Monday, March 19, 2018

Science X Newsletter Monday, Mar 19

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for March 19, 2018:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Rubbery carbon aerogels greatly expand applications

Two sub-Jovian exoplanets orbiting bright stars discovered

Best of Last Week–Stephen Hawking's passing, bottled water contaminated with plastic and fit women warding off dementia

Fossilized brains of ancient sea creatures found in northern Greenland

Scientists detect radio echoes of a black hole feeding on a star

Study suggests helium plays a 'nanny' role in forming stable chemical compounds under high pressure

'Kagome metal': Physicists discover new quantum electronic material

Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

'Oumuamua likely came from a binary star system

A future colorfully lit by mystifying physics of paint-on semiconductors

Scientists have a new way to gauge the growth of nanowires

We can read each other's emotions from surprisingly tiny changes in facial color, study finds

Termite queen, king recognition pheromone identified

Drawing inspiration from plants and animals to restore tissue

Better understanding amyotrophic lateral sclerosis by looking at how cells change

Astronomy & Space news

Two sub-Jovian exoplanets orbiting bright stars discovered

Using NASA's prolonged Kepler mission, known as K2, astronomers have identified two new gas giant exoplanets. The newly found alien worlds, designated HD 89345 b and HD 286123 b, are warm, low-density sub-Jovian planets circling bright stars. The finding is detailed in a paper published March 9 on

Scientists detect radio echoes of a black hole feeding on a star

On Nov. 11, 2014, a global network of telescopes picked up signals from 300 million light years away that were created by a tidal disruption flare—an explosion of electromagnetic energy that occurs when a black hole rips apart a passing star. Since this discovery, astronomers have trained other telescopes on this very rare event to learn more about how black holes devour matter and regulate the growth of galaxies.

Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million years earlier and were not as deep as once thought.

'Oumuamua likely came from a binary star system

New research finds that 'Oumuamua, the rocky object identified as the first confirmed interstellar asteroid, very likely came from a binary star system.

Measuring white dwarf masses with gravitational lensing

Measuring the mass of a celestial body is one of the most challenging tasks in observational astronomy. The most successful method uses binary systems because the orbital parameters of the system depend on the two masses. In the case of black holes, neutron stars, and white dwarfs, the end states of stellar evolution, many are isolated objects, and most of them are also very faint. As a result, astronomers still do not know the distribution of their masses. They are of great interest, however, because they participate in dramatic events like the accretion of material and emission of energetic radiation, or in mergers that can result in gravitational waves, gamma-ray bursts, or Type Ia supernovae, all of which depend on an object's mass.

Image: Rose-colored Jupiter

This image captures a close-up view of a storm with bright cloud tops in the northern hemisphere of Jupiter.                                                             

The first SpaceX BFR should make orbital launches by 2020

Elon Musk has a reputation for pushing the envelop and making bold declarations. In 2002, he founded SpaceX with the intention of making spaceflight affordable through entirely reusable rockets. In April of 2014, his company achieved success with the first successful recovery of a Falcon 9 first stage. And in February of this year, his company successfully launched its Falcon Heavy and managed to recover two of the three boosters.

Technology news

New study presents method to stop cyber attacks on GPS-enabled devices

A new study by researchers Nikolaos Gatsis, David Akopian and Ahmad F. Taha and their graduate student Ali Khalajmehrabadi from the UTSA Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering describes a computer algorithm that mitigates the effects of spoofed GPS attacks on electrical grids and other GPS-reliant technologies. This new algorithm has the potential to help cybersecurity professionals to better detect and prevent cyber attacks in real time.

Implantable sensor relays real-time personal health data to a cell phone

Personalized medicine is one step closer for consumers, thanks to tiny, implantable sensors that could give an early warning of a person's developing health problems, indicate the most effective type of exercise for an individual athlete, or even help triage wounded soldiers. That's the vision for a family of devices that scientists are now developing. They have begun marketing their first device in Europe and hope to win approval for this technology in the U.S.

Woman struck and killed by self-driving Uber vehicle

A self-driving Uber vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in a Phoenix suburb in the first fatality involving a fully autonomous test vehicle, prompting the ride-hailing company Monday to suspend all road-testing of such autos in the U.S. and Canada.

Robots break new ground in construction industry

As a teenager working for his dad's construction business, Noah Ready-Campbell dreamed that robots could take over the dirty, tedious parts of his job, such as digging and leveling soil for building projects.

Economist predicts job loss to machines, but sees long-term hope

Are we bumping up against the "Robocalypse," when automation sweeps industry and replaces human workers with machines? BU economist Pascual Restrepo says that interpretation is too gloomy, although his recent research, posted online by the National Bureau of Economic Research, reveals that the adoption of just one industrial robot eliminates nearly six jobs in a community.

Low-tech, affordable solutions to improve water quality

Clever, fundamental engineering could go a long way toward preventing waterborne illness and exposure to carcinogenic substances in water.

What is differential privacy and how can it protect your data?

It's no secret that big tech companies like Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon are increasingly infiltrating our personal and social interactions to collect vast amounts of data on us every day. At the same time, privacy violations in cyberspace regularly make front page news.

Amazon Go execs share insights into shopper behavior

A key executive behind Amazon Go, the online leader's much heralded cashier-less grocery store, says she was surprised at how many customers were hesitant to just walk out the store.

Facebook rocked by data breach scandal as investigations loom (Update)

Facebook shares plunged Monday as the social media giant faced an onslaught of criticism at home and abroad over revelations that a firm working for Donald Trump's presidential campaign harvested and misused data on 50 million members.

Cambridge Analytica: firm at the heart of Facebook scandal

At the centre of a scandal over alleged misuse of Facebook users' personal data, Cambridge Analytica is a communications firm hired by those behind Donald Trump's successful US presidential bid.

Facebook launches audit of data leaked to Trump consultant

Facebook announced Monday it has hired a digital forensics firm to investigate the handling of data on millions of Americans leaked to a consulting firm working on Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

How Facebook likes could profile voters for manipulation

Facebook likes can tell a lot about a person. Maybe even enough to fuel a voter-manipulation effort like the one a Trump-affiliated data-mining firm stands accused of—and which Facebook may have enabled.

Alibaba doubles investment in SE Asia e-commerce firm

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba said Monday it will appoint one of its founders as head of Lazada and inject another $2 billion into Southeast Asia's leading online shopping firm, boosting its regional expansion.

Wearable polymer piezoelectric sensors for fashionable clothing

Yoshiro Tajitsu of Kansai University, Osaka, Japan, and Teijin Limited, Japan, have developed innovative wearable piezoelectric PLLA braided cord sensors. This technology can be used as wearable sensors in the fields of fashion, sports apparel, interior design, and healthcare, areas for which conventional wearable sensing devices cannot be used.

Raising transparency in the online advertising ecosystem

The online advertising business, led by companies like Google or Facebook, generated over $200 billion revenue in 2017, with an interanual growth over 15 percent. This online advertising explosion is raising serious data privacy concerns.

UK software firm Micro Focus suffers share price collapse

The share price of British software maker Micro Focus collapsed Monday by more than half on the back of a poorly-received trading update and the departure of its chief executive.

VW to invest $340 mn more in Tennessee plant

Volkswagen will invest another $340 million to build SUVs at its US factory, a sign of confidence despite rising friction on international trade, the company announced Monday.

Medicine & Health news

We can read each other's emotions from surprisingly tiny changes in facial color, study finds

Our faces broadcast our feelings in living color—even when we don't move a muscle.

Better understanding amyotrophic lateral sclerosis by looking at how cells change

It took eight long years of research, but now an international team led by neuroscientists at Université de Montréal has discovered a basic molecular mechanism that better helps understand how Lou Gehrig's disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), works.

A small, daily dose of Viagra may reduce colorectal cancer risk

A small, daily dose of Viagra significantly reduces colorectal cancer risk in an animal model that is genetically predetermined to have the third leading cause of cancer death, scientists report.

Decoding the chemistry of fear

Ask a dozen people about their greatest fears, and you'll likely get a dozen different responses. That, along with the complexity of the human brain, makes fear—and its close cousin, anxiety—difficult to study. For this reason, clinical anti-anxiety medicines have mixed results, even though they are broadly prescribed. In fact, one in six Americans takes a psychiatric drug.

Paraplegic rats walk again after therapy, now we know why

With the help of robot-assisted rehabilitation and electrochemical spinal cord stimulation, rats with clinically relevant spinal cord injuries regained control of their otherwise paralyzed limbs. But how do brain commands for walking, swimming and stair-climbing bypass the injury and still reach the spinal cord to execute these complex tasks? EPFL scientists have observed for the first time that the brain reroutes task-specific motor commands through alternative pathways originating in the brainstem and projecting to the spinal cord. The therapy triggers the growth of new connections from the motor cortex into the brainstem and from the brainstem into the spinal cord, thus reconnecting the brain with the spinal cord below the injury. The results are published in Nature Neuroscience March 19th.

Commonly used drugs affect gut bacteria

One in four drugs with human targets inhibit the growth of bacteria in the human gut. These drugs cause antibiotic-like side-effects and may promote antibiotic resistance, EMBL researchers report in Nature on March 19.

Scientists discover how gene mutation reduces the need for sleep

It's every over-achiever's dream: a gene mutation that allows them to function normally with just four to six hours of sleep a night instead of the normal eight.

Decision-making is shaped by individual differences in the functional brain connectome

Each day brings with it a host of decisions to be made, and each person approaches those decisions differently. A new study by University of Illinois researchers found that these individual differences are associated with variation in specific brain networks – particularly those related to executive, social and perceptual processes.

Newly described human antibody prevents malaria in mice

Scientists have discovered a human antibody that protected mice from infection with the deadliest malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. The research findings provide the basis for future testing in humans to determine if the antibody can provide short-term protection against malaria, and also may aid in vaccine design. Investigators at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, led the research with colleagues at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Currently, there is no highly effective, long-lasting vaccine to prevent malaria, a mosquito-spread disease that causes some 430,000 deaths each year, primarily among young children in sub-Saharan Africa.

Scientists locate nerve cells that enable fruit flies to escape danger

Columbia University researchers have identified the nerve cells that initiate a fly's escape response: that complex series of movements in which an animal senses, and quickly maneuvers away from, something harmful such as high heat. These results, based on observations in fruit fly larvae, provide a window into a survival mechanism so important that it has persisted across evolutionary time, and today exists in virtually all animals—including in people. They also lend insight into conditions characterized by dysfunctions in this response, such as allodynia, in which gentle touch triggers the same reaction as exposure to something harmful.

New osteoarthritis genes discovered

In the largest study of its kind, nine novel genes for osteoarthritis have been discovered by scientists from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and their collaborators. Results of the study, published today (19 March) in Nature Genetics, could open the door to new targeted therapies for this debilitating disease in the future.

Measuring neutrophil motility could lead to accurate sepsis diagnosis

A microfluidic device developed by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators may help solve a significant and persistent challenge in medicine—diagnosing the life-threatening complication of sepsis. In their paper published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering, the research team describes how their device accurately diagnosed sepsis by measuring the movement patterns of the white blood cells called neutrophils from a single drop of blood.

Stem cells treat macular degeneration

In July 2015, 86-year-old Douglas Waters developed severe age-related macular degeneration (AMD). He struggled to see things clearly, even when up close.

New research into letter-spacing could help improve children's reading

Increased letter spacing helps individuals read faster, but not due to visual processing, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Study of COPD patients has created a 'looking glass' into genome of pathogen

Decades of work on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) at the University at Buffalo and the Veterans Affairs Western New York Healthcare System have yielded extraordinary information about the pathogen that does the most harm to patients. The results, published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, provide the first insights into how this pathogen lives and adapts to its host in real-time over months and even years.

Don't blame adolescent social behavior on hormones

Reproductive hormones that develop during puberty are not responsible for changes in social behavior that occur during adolescence, according to the results of a newly published study by a University at Buffalo researcher.

Sick air travelers mostly likely to infect next row: study

People who fly on airplanes while contagious can indeed get other people sick, but the risk is mainly to those seated next to them or in the adjacent row, US researchers said Monday.

Scientists discover new causes of cellular decline in prematurely aging kids

In a recent paper published in Cell Reports, Saint Louis University researchers have uncovered new answers about why cells rapidly age in children with a rare and fatal disease. The data points to cellular replication stress and a mistaken innate immune response as culprits, and the team found success in the laboratory in blocking these processes with vitamin D.

PTSD an ongoing fight for generation of Iraq War vets

Justin Carlisle was in the center vehicle of a five-Humvee convoy when the bomb went off.

Discovery promises improved diagnosis and understanding of endometriosis

Feinstein Institute for Medical Research scientists announced an experimental, rapid and non-invasive way to diagnose endometriosis, which may lead to earlier and more effective treatments for this disorder that affects approximately 176 million women globally. The scientists found that a particular feature of cells found in menstrual blood suggests that a patient has endometriosis, according to findings published today in Molecular Medicine.

Social, public health services crucial in fight against HIV/AIDS

Patients at risk for HIV need to be linked to services—such as mental health and syringe exchange programs—that will help them stay in care, adhere to medication and avoid reinfection, a new University of Michigan study suggests.

Decline in colorectal cancer deaths in Europe is a 'major success' story

The decline in cancer of the intestines - colorectal cancer - is one of the major success stories of the past 30 years in Europe say researchers, as they predict that in 2018 death rates from the disease will continue to fall by around seven per cent compared to 2012.

Large study on cancer in the Métis people of Canada

The incidence of all cancers combined was similar for Métis men and significantly higher for Métis women compared to non-Aboriginal men and women, found a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)

Taxing sugar-sweetened beverages increase stigma for low-income groups, Aboriginal peoples

When considering taxing sugar-sweetened beverages in Canada, policy-makers should look at lessons learned from tobacco taxation, especially how taxation could increase inequalities and stigma, argues an analysis in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)

Mothers living with food insecurity less likely to breastfeed exclusively to six months

Mothers with babies living in households with food insecurity—inadequate or unpredictable access to food because of financial issues—are less likely to breastfeed exclusively to the recommended 6 months, found a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Adults' political leanings linked with early personality traits

Our political attitudes in adulthood have roots in early childhood temperament, according to new findings published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. Analyses of data from more than 16,000 participants in two longitudinal studies in the United Kingdom reveal links between conduct problems at ages 5 and 7 and economic and political discontent 25 years later.

Study: One-third of young adults have ridden with an impaired driver

A new study led by a Colorado State University researcher indicates that riding with an impaired driver is prevalent among emerging adults, with 33 percent of recent high school grads reporting the risky behavior at least once in the previous year.

Poll: Social media makes it both easier and more challenging to parent tweens

As children hit the "tween" stage between early elementary grades and the teenage years, parents may struggle balancing the need for independence with appropriate supervision, a new national poll suggests.

Minimally invasive treatment reduces knee pain and disability from osteoarthritis

A nonsurgical treatment could improve quality of life for patients with knee pain due to osteoarthritis, according to new research presented today at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting.

Severe war injuries and PTSD can impact hypertension risk

Severe combat wounds and chronic PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) may put service men and women at risk of having high blood pressure later, according to new research in the American Heart Association's journal Hypertension.

Potential RNA markers of abnormal heart rhythms identified in circulating blood

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a heart condition that causes an irregular and often rapid heart rate. It increases the risk of developing strokes, heart failure, and even dementia. Although associated with aging, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart valve problems, about one-third of patients with AF have no symptoms until they suffer a stroke. Therefore, a means of identifying or predicting AF for preventative therapy is highly desirable.

Blood vessels also affected by Alzheimer's disease

Researchers from the Institute of Neuroscience at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (INc-UAB) have demonstrated for the first time that anxiety and problems with blood vessels present a close relationship with Alzheimer's disease, which in the study, particularly affected female mice.

LSD blurs boundaries between the experience of self and other

LSD reduces the borders between the experience of the self and others, and thereby affects social interactions. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now found that the serotonin 2A receptor in the human brain is critically involved in these intertwined psychological mechanisms . This knowledge could contribute to new therapies for psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia or depression.

Personalised medicine approach to improve quality of life for bowel cancer patients

Researchers from Queen's University Belfast have demonstrated for the first time how molecular analysis of clinical trial biopsy samples can be used to help clinicians identify the key changes that occur in an individual patient's bowel (colorectal) tumour prior to surgery, so clinicians can better understand and treat the disease.

At-home genetic testing leads to misinterpretations of results

Home genetic tests like AncestryDNA and 23andMe are more popular than ever, with sales topping $99 million in 2017. But a new study led by a Boston University School of Public Health researcher highlights the potential negative implications of widespread access to personal genetic interpretation tools.

Why is whooping cough on the rise?

Watching an infant suffer through a bout of whooping cough is agonizing. Blue face scrunched with effort, the baby strains to take a breath through a narrowed windpipe. She struggles, choking, for what seems like eons. Finally, a tiny puff of air squeaks in—the "whoop" that gives the deadly disease its name.

Expert discusses memory management

It took you half an hour to find your keys this morning. You forgot the name of a longtime colleague at a meeting yesterday. You got lost driving to a friend's house last week—it's true that you were more focused on NPR than the road, but you've made that drive countless times and you should be able to do it on autopilot.

How allergens trigger asthma attacks

A team of Inserm and CNRS researchers from the Institute of Pharmacology and Structural Biology have identified a protein that acts like a sensor detecting allergens in the respiratory tract that are responsible for asthma attacks. Their study, co-directed by Corinne Cayrol and Jean-Philippe Girard, is published in Nature Immunology. The work offers hope for breakthroughs in the treatment of allergic diseases.

Harvard study tests impact of K-8 exercise program

A before-school physical activity initiative started by a group of moms is an effective path to helping kids lose weight, according to a study by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital for Children and Harvard Medical School.

Students who think their parents approve of drinking may drink more

Teens may act like they're not listening, but students who think their parents are more accepting of drinking tend to drink more in college, according to researchers.

Study finds poor access to obstetric and neonatal care in low-income areas

A research team led by the Yale School of Public Health has found that many pregnant women in low-income areas have to travel farther than their peers to reach the nearest hospitals to deliver their babies–and the gap in accessible health care appears to be growing.

Vitamin D could provide psoriasis relief

New research suggests increasing vitamin D intake could reduce the symptoms of chronic inflammatory skin condition psoriasis.

Frozen embryos more successful for conceiving during IVF

A new study carried out by a research team at The University of Western Australia and Fertility Specialists of Western Australia has found that women undergoing IVF who have had embryos fail to implant have more success using frozen ones than fresh ones.

Free divers have long defied science – and we still don't really understand how they go so deep

Free divers swim to extreme depths underwater (the current record is 214m) without any breathing apparatus. Champions can hold their breath for extraordinary amounts of time – the record for women is nine minutes, and men 11.

High omega-6 levels can protect against premature death

Could omega-6 fatty acids protect you against premature death? The answer is yes, according to a new University of Eastern Finland study. While protecting against death, omega-6 fatty acids also keep cardiovascular diseases at bay.

Small changes in diet can have a big impact on health

How's that New Year's resolution coming along? Getting ready for summer and want to look your best? Just want to feel better physically? Whatever your motivation, Mercedes Sotos-Prieto, an assistant professor of nutrition in Ohio University's College of Health Sciences and Professions said just a little change in diet has a big impact.

No new drugs for Alzheimer's disease in 15 years

How often to you read headlines proclaiming the arrival of a new, ground-breaking treatment for Alzheimer's?

Multiple screen use affects snack choices

Using multiple screen devices simultaneously while snacking may influence food choices, according to a new Michigan State University study.

Gene panel predicts course of cystic fibrosis

Researchers at National Jewish Health have identified 10 immune-related genes whose activity during a respiratory infection predict the long-term prognosis for cystic fibrosis patients better than conventional measures. Five years after being evaluated, patients in the lowest-risk group were all alive and doing well, whereas 90 percent of patients in the highest risk cluster had been admitted to an intensive care unit, put on mechanical ventilation, referred for lung transplant, had a transplant or died. National Jewish Health has applied for a patent on the 10-gene panel.

Acquired HER2 mutations confer resistance to hormone therapy in ER-positive metastatic breast cancer

Mutations in human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) were found to confer resistance to hormone therapy in some estrogen receptor (ER)-positive metastatic breast cancer cases, and resistance could be reversed by dual treatment with the hormone therapy fulvestrant and the HER2 kinase inhibitor neratinib, according to data presented during a media preview for the AACR Annual Meeting 2018, April 14-18, in Chicago, Illinois.

Prior chemotherapies may impair ability to develop effective CAR T-cells

Pediatric patients with solid tumors may have poor quality T cells compared to patients with leukemia, and certain chemotherapies were detrimental to the T cells and their potential to become CAR T cells, according to data presented during a media preview for the AACR Annual Meeting 2018, April 14-18, in Chicago, Illinois.

Study finds the heart can terminate atrial fibrillation itself after local gene therapy

The heart is capable of terminating arrhythmias itself after local gene therapy, potentially avoiding the need for patients to undergo painful electric shocks, according to a proof-of-concept study presented today at EHRA 2018, a European Society of Cardiology congress.

Six common misconceptions about meditation

Meditation has been hailed as a way to boost mental health, help chronic pain, reduce stress and build a new appreciation for the world around us.

Single steroid-bronchodilator treatment for control and rescue improves persistent asthma

When it comes to treating teens and adults with persistent asthma, using a single corticosteroid and long-acting bronchodilator treatment for both daily asthma control and for rescue relief during sudden asthma attacks is more effective than taking separate medications for daily control and rescue, according to an analysis led by University of Connecticut researchers.

Vaginal estrogen tablets, moisturizers and placebo gel all can improve vaginal discomfort

A clinical trial comparing two treatments for postmenopausal vaginal discomfort - low-dose vaginal estrogen and a vaginal moisturizer - to placebo treatments found that both produced symptom improvements similar to those associated with the placebos after 12 weeks of treatment. The authors note that better understanding of the causes of postmenopausal symptoms could lead to more effective treatment options for this bothersome problem.

New method manages and stores data from millions of nerve cells in real time

Recent developments in neuroscience set high requirements for sophisticated data management, not least when implantable Brain Machine Interfaces are used to establish electronic communication between the brain's nerve cells and computers. A new method developed by researchers at Lund University in Sweden makes it possible to recode neural signals into a format that computer processors can use instantly. The method has now been published in the respected scientific journal, Neuroinformatics.

Why Americans are unhappier than ever – and how to fix it

March 20 is International Day of Happiness and, as they've done every year, the United Nations has published the World Happiness Report. The U.S. ranks 18th among the world's countries, with an average life satisfaction of around 6.88 on a scale of 10.

A history of loneliness

Is loneliness our modern malaise?

New EHRA practical guide on non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants launched

A new version of the EHRA Practical Guide on the use of non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) in patients with atrial fibrillation is published online today in European Heart Journal and an executive summary in EP Europace, and presented at EHRA 2018, a European Society of Cardiology (ESC) congress.1–3 The guide, now in its third edition with more than 400,000 copies of previous versions distributed worldwide, was produced by the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA), a branch of the ESC.

Wives of many prostate cancer sufferers made ill or feel undermined by the disease

Many wives of advanced prostate cancer sufferers feel that their lives are being undermined by their husband's illness, with nearly half reporting that their own health suffered. In addition a focus subgroup has revealed that many feel isolated and fearful, and worry about the role change in their lives as their husband's cancer advances. This study, developed with the wives of men with metastatic prostate cancer who were being treated with hormone therapy, is amongst the first carried out on how prostate cancer affects the partners of sufferers. It was presented yesterday at the EAU conference in Copenhagen.

Interest rate hikes pose mental health threat to people in debt

Interest rate hikes by central banks can impact on the mental health of people in debt, according to a new study by experts from the Universities of Stirling and Nottingham.

Emotionally unstable people more likely to be smartphone addicts, says new study

People who are less emotionally stable are more likely to be addicted to their smartphones, according to a new research study.

Siblings of cot death victims have four-fold cot death risk

Siblings of cot death victims have a four-fold higher risk of cot death, according to research presented today at EHRA 2018, a European Society of Cardiology congress. The 38-year study in nearly 2.5 million infants suggests that autopsies should be carried out on SIDS victims and that family members should have cardiology tests.

Researchers develop portable brain imaging system to shed light on concussions

It's one of the most talked about injuries in sport today, concussion. Yet, there is no accepted way to image a concussion. University of Calgary scientist Jeff Dunn, PhD, hopes to change that. He and his team have developed a portable brain imaging system that uses light to detect and monitor damage in the brain from concussion. Researchers and doctors will be using the technology in an upcoming study at the Alberta Children's Hospital.

Poorer socioeconomic status predicts lower survival in patients with anal cancer

If you are from a lower income area, your chances of surviving anal cancer are significantly reduced, according to a new study led by investigators at NYU Langone Health's Perlmutter Cancer Center, and publishing online March 12, 2018 in Cancer.

Social determinants of health linked to HIV mortality rates

People who are living with HIV in Ontario have access to good health care and medications, yet they are still dying younger and at substantially higher rates than the rest of the population, according to a new study published today.

Fasting diets reduce important risk factor for cardiovascular disease

Intermittent energy restriction diets such as the 5:2 diet clears fat from the blood quicker after eating meals compared with daily calorie restriction diets, reducing an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease, a new study in the British Journal of Nutrition reports.

Suicide risk for youth sharply higher in the months after self-harm

A study led by Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) revealed that young Americans had a sharply higher risk of suicide in the months after surviving a deliberate self-harm attempt. The authors say the findings, published online today in Pediatrics, underscore the need to direct clinical interventions toward youth who survive such attempts during this critical period.

Premature hearts less able to cope with exercise

The hearts of people born prematurely are less able to cope with the pressures of exercise in adulthood, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and part-funded by the British Heart Foundation.

In children with obesity, impulsivity may be linked with greater weight loss when treated

Children with obesity may be more impulsive than those with normal weight, but during family-based behavioral treatment (FBT), the more impulsive of children with obesity may lose more weight, a new study suggests. The results of the study will be presented in a poster on Sunday, March 18, at ENDO 2018, the 100th annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in Chicago, Ill.

Epidural stimulation shown to normalize blood pressure following spinal cord injury

Patients with severe spinal cord injury (SCI) often experience chronically low blood pressure that negatively affects their health, their quality of life and their ability to engage in rehabilitative therapy.

Rheumatoid arthritis meets precision medicine

Scientists are bringing precision medicine to rheumatoid arthritis for the first time by using genetic profiling of joint tissue to see which drugs will work for which patients, reports a new Northwestern Medicine multi-site study.

Primary care physicians report feeling unprepared for role in prenatal oral health

A new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill suggests that primary care physicians may feel underequipped to provide adequate oral health counseling to pregnant women. Poor maternal oral health can have significant impacts on a woman's overall health and the health of her children.

Breakthrough in understanding of how red blood cells develop

By taking a deep dive into the molecular underpinnings of Diamond-Blackfan anemia, scientists have made a new discovery about what drives the development of mature red blood cells from the earliest form of blood cells, called hematopoietic (blood-forming) stem cells.

Wearable heart rate monitor could signal low blood sugar in type 1 diabetes

A wearable medical patch measuring the beat-to-beat variation in heart rate is a promising device for the early detection of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, in type 1 diabetes, according to the researchers who tested the new monitor. Results of their preliminary study will be presented Saturday at ENDO 2018, the Endocrine Society's 100th annual meeting in Chicago.

Certain antidepressants more effective in treating youth anxiety disorder, analysis shows

For children and adolescents who require medication to treat anxiety, there are two primary classes of antidepressants that are prescribed: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).

Study finds association between mother's larger waist size, child's autism risk

A new study finds children born to mothers who had a larger waist size before pregnancy may be more likely to have autism than those whose mothers had a smaller pre-pregnancy waist. The research results will be presented Monday, March 19, at ENDO 2018, the 100th annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in Chicago, Ill.

Ivory Coast says infant mortality has halved in 20 years

The infant mortality rate in Ivory Coast has halved in 20 years, the planning and development minister said Monday, pointing to better and more accessible health care.

Quintupling inhaler medication may not prevent asthma attacks in children

Children with mild to moderate asthma do not benefit from a common practice of increasing their inhaled steroids at the first signs of an asthma exacerbation, according to clinical trial results published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers found short-term increases in inhaled steroids did not prevent attacks in children aged 5 to 11, and may even slow a child's growth.

What is the cost of interrupting a radiologist?

A first of its kind study shows typical interruptions experienced by on-call radiologists do not reduce diagnostic accuracy but do change what they look at and increase the amount of time spent on a case.

Immune cell target that may prevent or delay heart failure after pressure overload

University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers have identified a therapeutic target to prevent or delay heart failure from pressure overload of the heart, and a potential biomarker for the same. They say their animal studies carry clinical and translational potential.

Pregnant women and new moms still hesitant to introduce peanut products

In January 2017 guidelines were released urging parents to begin early introduction of peanut-containing foods to reduce the risk of peanut allergy. A new study shows those who are aware of the guidelines are still hesitant to put them into place and not everyone has heard of them.

Kids with severe brain injuries may develop ADHD: study

(HealthDay)—Young children who sustain a severe head injury may struggle with attention problems as they grow older, researchers say.

Insurance company hurdles burden doctors, may harm patients

(HealthDay)—The scenario may sound familiar: Your doctor sends your prescription electronically to the pharmacy, and you go to pick it up. Only you can't, because the insurance company requires "prior authorization" for that particular medication.

Diet groups can spell diet success

(HealthDay)—For some people, dieting is easier with emotional support.

Reproductive goals vary after spontaneous abortion

(HealthDay)—Women have varying reproductive goals after spontaneous abortion but are generally receptive to contraceptive counseling, according to a study published online March 8 in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Altered neural responses in memory processing in T1DM

(HealthDay)—Young adults with type 1 diabetes have altered neural responses during working memory processing, according to a study published online March 12 in Diabetes.

Costs up for neonates with vocal fold motion impairment

(HealthDay)—For neonates undergoing congenital heart surgery (CHS), vocal fold motion impairment (VFMI) is associated with increased costs due to increased post-procedure length of stay (PPLOS), according to a study published online March 15 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Review supports rhinoplasty for nasal airway obstruction

(HealthDay)—For adults with nasal airway obstruction, repair of the lateral nasal wall is effective, according to a review published online March 15 in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.

Low rate of referral for low-vision rehabilitation

(HealthDay)—Few patients with irreversible vision impairment are referred for vision rehabilitation, according to a study published online March 15 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Cancer comes back all jacked up on stem cells

After a biopsy or surgery, doctors often get a molecular snapshot of a patient's tumor. This snapshot is important - knowing the genetics that cause a cancer can help match a patient with a genetically-targeted treatment. But recent work increasingly shows that tumors are not static - the populations of cells that make up a tumor evolve over time in response to treatment, often in ways that lead to treatment immunity. Instead of being defined by a snapshot, tumors are more like a movie. This means that a tumor that recurs after treatment may be much different than the tumor originally seen in a biopsy.

Team tests ultrasound as way to enhance cancer drug delivery

For decades, ultrasound has been used to image organs such as the heart and kidneys, check blood flow, monitor the development of fetuses, reduce pain and even break up kidney stones.

Canada looks to restrict sweet alcoholic drinks after teen dies

Canada's food and drug officials were directed on Monday to look at ways of restricting the sale of highly sweetened alcoholic beverages following the death of a Quebec teen who consumed a few cans.

Majority of U.S. adults have poor heart health: study

(HealthDay)—America's heart health went from bad to worse between 1988 and 2014, a new report warns.

Mobile application detecting atrial fibrillation reduces the risk of stroke

A new smartphone application developed at the University of Turku, Finland, can detect atrial fibrillation that causes strokes. Atrial fibrillation can now be detected without any extra equipment. The mobile application can save lives all over the world as timely diagnosis of atrial fibrillation is crucial for effective stroke prevention.

European Society of Cardiology guidelines on syncope launched today at EHRA 2018

European Society of Cardiology guidelines on syncope were launched today at EHRA 2018 and published online in the European Heart Journal.

More people miss NHS appointments when clocks go forward

The numbers of missed hospital outpatient appointments increases following the clock change in the spring, researchers have shown.

Mississippi imposes 15-week abortion ban; nation's toughest

Mississippi's governor signed a law Monday banning most abortions after 15 weeks' gestations, the tightest restrictions in the nation.

Study finds changes in intestines leads to reversal of diabetes after weight-loss surgery

A new study helps explain changes in the intestines that may be responsible for the reversal of diabetes in people who undergo a type of bariatric surgery known as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery (RYGB). The research will be presented Sunday, March 18, at ENDO 2018, the Endocrine Society's 100th annual meeting in Chicago, Ill.

Insulin pump known to be effective in adolescents, adults also benefits children

The MiniMed 670G insulin pump system (Medtronic, Northridge, California) can improve glycemic outcomes in children with type 1 diabetes as young as 7 years of age, according to an industry-funded study. The results will be presented in a poster on Saturday, March 17 at ENDO 2018, the 100th annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in Chicago, Ill.

Why are women at high breast cancer risk not having supplemental MRI screening?

Women at high lifetime breast cancer risk might benefit from breast MRI screening in addition to routine mammography, but a new study shows that breast MRI is greatly underutilized even though access is widely available. The study of more than 422,000 women is published in Journal of Women's Health.

Prostate MRI reveals more treatable cancers, reduces overdiagnosis than standard biopsy

Copenhagen: A large international study has shown that an MRI scan can reduce the number of invasive prostate biopsies by up to 28%. The PRECISION trial shows that using MRI to target prostate biopsies leads to more of the harmful prostate cancers, and fewer harmless cancers being diagnosed. Given that more than a million men in Europe undergo a prostate biopsy every year, the authors believe that this work could change clinical practice. The results are presented at the European Association of Urology Congress in Copenhagen, with simultaneous publication in the New England Journal of Medicine.

ENDO 18: New model, new drugs, and a 'remarkable' response in adrenal cancer

Two University of Colorado Cancer Center studies presented at ENDO 2018 use new models to identify genetic targets and test promising treatments in adrenal cancer. One patient was treated with the immunotherapy pembrolizumab and now more than a year after starting treatment remains on the drug with 77 percent tumor reduction and no new metastases.

European Sudden Cardiac Arrest network explores gender-based prevention and treatment

19 March 2018: Researchers will use a European network of 90,000 patients to explore different approaches to prevention and treatment of sudden cardiac arrest for men and women, they announced today during a workshop on sex and gender differences at EHRA 2018.

Beta cell-seeded implant restores insulin production in type 1 diabetes mouse model

Researchers have successfully created a novel biomaterial that can be seeded with insulin-producing beta cells. Implantation of the beta cell-seeded biomaterial reversed diabetes in a mouse model by effectively normalizing glucose levels and significantly increasing survival. The research results will be presented Monday, March 19, at ENDO 2018, the annual 100th meeting of the Endocrine Society in Chicago, Ill.

Diabetes medicine reduces liver fat in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

In people with type 2 diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is common and can progress to a severe liver disease known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Now a study has found that empagliflozin, a newer treatment for type 2 diabetes, reduces liver fat in patients with NAFLD and diabetes. Results of the randomized controlled study, called the E-LIFT Trial, will be presented Monday at the Endocrine Society's 100th annual meeting in Chicago, Ill., during a late-breaking abstracts session.

Robocalls improve diabetes eye screening among low-income minorities

Automated reminder calls may be an effective tool to improve screening for diabetic eye disease among low-income minority patients, especially African Americans, a new study finds. The study results will be presented Monday at ENDO 2018, the Endocrine Society's 100th annual meeting in Chicago, Ill.

Oral micronized progesterone may decrease perimenopausal hot flashes, night sweats

Oral micronized progesterone (OMP) may diminish hot flashes and night sweats in perimenopausal women, new research from Canada reports. The results will be presented on Monday, March 19 at ENDO 2018, the 100th annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in Chicago, Ill.

Few young patients with severe obesity undergo weight loss surgery

Among U.S. teenagers and young adults with severe obesity, a new study finds that only a small percentage undergo weight loss surgery, even though it is broadly considered the most effective long-term weight loss therapy. The study results, from high-volume surgical centers across five states, will be presented Monday at ENDO 2018, the Endocrine Society's 100th annual meeting in Chicago, Ill.

Tooth health may indicate diabetes risk

Poor dental health may be linked with increased risk for diabetes, a new study suggests. The results will be presented in a poster Monday, March 19, at ENDO 2018, the 100th annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in Chicago, Ill.

HRD-positive breast cancer patients fare better with adjuvant AC chemotherapy

People with tough-to-treat triple negative breast cancer, whose tumors also don't allow for double-strand DNA repair, fare better when treated with a common adjuvant breast cancer chemotherapy combination, according to results from a SWOG clinical trial.

AHA: amid world series celebration, teacher saved by a stranger

Lee Matzeder's heart was racing and his chest felt tight during the Kansas City Royals' World Series victory parade in downtown Kansas City in 2015.

Biology news

Termite queen, king recognition pheromone identified

Researchers at North Carolina State University have for the first time identified a specific chemical used by the higher termite castes—the queens and the kings—to communicate their royal status with worker termites. The findings could advance knowledge of termite evolution, behavior and control.

Drawing inspiration from plants and animals to restore tissue

Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have developed new wound dressings that dramatically accelerate healing and improve tissue regeneration. The two different types of nanofiber dressings, described in separate papers, use naturally-occurring proteins in plants and animals to promote healing and regrow tissue.

New life form answers question about evolution of cells

Bacteria and Archaea are two of the three domains of life. Both must have evolved from the putative last universal common ancestor (LUCA). One hypothesis is that this happened because the cell membrane in LUCA was an unstable mixture of lipids. Now, scientists from the University of Groningen and Wageningen University have created such a life form with a mixed membrane and discovered it is, in fact, stable, refuting this hypothesis. The results will be published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the week of 19 March.

Looking beyond genes to explain blood cells' fates

Scientists often talk about cell fate and commitment in terms of mechanisms that control gene expression (transcription factors, chromatin remodeling, etc.). But by studying Diamond-Blackfan anemia (DBA), rare genetic blood disorder, a team led by researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center (DF/BC) have found a surprising mechanism that controls whether red blood cells achieve full development, one that has nothing to do with expression.

A reference catalog for the rumen microbiome

The digestive tracts of ruminant (cud-chewing) animals such as cattle, sheep, and goats convert lignocellulosic plant matter to short-chain fatty acids used for nourishment with unparalleled efficiency, thanks to the activity of symbiotic microbes in the rumen. Rumen microbes play a vital role in allowing ruminant livestock to break down the food they eat, and produce milk, meat and wool which help support the livelihoods and food security of over a billion people worldwide. The process, however, is also the single largest human-influenced source of the greenhouse gas methane (CH4), with these animals releasing approximately 138 million U.S. short tons of CH4 into the atmosphere each year.

Genetic analysis uncovers the evolutionary origin of vertebrate limbs

As you picture the first fish to crawl out of primordial waters onto land, it's easy to imagine how its paired fins eventually evolved into the arms and legs of modern-day vertebrates, including humans. But a new study by researchers from the University of Chicago and the Andalusian Center for Development Biology in Spain shows how these creatures used an even more primitive genetic blueprint to develop their proto-limbs: the single dorsal, or back, fin common to all jawed fish.

Researchers explore an alternative pathway to fast-tracking the global recovery of fisheries

Short-term pain for long-term gain. When applied to the reform of global fisheries, this strategy could yield enormous benefits.

What happens to a dying cell's corpse? New findings illuminate an old problem

Death is certain for all living things, including the body's cells. The act of dying is in fact as sophisticated as any process a cell might perform during its lifetime—and when glitches in cell death occur, they can lead to disease or developmental defects.

Research signals arrival of a complete human genome

It's been nearly two decades since a UC Santa Cruz research team announced that they had assembled and posted the first human genome sequence on the internet. Despite the passage of time, enormous gaps remain in our genomic reference map. These gaps span each human centromere.

New pheromone insight may help predict mountain pine beetle outbreaks

Researchers at the University of British Columbia have shed new light on how mountain pine beetles produce an important pheromone called trans-verbenol, which could aid in efforts to better predict outbreaks.

Making intricate images with bacterial communities

Working with light and genetically engineered bacteria, researchers from Stanford University are able to shape the growth of bacterial communities. From polka dots to stripes to circuits, they can render intricate designs overnight. The technique, described in the Mar. 19 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, can achieve biofilms grown at a resolution of 25 micrometers, which is about one-quarter the size of a grain of table salt.

Elusive venomous mammal joins the genome club

In the open-access journal GigaScience, scientists have presented a draft genome of a small shrew-like animal, the venomous Hispaniolan solenodon (Solenodon paradoxus). This species is unusual not only because it is one of the very few venomous mammals, it is also the sole remaining branch of mammals that split from other insectivores at the time of the dinosaurs. The genome sequencing and analysis of this endangered animal was carried out by an international team led by Dr. Taras K. Oleksyk from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. The availability of the solenodon genome sequence allowed the researchers to answer several evolutionary questions, in particular whether the solenodon species survived the meteor impact ended the dinosaurs.

Signaling pathways to the nucleus

A team of researchers from the University of Freiburg have discovered how the plant hormone auxin is transported within cells and how this signaling pathway helps to control gene expression in the nucleus. Auxin regulates many processes in plants, from embryonic development to the development of organs and responses to changes in the environment. The team recently published its research in the journal Cell Reports.

Researcher develops interactive map which shows how the Irish potato famine transformed ireland

A researcher from Queen's University Belfast has developed an interactive map of the island of Ireland which shows the impact the Great Irish Famine had on the population during the nineteenth century.

Molecular cuisine for gut bacteria

EMBL scientists report in Nature Microbiology on the nutritional preferences and growth characteristics of 96 diverse gut bacterial strains. Their results will help scientists worldwide advance the understanding of the gut microbiome.

Sex, man flu and the water flea

Dr. Matt Hall is interested in the differences between males and females. Why are some males of a species larger and stronger, while females are more hardy and long-lived? Why do they experience illness differently?

New genetic test detects manatees' recent presence in fresh or saltwater

U.S. Geological Survey scientists have developed the first laboratory test that can pick up traces of manatees' genetic material in the waterways where they live. Using a water sample collected in the field, the innovative environmental DNA test can reveal whether one or more of the elusive marine mammals has been in the area within the past month.

Detection, deterrent system will help eagles, wind turbines coexist better

Researchers have taken a key step toward helping wildlife coexist more safely with wind power generation by demonstrating the success of an impact detection system that uses vibration sensors mounted to turbine blades.

Working to safeguard the public against viruses and antibiotic resistant bacteria

Scientists working to reduce risk the risks to the public from exposure to viruses and antibiotic resistant bacteria in the water environment shared their research and discussed next steps at a recent meeting at the Royal Geographic Society, London (14.3.18).

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