Monday, December 19, 2016

Science X Newsletter Monday, Dec 19

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for December 19, 2016:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

How to keep nanoparticle caterpillars safe from the crows of the immune system

Best of Last Week–Satnav goes live, surge in methane adding to climate change and cellular reprograming to reverse aging

ALPHA observes light spectrum of antimatter for first time

Mimicking biological movements with soft robots

Freezing in record lows? You may doubt global warming, says scientist

BMW HoloActive Touch system with its free-floating display to be shown at CES

Hydroelectric engineers find potential in centuries-old mine

Gatebox virtual home robot offers life with enclosed companion

Ireland to appeal EU's record $14 billion tax order on Apple

Rainbow snake, tiny frog among new Mekong species

Sirt1 regulates proliferation and regeneration of glial progenitor cells after injury

Newly identified pathway in mitochondria fuels tumor progression across cancer types

Barramundi populations at risk from acid oceans

Above and beyond megathrusts—draining pore fluids dampens earthquake tremors

Further evidence found for causal links between cannabis and schizophrenia

Astronomy & Space news

Data from GRAIL spacecraft suggest moon may have large lava tubes

(—A team of researchers with Purdue University has found evidence from lunar-mapping spacecraft that the moon may have large lava tubes that could conceivably be used to house astronauts and supplies. In their paper published in the journal Icarus, the team describes their study of data from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) twin spacecraft and outline the evidence for large lava tubes.

No trace of dark matter in gamma-ray background

Researchers from the University of Amsterdam's (UvA) GRAPPA Center of Excellence have just published the most precise analysis of the fluctuations in the gamma-ray background to date. By making use of more than six years of data gathered by the Fermi Large Area Telescope, the researchers found two different source classes contributing to the gamma-ray background. No traces of a contribution of dark matter particles were found in the analysis. The collaborative study was performed by an international group of researchers and is published in the latest edition of the journal Physical Review D.

Astronomers release largest digital survey of the visible Universe

The world's largest digital survey of the visible Universe, mapping billions of stars and galaxies, has been publicly released.

Pan-STARRS releases catalogue of 3 billion astronomical sources

The Pan-STARRS project, including astronomers at the Max Planck Institutes for Astronomy in Heidelberg and for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, is publicly releasing the world's largest digital sky survey today. The catalogue is based on 4 years of observations of 3/4 of the night sky and provides extensive information on more than 3 billion stars, galaxies and other sources.

Study helps prove galaxy evolution theory

Everyone has a backstory, even our own Milky Way galaxy. And much like social media, the picture is not always as pretty as it appears on the current surface, says Texas A&M University astronomer Casey Papovich.

Famous red star Betelgeuse is spinning faster than expected; may have swallowed a companion 100,000 years ago

Astronomer J. Craig Wheeler of The University of Texas at Austin thinks that Betelgeuse, the bright red star marking the shoulder of Orion, the hunter, may have had a past that is more interesting than meets the eye. Working with an international group of undergraduate students, Wheeler has found evidence that the red supergiant star may have been born with a companion star, and later swallowed that star. The research is published today in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Thousands to attend American space legend John Glenn's memorial

Thousands were expected to gather Saturday in Ohio for a memorial service to pay tribute to American space legend John Glenn, who died last week at the age of 95.

Mourners remember life, career of US astronaut John Glenn

Mourners gathered at a memorial service for groundbreaking astronaut John Glenn on Saturday in his home state of Ohio, capping two days of remembrances for the first American to orbit the Earth.

Image: False-colour view of galaxy M81

An important part of studying celestial objects is understanding and removing the background noise.

Full go-ahead for building ExoMars 2020

The first ExoMars mission arrived at the Red Planet in October and now the second mission has been confirmed to complete its construction for a 2020 launch.

ExoMars prepares to dip into the Mars atmosphere to reach its final orbit

After the smooth arrival of ESA's latest Mars orbiter, mission controllers are now preparing it for the ultimate challenge: dipping into the Red Planet's atmosphere to reach its final orbit.

Image: Barred spiral galaxy IC 5201

In 1900, astronomer Joseph Lunt made a discovery: Peering through a telescope at Cape Town Observatory, the British–South African scientist spotted this beautiful sight in the southern constellation of Grus (The Crane): a barred spiral galaxy now named IC 5201.

Is NASA going to Mars? Or the Moon? Or nowhere?

Let's take a deep hopeful breath and look forward, shall we? People have discovered that it's pretty difficult to move to Canada. So there's a lot of talk about going to Mars.

Origins of the Christmas Star are a scientific mystery

December is a month of celebration throughout the world and across cultures and religions.

NGC 6357: Cosmic 'winter' wonderland

Although there are no seasons in space, this cosmic vista invokes thoughts of a frosty winter landscape. It is, in fact, a region called NGC 6357 where radiation from hot, young stars is energizing the cooler gas in the cloud that surrounds them.

Spacewalk for Thomas Pesquet

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet will be the 11th European to perform a spacewalk when he ventures outside the International Space Station next month.

Awesome Atlas delivers next-gen high-speed Echostar 19 internet sat to orbit for America

Awesome Atlas delivers next gen high speed Echostar 19 internet sat to orbit for America

How strong is the gravity on Mars?

The planet Mars has few things in common. Both planets have roughly the same amount of land surface area, sustained polar caps, and both have a similar tilt in their rotational axes, affording each of them strong seasonal variability. Additionally, both planets present strong evidence of having undergone climate change in the past. In Mars' case, this evidence points towards it once having a viable atmosphere and liquid water on its surface.

Technology news

Mimicking biological movements with soft robots

Designing a soft robot to move organically—to bend like a finger or twist like a wrist—has always been a process of trial and error. Now, researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have developed a method to automatically design soft actuators based on the desired movement.

BMW HoloActive Touch system with its free-floating display to be shown at CES

(Tech Xplore)—HoloActive Touch from BMW will be one of the likely attention-grabbers at next month's CES show in Las Vegas—just by its name you know it is something you want to check out.

Hydroelectric engineers find potential in centuries-old mine

Some look at an abandoned, centuries-old iron mine in New York's Adirondacks and see a relic.

Gatebox virtual home robot offers life with enclosed companion

(Tech Xplore)—We are getting quite accustomed to news items about home companion robots. They are targeted primarily as assistive devices for the elderly, children, and people confined to home because of illness or physical difficulties.

Ireland to appeal EU's record $14 billion tax order on Apple

Ireland will appeal the European Union's landmark order to collect a record 13 billion euros ($14 billion) in taxes from Apple, the Irish Department of Finance announced Monday.

Compact videocamera captures panoramic images in high resolution

By combining 3-D curved fiber bundles with spherical optics, photonics researchers at the University of California San Diego have developed a compact, 125 megapixel per frame, 360° video camera that is useful for immersive virtual reality content.

Zuckerberg builds software butler for his home

Mark Zuckerberg's artificial intelligence-imbued software "butler"—named Jarvis—is now in service, and even plays with his family, the Facebook chief said Monday.

Hotel search site Trivago rises in stock market debut

Shares of Trivago, the hotel search company that created a buzz with a rumpled TV spokesman, rose in their Wall Street debut.

Uber defies California, keeps self-driving cars rolling

Uber said Friday it planned to keep its self-driving cars on the streets of San Francisco, defying a state order to halt the test program.

A level playing field: Lab adapts toys for disabled children

Because of her cerebral palsy, 4-year-old Scarlett Wilgis has trouble opening her hands and can't get around without help. Her parents have scoured store shelves and websites for toys for her but have mostly been disappointed.

The lab that's betting on low-tech

From the Saint Loup Chapel in Pompaples to the soon-to-be-completed Vidy Theatre Pavilion in Lausanne, the lab run by Yves Weinand is developing new innovations based on an age-old material: wood. A newly published book highlights the lab's most important discoveries, for scientists and wood-industry professionals alike.

Google's Waymo adds 100 Chryslers to self-driving fleet

Google's spinoff self-driving car division Waymo announced Monday it added 100 Chrysler Pacifica minivans to its fleet of self-driving vehicles being tested.

Hackers hit Thai sites to protest restrictive internet law

Hackers saying they are protesting the passage of a bill restricting internet freedom have been attacking Thai government computer servers, temporarily disabling public access and reportedly copying restricted documents.

Apple appeals EU order to collect $14B in back taxes

Apple is appealing a European Union order to collect a record 13 billion euros ($14 billion) in back taxes based on the way it reports European-wide profits through Ireland.

Czechs open production of batteries based on nanotechnology

A Czech company opened on Monday a production line for batteries based on nanotechnology, which uses tiny parts invisible to human eyes. The batteries are touted as potentially more efficient, longer-lasting, cheaper, lighter and above all safer.

NYC launches mobile parking payment system

New York City has announced a new mobile payment system for parking on the streets.

US fails to renegotiate arms control rule for hacking tools

The Obama administration has failed to renegotiate portions of an international arms control arrangement to make it easier to export tools related to hacking and surveillance software—technologies that can be exploited by bad actors, but are also used to secure computer networks.

On the road to autonomy, remember the operator

Automakers and their tech partners may be looking toward a future when they can offer fully autonomous cars, but Mica Endsley, the author of the recently released Human Factors paper, "From Here to Autonomy," contends that without considering the cognitive constraints of the driver, safety can't be assured. People will still be needed to oversee, direct, and intervene in the actions of autonomous systems for the foreseeable future. Automobiles are only one among many areas of implementation to which this applies; the same can be said for cybersecurity, unmanned aircraft, space exploration, cargo delivery, health monitoring, and more.

'Super Mario Run': Price, connectivity missteps for Nintendo

Super Mario might be running, but a hefty price tag for a mobile game just won't fly with the masses.

Combatting retail fraud using a simulator

Every year the retail industry lose billions of dollars to fraud in the US alone. To complicate the matter research in the field has been obstructed due to the sensitive nature of transactional data. To facilitate future studies researchers at Blekinge Institute of Technology in Sweden set out to develop a simulator generating synthetic transactional data without compromising sensitive information.

House report urges clearer guidance on cellphone technology

Clearer guidelines are needed for law enforcement's use of secretive and intrusive cellphone tracking technology, and police and federal agents should be upfront with a judge about their deployment, a House committee said in a report Monday.

Cuba slashes internet costs

Cuba cut the price of internet access by 25 percent Monday, but getting online still costs more than a day's wages for the average worker in one of the world's least connected countries.

SoftBank delivers first $1 bn of Trump pledge, to space firm

Satellite broadband firm OneWeb on Monday announced a $1.2 billion funding round led by SoftBank, the first concrete investment from the Japanese group which made a pledge to President-elect Donald Trump.

Medicine & Health news

Sirt1 regulates proliferation and regeneration of glial progenitor cells after injury

Developing brains in newborns have a sizable pool of a certain type of immature progenitor cell that can be expanded and induced to replace cells lost to brain injury. In a pre-clinical model of premature brain injury, the sirtuin protein Sirt1 plays a crucial role in regenerating glial cells from endogenous progenitor cells after hypoxia-related brain injury suffered by preemies, a research team led by Children's National Health System reports December 19 in Nature Communications.

Newly identified pathway in mitochondria fuels tumor progression across cancer types

Scientists at The Wistar Institute have identified a novel protein pathway across several types of cancer that controls how tumor cells acquire the energy necessary for movement, invasion and metastasis. This protein pathway was previously only observed in neurons and represents a potential therapeutic target for several types of cancer. Study results were published in the journal Nature Communications.

Further evidence found for causal links between cannabis and schizophrenia

People who have a greater risk of developing schizophrenia are more likely to try cannabis, according to new research, which also found a causal link between trying the drug and an increased risk of the condition.

Gut bacteria may hold key to treating autoimmune disease

Defects in the body's regulatory T cells (T reg cells) cause inflammation and autoimmune disease by altering the type of bacteria living in the gut, researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston have discovered. The study, "Resetting microbiota by Lactobacillus reuteri inhibits T reg deficiency-induced autoimmunity via adenosine A2A receptors," which will be published online December 19 in The Journal of Experimental Medicine, suggests that replacing the missing gut bacteria, or restoring a key metabolite called inosine, could help treat children with a rare and often fatal autoimmune disease called IPEX syndrome.

Ancient Chinese malaria remedy artemisinin fights tuberculosis

A centuries-old herbal medicine, discovered by Chinese scientists and used to effectively treat malaria, has been found to potentially aid in the treatment of tuberculosis and may slow the evolution of drug resistance.

'Master regulator' in genes may make women more susceptible to autoimmune diseases

Women represent nearly 8 out of every 10 people with autoimmune diseases. Although the hugely disproportionate statistics are well known, the scientific community is still trying to figure out why women's immune systems are more likely to become overactive and attack their own healthy cells.

Genetic study of primary sclerosing cholangitis reveals potential drug target

Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) is a debilitating rare disease of the liver with no effective treatment. Reported in Nature Genetics researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Mayo Clinic and their collaborators identify four regions of the genome associated with the disease, one of which is a potential drug target.

Pregnancy changes mother's brain structure, study shows

A study directed by researchers from the UAB and IMIM are the first to reveal how pregnancy causes long-lasting alterations in brain structure, probably related to improving the mother's ability to protect and interact with the child. The research was published in Nature Neuroscience.

CRISPR screening identifies potential HIV treatment targets

Investigators from Whitehead Institute, the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have used CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology to identify three promising new targets for treatment of HIV infection. In their report receiving advance online publication in Nature Genetics, the research team describes how screening with CRISPR for human genes that are essential for HIV infection but not for cellular survival identified five genes—three of which had not been identified in earlier studies using RNA interference. Their method can also be used to identify therapeutic targets for other viral pathogens.

The strange effects of thinking healthy food is costlier

Consumers believe healthy food must be more expensive than cheap eats and that higher-priced food is healthier - even when there is no supporting evidence, according to new research.

Children with higher genetic risk for obesity respond more strongly to fast food ads

Dartmouth researchers have found that children with a genetic risk for obesity had greater activity in brain reward centers when watching fast food commercials, which could help us to understand why some children are more likely to overeat. The study is the first-of-its kind to examine how a key obesity gene influences brain response to food advertisements and other cues to eat. The findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Alzheimer's advance: Early stage study in mice show new drugs restore memory loss and prolong life

"We have treated mice with a new type of drug, and found that these drugs can not only improve symptoms of brain degeneration, such as cognitive decline, but can also extend the life-span of these terminally-sick mice. Our study opens up avenues for researchers to look at new drugs that treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's and also slow disease progression"- Professor Andrew Tobin

Study suggests that daily sugar intake guidelines are based on low quality evidence

Nutritional guidelines restricting sugar intake are not based on high quality science, finds new study led by McMaster University and The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). The paper is published Dec. 19 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Genetics link sleep disturbance with restless legs syndrome, schizophrenia and obesity

A team of American and British scientists have for the first time discovered genetic connections between sleep disturbance and a range of medical disorders including obesity.

Low-carb diet alleviates inherited form of intellectual disability in mice

Experimenting on mice with a genetic change similar to that found in people with a rare inherited disease called Kabuki syndrome, Johns Hopkins scientists report that a very low-carbohydrate diet can "open up" DNA and improve mental function.

Researchers develop first chikungunya vaccine from virus that does not affect people

Researchers from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have developed the first vaccine for chikungunya fever made from an insect-specific virus that doesn't have any effect on people, making the vaccine safe and effective. The newly developed vaccine quickly produces a strong immune defense and completely protects mice and nonhuman primates from disease when exposed to the chikungunya virus. The findings are detailed in Nature Medicine.

Researchers provide molecular portraits of a new cancer drug target

Unprecedented images of cancer genome-mutating enzymes acting on DNA provide vital clues into how the enzymes work to promote tumor evolution and drive poor disease outcomes. These images, revealed by University of Minnesota researchers, provide the first ever high-resolution pictures of molecular complexes formed between DNA and the human APOBEC3A and APOBEC3B enzymes.

White matter structure in the brain predicts cognitive function at ages 1 and 2

A new study led by UNC School of Medicine researchers concluded that patterns of white matter microstructure present at birth and that develop after birth predict the cognitive function of children at ages 1 and 2.

Routine blood test predicts how long cancer patients will survive

A routine blood test can predict how long cancer patients in palliative care will survive, researchers report at the ESMO Asia 2016 Congress in Singapore.

Cancer costs leaving patients in debt

Cancer patients are ending up in debt because they have to cover the costs of treatment as well as other care related expenses, researchers report at the ESMO Asia 2016 Congress in Singapore.

Depressed patients are less responsive to chemotherapy

A brain-boosting protein plays an important role in how well people respond to chemotherapy, researchers report at the ESMO Asia 2016 Congress in Singapore.

Anxiety and depression a major issue for cancer survivors

Cancer has a major impact on mental and physical wellbeing, researchers report at the ESMO Asia 2016 Congress in Singapore.

Ribociclib improves progression-free survival in Asian women with advanced breast cancer

Ribociclib significantly improves progression-free survival in Asian women with advanced breast cancer, according to a sub-analysis of the MONALEESA-2 trial presented at the ESMO Asia 2016 Congress in Singapore.

Immunotherapy with pembrolizumab deemed cost-effective for advanced melanoma in Hong Kong

Immunotherapy with pembrolizumab has been deemed a cost-effective first line treatment for advanced melanoma patients in Hong Kong, researchers report at the ESMO Asia 2016 Congress in Singapore.

Homeless across country fall victim to synthetic marijuana

The nation's homeless are proving to be especially susceptible to a new, dirt-cheap version of synthetic marijuana, which leaves users glassy-eyed, aimless, sprawled on streets and sidewalks oblivious to their surroundings or wandering into traffic.

Henry Heimlich, life-saving maneuver creator, dies at 96

The surgeon who created the life-saving Heimlich maneuver for choking victims died early Saturday in Cincinnati. Dr. Henry Heimlich was 96.

Cardiac imaging detects serious residual septal defects during child open heart surgery

Using cardiac imaging during heart surgery can detect serious residual holes in the heart that may occur when surgeons repair a child's heart defect, and offers surgeons the opportunity to close those holes during the same operation. Pediatric cardiology experts say using this tool, called transesophageal echocardiography (TEE), during surgery may improve outcomes for children with congenital heart disease.

Some parents forgo car seats, other safety measures while traveling, poll finds

Parents' to-do lists before traveling with toddlers this holiday season may include packing an emergency stock of snacks, activities and wardrobe changes.

Neglect and abuse in childhood could have long-term economic consequences

People who suffer neglect and abuse in childhood are much more likely to have time off work due to long-term sickness and less likely to own their own homes when they reach middle age than their peers, according to new research undertaken at UCL.

Medicare outpatients risk higher bills for some procedures

You pay less for outpatient treatment than for a hospital admission, right? Not necessarily in the topsy-turvy world of Medicare billing, according to a government report.

Rare look at youth post detention is bleak

A new Northwestern Medicine study offers a bleak assessment in a rare look at the outcomes of delinquent youth five and 12 years after juvenile detention.

Hospitalized patients treated by female physicians show lower mortality

Elderly hospitalized patients treated by female physicians are less likely to die within 30 days of admission, or to be readmitted within 30 days of discharge, than those cared for by male physicians, according to a new study led by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. It is the first research to document differences in how male and female physicians treat patients result in different outcomes for hospitalized patients in the U.S.

Media coverage of studies needs more independent commentary

Media coverage of medical studies frequently includes comments from independent experts who lack expertise in the subject or who have undisclosed academic and financial conflicts of interest, according to a study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Another reason to exercise every day during the holidays

Yes, of course we all know we should exercise every day during the holiday season to help counter the onslaught of excess calories that started on Thanksgiving and will mercifully end with a New Year's toast.

Study looks at power tool injuries

From lifting a mower to trim the hedges to lopping trees with a circular saw, it seems there are endless ways for DIY enthusiasts to end up in hospital emergency departments.

New study reveals how nurse staffing levels link to patient outcomes

A new study investigating the links between variations in patient wellbeing and how registered nurses deliver care to their patients, has been published in the BMJ Open.

New construction role found for cell demolition tool

A new role has been discovered for a well-known piece of cellular machinery, which could revolutionise the way we understand how tissue is constructed and remodelled within the body.

Global study of breathing issues in Rett syndrome

Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are part of the international STARS study to see if a drug originally developed for Parkinson's disease might help reduce breathing issues common in patients with Rett syndrome. The drug, sarizotan, may help reduce the frequency of breath holding, a potentially significant effect of Rett syndrome.

Cosmetics adverts tell women they're inadequate

Advertisements for make-up encourage women to see themselves as flawed and needing to be fixed, according to a linguist at the University of Portsmouth.

Light therapy effectively treats early prostate cancer

A new non-surgical treatment for low-risk prostate cancer can effectively kill cancer cells while preserving healthy tissue, reports a new UCL-led phase III clinical trial in 413 patients. The trial was funded by STEBA Biotech which holds the commercial license for the treatment.

Weight loss surgery linked to gastrointestinal complaints

Laparoscopic gastric bypass is an effective treatment for obesity, but a new study finds that patients who undergo the surgery often complain of gastrointestinal problems.

Surgical ablation found to be effective in reducing atrial fibrillation and improving quality of life

New clinical practice guidelines have been issued by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) that include major recommendations for the use of surgical ablation when treating atrial fibrillation (Afib), the most common type of irregular heartbeat. The guidelines, posted online today in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, will appear in the January 2017 print issue.

FDA expands health claim for more fruits, vegetables

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released an interim final rule today removing the low fat and positive nutrient requirements which will apply to nearly all fresh fruits and vegetables, allowing them to make a heart health claim and be eligible for food certification programs like the American Heart Association's Heart-Check mark program.

Disgust is way of communicating moral rather than self-interested motivation

New research carried out by psychologists at the University of Kent has shown for the first time that a decision to express disgust or anger depends on the motives a person seeks to communicate.

Girls with poorer motor skills more likely than boys to be obese

Young girls who exhibit a poor mastery of fundamental movement skills (FMS) are more likely to be obese than boys who have similarly low skills, according to research led by Coventry University.

New stem cell delivery approach regenerates dental pulp-like tissue in a rodent model

When a tooth is damaged, either by severe decay or trauma, the living tissues that comprise the sensitive inner dental pulp become exposed and vulnerable to harmful bacteria. Once infection takes hold, few treatment options—primarily root canals or tooth extraction—are available to alleviate the painful symptoms.

Topical treatment activates immune system to clear precancerous skin lesions

A combination of two FDA-approved drugs - a topical chemotherapy and an immune-system-activating compound - was able to rapidly clear actinic keratosis lesions from patients participating in a clinical trial. Standard treatment for this common skin condition, which can lead to the development of squamous cell carcinoma, takes up to a month and can elicit several unpleasant side effects. The report from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators has been published online and will appear in the January issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Shortness of breath is an important signal of potential disease

Shortness of breath is an often overlooked symptom of what may be heart failure or COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). New research shows that with early intervention, patients can avoid suffering and the need for hospitalization decreases.

Important element of immune defense against fungal infections discovered

Fungal infections are a serious health risk. They can be harmful especially to patients whose immune system is compromised through illness or chemotherapy. A team working at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has discovered an important mechanism in the body's defenses against fungi. The discovery explains, among other things, why people with certain genetic variations are more susceptible to fungal infections.

Team discovers powerful defenders of the brain—with big implications for disease

A rare and powerful type of immune cell has been discovered in the meninges around the brain, suggesting the cells may play a critical but previously unappreciated role in battling Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, meningitis and other neurological diseases, in addition to supporting our healthy mental functioning. By harnessing the cells' power, doctors may be able to develop new treatments for neurological diseases, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injuries - even migraines.

Multi-social millennials more likely depressed than social(media)ly conservative peers

Compared with the total time spent on social media, use of multiple platforms is more strongly associated with depression and anxiety among young adults, the University of Pittsburgh Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health (CRMTH) found in a national survey.

Genetic cause that identifies dystonia patients who can benefit from Deep Brain Stimulation uncovered

DNA sequencing has defined a new genetic disorder that affects movement, enabling patients with dystonia—a disabling condition that affects voluntary movement—to be targeted for treatment that brings remarkable improvements, including restoring independent walking.

US women increasingly use pot during pregnancy, study finds

U.S. women are increasingly using marijuana during pregnancy, sometimes to treat morning sickness, new reports suggest. Though the actual numbers are small, the trend raises concerns because of evidence linking the drug with low birth weights and other problems.

Why exposure to rhythmic stimulation at certain frequencies facilitate epileptic seizures

Why does exposure to rhythmic stimulation at certain frequencies facilitate the occurrence of epileptic seizures?

Researchers identify how liver fat stores provide energy source during fasting

In a recent Science Advances article, Mayo Clinic researchers show how hungry human liver cells find energy. This study, done in rat and human liver cells, reports on the role of a small regulatory protein that acts like a beacon to help cells locate lipids and provides new information to support the development of therapies for fatty liver disease.

Scientists replace piece of gene mutated in Duchenne muscular dystrophy in effort to make healthy

Scientists are using "gene scissors" to cut off the code of a defective gene that results in progressively weaker muscles and death in Duchenne muscular dystrophy and replace it with a synthetic code they hope will one day restore healthy life to these patients.

Hypoxia signaling plays a physiological role in the formation of the heart

Scientists at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III (CNIC) have demonstrated the fundamental role of the hypoxia response in the correct formation of the heart ventricles. Hypoxia, a drop in the levels of oxygen, triggers a complex adaptive response to reestablish the tissue supply of nutrients and oxygen. The key elements of this response are the hypoxia-inducible transcription factors, or HIFs, which mediate the activation of a multitude of genes that guarantee a transitory adaptation to the lack of oxygen.

New biomarker predicts Alzheimer's disease and link to diabetes

An enzyme found in the fluid around the brain and spine is giving researchers a snapshot of what happens inside the minds of Alzheimer's patients and how that relates to cognitive decline.

Exploring future preventive strategies for patients at imminent risk of hip fracture

Hip fractures are of great concern as they are the most severe type of fracture in osteoporotic patients, associated with premature death, and commonly leading to long-term physical disability, impaired capacity to perform daily activities and live independently, and reduced quality of life. In the Western world, the lifetime risk for hip fracture in women over the age of 50 years is 18-23% and by 2050, the worldwide annual number of hip fractures is expected to reach 4.5 to 6.3 million, reflecting the continuous ageing of the population.

Vitamin E and selenium don't prevent polyps that can lead to colorectal cancer

Eight years ago, results from a landmark cancer prevention trial run by SWOG showed that a daily dose of vitamin E and selenium did not prevent prostate cancer. In fact, the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) showed that vitamin E supplementation increased the risk of prostate cancer in healthy men.

Landmark Alzheimer's prevention trial to evaluate third drug

An international team led by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has selected a third investigational drug to be tested in a worldwide clinical trial - already underway - aimed at finding treatments to prevent Alzheimer's disease.

Long-term anti-inflammatory drug use may increase cancer-related deaths for certain patients

Regular use of over-the-counter non-steroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen is associated with an increased risk of dying in patients diagnosed with Type 1 endometrial cancers, according to a new population-based study led by The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC - James).

Women fare better than men one year after valve replacement

Women with significant aortic valve disease who undergo transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) are considered higher risk than men in some respects. However, their survival rate one year after having had the procedure is higher than men, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

New report outlines 10 measures for the prevention of sudden cardiac death

A new report presents 10 quality and performance measures that are intended to help stakeholders—including health systems, legislative bodies, and nongovernmental organizations, as well as healthcare practitioners, patients, families and communities—in the effort to prevent sudden cardiac death. The joint report from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association is published online today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Researchers caution parents to prevent electrical cord burns to the mouth

With millions of Americans decorating their homes for the holidays, tangles of extension cords and electrical wires are a common sight. Researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine have estimated more than 1,000 injuries in children caused by oral electrical burns were reported in emergency rooms from 1997 to 2012. The researchers caution parents and caregivers of young children to be mindful of the dangers of electrical burns to the mouth, especially during the holiday season.

Researchers map genome-wide changes that drive T cell maturation and exhaustion

In a bid to better understand the gene expression patterns that control T cell activity, researchers at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology mapped genome-wide changes in chromatin accessibility as T cells respond to acute and chronic virus infections. Their findings, published in the Dec. 20, 2016 issue of Immunity, shed light on the molecular mechanisms that determine the fate of T lymphocytes and open new approaches to clinical intervention strategies to modulate T cell activity and improve immune function.

Nutrition data review shows red meat has neutral effect on cardiovascular disease risk factors

Consuming red meat in amounts above what is typically recommended does not affect short-term cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as blood pressure and blood cholesterol, according to a new review of clinical trials from Purdue University.

Canada opioid deaths reach new monthly high

Deaths from drug overdoses in November hit a new high in Canada's British Columbia province, epicenter of a raging national opioid crisis, health officials said on Monday.

Team develops an oral vaccine against Salmonella

Researchers from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have developed a vaccine against salmonella poisoning designed to be taken by mouth. The findings are detailed in an article published in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology.

FDA clears ovarian cancer drug for hard-to-treat disease

U.S. health officials have approved a new option for some women battling ovarian cancer: a drug that targets a genetic mutation seen in a subset of hard-to-treat tumors.

Used safely, donor breast milk can help preemie babies

(HealthDay)—Tiny preemies can benefit from donated breast milk—if it's given in the hospital with proper safety measures, a leading pediatricians' group says.

Nicotine in E-cigs can trigger lifelong addiction in kids: docs

(HealthDay)—The earlier youngsters start using nicotine—even in the form of e-cigarettes—the harder it is for them to quit a habit that could last a lifetime.

Adjuvant chemo plus CRT best in nasopharyngeal carcinoma

(HealthDay)—For nonmetastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma, the addition of adjuvant chemotherapy (AC) to chemoradiotherapy (CRT) is associated with the highest survival benefit, according to research published online Dec. 5 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Long-term DPP4-inhibitor use not tied to fracture risk in T2DM

(HealthDay)—For patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), long-term use of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors (DPP4-Is) is not associated with fracture risk, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

Dysglycemia affects brain structure, cognition in seniors

(HealthDay)—In older adults, dysglycemia is associated with brain structure and cognition, according to a study published online Dec. 5 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Cervicovaginal secretions contain HIV-linked immune mediators

(HealthDay)—Cervicovaginal secretions from pregnant and nonpregnant women contain HIV infectivity-linked immune mediators, although there is no difference in infectivity between pregnant and nonpregnant women, according to a study published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Noncardiovascular cause of death more common in CHD patients

(HealthDay)—For patients with coronary heart disease (CHD), mortality is more often due to noncardiovascular causes, according to a study published in the Jan. 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

Preoperative foley cath predicts TURP, TULIP failure in older men

(HealthDay)—Poor functional status and having a Foley catheter preoperatively are associated with the risk of failure of transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) or transurethral laser incision of the prostate (TULIP) for treatment of bladder outlet obstruction, according to a study published online Dec. 5 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Diabetes ups risk of HCC, death in patients with hepatitis C

(HealthDay)—For hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients, diabetes mellitus (DM) is associated with increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development and all-cause mortality, according to a study published online Dec. 8 in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Researchers reveal regions of the brain implicated in delusional misidentification syndromes

Neuroscientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) have mapped the brain injuries - or lesions - that result in delusional misidentification syndromes (DMS), a group of rare disorders that leaves patients convinced people and places aren't really as they seem. In a study published in the journal Brain, Michael D. Fox, MD, PhD, Director of the Laboratory for Brain Network Imaging and Modulation and the Associate Director of the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation at BIDMC and colleagues reveal the neuro-anatomy underlying these syndromes for the first time.

Preventing medical communication errors

Structured tools can reduce "end-of-round time compression" during multidisciplinary morning rounds in the hospital, according to a new study.

Colorectal cancer prevention: A proven benefit of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Mayo Clinic researchers and a team of collaborating scientists from across the country have determined the comparative effectiveness of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin and several supplements in preventing the recurrence of advanced neoplasia (polyps that are the precursor of colorectal cancer) after polyp removal.

Genetic biomarker IDs patients with increased risk for heart damage by anthracycline chemo

Bottom Line: Among women with breast cancer who received a type of chemotherapy called an anthracycline, those who had a certain genetic biomarker had a significantly increased risk for having anthracycline-induced congestive heart failure.

Tumor DNA in blood may serve as prognostic marker of pancreatic cancer

The presence of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) isolated from blood samples of patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma was associated with poor outcomes.

49 dead in Siberia after drinking toxic bath essence (Update)

A Russian city declared a state of emergency Monday after 49 people seeking cheap alcohol died after drinking bath essence containing methanol, a toxic substance used in anti-freeze.

Computer tomography provides a clearer view of blood vessel interiors

Narrowed and blocked arteries can now be diagnosed faster and more accurately with the help of special computer-aided image analysis techniques. This advance was made possible by the development of innovative techniques for the detailed visualisation of blood vessels with the support of the Austrian Science Fund FWF.

Chinese moonshine has high ethanol and acetaldehyde levels

Bai jiu (白酒) are distilled spirits made and used throughout rural China for everyday use and special occasions. Distillation of bai jiu is regulated lightly or not at all and nearly every town or village has a distiller. Little is known about the composition of these Chinese spirits, a gap this study seeks to fill given the health risks associated with their high ethanol and high acetaldehyde concentrations.

Initiative designed to bring health and social care professionals and patients and public together

From lay input in research to how a clinic runs, from medical revalidation to patient forums, healthcare professionals increasingly need effective patient input if they are to provide a relevant, sustainable and effective service.

Crowdsourcing the data of a baby's typical day

For many new parents, trying to figure out what a baby needs can feel like taking care of a tiny alien. It doesn't speak your language and yet you have to figure out what it needs to stay alive. And while there is no shortage of advice about how to manage your child's eating and sleeping patterns, there hasn't been much new research in this area to inform parents and pediatricians. So how do you know if you're getting it right?

Insurance expansion under the ACA provides patients with greater hospital choice

During the first year of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), researchers have seen a meaningful shift in the location and type of emergency department services used by patients. These changes suggest that expansion provides patients with a greater choice of hospital facilities. The findings are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Undocumented migrants may suffer from severe psychological distress

Undocumented migrants are an especially vulnerable group with regard to their health status, living conditions, and barriers to access to health care and social welfare. In a study that explored 90 undocumented migrants' mental health care needs, the level of psychological distress was extremely high.

How to make health systems into learning organizations

A health system becomes a learning system when it's able to continuously study its own performance and put that knowledge to work to improve itself. In a new report, investigators describe how Johns Hopkins Medicine is working to enhance the value of healthcare it provides while expanding its ability to measure and analyze quality, safety, and other important variables.

Ultrasound detects heart dysfunction after successful repair of aortic narrowing

New echocardiographic ultrasound methods can non-invasively evaluate deformation of the heart muscle in order to identify abnormal function in children who were operated for coarctation (narrowing) of the aorta. Surgical intervention in infants is a worldwide and often vital procedure, but new research from Umeå University reveals that echocardiography post-surgery can and should be used to detect early and asymptomatic heart dysfunction.

Optimizing the use of biologics for treating patients with rheumatoid arthritis

The use of biologics, which are generally made from human and/or animal materials, has significantly changed the management of rheumatoid arthritis over the last decade, becoming the cornerstone treatment for many patients. Because the arsenal of biologics for rheumatoid arthritis includes numerous monoclonal antibodies with various mechanisms of action, it can be challenging to optimize treatments for individuals.

Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology spinout accelerates clinical trials

Mosaic Biomedicals SL today announced a merger with Northern Biologics Inc. that will enable the accelerated development of MSC-1, a humanized antibody expected to begin clinical trials across several tumor types in 2017, with multiple sites planned throughout Europe and North America.

The transgender 'bathroom bill': Who wants it—men or women?

Most women are not bothered much about the fact that they might at times share public bathrooms designated for females with transgender women who were registered as men at birth. Men on the other hand take umbrage, and worry about the safety and privacy of the women in their lives. Such male transphobia has its roots in how men see themselves as the so-called protectors of women, says Rebecca Stones of Nankai University in China and Monash University in Australia, in an article in Springer's journal Gender Issues.

Irish surgeon identifies emerging area of medical science

A University of Limerick (Ireland) professor has identified an emerging area of science having reclassified part of the digestive system as an organ.

Report: DEA records show West Virginia flooded with drugs

Drug wholesalers shipped 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills to West Virginia in just six years, a period when 1,728 people fatally overdosed on these two painkillers, according to an investigation by the Charlotte Gazette-Mail.

Potential Alzheimer's medication shows promise in mouse model of neurodegenerative disease

Memory loss and other cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer's disease are attributed, in part, to the degeneration of acetylcholine-producing neurons. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors are a common treatment for patients with Alzheimer's; however, in spite of their clinical benefits, these non-selective medications are also associated with numerous adverse effects. It has been hypothesized that more selective targeting of acetylcholine signaling may reduce the side effects associated with current Alzheimer's medications, but it's not known whether improving selectivity could decrease the treatment's efficacy.

Radiologists positioned to detect elder abuse but additional training and research needed

Radiologists may be uniquely positioned to identify elder abuse, but they don't have training or experience in detecting it, according to a study published in the December 2016 issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR). As many as 10% of older U.S. adults experience elder mistreatment each year, and evidence suggests that victims have dramatically increased mortality and morbidity, the AJR article said.

Findings in tuberous sclerosis complex on the role of inflammation and epilepsy

Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) is a multi-system disease that leads to benign tumor growth in several organs, such as the brain, kidneys, heart, eyes, skin, and lungs, as well as central nervous system manifestations, such as epilepsy, autism, and cognitive impairment. The greatest impact on TSC patients and their families is due to the central nervous system manifestations.

Biology news

Rainbow snake, tiny frog among new Mekong species

A rainbow-headed snake, a tiny frog and a lizard with dragon-like horns are among more than 150 new species confirmed by scientists last year in the ecologically diverse but threatened Mekong region, researchers said on Monday.

New leaf study sheds light on 'shady' past

A new study led by a research scientist at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) highlights a literally shady practice in plant science that has in some cases underestimated plants' rate of growth and photosynthesis, among other traits.

Newly discovered 'Casper' octopod at risk from deep-sea mining

Last spring, researchers made headlines with the discovery of what was surely a new species of octopod, crawling along the seafloor at a record-breaking ocean depth of more than 4,000 meters (about 2.5 miles) off Necker Island near Hawaii. The octopod's colorless and squishy appearance immediately inspired the nickname "Casper." Now, a report published in Current Biology on December 19 reveals that these ghost-like, deep-sea octopods lay their eggs on the dead stalks of sponges attached to seafloor nodules rich in the increasingly valuable metals used in cell phones and computers.

DNA markers distinguish between harmless, deadly bacteria

The virulent pathogen that causes the disease tularemia, or "rabbit fever," was weaponized during past world wars and is considered a potential bioweapon. Through a new study of the coccobacillus Francisella, Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers are working to use DNA markers to discern related but relatively harmless species as they are identified and to provide a means to distinguish them from the harmful F. tularensis.

The era of biological cataloging

Have you ever collected coins, cards, toy trains, stuffed animals? Did you feel the need to complete the set? If so, then you may be a completist. A completist will go to great lengths to acquire a complete set of something.

Australian Citizens advised to leave wild baby birds alone unless they're at risk

Well-meaning people could do more harm than good by 'rescuing' baby birds they find on the ground, warn University of Queensland veterinarians.

Clownfish adapt for population survival

Identification of candidate pathways in clownfish shows they can control responses to population alterations.

How plants decide that it is time to flower

When spring is approaching, how do plants decide that it is time to flower? A team of plant scientists led by KWAK June M. at the Center for Plant Aging Research, within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) unravelled a new mechanism to explain this seemingly easy, but actually complicated question. Their research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on November 11, 2016.

Noise sensitivity traced to changes in brain functions

The degree to which one is disturbed by noises of everyday life may be related to how the brain processes variations in the sound stream, according to new findings published in Scientific Reports.

Bisphenol A in canned dog food may increase BPA concentrations in pets

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a widely used industrial chemical found in many household items, including resins used to line metal storage containers, such as food cans. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that short-term feeding of canned dog food resulted in a significant increase of BPA in dogs. Scientists believe that because of shared environments, dog exposure to BPA through canned foods could have human health implications.

Ring-tailed lemurs: Going, going, gone?

The ring-tailed lemur, an iconic primate that is emblematic of the wild and wonderful creatures inhabiting the tropical island of Madagascar, is in big trouble.

Japan culling 210,000 birds amid spreading avian flu

Japan has begun slaughtering about 210,000 farm birds in northern Hokkaido to contain another outbreak of a highly contagious strain of avian flu, an official said Sunday.

Regulating the use of genetic sequence data

Last month, researchers from the Universität Marburg reported mixing 12 enzymes from three spheres of life, including plants, humans and microbes, to create an artificial pathway that is more efficient at fixing CO2 than plants. This achievement is just the latest in a host of projects to generate improved metabolic pathways for catalysis or entirely new ones, ranging from artificial production of vanillin to opiates. Such work is made possible by the falling cost of DNA sequencing and synthesis, which means it is possible to 'read-and-write' the DNA required to make a variety of enzymes for less than $1000.

Hormone concentrations in young mammals predict trade-offs later in life

Early development after birth can have profound effects on survival and reproduction. Now new research suggests that concentrations of a hormone associated with growth and aging in humans can be used to predict growth, reproduction, and lifespan in a population of wild animals.

Officials trumpeting return of elk to West Virginia

Officials are trumpeting the return of an elk herd to West Virginia for the first time since 1875.

Studies of one of the world's rarest birds, the Rufous-headed Robin

Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden have put together all known information about the endangered Rufous-headed Robin. Very few observations have been made since it was first discovered in 1905. The researchers suggest that its distribution might be larger than previously thought.

WCS spearheads conservation science for US jaguar recovery plan

A recovery plan for the Western Hemisphere's largest cat species along the U.S.-Mexico border was released today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

This email is a free service of Science X Network
You received this email because you subscribed to our list.
If you no longer want to receive this email use the link below to unsubscribe.
You are subscribed as

No comments: