visible here are a mixture of tectonics—the bright, linear features—and impact cratering—the round features, which are spread across the entire surface.

Technology news

Cybersecurity researchers design a chip that checks for sabotage

With the outsourcing of microchip design and fabrication worldwide, a $350 billion business, bad actors along the supply chain have many opportunities to install malicious circuitry in chips. These "Trojan horses" look harmless but can allow attackers to sabotage healthcare devices; public infrastructure; and financial, military, or government electronics.

New microchip demonstrates efficiency and scalable design

Princeton University researchers have built a new computer chip that promises to boost performance of data centers that lie at the core of online services from email to social media.

Battery you can swallow could enable future ingestible medical devices

Non-toxic, edible batteries could one day power ingestible devices for diagnosing and treating disease. One team reports new progress toward that goal with their batteries made with melanin pigments, naturally found in the skin, hair and eyes.

Programmable network routers provide more flexible traffic management without sacrificing speed

Like all data networks, the networks that connect servers in giant server farms, or servers and workstations in large organizations, are prone to congestion. When network traffic is heavy, packets of data can get backed up at network routers or dropped altogether.

VR rendering software used to trick facial security systems

(Tech Xplore)—A small team of researchers with The University of North Carolina has given a demonstration at this year's Usenix symposium showing a means for easily defeating facial security systems. They have outlined their work in a paper published on the Usenix site.

New technology may give electric car drivers more miles per minute of charging

Researchers have designed a thin plastic membrane that stops rechargeable batteries from discharging when not in use and allows for rapid recharging.

New class of fuel cells offer increased flexibility, lower cost

A new class of fuel cells based on a newly discovered polymer-based material could bridge the gap between the operating temperature ranges of two existing types of polymer fuel cells, a breakthrough with the potential to accelerate the commercialization of low-cost fuel cells for automotive and stationary applications.

Self-assembling phone as sign of respect for natural systems

(Tech Xplore)—What is a factory? One easy description might be that a factory is a place where workers stand in line and put components together. What is an MIT dreamer? Someone like Skylar Tibbits who is daring to take the factory process out of making phones.

Where can I buy a chair like that? This app will tell you

If you think you have a knack for interior design, or just want to spruce up your own home, new technology developed by Cornell researchers may help you choose furnishings the way professionals do. And professionals may find it helpful, too.

Tesla lays claim to world's fastest production car

Tesla Motors says a new version of the Model S electric car is the quickest production car in the world from zero to 60 miles per hour.

Deal puts Microsoft apps on Lenovo smartphones

Microsoft apps such as Office and Skype will be installed on Lenovo mobile devices powered by Android software under the terms of a collaboration announced late Monday.

Feds: Ignore that post about banning driver cellphone use

Briefly Monday, it looked like the federal government was going to push all 50 states to ban the use of cellphones and other wireless devices while people are driving.

Wi-Fi? Why not? Homeless are avid users of NYC's free kiosks

An ambitious effort to replace obsolete New York City pay phones with Wi-Fi kiosks that offer free web surfing and phone calls has been a hit with panhandlers and the homeless, the least wired people in the city.

Google rolling out latest Android system to Nexus phones

Google is ready to start sending out the latest version of its Android operating system to a handful of devices.

Private lives are exposed as WikiLeaks spills its secrets

WikiLeaks' global crusade to expose government secrets is causing collateral damage to the privacy of hundreds of innocent people, including survivors of sexual abuse, sick children and the mentally ill, The Associated Press has found.

World's most efficient AES crypto processing technology for IoT devices developed

Researchers at Tohoku University and NEC Corporation have discovered a new technique for compressing the computations of encryption and decryption operations known as Galois field arithmetic operations.

How will self-driving cars affect your insurance?

Mark Molthan admits he wasn't paying attention when his car crashed into a fence, leaving him with a bloody nose, according to a news report. The Texan had left control of his Tesla Model S to its autopilot system, which failed to turn at a curve and instead drove the car off the road. But Tesla, like other car manufacturers, stresses its self-driving technology is there just to assist drivers, who should remain ready to take over at any time.

France, Germany want encrypted app makers to help stop IS

France and Germany pushed Tuesday for Europe-wide rules requiring the makers of encrypted messaging apps such as Telegram to help governments monitor communications among suspected extremists.

Delphi, Mobileye join forces on autonomous car platform (Update)

Auto parts and electronics company Delphi Automotive is joining with Israeli software maker Mobileye to develop the building blocks for a fully autonomous car in about two years.

Swiss charge three suspects in global phishing case

Swiss prosecutors say they've charged three people accused of illegally obtaining data on at least 133,600 credit cards with computer fraud following their extradition from Thailand.

Tech issues cause most drone accidents, study finds

World-first research has found technical problems rather than operator errors are behind the majority of drone accidents, leading to a call for further safeguards for the industry.

Iran rounds up 450 social network users

Iran has "arrested or summoned" around 450 social media users over their online activities, a website linked to the powerful Revolutionary Guards said on Tuesday.

Pokemon-mad Russians hunt Ivan the Terrible with new app

A compass on the smartphone screen points towards Red Square. As the distance to the target narrows, the camera app pops up and zooms in on a bearded figure in a fur cloak.

Streamlining accelerated computing for industry

Scientists and engineers striving to create the next machine-age marvel—whether it be a more aerodynamic rocket, a faster race car, or a higher-efficiency jet engine—depend on reliable analysis and feedback to improve their designs.

FBI probing possible Russian hack of US newsrooms: CNN

Hackers with apparent ties to Russia have conducted a series of cyber attacks on US media outlets including the New York Times, CNN reported Tuesday.

N. Korea rolls out on-demand TV service

North Korea is rolling out an on-demand TV catch-up service, allowing people with some sort of internet access to enjoy the highly-propagandised output of its four state-run TV channels at their leisure.

A novel hybrid polymer simplifies 3-D printing of scaffolds for tissue engineering

A new study describes the development of a novel hybrid polymer suitable for producing 3D-printed scaffolds on which living cells can be seeded to create engineered tissues. The ability to use these hybrid polymer spools with easy-to-operate, commercial 3D printers is demonstrated in the study published in 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing.

Social Security rolls back security measures on website

The Social Security Administration has rolled back extra security measures on the agency's website after getting complaints from people who had trouble accessing their accounts.

Medicine & Health news

Chemicals banned decades ago linked to increased autism risk today

Chemicals used in certain pesticides and as insulating material banned in the 1970s may still be haunting us, according to new research that suggests links between higher levels of exposure during pregnancy and significantly increased odds of autism spectrum disorder in children.

Scientists discover a distinct new way in which we move our eyes

We probably do it every day, but scientists have only just discovered a distinct new way in which we move our eyes.

How individuals experience the psychological effects of power and powerlessness

Quick: right now, do you feel powerful? Powerless? Somewhere in between?

Removing certain sugars from cancer cell surfaces alerts immune system

Cancer has proven to be a wily foe, in part because the cells are so effective at hypnotizing the immune system that should act to destroy them.

Researchers find new molecular regulator of eating

A set of neurons previously linked to lactation in women may also play a key role in regulating eating and body weight, a new study by Yale School of Medicine researchers has found.

Solving the mystery of meningiomas reveals a surprise twist

In solving one mystery—the genetic roots of benign brain tumors called meningiomas—a team of scientists led by Yale researchers stumbled upon an even greater one: How is it possible that two of the mutations linked to meningiomas occur in a gene crucial to all life?

Potential new test to detect serious bacterial infections including meningitis and sepsis

Scientists have identified two genes that are switched on only when a child is suffering from a bacterial infection. This could allow doctors to quickly distinguish between a viral or bacterial illness, and identify early cases of potentially deadly infections.

Biomedical research sheds light on the mysteries of vision

One of the more studied parts of the human anatomy, the retina—the neural layer at the back of the eye that senses light—still has secrets to reveal.

Too much activity in certain areas of the brain is bad for memory and attention

Neurons in the brain interact by sending each other chemical messages, so-called neurotransmitters. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the most common inhibitory neurotransmitter, which is important to restrain neural activity, preventing neurons from getting too trigger-happy and from firing too much or responding to irrelevant stimuli.

Evidence of changes to children's brain rhythms following 'brain training'

New research questions the strong claims that have been made about the benefits of 'brain training' - enhanced mental skills, a boost to education, improved clinical outcomes and sharper everyday functioning. This new study found evidence that 'brain training' changed brain signalling but no indication of other benefits.

Brief rapamycin therapy in middle-aged mice extends lives

Geroscience researchers studying the biology of aging briefly treated middle-aged mice with the drug rapamycin to gauge the long-term effects of short-term therapy on health and longevity.

Discovery of mechanism that alters neural excitability offers window into neuropsychiatric disease

Diseases such as epilepsy, neuropathic pain, anxiety, depression, drug addiction and Alzheimer's are all associated with changes in the excitability of brain neurons. University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers show, for the first time, that the well-known mechanism of gene expression control—dynamic changes in DNA methylation—is also involved in changes to the excitability of neural cells.

Doctors identify potential 'bagpipe lung' hazard for wind instrument players

Doctors writing in the journal Thorax have warned musicians who play wind instruments of a potential hazard they have dubbed 'bagpipe lung.'

Fall in UK cardiovascular disease toll not equal among all four countries or genders

UK deaths from heart disease and stroke have plummeted by almost 70% over the past 30 years, but these improvements have not been equally distributed among all four countries, or between men and women, finds an analysis of the available data, published online in the journal Heart.

Expecting the worst increases side-effects in breast cancer patients on hormone therapies

A study of women receiving hormone therapies such as tamoxifen as part of their treatment for breast cancer has found that the number and seriousness of side-effects they experienced were influenced by their expectations.

Experts call for better services for patients with facial pain

Patients with persistent face pain should be tested to ensure they get the best and most rapid treatment whilst also saving the NHS money, say experts at Newcastle University.

Some youth football drills riskier than others

Nearly three quarters of the football players in the U.S. are less than 14 years old. But amid growing concern about concussion risk in football, the majority of the head-impact research has focused on college and professional players.

Smartphone app may help improve antiretroviral therapy adherence among people living with HIV

Would people living with HIV be willing to self-report on daily substance use and antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence using a smartphone app?

Doctors in India remove 40 knives from man's stomach (Update)

Doctors in northern India have surgically removed 40 knives from the stomach of a man who had swallowed them over the past two months, one of the physicians said Tuesday.

Researchers demonstrate gender identity is reflected in the brain, including transgenderism

Women and men often show marked differences as regards mental illnesses. In order to learn more about this phenomenon, a project supported by the Austrian Science Fund FWF explored how opposite-sex hormonal therapy applied to transgender individuals influences the brain.

Watching a lot of TV increases susceptibility to everyday myths

People who watch a lot of television are more likely to be susceptible to everyday myths – irrespective of their age, education or gender. This is the basic finding of a media study conducted at MedUni Vienna's Center for Public Health and led by Benedikt Till and Thomas Niederkrotenthaler. In the recent study, 322 people were asked about their television viewing habits and also whether they believed that the death penalty still applies in Austria and how many people are on death row. 11.6 percent of those questioned erroneously believed that the death penalty still exists – the more TV they watched, the higher the probability that they believed this.

Depressive symptoms more likely for older adults with elderly parents still living, study finds

People who have reached age 65 with living parents are more likely to suffer depressive symptoms than their peers whose parents have died, according to new research by Rutgers sociologist Deborah Carr.

Harried doctors can make diagnostic errors

When a person goes to the doctor, there's usually one thing they want: a diagnosis. Once a diagnosis is made, a path toward wellness can begin.

Study examines role of ghrelin receptor in fat tissue inflammation and insulin resistance  

Scientists have proposed that inflammation is the harbinger of aging and central to the aging process, a phenomenon described as 'inflamm-aging,' said Dr. Yuxiang Sun.

Bi men by women—lifting the stigma of mixed-orientation relationships

Deakin University research has given a voice to the mostly unspoken experiences of Australian women who are in relationships with bisexual men.

Study uncovers marker for a chronic brain disease

A team of researchers led by Yale professor of pathology Wang Min have pinpointed a marker that contributes to a chronic condition affecting the brain.

New study highlights poor medicine prescribing practices in Africa

In a new study, published in the BMC Public Health journal, researchers led by QMUL's Professor Allyson Pollock say that inappropriate antibiotic and injection use are still prevalent in the WHO African region, and polypharmacy - the simultaneous use of several medicines - is emerging as an issue.

Study finds potential treatment target for Guillain-Barre syndrome

Investigators at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have identified an intriguing potential treatment target for the most common form of Guillain-Barré syndrome. In a study published online in July in Acta Neuropathologica, the authors offer evidence of a crucial pathogenic role for a molecule that is associated with acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy—or AIDP, the most common variant of Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Why we fall prey to misinformation

Even when we know better, we often rely on inaccurate or misleading information to make future decisions. But why are we so easily influenced by false statements such as "vaccinations cause autism" or "30 million illegal immigrants live in the U.S.?"

Research opens up new treatment route for inflammatory rheumatism

Enthesitis, inflammation of tendons where they attach to the bone, is a common medical problem which underlies various forms of inflammatory rheumatism. Although around 1% of the population is affected, the mechanisms driving this type of inflammatory condition is poorly understood. Research by Professor Dirk Elewaut (VIB-UGent/UZ Gent), in collaboration with Professor Geert van Loo (VIB-UGent) at VIB's inflammation research center (IRC), is now changing this. The researchers have demonstrated that macrophages, a particular type of white blood cell, play a key role. The findings reveal a mechanism which could lead to new treatments for certain types of inflammatory rheumatism.

'Bagpipe lung' death prompts warning for wind musicians

Musicians were warned Tuesday to clean their wind instruments regularly after British doctors reported that "bagpipe lung" had killed a man who inhaled fungi growing inside his pipes.

Drinking green tea to prevent artery explosion

Japan's favorite beverage might be offering more than just a relaxing tea break.

Improving food quality by studying the microbial composition of raw milk

Findings from a new study, reported in the journal mBio, may help food companies improve the quality of dairy products. The researchers have discovered that bacteria in raw milk arriving at dairy processing facilities are highly diverse and differ according to season, but still contain a core microbiota.

New Zika clone could be new model for developing vaccine

Stopping the explosive spread of Zika virus - which can lead to birth defects in babies born to infected mothers - depends on genetic insights gleaned through new tools and models. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health recently cloned an epidemic strain of the virus, creating a model that can help biologists develop and test strategies for stopping the pandemic.

Immune breakthrough: Unscratching poison ivy's rash

We all know that a brush with poison ivy leaves us with an itchy painful rash. Now, Monash University and Harvard researchers have discovered the molecular cause of this irritation. The finding brings us a step closer to designing agents to block this mechanism and sheds light on other serious skin conditions, such as psoriasis.

Medical scientists discover potent method for improving drug-free fertility treatment

For those facing infertility, IVF has long been the established option to have a baby. Now Australian and Belgian medical scientists have discovered how to improve a woman's chances of becoming pregnant using a less invasive and cheaper alternative.

Essential oils could counter lung and liver ailments caused by air pollution

Certain ingredients in essential oils made from plants such as cloves, anise, fennel and ylang-ylang could serve as a natural treatment of lung and liver conditions caused by air pollution. This is according to Miriana Kfoury of the Unité de Chimie Environnementale et Interactions sur le Vivant, Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale in France and the Lebanese University in Lebanon. She is the lead author of a study in Springer's journal Environmental Chemistry Letters. It is the first of its kind to evaluate the value of using certain essential oil compounds to treat inflammation caused by the fine particles that are typical of hazy, polluted air, and that are known to be carcinogenic.

Researchers investigate protein's role in cell division

In a paper published recently in the journal eLife, Mayo Clinic scientists take a step toward translating the protein BubR1's function into a potential therapy for cancer.

Is a messed-up microbiome linked to obesity? New study casts doubt

For people with weight problems, news headlines in recent years may have brought relief, as researchers studying the microscopic creatures inside our bodies reported possible links between obesity and an out-of-whack balance of microbes.

Study finds vision loss due to diabetes is rising globally

Diabetes has become one of the top causes of vision loss around the world, according to an article published on August 23, 2016 in Diabetes Care journal by a global consortium led by researchers at Nova Southeastern University's (NSU) College of Optometry in Fort Lauderdale/Davie, Florida, and the Vision and Eye Care Unit at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Aquatic treadmill walking may increase exercise capacity after stroke

For patients in rehabilitation after a stroke, walking on an underwater treadmill produces better measures of exercise performance compared to conventional treadmill walking, reports a study in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.

Studies explore use of genetics to help determine appropriate treatment for fever in children

Two studies appearing in the August 23/30 issue of JAMA examine the use of genetic tests to help rule out a serious bacterial infection in infants with fever, and also to determine if an infection is bacterial or viral in children with fever.

MRI scans may be useful in diagnosing chronic traumatic encephalopathy, study shows

UCLA doctors have found what may be an earlier and easier way to diagnose chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a disorder that is thought to affect some former football players and others with a history of repetitive brain trauma.

Use of electric power morcellation for hysterectomy declines following FDA warning

In a study appearing in the August 23/30 issue of JAMA, Jason D. Wright, M.D., of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, and colleagues examined trends in the route of hysterectomy (abdominal, minimally invasive, or vaginal), use of electric power morcellators (a procedure in which the uterus is fragmented into smaller pieces, and may result in the spread of undetected malignancies), and prevalence of abnormal pathology before and after a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning.

New report details pre- and postnatal brain defects from Zika virus

The journal Radiology has published a special report, detailing the spectrum of imaging findings in babies and fetuses infected with the Zika virus.

How sleep deprivation harms memory

Researchers from the Universities of Groningen (Netherlands) and Pennsylvania have discovered a piece in the puzzle of how sleep deprivation negatively affects memory.

Recommended blood pressure targets for diabetes are being challenged

The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare recently raised the recommended target blood pressure for patients with diabetes. This may lead to more patients suffering from stroke or heart attack, according to a new study from the Sahlgrenska Academy. The new study is the world's largest on the subject and is based on data from the National Diabetes Register.

Study examines reasons for high cost of prescriptions drugs in US, approaches to reduce costs

High prescription drug prices are attributable to several causes, including the approach the U.S. has taken to granting government-protected monopolies to drug manufacturers, and the restriction of price negotiation at a level not observed in other industrialized nations, according to a study appearing in the August 23/30 issue of JAMA.

Integrated team-based care shows potential for improving health care quality, use and costs

Among adults enrolled in an integrated health care system, receipt of primary care at integrated team-based care practices compared with traditional practice management practices was associated with higher rates of some measures of quality of care, lower rates for some measures of acute care utilization, and lower actual payments received by the delivery system, according to a study appearing in the August 23/30 issue of JAMA.

Melatonin boost a key to fighting breast cancer

Melatonin, a hormone produced in the human brain, appears to suppress the growth of breast cancer tumors.

Early exposure to manganese causes attention deficits in rats

Researchers using a rodent model of childhood manganese exposure have found that too much manganese early in development causes lasting attention deficits and other impairments.

Mutational tug of war over HIV's disease-inducing potential

A study from Emory AIDS researchers shows how the expected disease severity when someone is newly infected by HIV reflects a balance between the virus' invisibility to the host's immune system and its ability to reproduce.

Price rise for anti-allergy EpiPen sparks furor

A five-fold price hike for EpiPen, which allergy sufferers use to counteract life-threatening reactions, has made Mylan the newest drugmaker to come under attack in the United States for profiteering.

Researchers predict sudden cardiac death risk

Each year more than 300,000 Americans will succumb to out-of-hospital sudden cardiac death (SCD)—the immediate and unexpected cessation of the heart's ability to function properly—one of the leading causes of death in the United States. For the first time, a team of researchers led by Rajat Deo, MD, MTR, an assistant professor of Cardiovascular Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has developed and validated a prediction model to determine sudden cardiac death risk in adults without a history of cardiovascular disease (CVD). This research is detailed in a paper published in Circulation.

New care plan improves outcomes for Crohn's disease complication

The first published combined medical and surgical care plan for managing septic perianal Crohn's disease, a serious complication that occurs in around 40 percent of Crohn's disease patients, has been developed by researchers at Penn State College of Medicine. The plan and its results took more than a decade to develop and are based on patient outcomes.

New blood spot test used internationally in fight against HIV

Researchers at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at CU Anschutz have developed a technique that estimates an HIV-negative patient's adherence to drugs prescribed to prevent HIV transmission during sex.

New study provides important insight into how tumors metastasize

Research has shown that the growth of cancerous tumours is affected by transforming growth factor (TGFβ) in the body's cells; TGFβ both suppresses and stimulates tumour development. But it has not been understood how this happens. A new study being published in the journal Science Signaling reveals important details behind this process.

Florida probes non-travel Zika case on Gulf Coast

Officials are investigating a new non-travel related case of Zika virus near the port city of Tampa, suggesting the local spread of Zika in Florida may have reached the state's Gulf Coast, the governor said Tuesday.

Traumatic brain injury associated with long-term psychosocial outcomes

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) during youth is associated with elevated risks of impaired adult functioning, according to a longitudinal study published in PLOS Medicine. The study, conducted by Seena Fazel of the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, and colleagues, demonstrates that children and adolescents experiencing even milder forms of TBI (including concussion) may have reduced longevity and significant psychosocial problems in adulthood.

Shortfalls in laboratory services may limit attainment of worldwide targets for HIV

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) 90-90-90 targets call for 90% of all people living with HIV to know their HIV status, 90% of all people diagnosed with HIV infection to receive antiretroviral therapy (ART), and 90% of those receiving ART to achieve durable viral suppression by the year 2020. In a study appearing in PLOS Medicine, Vincent Habiyambere of the World Health Organization (WHO) and colleagues find that insufficient capacity to perform laboratory tests used in monitoring HIV infection, and underutilization of existing testing capacity, are limiting the ability to meet these goals.

Very low transmission of HIV within couples receiving both ART and PrEP

Providing HIV medication to both members of a couple may substantially reduce the risk of transmission within that couple, according to a study in PLOS Medicine.

Breast-feeding rates climb, but many moms quit early: CDC

(HealthDay)—Even though most new moms in the United States begin breast-feeding their babies at birth, many stop sooner than recommended, a new study finds.

Radiofrequency neurotomy efficient in knee osteoarthritis

(HealthDay)—For patients with chronic knee osteoarthritis (OA) pain, radiofrequency (RF) neurotomy of genicular nerves is safe and efficient, according to a study published online Aug. 12 in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

Disease-guided approach ups specificity of statin treatment

(HealthDay)—A disease-guided approach to statin eligibility can improve treatment specificity, according to a study published in the Aug. 30 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Pudendal nerve entrapment can lead to eating disorder

(HealthDay)—Pudendal nerve entrapment (PNE) leading to avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) has been described in a case report published online Aug. 19 in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

Elective neck dissection cost-effective in oral cavity cancer

(HealthDay)—For patients with clinically node-negative oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma, the addition of elective neck dissection to primary surgery is associated with a reduction in overall costs, according to a study published online Aug. 22 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Metformin linked to increased risk of acute dialysis in T2DM

(HealthDay)—For patients with type 2 diabetes, metformin is associated with about a 50 percent increase in the risk of acute dialysis compared to sulfonylureas, according to a study published online Aug. 18 in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

Prescriptions more affordable after policy changes

Washington State University researchers have seen significant increases in the number of Americans who can afford to fill prescriptions following implementation of the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act and the 2010 Affordable Care Act (also called Obamacare).

Research shows standing desks lower BMI

Most of us have heard that standing desks are good for us, and it makes sense it would also be good for our children. Now, for the first time, there's evidence that this simple change in classroom furniture can slow the increase in elementary school children's body mass index (BMI)—a key indicator of obesity—by an average of 5.24 percentile points, according to research published today in the American Journal of Public Health.

Relief for epilepsy at the scale of a single cell

Researchers at Linköping University have developed in collaboration with French colleagues a small device that both detects the initial signal of an epileptic attack and doses a substance that effectively stops it. All this takes place where the signal arises - in an area of size 20×20 μm known as a "neural pixel".

Among veterans, painkiller misuse strongly linked to starting heroin

A study of nearly 3,400 military veterans over 10 years found that when participants began to misuse opioid painkillers, they had a very high likelihood of also beginning to use heroin, researchers reported in the journal Addiction. As a result, the authors recommend that health care providers who serve veterans should watch closely for signs of non-medical use of opioid painkillers.

Intravenous glyburide treatment may reduce dangerous brain swelling after stroke

A phase 2 clinical trial of a drug that may alleviate brain swelling—a dangerous stroke complication—suggests the treatment may help reduce brain injury and death, and information from the study will help design the phase 3 trial. While the trial did not meet its prespecified primary objective, as described in a paper receiving online release in The Lancet Neurology, it did provide additional evidence that intravenous glyburide treatment may improve patient outcomes.

Surgery that restores hand and elbow function in quadriplegics is underused

A surgery for quadriplegics called tendon transfer can significantly improve hand and elbow function, but the procedure is greatly underused, according to an article in the journal Hand Clinics by Loyola Medicine hand surgeon Michael S. Bednar, MD, FAAOS.

Teen survives rare amoeba infection that kills most people

A South Florida boy has survived a rare brain-eating amoeba that kills most people, aided in part because a hard-to-get drug to fight the infection is made by a company in Orlando where he was hospitalized, doctors said Tuesday.

New NIH-funded study to identify risks for vulnerability to drug addiction

A new study aims to better understand what makes some individuals particularly vulnerable to developing drug addiction. A team of researchers from across the country will look at how genes that influence brain function cause risk for addictions.

Fists not football: Brain injuries seen in domestic assaults (Update)

There are no bomb blasts or collisions with burly linemen in Susan Contreras' past. Her headaches, memory loss and bouts of confused thinking were a mystery until doctors suggested a probable cause: domestic violence.

Multivariate analysis improves on cognitive testing in Alzheimer's disease

Multivariate analysis of cognitive tests in Alzheimer's disease identifies five distinct groups of Alzheimer's disease patients, and suggests that multivitamins might slow progression only in certain groups.

Can the high cost of prescription drugs in the US be contained?

In a Special Communication in JAMA, "The High Cost of Prescription Drugs in the United States Origins and Prospects for Reform," Kesselheim and colleagues reviewed the peer reviewed medical and health policy literature from January 2005 to July 2016 to understand the sources of high prescription drug prices in the U.S., and to survey the range of solutions offered to help contain drug spending. Researchers found that per capita prescription drug spending in the U.S. is the highest in the world, and is largely driven by brand-name drug prices that are set, at introduction, based on 'what the market will bear' and often rise substantially during competition-free periods of market exclusivity maintained by a combination of regulatory exclusivity and patents.

Some vacation spots quietly benefit as travelers avoid Zika

With government officials now warning pregnant women to avoid Miami Beach in addition to Puerto Rico, some sun seekers are desperately scrambling for a Zika-free vacation.

Diet and back pain: What's the link?

Can a diet high in processed fat and sugar and Type 2 diabetes cause degeneration of intervertebral discs in the spine? If so, what is happening, and can it be prevented? As part of an ongoing collaboration between Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai - a partnership that draws upon the expertise of both schools to address significant health problems - researchers hope to answer those questions by investigating the link between diet, obesity-linked Type 2 diabetes, and intervertebral disc degeneration.

Boy shows off new hands a year after double-hand transplant

It's been just over a year since now-9-year-old Zion Harvey received a double-hand transplant—and now he can throw a ball, zip his clothes and write in his journal.

Chile issues alert over faulty condoms

Chilean authorities are issuing a health alert, saying they distributed more than 712,000 defective condoms.

Biology news

'Cyclops' beetles hint at solution to 'chicken-and-egg' problem in novel trait evolution

Beetles with cyclops eyes have given Indiana University scientists insight into how new traits may evolve through the recruitment of existing genes—even if these genes are already carrying out critical functions.

Global forecast assesses countries' invasive species risk, response capacity

A global forecast of how invasive species could travel and spread in the 21st century shows that areas in most critical need of proactive management strategies are those with high poverty levels, rich biodiversity and low historical levels of invasion.

Researchers image roots in the ground

It's a familiar hazard of vacation time: While you're conspicuously absent, your colleagues in the office forget to water and fertilize the plants - often leaving behind nothing but a brownish skeleton. Whether a plant thrives or wastes away depends above all on whether its roots get enough water and nutrients. Geophysicists at the University of Bonn have now visualized such processes for the first time using electrical impedance tomography. The researchers have now published their results in the scientific journal Biogeosciences.

Human footprint surprisingly outpaced by population and economic growth

The global impact of human activities on the natural environment is extensive, but those impacts are expanding at a slower rate than the rate of economic and population growth. This is one key finding from the publication of the highest resolution and most comprehensive maps of humanity's changing impact on the terrestrial environment, released today by a team of researchers from the University of Northern British Columbia, the University of Queensland, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and six other universities.

Analog DNA circuit does math in a test tube

Often described as the blueprint of life, DNA contains the instructions for making every living thing from a human to a house fly.

BPA can disrupt painted turtles' brain development could be a population health concern

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used in many consumer products including water bottles, metal food storage products and certain resins. Often, aquatic environments such as rivers and streams become reservoirs for BPA, affecting turtle habitats. Last year, a team of researchers led by the University of Missouri determined that BPA can disrupt sexual function in painted turtles, causing males to develop female sex organs. Now, the team has shown that BPA also can induce behavioral changes in turtles, reprogramming male turtle brains to show behavior common in females. Researchers worry this could lead to population declines in painted turtles.

Off South Africa's coast, great white sharks are threatened

On the edge of a boat off this coastal village, Michael Rutzen stubs his cigarette into a soda can and stares pensively out to sea.

Research alliance to improve aquaculture and livestock breeding

The University of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute and Hendrix Genetics, a global leader in animal breeding, have established a research agreement to improve the sustainability of animal production.

Israeli scientists say they can block melanoma spread

Israeli scientists have uncovered how the most severe form of skin cancer spreads to other organs in a discovery that could revolutionise treatment of the disease, they said Tuesday.

New study reveals adaptations for snub-nosed monkeys

The exotic and colorful snub-nosed monkey spends its days foraging about the treetop in the mountain forests in China, Myanmar and Vietnam. Though once widespread, this endangered species is only limited to fragmental mountain forests, and the highest altitude (up to 4,500 meters) of any primate, making them a fascinating subject for evolutionary biologists to study to reveal the genetics behind their adaptations.

Scientists unravel genetic ancestry of cultivated strawberry

Scientists from the University of New Hampshire have unlocked a major genetic mystery of one of the ancestors of cultivated strawberry. A genetic analysis conducted by New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station researchers, which took four years to complete, aims to improve modern cultivation efforts of strawberry growers.

Activists to battle on after Japan whaling court victory

Japanese whalers on Tuesday celebrated what they described as a court victory in the US to end years of high seas clashes with anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd, which immediately vowed to fight on.

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