Monday, March 20, 2017

Science X Newsletter Monday, Mar 20

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for March 20, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

How small can superconductors be?

Astronomers investigate a mysterious isolated star cluster complex

Researchers discover that chaos makes carbon materials lighter and stronger

Best of Last Week–Wi-Fi on rays of light, running away from Einstein and a breakthrough in identifying heart attack risk

Lust for power: Engineers develop non-toxic material that generates electricity through hot and cold

'Flying saucer' quantum dots hold secret to brighter, better lasers

Adult subcortex processes numbers with the same skill as infants

Engineers design 'tree-on-a-chip': Microfluidic device generates passive hydraulic power

New twist on sofa problem that stumped mathematicians and furniture movers

Does Mars have rings? Not right now, but maybe one day

Mars volcano, Earth's dinosaurs went extinct about the same time

New study finds potential breakthrough in determining who's at risk for heart attacks

Web-based counseling lowers blood pressure as much as meds: study

Preserving the memory of glaciers

Secrets from smart devices find path to US legal system

Astronomy & Space news

Astronomers investigate a mysterious isolated star cluster complex

(—Astronomers have inspected a mysterious isolated star cluster complex designated SH2 in the galaxy NGC 1316 (also known as Fornax A). The results of their study, which were published Mar. 1 in a paper on, reveal important insights into the nature of this complex, providing crucial information about its origin.

Does Mars have rings? Not right now, but maybe one day

As children, we learned about our solar system's planets by certain characteristics—Jupiter is the largest, Saturn has rings, Mercury is closest to the sun. Mars is red, but it's possible that one of our closest neighbors also had rings at one point and may have them again someday.

SpaceX cargo ship returns to Earth

A SpaceX reusable cargo ship splashed down in the Pacific Ocean safely on Sunday, ending a mission to supply astronauts on the International Space Station, the company said.

Textured dust storms on Mars

Astronomers studying Mars first noted the presence of yellow clouds on its surface in the 1870's. Today these windblown dust storms on Mars are well known, and can span local, regional or even global in scale. Storms can display visible structures, sometimes periodic with wavelike features, or in other cases streaky or plume-like. Storms with structures are called "textured dust storms" and they result from strong winds or other meteorological effects that lift dust into the Martian atmosphere. In addition to obscuring views of the Martian surface, the dust can affect atmospheric heating and other climatic processes. These dust storms, despite having been studied for more than a century, remain rather mysterious. It is not understood, for example, how textured storms are distributed over the surface of the planet, when their frequency peaks, or how much dust is actually swept up.

Stem cells seem speedier in space

Growing significant numbers of human stem cells in a short time could lead to new treatments for stroke and other diseases. Scientists are sending stem cells to the International Space Station to test whether these cells proliferate faster in microgravity without suffering any side effects.

NASA satellites ready when stars and planets align

The movements of the stars and the planets have almost no impact on life on Earth, but a few times per year, the alignment of celestial bodies has a visible effect. One of these geometric events—the spring equinox—is just around the corner, and another major alignment—a total solar eclipse—will be visible across America on Aug. 21, with a fleet of NASA satellites viewing it from space and providing images of the event.

Planet or dwarf planet—all worlds are worth investigating

Pluto's status as a "dwarf planet" is once again stirring debate. This comes as some planetary scientists are trying to have Pluto reclassified as a planet – a wish that's not likely to come true.

Astronomers to peer into a black hole for first time with new Event Horizon Telescope

Ever since first mentioned by Jon Michell in a letter to the Royal Society in 1783, black holes have captured the imagination of scientists, writers, filmmakers and other artists. Perhaps part of the allure is that these enigmatic objects have never actually been "seen". But this could now be about to change as an international team of astronomers is connecting a number of telescopes on Earth in the hope of making the first ever image of a black hole.

COBALT flight demonstrations fuse technologies to gain precision landing results

Many regions in the solar system beckon for exploration, but they are considered unreachable due to technology gaps in current landing systems. The CoOperative Blending of Autonomous Landing Technologies (COBALT) project, conducted by NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, could change that.

Seven SMD-supported instruments to search for evidence of life on Europa

Technologies Infused: When NASA launches its mission to explore Jupiter's moon Europa in the 2020s, seven instruments enabled by SMD technology investments or flight development efforts will be onboard to help achieve mission science goals.

Image: Saturn's B-ring close-up

This image shows the incredible detail at which the international Cassini spacecraft is observing Saturn's rings of icy debris as part of its dedicated close 'ring grazing' orbits.

Hubble's glittering frisbee galaxy

This image from Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) shows a section of NGC 1448, a spiral galaxy located about 50 million light-years from Earth in the little-known constellation of Horologium (The Pendulum Clock). We tend to think of spiral galaxies as massive and roughly circular celestial bodies, so this glittering oval does not immediately appear to fit the visual bill. What's going on?

Mutants in microgravity

Bacteria may mutate more rapidly in space and scientists theorize patterns of those mutations could help predict how pathogens become resistant to antibiotics. Such predictions could, in turn, be used to develop new drugs to use against those pathogens. Antibiotic resistant pathogens or bacteria is a growing world-wide health concern. The long-term use of many common antibiotics has led to some diseases becoming resistant to drug therapy, which can lead to longer and more complicated illnesses.

Delta IV delivers daunting display powering international military WGS-9 satcom to orbit

On the 70th anniversary year commemorating the United States Air Force, a ULA Delta IV rocket put on a daunting display of nighttime rocket fire power shortly after sunset Saturday, March 19 – powering a high speed military communications satellite to orbit that will significantly enhance the targeting firepower of forces in the field; and was funded in collaboration with America's strategic allies.

Orbital ATK Cygnus set to deliver research to space station

Orbital ATK is targeted to launch its Cygnus spacecraft into orbit for a resupply mission to the International Space Station March 24, 2017 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Cygnus will launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying crew supplies, equipment and scientific research to crew members aboard the station. The flight will deliver investigations that study magnetic cell culturing, crystal growth and atmospheric reentry.

Technology news

Secrets from smart devices find path to US legal system

An Ohio man claimed he was forced into a hasty window escape when his house caught fire last year. His pacemaker data obtained by police showed otherwise, and he was charged with arson and insurance fraud.

Do you speak robot-ish? Interpreters may soon be in the house

(Tech Xplore)—OpenAI is a non-profit artificial intelligence research company. In describing their work, they state that they are "working towards the next set of breakthroughs." That is no exaggeration.

Water filter from wood offers portable, eco-friendly purification in emergencies

What can the forests of Scandinavia possibly offer to migrants in faraway refugee camps? Clean water may be one thing.

Using virtual reality to catch a real ball

Disney Research scientists have found innovative ways to enhance virtual experiences involving interactions with physical objects by showing how a person using a virtual reality system can use it to reliably catch a real ball.

Researchers show that enzyme function inhibits battery ageing

It has been known in biology for a long time that the excited oxygen molecule singlet oxygen is the main cause of ageing in cells. To counter this, nature uses an enzyme called superoxide dismutase to eliminate superoxide as a free radical. Superoxide also occurs in cell respiration for energy production and is the preliminary stage and thus source of singlet oxygen. TU Graz's Stefan Freunberger has now stumbled upon astonishing parallels of oxygen chemistry in battery systems.

New JPEG encoder Guetzli sweetens image-heavy work tasks

(Tech Xplore)—An open source JPEG encoder has been announced by the name of Guetzli and the code is available to download from Github. The good news is that this open source Guetzli makes JPEGs 35% smaller without hurting quality.

Wi-Fi on wheels: Google helps students get online, on the go

For eighth-grader Lakaysha Governor, her daily two-hour school bus commute had been spent catching up with friends and trying to tune out distractions from unruly preschoolers.

People remain calm as the world ends, video game study suggests

As the world ends, will you lock arms and sing "Kumbayah" or embark on a path of law-breaking, anti-social behavior?

Samsung voice-assistant Bixby to debut with new phone

Samsung announced Monday that a voice-powered digital assistant named "Bixby" will debut with a flagship Galaxy S8 smartphone set to be unveiled by the South Korean consumer electronics giant.

Vintage US nuclear test films declassified and publicized

From the deserts of southern New Mexico and Nevada to islands in the Pacific Ocean, the U.S. government conducted dozens of nuclear weapons tests from the 1940s until the early 1960s.

President of embattled Uber leaves after 6 months on job

Jeff Jones, president of the embattled ride-hailing company Uber, has resigned just six months after taking the job, the company confirmed Sunday.

Insider Q&A: Girding for net neutrality fight

Some tech companies are gearing up for a fight over Obama-era rules that prohibit broadband providers from treating some web services—ahem, their own—better than rival services.

Vodafone's Indian telecom unit merges with local company

British telecom company Vodafone's Indian unit on Monday announced a merger with Idea Cellular, a local company, creating India's largest telecom operator, with around 400 million customers.

When things go wrong in an automated world, would we still know what to do?

We live in a world that is both increasingly complex and automated. So just as we are having to deal with more complex problems, automation is leading to an atrophy of human skills that may leave us more vulnerable when responding to unexpected situations or when things go wrong.

Tor upgrades to make anonymous publishing safer

In the coming months, the Seattle-based nonprofit The Tor Project will be making some changes to improve how the Tor network protects users' privacy and security. The free network lets users browse the internet anonymously. For example, using Tor can reduce the risk of being identified when dissidents speak out against their governments, whistleblowers communicate with journalists and victims of domestic abuse seek help.

Liquid storage of solar energy – more effective than ever before

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have demonstrated efficient solar energy storage in a chemical liquid. The stored energy can be transported and then released as heat whenever needed. The research is now presented on the cover of the scientific journal Energy & Environmental Science.

Using Big Data to analyse images and video better than the human brain

Improving traffic safety, better health services and environmental benefits - Big Data experts see a wide range of possibilities for advanced image analysis and recognition technology.

Twitter and emergency retweets in times of disaster

Twitter and other social media tools are commonly used around the world. Now, many government and not-for-profit organizations have a presence on at least one of these systems and use them in various ways to share information about their activities and engage with people.

Impact of wobbly bridges and skyscrapers on human health tested in government-funded research center

The impact of vibrations from very tall buildings and wobbly bridges and floors on people's health and wellbeing is to be researched in a new £7.2 million government-funded national research facility.

Power partners: Sandia draws industry into quest for cheaper, cleaner electricity

Sandia National Laboratories is working with three industry partners to commercialize a distributed power system that can produce cheaper, cleaner, more efficient electricity.

Where's the line? Theme parks aiming to eliminate them

At Universal Orlando Resort's new "Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon" ride, waiting in line has been replaced by lounging on couches and listening to a racy barber shop quartet sing until it's time to enter the ride.

French emissions probe clears Opel; others accused of fraud

French investigators say they have found evidence of possible emissions fraud in Fiat, Renault, Peugeot-Citroen and Volkswagen cars sold in France, but have found no proof of fraud in Opel vehicles.

Google sorry for adverts alongside extremist content

A top Google executive on Monday apologised after UK company and government adverts appeared alongside extremist content on its Internet platforms.

Russian pleads guilty to charge related to Citadel malware

A Russian man accused of helping develop and distribute malicious software designed to steal personal financial information pleaded guilty Monday to a charge of computer fraud.

Hacked websites on the rise: Google

Google painted a bleak picture of cybersecurity trends Monday, saying the number of websites hacked rose 32 percent last year, with little relief in sight.

Some electronics to be banned on some US-bound flights

The U.S. government is barring passengers on Royal Jordanian Airlines flights from bringing laptops, iPads, cameras and other electronics in carry-on luggage on certain U.S.-bound flights starting Tuesday, the airline said in a tweet Monday.

Blunder reveals Australian lawmakers' private cell numbers

Private cellphone numbers of most Australian federal lawmakers, their staff and several former prime ministers have been made public after a government department failed to properly remove them from a routine report.

Open ecosystem for smart assistance systems

Under the banner of "d!conomy - no limits," CeBIT 2017 will focus not only on the digital transformation of industry, administration and society, but also on the markets and opportunities this transformation opens up. From March 20 to 24, Fraunhofer IAO will be at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) joint booth (Hall 6, Booth C40) to present the ENTOURAGE joint research project.

New transportation safety technology for preventing accidents due to falling asleep at the wheel

Through advanced research & development for about ten years at the University of Liège (ULg) in Belgium under the leadership of Professor Jacques G. Verly from its Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, the ULg and its spin-off company Phasya have established themselves as world leaders in the development of innovative and validated solutions in the area of drowsiness (or somnolence) monitoring. This technology can, among others, prevent transportation accidents where the operator falls asleep while driving a car, truck, or train, steering a boat, flying an airplane, etc. Most people are surprised to learn that 30% of fatal accidents on highways are due to drivers falling asleep at the wheel!

Leadership change at Comcast cable as CEO Smit changes role

Comcast's cable unit is switching up its leadership ranks, with longtime executive Dave Watson taking over for Neil Smit as CEO.

Medicine & Health news

Adult subcortex processes numbers with the same skill as infants

Despite major brain differences, many species from spiders to humans can recognize and differentiate relative quantities. Adult primates, however, are the only ones with a sophisticated cortical brain system, meaning that the others rely on a subcortex or its evolutionary equivalent.

New study finds potential breakthrough in determining who's at risk for heart attacks

Researchers are revisiting their views on the relative dangers soft and hard atherosclerotic plaque deposits pose to heart health. Findings of a new study by researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute may be a "game-changer" for determining who's at risk of a heart attack, they say.

Web-based counseling lowers blood pressure as much as meds: study

People who received regular lifestyle counseling online were able to lower their blood pressure as much as a medication would, researchers said Saturday.

US communities crumbling under an evolving addiction crisis

Of the 2,900 babies born last year in Cabell County, West Virginia, 500 had to be weaned off of opioid dependence.

Who's happy, who's not: Norway tops list, US falls

If you want to go to your happy place, you need more than cash. A winter coat helps—and a sense of community.

New stenting tool could make heart procedures cheaper and less painful

A new tool for assessing the narrowing of the heart's arteries was found to be as effective as current methods and less painful for patients.

Scientists solve mystery of immune cells in the liver

In a discovery that could aid malaria vaccine research, scientists led by The Australian National University (ANU) have tracked immune cells and discovered a key molecule that helps them to find and kill microbes that infect the liver such as malaria.

Engineers can take pictures of the brain with surgical needle and laser light

With just an inexpensive micro-thin surgical needle and laser light, University of Utah engineers have discovered a minimally invasive, inexpensive way to take high-resolution pictures of an animal brain, a process that also could lead to a much less invasive method for humans.

A 48-hour sexual 'afterglow' helps to bond partners over time

Sex plays a central role in reproduction, and it can be pleasurable, but new findings suggest that it may serve an additional purpose: bonding partners together. A study of newlywed couples, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, indicates that partners experience a sexual 'afterglow' that lasts for up to two days, and this afterglow is linked with relationship quality over the long term.

Single-cell analysis reveals subtypes of colorectal tumors

Combining single-cell genomics and computational techniques, a research team including Paul Robson, Ph.D., director of single-cell biology at The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), has defined cell-type composition of cancerous cells from 11 colorectal tumors, as well as adjacent noncancerous cells, a key to more targeted diagnosis and treatment.

Novel genes identified that help suppress prostate and other cancers

New genes which help prevent prostate, skin and breast cancer development in mice have been discovered by researchers at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and their collaborators. The study identified genes that cooperate with the well-known tumour suppressor gene PTEN, and showed their relevance in human prostate tumours.

Scientists find possible Achilles heel of treatment-resistant cancers

Scientists identify two signaling proteins in cancer cells that make them resistant to chemotherapy, and show that blocking the proteins along with chemotherapy eliminate human leukemia in mouse models.

Gene editing technique helps find cancer's weak spots

Genetic mutations that cause cancer also weaken cancer cells, creating an opportunity for researchers to develop drugs that will selectively kill them, while sparing normal cells. This concept is called "synthetic lethality" because the drug is only lethal to mutated (synthetic) cells. Researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine and Jacobs School of Engineering developed a new method to search for synthetic-lethal gene combinations.

Protein could prevent brain damage caused by stroke

A small protein that could protect the brain from stroke-induced injury has been discovered by researchers from The University of Queensland and Monash University.

Vaccine, improved treatment are keys to control of a surging HIV pandemic

Development and widespread use of a vaccine that's even partially effective against HIV, along with more progress toward diagnosis and treatment, offer the best hopes for turning the corner on a global pandemic that's still spiraling out of control, researchers reported today.

A pocket-sized retina camera, no dilating required

It's the part of the eye exam everyone hates: the pupil-dilating eye drops. The drops work by opening the pupil and preventing the iris from constricting in response to light and are often used for routine examination and photography of the back of the eye. The drops sting, can take up to 30 minutes to work, and cause blurry vision for several hours afterwards, often making them inconvenient for both patient and doctor.

Researchers explore a new method to study cholesterol distribution on cells

Researchers from UCLA and the University of Western Australia have developed a new way of visualizing the distribution of cholesterol in cells and tissues. Their research provides insights into the movement of cholesterol into and out of cells and could eventually identify mechanisms linking cholesterol to coronary artery disease.

First patient cured of rare blood disorder

Using a technique that avoids the use of high-dose chemotherapy and radiation in preparation for a stem cell transplant, physicians at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System have documented the first cure of an adult patient with congenital dyserythropoietic anemia. CDA is a rare blood disorder in which the body does not produce enough red blood cells, causing progressive organ damage and early death.

Study finds new markers associated with recurrence of AFib in previously treated patients

Ablation procedures restore a regular heartbeat in patients who have a dangerous, abnormal heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation. But it doesn't always work. Now, a new study suggests that certain molecules are associated with the recurrence of erratic heartbeats in some patients after ablation therapy.

PCSK9 inhibitor evolocumab not associated with decline in memory or cognitive function

New trial results show that in patients on statin therapy, the addition of evolocumab did not result in a significant change in cognitive function after 19 months of treatment.

New blood thinner better at preventing recurrent blood clots than aspirin

An international research team with prominent Canadian leadership has found that the blood thinner rivaroxaban is as safe as aspirin, and more effective at preventing recurrence of life-threatening blood clots in the legs and lungs, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

African-Americans may receive different advice on statin therapy

African Americans experience a disproportionately high risk of cardiovascular disease, and statin treatment can be an important tool to lower the risk of plaque building up in the arteries.

Levels of biomarkers after ACL surgery may signal severity of osteoarthritis later in life

A majority of Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) reconstruction patients develop a condition known as posttraumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA) within 15 years of surgery, which can be debilitating and limit activity. Researchers presenting their work at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's (AOSSM) Specialty Day in San Diego are highlighting how a set of biomarkers on the day of surgery may explain why some individuals have worse PTOA than others after two years.

Shoulder injuries in professional baseball players: A continuing puzzle

Professional baseball players struggle to return to a high level of play after biceps tenodesis (BP) surgery, according to research presented today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's (AOSSM) Specialty Day in San Diego. The study examined how players with SLAP tears responded to biceps tenodesis.

Combining risk score tools improves stroke prediction for atrial fibrillation patients

Combining two independent, scientifically-proven risk measurements allows physicians to better predict an atrial fibrillation patient's risk of stroke or death. The tools also help determine the need for blood thinners in treatment, according to new research from researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City.

Surgery may not offer additional benefit to patients with tennis elbow, study shows

Surgical approaches to treating tennis elbow may not offer additional benefit to patients, as discussed in research presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's (AOSSM) Specialty Day in San Diego. The study, a randomized, double-blinded clinical trial, explored patient responses to a common surgery aimed at repairing a damaged elbow, compared to a placebo procedure.

Correlation between second ACL reconstruction and physical therapy utilization noted

Age, gender and frequency of physical therapy utilization after an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) surgery may be correlated with second ACL reconstruction rates, according to researchers presenting their work at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Specialty Day today.

High-risk pulmonary embolism patients often go without most effective treatments

Pulmonary embolism (PE), a blood clot in the lungs which causes shortness of breath and chest pain, is the third leading cardiovascular cause of death in the United States with more than 100, 000 lives taken each year. A typical intervention for PE patients includes anticoagulants in an effort to prevent migration of the blood clot, but the higher-risk PE population—about 30 percent of all PE patients—are potential candidates for catheter-directed thrombolysis (CDT) and systemic thrombolysis (ST), both of which employ "clot-busting" medications known as tissue plasminogen activator (tPA).

Guidelines differ on recommendations of statin treatment for African-Americans

Approximately 1 in 4 African American individuals recommended for statin therapy under guidelines from the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association are no longer recommended for statin therapy under guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, according to a study published online by JAMA Cardiology. The study is being released to coincide with its presentation at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session.

Brexit puts EU lifeblood of British hospitals at risk

With British hospitals already struggling to fill their ranks, Brexit could make life even harder for the National Health Service as EU doctors and nurses either stay away or prepare to leave.

No opioids, please: Clearing the way to refuse prescriptions

The ease of relapsing into opioid addiction has led a growing number of states to help residents make it clear to medical professionals they do not want to be prescribed the powerful painkillers.

Years after diagnosis, many young cancer survivors continue to struggle socially

A new study indicates that the social difficulties faced by many adolescent and young adult cancer survivors often persist for years after their diagnosis. Published early online in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study indicates that though these patients may see some improvement in their social lives during the first year following diagnosis, their social functioning tends to remain constant after that, leaving them socially impaired relative to their cancer-free peers.

Do you really have high blood pressure?

A study by researchers at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) shows that more than half of family doctors in Canada are still using manual devices to measure blood pressure, a dated technology that often leads to misdiagnosis.

Poison centers receive 32 calls a day about kids exposed to prescription opioids

A new study published online today by Pediatrics and conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children's Hospital found that there were more than 188,000 calls to US Poison Control Centers for pediatric exposure to opioids from January 2000 through December 2015, averaging 32 calls a day or one every 45 minutes.

End-of-life planning talks often fail to communicate goals

Too few older adults plan ahead for end-of-life medical decisions. Even when they do identify a loved one to make decisions for them, their preferences are not always communicated or understood, according to a new study led by a Yale researcher.

Study estimates perinatal HIV infection among infants born in US 2002-2013

A new article published online by JAMA Pediatrics estimates there were 69 perinatal human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections among infants born in the United States in 2013 (1.75 per 100,000 live births), down from an estimated 216 perinatal HIV infections among infants born in 2002 (5.37 per 100,000 live births).

Vitamin E, selenium supplements did not prevent dementia

Antioxidant supplements vitamin E and selenium - taken alone or in combination - did not prevent dementia in asymptomatic older men, according to a study published online by JAMA Neurology.

5-alpha-reductase inhibitors not associated with increased suicide risk in older men

Using 5α- reductase inhibitors was not associated with increased suicide risk in a group of older men but risks for self-harm and depression were increased during the 18 months after medication initiation, although "the relatively small magnitude of these risks should not dissuade physicians from prescribing these medications in appropriate patients," according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

PCI, drugs equally beneficial for treating fully blocked arteries

In patients with a complete blockage in the heart's arteries that persists over time, treatment with medications alone was found to be equal to percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), a procedure to open blocked arteries, in terms of major adverse events over three years, according to a study presented at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session.

Study shows benefits to treating all clogged arteries at once after heart attack

Patients experiencing a major heart attack often have more than one clogged artery, but under current guidelines doctors typically only clear the blockage responsible for the heart attack. Assessing and, when warranted, treating the additional blockages can improve patient outcomes and reduce the need for subsequent invasive procedures, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session.

Exergaming can reduce sedentary time and increase social wellbeing

Digital gaming has generally been perceived to increase individuals' sedentary time. According to Tuomas Kari's dissertation, gaming can also act as a medium to promote health. Exergaming is a form of digital gaming that combines games with physical activity. The game requires physical activity from the player in order to play, and the outcome of the game is partly determined by that physical activity. Examples of such games are console-based dance games and different mobile exergames, such as Zombies Run and Pokémon GO.

New trial for blindness rewrites the genetic code

Researchers have started a new gene therapy clinical trial to treat X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP), the most common cause of blindness in young people.

Drug could reduce serious complication in cardiac bypass patients

Patients undergoing cardiac surgery that requires use of a heart-lung machine can see complications afterwards. Some experience low cardiac output syndrome (LCOS), in which their heart is unable to pump enough blood to properly supply their organs, making them susceptible to heart attack, death and other risks.

Blood thinner and aspirin show similar bleeding risk in coronary patients

Substituting rivaroxaban for aspirin in patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) appears to cause no significant increase in bleeding risk, according to a study led by scientists from the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) and Harvard Medical School.

Surgically sealing heart pouch in A-fib patients appears to reduce strokes, death

People with an irregular heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation are prone to blood clots that form in the heart and travel to the brain, causing a stroke.

Study concludes people with atrial fibrillation should not take digoxin

Amid growing uncertainty about the safety of digoxin—a commonly used heart drug—a study led by Duke Clinical Research Institute found that people with atrial fibrillation should avoid taking the drug because starting this medication is associated with higher death rates.

Why retire? Understanding the urge for doctors to work past 65

UNSW researchers have identified key reasons why some doctors continue working beyond retirement age, despite evidence suggesting their performance is more likely to decline.

Scans could replace invasive procedures for assessing heart patients, new research finds

Heart patients could have quick, non-invasive, magnetic resonance (MR) scans to determine if they need to have a procedure to widen a blocked or narrowed coronary artery instead of more invasive tests, new research from King's College London shows.

Use of levosimendan with heart-lung machine fails to improve outcomes

When used as a preventive measure during heart surgery, the heart failure drug levosimendan did not significantly reduce rates of death, heart attack, kidney dialysis or use of a mechanical assist device among patients at high risk for low cardiac output syndrome, according to a study presented at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session.

Embol-X and CardioGard do not reduce overall number of brain lesions, but may affect lesion size

Two FDA-cleared medical devices designed to remove potential vessel-blocking debris particles from the bloodstream during aortic valve replacement, known as Embol-X and CardioGard, did not significantly reduce overall number of brain infarcts over standard surgical procedure, according to a study presented at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session.

Heart procedure linked with bleeding in the brain, neurological impairment

Small leakages from blood vessels in the brain, known as microbleeds, increase with age and are associated with cognitive decline. Of 84 older patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), nearly a quarter developed new microbleeds after their procedure, according to results of a single-center study presented at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session.

CT scans reveal reduced leaflet motion after aortic valve replacement

About 12 percent of patients undergoing aortic valve replacement developed non-symptomatic blood clots around the valve leaflets (known as subclinical leaflet thrombosis) that reduced the motion of the valves, according to an observational study presented at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session.

Blood test can detect heart damage after non-cardiac surgery

A blood test for a protein called high-sensitivity troponin T, which is released into the bloodstream when injury to the heart occurs, can identify patients with heart damage after non-cardiac surgery whose lives could potentially be saved with timely treatment, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session.

For atrial fibrillation ablation, newer anticoagulant reduces major bleeds

Uninterrupted treatment with dabigatran, a non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant (NOACs), before, during and after ablation to treat atrial fibrillation significantly reduced the incidence of major bleeding events compared with uninterrupted use of the more established anticoagulant warfarin, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session.

Closing left atrial appendage reduces stroke risk from AFib

For patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib), a common heart rhythm disorder, closing the area of the heart known as the left atrial appendage as an add-on procedure during cardiac surgery was associated with a 40 percent reduction in the risk of thromboembolism (a condition when a blood clot forms and blocks an artery, which can cause a stroke or other complications) according to an observational study presented at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session.

Genetically guided warfarin dosing lowers risk of some adverse events

Using genetic testing to help personalize doses of warfarin therapy given to patients undergoing elective orthopedic surgery appears to lower the risk of combined adverse events compared with clinically guided dosing, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session. Researchers said these findings could have implications for a broad population of patients starting warfarin therapy.

Pacemaker program can reduce dangerous fainting episodes

Patients with recurrent fainting episodes (syncope) who received a pacemaker delivering a pacing program designed to detect and stop the abnormal heart rhythms that precede syncope had a seven-fold reduction in fainting compared with patients in a placebo pacing group, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session.

Report advises 'think self-care, not just health care'

Amid talk in Washington of presidential wiretapping and the dismissal of U.S. attorneys, there is one substantive issue making headlines: health-care policy.

Athletes who experience trouble breathing may have vocal cord dysfunction

Feeling like you can't breathe is frightening and can trigger anxiety and panic in the person experiencing it and those around them.

Study unveils novel link between cell polarity and cancer-associated inflammation

A new study led by University of Kentucky Markey Cancer researchers and published in the Journal of Cell Science establishes a novel link between cell polarity and cancer-associated inflammation.

Superfine merino wool good for kids with eczema

A clinical trial led by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute is challenging the myth that wool is a possible source of allergy and irritates the skin for eczema sufferers.

Solving the immunity puzzle takes collaboration among different fields

Studying the human immune system is like trying to work a vast, multidimensional jigsaw puzzle with pieces that are constantly changing shape. Billions of microbes interact with the host, shaping the processes that keep us healthy and protected from disease.

Cellular jetlag seems to favor the development of diabetes

Like almost all light-sensitive living beings, human beings follow biological rhythms set on a period of about 24 hours. The circadian clock (from Latin "circa" and "dies", which means "about a day") therefore describes the internal system that allows us to anticipate the changes of day and night by regulating nearly all the aspects of our physiology and behaviour. At a time when our biological rhythms are increasingly undermined - whether by night work, jetlag, or societal habits, - scientists begin to unveil the impact such circadian misalignments may have in the explosion of metabolic diseases. Specialists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG) studied pancreatic ɑ- and β- cells that are in charge of the production of insulin and glucagon, two hormones that regulate glucose levels in the blood. They discovered that already at cellular levels, these internal clocks orchestrate the timing of proper hormone secretion, thus optimizing body metabolism by anticipating the rest-activity and feeding-fasting cycles. Their misalignment would thus favor the occurrence of metabolic diseases.

Window to brain's reward system could lead to better treatments for alcoholism

Scanning the brains of alcoholics taking medication to beat their addiction has revealed new insights into how the treatments work.

Current jellyfish sting recommendations can worsen stings

Being stung by a jellyfish is one of the fastest ways to ruin a fun day at the beach. But what you do after you're stung has the potential to make you feel much better or make matters a lot worse. Researchers at the University of Hawai'i - Mānoa (UHM) investigated whether commonly recommended first aid actions such as rinsing with seawater or scraping away tentacles lessen the severity of stings from two dangerous box jellyfish species. Their results, published this week in the journal Toxins, reveal that some of the most commonly recommended practices actually worsen stings.

Will the doctor see your child now?

Parents often want medical advice when their child gets sick but only about half are very confident they can get a same day appointment with their child's provider, a new national poll finds.

No benefit of synthetic HDL-C on arterial plaque

Injection of a novel form of synthetic high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), or good cholesterol, into the arteries of patients who had recently had a heart attack did not reduce the volume of fatty deposits, or plaque, in the arteries, compared with placebo injections, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session.

Outcomes for Absorb stent acceptable at 1 to 2 years, with caveats

Patients receiving the Absorb everolimus-eluting bioresorbable vascular scaffold (BVS), a dissolving stent to open clogged vessels around the heart, showed outcomes comparable with patients receiving the Xience drug-eluting metal stent between years one and two. However, patients receiving Absorb BVS faced an overall elevated risk of adverse outcomes at two years compared with patients receiving metal stents, a difference that appears to be attributable to the stent being placed in vessels that were smaller than recommended, according to a study presented at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session.

No increase in bleeding complications with rivaroxaban post-ACS

Patients with acute coronary syndrome who were treated with the blood-thinning drug rivaroxaban in addition to an antiplatelet medication (clopidogrel or ticagrelor) experienced no increase in bleeding complications compared with patients who received the standard treatment of aspirin plus an antiplatelet drug, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session.

Lifestyle intervention leads to 10-point drop in systolic blood pressure

In the first randomized, double-blinded trial of an online behavioral intervention for high blood pressure, participants in web-based lifestyle counseling reduced their systolic blood pressure (the higher number in a blood-pressure reading) by 10 mmHg, compared with a 6 mmHg reduction for those taking part in a web-based control intervention, a statistically significant difference. The research was presented at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session.

DNA labels predict mortality

Various chemical modifications in the genome determine whether genes are read or deactivated. Methyl labels in the DNA play a key role in this "epigenetic" regulation of gene activity. Life style and environmental factors influence the methylation in the genome. Scientists have already well documented links between the methylation status of specific positions in the genome and cancer as well as other diseases.

New study adds to concerns about heightened risk of death for AFib patients taking digoxin

Patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib) who are given digoxin to control their symptoms have an increased risk of death, whether or not they have a diagnosis of heart failure, compared with patients not taking the drug, and this risk increases with higher levels of digoxin in the bloodstream, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session.

No evidence of cognitive issues when evolocumab added to statin therapy

There is no evidence that adding a new cholesterol-lowering drug to treatment with a statin causes memory loss or other problems with cognition or thinking, according to findings from the EBBINGHAUS study, the largest, most rigorously designed study to address this issue to date. The research was presented at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session.

New tool for assessing clogged arteries performs well, reduces discomfort

For patients experiencing angina (chest pain) or a heart attack, a new tool called instantaneous wave-free ratio (iFR) was equivalent to the currently-preferred tool, fractional flow reserve (FFR), in terms of incidence of major adverse events according to two studies presented at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session. The studies also showed iFR resulted in markedly less patient discomfort and reduced procedure-related adverse events compared to FFR.

Trichomonosis: A conundrum in cats

Over the past two decades, the protozoan Tritrichomonas foetus has come to be recognised as a cause of chronic colitis in cats in many countries worldwide. Today trichomonosis is regarded as one of the most common infectious causes of large bowel diarrhea. Affected cats are usually young (median age 1 year), and maintain good health and body condition, but they exhibit a waxing and waning diarrhea. Characteristically, faeces are 'cow pie' in consistency and often contain mucus and/or blood. In many cats, the diarrhea will spontaneously resolve without treatment after several months, but in some cases it continues to wax and wane for many years.

Deep brain stimulation provides long-term relief from severe depressions

Treatment with deep brain stimulation can provide lasting relief to patients suffering from previously non-treatable, severe forms of depression several years into the therapy or even eliminate symptoms entirely. This is the finding of the first long-term study on this form of therapy, conducted by scientists at the Medical Center - University of Freiburg. Seven of the eight patients receiving continuous stimulation in the study showed lasting improvements in their symptoms up to the last observation point four years into treatment. The therapy remained equally effective over the entire period. The scientists prevented minor side-effects from appearing by adjusting the stimulation.

Study shows stem cell therapy is safe for stroke patients; may aid recovery if given early

A multicenter trial looking at whether a single dose of millions of adult, bone-marrow-derived stem cells can aid stroke recovery indicates it's safe and well-tolerated by patients but may not significantly improve their recovery within the first three months, researchers report.

Study finds tube placement may not be necessary for treating upper GI bleeds

For many of the millions of patients treated annually in hospitals for upper gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, there is little value in placing a nasogastric (NG) tube in patients to determine the source of that bleeding or size of a lesion, report investigators in an article published online ahead of print on January 9, 2017 by the Journal of Investigative Medicine.

Disrupting prostate cancer 'homing signal' could hold promise for new treatments

New King's College London research sheds light on the cellular mechanisms which enable cancer cells to escape the prostate and spread to other parts of the body.

Aligning depression treatment to patient need leads to efficient care

Depression looks different in every person, making it a challenge to ensure that each receives the appropriate care. Many patients get treatment too intensive for their condition while others don't get enough.

Pembrolizumab shows promise in treatment of mesothelioma

Pembrolizumab, an antibody drug already used to treat other forms of cancer, can be effective in the treatment of the most common form of mesothelioma, according to a new study led by investigators from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The study, published this month in The Lancet Oncology, is the first to show a positive impact from checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy drugs on this disease.

Abortion restriction may have new momentum after 40 years of pervading policy

In the 40 years since it prohibited Medicaid funding for abortion, the "Hyde Amendment" has not only persisted but also pervaded an ever-wider policy blueprint for restricting access to pregnancy termination. In an article in JAMA tracing the amendment's history and impact, two Brown University authors note that the Hyde blueprint now has a renewed chance of becoming codified into law.

Research explores healthy weight gain in infants

Rapid weight gain in an infant's first six months of life is a risk factor for child- and adulthood obesity, according to researchers.

Fewer U.S. kids overdosing on opioids

(HealthDay)—The number of U.S. kids who overdose on prescription painkillers each year may be declining—but the incidents remain a major public health problem, new research says.

1 in 4 teens exposed to secondhand E-cig vapors: report

(HealthDay)—One-quarter of U.S. middle and high school students say they've been exposed to potentially dangerous secondhand e-cigarette vapors, a federal government study shows.

Spring-clean your medicine cabinet to safeguard your kids

(HealthDay)—When you learn that just 1 in 5 Americans locks up prescription drugs, it's not surprising to hear that thousands of children are treated for accidental medication overdoses each year.

Welcome spring and still survive your allergies

(HealthDay)—If you have seasonal allergies, the arrival of spring on Monday is probably less about warmth and flowers and more about itchy eyes and congestion.

Caloric restriction normalizes bile acid, cholesterol deficiency

(HealthDay)—Acute caloric restriction normalizes hepatic bile acid (BA) and cholesterol deficiency that is seen in morbidly obese women, according to a study published online March 6 in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

Post-RFA mortality up for ESRD patients who receive dialysis

(HealthDay)—For patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), receipt of hemodialysis (HD) is associated with increased mortality after radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for hepatocellular carcinoma, according to a study published online March 7 in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Brief interview by doctor may cut cannabis use in some youth

(HealthDay)—A brief intervention conducted by general practitioners could reduce cannabis use among some younger users, according to a study published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

New device for peripheral nerve stim cuts chronic low back pain

(HealthDay)—A novel method of short-term percutaneous peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) is useful for producing pain relief and reducing medication use among patients with chronic low back pain (LBP), according to a case report published online March 14 in Pain Practice.

Hyaluronic acid, autologous fat augment nasolabial folds

(HealthDay)—Hyaluronic acid (HA) and autologous fat are both beneficial for augmentation of nasolabial folds (NLFs), according to a study published online March 14 in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.

Maternal hyperglycemia ups offspring cardiometabolic risk

(HealthDay)—Maternal hyperglycemia during pregnancy is associated with increased risk of abnormal glucose tolerance, obesity, and increased blood pressure (BP) in offspring, independent of maternal obesity, according to a study published online March 9 in Diabetes Care.

Revised understanding of graft-versus-host disease origins offers new direction for potential therapy

An international research team led by the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute is changing the understanding of the key cellular and molecular events that trigger graft-versus-host disease, an often fatal complication of bone marrow transplants.

Radiotherapy risks are much higher for smokers

Smokers treated for breast cancer have much higher risks than non-smokers of developing lung cancer or heart attack as a result of radiotherapy - according to a new study funded by Cancer Research UK and published today in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Coffee shops, 24-hour ATMs the best locations for life-saving AEDs, research shows

ATMs and coffee shops such as Tim Hortons, Starbucks and Second Cup make ideal locations for placing automated external defibrillators (AEDs), according to a new study led by U of T Engineering researchers Professor Timothy Chan and Christopher Sun, in collaboration with St. Michael's Hospital.

FDA-approved all oral DAA regimens show high cure rate for hepatitis C

FDA-approved oral direct-acting antiviral (DAA) regimens produce high sustained virologic response (SVR) rates for all six hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes and for patient populations historically considered difficult to cure. The ease of dosing, safety profile, and effectiveness of DAAs provide an opportunity to reduce the burden of hepatitis C in the United States, provided barriers to care are addressed.

New program improves hearing aid use for older adults

More than half of older adults have some form of hearing loss, impacting everyday life and significantly affecting their health and safety if left untreated. Hearing aids are the most common treatment for hearing loss; however, many adults fail to adjust to hearing aids and, as a result, stop using them. Now, a new hearing aid adjustment program created by Kari Lane, assistant professor in the Sinclair School of Nursing at the University of Missouri, might significantly improve hearing aid wear time among older adults.

A simple fix to avoid some unnecessary coronary stents

Physician researchers at Thomas Jefferson University suspect that some cases of coronary artery spasm go unrecognized and are incorrectly treated with stents. The good news - there could be a simple fix to eliminate these unnecessary stenting procedures. The team published a case series in Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions describing six patients who were scheduled for angioplasty and stenting for the diagnosis of coronary artery disease (five of whom had a cardiac catheterization days prior). However, when the cardiologists gave nitroglycerin prior to placing the stent, the blockages resolved, indicating the true diagnosis of coronary artery spasm. Angioplasty was deferred and all patients were successfully treated with medication.

Researchers discover key to drug resistance in common breast cancer treatment

Three-quarters of all breast cancer tumors are driven by the hormone estrogen. These tumors are frequently treated with drugs to suppress estrogen receptor activity, but unfortunately, at least half of patients do not respond to these treatments, leaving them with drug-resistant tumors and few options.

New method predicts who will respond to lithium therapy

For roughly one-third of people diagnosed with bipolar disorder, lithium is a miracle drug, effectively treating both their mania and depression. But once someone is diagnosed, it can take up to a year to learn whether that person will be among the 30 percent who respond to lithium or the 70 percent who do not.

Testing for Zika virus: There's an app for that

Add rapid, mobile testing for Zika and other viruses to the list of things that smartphone technology is making possible. Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have developed a smartphone-controlled, battery-operated diagnostic device that weighs under a pound, costs as little as $100 and can detect Zika, dengue and chikungunya within 30 minutes.

Long-term limitations imposed on patients with pulmonary embolism

A multi-centre clinical study, led by Dr. Susan Kahn at the Jewish General Hospital (JGH), determined that nearly half of the patients who suffer a pulmonary embolism (PE)—a blood clot in the lung—experience long term limitations to their capacity for physical activity and that this had a negative impact on their quality of life.

Clinical interviews effective in predicting postpartum depression

For non-depressed, pregnant women with histories of major depressive disorder, preventive treatment with antidepressants may not necessarily protect against postpartum depression, according to new UCLA research. In addition, asking questions about daily activities—especially work—appears to be an effective screening tool for helping doctors identify women at risk of depression after they have their babies.

Treatment window for Fragile X likely doesn't close after childhood

Brain samples from humans show that the treatment window for Fragile X syndrome likely remains open well into maturity after childhood, when previous tests with mice indicated it might close, according to a new Drexel University-led study.

Researchers discover test for earlier detection of transplant rejection

Approximately 30,000 organ transplants occur in the United States each year. However, between 20 and 50 percent—depending on the organ type—of the transplanted organs fail within five years, most often because the recipient's immune system attacks, or "rejects," the donated organ. Researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have discovered a method that appears to provide earlier warning of organ transplant rejection compared to standard methods, and requires only a blood test rather than a more invasive and painful needle biopsy. This new method is detailed in a study published today online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

UN Haiti cholera fund still falls short despite British aid

A new appeal by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for funding to help Haiti's cholera victims has fallen short, with only Britain responding to the call, UN officials said Friday.

Heads up tackling program decreases concussion rates, say researchers

Consistently using a tackling education program appears to help lessen youth football concussion severity and occurrence, say researchers presenting their work today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Specialty Day in San Diego, CA.

Study shows surgery reverses pseudoparalysis in patients with rotator cuff tears

Research presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's (AOSSM) Specialty Day in San Diego shows arthroscopic superior capsule reconstruction (SCR), a surgical approach to treat irreparable rotator cuff tears, may eliminate pseudoparalysis and significantly improve shoulder function.

Academics urged to strengthen ties to US peers in face of Trump travel ban

In the face of the Trump travel ban, academics must strengthen, rather than sever, ties to the United States, argues Dr. Matthew Stanbrook, Deputy Editor, CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) in an editorial.

Minimum-wage hikes could deepen shortage of health aides

Only 17 snowy miles from the Canadian border, Katie Bushey's most basic needs are met by traveling health aides who come into her home to change her diapers, track her seizures, spoon-feed her fettucine Alfredo and load her wheelchair into the shower.

Cambodia suspends human breast milk exports to US

Cambodia has temporarily stopped an American company from exporting locally-pumped human breast milk, AFP has learned, after reports highlighted how some of the country's poorest women were supplementing their income through the trade.

Rivaroxaban reduces VTE recurrence compared with aspirin

In patients at elevated risk for a recurrence of potentially life-threatening blood clots, a low dose of the oral blood-thinning medication rivaroxaban reduced recurrences more than three-fold compared with aspirin, with no significant increase in bleeding side effects, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session.

Will AAV vectors have a role in future novel gene therapy approaches?

Recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors for delivering therapeutic genes have demonstrated their safety in multiple diseases and clinical settings over the years and are a proven and effective tool that can be used to deliver new gene editing and replacement and genome modification technologies. The combination of more tailored rAAV delivery vectors and new gene knockdown and editing techniques will enable unique approaches to the therapeutic manipulation of gene expression, as described in an article in Human Gene Therapy.

TB/HIV co-infections up 40 percent across Europe over the last five years

New data released today by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the WHO Regional Office for Europe ahead of World TB Day show that new tuberculosis (TB) cases and deaths in the 53 countries of the WHO European Region declined each year by 4.3% and 8.5% respectively between 2011 and 2015.

Genetic mutations help brain tumors evade targeting by immunotherapy treatments

Tumors of the brain and spinal cord, or gliomas, are among the most commonly occurring brain tumors. Although a majority of gliomas are classified as curable, these low-grade tumors have the potential to develop more aggressive traits and become resistant to tumor-targeting approaches, including immunotherapy.

Nurses adopt plant-based vegan diet for 21 days and lose weight

Joanne Evans, M.Ed., R.N., P.M.H.C.N.S.-B.C., provided a presentation to colleagues at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., about the health benefits of adopting a plant-based vegan diet and soon had 19 nurses eager to test out the science firsthand.

Claims-based classification system could facilitate payer identification of academic radiologist sub

A new study by the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute presents initial validation of a novel payer claims-based system using imaging examination modality and body region for classifying radiologists' subspecialty. The study is published online in the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR).

Sex-based differences in utilization and outcomes for catheter-directed thrombolysis

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a serious condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein, often in the deep veins of the legs, thigh or pelvis. Those clots can break loose, travel to the lungs and block blood flow, causing a pulmonary embolism.

Biology news

Engineers design 'tree-on-a-chip': Microfluidic device generates passive hydraulic power

Trees and other plants, from towering redwoods to diminutive daisies, are nature's hydraulic pumps. They are constantly pulling water up from their roots to the topmost leaves, and pumping sugars produced by their leaves back down to the roots. This constant stream of nutrients is shuttled through a system of tissues called xylem and phloem, which are packed together in woody, parallel conduits.

New test detects early stage of wasting disease in cattle

Researchers at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, have identified a more sensitive test for detecting the early stages of paratuberculosis, a fatal disease that plagues dairy herds and causes an estimated annual loss of up to $250 million to the US dairy industry.

Asian flu strains can enter North America through Alaska, study finds

A new paper from an MIT-led team demonstrates that Alaska can offer a significant foothold for Asian flu viruses, enabling them to enter North America. The research also shows that the region serves as a fertile breeding ground for new flu strains.

Courtship behavior trapped in 100-million-year-old amber

Courtship behaviours, frequent among modern insects, have left extremely rare fossil traces. In odonates, the male must persuade the female to mate in tandem and the female should be willing to engage her genitalia with the male's. Many territorial odonatans display their courtship by high-frequency wing-beats towards an approaching female. Most courtship, mating and parenting (social-sexual) behaviour cannot be preserved, and fossil reports are therefore few and ambiguous. No courtship behaviors were previously recorded for fossil odonatans.

Team nebulizes aphids to knock down gene expression

Researchers are nebulizing soybean aphids with RNA, which, when incorporated into the body, can hinder the expression of specific genes. The new method of delivering "interfering RNA" in a mist will likely speed the process of discovering the function of many mystery genes in insects, the researchers report in the journal Insect Molecular Biology.

Winter sets up breeding success: study

For migratory birds, breeding grounds are where the action is. But a new study by University of Guelph biologists is among the first to suggest that the number of songbirds breeding during spring and summer depends mostly on what happens at their wintering grounds.

Tracing down linear ubiquitination: New technology enables detailed analysis of target proteins

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

How plants can tell friend from foe

The plant's immune system can recognize whether a piece of RNA is an invader or not based on whether the RNA has a threaded bead-like structure at the end, say University of Tokyo researchers. Their finding provides an answer to the quarter-century-old question of why RNAs belonging to the plant escape its self-defense mechanism, paving the way for future biotechnological techniques to modify crops.

For this New Zealand parrot, 'laughter' is contagious

When people are feeling playful, they giggle and laugh, making others around them want to laugh and play too. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology on March 20 have found that the particularly playful kea parrot from New Zealand has a "play call" with a similarly powerful influence. When other kea hear that call, it puts them into a playful mood.

Primate-parasite network analyses show how germs jump from host to host

An extensive review of research on wild primate social networks and parasites underscores the importance of super-spreaders, or central individuals that play an outsized role in transmission of a pathogen.

Anti-bacterial discovery will prevent infections spreading on medical devices

Microbiologists at Trinity College Dublin have discovered a new way to prevent bacteria from growing on medical devices such as hip replacements or heart valves implanted in the human body. The discovery is a step towards developing new preventive strategies that could have a direct impact on the recovery of patients in the immediate aftermath of a surgical operation.

Microbes evolved to colonize different parts of the human body

As the human species evolved over the last six million years, our resident microbes did the same, adapting to vastly different conditions on our skin and in our mouths, noses, genitalia and guts.

Parasitic fish offer evolutionary insights

Lamprey are slimy, parasitic eel-like fish, one of only two existing species of vertebrates that have no jaw. While many would be repulsed by these creatures, lamprey are exciting to biologists because they are so primitive, retaining many characteristics similar to their ancient ancestors and thus offering answers to some of life's biggest evolutionary questions. Now, by studying the lamprey, Caltech researchers have discovered an unexpected mechanism for the evolution of the neurons of the peripheral nervous system—nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord.

Wild chimpanzees have surprisingly long life spans

A 20-year demographic study of a large chimpanzee community in Uganda's Kibale National Park has revealed that, under the right ecological conditions, our close primate relatives can lead surprisingly long lives in the wild.

To aid ferrets, vaccine treats planned for prairie dogs

Feeding peanut butter kibbles to millions of prairie dogs—by flinging the treats from four-wheelers and dropping them from drones—could be the next big thing to help a spunky little weasel that almost went extinct.

Alberta's largest-known bat hibernation site outside of Rocky Mountains discovered

The Wildlife Conservation Society Canada and Alberta Environment and Parks announced today the discovery last month of the largest Alberta bat hibernation site (based on estimated bat count) ever recorded outside of the Rocky Mountains.

Want to eat fish that's truly good for you? Here are some guidelines to reeling one in

Seafood is very healthy to eat – all things considered. Fish and shellfish are an important source of protein, vitamins and minerals, and they are low in saturated fat. But seafood's claim to fame is its omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), all of which are beneficial to health. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans strongly suggest that adults eat two servings of seafood, or a total of eight ounces, per week.

What's cuing salmon migration patterns?

The spring-fed water that flows through Hansen Creek in southwestern Alaska is almost always clear. Its rate and temperature stay relatively constant throughout the year. Each summer, sockeye salmon migrate through the shallow, narrow creek bed in distinct pulses, in a migration pattern common to salmon populations around the world.

Research teaches machines to decipher the dawn chorus

Innovative research looking at the timing and sequence of bird calls could provide new insight into the social interaction that goes on between birds. It will also help teach machines to differentiate between man-made and natural sounds and to understand the world around them.

Microorganisms in the subsurface seabed on evolutionary standby

Researchers at the Center for Geomicrobiology at Aarhus University, Denmark, have sequenced the genomes of several microorganisms inhabiting the subsurface seabed in Aarhus Bay. The results reveal the extreme evolutionary regime controlling microbial life in the deep biosphere.

New species of Brazilian copepod suggests ancient species diversification and distribution

A new species of groundwater copepod has been discovered in the rocky savannas of Brazil - an ecosystem suffering from heavy anthropogenic impact. Upon description, the tiny crustacean turned out to also represent a previously unknown genus. It is described by Dr. Paulo H. C. Corgosinho, Montes Claros State University, Brazil, and his team in the open access journal Zoosystematics and Evolution.

Unforeseen impacts of the fair trade movement

Fair trade certified coffee is the kind of phrase that sounds good on a Whole Foods shelf, the type of marketing that merges first world affluence with third world resource. For the average consumer, it implies fairness in labor and wealth, the idea that small producers profit directly from the products and goods they produce.

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