Thursday, February 9, 2017

Science X Newsletter Thursday, Feb 9

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for February 9, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Battery can be recharged with carbon dioxide

Wave of the future: Terahertz chips a new way of seeing through matter

Dwarf star 200 light-years away contains life's building blocks

New engineered material can cool roofs, structures with zero energy consumption

Dual-function nanorod LEDs could make multifunctional displays

Anti-cell death agent a potential treatment for vision loss associated with multiple sclerosis

Broken pebbles offer clues to Paleolithic funeral rituals

Research reveals novel quantum state in strange insulating materials

Sony announces 3-layer stacked CMOS image sensor with DRAM for smartphones

Astronomers find faintest early galaxies yet, probe how the early universe lit up

Blue jets studied from ISS

NASA-led campaign studies Hawaii's iconic volcanoes

Genetically altered bacteria help destroy cancerous tumors in mice analyses user DNA samples to build migration maps of North America

Newly found mechanism for protecting neurons could underlie brain disease

Astronomy & Space news

Dwarf star 200 light-years away contains life's building blocks

Many scientists believe the Earth was dry when it first formed, and that the building blocks for life on our planet—carbon, nitrogen and water—appeared only later as a result of collisions with other objects in our solar system that had those elements.

Astronomers find faintest early galaxies yet, probe how the early universe lit up

Astronomers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a new technique to discover the faintest galaxies yet seen in the early universe —10 times fainter than any previously seen. These galaxies will help astronomers probe a little-understood, but important period in cosmic history. Their new technique helps probe the time a billion years after the Big Bang, when the early, dark universe was flooded with light from the first galaxies.

Blue jets studied from ISS

For years, their existence has been debated: elusive electrical discharges in the upper atmosphere that sport names such as red sprites, blue jets, pixies and elves. Reported by pilots, they are difficult to study as they occur above thunderstorms.

NASA team looks to ancient Earth first to study hazy exoplanets

For astronomers trying to understand which distant planets might have habitable conditions, the role of atmospheric haze has been hazy. To help sort it out, a team of researchers has been looking to Earth – specifically Earth during the Archean era, an epic 1-1/2-billion-year period early in our planet's history.

Scientists estimate solar nebula's lifetime

About 4.6 billion years ago, an enormous cloud of hydrogen gas and dust collapsed under its own weight, eventually flattening into a disk called the solar nebula. Most of this interstellar material contracted at the disk's center to form the sun, and part of the solar nebula's remaining gas and dust condensed to form the planets and the rest of our solar system.

NASA spacecraft prepares to fly to new heights

On Feb. 9, 2017, NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale mission, known as MMS, began a three-month long journey into a new orbit. MMS flies in a highly elliptical orbit around Earth and the new orbit will take MMS twice as far out as it has previously flown. In the new orbit, which begins the second phase of its mission, MMS will continue to map out the fundamental characteristics of space around Earth, helping us understand this key region through which our satellites and astronauts travel. MMS will fly directly through regions—where giant explosions called magnetic reconnection occur—never before observed in high resolution.

Mars orbiter seeks future landing sites

At an international workshop this week about where NASA's next Mars rover should land, most of the information comes from a prolific spacecraft that's been orbiting Mars since 2006.

NASA receives science report on Europa lander concept

A report on the potential science value of a lander on the surface of Jupiter's icy moon Europa has been delivered to NASA, and the agency is now engaging the broader science community to open a discussion about its findings.

A Big Data approach to cataloging galaxies

Astronomers at Lomonosov Moscow State University and collaborators have released "The Reference Catalog of galaxy SEDs" (RCSED), which contains value-added information about 800,000 galaxies. The catalog is accessible online, and the researchers have reported on their development in the Astrophysical Journal Supplement. Two co-authors are undergraduate students at the Faculty of Physics, Lomonosov Moscow State University. While still working on the catalog, the team has published a few research papers based on their data, including a recent study in Science.

Uber brings in NASA engineer to build flying cars

Flying cars have become something of a hot ticket item of late. In the past few years, companies like Terrafugia, Aeromobil and Moller International have all grabbed headlines with their particular designs. And soon enough, international transportation giant Uber could be joining the ranks of those looking to turn a popular staple of science fiction into science fact.

Watch the bright star Regulus hide behind the full moon

Across Australia, on the evening of February 11/12, the full moon will travel directly in front of the bright star Regulus. For about an hour, the star will be hidden from view as the moon passes by.

Image: Entrance to Hertz chamber

The doorway out of ESA's Hertz test chamber, used to test the radio performance of large space antennas, as captured by photographer Edgar Martin.

Technology news

New engineered material can cool roofs, structures with zero energy consumption

A team of University of Colorado Boulder engineers has developed a scalable manufactured metamaterial—an engineered material with extraordinary properties not found in nature —to act as a kind of air conditioning system for structures. It has the ability to cool objects even under direct sunlight with zero energy and water consumption.

Sony announces 3-layer stacked CMOS image sensor with DRAM for smartphones

(Tech Xplore)—Sony earlier this week revealed a 3-layer stacked CMOS image sensor with DRAM for smartphones.

New eco-battery that runs on seawater

Researchers at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) in South Korea will be working to develop a new battery, using abundant and readily available seawater.

Google Brain uses neural networks to provide realistic enhanced resolution to low res pics

(Tech Xplore)—A team at Google Brain has used a pixel recursive super resolution model to add realistic details into images while enhancing their resolution—they were able to create larger realistic images from very low resolution originals. They describe their work and results in a paper uploaded to the arXiv preprint server.

The Internet and your brain are more alike than you think

Although we spend a lot of our time online nowadays—streaming music and video, checking email and social media, or obsessively reading the news—few of us know about the mathematical algorithms that manage how our content is delivered. But deciding how to route information fairly and efficiently through a distributed system with no central authority was a priority for the Internet's founders. Now, a Salk Institute discovery shows that an algorithm used for the Internet is also at work in the human brain, an insight that improves our understanding of engineered and neural networks and potentially even learning disabilities.

Long-lasting flow battery could run for more than a decade with minimum upkeep

Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a new flow battery that stores energy in organic molecules dissolved in neutral pH water. This new chemistry allows for a non-toxic, non-corrosive battery with an exceptionally long lifetime and offers the potential to significantly decrease the costs of production.

Virtual assistant Cortana holds people to promises

Microsoft virtual assistant Cortana began holding people to their promises on Thursday.

Kuri: Startup's personal robot designed to touch your emotions

If you've been dreaming for years about having your own R2-D2 or BB-8, get ready. Just don't expect your new robot companion to do too much, because you might be disappointed.

Art Rosenfeld, 'godfather' of energy efficiency, dies at 90

Physicist Arthur Rosenfeld, who spearheaded breakthroughs in energy efficiency for lighting, refrigerators, televisions and other electronics while working at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has died. He was 90.

Nokia to acquire software firm Comptel for $370 million

In a move to further focus on software technology, Nokia says it has offered to acquire software company Comptel for some 347 million euros ($370 million).

Chipmaker Infineon says US could block Wolfspeed deal

German semiconductor giant Infineon has said its proposed acquisition of US computer chip specialist Wolfspeed has run into opposition from US regulators over security concerns.

Looking inside materials the smart way

Aircraft, trains and power plants have to be inspected regularly. Detecting damage too late could pose safety risks and often results in expensive downtimes. Now, researchers are using the 3-D SmartInspect sensor and inspection system to transfer established testing routines into tomorrow's digital world.

Virtual twin controls production

With an innovative new concept, researchers of the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology IPK want to turn the vision of Industrie 4.0 into reality. A digital twin models the entire production process and permits direct intervention into manufacturing at all times. Real and virtual production merge into an intelligent overall system.

New software for increasingly flexible factory processes

Industrial manufacturing usually follows rigidly programmed processes, in which individual work steps and machines are tightly scheduled. This makes production inflexible and causes problems if devices fail or unscheduled com- ponents need to be processed at short notice. At the Hannover Messe Preview on February 9, 2017, Fraunhofer developers will be presenting new software that allows each individual component to tell the machine what has to be done. By breaking away from central production planning, factories can achieve unprecedented agility and flexibility, very much in the spirit of Industrie 4.0.

Donald Trump might end net neutrality

Donald Trump wants to build another wall. Not a physical wall to keep out illegal immigrants, like his proposed Mexican border project, but a virtual wall around the internet. And just as with Mexico, he wants the people behind the wall to pay for it.

Brain scanners allow scientists to 'read minds'—could they now enable a 'Big Brother' future?

Are you lying? Do you have a racial bias? Is your moral compass intact?To find out what you think or feel, we usually have to take your word for it. But questionnaires and other explicit measures to reveal what's on your mind are imperfect: you may choose to hide your true beliefs or you may not even be aware of them.

Most stretchable elastomer for 3-D printing

Due to its excellent material properties of elasticity, resilience, and electrical and thermal insulation, elastomers have been used in a myriad of applications. They are especially ideal for fabricating soft robots, flexible electronics and smart biomedical devices which require soft and deformable material properties to establish safe and smooth interactions with humans externally and internally.

Twitter woes deepen as growth sputters; no Trump lift (Update)

Twitter shares plunged Thursday as the social network reported sluggish revenue and user growth—its finances sputtering despite increased prominence from President Donald Trump's extensive use of the platform.

Russian hackers get burned in deal with Russia's spy agency

For several years a group of Russian hackers have been posting letters and documents stolen from senior Russian officials with impunity. And then the nation's spy agency tracked them down and offered them a deal.

Wikipedia editors ban 'unreliable' Daily Mail as source

Wikipedia editors have voted to ban the use of articles from British tabloid The Daily Mail and its globally popular website as sources, calling them "unreliable", according to a statement.

China tightens controls on Bitcoin trading platforms

Chinese bitcoin trading platforms risk closure if they breach new controls on the virtual currency, the central bank said Thursday, as authorities step up efforts to curb the flow of money offshore.

Cleaner robot pulled from Fukushima reactor due to radiation

A remote-controlled cleaning robot sent into a damaged reactor at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant had to be removed Thursday before it completed its work because of camera problems most likely caused by high radiation levels.

'Dieselgate' fallout leads to score-settling at Volkswagen

Volkswagen's "dieselgate" crisis turned personal this week, as the German auto giant's patriarch and ex-boss Ferdinand Piech implicated his successors in the cheating scandal.

Celebrity megaphone fails to lure ordinary users to Twitter

Many people have heard of Twitter. Not enough of them are signing up to use it.

Microsoft lawsuit vs. secret government searches moves ahead

A judge refused the U.S. government's request to throw out a lawsuit from Microsoft that claims a federal law is unconstitutional because it prohibits technology companies from telling customers when the government demands their electronic data.

Snapchat's young users are at once its greatest asset and one of its biggest risks

Kids don't use email any more. Facebook is for Mom and Dad. And Yik Yak is so 2015. When it comes to communication in 2017, Snapchat is where it's at.

Russian election hacks exploited legal grey zone: lawyers

Russia's alleged computer hacking to interfere in US elections was no act of war, but exploited a legal grey zone that makes justifying retaliation hard, international lawyers specializing in cyber issues said Wednesday.

New design tools bring large-area LED products on the market with speed, quality and lower costs

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland develops novel LED light sources based on large, flexible and transparent substrates in collaboration with the Finnish companies Flexbright and Lighting Design Collective. An easy-to-customise LED foil suitable for mass production enables the introduction of the large area lighting and display technologies to applications such as vehicles, greenhouses, shopping centres and architectural lighting.

Organic CMOS image sensor with electrically controllable near-infrared light sensitivity

Panasonic Corporation today announced that it has developed a new technology, electrical control of the near infrared (NIR) light sensitivity of the same pixel in an organic CMOS image sensor. The sensitivity of all the pixels in the image sensor, which has directly stacked organic films, is simultaneously controlled by changing the applied voltage to the organic films.

Belgium: US youth linked to cyberattack on Brussels airport

Belgian authorities say that a U.S. youth in Pittsburgh tried to hack into the Brussels airport computer system and disable it the night after the March 22 attacks that killed 32 people.

Industrial maintenance is becoming knowledge work

Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mobile social media will soon be part of everyday work for service technicians. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland coordinated a sub-project forming part of the DIMECC S-STEP (Smart technologies for lifecycle performance) program. In the sub-project researchers and industry jointly developed new digital solutions and tools for industrial maintenance. The aim is to improve both productivity and work satisfaction.

Full-go for NC wind farm that politicians claimed is threat

North Carolina's first large-scale wind farm is fully operational despite efforts by some of the state's most powerful politicians to shut down the $400 million project as a possible national security threat.

Medicine & Health news

Anti-cell death agent a potential treatment for vision loss associated with multiple sclerosis

A new therapeutic agent tested in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS) produced anti-inflammatory activity and prevented loss of cells in the optic nerve, according to a new study by researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, with Pittsburgh-based Noveome Biotherapeutics. The research was conducted in the laboratory of Kenneth Shindler, MD, PhD, an associate professor of Ophthalmology and Neurology, and published in Scientific Reports.

Genetically altered bacteria help destroy cancerous tumors in mice

(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers affiliated with multiple institutions in Korea has found that genetically altering a type of bacteria and injecting it into cancerous mice resulted in the disappearance of tumors in more than half of test mice. In their paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the researchers describe how they came upon the idea of altering a common type of bacteria to see if it might help fight cancer and the results of their tests.

Newly found mechanism for protecting neurons could underlie brain disease

To stay healthy, neurons must prevent protein aggregates and defective organelles such as mitochondria from accumulating inside them. We now know that an animal species has found a solution to its neuronal trash problem—one that might also be present in humans and lead to neurodegenerative disease if it becomes dysfunctional.

Infants recognize surprise in others before age 2

Infants as young as 20 months of age expect adults to display surprise when discovering a false belief, according to a new study from UC Merced professor Rose Scott.

Words can sound 'round' or 'sharp' without us realizing it

Our tendency to match specific sounds with specific shapes, even abstract shapes, is so fundamental that it guides perception before we are consciously aware of it, according to new research in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Researchers show how Lou Gehrig's disease progression could be delayed

A team of biomedical scientists has identified a molecule that targets a gene known to play a critical role in the rapid progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), sometimes known as Lou Gehrig's disease, the neurodegenerative disease that affects motor neurons - nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that link the nervous system to the voluntary muscles of the body.

Genetic 'switch' in animals offers clues to evolutionary origins of fine motor skills

Researchers have identified a genetic signature found exclusively in the nerve cells that supply, or innervate, the muscles of an organism's outermost extremities: the hands and feet. This signature, observed in both mice and chicks, involves the coordinated activity of multiple genes, and is fundamentally distinct from cells innervating nearby anatomical regions, such as more proximal muscles in the limb. The findings suggest that the evolution of the extremities may be related to the emergence of fine motor control, such as grasping—one of biology's most essential adaptations.

Research uncovers bacteria linking Crohn's disease to arthritis

Patients with Crohn's disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes abdominal pain and diarrhea, can also experience joint pain. In Crohn's disease, which affects about 800,000 Americans, the immune system can attack not only the bowels, but the musculoskeletal system as well, leading to spondyloarthritis, a painful condition that affects the spine and joints. Now new research, published Feb. 8 in Science Translational Medicine, helps explain the connection between these seemingly unrelated symptoms, and could help physicians identify Crohn's disease patients who are more likely to develop spondyloarthritis, enabling them to prescribe more effective therapies for both conditions.

Scientists identify aggressive pancreatic cancer cells and their vulnerability

Researchers have identified a gatekeeper protein that prevents pancreatic cancer cells from transitioning into a particularly aggressive cell type and also found therapies capable of thwarting those cells when the gatekeeper is depleted.

Matters of the heart: Researchers create 3-D beating heart

Matters of the heart can be complicated, but York University scientists have found a way to create 3D heart tissue that beats in synchronized harmony, like a heart in love, that will lead to better understanding of cardiac health and improved treatments.

High-throughput, in vivo validation of candidate congenital heart disease genes

Specific genetic errors that trigger congenital heart disease (CHD) in humans can be reproduced reliably in Drosophila melanogaster - the common fruit fly - an initial step toward personalized therapies for patients in the future.

Is it time for a dedicated tax to fund the NHS?

Is it time for a dedicated (hypothecated) tax to fund the NHS, asks The BMJ in a debate article today?

Less driving linked to a decrease in roadway fatalities

Each year, more than 30,000 people die in car crashes in the U.S. Despite safety improvements, motor vehicle fatalities continue to be a leading cause of early mortality. A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that a significant decrease in automobile travel from 2003-2014 correlated with a decrease in the number of crash deaths, with the largest reduction among young men. The study also discovered that at the same time, there was no increase in how active Americans were, meaning physical activity did not replace driving for many people.

Indian doctor pulls live cockroach from woman's skull

It's the stuff of nightmares—a cockroach crawls up your nose in the middle of the night, burrows in and drives you mad with scratching behind your eyes. But for one Indian woman, this horror story proved all too real.

New research may lead to non-surgical cataract treatment

The University of Massachusetts Amherst recently licensed a new technology to Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. that holds promise of revolutionizing the treatment of cataracts and presbyopia, based on early phase discoveries by polymer physicist Murugappan Muthukumar and former graduate student Ben Mohr regarding the fundamental science of proteins in the lens of the human eye.

Kidney disease in plantation workers

Poor working conditions in a hot climate with regular dehydration and mineral deficiency is probably what causes the chronic kidney disease Mesoamerican nephropathy in Central American and Mexican agricultural workers, researchers at Karolinska Institutet and their colleagues in Nicaragua and El Salvador conclude. For their study, which is published in the scientific periodical the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, the researchers examined kidney tissue in people with this disease.

What you need to know about mitral valve disease

There are certain matters of the heart that should be left to the experts, and mitral valve disease is one of them. Dr. Joseph Lamelas, associate chief of cardiac surgery in the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine, gives some insight into the disease and its treatment.

Sleepiness epidemic hits Australia

A new national sleep study involving the University of Adelaide reveals Australia is in the grip of a sleep deprivation epidemic that is dragging down the nation's productivity, risking safety and damaging mental health.

US court suspends ban on Sanofi, Regeneron cholesterol drug

A US appeals court on Wednesday temporarily suspended an order blocking the French pharmaceutical group Sanofi and its American partner Regeneron from selling their anti-cholesterol drug Praluent.

Guideline issued on molecular biomarkers for CRC tissues

(HealthDay)—A guideline, published online Feb. 6 in the Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, has been developed in relation to molecular biomarker testing of colorectal cancer (CRC) tissues.

Diagnostic potential for blood-based NfL in Parkinson's disease

(HealthDay)—Measuring blood neurofilament light chain (NfL) levels may help distinguish Parkinson's disease (PD) from atypical parkinsonian disorders (APD), according to a study published online Feb. 8 in Neurology.

Deadly disease outbreak linked to commercial breeding of piglets

In a case of sophisticated scientific sleuthing, a UNSW researcher has helped pin down the source of an unprecedented outbreak of streptococcal disease in China.

Wages low, injuries high for emergency medical workers, study says

Wages in the emergency medical service industry are low, employees work long hours often without rest and meal breaks, and injury rates are high, according to a joint study by the University of California, Berkeley's Center for Labor Research and Education and the UCLA Labor Center.

Stroke risk factors centered in Southeast United States

The Southeastern United States features the highest concentrations of people living with stroke risk factors like high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking, according to researchers who mapped the data.

Opinion: Can a dying patient be a healthy person?

The news was bad. Mimi, a woman in her early 80s, had been undergoing treatment for lymphoma. Her husband was being treated for bladder cancer. Recently, she developed chest pain, and a biopsy showed that she had developed a secondary tumor of the pleura, the space around one of her lungs. Her oncology team's mission was to share this bad news.

The virus in the cupboard

Just as we're getting used to knowing we have trillions of bacteria populating us, from our eyeballs to our intestines, comes word that we need to look beyond bacteria to even smaller squatters: the virome, a vast community of viruses that calls us home.

Park use influences perceived health, study shows

Penn State researchers have long understood the important connection between parks and health.

New study links brainstem volume and aggression in autism

New research from BYU's autism experts is providing clues into the link between aggression and autism—clues the team hopes will eventually lead to more effective intervention.

Relationship success tied not to joking but shared sense of humor, researcher says

Here's a relationship tip as Valentine's Day approaches: Study after study affirms that people want a mate with a sense of humor. But it's less about you being a jokester than about finding a style of humor that makes you both laugh.

Well-being can improve quickly by eating more fruit and vegetables, study finds

Lifting your intake of fruit and vegetables can make a difference to the way you feel in just a couple of weeks, a University of Otago study has found.

Being 'active' and 'engaged' boosts wellbeing in later life

A new index developed by Age UK and the University of Southampton has found that taking part in social activities has the most direct influence on improving a person's wellbeing in later life.

Noradrenaline enhances vision through beta-adrenergic receptors

Noradrenaline is a neuromodulator secreted in the brain depending on behavioral context and physiological states of animal, influencing a wide range of physiological functions by modulating brain activity. It may be best known as a hormone to regulate heart rate and blood flow, and many drugs, such as well-known beta blockers, target its effects. It also modulates the visual system.

Orexin as a potential drug for treating septic shock

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition due to excessive immune responses to infection that damages the patient's own tissues and organs. In septic shock, the severest stage of sepsis, the blood pressure drops to a dangerously low level, often leading to multiple organ failure and death. To date, there is no effective therapy yet available for septic shock. Recent findings by Japanese scientists may be a breakthrough in developing a silver bullet for the treatment of septic shock.

Sexual orientation poses no risk to mental health

A study led by ANU has challenged a common perception that homosexual and bisexual people are at risk of poor mental health and suicide.

Footballing success in the young can be measured in the brain

The working memory and other cognitive functions in children and young people can be associated with how successful they are on the football pitch, a new study from Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, shows. Football clubs that focus too much on physical attributes therefore risk overlooking future stars.

The science behind love songs

There's nothing like a love song to get your heart racing, right? To mark Valentine's Day we look at five love songs and ask University of Melbourne scientists for the truth behind them. Why have we evolved 'love', why is it so important to humans, and why give red roses?

Genetic profiling can guide stem cell transplantation for patients with myelodysplastic syndrome

A single blood test and basic information about a patient's medical status can indicate which patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) are likely to benefit from a stem cell transplant, and the intensity of pre-transplant chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy that is likely to produce the best results, according to new research by scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Researchers identify new cause of brain defects in tuberous sclerosis patients

Boston Children's Hospital researchers have uncovered a new molecular pathway that inhibits the myelination of neurons in the brains of patients with the rare genetic disorder tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). The study, "Neuronal CTGF/CCN2 negatively regulates myelination in a mouse model of tuberous sclerosis complex," which will be published online February 9 in The Journal of Experimental Medicine, suggests new ways to treat some of the neurological symptoms associated with TSC, including autism and epilepsy.

Doctors create 'MAGIC algorithm' to predict bone marrow transplant patients' risk of dying

Researchers at Mount Sinai Health System have discovered a way to predict whether blood cancer patients who received a bone marrow transplant will develop graft-versus-host disease, a common and often lethal complication, according to a study published in JCI Insight.

IFT20 protein's role in helping cancer cells to invade

An international research team has discovered that the IFT20 protein helps some cancer cells to invade by facilitating the transportation of membranes and proteins within parts of the cell.

Evidence points to fish oil to fight asthma

University of Rochester Medical Center scientists have discovered new essential information about omega 3 fatty acids contained in fish oil and how they could be used for asthma patients.

Digital photography could be a key factor in rural health care

Photographs may lead to better treatment and care for patients in rural communities, a UBC Okanagan study shows.

Support for health professionals reduces unnecessary use of antibiotics in hospitals

An updated Cochrane Review published today has identified effective and safe ways to reduce unnecessary use of antibiotics in hospitals. Guidelines and policies that promote better targeting of antibiotics in patients who need them have the greatest impact when they are supported by the most effective ways to change doctors' behaviour.

Brain damage is not always damaging

Stroke is a type of lesion caused by reduced blood flow to the brain, which results in the death of some of the brain's neurons. Such lesions typically cause severe difficulties for the person who endures them. We base this understanding on the "lesion method," which has shown that damage to particular parts of the brain harms specific cognitive functions that regulate everyday activities. Damage to multiple parts of the brain has been shown to be especially harmful.

Infectious outbreak in critically ill children leads to recall of contaminated medication

Infection prevention and control experts at Texas Children's Hospital halted a 24-patient outbreak of Burkholderia cepacia in critically ill children after identifying docusate, a liquid stool softener, as the underlying source of the bacteria. Details of the six-month investigation, published online in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal for the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, led to a national recall of all liquid products manufactured by PharmTech.

New simple method quickly reveals kidney damage

Researchers from Aarhus University have developed a method for diagnosing kidney damage that is both quick and precise. Once the first patients are placed in the scanner, it will not take more than 45 minutes to make a diagnosis.

Computer trained to predict which AML patients will go into remission, which will relapse

Researchers have developed the first computer machine-learning model to accurately predict which patients diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia, or AML, will go into remission following treatment for their disease and which will relapse.

Two investigational antitumor agents work better together against MPNST and neuroblastoma

Two investigational agents, Aurora A kinase inhibitor (alisertib) and HSV1716, a virus derived from HSV-1 and attenuated by the deletion of RL1, have shown some antitumor efficacy in early clinical trials as monotherapies. A new study published last week in Oncotarget, however, demonstrates that the combined usage of the agents results in significantly increased antitumor efficacy in models of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST) and neuroblastoma."We chose to investigate this combination in MPNST and neuroblastoma because these are two difficult-to-treat sarcomas that have shown susceptibility to these agents individually," explains Timothy Cripe, MD, PhD, division chief of Hematology/Oncology & BMT at Nationwide Children's Hospital and senior author on the study. "MPNST is a rare pediatric cancer, but for patients with neurofibromatosis 1, a genetic cancer predisposition disorder, it is the leading cause of death. More importantly, MPNST is resistant to chemotherapy."

From brouhaha to coordination: Motor learning from the neuron's point of view

When starting to learn to play the piano, there is much hesitation and hitting the wrong keys. But with training, the movements of the player become more fluid and accurate. This motor improvement begins in the brain, but how do the involved neurons manage to organize themselves in order to identify and consolidate the neural circuits that best allow for such a fine motor control?

Researchers find genetic cause of new type of muscular dystrophy

A newly discovered mutation in the INPP5K gene, which leads to short stature, muscle weakness, intellectual disability, and cataracts, suggests a new type of congenital muscular dystrophy. The research was published in the American Journal of Human Genetics by researchers from the George Washington University (GW), St. George's University of London, and other institutions.

Hair analysis may help diagnose Cushing syndrome, researchers report

Analyzing a hair sample may help with the diagnosis of Cushing Syndrome, a rare and potentially fatal disorder in which the body overproduces the stress hormone cortisol, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health.

New mechanobiology technique to stop cancer cell migration

Researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate university (OIST) have developed a novel technique that stops cervical cancer cell migration. The research, published in Chem could open up new avenues in cancer treatment.

Infection defense: Call for support by the killer cells

A few days after a viral infection, countless killer cells swarm out to track down and kill infected body cells. In this way, they are highly effective at preventing pathogens from being able to spread further. An international research team has now explained an important mechanism behind building this army. The work under the aegis of the University of Bonn is published in the journal Immunity.

Scientists study how some insulin-producing cells survive in type 1 diabetes

A Yale-led research team identified how insulin-producing cells that are typically destroyed in type 1 diabetes can change in order to survive immune attack. The finding may lead to strategies for recovering these cells in diabetic patients, said the researchers.

How best to treat infections and tumors: Containment versus aggressive treatment

In cases where drug resistance can lead to treatment failure, new research shows that therapies tailored to contain an infection or a tumor at tolerable levels can, in some cases, extend the effective life of the treatment and improve patient outcomes. In other cases, aggressive treatments aimed at eliminating as much of the infection or tumor as possible—the traditional approach—might be best. But how can we know which stands the better chance of working?

Lost in translation: Parkinson's disease research undercut by study design

In a review of animal studies of Parkinson's disease therapies, Yale researchers identified trends that may contribute to the lack of success in human clinical trials. Their finding provides insight to investigators who seek new therapies to slow the progression of the disease.

New drug screening system could help speed development of a cure for HPV

Scientists have used genetic engineering techniques to develop a new system that could aid identification of potential drug targets and treatments for human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, according to a PLOS Pathogens study.

Researchers model impact of vaccine campaigns on invasive Salmonella

In sub-Saharan Africa, invasive strains of non-typhoidal Salmonella (iNTS) have been found to be a cause of systemic, often fatal, infections in young children. With vaccines against NTS now rapidly approaching clinical trials, researchers, reporting in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, have modeled the potential impact of different vaccine schedules to decrease the hospitalization and death rates from iNTS in Bamako, Mali.

Emphysema treatment could be optimized using network modelling

A unique engineering perspective of emphysema progression in the lung suggests how mechanisms operating at the micromechanical scale could help to predict patient survival and quality of life following treatment - according to new research published in PLOS Computational Biology.

Genetics of both virus and patient work together to influence the course of HIV infection

Viral and human genetics together account for about one third of the differences in disease progression rates seen among people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), according to new research published in PLOS Computational Biology. The findings suggest that patient genetics influences disease progression by triggering mutations in the HIV viral genome.

Dial-an-interpreter can help docs get patients' consent

There is healthy reasoning in installing bedside interpreter-phone systems in hospitals so that patients can be connected to professional interpreters around the clock. It helps bridge the language barrier that often exists between doctors and patients when all-important healthcare procedures have to be discussed and agreed to. This is according to the findings of a study led by Jonathan Lee and Leah Karliner of the University of California San Francisco in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, published by Springer.

We like taking selfies but not looking at them

Selfies are enormously popular on social media. Google statistics have estimated that about 93 million selfies were taken per day in 2014, counting only those taken on Android devices. Selfie accessories such as selfie sticks are now commonplace, as are selfie cameras on phones, and the word "selfie" was even added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013.

Gene variant identified for Kawasaki disease susceptibility

Kawasaki disease (KD) is the most common acquired heart disease in children. Untreated, roughly one-quarter of children with KD develop coronary artery aneurysms—balloon-like bulges of heart vessels—that may ultimately result in heart attacks, congestive heart failure or sudden death.

Antibiotic use for travellers' diarrhoea favors particularly resistant super bacteria

Every year, millions of travellers visit countries with poor hygiene, and approximately one third of them return home carrying antibiotic-resistant ESBL intestinal bacteria. Most of them remain unaware of this, as the bacteria cause no symptoms. High-risk areas for contracting ESBL bacteria are South and South-East Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Skimp on sleep and you just may wind up sick

(HealthDay)—Ever noticed that when you try to "do it all," the one thing you can count on is getting sick?

Heart-healthy tips for your grocery list

(HealthDay)—A healthy heart begins with what you eat, and one way to shop for groceries wisely is to start with a list, a cardiologist recommends.

8 ways to help kids dodge germs

(HealthDay)—There are a number of ways parents can help give a boost to their child's immune system, a family doctor suggests.

Smoke-free public housing cuts secondhand fumes

(HealthDay)—Secondhand smoke exposure has dropped dramatically among public housing residents in Philadelphia since the introduction of a smoke-free policy, a new study finds.

Study aims to track mild traumatic brain injury over decades

An ambitious U.S. federally funded study is enrolling at least 1,100 service members and veterans who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan to learn more about mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) and how it can be best evaluated, and perhaps prevented and treated.

Poverty and high neighborhood murder rates increase depression in older adults

Older adults who live in poor and violent urban neighborhoods are at greater risk for depression, a study by researchers from UC Davis, the University of Minnesota and other institutions published Jan. 23 in the journal Health & Place has found.

Oldest American, Adele Dunlap, dies at age 114

Adele Dunlap, the oldest person in America, has died at age 114.

Monophasic HA filler plus lidocaine corrects nasolabial folds

(HealthDay)—The monophasic hyaluronic acid (HA) filler with lidocaine, Dermalax implant plus (PLUS), is not inferior to the biphasic HA Restylane Sub-Q (Sub-Q) for correcting nasolabial folds (NLFs), according to a study published online Feb. 1 in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.

Valproic acid plasma levels down with concomitant meropenem

(HealthDay)—Concomitant use of valproic acid (VPA) and meropenem (MEPM) is associated with a decrease in VPA plasma levels, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.

Renal transplant recipients often admitted with acute MI

(HealthDay)—Renal transplant recipients (RTRs) are often admitted with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), according to a study published in the Feb. 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

Evaluation of sepsis varies across newborn nurseries

(HealthDay)—Considerable variation is seen in risk assessment for newborn early onset sepsis (EOS), according to a study published online Feb. 8 in Pediatrics.

Acupressure ups sleep quality in nursing home residents

(HealthDay)—For nursing home (NH) residents, acupressure on specific acupoints is associated with improved sleep quality and well-being, according to a study published online Feb. 2 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Intravenous lidocaine offers alternative for ICU patients' pain

(HealthDay)—Intravenous lidocaine (IVLI) seems safe for reducing pain among patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) with varying degrees of organ dysfunction, according to research published online Feb. 7 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Allow some people to continue to self-injure as part of harm minimization, says researcher

Some people in mental health units should be allowed to continue to injure themselves as part of a harm reduction regime, says a researcher with experience of mental health care in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

Women who have a false positive screening mammogram more likely to delay next screen

Women who had a false positive result from a screening mammogram were more likely to delay or forgo their subsequent screening mammogram than women who had a true negative result.

At least five infected with HIV at Chinese traditional medicine hospital

At least five patients at a traditional Chinese medicine hospital in China were accidentally infected with HIV, officials said Thursday, as authorities moved to censor online discussion over the incident.

A better name for 'non-communicable diseases'

I came across an interesting read last week in The Lancet. In it, Drs Allen and Feigl make an interesting case for changing how we refer to non-communicable diseases

Revolutionary brain-computer interface with those in complete locked-in state

In 2009, Richard Marsh, a retired police officer suffered a massive stroke and doctors wanted to switch off his life-support. He could hear their every word but could not yell out that he was alive. The doctors simply believed he was in a permanent state of vegetation and devoid of physical feeling or mental consciousness. But Richard was very much alive and alert to every touch. 'I had full cognitive and physical awareness but an almost complete paralysis of nearly all the voluntary muscles in my body,' says Richard.

Language barriers may interfere with access to kidney transplantation

Language barriers may hinder US kidney transplant candidates' access to kidney transplantation, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN). The findings suggest that patients who primarily speak a language other than English may face disparities that keep them from completing their kidney transplant evaluation and ultimately receiving a kidney transplant.

New data reveal aging experiences of LGBT Americans

A new supplemental issue of the journal The Gerontologist presents the findings of the largest national survey to date focused on the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older adults.

Arkansas considers banning 'sex-selection' abortions

Arkansas would become the eighth state to ban abortions based solely on whether a woman wants to have a girl or a boy under a measure a House panel approved Thursday that is part of a Republican agenda that started with the party's takeover of the Legislature four years ago.

Minnesota's health exchange reports record number of signups

A record number of residents signed up for private insurance this year through Minnesota's health exchange, officials said Thursday, attributing the spike in part to uncertainty over the federal health care law and a novel state program that offsets skyrocketing premiums.

With health law in jeopardy, more than 12M still sign up

More than 12.2 million people have signed up for coverage nationwide this year under the Obama-era health care law even with the uncertainty created by President Donald Trump's vow to repeal and replace it.

Biology news analyses user DNA samples to build migration maps of North America

(—A team of researchers at Ancestry, the people behind, has used genotype data gathered from user kit samples and family tree information to create maps of post-colonial North American migration patterns. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the team describes how they gathered information from their databases, analyzed it, and used it to plot the course of human migration across North America.

Climate change and fishing create 'trap' for penguins

Endangered penguins are foraging for food in the wrong places due to fishing and climate change, research led by the University of Exeter and the University of Cape Town has revealed.

Researchers discuss the future of conservation

Conservationists need to adopt a critical shift in thinking to keep the Earth's ecosystems diverse and useful in an increasingly "unnatural" world.

Bacteria sleep, then rapidly evolve, to survive antibiotic treatments

Antibiotic resistance is a major and growing problem worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, antibiotic resistance is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world, and new resistance mechanisms are emerging and spreading globally, threatening our ability to treat common infectious diseases. But how these bacterial resistance mechanisms occur, and whether we can predict their evolution, is far from understood.

Monarch butterfly numbers drop by 27 percent in Mexico

The number of monarch butterflies wintering in Mexico dropped by 27 percent this year, reversing last year's recovery from historically low numbers, according to a study by government and independent experts released Thursday.

Researchers cast into doubt a tenet of the dominant evolutionary biology model

A team of Université Laval researchers has cast into doubt a tenet of evolutionary biology according to which organisms with more than one copy of the same gene in their genome are more resilient to genetic perturbations. In an article to be published tomorrow in Science, the researchers show that this genetic redundancy can also make the genome more fragile, leaving organisms more vulnerable to the effects of harmful mutations.

Malaria parasite may trigger human odor to lure mosquitoes

Scientists may have figured out part of the reason why mosquitoes are drawn to people infected with malaria.

Once-reviled scavenger bird now the pride of its Indian home

The greater adjutant stork used to be an object of revulsion in northeast India. It's not a pretty bird, with its large, dull-orange bill and gray, black and white plumage. A carnivore and scavenger, it left bits of dead animals in its nests. People thought it brought bad luck, so they destroyed nests and sometimes poisoned the birds.

New species of amoeba named after Gandalf from "The Lord of the Rings"

Thecamoebians are amoebae that have evolved the ability to produce a varyingly shaped outer carapace or shell in which to protect themselves. A collaborative of researchers has now identified a species of thecamoeba with a carapace that resembles the wizard's hat worn by Gandalf, a major character in The Lord of the Rings, a trilogy by author J.R.R. Tolkien.

Researchers demonstrate evolutionary parental environmental effect

Biologists from the University of Tübingen have successfully demonstrated parental environmental effect – and how this arises through evolution.

Famous tagged elephant seal returns after record-shattering swim

It was a tense two weeks for researchers at the Dan Costa Lab at UC Santa Cruz.

Despite few taste genes, honey bees seek out essential nutrients based on floral resources

Despite having few taste genes, honey bees are fine-tuned to know what minerals the colony may lack and proactively seek out nutrients in conjunction with the season when their floral diet varies.

Javan leopard sighting raises hopes for rare big cat

Four Javan leopards have been spotted in an Indonesian national park where they were previously thought to have died out, raising hopes for the future of the rare big cat.

Chinese police probe endangered pangolin banquet

Chinese authorities are investigating whether government officials may have feasted on endangered pangolins, considered the most trafficked mammal on earth, at a banquet after posts about the meal drew outrage on social media.

Autocatalytic biodiversity hypothesis aims to supplant Darwin's 'war of the species'

If competition is the main evolutionary driver, why do so many species coexist within the same ecosystem? This a central question in ecology. Many ideas have been suggested in an attempt to explain this evolutionary paradox. Most of them are based on the importance of ecological niches for the maintenance of differentiated environments versus dominated environments.

Changing our attitudes towards invasive 'alien' species

We often hear that complex environmental problems need to be communicated better – that scientists need to tell 'arresting stories' before governments and the public will act. But arresting stories can also be profoundly damaging – they are often arresting because they tie-in with taken-for-granted fears, prejudices, and premature judgments. To address and manage environmental change, we need to pay close attention not only to how we act, but also to how we think about nature, and the stories we use to understand it.

Extended lactation does not impair the quality or cheese-making property of milk

On average, a Danish dairy cow calve once a year. However, there are many indications that fewer calvings and extended milking periods have more advantages.

UTIA project named Project of the Year for DoD Environmental Security Technology

A project to identify and track threatened, endangered and at-risk avian species on U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) facilities has been named the DoD's Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) project of the year for 2016 for resource conservation and resiliency. The effort by a team of University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture researchers was led by David Buehler, professor in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries. Richard A. Fischer, of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, served as the DoD project manager.

Packy, Oregon's beloved elephant, dies at 54

Packy, the Asian elephant who drew international attention when he was born, including an 11-page spread in Life magazine, died Thursday at the Oregon Zoo. He was 54.

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: