Thursday, October 19, 2017

[NASA HQ News] Georgia Students to Speak with NASA Astronauts on Space Station

  October 19, 2017 
MEDIA ADVISORY M17-124
Georgia Students to Speak with NASA Astronauts on Space Station
he six Expedition 53 crew members gather together in the Destiny laboratory module for a group portrait.
The six Expedition 53 crew members gather together in the Destiny laboratory module for a group portrait. From left are astronauts Joe Acaba, Paolo Nespoli, and Mark Vande Hei, Commander Randy Bresnik and cosmonauts Sergey Ryazanskiy and Alexander Misurkin. On Monday, Acaba, Vande Hei and Bresnik will speak with students from New Prospect Elementary School in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Credits: NASA

Students at New Prospect Elementary School in Alpharetta, Georgia, will speak with the NASA astronauts living, working and doing research aboard the International Space Station at 10:50 a.m. EDT on Monday, Oct. 23. The 20-minute, Earth-to-space call will air live on NASA Television and the agency's website.

Twenty Georgia elementary school students will be invited to ask Randy Bresnik, Joe Acaba and Mark Vande Hei questions about living in space aboard the space station, NASA's deep space exploration plans, or any other topic that interests the students.

This is the second mission to the International Space Station for Expedition 53 commander Bresnik, who launched to the space station on July 28 and is scheduled to return to Earth in December. Acaba and Vande Hei arrived at the space station Sept. 12. It's the third mission to space for Acaba and the first for Vande Hei.

Media interested in covering the event should contact Donna Lowry or Susan Hale at

470-254-6830 or via email communications@fultonschools.org. New Prospect Elementary School is at 3055 Kimball Bridge Road in Alpharetta.

Linking students directly to astronauts aboard the space station provides unique, authentic experiences designed to enhance student learning, performance and interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This in-flight education downlink is an integral component of NASA's Year of Education on Station which provides extensive space station-related resources and opportunities to students and educators.

Follow the astronauts on social media:

https://www.twitter.com/NASA_astronauts

For more information, videos and lesson plans highlighting research on the International Space Station, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/education/onstation 

-end-

 

Press Contacts

Katherine Brown
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1288
katherine.m.brown@nasa.gov

Nicole Cloutier
Johnson Space Center, Houston
281-483-5111
nicole.cloutier-1@nasa.gov

 

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Science X Newsletter Wednesday, Oct 18

Dear Reader ,

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for October 18, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Scientists reach milestone in 3-D laser writing in bulk silicon

Scientists may have found a cause of dyslexia

Researchers discuss self-driving car knob settings for ethical choice

Genetic variants associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder identified

Large variety of microbial communities found to live along female reproductive tract

Petals produce a 'blue halo' that helps bees find flowers

Research demonstrates method to alter coherence of light

For $1000, anyone can purchase online ads to track your location and app use

Solar eruptions could electrify Martian moons

Self-taught, 'superhuman' AI now even smarter: makers

Live fast die young: Updating signal detection theory

Nice ice, maybe: Study finds water-repelling surfaces ease ice removal

New simple method determines rate at which we burn calories walking up, down, flat

'Wasabi receptor' for pain discovered in flatworms

Navigational view of the brain thanks to powerful X-rays

Astronomy & Space news

Solar eruptions could electrify Martian moons

Powerful solar eruptions could electrically charge areas of the Martian moon Phobos to hundreds of volts, presenting a complex electrical environment that could possibly affect sensitive electronics carried by future robotic explorers, according to a new NASA study. The study also considered electrical charges that could develop as astronauts transit the surface on potential human missions to Phobos.

Potential human habitat located on the moon

A study published in Geophysical Research Letters confirms the existence of a large open lava tube in the Marius Hills region of the moon, which could be used to protect astronauts from hazardous conditions on the surface.

Researchers find noxious ice cloud on Saturn's moon Titan

Researchers with NASA's Cassini mission found evidence of a toxic hybrid ice in a wispy cloud high above the south pole of Saturn's largest moon, Titan.

Scientists dig into the origin of organics on Ceres

Since NASA's Dawn spacecraft detected localized organic-rich material on Ceres, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has been digging into the data to explore different scenarios for its origin. After considering the viability of comet or asteroid delivery, the preponderance of evidence suggests the organics are most likely native to Ceres.

A solar-powered asteroid nursery at the orbit of Mars

The planet Mars shares its orbit with a handful of small asteroids, the so-called Trojans. Among them, one finds a unique group, all moving in very similar orbits, suggesting that they originated from the same object. But the mechanism that produced this "family" has been a mystery. Now, an international team of astronomers believe they have identified the culprit: sunlight. Their findings, which highlight how small asteroids near the Sun may evolve, are to be presented at the annual Meeting of the Division of Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society at Provo, Utah this week, by Dr. Apostolos Christou, a Research Astronomer at the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom and leader of the research team.

Spinning comet observed to rapidly slow down during close approach to Earth

Astronomers at Lowell Observatory observed comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak last spring and noticed that the speed of its rotation was quickly slowing down. A research team led by David Schleicher studied the comet while it was closer to the Earth than it has ever been since its discovery. The comet rotational period became twice as long, going from 24 to more than 48 hours within six weeks, a far greater change than ever observed before in a comet. If it continues to slow down, it might stop completely and then begin rotating in the opposite direction. 

Space greens beat the blues

Where people will go in the cosmos, plants will go. That's the message of a paper titled "Gardening for Therapeutic People-Plant Interactions during Long-Duration Space Missions" written by Raymond Odeh, and Charles L. Guy of the University of Florida (Gainesville) and published in the De Gruyter journal Open Agriculture.

Russia's space agency says glitch in manned Soyuz landing

A manned Soyuz rocket suffered a partial loss of pressure as it returned to Earth earlier this year, Russia's space agency said Wednesday, in the latest glitch to hit the country's space industry.

ICON satellite explores the boundary between Earth and space

On Dec. 8, 2017, NASA launches the Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, a low-Earth orbiting satellite that will give us new information about how Earth's atmosphere interacts with near-Earth space—a give-and-take that plays a major role in the safety of our satellites and reliability of communications signals.

Hubble studies source of gravitational waves

On Aug. 17, 2017, weak ripples in the fabric of space-time known as gravitational waves washed over Earth. Unlike previously detected gravitational waves, these were accompanied by light, allowing astronomers to pinpoint the source. NASA's Hubble Space Telescope turned its powerful gaze onto the new beacon, obtaining both images and spectra. The resulting data will help reveal details of the titanic collision that created the gravitational waves, and its aftermath.

Lego unveils 'Women of NASA' set with astronauts, scientists

Lego has unveiled a set of figures celebrating the women of NASA.

Technology news

Researchers discuss self-driving car knob settings for ethical choice

(Tech Xplore)—Learning what the technology will do on your driverless car of the future is not the most daunting task to think about. The really difficult question is the what-if in any scenario where the car would need to sacrifice the people in the car or the people in the street in some unavoidable and serious accident.

For $1000, anyone can purchase online ads to track your location and app use

Privacy concerns have long swirled around how much information online advertising networks collect about people's browsing, buying and social media habits—typically to sell you something.

Self-taught, 'superhuman' AI now even smarter: makers

The computer that stunned humanity by beating the best mortal players at a strategy board game requiring "intuition" has become even smarter, its makers said Wednesday.

New simple method determines rate at which we burn calories walking up, down, flat

When military strategists plan a mission, one of many factors is the toll it takes on the Army's foot soldiers.

Intel working with Facebook on chips for AI

Intel chief Brian Krzanich said Tuesday his company is working on a super-fast chip designed specifically for artificial intelligence.

Electric jet startup could become 'Uber in the sky'

Eviation Aircraft chief executive Omer Bar-Yohay pictures a day not too far away when summoning a bargain plane ride with a smartphone will be as easy as hailing Uber.

Bidding war heats up for $5 billion second Amazon HQ

It's the prize of a lifetime—a $5 billion investment creating 50,000 well-paid jobs that everyone wants, but only one US city will get.

Is facial recognition the stuff of sci-fi? Not in China

From toilet-paper dispensers to fast-food restaurants, travel and crime-fighting, China is taking the lead in rolling out facial-recognition technology.

Privacy groups warn of perils in smartwatches for kids

Smartwatches designed to help parents keep tabs on children could create privacy and security risks, activist and consumer groups said Wednesday as they called for probes by regulators.

Snap, NBCUniversal form original content venture

NBCUniversal and Snap Inc announced Tuesday a joint venture to produce original scripted shows for Snapchat, the social network popular with young audiences.

Big question for US cities: Is Amazon's HQ2 worth the price?

Dozens of cities are working frantically to land Amazon's second headquarters, raising a weighty question with no easy answer:

Baidu to hit the road with self-driving bus

Baidu chief executive Robin Li on Tuesday said the Chinese internet giant will have a self-driving bus on the road soon as it races for a lead in autonomous vehicles.

Software improves captioning for those with hearing deficits

Making sure deaf and hard-of-hearing students get the information presented in class and current academic events requires a lot of advance planning by the students and the offices that serve them.

Lucrative change from oil to clean energy

When Ole-Erik Vestøl Endrerud started his PhD, he didn't anticipate that his research would result in a lucrative business.

New developments enabling blind people to see again

Enabling blind people to see again is the dream of many neuroscientists. We still have a long way to go to make this happen, but we have also made a lot of progress over the last twenty years, says Richard van Wezel of the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour. He presented his research into the development of a 'prosthetic for blind people' on the occasion of World Sight Day (12 October), an annual event that focuses attention on blindness and vision loss.

Nielsen says it will report on who's watching streamed shows

The Nielsen company, which has long measured viewership of television programs, now says it has a way to collect and widely spread details about how many people watch programming produced by streaming services like Netflix and Amazon.

EU says data privacy deal with US can be improved

The European Union says that the one-year-old rules governing data transfers with the U.S. are working well but that some improvements can still be made to the system to guarantee EU citizens' privacy protection.

Shell opens its first electric vehicle charging points

Shell opened its first electric vehicle recharging points at three gas stations in Britain on Wednesday, part of the oil giant's efforts to respond to a global push toward zero-emission vehicles.

Poll: Despite mobile options and cord-cutting, sports fans still turn on the TV

Despite the growth of mobile technology and viewing options, when sports fans want to watch a game, they turn to traditional live TV, according to results of a UMass Lowell-Washington Post poll released today.

Minnesota submits low-budget bid for Amazon

Minnesota filed its bid for Amazon's second headquarters on Wednesday, hoping to get a great deal on a mammoth development plum by offering a package of financial incentives likely far smaller than other states.

Twitter vows new crackdown on hateful, abusive tweets

Twitter is vowing to crack down further on hate speech and sexual harassment, days after CEO Jack Dorsey said in a tweetstorm that the company is not doing enough to protect its users.

Samsung's revamped Bixby takes on Amazon Alexa

Samsung on Wednesday announced it is upgrading its Bixby digital assistant and making it available for a range of connected devices, setting up a clash with Amazon's Alexa and others competing for leadership in artificial intelligence.

Wooing Amazon with sun, fun ... and giant buttons

Mayors from Toledo to Tulsa are so eager to woo Amazon's much-vaunted second headquarters that they're brandishing bourbon, selling the sun, whispering sweet nothings to the company and even pushing its buttons.

Amazon has brought benefits - and disruption - to Seattle

Memo to the many places vying for Amazon's second headquarters: It ain't all food trucks and free bananas.

Twitter steps up fight against sexual harassment

Twitter has announced tough new rules on tweets containing "non-consensual nudity" and sexual harassment, which could be seen as fallout from the Harvey Weinstein abuse scandal.

Is 3-D printing living up to the hype?

The growth in 3-D printing is allowing manufacturers to reduce production time and save money. Metal fabrication shops, industrial firms and engineers are also capitalizing on the technology. But the predicted mass production of 3-D printed products for consumers has not yet come to pass. An article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, explains how industry is using the technology.

Medicine & Health news

Scientists may have found a cause of dyslexia

A duo of French scientists said Wednesday they may have found a physiological, and seemingly treatable, cause for dyslexia hidden in tiny light-receptor cells in the human eye.

Genetic variants associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder identified

(Medical Xpress)—An international team of researchers has found evidence of four genes that can be linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the group describes their approach to isolating genes linked to OCD and what they found as a result.

Large variety of microbial communities found to live along female reproductive tract

(Medical Xpress)—A large team of researchers from China (and one each from Norway and Denmark) has found that the female reproductive tract is host to a far richer microbial community than has been thought. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the group reports collecting samples from several parts of the reproductive tracts of volunteer women and what they found in studying them.

'Wasabi receptor' for pain discovered in flatworms

A Northwestern University research team has discovered how scalding heat and tissue injury activate an ancient "pain" receptor in simple animals. The findings could lead to new strategies for analgesic drug design for the treatment of humans.

Navigational view of the brain thanks to powerful X-rays

If brain imaging could be compared to Google Earth, neuroscientists would already have a pretty good "satellite view" of the brain, and a great "street view" of neuron details. But navigating how the brain computes is arguably where the action is, and neuroscience's "navigational map view" has been a bit meager.

Study of what makes cells resistant to radiation could improve cancer treatments

A Johns Hopkins University biologist is part of a research team that has demonstrated a way to size up a cell's resistance to radiation, a step that could eventually help improve cancer treatments.

New insights into herpes virus could inform vaccine development

A team of scientists has discovered new insights into the mechanisms of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, as well as two antibodies that block the virus' entry into cells. The findings, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), have the potential to lead to the development of novel vaccines to prevent infection by EBV and other human herpesviruses.

Brain activity predicts crowdfunding outcomes better than self-reports

Surveys and self-reports are a time-honored way of trying to predict consumer behavior, but they have limitations. People often give socially desirable answers or they simply don't know or remember things clearly.

Inflammation trains the skin to heal faster

Scars may fade, but the skin remembers. New research from The Rockefeller University reveals that wounds or other harmful, inflammation-provoking experiences impart long-lasting memories to stem cells residing in the skin, teaching them to heal subsequent injuries faster.

Nature or nurture? Innate social behaviors in the mouse brain

Adult male mice have a simple repertoire of innate, or instinctive, social behaviors: When encountering a female, a male mouse will try to mate with it, and when encountering another male, the mouse will attack. The animals do not have to be taught to perform these behaviors. This has led to the widespread presumption among neuroscientists that the brain circuits mediating these behaviors are "hardwired," meaning that they are genetically encoded pathways with little flexibility.

New clues to treat Alagille syndrome from zebrafish

A new study led by researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) identifies potential new therapeutic avenues for patients with Alagille syndrome. The discovery, published in Nature Communications, identifies the cells and genes in zebrafish necessary to make liver ducts, thin tubes that transport a fluid called bile from the liver to the gallbladder and small intestine. Patients with Alagille syndrome have fewer than the normal number of liver ducts, causing jaundice, liver disease and liver failure.

Dutch courage—Alcohol improves foreign language skills

A new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, conducted by researchers from the University of Liverpool, Maastricht University and King's College London, shows that bilingual speakers' ability to speak a second language is improved after they have consumed a low dose of alcohol.

New findings explain how UV rays trigger skin cancer

Melanoma, a cancer of skin pigment cells called melanocytes, will strike an estimated 87,110 people in the U.S. in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A fraction of those melanomas come from pre-existing moles, but the majority of them come from sources unknown - until now.

Across Asia, liver cancer is linked to herbal remedies: study

Researchers have uncovered widespread evidence of a link between traditional Chinese herbal remedies and liver cancer across Asia, a study said Wednesday.

Keeping active can help older people reduce the need for costly social care

A concerted effort to encourage older people to keep active can help them live more independently and reduce the need for social care, argue experts in The BMJ today.

Newborns with trisomy 13 or 18 benefit from heart surgery, study finds

Heart surgery significantly decreases in-hospital mortality among infants with either of two genetic disorders that cause severe physical and intellectual disabilities, according to a new study by a researcher at the Stanford University School of Medicine and his colleagues at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

MRI may predict neurological outcomes for cardiac arrest survivors

MRI-based measurements of the functional connections in the brain can help predict long-term recovery in patients who suffer neurological disability after cardiac arrest, according to a study appearing online in the journal Radiology.

Many women do not follow contraception guidelines after weight-loss surgery, study finds

Many women do not follow the guidelines to prevent pregnancy for an 18-month period following bariatric surgery, University of Pittsburgh researchers examining post-surgery contraceptive practices and conception rates report.

Culturally tailored obesity intervention a success for hispanic students

An obesity intervention for Hispanic middle school students led by researchers at the University of Houston found that with consistent guidance from high school health mentors, called compañeros, students not only lost significantly more weight but also kept it off longer.

Fighting opioid addiction in primary care—new study shows it's possible

For many of the 2 million Americans addicted to opioids, getting good treatment and getting off prescription painkillers or heroin may seem like a far-off dream.

Ultra-personal therapy: Gene tumor boards guide cancer care

Doctors were just guessing a decade ago when they gave Alison Cairnes' husband a new drug they hoped would shrink his lung tumors. Now she takes it, but the choice was no guesswork. Sophisticated gene tests suggested it would fight her gastric cancer, and they were right.

Madagascar plague death toll climbs to 74

An outbreak of highly contagious plague has claimed 74 lives in Madagascar over the past two months with the capital particularly affected, according to a new official toll published Tuesday.

Researchers want to heal the brain. Should they enhance it as well?

Despite obvious benefits for people with otherwise untreatable conditions, there could be downsides to brain-machine interfaces being developed to treat disease or drive prosthetic limbs. As researchers get better at building interfaces and understanding the language of the brain, the possibility arises that science could enhance our senses and even our intelligence.

Researchers release the brakes on the immune system

Many tumors possess mechanisms to avoid destruction by the immune system. For instance, they misuse the natural "brakes" in the immune defense mechanism that normally prevent an excessive immune response. Researchers at the University of Bonn have now been able to remove one of these brakes. The study, which involved colleagues from Hamburg and Würzburg, could pave the way for more effective cancer therapies. It is published in the journal Cell Reports.

Lumpectomy combined with lift a good option for women with breast cancer

A collaborative effort between a surgical oncologist and plastic surgeon can provide an opportunity for women diagnosed with breast cancer to not only have the lump removed from the breast, but also get a breast lift during the same procedure. Dr. Sebastian Winocour, assistant professor in the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine who specializes in plastic surgery, says that women diagnosed with breast cancer should consider this option early, because performing this procedure after radiation has a higher rate of complications.

Speeding up cancer screening with mobile technology

Delivering breast cancer screening results in a day instead of today's standard two weeks is being proposed by an ESA incubator start-up company using paperless technology and online image transfers. Screening vans are already on the streets.

Brain-machine interfaces to treat neurological disease

Since the 19th century at least, humans have wondered what could be accomplished by linking our brains – smart and flexible but prone to disease and disarray – directly to technology in all its cold, hard precision. Writers of the time dreamed up intelligence enhanced by implanted clockwork and a starship controlled by a transplanted brain.

Everything you need to know about sleep, but are too tired to ask

Ask neuroscientist Matthew Walker, author of the new book, Why We Sleep, about the downside of pulling an all-nighter, and he'll rattle off a list of ill effects that range from memory loss and a compromised immune system to junk food cravings and wild mood swings.

New insights into vaccination debate

Governments wielding a 'big stick' for compliance is unlikely to solve the problem of making parents vaccinate their children.

Taking probiotics may reduce postnatal depression

Researchers from the University of Auckland and Otago have found evidence that a probiotic given in pregnancy can help prevent or treat symptoms of postnatal depression and anxiety.

Changing stroke definitions is causing chaos, warns professor

Proposals to change the definitions of stroke and related conditions are causing confusion and chaos in clinical practice and research, a Monash University associate professor has warned.

High risk of injury in young elite athletes

Every week, an average of three in every 10 adolescent elite athletes suffer an injury. Worst affected are young women, and the risk of injury increases with low self-esteem, especially in combination with less sleep and higher training volume and intensity, a doctoral thesis from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows.

This is why child obesity rates have soared

New data on almost 13 million people, from 200 countries around the world, points to a tenfold increase in rates of obesity among children and adolescents over the last four decades. This is the largest study of its kind and it paints a startling and depressing picture of a world that is getting fatter.

Study suggests psychedelic drugs could reduce criminal behavior

Classic psychedelics such as psilocybin (often called magic mushrooms), LSD and mescaline (found in peyote) are associated with a decreased likelihood of antisocial criminal behavior, according to new research from investigators at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Clinical trial hopes to provide less toxic treatment for prostate cancer

Over the last decade, immunotherapy has emerged as one of the most promising and innovative fields in oncology. The goal of immunotherapy is to help a patient's own immune system fight cancer. A major breakthrough came in 2010, when the FDA approved the first cancer-treatment vaccine, sipuleucel-T (brand name Provenge), for the treatment of prostate cancer.

Faster metabolism makeover—nurturing your gut bacteria

Here's how to take control of your cravings and lose weight for good by improving your gut health.

Research highlights women's positive approach to menopause

Women experience the menopause between the ages of around 45 and 55, but their experiences of this significant stage of life are diverse. Each woman's menopause is unique.

Possible new immune therapy target in lung cancer

A study from Bern University Hospital in collaboration with the University of Bern shows that so-called perivascular-like cells from lung tumors behave abnormally. They not only inadequately support vascular structures, but also may actively modulate the inflammatory and immune response. These findings may represent a novel stromal cancer target.

Newly described process in Parkinson's protein as a potential new therapy route

An international group of researchers led by Professor Wim Versées (VIB-VUB) has unraveled the workings of an essential mechanism in Parkinson's protein LRRK2. Their study demonstrates a direct link between the protein's dimerization – two copies that are bound together –and mutations that lead to Parkinson's disease. This process could eventually lead to a promising therapy route. This research has been published in the leading academic journal Nature Communications.

National roll-out of PrEP HIV prevention drug would be cost-effective

Providing pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medication to men who have sex with men who are at high risk of HIV infection (equivalent to less than 5% of men who have sex with men at any point in time) in England would be cost-effective, and could help to prevent up to one in four cases of HIV, according to UCL research.

Potentially preventable spending concentrated in frail elderly

(HealthDay)—Much of the total potentially preventable spending for Medicare beneficiaries is concentrated among frail elderly individuals, according to a study published online Oct. 16 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Mouse studies shed light on how protein controls heart failure

A new study on two specially bred strains of mice has illuminated how abnormal addition of the chemical phosphate to a specific heart muscle protein may sabotage the way the protein behaves in a cell, and may damage the way the heart pumps blood around the body.

Rare cancer linked with textured breast implants may be underreported, misunderstood

A rare cancer in patients with breast implants may be on the rise, but not all patients and physicians may be aware of the risks associated with the procedure, according to a group of Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

From Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde of cancer immunotherapy

Novel immunotherapies can strengthen the body's own defenses against cancer cells. Treatment of patients with advanced disease can promote partial and complete tumor regressions. However, such strategies also frequently fail. The underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood. An international research team led by the University Hospitals of Magdeburg and Bonn has now discovered a previously unrecognized braking mechanism that limits the efficacy of cancer immunotherapies. The results are published in the renowned journal Immunity and provide a scientific basis to further develop cancer immunotherapy.

One step closer toward a treatment for Alzheimer's disease?

Scientists at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), in collaboration with colleagues at the University California, San Diego (UCSD), have characterized a new class of drugs as potential therapeutics for Alzheimer's disease and discovered a piece in the puzzle of how they would work. Their study, using disease-related animal and cellular models, shows that treatment with a representative compound of this class of gamma-secretase modulators leads to a reduction of the Alzheimer's-associated beta-amyloid. The study has been online published in EBioMedicine, an open-access journal jointly published by Cell Press and The Lancet.

Drug yields high response rates for lung cancer patients with harsh mutation

A targeted therapy resurrected by the Moon Shots Program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has produced unprecedented response rates among patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer that carries a highly treatment-resistant mutation.

Turning brain cells into skin cells

A new study published in Nature Communications reveals that it is possible to repurpose the function of different mature cells across the body—and harvest new tissue and organs from these cells.

Research examines benefits of palliative care in heart failure treatment

Patients living with heart failure receive palliative care significantly less often than patients with other illnesses, including cancer, despite evidence that such care improves symptom management and quality of life.

Global calcium consumption appears low, especially in Asia

Daily calcium intake among adults appears to vary quite widely around the world in distinct regional patterns, according to a new systematic review of research data ahead of World Osteoporosis Day on Friday, Oct. 20.

Boosting social skills with brain scanning

Most people know even from a distance whether a couple is flirting or fighting, but brain researchers are studying why some, including those with autism, struggle to read these social cues.

Cooling mitts, socks may ease a major chemo side effect

(HealthDay)—Many cancer drugs can cause debilitating nerve damage as a side effect. But a small study suggests that simple cold wraps to the hands and feet might prevent it.

The value of unplugging

(HealthDay)—It's no secret that we love our smartphones and other electronic devices for staying connected.

Arthritis can strike children

(HealthDay)—While arthritis is typically thought of as an older person's disease, more than 300,000 American children have chronic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), an expert says.

How foods labeled 'healthy' can still make you fat

(HealthDay)—Be careful when you reach for foods labeled "healthy"—new research suggests if they have hidden high levels of sugar, you may snack more later.

Tau may predict neurological outcome after cardiac arrest

(HealthDay)—Serum tau is a promising novel biomarker for prediction of neurological outcome in patients with cardiac arrest, according to a study published online Oct. 5 in the Annals of Neurology.

Overall survival up for melanoma brain metastases

(HealthDay)—Overall survival (OS) for patients with melanoma brain metastases (MBM) has improved significantly since 2000, according to a study published online Oct. 12 in Cancer.

Men now comprise 10 percent of RN workforce

(HealthDay)—The increasing participation of men in registered nursing can be attributed to multiple factors, including increasing educational attainment, rising labor demand in health care, and liberalizing gender role attitudes, according to a working paper published by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.

Lifestyle, metformin interventions have variable effects

(HealthDay)—For individuals with impaired glucose regulation, the impact of lifestyle and metformin interventions vary for progression to diabetes mellitus (DM) and likelihood of regression to normal glucose regulation (NGR), according to a study published online Oct. 11 in Diabetes Care.

Clinical evidence synopsis published for T2DM

(HealthDay)—Adding a sulfonylurea or metformin to insulin is associated with approximately a 1 percent reduction in hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), and addition of a sulfonylurea (but not metformin) is associated with more hypoglycemic events, according a clinical evidence synopsis published online Oct. 17 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

PPI use linked to increased risk of ischemic stroke, MI

(HealthDay)—Proton pump inhibitor (PPI) use is associated with increased risk of first-time ischemic stroke and myocardial infarction (MI), according to a study published online Oct. 12 in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

Visceral adipose tissue index IDs risk of HCC in cirrhosis

(HealthDay)—For male patients with cirrhosis, visceral adipose tissue index (VATI) is an independent risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), according to a study published online Oct. 10 in Hepatology.

Migraine drug commonly used in ER may not be best option

A drug commonly used in hospital emergency rooms for people with migraine is substantially less effective than an alternate drug and should not be used as a first choice treatment, according to a study published in the October 18, 2017, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Upfront charging of overseas visitors using the NHS is a threat to everyone, argue experts

New rules for charging overseas visitors using the NHS are a threat to everyone, argue experts in The BMJ today.

Inflamed support cells appear to contribute to some kinds of autism

Modeling the interplay between neurons and astrocytes derived from children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues in Brazil, say innate inflammation in the latter appears to contribute to neuronal dysfunction in at least some forms of the disease.

Genetic testing recommended for children considered at risk for most common eye cancer

Children who are considered to be at risk of developing eye cancer should receive genetic counseling and testing as soon as possible to clarify risk for the disease. This is the consensus of leading ophthalmologists, pathologists and geneticists, who worked for two years to develop the first U.S. guidelines on how to screen for the most common eye tumor affecting children. The goal is to ensure retinoblastoma is detected at the earliest possible stage so ophthalmologists can save the lives and vision of more children. The guidelines are being published online today in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Disney and Pixar films present opportunities for parents to discuss end-of-life with children

Bambi's mother, Mufasa from "The Lion King" and Elsa's and Anna's parents in "Frozen" represent some of the characters who die in Disney and Pixar animated films, and these potentially shocking moments for young audiences provide critical opportunities for adults to discuss end-of-life issues with children, according to a new study by a University at Buffalo researcher who specializes in end-of-life communication.

Timing of gallbladder and weight loss surgery may help prevent complications

There is a strong association between obesity and gallstones; however, there is no clear evidence regarding the optimal order of gastric bypass surgery and gallbladder surgery (cholecystectomy) when both procedures are clinically indicated. In a BJS (British Journal of Surgery) analysis, there was a higher risk of complications when cholecystectomy was performed after bypass surgery rather than before.

Obesity may exacerbate asthma in children

In a Pediatric Allergy & Immunology study of children hospitalized for asthma, obesity was a risk factor for repeated hospital admissions.

Is HPV vaccination safe for adult women?

In a Journal of Internal Medicine study of more than 3 million Danish and Swedish adult women, human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination was not linked with 44 serious chronic diseases. The authors did report an increased risk of developing celiac disease—an autoimmune condition triggered by dietary gluten; however, the increased risk was only observed in Denmark. Because previous research has shown that celiac disease is markedly underdiagnosed in the general adult population in Denmark, the findings may be due to unmasking of pre-existing celiac disease. No other serious safety concerns were found.

Study finds epilepsy drug to be safe during pregnancy

New research indicates that use of the epilepsy drug lamotrigine during pregnancy does not increase the risk of birth malformations or neurodevelopmental disorders. The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology study provides the most extensive long-term report regarding children whose mothers took lamotrigine while pregnant.

Certain older adults don't get to the hospital soon enough when experiencing a heart attack

For individuals experiencing a heart attack, delays in getting to the hospital can have life-threatening consequences. A new study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that certain factors—non-white race, atypical symptoms, and heart failure—are linked with such delays in older individuals.

Subjective complaints may cause patients to stop treatment after switching to a biosimilar

A biosimilar is a biological medicine that shows no clinically meaningful differences with another already approved biological medicine (the 'reference medicine'). A new study in Arthritis & Rheumatology found that one-quarter of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, or ankylosing spondylitis who switched from reference infliximab to biosimilar infliximab (called CT-P13) stopped taking CT-P13 during six months follow-up, mainly due to subjective health complaints.

Anxiety and depression linked to migraines

In a study of 588 patients who attended an outpatient headache clinic, more frequent migraines were experienced by participants with symptoms of anxiety and depression. In the Headache study, poor sleep quality was also found to be an independent predictor of more severe depression and anxiety symptoms.

US senators reach bipartisan deal on Obamacare

US senators announced Tuesday they had reached a bipartisan deal to continue a program that helps low-income Americans purchase health insurance, days after President Donald Trump cut such subsidies.

A picture of physical literacy

The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) has released a definition of physical literacy that will underpin a national standard designed to improve the physical activity levels, holistic development and health of all Australians.

Researchers define burden of Hepatitis in Democratic Republic of the Congo

Hepatitis C virus is a curable infectious disease, but treatment remains unavailable in resource-limited settings like the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The DRC Ministry of Health asked the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) to help determine the burden of infection and find a way to connect people infected with the virus to treatment. Using laboratory equipment readily available in developing countries, researchers from UNC and Abbott Diagnostics were able to define and map the burden of disease in the DRC. Their findings were published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Exercise interventions in advanced lung cancer patients led to increased functionality

Physical exercise and psycho-social interventions in patients with advanced stage lung cancer improved functional capacity, which may be linked to quality of life benefits. Dr. Quist of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark presented these findings today at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) 18th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) in Yokohama, Japan.

C-Path and CDISC announce therapeutic area user guide for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Critical Path Institute (C-Path) and The Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC) announce the open availability of a Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Therapeutic Area User Guide ( TAUG-DMD v1.0), which describes the most common clinical concepts relevant to Duchenne studies using the CDISC standard format. This format allows datasets from different sources to be compared or combined for data collection, sharing, and analyses.

Diabetes foot care services may help avoid lower limb amputations

In a Diabetic Medicine study that compared different regions in England, areas that provided 10 key services for diabetes foot care had lower rates of major diabetes-related lower limb amputations.

Superior vena cava(SVC)-derived atrial fibrillation attributes clinical and genetic factor

Normally, the heart contracts and relaxes to a regular beat. In atrial fibrillation, the upper chambers of the heart beat irregularly, which affects blood flow into the two lower large chambers. This can lead to stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.

Online resource enables open data sharing for rare Mendelian diseases

MyGene2, a new open data resource, helps patients with rare genetic conditions, clinicians, and researchers share information, connect with one another, and enable faster gene discovery, according to results presented at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 2017 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Research team's model for detecting lung cancer saves lives, is a world leader

A pan-Canadian team of cancer researchers has developed a predictive model for detecting early-stage lung cancer in high-risk individuals with significantly greater accuracy than other leading models. This Terry Fox Research Institute study suggests the team's innovative approach could be considered for use in lung cancer screening programs both in Canada and around the world.

Community engagement interventions may reduce disparities in lung cancer outcomes among minorities

Community-based interventions implemented in minority community sites resulted in changes in participants' knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about cancer, as well as perceived benefits and self-efficacy measures regarding lung cancer screening. Dr. Lovoria Williams of Augusta University in the United States presented these findings today at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) 18th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) in Yokohama, Japan.

German research advances in cancer and blood disorders reported in human gene therapy

Virotherapy capable of destroying tumor cells and activating anti-tumor immune reactions, and the use of engineered hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) to deliver replacement genes that have the potential to cure blood diseases are among the key areas of gene therapy being advanced by German researchers and highlighted in a special issue of Human Gene Therapy.

Study of breastfeeding difficulties due to obesity informs need for targeted interventions

Typically, within 50 to 72 hours of giving birth, a woman will begin to secrete copious milk in a process called lactogenesis II. Infants of mothers who want to breastfeed but who have delayed lactogenesis II experience excessive weight loss and therefore are at high risk for formula supplementation.

Ohio seeks technology ideas to solve national opioid crisis

Ohio launched an $8 million effort Wednesday to attract ideas for using technology to solve the national opioid addiction crisis that has touched scores of families, including that of Columbus mother Jacqueline Lewis, who said solutions can't come too soon.

Researchers identify novel therapeutic strategy for drug-resistant thyroid cancers

Perhaps the only thing more devastating than being diagnosed with cancer is to find out after a period of remission that the cancer has become drug-resistant and progressed to an incurable state. This is the unfortunate fate for many patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), the most common form of thyroid cancer, who are treated with the drug vemurafenib. However, new findings by a Harvard Medical School team suggest that palbociclib, a drug that is FDA-approved to treat advanced breast cancer, may be able to overcome vemurafenib resistance in PTC. Their results were published today on the cover for Oncotarget.

Seychelles schools re-open as plague cases test negative

Two suspected cases of plague in the Seychelles have tested negative, the government said Wednesday, as children returned to schools which had closed as panic swept the island nation last week.

'Pay for performance' incentives are hurting hospital finances in Mississippi delta

Two Medicare "pay for performance" programs have contributed to declining financial performance by hospitals in the Mississippi Delta region, suggests a study in the November issue of Medical Care.

Biology news

Live fast die young: Updating signal detection theory

Signal Detection Theory is a popular and well-established idea that has influenced behavioral science for around 50 years. Essentially, the theory holds that in a predator-prey relationship, prey animals will show more wariness and be more prone to flee as predators become more common. Danger signals are ambiguous, so in what appears to be a threatening situation, animals are better off running than hanging around to see if a predator really does strike.

Researchers report toothy findings in odontode-bearing catfish study

Certain species of catfish are covered with bony plates bristling with thin teeth, similar to extinct vertebrate lineages. These teeth, which regularly fall out and grow back, are used for defense and, in males, to attract females. Researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, wanted to understand how teeth capable of regeneration can develop outside of the mouth. They discovered that the extra-oral teeth only grow from bone, regardless of its type, even in the absence of a bony plate. This suggests a role for bone in the induction of dental tissue. These results, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, elucidate the mechanisms of the formation and regeneration of teeth in all vertebrates, including in humans.

Snapper family ties provide new evidence on marine reserves

A higher proportion of young snapper in fishing areas north of Auckland are related to adult snapper from the Goat Island Marine Reserve, confirming what scientists have long suspected: the reserve acts as a giant snapper nursery.

Genomics reveals how competition between bacteria affects the impact of vaccination

A large-scale genetic and modelling study of Streptococcus pneumoniae has provided new insight into how recently-introduced vaccines have eliminated many strains from the species, and the diverse ways in which the remaining bacteria to compete for the chance to replace them.

Death by a thousand cuts? Not for small populations

We've all heard Darwin's theory described as favoring the fittest, but new research from Michigan State University shows that, at least in small populations, it's O.K. to not be the best.

Scientists discover path to improved barley quality

Scientists from the International Barley Hub have discovered a genetic pathway to improved barley grain size and uniformity, a finding which may help breeders develop future varieties suited to the needs of growers and distillers.

Illinois sportfish recovery a result of 1972 Clean Water Act, scientists report

Populations of largemouth bass, bluegill, catfish and other sportfish are at the highest levels recorded in more than a century in the Illinois River, according to a new report. Their dramatic recovery, from populations close to zero near Chicago throughout much of the 20th century, began just after implementation of the Clean Water Act, the researchers say.

Insects decline dramatically in German nature reserves: study

Researchers in Germany have documented a steep decline in flying insects at dozens of nature reserves in the past three decades, and agricultural pesticides may be to blame, said a study Wednesday.

Mating induces sexual inhibition in female jumping spiders

After mating for the first time, most females of an Australian jumping spider are unreceptive to courtship by other males, and this sexual inhibition is immediate and often lasts for the rest of their lives, according to a study published October 18, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Vivian Mendez from Macquarie University, Australia, and colleagues.

New study predicts worldwide change in shallow reef ecosystems as waters warm

A new study based on the first global survey of marine life by scuba divers has provided fresh insights into how climate change is affecting the distribution of marine life.

Understanding the coevolving web of life as a network

Coevolution, which occurs when species interact and adapt to each other, is often studied in the context of pair-wise interactions between mutually beneficial symbiotic partners. But many species have mutualistic interactions with multiple partners, leading to complex networks of interacting species.

How many golden eagles are there?

For conservation efforts to be effective, wildlife managers need to know how many individuals of a species are out there. When species are spread out over large areas and occur at low densities, as is the case with the Golden Eagle, figuring this out can be tricky. However, a new study from The Condor: Ornithological Applications applies an old technique called "mark-recapture" in a novel way, eliminating the need to actually capture and mark eagles but instead, using math that allows scientists to turn individual observations into population estimates.

Massacre fears spark race to save rare Australia parrot

Critically endangered Swift Parrots are under threat from squirrel-like sugar gliders in a battle for space in Australia's ancient forests, scientists said Wednesday as they race to save the rare birds.

Masterchef technique found to be a lifesaver for endangered sea turtle eggs

Monash University scientists have made the unlikely discovery that a popular Masterchef technique can protect the eggs of endangered sea turtles during transport.

Banded stilts fly hundreds of kilometres to lay eggs that are over 50% of their body mass

The hot, dry Australian desert may not come to mind as an ideal location for waterbirds to breed, but some species wait years for the opportunity to do just that.

Why do we have large brains?

In recently published article from Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the relationship between brain size and behavioural ecology was found to be highly sensitive to small data changes, and widely championed hypotheses such as the Social Brain Hypothesis are often predicated on datasets which are not representative. We spoke to lead author, Lauren Powell, from Evolutionary Anthropology Research Group, University of Durham about these findings in her article "Re-evaluating the link between brain size and behavioural ecology in primates."

Prozac in ocean water a possible threat to sea life, study finds

Oregon shore crabs exhibit risky behavior when they're exposed to the antidepressant Prozac, making it easier for predators to catch them, according to a new study from Portland State University (PSU).

More than 75 percent decrease in total flying insect biomass over 27 years

The total flying insect biomass decreased by more than 75 percent over 27 years in protected areas, according to a study published October 18, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Caspar Hallmann from Radboud University, The Netherlands, and colleagues.

Gene therapy can cure lameness in horses, research finds

Injecting DNA into injured horse tendons and ligaments can cure lameness, new research involving scientists at Kazan Federal University, Moscow State Academy and The University of Nottingham has found.

Duplications of noncoding DNA may have affected evolution of human-specific traits

Duplications of large segments of noncoding DNA in the human genome may have contributed to the emergence of differences between humans and nonhuman primates, according to results presented at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 2017 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla. Identifying these duplications, which include regulatory sequences, and their effect on traits and behavior may help scientists explain genetic contributions to human disease.

DNA tests on albatross poo reveal secret diet of top predator

A study that used DNA tests to analyse the scats of one of the world's most numerous albatrosses has revealed surprising results about the top predator's diet.

How well-fed mosquitoes outwit victims at take-off

Stealth and haste are often at the heart of most successful raids, and the forays of famished female mosquitoes are no different. "Female mosquitoes need a blood meal to develop their eggs," explains Florian Muijres, from Wageningen University, The Netherlands, adding that zipping in and out after a quick sip without attracting the attention of the unfortunate victim is essential if the insect is to survive.

Crowdsourced game aims to find solutions to aflatoxin

Mars, Inc., UC Davis and partners have launched a crowdsourcing initiative to solve the problem of aflatoxin contamination of crops. A series of aflatoxin puzzles will go online on Foldit, a platform that allows gamers to explore how amino acids are folded together to create proteins. The puzzles provide gamers with a starting enzyme that has the potential to degrade aflatoxin. Gamers from around the world then battle it out to redesign and improve the enzyme so that it can neutralize aflatoxin. Successful candidates from the computer game will be tested in the laboratory of Justin Siegel, assistant professor of chemistry, biochemistry and molecular medicine at UC Davis.

Confused whale blocks Marseille marina

Rescue services in the southern French city of Marseille battled for nearly an hour on Wednesday to free what is thought to have been a large whale that got stuck in the city's marina.

Turkey frees 7,500 illegally hunted frogs into river

Turkish gendarmerie have released 7,500 illegally hunted frogs—which had been destined for dining tables in China and France—into safe waters, after uncovering a poaching ring.


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