Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Science X Newsletter Wednesday, Feb 15

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for February 15, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Researchers characterize pentazolate anion as part of a stable salt

Faint, polarized flares detected from the variable star UV Ceti

Researchers find autism biomarkers in infancy

Churchill's search for ET

Canadian glaciers now major contributor to sea level change

'Field patterns' as a new mathematical object

Researchers pinpoint watery past on Mars

French pedestrians see green light, even when it's red: study

Study finds that heel-down posture in great apes and humans confers a fighting advantage

Gamalon technology accelerates machine learning

Research identifies cellular recycling process linked to beneficial effects of enduring mild stress

Analyzing copies of genes offers new treatment possibilities for ovarian cancer

Researchers explore ubiquitous interaction of biomolecules with water

Extinct tortoise yields oldest tropical DNA

Imaging technique for unique views of single molecules that conventional methods can't match

Astronomy & Space news

Faint, polarized flares detected from the variable star UV Ceti

(—Astronomers have detected four faint, polarized flares at 154 MHz from the nearby variable star UV Ceti. The newly observed flares are much fainter than most flares found at these frequencies. The findings were presented February 10 in a paper published online on the arXiv pre-print server.

Churchill's search for ET

War correspondent, statesman, astronomer. Stargazing may not be what Winston Churchill is best remembered for, but a treatise he wrote on extraterrestrial life has revealed his scientific acumen six decades later.

Researchers pinpoint watery past on Mars

Researchers from Trinity College Dublin have discovered a patch of land in an ancient valley on Mars that appears to have been flooded by water in the not-too-distant past. In doing so, they have pinpointed a prime target to begin searching for past life forms on the Red Planet.

Lasers could give space research its 'broadband' moment

Thought your Internet speeds were slow? Try being a space scientist for a day.

Missing stars in the solar neighbourhood reveal the sun's speed and distance to the centre of the Milky Way galaxy

Using a novel method and data from the Gaia space telescope, astronomers from the University of Toronto have estimated that the speed of the Sun as it orbits the centre of the Milky Way Galaxy is approximately 240 kilometres per second.

NASA-funded website lets public search for new nearby worlds

NASA is inviting the public to help search for possible undiscovered worlds in the outer reaches of our solar system and in neighboring interstellar space. A new website, called Backyard Worlds: Planet 9, lets everyone participate in the search by viewing brief movies made from images captured by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission. The movies highlight objects that have gradually moved across the sky.

Image: ISS transits the moon

This image of the International Space Station passing in front of the Moon on 4 February was taken from Rouen, France, the birth town of ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

OSIRIS-REx takes closer image of Jupiter

During Earth-Trojan asteroid search operations, the PolyCam imager aboard NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft captured this image of Jupiter (center) and three of its moons, Callisto (left), Io, and Ganymede.

Image: Ariane 5's first launch this year

An Ariane 5, operated by Arianespace, has delivered the Sky Brasil-1 and Telkom-3S telecom satellites into their planned orbits.

Technology news

Gamalon technology accelerates machine learning

(Tech Xplore)—This AI launch could signal a difference for the better. Cambridge, MA-based Gamalon is touting its approach to AI and machine learning and the claims are significant. To start, add this to your mountain of technology acronyms: Bayesian Program Synthesis (BPS). The technology is such that it writes and rewrites its own Bayesian programs.

Is a stretchable smart tablet in our future?

Engineering researchers at Michigan State University have developed the first stretchable integrated circuit that is made entirely using an inkjet printer, raising the possibility of inexpensive mass production of smart fabric.

Sensors embedded in sports equipment could provide real-time analytics to your smartphone

Sports analytics—tracking how fast the ball is moving or how players move across the field—is becoming a key component of how coaches make decisions and fans view games. Data for these analytics is currently sourced through cameras in stadiums and courts and is incredibly expensive to acquire.

Yahoo issues another warning in fallout from hacking attacks

Yahoo is warning users of potentially malicious activity on their accounts between 2015 and 2016, the latest development in the internet company's investigation of a mega-breach that exposed 1 billion users' data several years ago.

Toyota hopes revamped plug-in sells better than first model

Toyota has revamped its plug-in hybrid with a longer cruising range and quicker charging, including from a regular home plug, hoping it will sell better than the first model from five years ago that officials acknowledged had flopped.

Facebook pushes video onto TV screens with new apps

Facebook on Tuesday announced it was rolling out apps to allow people to view videos posted on the social network on connected televisions.

Sub-Saharan Africa lags in sustainable energy policies: report

Sub-Saharan Africa, where more than a half billion people live without electricity, trails the world in government policies that promote sustainable energy, according to a new World Bank report Wednesday.

Softbank adds Fortress Investment to growing empire

The $3.3 billion acquisition by SoftBank Group Corp., the Japanese telecommunications, internet and solar energy giant, of Fortress Investment Group marks tycoon Masayoshi Son's latest step in building an investment empire.

Toyota recalls all fuel-cell Mirai vehicles

Toyota said Wednesday it is recalling all the Mirai fuel-cell vehicles it has sold globally due to a software glitch that can shut off its hydrogen-powered system.

Why medical technology often doesn't make it from drawing board to hospital

If there's something wrong with your brain, how do you spot that in an MRI? Of course, if it's something obvious, such as a major aneurysm or a tumour, anyone can see it. But what if it's something more subtle, such as a neural pathway that is more deteriorated than normal? This might be hard to spot by simply looking at an image. However, there is a range of medical image analysis software that can detect something like this.

Eurostar implements facial recognition for Paris passengers

After London last year, Eurostar has installed electronic passport gates with facial recognition technology for passengers travelling from Paris.

2017 Kia Niro is most affordable hybrid SUV

Kia's newest vehicle, the 2017 Niro, is the lowest-priced, gasoline-electric hybrid SUV on the market and is rated as high as 50 miles per gallon in combined city/highway travel.

Spotify expands with World Trade Center move

Spotify on Wednesday announced an expansion amid the rapid growth of streaming, with the company moving its US headquarters to New York's rebuilt World Trade Center complex.

Casting Oscar: Foundry creates each statuette as work of art

Every Oscar fist-pumped or tearfully cradled by Academy Award winners is first cast, buffed and fussed over at a foundry far from Hollywood.

Medicine & Health news

Researchers find autism biomarkers in infancy

By using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study the brains of infants who have older siblings with autism, scientists were able to correctly identify 80 percent of the babies who would be subsequently diagnosed with autism at 2 years of age.

Research identifies cellular recycling process linked to beneficial effects of enduring mild stress

Biologists have known for decades that enduring a short period of mild stress makes simple organisms and human cells better able to survive additional stress later in life. Now, scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) have found that a cellular process called autophagy is critically involved in providing the benefits of temporary stress. The study, published today in Nature Communications, creates new avenues to pursue treatments for neurological disorders such as Huntington's disease.

Analyzing copies of genes offers new treatment possibilities for ovarian cancer

A team of 18 University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center researchers has developed a new tool to analyze an often overlooked aspect of cancer genetics—an alteration that results in the loss or gain in a copy of a gene. This change, known as somatic copy-number alterations, may be key to disease progression and might offer new therapeutic approaches for ovarian cancer and other malignancies.

Study links working remotely to more stress, insomnia

Working outside an office may spare you from commutes and interruptions by colleagues but it also makes you more vulnerable to unpaid overtime, stress and insomnia, the UN said Wednesday.

People are found to be inefficient when searching for things

(Medical Xpress)—A trio of researchers at the University of Aberdeen in the U.K. has found that when people scan areas looking for something in particular, they tend to do so in a very inefficient manner. In their paper published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Anna Nowakowska, Alasdair Clarke and Amelia Hunt describe experiments they carried out with volunteers and what their results indicate about how people go about searching for things.

Aberrant synapse protein can lead to neurological and psychiatric disorders

'Timing is everything' in the transmission of signals between neurons in the brain. Most of the complex functions that humans are capable of performing would be severely impaired if their neurons were not capable of communicating accurately with one another to a thousandth of a second. Interpersonal communication, learning processes, focusing attention, the rapid processing of sensory stimuli, even the correct execution of movements would no longer be possible. The Israeli scientist Noa Lipstein-Thoms at the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine in Göttingen has now discovered a new genetic disease mechanism that affects the strength and precise timing of neuronal signals and leads to movement disorders (dyskinesia), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism.

Researchers propose a new way to assess medication-based HIV prevention

One of the most promising new approaches to slowing the spread of HIV is pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a once-a-day medication that people who don't have HIV can take to prevent becoming infected. But that strategy only works if people at risk for contracting HIV become and remain fully engaged in preventive care and actually take the pills. In the real world of clinical practice, that has often proved tricky.

Researchers kill brain cancer in mice with combination immunotherapies

A promising combination of immunotherapies delivers a one-two punch to brain cancer tumours with high cure rates in mice, scientific evidence published in Nature Communications today says.

New malaria vaccine effective in clinical trial

University of Tübingen researchers in collaboration with the biotech company Sanaria Inc. have demonstrated in a clinical trial that a new vaccine for malaria called Sanaria PfSPZ-CVac has been up to 100 percent effective when assessed at 10 weeks after last dose of vaccine. For the trial, Pro-fessor Peter Kremsner and Dr. Benjamin Mordmüller of the Institute of Tropical Medicine and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) used malaria parasites provided by Sanaria. The vac-cine incorporated fully viable - not weakened or otherwise inactivated - malaria pathogens together with the medication to combat them. Their research results have been published in the latest edition of Nature.

Emotions are cognitive, not innate, researchers conclude

Emotions are not innately programmed into our brains, but, in fact, are cognitive states resulting from the gathering of information, New York University Professor Joseph LeDoux and Richard Brown, a professor at the City University of New York, conclude in the latest issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Scientists create scorecard index for heart-damaging chemo drugs

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine used heart muscle cells made from stem cells to rank commonly used chemotherapy drugs based on their likelihood of causing lasting heart damage in patients.

New study provides clues to early T cell immune responses in acute HIV infection

A new study has shown that potent HIV-specific CD8+ T cells that are able to kill HIV-producing cells and reduce the seeding of the HIV reservoir are only detected at peak viremia in acute HIV infection. Findings from the study, which was led by the U.S. Military HIV Research Program (MHRP) of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, were published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine.

Study suggests Nodding syndrome caused by response to parasitic protein

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have uncovered new clues to the link between Nodding syndrome, a devastating form of pediatric epilepsy found in specific areas of east Africa, and a parasitic worm that can cause river blindness. The study, published in Science Translational Medicine, suggests that the mysterious neurological disease may be caused by an autoimmune response to the parasitic proteins.

Scientists discover how epithelial cells maintain constant cell numbers

Research published today in Nature from scientists at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah shows how epithelial cells naturally turn over, maintaining constant numbers between cell division and cell death.

A form of RNA released from fat cells into the blood may help to regulate other tissues

Fat cells are not simply big blobs of lipid quietly standingby in the body—instead, they send out hormones and other signaling proteins that affect many types of tissues. Scientists at Joslin Diabetes Center now have identified a route by which fat also can deliver a form of small RNAs called microRNAs that helps to regulate other organs.

Mouse studies offer new insights about cocaine's effect on the brain

Cocaine is one of the most addictive substances known to man, and for good reason: By acting on levels of the "feel-good" chemical dopamine, it produces a tremendous sensation of euphoria.

Evidence of brain damage found in former soccer players

Evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a potential cause of dementia caused by repeated blows to the head, has been found in the brains of former association football (soccer) players examined at the UCL Queen Square Brain Bank.

Potential new causes for the odor-producing disorder trimethylaminura

Just before Rare Disease Day 2017, a study from the Monell Center and collaborating institutions provides new insight into the causes of trimethylaminura (TMAU), a genetically-transmitted metabolic disorder that leads to accumulation of a chemical that smells like rotting fish.

One in four ER visits for eye problems aren't actually emergencies, study finds

Pinkeye isn't a medical emergency. Neither is a puffy eyelid. But a new study finds that nearly one in four people who seek emergency care for eye problems have those mild conditions, and recommends ways to help those patients get the right level of care.

Statin side effects are strongest predictor of failure to meet cholesterol targets

Statin side effects are the strongest predictor of failure to meet low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol targets, according to research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. Other predictors were statin non-adherence and use of weaker statins.

Religious leaders could help improve uptake of male circumcision in HIV-prevention effort

Estimates suggest that helping religious leaders to discuss circumcision with their congregations could lead to 1.4 million more circumcisions and prevent between 65000 and 200000 men from being infected with HIV in Tanzania alone.

New guideline provides clinical recommendations for specific insomnia drugs

A new clinical practice guideline is the first from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine to provide comprehensive, evidence-based analyses of individual agents commonly used in the treatment of chronic insomnia disorder.

Uptake of topical compounds higher with thermal coagulation

(HealthDay)—Microchannels surrounded by a coagulation zone (CZ), generated by ablative fractional laser, have higher uptake of topical compounds than those without a CZ, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

Circulating extracellular RNAs linked to insulin resistance

(HealthDay)—Circulating extracellular RNAs (ex-RNAs) are associated with insulin resistance (IR), according to a study published online Feb. 9 in Diabetes Care.

NOACs have been widely adopted into practice

(HealthDay)—Non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) have been adopted into practice and are more frequently prescribed than vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) in the Global Registry on Long-Term Oral Antithrombotic Treatment in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation trial, according to research published in the Feb. 21 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Interventions up discussion of advanced care planning

(HealthDay)—Quality improvement interventions can increase discussions relating to advanced care planning and the mention of advance directives (ADs) in the electronic medical record (EMR), according to a study published online Feb. 9 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Orbital cellulitis reported after use of facial soft-tissue filler

(HealthDay)—Delayed and recurrent orbital cellulitis following use of facial soft-tissue filler is described in a case report published online Feb. 10 in Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology.

Ultrasound IDs disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis

(HealthDay)—A 12-joint ultrasound (US) evaluation is relevant in determining disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis patients, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

Fatigue occurs in 50 percent with chronic plaque psoriasis

(HealthDay)—About half of patients with chronic plaque psoriasis have fatigue, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Cholesterol lowering Rx cuts recurrence in breast cancer

(HealthDay)—For women with early-stage, hormone receptor-positive invasive breast cancer, initiation of cholesterol-lowering medication (CLM) during endocrine therapy is associated with improved survival and distant recurrence-free intervals, according to research published online Feb. 13 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Millions to fight food industry sway, from a snack bar CEO

A $25 million pledge to fight the food industry's influence on public health is coming from a surprising source—the CEO of a snack bar maker.

Estrogen explains the exosome-carried messenger profile in the circulation among postmenopausal women

A study at the Gerontology Research Center demonstrated that in blood circulation, the exosome-carried messenger molecule profile differs between post- and premenopausal women. The differences were associated with circulating estrogen and cholesterol levels as well as body composition and other health indicators. These findings enable using the studied molecules in the evaluation of health status.

Parenting significantly affects development of children with Fragile X syndrome

University of Kansas researchers have found that certain specific parenting practices are significantly associated with the development of communication and language skills in children with Fragile X syndrome. These same parent behaviors are also associated with the growth of socialization and daily living skills of these children. Parenting even mitigated declines often reported in children with FXS beginning in middle childhood. Fragile X syndrome is the leading genetic cause of autism and other intellectual disabilities.

Theory of caring for hospital patients and staff

Going into hospital, whether unexpectedly or planned, can be a very difficult time for patients and their families. Care and support from hospital staff can make a huge difference to their experiences, but when staff face increasing demands on their time, this is not always easy to deliver.

Only a limited HIV subset moves from mother to child, study shows

In the transmission of HIV-1 from mother to child only a subset of a mother's viruses infects their infants either in utero or via breastfeeding, and the viruses that are transmitted depend on whether transmission occurs during pregnancy or through breastfeeding, according to UCLA-led research.

How best to prepare for epidemics? Strengthen primary care

In global public health, 2016 was a year defined by the end of two important emergencies: Ebola and Zika.

Research offers new understanding of autism

Research by The University of Queensland may provide a better understanding of the social functioning difficulties of people with autism.

Microbiology professor discusses lab's efforts to fight antibiotic-resistant infections

More than any other discovery in the modern era, antibiotics have changed the world. Once-deadly infections are easily treatable, surgeries are safer, and other life-saving treatments—such as chemotherapies—are only possible with antibiotics.

Risk score determines whether kids with abnormal CT scans require ICU care

When a child suffers a mild head injury, doctors have well-established protocols for determining whether that child should have a computed tomography (CT) scan to assess the damage. Most children with mild traumatic brain injury have normal CT scans—a scenario often referred to as a concussion.

Drinking rates highest among college kids

During a bout of high-intensity drinking, a person might drink 10 or more drinks, and a recent University of Michigan Institute for Social Research study has found that this kind of drinking is reported mostly among college students.

Global kissing study launched on Valentine's Day

How important is kissing to you and what do you think makes a good kiss?

New hopes for pancreatic tumor from an antipsychotic drug

Ductal carcinoma is the most common pancreatic tumor. Its recovery rates are low, not only due to difficulties of early diagnosis, but also because of the absence of a specific pharmacological treatment. New hopes are coming from a study published in Scientific Reports by the Nanotechnology Institute of CNR, unit of Rende, in collaboration with a team of French and Spanish researchers. A molecule long used to treat anxiety has been found to interfere with the activity of a protein involved in the cancer development process.

Nurse anesthetist tests EEG-guided technique to reduce memory loss post-surgery

No patient wants to remember the traumatic experience of going under the knife.

GARP2 accelerates retinal degeneration in a mouse model

In the retina of the eye, rod and cone cells turn light into electrical signals, the first step toward human vision. University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers are studying rod cell proteins GARP1 and GARP2 to learn how they function in normal phototransduction, as well as in abnormal degeneration of the retina that can lead to blindness in diseases like retinitis pigmentosa.

Technology helps older adults living with congestive heart failure

Congestive heart failure is one of the most common reasons for hospital admissions among those 65 years old and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To help reduce these admissions and the strain they put on the healthcare system, researchers at the University of Missouri have developed bed sensors than can warn older adults of impending heart problems. Marjorie Skubic, a professor of electrical and computer engineering in the College of Engineering, and Marilyn Rantz, Curators' Professor Emerita in the Sinclair School of Nursing, believe this technology can help older adults living with congestive heart failure and reduce hospitalizations.

For more tolerant adults, educate preschoolers

It seems that nowadays simple disagreements quickly escalate to ugly, bitter disputes in all kinds of relationships.

How to strengthen your relationship after a baby

On average, 11,636 babies are born every Valentine's Day in the United States. For two-thirds of couples, this new addition causes increased conflict and an overall decline in the quality of their relationship.

Many GPs are ill-informed and unsupportive when tackling age-related macular degeneration, new research reveals

New research published today in the BMJ Open has found that patients experiencing degenerative eye disease are not receiving the information and support needed to manage, understand and treat their condition. It found the quality of GP's support in this area has declined, and lack of timely information from optometrists and eye specialists may be leading to more patients being registered sight impaired or severely sight impaired.

Delinquent youth have more high-risk sex HIV/AIDS behaviors as they age

Delinquent youth are more likely to have high-risk HIV/AIDS sexual behaviors as they age, including multiple sexual partners and unprotected vaginal sex with a high-risk partner, reports a Northwestern Medicine study. The study tracked the youth 14 years after detention.

High rates of satisfaction for applicator free local estrogen softgel ovule

A new investigational delivery method for localized vaginal estrogen therapy that utilizes an applicator free softgel to alleviate moderate-to-severe vaginal pain during intercourse (dyspareunia), a symptom of vulvar and vaginal atrophy (VVA), received high rates of patient satisfaction among post-menopausal women, according to post-trial survey results published in the journal Menopause.

Lifetime weight gain linked to esophageal and stomach cancers

People who are overweight in their twenties and become obese later in life may be three times more likely to develop cancer of either the oesophagus (food pipe) or upper stomach, according to a study published in the British Journal of Cancer today (Wednesday).

How depression can muddle thinking

Depression is associated with sadness, fatigue and a lack of motivation. But people with depression can also have trouble processing information and solving problems. Now scientists studying a rat model for depression are identifying on a molecular level how the condition could affect thinking. The findings, published in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience, could lead to the development of new depression treatments that would address associated cognitive problems.

One-fifth of Indonesian households exhibit double burden of malnutrition

The coexistence of both undernutrition and overweight/obesity, a phenomenon called double burden of malnutrition, is a global public health challenge existing at all levels from the individual to the population, especially in low-to middle-income countries. Research on malnutrition in Indonesia found that about 20 percent of households exhibit double burden of malnutrition. Umeå University researcher Masoud Vaezghasemi emphasizes the importance of social and contextual determinants in fighting against both forms of malnutrition.

Outdoor adventure program is a promising treatment for autism spectrum disorder

A new Tel Aviv University study finds outdoor challenge-based interventions may be effective in reducing the overall severity of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) symptoms. The research found significant improvements in the social cognition, social motivation, and autistic mannerisms of the young subjects after outdoor adventure activities and describes a new path for enhancing the social and communication skills of children with ASD.

2016 traffic deaths jump to highest level in nearly a decade

A jump in traffic fatalities last year pushed deaths on U.S. roads to their highest level in nearly a decade, erasing improvements made during the Great Recession and economic recovery, a leading safety organization said Wednesday.

Regional chemotherapy technique for extremity sarcoma salvages limbs from amputation

Patients with a type of advanced malignant cancer of the arms or legs have typically faced amputation of the afflicted limb as the only treatment option. However, a technique that limits the application of chemotherapy to the cancerous region can preserve limbs in a high percentage of these patients, researchers from five cancer centers in the United States and Australia report in a study published online as an "article in press" on the Journal of the American College of Surgeons website in advance of print publication.

Patient complaints can identify surgeons with higher rates of bad surgical outcomes

Recording and analyzing patient and family reports about rude and disrespectful behavior can identify surgeons with higher rates of surgical site infections and other avoidable adverse outcomes, according to a study led by Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) investigators in collaboration with six other major academic health systems.

Depression symptoms among men when their partners are pregnant

Men who were stressed or in poor health had elevated depression symptoms when their partners were pregnant and nine months after the birth of their child, according to the results of a study of expectant and new fathers in New Zealand published online by JAMA Psychiatry.

Study associates proximity to oil and gas development and childhood leukemia

Young Coloradans diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia are more likely to live in areas of high-density oil and gas development compared to young Coloradans diagnosed with other types of cancer, according to researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health at CU Anschutz. The researchers observed no association between non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and high-density oil and gas development.

America in 2017: pass the prozac, please

(HealthDay)—Many Americans are stressed about the future of the country, and politics and terrorism are key reasons why, a new survey finds.

Germs, mold found in some medical pot

(HealthDay)—Medical marijuana carries infectious bacteria and fungi that can pose a life-threatening risk to cancer patients who use pot to help with side effects of chemotherapy, a new study suggests.

Five ways women can cut their heart attack risk

(HealthDay)—Heart disease is the leading killer of American women, but lifestyle changes can reduce the risk, a heart expert says.

Spider expert outlines expressions of skin conditions often misdiagnosed as brown recluse bites

Many skin conditions are misdiagnosed by doctors as brown recluse spider bites. This can lead to tragedy because about 40 medical conditions, including several deadly bacterial infections, can be confused with brown recluse bites.

Increased levels of active vitamin D can help to optimize muscle strength

Researchers at the University of Birmingham have shown that increasing the levels of active vitamin D can help to optimise muscle strength in humans.

Study: Hormone therapy may not protect against Alzheimer's disease

The latest study on hormone therapy and Alzheimer's disease shows no relationship between taking the drugs and whether you may develop the disease years later. Some previous studies have shown that hormone therapy may increase the risk of the disease, while others have shown that it may reduce the risk. The new study was published in the February 15, 2017, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Society may not be meeting patients' drug needs for rare diseases

A new analysis by health policy researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who studied the effectiveness of the 1983 Orphan Drug Act (ODA) finds that current incentives "are not sufficiently stimulating orphan drug development" by pharmaceutical companies, and patients with rare diseases and conditions still have unmet needs. Further, barriers to ethical and timely access remain.

New protein could be key in fighting debilitating parasitic disease

A naturally occurring protein has been discovered that shows promise as a biocontrol weapon against schistosomiasis, one of the world's most prevalent parasitic diseases, Oregon State University researchers reported today in a new study.

Many physicians choose insomnia meds based on habit

Clinical decision-making is a complex process, driven by multiple factors, including social and psychological dynamics, peer pressure and even exposure to drug advertising.

Chest pain: New tool helps doctors decide when tests are needed

A two year follow-up on a study involving more than 10,000 people with stable chest pain finds that an online tool can accurately predict which patients are likely to have normal non-invasive tests and remain free of cardiac events. The study, published in JAMA Cardiology, could lead to better decision making by primary care doctors, by helping them identify patients at minimal risk for heart trouble.

Is preeclampsia a risk or a protective factor in retinopathy of prematurity?

Mary Elizabeth Hartnett, MD, and colleagues at the John A. Moran Center and Department of Pediatrics at the University of Utah and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, were looking for a way to tease apart the effects of preeclampsia on the risk of developing retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), an eye disease found in premature infants. Their results, and the model they developed, were published February 14, 2017, in Scientific Reports.

Scientists take aim at obesity-linked protein

Scientists are working to understand the mechanisms that make weight loss so complicated. Exercise burns calories, of course, but scientists are also looking at how the body burns more energy to stay warm in cold temperatures.

More patients with early-stage breast cancer may be able to avoid chemotherapy in the future

Women with early-stage breast cancer who had an intermediate risk recurrence score (RS) from a 21-gene expression assay had similar outcomes, regardless of whether they received chemotherapy, a new study from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer finds.

Dual-drug combination shows promise against diabetic eye disease in animal model

A two-drug cocktail provided better protection against diabetes-related vision loss than a single drug during testing in rat models, a team of University of Florida Health and Dutch researchers has found.

People assume sexists are also racist and vice versa

The stigma associated with prejudice against women and people of color seems to transfer from one group to another, according to new findings published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. In a series of experiments, researchers found that women tended to believe that a person who espoused racist beliefs would also show sexist beliefs and behavior, while men of color believed that someone who expressed sexist attitudes was likely to show racist tendencies.

Team establishes first diagnostic criteria for idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease

More than six decades after Castleman disease (CD) was first described, a group of experts from Penn Medicine and other institutions around the world has established the first set of diagnostic criteria for a life-threatening subtype of the condition, idiopathic multicentric CD (iMCD), which is often misdiagnosed as other illnesses. The report was published online ahead of print in the journal Blood.

Is it depression or dementia? Brain SPECT imaging helps distinguish them

Does a patient have depression or a cognitive disorder (CD) such as Alzheimer's disease or both? Since both disorders have overlapping symptoms, how can a clinician tell them apart to make an appropriate diagnosis? In a new article published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, researchers have found that single photon emission computed tomography, or SPECT, can help to distinguish between these diagnostic categories.

Research helps explain how antibody treatment led to lasting HIV-like virus remission

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health have found that the presence of the protein alpha-4 beta-7 integrin on the surface of HIV and its monkey equivalent—simian immunodeficiency virus, or SIV—may help explain why an antibody protected monkeys from SIV in previous experiments.

Merck halts trial of once 'promising' Alzheimer's drug

US pharmaceutical giant Merck announced it is halting a clinical trial on a drug once touted as a promising treatment for Alzheimer's disease, saying studies show it does not work.

Gene therapy treats muscle-wasting disease in dogs

Work on gene therapy is showing significant progress for restoring muscle strength and prolonging lives in dogs with a previously incurable, inherited neuromuscular disease. UW Medicine Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine scientists are leading the multi-institutional research effort.

No chemopreventive effect seen for H2RAs in barrett's esophagus

(HealthDay)—For patients with Barrett's esophagus (BE), proton pump inhibitor (PPI) but not histamine-2 receptor antagonist (H2RA) use is associated with reduced risk of neoplastic progression, according to research published online Feb. 11 in the Journal of Digestive Diseases.

Student-athletes don't have to be hit by injuries

(HealthDay)—Most injuries to student-athletes occur during routine practices, but only about a third of public high schools have a full-time trainer, according to the U.S.-based National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA).

Teens may go hungry as poorest families struggle to feed kids

(HealthDay)—In extremely poor American families, teens go hungry more often than younger children, a new study finds.

Bariatric embolization feasible for severely obese

(HealthDay)—For severely obese patients, bariatric embolization is feasible and seems to be well tolerated, according to a study published online Feb. 14 in Radiology.

Similar adverse event risk for typical, atypical antipsychotics

(HealthDay)—The risks of adverse events are similar with short-term use of typical and atypical antipsychotic medications (APMs) after cardiac surgery in seniors, according to a study published online Feb. 10 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Shorter runway time linked to better colon cleansing

(HealthDay)—For patients undergoing combined esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) and colonoscopy with propofol sedation, shorter runway time is associated with better quality colon cleansing, according to a study published online Feb. 11 in the Journal of Digestive Diseases.

Smoking, T4 tumors up distant mets in HPV+ oropharyngeal CA

(HealthDay)—For patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive oropharyngeal cancer, active smokers and those with T4 tumors have increased rates of distant metastases, according to a study published online Feb. 11 in Head & Neck.

Dermoscopy + triple light source reliable in ID of pityriasis rosea

(HealthDay)—Dermoscopy with three light sources is ideal for diagnosing pityriasis rosea (PR), according to a research letter published online Feb. 10 in the International Journal of Dermatology.

PR interval prognostic of cardiac resynchronization Tx outcome

(HealthDay)—For patients with advanced systolic heart failure, the impact of cardiac resynchronization therapy with defibrillation (CRT-D) varies according to PR interval, according to research published in the February issue of the Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology.

Weight loss actually possible after menopause

Talk to a woman in menopause and you're likely to hear complaints about hot flashes and an inability to lose weight, especially belly fat. A new study shows how regular exercise can help reduce weight and control bothersome symptoms such as hot flashes, even in women who previously led sedentary lifestyles. The study outcomes are being published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

WHO declares end to yellow fever outbreak in Congo, Angola

The World Health Organization has declared an end to the yellow fever outbreak that killed about 400 people in Congo and Angola, calling it "one of the largest and most challenging" in recent years.

Researcher examines impact of quality improvement efforts in Canadian hospitals

A recent pan-Canadian research study from Queen's University has found that hospitals need to make improvement efforts a top priority and engage frontline health care professionals to be most effective in improving the quality and safety of patient care. The study suggests that improvements in key areas could lead to more efficient use of health care resources and improvements to patient care.

Robotic lighting system gives surgeons clearer view in operating theatres

A team at the Research Centre for Biomedical Engineering (CREB) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) has developed an innovative smart lighting system for operating theatres. Equipped with LED luminaires, the new system allows users to efficiently control the direction and intensity of the light beam projected onto the surgical field as required during an operation. It has generated two patents and is now at the stage of being placed on the market.

Martinican blood donors help shed new light on the Zika virus

Results from a large study of volunteer blood donors in Martinique during the 2016 Zika virus outbreak - which according to state health authorities affected 568 pregnant women - are now in. They provide a precise follow-up of incident cases and seroprevalence but also important insights into the management of blood donations and the natural history of ZIKV infection in adults.

New Doppler sound database could save the lives of thousands suffering from heart conditions

Handheld devices can scan the lower limbs of a patient and "listen" to the blood flow, providing vital early indication of problems that could lead to strokes or heart attacks. But inexperience or lack of training sometimes mean that clinicians do not properly interpret what they hear and therefore miss the warning signs.

Polish govt wants to limit access to morning after pill

Poland's conservative government said Wednesday it wants to restrict access to the morning-after pill in the devoutly Catholic country, which already has one of the EU's most restrictive abortion laws.

Bipolar disorder candidate gene, validated in mouse experiment

A team of researchers, affiliated with UNIST has made a significant breakthrough in the search for the potential root causes of bipolar disorder.

Designing bone healing therapies that better mimic regeneration

The range of biomimetic approaches to promote bone growth that are at the core of current bone healing therapies need to more closely emulate natural regenerative mechanisms. A review of biomimetic strategies to help heal bone defects, with an emphasis on cell transplantation, is published in BioResearch Open Access.

Patient-centered health systems network holds promise for translational research

The Learning Health System Network (LHSNet) represents a collaboration of nine health-related organizations and nearly 10 million patients. The network - among the first of its kind nationally - is focused on improving patient-centered clinical care through research.

New study shows link between early antibiotic exposure and childhood obesity in Latinos

Antibiotic exposure before age 6 months was associated with an increased risk for obesity at 2 years of age in a study of Latino infants in a low-income urban community. Harmful effects of antibiotics on the healthy gut microbiome during this sensitive developmental period could increase obesity risk, according to an article published in Childhood Obesity.

Congress blocks rule barring mentally impaired from guns

Congress on Wednesday sent President Donald Trump legislation blocking an Obama-era rule designed to keep guns out of the hands of certain mentally disabled people.

After joint replacement surgery, smokers at increased risk of reoperation for infection

For patients undergoing total hip or knee replacement, smoking is associated with an increased risk of infectious (septic) complications requiring repeat surgery, reports a study in the February 15 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery..

Validation of suspected somatic single nucleotide variations

It has been proposed that somatic gene variations (SNV) present in few brain cells could facilitate the development of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's disease. Testing that hypothesis requires DNA sequencing directly in brain cells or tissue rather than in blood cells.

Are Baked Lay's potato chips "guilt-free"? PepsiCo says so

What do Baked Lay's potato chips, Simply Tostitos chips and Diet Mountain Dew have in common? They're all "guilt-free," according to how PepsiCo categorizes them.

NYC officials: 1 person dies, 2 ill from rat-related disease

New York City health department officials are targeting a Bronx neighborhood after one person died and two others became severely ill from contracting a rare disease transmitted by rats.

US report: Trend of rising health care spending back to stay

Government experts say the nation's problem with rising health care spending is back and here to stay.

Biology news

Study finds that heel-down posture in great apes and humans confers a fighting advantage

Walking on our heels, a feature that separates great apes, including humans, from other primates, confers advantages in fighting, according to a new University of Utah study published today in Biology Open. Although moving from the balls of the feet is important for quickness, standing with heels planted allows more swinging force, according to study lead author and biologist David Carrier, suggesting that aggression may have played a part in shaping our stance.

Maize study finds genes that help crops adapt to change

Over many thousands of years, farmers have bred maize varieties so the crops are optimally adapted to local environments.

New methods further discern extreme fluctuations in forage fish populations

California sardine stocks famously crashed in John Steinbeck's "Cannery Row." New research, building on previous since the late 1960s, shows in greater detail that such forage fish stocks have undergone boom-bust cycles for centuries, with at least three species off the U.S. West Coast repeatedly experiencing steep population increases followed by declines long before commercial fishing began.

Experiment shows goats capable of recognizing other goats by sight and sound

(—A small team of researchers with Queen Mary University of London has found that goats are able to recognize their stable mates by both sight and sound. In their paper published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the group describes simple experiments they carried out in an outdoor environment that showed how well goats are able to recognize other goats, and under which circumstances.

Surprised honeybees give 'whooping signal' in the hive, study shows

A honeybee signal – widely thought to be used by bees in the hive to prevent one another from advertising the location of food – could also be a response to being startled or surprised, according to scientists.

Experiments suggest dogs and monkeys have a human-like sense of morality

(—A team of researchers from Kyoto University has found that dogs and capuchin monkeys watch how humans interact with one another and react less positively to those that are less willing to help or share. In their paper published in the journal Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, the team describes a series of experiments they carried out with several dogs and capuchin monkeys and what they discovered about both species social preferences.

Invasive species on the rise globally

The number of alien species is increasing globally, and does not show any sign of saturation, finds an international team involving UCL researchers.

Don't kill the messenger RNA

FedEx, UPS, DHL—when it comes to sending packages, choices abound. But the most important delivery service you may not have heard of? mRNA. That's short for messenger RNA, which is how your DNA sends blueprints to the protein-assembly factories of your cells. When a protein is faulty, delivering synthetic mRNA to cells could trigger production of a functional version. And that's a message people with a variety of genetic diseases want to hear.

Team examines the evolution of wooden halibut hooks carved by native people of the Northwest Coast

The Tlingit and Haida, indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast (NWC), have used carved wooden hooks to catch halibut for centuries. As modern fishing technology crept into use, however, the old hooks practically disappeared from the sea. But they thrived on land—as decorative art.

In the developing ears of opossums, echoes of evolutionary history

When we are confronted with the remarkable diversity and complexity of forms among living things—the lightweight and leathery wings of a bat, the dense networks of genes that work together to produce a functional cell—it can be hard to imagine how chance mutations and selective processes produced them. If we could rewind evolutionary time, what would we see?

Unlocking the genetic secrets of legendary bulls

The genes of 50 top bulls have been sequenced in an effort to understand how genes from temperate cattle have influenced important production traits in the modern Brahman breed.

Ebolaviruses need very few mutations to cause disease in new host species

Kent researchers have identified how few mutations it can take for Ebolaviruses to adapt to affect previously resistant species.

Predator-friendly farming—good for livestock, dingoes and the bottom line

A unique study into the impact of predator-friendly farming practices on an Australian cattle station gives an inside view into the causes of livestock mortality over a two-year period. The UTS-led research team found that husbandry practices, not dingoes, were most likely the primary cause of preventable deaths for cattle on Evelyn Downs, an extensive landholding in the north of South Australia.

Using super resolution imaging to map adherens junction machinery

The development of super resolution microscopy has revolutionised how scientists view and understand the inner workings of the cell. Just as advances in satellite camera technology gave rise to highly detailed maps of the world, so too has super-resolution microscopy allowed researchers to build detailed maps of individual cells. Such is the detail, that not only is the location of individual protein-based machines achievable, but these machines can be broken down into their parts, and the position and orientation of these parts, mapped out as well.

New study reveals what penguins eat

The longest and most comprehensive study to date of what penguins eat is published this month. The study, published in the journal Marine Biology, examines the diets of gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua) at Bird Island, South Georgia over a 22 year period and is part of a project investigating the Southern Ocean ecosystem and its response to change.

What's holding up CRISPR-based cures

The gene-editing tool called CRISPR that can quickly and cleanly remove specific pieces of DNA has revolutionized biotechnology. Many researchers believe the technique could end thousands of ailments. So what's needed to realize CRISPR's potential? Another breakthrough. The cover story in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, runs down the latest attempts to find it.

Species new to science named after a 'Dungeons & Dragons' character

Focused on terrestrial gastropods, more commonly known as land snails, a joint team of biologists from the Natural History Museum of Stuttgart, Germany and the Zoology Museum of São Paulo, Brazil, have been researching the Brazilian caves. In their latest paper, published in the journal Zoosystematics and Evolution, the scientists describe the fauna from several caves in central Brazil, including a new tiny species named after a character from the popular fantasy tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons.

Laissez-faire is not good enough for reforestation

If degraded and logged areas of tropical forests are left to nature, the populations of certain endangered tree species are not able to recover. This applies in particular to trees with large fruit where the seeds are distributed by birds, as ETH Zurich scientists have shown in a rainforest in India.

Swedish supermarket tests lasers to label organic produce

Something high-tech is happening in the produce aisle at some Swedish supermarkets, where laser marks have replaced labels on the organic avocados and sweet potatoes.

Experts say European proposal limits ability to protect public from endocrine disruptors

University of Massachusetts Amherst biologist Thomas Zoeller, an internationally recognized expert in the health effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals, with the Washington, D.C.-based Endocrine Society, this week expressed disappointment in the European Commission's revised proposal on defining and identifying endocrine-disrupting chemicals, citing unnecessarily narrow criteria for identifying them.

How temperature guides where species live and where they'll go

For decades, among the most enduring questions for ecologists have been: "Why do species live where they do? And what are the factors that keep them there?" A Princeton University-based study featured on the February cover of the journal Ecology could prove significant in answering that question, particularly for animals in the world's temperate mountain areas.

90 percent of fish used for fishmeal are prime fish

Every year for the past 60 years, an average of 20 million tonnes of fish caught in the global ocean have not been used to nourish people.

Monitoring birds by drone

Forget delivering packages or taking aerial photographs—drones can even count small birds! A new study from The Auk: Ornithological Advances tests this new approach to wildlife monitoring and concludes that despite some drawbacks, the method has the potential to become an important tool for ecologists and land managers.

Ohio zoo's polar bear moves to Chicago to find romance

An Ohio zoo's polar bear is off to Chicago to find love.

Concentrating milk at the farm does not harm milk quality

At dairies, the reverse osmosis filtration technique is extensively used to remove water from milk to be used for further processing such as e.g. cheese or milk powder. However, many resources would be saved if it was possible to move this process to the farms, since you would reduce the amount of water transported.

UN addresses issue of whale-ship collisions

Scientists and government officials met at the United Nations today to consider possible solutions to a global problem: how to protect whale species in their most important marine habitats that overlap with shipping lanes vital to the economies of many of the world's nations.

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1 comment:

Ankit Kumar said...

Thanks for sharing about "Science X Newsletter Wednesday, Feb 15"..........

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