Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Science X Newsletter Tuesday, Feb 28

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for February 28, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Spontaneous 'dust traps': Astronomers discover a missing link in planet formation

ZeitZeiger: Computer tells the time according to your body clock

SpaceX says it will fly 2 people to moon next year (Update)

Banded mongooses go to war over sex and territory

Sustainable ceramics without a kiln

Researchers discover how breast cancer mutation in BRCA1 causes protein to self-destruct

Study advances understanding the stories of ancient climate told by tiny shells

Existence of a new quasiparticle demonstrated

Martian winds carve mountains, move dust, raise dust

Gold nano-antennas reveal single molecules' electrochemical properties

New model for deep mantle conveyor belt system at the core of the Earth

New augmented reality computer program can edit colours and materials in video streams in realtime

Neurobiologists program a neural network for analyzing the brain's wiring

Foliage-penetrating ladar technology may improve border surveillance

Genetic 'balance' may influence response to cancer treatment

Astronomy & Space news

Spontaneous 'dust traps': Astronomers discover a missing link in planet formation

Planets are thought to form in the disks of dust and gas found around young stars. But astronomers have struggled to assemble a complete theory of their origin that explains how the initial dust develops into planetary systems. A French-UK-Australian team now think they have the answer, with their simulations showing the formation of 'dust traps' where pebble-sized fragments collect and stick together, to grow into the building blocks of planets. They publish their results in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

SpaceX says it will fly 2 people to moon next year (Update)

SpaceX said Monday it will fly two people to the moon next year, a feat not attempted since NASA's Apollo heyday close to half a century ago.

Martian winds carve mountains, move dust, raise dust

On Mars, wind rules. Wind has been shaping the Red Planet's landscapes for billions of years and continues to do so today. Studies using both a NASA orbiter and a rover reveal its effects on scales grand to tiny on the strangely structured landscapes within Gale Crater.

Study hints at possible change in water 'fingerprint' of comet

A trip past the sun may have selectively altered the production of one form of water in a comet - an effect not seen by astronomers before, a new NASA study suggests.

Preserving vision for astronauts

Many astronauts who come back from space experience poorer vision after flight, some even years after, and researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are working to see why.

Images of the sun from the GOES-16 satellite

These images of the sun were captured at the same time on January 29, 2017 by the six channels on the Solar Ultraviolet Imager or SUVI instrument aboard NOAA's GOES-16 satellite. They show a large coronal hole in the sun's southern hemisphere. Data from SUVI will provide an estimation of coronal plasma temperatures and emission measurements which are important to space weather forecasting.

Telescope records massive explosion 12 billion light years away

The University of Western Australia's Zadko Telescope has captured the explosive birth of a black hole 12 billion light years away that took place before the Earth and sun existed.

First public data release by the Hyper Suprime-Cam Subaru Strategic Program

Figuring out the fate of the Universe is one step closer. The first massive dataset of a "cosmic census" is released using the largest digital camera on the Subaru Telescope. Beautiful images are available for public at large.

Cells adapt ultra-rapidly to zero gravity

Mammalian cells are optimally adapted to gravity. But what happens in the microgravity environment of space if the earth's pull disappears? Previously, many experiments exhibited cell changes – after hours or even days in zero gravity. Astronauts, however, returned to Earth without any severe health problems after long missions in space, which begs the question as to how capable cells are of adapting to changes in gravity. Based on real-time readings on the ISS, UZH scientists can now reveal that cells are able to respond to changes in gravitational conditions extremely quickly and keep on functioning. Therefore, the study also provides direct evidence that certain cell functions are linked to gravity. 

Final milestone for the upgraded H.E.S.S. telescopes in Namibia

The newly refurbished cameras of the H.E.S.S. gamma-ray telescopes in Namibia have detected their first signals from a cosmic particle accelerator: The new cameras recorded Markarian 421 as their first target, a well-known blazar in the constellation of Ursa Major. The active galactic nucleus, 400 million light years away, was detected during an active state and at high significance. After four years of development, testing, production and deployment, this is the last big milestone of the H.E.S.S. I camera upgrade project, which was led by DESY. The success is also an important test for the next generation gamma-ray observatory, the Cherenkov Telescope Array CTA, which will use the same camera technology.

Image: NASA satellite spots moon's shadow over Patagonia

On Feb. 26, 2017, an annular eclipse of the sun was visible along a narrow path that stretched from the southern tip of South America, across the Atlantic Ocean and into southern Africa. Those lucky enough to find themselves in the eclipse's path saw a fiery ring in the sky. Meanwhile, NASA's Terra satellite saw the eclipse from space.

Technology news

New augmented reality computer program can edit colours and materials in video streams in realtime

Augmented reality (AR) has once again come into the spotlight since the mobile phone game Pokémon Go attracted more than 75 million fans within the space of a few days. In AR, images or videos of a real scene are enhanced or altered by overlaying the image with computer-generated information. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Informatics have now developed a programme that can edit materials and shading/lighting in videos in a very realistic way. The Saarbrücken-based researchers believe that they have achieved an important step forward for AR applications.

Foliage-penetrating ladar technology may improve border surveillance

The United States shares 5,525 miles of land border with Canada and 1,989 miles with Mexico. Monitoring these borders, which is the responsibility of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), is an enormous task. Detecting, and responding to, illegal activity while facilitating lawful commerce and travel is made more difficult by the expansive, rugged, diverse, and thickly vegetated geography that spans both often-crossed borders. To help mitigate the challenges to border surveillance, a group of researchers at MIT Lincoln Laboratory is investigating whether an airborne ladar system capable of imaging objects under a canopy of foliage could aid in the maintenance of border security by remotely detecting illegal activities. Their work will be presented at the 16th Annual IEEE Symposium on Technologies for Homeland Security to be held April 25-26 in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Model suggests when it is best to blame someone for a cyber-attack or when to keep quiet about it

(Tech Xplore)—A team with researches from several institutions in the U.S. has built a model to help decision makers decide when it is best to keep quiet about a cyber-attack or when to publicly blame those suspected of carrying out the attack. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes scenarios in which game theory can help those in a position to take action against hackers.

Lithium-ion battery inventor introduces new technology for fast-charging, noncombustible batteries

A team of engineers led by 94-year-old John Goodenough, professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin and co-inventor of the lithium-ion battery, has developed the first all-solid-state battery cells that could lead to safer, faster-charging, longer-lasting rechargeable batteries for handheld mobile devices, electric cars and stationary energy storage.

Breakthrough research for testing and arranging vertical axis wind turbines

The sight of propeller-like rotating blades positioned high up the pole of a tall horizontal-axis wind turbine (HAWT) may be familiar to many. Often grouped in wind farms, HAWTs provide significant amounts of energy for local communities. One drawback to HAWTs is the large space they take up, needing to be placed far apart from each other. If placed too close together, the turbulence and wind velocity deficit caused by one HAWT can make a neighboring HAWT output much less power.

Terribly terrific AI can brawl with the best players in fighting game

(Tech Xplore)—Even top players of the video game Super Smash Bros. have to take a back seat to AI, according to latest reports.

Netflix boss predicts mobile operators will soon offer unlimited video

Netflix head Reed Hastings predicted Monday that mobile carriers will soon offer data plans that give users unlimited video streaming to meet the rising popularity of watching TV and movies on mobile devices.

Streaming industry in historic win at Oscars

In a first for the streaming industry, Amazon Studios and Netflix walked away with Oscars, underlining their emergence as major players in the entertainment business.

YouTube showing a billion hours of online video daily

YouTube on Monday said that a billion hours of video is being watched daily at the Google-owned online viewing venue in "big milestone" for the service.

In South Korea, the race is on for Olympics 5G next year

Tech-savvy sports enthusiasts will get their money's worth at next year's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics where South Korea's KT mobile operator wants to give spectators what it hopes will be their first 5G experience.

Kids want parental help with online risk, but fear parental freak outs

Although it may come as no surprise to the Fresh Prince, kids think that parents just don't understand what it is like to be a teen in an internet-connected world and this lack of understanding may hinder the development of skills necessary to safely navigate online, according to a team of researchers.

Singapore defence ministry reports cyber breach

Singapore's defence ministry said Tuesday that hackers had stolen the personal details of hundreds of staff and soldiers in what appeared to be a "targeted" cyber attack on its computer systems.

Probe of US-based Turk hacker leads to Austrian intel fight

Austria's intelligence services on Tuesday confirmed a news report that they have tracked down a U.S.-based Turkish hacker who attacked several government websites.

Asiacell to offer free access to Wikipedia in Iraq

The Wikimedia Foundation, which runs online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, said Tuesday that telecoms operator Asiacell will offer free access to the website to its nearly 12 million mobile phone customers in war-torn Iraq.

Chinese tech giant Xiaomi eyes global market with custom chip

Chinese technology giant Xiaomi on Tuesday unveiled an in-house processor, setting its sights on a top-tier global market long dominated by American companies.

Strong polynomiality of the simplex method for totally unimodular linear programming problems

Linear programming is the most fundamental optimization problem with applications in many areas including engineering, management, and economics.

Tension-based, wearable vibroacoustic device

Excitement felt when listening to music is due to both the sounds heard and, importantly, the vibrations felt by the body.

Direct numerical simulations in turbulent swirling premixed flames

Intensive pressure oscillations by thermoacoustic instabilities are critical for the operation of practical gas turbine combustors. However, it is difficult to investigate interactions between turbulent flames and acoustic modes of combustors due to the existence of complex dynamics and their three-dimensional nature.

Smarter routers reduce latency in the Internet

Excessive latency affects the experienced quality of internet services: online games lag, streaming video buffers, and video conversations are choppy or even interrupted. Toke Høiland-Jørgensen is a researcher at Karlstad University in Sweden, working to improve network performance. In his thesis, "On the Bleeding Edge" he describes what can cause latency and how smart routers can help reduce delays.

Wearable gadgets seek permanent place in users' lives

Consumers are snapping up fitness trackers, smartwatches and other connected wearable gadgets—but huge numbers wind up in drawers unused after just a few months once the novelty wears off.

Opinion: Robots and AI could soon have feelings, hopes and rights … we must prepare for the reckoning

Get used to hearing a lot more about artificial intelligence. Even if you discount the utopian and dystopian hyperbole, the 21st century will broadly be defined not just by advancements in artificial intelligence, robotics, computing and cognitive neuroscience, but how we manage them. For some, the question of whether or not the human race will live to see a 22nd century turns upon this latter consideration. While forecasting the imminence of an AI-centric future remains a matter of intense debate, we will need to come to terms with it. For now, there are many more questions than answers.

OneWeb, Intelsat merge to advance satellite internet

Satellite telecom firms OneWeb and Intelsat announced plans Tuesday to merge, and a fresh $1.7 billion investment from Japan's SoftBank to advance an ambitious "internet in the sky" plan.

No fad: Niantic CEO insists Pokemon Go is still going strong

Remember all those crazed Pokemon Go seekers that roamed our city streets, crowded our public parks or ventured into rural areas in search of virtual-reality pocket monsters popping up on their smartphones?

Beyond cat videos: YouTube will offer cable alternative

People fed up with paying for cable the traditional way will soon be able to subscribe to it from YouTube.

International media unite against fake news

A group of 37 French and international media outlets, supported by Google, on Tuesday launched "CrossCheck", a joint fact-checking platform aimed at detecting fake information which could affect the French presidential election.

What's the buzz? Pot-growing lights vex ham radio operators

Retired Coast Guard officer Roger Johnson sometimes notices a harsh buzz when he turns on his amateur radio, and he blames high-powered lighting used to grow pot.

Next generation of robots for use in nuclear sites

The University of Manchester is to lead a consortium to build the next generation of robots that are more durable and perceptive for use in nuclear sites.

Smart data analysis for transport in Stuttgart

The overburdening of city transport systems is becoming an increasing challenge. But before cities can take concrete action, they need to gather precise traffic data. This is often very time consuming and expensive. A study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO in cooperation with Telefónica NEXT and the data analysis specialist Teralytics found that mobile network data can make a positive contribution to transport planning. To clarify, analyses were carried out for the city of Stuttgart with the help of anonymised and aggregated mobile network data, which provide detailed insights into the actual travel behaviour of Stuttgart residents. This gives an idea of the data's potential.

Netflix CEO: co-workers were affected by Trump travel ban

Netflix employees were personally affected by U.S. President Donald Trump's attempt to ban people entering from seven Muslim countries, the company's CEO said Tuesday.

Frshly uses robotics and algorithms to deliver fresh, hot food to customers

Six different cuisines with 30 combos all served hot within 90 seconds, and patrons need only pick, swipe and eat. That's what Frshly, a fully automated "vend-café" and the brainchild of NJIT alumnus Satish ChamyVelumani, provides to a growing number of hungry consumers on the move through India's railway system and airports. It's an offer the tech startup, established in 2013, calls "plated happiness."

Medicine & Health news

ZeitZeiger: Computer tells the time according to your body clock

A computer method called ZeitZeiger that uses a sample of blood to accurately predict circadian time - the time of day according to a person's body clock - is described in new research published in the open access journal Genome Medicine.

Researchers discover how breast cancer mutation in BRCA1 causes protein to self-destruct

Of the more than 3 million people with breast cancer in the United Stated, about 10 percent carry an inherited mutation in their BRCA1 gene. In health, the gene is responsible for suppressing tumors. In disease, the gene goes terribly awry.

Neurobiologists program a neural network for analyzing the brain's wiring

How does consciousness arise? Researchers suspect that the answer to this question lies in the connections between neurons. Unfortunately, however, little is known about the wiring of the brain. This is due also to a problem of time: tracking down connections in collected data would require man-hours amounting to many lifetimes, as no computer has been able to identify the neural cell contacts reliably enough up to now. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried plan to change this with the help of artificial intelligence. They have trained several artificial neural networks and thereby enabled the vastly accelerated reconstruction of neural circuits.

Genetic 'balance' may influence response to cancer treatment

Choosing among cancer treatments increasingly involves determining whether tumor cells harbor specific, mutated "oncogenes" that drive abnormal growth and that may also be especially vulnerable or resistant to particular drugs. But according to a new study led by UCSF researchers, in the case of the most commonly mutated cancer-driving oncogene, called KRAS (pronounced "kay-rass"), response to treatment can change as tumors evolve, either when a normal copy of the gene from the other member of the matched chromosome pair is lost, or when the cancers cells evolve to produce additional copies of the mutated form of the gene.

New treatment causes cancer cells to fill up with cellular 'trash' and self-destruct

The genomes of cancer cells—cells that do not obey signals to stop reproducing—are riddled with genetic mutations, causing them inadvertently to make many dysfunctional proteins. Like all other cells, cancer cells need to be vigilant about cleaning themselves up in order to survive. Now, biologists in the laboratory of Ray Deshaies, Caltech professor of biology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, have developed a new way to inhibit the cancer cell cleanup mechanism, causing the cells to fill up with defective proteins and thus self-destruct.

Gene therapy to fight a blood cancer succeeds in major study

An experimental gene therapy that turns a patient's own blood cells into cancer killers worked in a major study, with more than one-third of very sick lymphoma patients showing no sign of disease six months after a single treatment, its maker said Tuesday.

Long nerve found in mouse brain circling the entire rest of the brain

(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers with the Allen Institute for Brain Science led by Christof Koch gave a presentation recently at the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies meeting outlining research they have been conducting focused on individual nerve cells in the claustrum—a densely packed layer of grey matter located beneath the neocortex. The highlight of their talk was news of the team's discovery of what they described as giant neurons emanating from the claustrum, one of which was long enough to encircle the entire rest of the brain.

More mosquito species than previously thought may transmit Zika

Zika virus could be transmitted by more mosquito species than those currently known, according to a new predictive model created by ecologists at the University of Georgia and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. Their findings, published today in the journal eLife, offer a list of 26 additional potential candidate species—including seven that occur in the continental United States—that the authors suggest should be the first priority for further research.

Researchers discover new combination therapy strategy for brain, blood cancers

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine have discovered a new potential strategy to personalize therapy for brain and blood cancers.

To maximize a child's development, genetics provide important insight

A child's genetic make-up can play a large, hidden role in the success of efforts to maximize his or her development, South African research suggests.

Mammography trends show improved cancer detection, more biopsies

The shift from film to digital technology appears to have improved cancer detection rates for diagnostic mammography, but also has increased the abnormal interpretation rate, which may lead to more women undergoing biopsies for benign conditions, according to a new study that appears online in the journal Radiology.

Tanning devices cost US healthcare $343 million a year

Tanning devices cost the US $343.1 million a year in medical costs because of the skin cancers their use is associated with, according to a new study published in the Journal of Cancer Policy. In a new study, Dr. Hugh Waters and his colleagues from the University of North Carolina established how prevalent indoor tanning-related skin cancers are in the US, and calculated the costs of these diseases.

Fir extract could have anti-cancer and anti-aging properties

Scientists from the Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology and MIPT have studied the effects of Siberian fir terpenoids on senescent and human cancer cell lines at the genetic level. Research into terpenoids, including their effect on cancers, was initiated by scientists at Initium-Pharm Ltd. The study was published in the biomedical journal Oncotarget, and the results have attracted the interest of geneticists.

New study first to link internal clock to what and when people eat

Benjamin Franklin famously extolled the virtues of early risers saying, "early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise" – and a new study out today adds scientific data to the claim that morning people may in fact be healthier. By comparing "morning type" people with "evening type" people, researchers found that morning people ate more balanced foods overall and ate earlier in the day. Published in Obesity, the scientific journal of The Obesity Society (TOS), this is the first study of its kind to examine what and when people with different internal time clocks eat, including macronutrients like carbohydrates, protein and fat.

Women's stress levels before pregnancy could influence risk of eczema in their future children

Infants whose mothers who felt stressed before they fell pregnant had a higher risk of eczema at age 12 months, new Southampton research has shown.

When to see a doctor for the flu

You're feeling under the weather, but is it a cold or the flu? Sometimes it's hard to tell initially, and even more difficult to decide if you should make an appointment with your doctor. One Baylor College of Medicine expert said you should make an appointment immediately if you have flu-like symptoms such as a fever, sore throat, cough, body aches, chills and fatigue or weakness.

Brain stimulation raises hopes for patients with drug-resistant high blood pressure

A Bristol team has used a deep brain stimulation technique to dramatically reduce a woman's high blood pressure – the first time in the world the procedure has been carried out for hypertension.

Physical commitment makes musical performers appreciate their music more

Many musicians are familiar with the phenomenon: Their music sounds much better while performing it live than when they listen back to the recorded version. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig have now found out that the physical commitment makes performers appreciate their music more. The findings could not only help people access new styles of music, but could also make music therapy more successful.

Experts urge healthcare professionals to harness power of people's mindsets

A growing body of research has shown that people's mindsets have measurable physical results.

Trans and gender-fluid teens left with few 'safe harbors'

Transgender and gender-fluid teens, particularly those born male, face up to three times more mental and physical abuse at school and at home than their gender-conforming peers, according to a new study from UC Berkeley.

Study points to importance of subsidy structure in Affordable Care Act

One of the challenges for Congressional Republicans looking to replace the Affordable Care Act is how to address federal subsidies, which millions of Americans use to pay for health insurance.

Research aims for better treatments for children with rare disease

New research could pave the way for more precise treatments for potentially deadly respiratory infections in children with the rare disease ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T).

Extreme temperatures may increase risk for low birth weight at term, study suggests

Extreme hot or cold temperatures during pregnancy may increase the risk that infants born at term will be of low birth weight, according to a study of U.S. women by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. The study was published in Environmental Research.

Addison's patients lack killer immune cells: study

Research led by University of Birmingham scientists has found that people suffering from the adrenal disorder known as Addison's disease suffer from an immune system defect which makes them prone to potentially deadly respiratory infections.

Study shows huge postcode disparity in proportion of children in care

Children in the poorest areas of the UK are at least 10 times more likely than those in the most affluent to become involved in the child protection system, according to a report by seven British universities. It finds 'strong social gradients' in the rates of intervention across the UK: a step increase in neighbourhood deprivation increases a child's chances of being either taken into care or on a child protection plan by around a third.

Gluten contributes to the development of rare, deadly blood cancer in a small group of coeliac patients

Scientists in The Netherlands have revealed how gluten plays a role in the development of a rare form of cancer, for some people with coeliac disease.

The people who help you die better

Thirty years ago a young anaesthetist, newly appointed as head of department at Calicut Medical College Hospital in the Indian state of Kerala, encountered a case that would change his life.

Sleepovers with stuffed animals help children learn to read

Sending stuffed animals for a sleepover at the library encourages children to read with them, even long after the sleepover took place, say researchers in a new study in Heliyon. For the first time, the study proves stuffed animal sleepovers are an effective way to get children to read.

Confusing food labels are about to get a lot simpler

Pop quiz: What's the difference between "best by," "sell by" or "expires on"?

Activated T-cells drive post-heart attack heart failure

Chronic inflammation after a heart attack can promote heart failure and death. University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers have now shown that activated T-cells—part of the immune system's inflammatory response—are both necessary and sufficient to produce such heart failure.

Genetic variant linked to overactive inflammatory response

Researchers at Cardiff University have discovered that genetic variation is the reason why some immune systems overreact to viruses.

Stem cells derived neuronal networks grown on a chip as an alternative to animal testing

Scientists at the Institute for Infectious Diseases, University of Bern have developed an in vitro stem cell-based bioassay grown on multi-electrode arrays capable of detecting the biological activity of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins. Their assay could serve in minimizing animal experiments as well as provide a physiological relevant platform for drug-screening of neuroactive compounds.

The stem cell dynamics of wound healing

Researchers at the Université libre de Bruxelles, ULB define for the first time the changes in the stem cell dynamics that contribute to wound healing.

Another step in understanding antipsychotic medication

After much deliberation and anxiety, the family finally sought psychiatric help for their son. And the results were in a way, a relief. The doctors' verdict was that their child, their teenage son, was suffering from bipolar disorder. His wild mood swings between hyper-enthusiastic activity and deep depression were treatable.

Study clarifies risky decision making during a heart attack

In a recent study to determine why some individuals who experience symptoms for acute coronary syndrome decide to seek medical attention more quickly than others, a University of Oklahoma researcher has identified numeracy—the ability to understand and apply numerical concepts as the primary decision delay risk factor for individuals experiencing the medical condition. Cardiovascular disease, which includes conditions such as acute coronary syndrome, is the number one killer worldwide responsible for about one in three deaths.

Happy notes, happy memories

Happy memories spring to mind much faster than sad, scary or peaceful ones. Moreover, if you listen to happy or peaceful music, you recall positive memories, whereas if you listen to emotionally scary or sad music, you recall largely negative memories from your past. Those are two of the findings from an experiment in which study participants accessed autobiographical memories after listening to unknown pieces of music varying in intensity or emotional content. It was conducted by Signy Sheldon and Julia Donahue of McGill University in Canada, and is reported in the journal Memory & Cognition, published by Springer.

New approach to treating Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is one of the most common form of dementia. In search for new drugs for AD, the research team, led by Professor Mi Hee Lim of Natural Science at UNIST has developed a metal-based substance that works like a pair of genetic scissors to cut out amyloid-β (Aβ), the hallmark protein of AD.

Youth with type 2 diabetes develop complications more often than type 1 peers

Teens and young adults with type 2 diabetes develop kidney, nerve, and eye diseases - as well as some risk factors for heart disease - more often than their peers with type 1 diabetes in the years shortly after diagnosis. The results are the latest findings of the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study, published Feb. 28 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Study finds no evidence of common herpes type virus in aggressive brain cancer tissue

In a rigorous study of tumor tissue collected from 125 patients with aggressive brain cancers, researchers at Johns Hopkins say they have found no evidence of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and conclude that a link between the two diseases, as claimed by earlier reports, likely does not exist.

Increased incidence of bleeding near the brain linked to increased use of anti-clotting drugs

An increased incidence in Denmark of subdural hematoma (a bleed located within the skull, but outside the brain) from 2000 to 2015 appears to be associated with the increased use of antithrombotic drugs, such as low-dose aspirin, vitamin K antagonists (e.g., warfarin), clopidogrel, and oral anticoagulants, according to a study appearing in the February 28 issue of JAMA.

New help for that bane of middle-age: blurry close-up vision

Squinting while texting? Always losing your reading glasses? An eye implant that takes about 10 minutes to put in place is the newest in a list of surgical repairs for the blurry close-up vision that is a bane of middle age. But who's really a good candidate to toss their specs?

Study finds colorectal cancer rates have risen dramatically in Gen X and millennials

A new study finds that compared to people born around 1950, when colorectal cancer risk was lowest, those born in 1990 have double the risk of colon cancer and quadruple the risk of rectal cancer.

Large discrepancy between what insurance companies pay for knee and hip implants, hospital purchase

The total payments insurance companies pay for knee and hip implants were twice as high as the average selling prices at which hospitals purchased the implants from manufacturers, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars of additional insurance claims, according to a study appearing in the February 28 issue of JAMA.

Treatment of malignant brain tumor in children gets closer

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have identified important mechanisms underlying how a special type of malignant brain tumor arises in children. Not only do these discoveries give researchers important information about the tumor but they could also result in possible treatment.

Risk of subsequent malignancies reduced among childhood cancer survivors

Although the risk of subsequent malignancies for survivors of childhood cancer diagnosed in the 1990s remains increased, the risk is lower compared with those diagnosed in the 1970s, a decrease that is associated with a reduction in therapeutic radiation dose, according to a study appearing in the February 28 issue of JAMA.

As radiation therapy declined so did second cancers in childhood cancer survivors

Childhood cancer survivors are living longer. Now research shows they are also less likely to develop second cancers while still young. The decline followed a sharp drop in the use of radiation therapy for treatment of childhood cancers.

Inhaler users get about half as much medicine as they should from each puff

Tens of millions of Americans with lung disease use metered-dose inhalers each day, and new studies by Rice University electrical engineers and pulmonologists at Baylor College of Medicine have identified critical errors that are causing many inhaler users to get only about half as much medicine as they should from each puff.

Hip fracture's link to early death may last years

(HealthDay)—Older people who suffer a hip fracture face a much higher risk of death soon after the injury, but the risk persists over the longer term, a large study indicates.

Sugar-sweetened drink tax tied to sustained drop in purchase

(HealthDay)—Implementation of a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with a sustained reduction in purchases of taxed beverages, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in Health Affairs.

Liver tumor growth in mice slowed with new chemo-immunotherapy treatment

Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common form of liver cancer, but treatment options are limited and many patients are diagnosed in late stages when the disease can't be treated. Now, University of Missouri School of Medicine researchers have developed a new treatment that combines chemotherapy and immunotherapy to significantly slow tumor growth in mice. The researchers believe that with more research, the strategy could be translated to benefit patients with the disease.

A minimally invasive tool to measure muscle impairment

A minimally invasive, fiber-optic technique that accurately measures the passive stretch and twitch contraction of living muscle tissue could someday be an alternative to the painful muscle biopsies used to diagnose and treat a wide range of movement disorders, researchers report February 28 in Biophysical Journal. In a fraction of a millisecond, the tool measures the length of thousands of sarcomeres—the contractile units of muscle tissue—making it possible to quickly identify issues and develop personalized treatment plans for patients.

Could a ketogenic diet alleviate gout?

More than 8 million individuals in the United States have gout, a disease that can cause intense recurrent episodes of debilitating pain, inflammation, and fever. The cause of gout is the accumulation of urate crystals in joints, which continuously reactivate the immune system, leading to activation of the most common type of immune cell in the blood, neutrophils. These periods of immune reactivation are known as flares, and are driven by a protein complex called the NLRP3 inflammasome.

Study finds new link between childhood abuse and adolescent misbehavior

An important learning process is impaired in adolescents who were abused as children, a University of Pittsburgh researcher has found, and this impairment contributes to misbehavior patterns later in life.

Study explores HPV vaccine acceptability in sexual minorities

Human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes genital warts and can lead to several cancers, is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. About 630 million people are infected worldwide, with 500,000 new infections added annually.

Unique structure of African swine fever virus enzyme may allow drug development

A DNA-copying protein from a lethal pig virus has a unique structure that may offer a target for drugs designed to combat this important agricultural disease, according to a study publishing February 28th in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by Yiqing Chen and colleagues at Fudan University in Shanghai, China.

Women may be at higher risk for sports-related concussion than men

Women athletes are 50 percent more likely than male athletes to have a sports-related concussion, according to a preliminary study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 69th Annual Meeting in Boston, April 22 to 28, 2017.

From heroin addiction to alcohol-related problems

Around 3,000 heroin addicts currently receive opioids such as methadone, buprenorphine or morphine as part of their treatment in the Canton of Zurich. The number of these so-called substitution treatments has remained constant since their introduction in the 1990s. Long-term courses of therapy with methadone or other opioids evidently reduce the consumption of illegal drugs among patients addicted to heroin.

Aggression disorder linked to greater risk of substance abuse

People with intermittent explosive disorder (IED)—a condition marked by frequent physical or verbal outbursts—are at five times greater risk for abusing substances such as alcohol, tobacco and marijuana than those who don't display frequent aggressive behavior, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Chicago.

New target for Parkinson's disease identified

Emory investigators have discovered a novel link between a protein called SV2C and Parkinson's disease (PD). Prior work had suggested that the SV2C gene was associated with the curious ability of cigarette smoking to reduce PD risk. The new research published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) uncovers the connection.

Adolescents with autism four times more likely to visit emergency department

Adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) use emergency-department services four times as often as their peers without autism, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. The findings suggest that youth with autism may need better access to primary care and specialist services.

WSU looks for practices to thwart antimicrobial resistance

The death last year of a woman in Reno, Nev., from an infection resistant to every type of antibiotic available in the U.S. highlights how serious the threat of antimicrobial resistance has become.

Hospital floors may pose a larger health risk than previously thought

Hospital room floors may be an overlooked source of infection, according to a study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official journal of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). Because items in the patient's room may touch the floor, pathogens on hospital floors can rapidly move to the hands and high-touch surfaces throughout a hospital room.

Researchers see promise in light therapy to treat chronic pain

Chronic pain afflicts over 100 million people across the United States. It diminishes their productivity and their quality of life and costs hundreds of billions of dollars each year to medically manage. It shatters people's emotional wellbeing, tears apart families and claims lives through suicides and accidental drug overdoses.

Sleep trackers can prompt sleep problems

A 39-year-old man whom we'll call Mr. R received a sleep-tracking device from his girlfriend. Since starting a new job several years earlier, he sometimes had trouble getting a good night's sleep. Not surprisingly, the next day he'd feel tired, irritable and absentminded.

Two migration proteins boost predictive value of pancreatic cancer biomarker

Adding two blood-borne proteins associated with cancer cell migration increases the predictive ability of the current biomarker for pancreatic cancer to detect early stage disease, a research team from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reports in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Differences in sex and running ability influence declines in marathon performance, study finds

A person's sex and running ability play a role in the decline of their performance in marathons as they get older, according to a Georgia State University study.

Kids should be screened for lazy eye by age 5

(HealthDay)—Young children should be screened at least once for lazy eye before they turn 5 years old, a U.S. panel of experts says.

Antidepressant efficacy varies for depressive symptom clusters

(HealthDay)—Antidepressant treatment efficacy varies for empirically-defined clusters of symptoms, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Care update for newborn with meconium-stained amniotic fluid

(HealthDay)—In a Committee Opinion published in the March issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology, guidelines are updated for the management of delivery of newborns with meconium-stained amniotic fluid.

Comorbid neuropathies common with MCI diagnosis

(HealthDay)—A diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is frequently associated with comorbid neuropathologies, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in the Annals of Neurology.

Higher dietary potassium to sodium ratio can lower CVD risk

(HealthDay)—Higher dietary potassium seems to be associated with reduced blood pressure, regardless of sodium intake, with the postulated mechanism involving the distal tubule sodium chloride cotransporter (NCC), according to research published online Feb. 7 in the American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Differences in arrhythmic risk in nocturnal, daytime hypoglycemia

(HealthDay)—For young adults with type 1 diabetes, there are differences in arrhythmic risk and cardiac repolarization during nocturnal versus daytime hypoglycemia, according to a study published online Feb. 17 in Diabetes Care.

Physician burnout eroding sense of calling

(HealthDay)—For physicians across specialties, burnout is associated with reduced odds of a sense of calling, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Improving mental health screening for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander pregnant women and new mums

A unique study is about to take place to improve the mental health of expectant and new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mums living in remote communities.

Walnuts may support sperm health, according to new animal research

New animal research suggests eating a walnut-enriched diet may improve sperm quality by reducing lipid peroxidation, a process that can damage sperm cells. This form of cell damage harms sperm membranes, which are primarily made up of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).1 Walnuts are the only tree nut that are predominantly comprised of PUFAs (one ounce contains 13 grams of PUFAs out of 18 grams of total fat). Research on the health benefits of PUFAs has advanced and most recently the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans has emphasized this type of fat as a replacement for saturated fats. As this is an animal study, there is no direct correlation to processes that occur in the human body. However, the findings support previous research suggesting that walnuts provide key nutrients that may be essential for sperm function.

New report assesses VA's airborne hazards and open burn pit registry

Inherent features of registries that rely on voluntary participation and self-reported information make them fundamentally unsuitable for determining whether emissions from military burn pits in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations in Southwest Asia caused health problems in service members who were exposed to them, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. While the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit (AH&OBP) Registry provides a forum for collecting and recording information on those who choose to participate, a more rigorous and appropriate approach is needed to examine the relationship between the exposures and health outcomes, such as a well-designed epidemiologic study. A previous report by the former Institute of Medicine [now part of the National Academies] found inconclusive evidence on the health effects of exposure to military burn pits and contained advice and recommendations on how a study might be conducted.

Supreme court rules patient safety data subject to litigation

(HealthDay)—The Supreme Court of Florida has reversed a District Court of Appeal decision deeming information related to patient safety unprotected from litigation discovery, according to a report published from the American Medical Association.

Nonsurgical treatment can correct congenital ear malformations in infants

For infants with congenital malformations of the ear, a treatment system called EarWell can gently reshape the ear—avoiding the pain and cost of later surgery, reports a study in the March issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

UNC Lineberger launches innovative cellular immunotherapy program

University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers have achieved a major milestone with the launch of two clinical trials testing an experimental therapy in which patients' own immune cells are genetically engineered to fight their cancer.

Biology news

Banded mongooses go to war over sex and territory

Gang warfare is not unique to humans - banded mongooses do it too.

Comparative analysis of Aspergillus species provides genus-wide view of fungal diversity

In the world of fungi, Aspergillus is an industrial superstar. Aspergillus niger, for example, has been used for decades to produce citric acid—a compound frequently added to foods and pharmaceuticals —through fermentation at an industrial scale. Other species in this genus play critical roles in biofuel production, and plant and human health. Since the majority of its 350 species have yet to be sequenced and analyzed, researchers are still at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding Aspergillus' full potential and the spectrum of useful compounds they may generate.

See how Zika infection changes a human cell

The Zika virus taking hold of the inner organelles of human liver and neural stem cells has been captured via light and electron microscopy. In Cell Reports on February 28, researchers in Germany show how the African and Asian strains of Zika rearrange the endoplasmic reticulum and cytoskeletal architecture of host cells so that they can build factories where they make daughter viruses. The study reveals that targeting cytoskeleton dynamics could be a previously unexplored strategy to suppress Zika replication.

Road salt alternatives alter aquatic ecosystems

Organic additives found in road salt alternatives—such as those used in the commercial products GeoMelt and Magic Salt—act as a fertilizer to aquatic ecosystems, promoting the growth of algae and organisms that eat algae, according to new research published today in the Journal of Applied Ecology. Low levels of magnesium chloride—an alternative type of salt found in the commercial product Clear Lane - boost populations of amphipods, tiny crustaceans that feed on algae and serve as an important food source for fish.

Biofuel produced by microalgae

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology have identified unique lysophosphatidic acid acyltransferases as being the central enzymes for triacylglycerol synthesis by oleaginous alga Nannochloropsis, thus uncovering the mechanisms of biofuel production in microalgae.

A flesh-eating parasite returns to Florida

A flesh-eating parasite that has re-emerged in the United States after more than a half-century has killed a fifth of the endangered Key deer on the Florida Keys since last fall. In January, a stray dog near Miami was successfully treated for these New World screwworm parasites, fly larvae that feast on open wounds in warm-blooded animals.

Scientists create electric circuits inside plants

Plants power life on Earth. They are the original food source supplying energy to almost all living organisms and the basis of the fossil fuels that feed the power demands of the modern world. But burning the remnants of long-dead forests is changing the world in dangerous ways. Can we better harness the power of living plants today?

Understanding how brown rot fungi degrade wood could lead to new tools for more efficient biofuel production

Wood's complex structure makes it highly resistant to biological or chemical decomposition. The structure includes cellulose, long chains of linked sugar molecules, embedded in a scaffolding of a chemical known as lignin. Brown rot fungi, however, possess a unique ability to attack the cellulose fraction of wood while avoiding the surrounding lignin. This study provides evidence that brown rot fungi accomplish this using a two-step process. The steps are (1) secrete a set of chemicals and enzymes that open up the lignin framework and (2) release a second set of enzymes that break down the cellulose chains into sugars. The sugars are absorbed by the fungi and could be the basis for biofuels.

TB bacteria can elude immune response by living inside dead macrophages

Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute have discovered that the bacterium responsible for tuberculosis (TB) can hide and live on inside the very immune cells that are sent to hunt and kill it.

Frogs have unique ability to see color in the dark

The night vision of frogs and toads appears to be superior to that of all other animals. They have the ability to see colour even when it is so dark that humans are not able to see anything at all. This has been shown in a new study by researchers from Lund University in Sweden.

Male poison frogs become cannibals after taking over territories

Systematic 'infanticide' of unrelated young occurs in several animal species. For carnivores and primates, infanticidal actions are mainly sexually motivated. A study in Scientific Reports by researchers of Vetmeduni Vienna has shown for the first time that also male poison frogs selectively eat other males' offspring—after having taken over their rivals' territories. They were thus able to demonstrate that even simple decision rules can mediate a complex behavioral pattern such as parental care.

US approves 3 types of genetically engineered potatoes (Update)

Three types of potatoes genetically engineered to resist the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine are safe for the environment and safe to eat, federal officials have announced.

Study finds preliminary recovery of coastal sharks in southeast US

A new analysis of population trends among coastal sharks of the southeast U.S. shows that all but one of the seven species studied are increasing in abundance. The gains follow enactment of fishing regulations in the early 1990s after decades of declining shark numbers.

Open Science Prize goes to software tool for tracking viral outbreaks

After three rounds of competition—one of which involved a public vote—a software tool developed by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Basel to track Zika, Ebola and other viral disease outbreaks in real time has won the first-ever international Open Science Prize.

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 jmabs1@gmail.com

No comments: