Thursday, March 30, 2017

Science X Newsletter Thursday, Mar 30

Dear Reader ,

Webinar: The Basics of COMSOL Multiphysics in 18 Minutes
>> Live Presentation - Wednesday, April 5 at 11:30AM EDT

Learn about the basics of COMSOL Multiphysics with this short presentation where you will see a live demonstration of the software and a Q&A session. Register here:

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for March 30, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

A faster single-pixel camera: New technique greatly reduces the number of exposures necessary for 'lensless imaging'

Explaining the accelerating expansion of the universe without dark energy

Mysterious cosmic explosion surprises astronomers studying the distant X-ray universe

How do plants make oxygen? Ask cyanobacteria

Decorated bird bone suggests Neanderthals had eye for esthetics

New research into light particles challenges understanding of quantum theory

When it comes to biological populations, expect the unexpected

Anti-cancer drug gets a boost when combined with antirheumatic

Study finds that napping flies have higher resistance to deadly human pathogen

SpaceX poised to launch first recycled rocket

Study: Early Americas girl 'Naia' may have been young mother

Blind tadpoles learn visually with eyes grafted onto tail, neurotransmitter drug treatment

Cold symptoms feel worse when people feel lonely

Expanding super bubble of gas detected around massive black holes in the early universe

Prolific Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter completes 50,000 orbits

Astronomy & Space news

Explaining the accelerating expansion of the universe without dark energy

Enigmatic 'dark energy', thought to make up 68% of the universe, may not exist at all, according to a Hungarian-American team. The researchers believe that standard models of the universe fail to take account of its changing structure, but that once this is done the need for dark energy disappears. The team publish their results in a paper in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Mysterious cosmic explosion surprises astronomers studying the distant X-ray universe

A mysterious flash of X-rays has been discovered by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory in the deepest X-ray image ever obtained. This source likely comes from some sort of destructive event, but it may be of a variety that scientists have never seen before.

SpaceX poised to launch first recycled rocket

SpaceX is poised to launch its first recycled rocket on Thursday, using a booster that sent food and supplies to the astronauts living at the International Space Station in April.

Expanding super bubble of gas detected around massive black holes in the early universe

In a study led by Sandy Morais, a PhD student at Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço and Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto (FCUP), researchers found massive super bubbles of gas and dust around two distant radio galaxies about 11.5 billion light years away.

Prolific Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter completes 50,000 orbits

The most data-productive spacecraft yet at Mars swept past its 50,000th orbit this week, continuing to compile the most sharp-eyed global coverage ever accomplished by a camera at the Red Planet.

Inventing tools for detecting life elsewhere

Recently, astronomers announced the discovery that a star called TRAPPIST-1 is orbited by seven Earth-size planets. Three of the planets reside in the "habitable zone," the region around a star where liquid water is most likely to exist on the surface of a rocky planet. Other potentially habitable worlds have also been discovered in recent years, leaving many people wondering: How do we find out if these planets actually host life?

Finding a 'lost' planet, about the size of Neptune

Yale astronomers have discovered a "lost" planet that is nearly the size of Neptune and tucked away in a solar system 3,000 light years from Earth.

US astronaut breaks record for most spacewalks by a woman

American astronaut Peggy Whitson made history when she floated outside the International Space Station on Thursday, breaking the record for the most spacewalks by a woman.

Speeding star gives new clues to breakup of multi-star system

A remarkable new discovery using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope reveals three stars that now hold the record as the youngest-known examples of a super-fast-flying breed. "Until these observations, only a few—but older—examples of such rapidly-moving stars had been found with origins traceable back to the volatile systems that likely ejected them," said lead researcher Kevin Luhman of Penn State University. "The new Hubble observations provide very strong evidence that these three stars were ejected from an unstable multi-star system." The new discovery is published in this month's Astrophysical Journal Letters.

First on the Martian menu: spuds

If human beings finally reach Mars, they may find themselves depending on the humble, if hardy potato.

New MAVEN findings reveal how Mars' atmosphere was lost to space

Solar wind and radiation are responsible for stripping the Martian atmosphere, transforming Mars from a planet that could have supported life billions of years ago into a frigid desert world, according to new results from NASA's MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission) spacecraft led by the University of Colorado Boulder.

Search for stellar survivor of a supernova explosion

Astronomers have used the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to observe the remnant of a supernova explosion in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Beyond just delivering a beautiful image, Hubble may well have traced the surviving remains of the exploded star's companion.

Spacewalkers lose piece of shielding, use patch instead

Spacewalking astronauts carried out an impromptu patch job outside the International Space Station on Thursday, after losing a vital piece of cloth shielding when it floated away.

Image: The splitting of the dunes

The mound in the center of this Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) image appears to have blocked the path of the dunes as they marched south (north is to the left in this image) across the scene. Many of these transverse dunes have slipfaces that face south, although in some cases, it's hard to tell for certain. Smaller dunes run perpendicular to some of the larger-scale dunes, probably indicating a shift in wind directions in this area.

Take a peek inside Blue Origin's new Shepard crew capsule

Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos provided a sneak peek today into the interior of the New Shepard crew capsule, the suborbital vehicle for space tourism. He released a few images which illustrate what the flight experience might be like on board.

The Latest: Spacewalking astronauts salvage job, back inside (Update)

The Latest on a spacewalk at the International Space Station (all times local):

Waves on Sun give NASA new insight into space weather forecasting

Our sun is a chaotic place, simmering with magnetic energy and constantly spewing out particles. Sometimes the sun releases solar flares and coronal mass ejections—huge eruptions of charged particles—which contribute to space weather and can interfere with satellites and telecommunications on Earth. While it has long been hard to predict such events, new research has uncovered a mechanism that may help forecasting these explosions.

SpaceX set to launch its first recycled rocket

SpaceX is about to launch its first recycled rocket.

Watch rotating horns of Venus at dawn

Have you seen it yet? An old friend greeted us on an early morning run yesterday as we could easily spy brilliant Venus in the dawn, just three days after inferior conjunction this past Saturday on March 25th.

Test of Mars-bound instruments in the Black Forest

The "InSight" Mars mission planned for 2018 by NASA and European partners is aimed at studying geophysical properties of the "red planet." In addition, fundamental questions relating to the planetary and solar system shall be answered to better understand the history of creation of planets of the inner solar system, one of which is the Earth. A highly sensitive seismograph (SEIS) will be one of the main instruments of the mission. The qualifying model, or sister instrument, of this seismometer is presently being tested by the joint geoscientific observatory of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Universität Stuttgart, the Black Forest Observatory (BFO).

Spain will get giant telescope if Hawaii doesn't, group says

An agreement has been reached for a giant telescope to be built in Spain's Canary Islands if it cannot be put atop a Hawaii mountain.

Technology news

Finding faces in a crowd: Context is key when looking for small things in images

Spotting a face in a crowd, or recognizing any small or distant object within a large image, is a major challenge for computer vision systems. The trick to finding tiny objects, say researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, is to look for larger things associated with them.

Domino's initiative uses robots for pizza delivery

(Tech Xplore)—Sidewalk robots will deliver pizza this year. Domino's pizza, to be exact. Datelined London, a news release on Wednesday on the Starship Technologies site brought news of the launch of a pilot program with Domino's Pizza Enterprises—"the master franchisor for the Domino's Pizza brand in Australia, New Zealand, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Japan and Germany." Across these seven markets, DPE and its franchisees operate over 2000 stores.

Westinghouse's woes spotlight US nuclear sector's decline

Westinghouse's bankruptcy announcement cast a pall over the future of nuclear energy in the United States and comes as the Trump administration seeks to revive the coal industry.

Future of Asian luxury cars, electric vehicles at auto show

South Korea's largest auto show provides a look at the future of Asian premium cars and electric vehicles, as well as efforts by Asian auto and tech companies to catch up in the field of autonomous driving.

New smart system to reduce queues at roundabouts

Long queues at certain approaches to some roundabouts could be reduced using magnetic detection devices under the road surface that would activate a traffic metering signal at another, less congested approach. Researchers at the Universitat Politecnica de Valencia (Spain) have released a guide for technicians to implement this intelligent traffic system, already used on roundabouts in Australia and on various highway on-ramps.

To really help U.S. workers, we should invest in robots

America's manufacturing heyday is gone, and so are millions of jobs, lost to modernization. Despite what Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin might think, the National Bureau of Economic Research and Silicon Valley executives, among many others, know it's already happening. And a new report from PwC estimates that 38 percent of American jobs are at "high risk" of being replaced by technology within the next 15 years.

Fewer malfunctions and lower costs thanks to smarter maintenance model

Researchers at the University of Twente have developed a mathematical model for improving the maintenance schedule for trains, rails, aircraft, self-driving cars, robots and nuclear power plants.

Confused by data visualisation? Here's how to cope in a world of many features

The late data visionary Hans Rosling mesmerised the world with his work, contributing to a more informed society. Rosling used global health data to paint a stunning picture of how our world is a better place now than it was in the past, bringing hope through data.

Lighter, more efficient, safer lithium-ion batteries

Researchers from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and the Council for Scientific Research (initialed CSIC in Spanish) have patented a method for making new ceramic electrodes for lithium-ion batteries that are more efficient, cheaper, more resistant and safer than conventional batteries.

The dangers of the dark web

The dark web—which utilizes a technology created by military researchers in the 1990s to allow intelligence operatives to exchange information completely anonymously—is unknown to many. It's been said to be a breeding ground for organized crime, sex traffickers, and hackers. But it's also used by good actors, including whistle-blowers and activists.

Team develops accurate contactless 3-D fingerprint identification system

The research team of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has developed a system for three-dimensional (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae recovery and matching technology, pushing contactless biometric technology into a new realm of speed and accuracy for use in identification, crime investigation, immigration control, security of access and forensic applications at an affordable cost.

Twitter eases 140-character limit in replies

Twitter has found more creative ways to ease its 140-character limit without officially raising it.

Ford hires 400 for Canadian connected car research

Ford Motor Co. will hire approximately 400 employees from software company BlackBerry Ltd. as part of sizable new investments in Canada that include a connected-vehicle research center in Ottawa, company officials said Thursday.

With new iPhone, Trump still a target for hackers

President Donald Trump has a new phone. An iPhone.

Feds pull financial aid tool after potential data breach

Families applying for federal student aid are facing extra hurdles this year after a potential data breach led federal officials to remove an online tool that smoothed the process.

Samsung eyes rebound with Galaxy S8 phones, virtual assistant

Samsung on Wednesday unveiled its new Galaxy S8 smartphones, incorporating the virtual assistant Bixby, as the market leader seeks to rebound from a chaotic handset recall and a corruption scandal.

Sensor warns when oil in CHP plants is no longer up to the job

Thanks to a new sensor system developed collaboratively by Professor Andreas Schütze and his research team at Saarland University and a group of industrial project partners, unnecessary oil changes could well be a thing of the past. The new system can provide operators of combined heat and power plants with reliable continuous feedback on the current state of the oil. And the system can also warn the operator if the condition of the oil suddenly deteriorates. The oil flows through a small measuring cell where it is analysed spectroscopically to record the condition of the oil. The method offers numerous benefits: it is better for the environment, it lowers operating costs and it simplifies maintenance scheduling.

Illinois internet privacy plans OK'd by committee (Update)

An Illinois House committee has backed legislation meant to enhance internet privacy rights at a time when federal protections are being rolled back.

Cyprus businessman suing Buzzfeed for unproven Trump dossier

A businessman based in Cyprus is suing the Buzzfeed online media outlet for defamation over its publication of an unproven dossier on President Donald Trump's purported activities involving Russia and allegations of Russian interference during last year's U.S. election.

Trudeau looks to make Canada 'world leader' in AI research

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his hopes Thursday of making Canada a "world leader" in artificial intelligence and so-called "deep learning" research and development.

Medicine & Health news

Anti-cancer drug gets a boost when combined with antirheumatic

Scientists at EPFL and NTU have discovered that combining an anticancer drug with an antirheumatic produces improved effects against tumors. The discovery opens a new path for drug-drug synergy.

Blind tadpoles learn visually with eyes grafted onto tail, neurotransmitter drug treatment

Blind tadpoles were able to process visual information from eyes grafted onto their tails after being treated with a small molecule neurotransmitter drug that augmented innervation, integration, and function of the transplanted organs, according to a paper published online today by researchers at the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts University in npj Regenerative Medicine, a Nature Research journal. The work, which used a pharmacological reagent already approved for use in humans, provides a potential road map for promoting innervation - the supply of nerves to a body part - in regenerative medicine.

Cold symptoms feel worse when people feel lonely

Suffering through a cold is annoying enough, but if you're lonely, you're likely to feel even worse, according to Rice University researchers.

U.N. strategy for eliminating HIV in sub-Saharan Africa is unfeasible, according to study

Effective care and prevention strategies have managed to reduce the spread of HIV in the U.S. and other resource-rich countries. But in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 25 million are infected, the epidemic rages—as does the debate over how to stop it.

Focusing on mechanics may be key in unlocking the heart's ability to heal itself

Fish do it, amphibians do it, so why can't we? Scientists are questioning why human hearts lose the ability to regenerate, while other animals don't.

Complex mechanisms in Gaucher disease unravelled

Gaucher disease is a genetic disorder of lipid metabolism. Sphingosine, a compound as enigmatic as the sphinx, plays a key role in this metabolic disorder. Scientists from the Bonn research center caesar have identified some of the complex molecular mechanisms of how the disease develops. These findings could contribute to the development of new therapies in the future.

How the electrical activity of the brain gives rise to the rich world of perception

The human brain is constantly abuzz with electrical activity as brain cells, called neurons, respond to sensory input and give rise to the world we perceive. Six particular regions of the brain, called face patches, contain neurons that respond more to faces than to any other type of object. New research from Caltech shows how perturbations in these face cells alter perception, answering a longstanding question in cognitive science.

Possible genetic marker for ALS found might prove useful for measuring effectiveness of treatments

(Medical Xpress)—A very large team of researchers with members from the U.S., Italy and the Netherlands has found what might be a marker for ALS, which the team suggests could be used as a yardstick for measuring the effectiveness of treatments in clinical trials. In their paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the team describes how they connected a genetic abnormality common in ALS patients with a protein they found in blood cells and cerebrospinal fluid.

Predictive model helps identify drugs currently in use that could be used to treat other ailments

(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers from several institutions in the U.K. and one in the U.S. has developed a faster and cheaper way to figure out which drugs on the market might be useful for treating other ailments. In their paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the team describes how they pulled information from databases and used it to identify possible treatment matches.

Epigenetic regulation of face formation

Each face is unique, even though the genes controlling facial shape are almost identical in every individual. Filippo Rijli and his team at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research (FMI) have discovered an epigenetic mechanism that regulates face morphogenesis. During early development, the neural crest cells that give rise to the various facial structures maintain chromatin plasticity, with all the genes involved remaining poised to respond to local cues. Once the cells are exposed to these environmental signals, a switch from a poised to an active chromatin state occurs, inducing position specific transcriptional programs that give rise to the chin, cheekbones or forehead.

Brain's 'GPS' does a lot more than just navigate

The part of the brain that creates mental maps of one's environment plays a much broader role in memory and learning than was previously thought, according to new research published this week in the journal Nature by researchers at Princeton University.

Vaginal bacteria can trigger recurrent UTIs, study shows

About half of all women will experience urinary tract infections in their lifetimes, and despite treatment, about a quarter will develop recurrent infections within six months of initial infection.

Researchers use single-cell sequencing to understand how cells age

Researchers from the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), University of Cambridge, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the Cancer Research UK-Cambridge Institute (CRUK-CI) have shed light on a long-standing debate about why the immune system weakens with age. Their findings, published in Science, show that immune cells in older tissues lack coordination and exhibit much more variability in gene expression compared with their younger counterparts.

Single-cell RNA sequencing reveals detailed composition of two major types of brain tumor

Detailed analysis of two brain tumor subtypes has revealed that they may originate from the same type of neural progenitor cells and be distinguished by gene mutation patterns and by the composition of their microenvironments. The results of a study led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard are being published in the March 31 issue of Science.

Getting a leg up: Hand task training transfers motor knowledge to feet

The human brain's cerebellum controls the body's ability to tightly and accurately coordinate and time movements as fine as picking up a pin and as muscular as running a foot race. Now, Johns Hopkins researchers have added to evidence that this structure also helps transfer so-called motor learning from one part of the body to another.

It's true—the sound of nature helps us relax

The gentle burbling of a brook, or the sound of the wind in the trees can physically change our mind and bodily systems, helping us to relax. New research explains how, for the first time.

Every 1 pound spent on public health in UK saves average of 14 pound

Every £1.00 spent on public health returns an extra £14 on the original investment, on average—and in some cases, significantly more than that—concludes a systematic review of the available evidence, published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Cannabis use may predict opioid use in women undergoing addictions treatment, study says

A new study suggests that the use of cannabis may impact treatment in women undergoing methadone treatment therapy.

Dutch doctors against 'life complete' assisted suicide

Dutch doctors have come out against a controversial proposed law that would allow assisted suicide for those who feel their lives are complete, and not just for people in unbearable suffering.

High-fat diet during pregnancy compromises offspring's lung health

Women who follow a high-fat diet during pregnancy may increase their children's risk for asthma. A mouse study by Oregon Health and Science University researchers suggests that consistent consumption of fat-laden foods may change the immune response of the offsprings' respiratory system. The article is published in Physiological Reports.

Harnessing the brain's internal reserves to treat epilepsy

In a study published in Brain Research, biophysicists from the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Biophysics (ITEB) of the Russian Academy of Sciences and MIPT have shown that drug-induced activation of the endocannabinoid system of the brain leads to reduced or completely suppressed epileptic activity in test animals.

Omega-3 fats fail to slow lung disease in premature babies

The long-held belief that omega-3 fats can help reduce chronic lung disease in pre-term babies has been debunked by researchers.

Why there's more to fixing health care than the health care laws

There is so much debate currently about how best to provide health insurance coverage in our country that we risk losing sight of what it really means to be healthy and of how health care should be optimally provided.

Study shows aphasia may not solely be a language disorder

Aphasia, a language disorder commonly diagnosed in stroke patients, may not be solely a language issue as traditionally believed, according to a Penn State study.

Tests can quantify automatic empathy and moral intuitions

When people scan the latest political headlines or watch a video from a war-ravaged land, they tend to feel snap ethical or moral responses first and reason through them later. Now a team of psychologists have developed news tests and mathematical models that help to capture and quantify those snap moral and empathetic judgments.

Study examines public understanding of drug rationing amid AIDS epidemic

In Balaka, Malawi, HIV-AIDS has been an epidemic for so long that young adults have never known any other reality. Anti-retroviral drugs, which keep infected people healthy, are available, but there aren't enough to treat everyone who needs them. So policymakers in the east African nation must prioritize.

More access to opioid treatment programs needed in Southeast, says study

In 2015, more than 30,000 Americans died from overdosing on opioids, and a new study led by the University of Georgia shows that one of the hardest hit populations-low-income Americans on Medicaid-isn't getting the help it needs to combat opioid addiction.

Microbiome study finds children with type 2 diabetes more likely to have poor oral health

The first study of oral health in children with type 2 diabetes, including those who are obese, has found that these children tend to have poorer oral health than children who do not have type 2 diabetes.

Youth with autism gain, keep jobs after employer-based skills program, research finds

Nearly all high school youth with autism spectrum disorder who participated in an intensive job skills program gained and maintained meaningful part-time employment after graduation, according to a forthcoming study by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University.

New study could radically improve the way cyclists train

Eager for the next phase, ready to dedicate himself wholly, the youngster could not wait. Soon he would get his hands on the blueprint for the yellow jersey, those scientifically grounded steps to cycling glory.

Beware of claims that mindful eating will help you lose weight

Mindful eating is increasingly being promoted as a solution to being overweight. Mindful eating, we are promised, will help us eat less, transform our relationship with food and end our battle with weight once and for all. The truth is, we simply can't say with confidence that mindful eating can help with weight management.

Deworming pill may be effective in treating liver cancer

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a cancer associated with underlying liver disease and cirrhosis that often only becomes symptomatic when it is very advanced, is the second leading cause of cancer deaths around the world, and yet it has no effective treatment.

Resilient red blood cells need fuel to adapt their shape to the environment

An international research team led by Osaka University built a novel "Catch-Load-Launch" microfluidic device to monitor the resilience of red blood cells after being held in a narrow channel for various periods of time. They found that the time for the red blood cell to spring back into shape was shorter for when starved of adenosine triphosphate or exposed to endotoxins. These findings may help improve treatments for patients with sepsis or malaria.

Scientists discover novel vulnerabilities in dengue virus

A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has uncovered hidden vulnerabilities on the surface of the dengue virus. This novel discovery means that scientists can now develop strategies to target these weak spots for treatment of dengue, and possibly other closely related diseases like Zika, influenza and chikungunya.

Psychology professor co-authors book exploring motivation for suicide and those who leave notes

The last words of nearly 200 souls are snugged inside a crimson accordion folder on a bedroom floor in the home of Wright State University psychology professor Cheryl Meyer.

How do our bones get calcium and why do they need it?

Celebrity chef Pete Evans was reported recently as saying "calcium from dairy can remove the calcium from your bones", and can worsen osteoporosis. The Australian Medical Association has expressed concerns that Evans is disseminating misinformation, and in so doing may endanger lives.

Yes, your doctor might Google you

When we think about Google and health, we usually think about patients searching online for health information. But you may be surprised that some doctors Google you.

Safron a potential treatment for adolescent depression

Murdoch University researchers are investigating whether the spice saffron could be used to treat depression and anxiety in adolescents.

Increase exercise, cut processed foods for better kidney health

An estimated 31 million people in the United States—10 percent of the adult population—are living with chronic kidney disease. For many adults it will go undiagnosed, according to the American Kidney Fund.

Study shows self-evaluation influences facial memory

Can you remember someone you met for the first time? Was there something in particular about them that caught your eye?

Mathematical models improve the quality and efficacy of radiotherapy

Radiotherapy, in which radioactive radiation is used to damage cancer cells, is a common cancer treatment. However, the people applying the treatment are only human and there are other uncertainties involved in it. On March 31st, Marleen Balvert will be defending her PhD thesis in which she shows that these risk scan be reduced using mathematical optimization models.

Testing times – what it's like to sit an exam as an autistic child

It's often said there are too many tests and exams in UK primary schools. And, while there is a general sense that tests can be demanding and stressful for all children, they can be seen as particularly difficult for autistic children.

How you are affected by your dinner date

The appearance of your dinner date affects whether you want to spend money on healthy or unhealthy alternatives from the menu, but only if you are a woman. The more attractive women find their company, the more likely they are to buy healthy food. Men are rather more likely to buy expensive drinking and dining options. These are the findings in a new study by Tobias Otterbring at CTF, Service Research Center at Karlstad University.

Key component of sleep-inducing herb identified

Can't sleep? Your sleep problems may be improved if you try an Indian herb, Ashwagandha. Researchers in the sleep institute in Japan found that an active component of Ashwagandha leaves significantly induces sleep.

Kidney transplants—white blood cells control virus replication

Certain white blood cells play an important role in bringing a harmful virus under control after kidney transplantations. The results of a research group at the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel and University Hospital Basel could contribute to improving control of immunosuppression, avoiding transplant rejection and developing relevant vaccines.

Suppressing vasculogenic mimicry in breast cancer

An article published in Experimental Biology and Medicine (Volume 242, Issue 6, March, 2017) identifies a new signaling pathway involved in breast cancer cell growth. The study, led by Dr. Chan-Wha Kim, from the Department of Biotechnology at Korea University in Seoul, reports that inhibition of the actin-binding protein transgelin prevents vasculogenic mimicry (VM), a process that provides tumor cells with the nutrients required for growth.

Method identified to boost detection of highly cancerous stem cells

Japanese researchers identify process to improve fluorescence detection of cancer stem cells, which are primarily responsible for brain tumor progression and recurrence after treatment

Cancer cells disguise themselves by switching off genes, new research reveals

Scientists have uncovered how tumor cells in aggressive uterine cancer can switch disguises and spread so quickly to other parts of the body. In a study published in Neoplasia, researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine created a map showing which genes were switched on and off in different parts of the tumor, providing a "signature" of these switches throughout the genome.

Genetic errors associated with heart health may guide drug development

Natural genetic changes can put some people at high risk of certain conditions, such as breast cancer, Alzheimer's disease or high blood pressure. But in rare cases, genetic errors also can have the opposite effect, protecting individuals with these helpful genetic mistakes from developing common diseases.

Larger doses of vitamin C may lead to a greater reduction in common cold duration

The relationship between vitamin C dosage and its effects on the duration of the common cold symptoms may extend to 6-8 grams per day.

Study demonstrates how Zika virus rewires and repurposes invaded cells

New research reveals a high-resolution view of the Zika viral life cycle within infected cells and shows dramatic changes in the cell's architecture throughout the infection process. This novel perspective may lead to the development of new vaccines and treatments.

Balance test improves insight into illness in schizophrenia

A common symptom of schizophrenia - not knowing that you're ill—can be temporarily alleviated using a balance test that stimulates part of the brain with cold water, an exploratory study at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has shown. The study was published in Psychiatry Research.

Vaccine shortage for Nigeria meningitis outbreak

Nigeria is facing a major shortfall in vaccines to contain an outbreak of meningitis that has claimed 282 lives since November last year, senior health officials said on Thursday.

Link between common prostate cancer treatment, dementia detailed in new study

A new analysis of patients who have undergone treatment for prostate cancer shows a connection between androgen deprivation therapy (ADT)—a testosterone-lowering therapy and a common treatment for the disease—and dementia, according to researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Their previous studies have shown men who undergo ADT may be at an increased risk of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, compared to men who were not treated with the therapy. This new analysis—the largest of its kind ever performed on this topic—shows that all existing studies taken together support the link to dementia and show a possible link to Alzheimer's. The findings are published this week in Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases. "Since publishing our initial findings, there has been a lot of other research on this topic, and we wanted to see what that research was saying," said the study's lead author Kevin Nead, MD, MPhil, a resident in Radiation Oncology at Penn. "This analysis tells us that the composite message of existing studies is that androgen deprivation therapy is associated with dementia."

Study finds ethnic differences in effect of age-related macular degeneration on visual function

In study that included Chinese, Malay, and Indian participants, researchers found that among those with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) there were ethnic differences in visual function, such as the ability to read a newspaper or labels on medication bottles, according to a study published online by JAMA Ophthalmology.

Internet crystal ball can predict risk of heart disease, diabetes, study finds

An online metabolic calculator developed by a University of Virginia School of Medicine doctor and his research partner at the University of Florida predicts patients' risk of developing heart disease and diabetes more accurately than traditional methods, a large new study has found. The tool's creator hopes it will prompt patients to make lifestyle changes that would spare them the suffering and expense of avoidable illnesses.

Global depression numbers surge in past decade: WHO

Cases of depression have ballooned almost 20 percent in a decade, making the debilitating disorder linked to suicide the leading cause of disability worldwide, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

Industry and occupation affect flu vaccination coverage

Not surprisingly, healthcare workers are almost twice as likely to get flu vaccines as those in other occupations. However, fewer than 30 percent of workers in other occupations in frequent contact with the public - such as food preparation and serving, sales, personal care, and service occupations - are likely to be vaccinated, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC), the official journal of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

New research finds novel method for generating airway cells from stem cells

Researchers have developed a new approach for growing and studying cells they hope one day will lead to curing lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis through "personalized medicine."

High doses of vitamin C to improve cancer treatment passes human safety trial

Clinical trials found that it is safe to regularly infuse brain and lung cancer patients with 800—1000 times the daily recommended amount of vitamin C as a potential strategy to improve outcomes of standard cancer treatments. In a work presented March 30, 2017 in Cancer Cell, University of Iowa researchers also show pathways by which altered iron metabolism in cancer cells, and not normal cells, lead to increased sensitivity to cancer cell death caused by high dose vitamin C.

Brain's role in Tourette tics simulated in new computational model

A new computer-based brain simulation shows that motor tics in Tourette syndrome may arise from interactions between multiple areas of the brain, rather than a single malfunctioning area, according to a study published in PLOS Computational Biology.

Prudence, impatience and laziness: Are these contagious personality traits?

People tend to unconsciously imitate others' prudent, impatient or lazy attitudes, according to a study published in PLOS Computational Biology.

Researchers profile symbiotic relationship between bacteria and filarial nematodes

Filarial nematodes—microscopic, thread-like roundworms—currently infect up to 54 million people worldwide and are the leading cause of disability in the developing world. Now, researchers reporting in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases have described the relationship between one species of the worm, Brugia malayi, and a bacteria, Wolbachia, that lives in the worm's body. The symbiotic relationship, they found, could represent an Achilles' heel for the nematodes.

Immune suppressant ineffective in treating leprosy inflammation

Throughout the course of a leprosy infection, patients often have episodes of painful inflammation affecting their skin and nerves. Researchers have continuously struggled with finding effective drugs to treat these so-called "type 1 reactions," and now one more study has come up empty-handed. The immune-suppressant azathioprine did not improve the standard of care treatment with steroids, researchers report in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Stem cells help explain varied genetics behind rare neurologic disease

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have successfully grown stem cells from children with a devastating neurological disease to help explain how different genetic backgrounds can cause common symptoms. The work sheds light on how certain brain disorders develop, and provides a framework for developing and testing new therapeutics. Medications that appear promising when exposed to the new cells could be precisely tailored to individual patients based on their genetic background.

US pedestrian deaths surged to record levels in 2016

(HealthDay)—For the second straight year, U.S. pedestrian deaths are setting alarming new records.

Common post-op ear drops tied to eardrum perforations in kids

(HealthDay)—Children who suffer through multiple ear infections are often candidates for ear tube surgery. But a new study finds that the use of one type of ear drops—quinolones—after these surgeries may raise a child's risk for a perforated eardrum.

Climate change may cloud Americans' mental health: report

(HealthDay)—As the Trump Administration moves to undo certain climate change policies, a leading group of U.S. psychologists has issued a report that says warming trends and related extreme weather events could wreak havoc on mental health.

9 out of 10 doctors like their jobs

(HealthDay)—The next time you sit down with your doctor, it may help to know that they most likely love what they do. Nine out of 10 American doctors are happy with their choice of profession, even though they have some challenges.

Ready for spring allergies?

(HealthDay)—Spring routinely spells misery for allergy sufferers, but a recent survey reveals that most patients don't try to manage their symptoms until it's too late.

Doctors should evaluate hand function in RA, systemic sclerosis

(HealthDay)—Assessment of hand function is an important component in the clinical evaluation of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic sclerosis (SSc), according to a study published online March 21 in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

Proton pump inhibitor use ups pneumonia risk in dementia

(HealthDay)—For patients with dementia, proton pump inhibitor (PPI) use is associated with increased risk of pneumonia, according to a study published online March 21 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Chronic tension-type headache tied to cognitive impairment

(HealthDay)—Patients with chronic tension-type headache (CTTH) have impairments in cognitive ability and dysfunction in the neuroendocrine state, according to a study published online March 24 in Pain Practice.

Target-vessel failure rate similar for scaffold, stent in PCI

(HealthDay)—For patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), the rate of target-vessel failure does not differ significantly for those receiving a bioresorbable vascular scaffold or a metallic stent, according to a study published online March 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Enteral DHA doesn't cut preemie bronchopulmonary dysplasia risk

(HealthDay)—Enteral docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation does not reduce the risk of bronchopulmonary dysplasia for infants born before 29 weeks of gestation, according to a study published in the March 30 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

New clinical trial for early-stage eye melanoma offers study of targeted therapy

A first-of-its-kind, potentially groundbreaking new option for treating a form of eye cancer is now in its first phase-1 clinical research trial at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. The treatment, called light-activated AU-011, developed by Aura Biosciences of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is an investigational drug that targets and aims to selectively destroy malignant cancer cells in patients who have life-and vision-threatening eye cancer, also known as, ocular melanoma. Ocular melanoma is a malignant cancer that develops within the eye. It affects as many as 3,000 people per year in the United States. While melanoma is often associated with skin cancer from sun exposure, ocular melanoma does not relate to the sun, developing instead from abnormal pigmented cells in the eye.

Argentine Congress votes to legalize medical marijuana

Argentina's Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to legalize medical marijuana, joining the lower house and setting the country on course to become the latest to relax its laws on pot.

Pot business is smoking hot in US, despite Trump

Walk into Brett Vapnik's medicinal marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles and the pungent aroma of pot is good and strong.

UK rejects attempt to challenge assisted suicide laws

Britain's High Court has denied a bid by a terminally ill man to challenge the law on assisted suicide, ruling that the issue was already considered in recent years and does not merit further analysis.

Opinion: Why it's important to just say no to bad drug policy

In all the discussions about the proposed health care law, it was easy to overlook a statement made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on March 15: "I think we have too much of a tolerance for drug use – psychologically, politically, morally… We need to say, as Nancy Reagan said, 'Just say no.'"

Video: Responding to a crisis—a vaccine for Zika

While a new Gallup poll finds most Americans are not worried about Zika, the recent case of an infected baby born in San Diego demonstrates the virus is a very real issue in this country.

Detecting, diagnosing women's cancers in new ways

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a Washington University in St. Louis faculty member in the School of Engineering & Applied Science a total of $1.3 million to study new imaging techniques designed to better fight breast and ovarian cancers.

'Unacceptable' cancer treatment waiting times condemned as Scottish targets missed again

Waiting times for cancer patients in Scotland have been described as 'unacceptable' after new figures show that a key target has been missed for the fourth year in a row.

Fighting canine ALS

A gene-silencing therapy under development for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is being tested at Tufts in dogs with degenerative myelopathy, a fatal paralytic disease that is similar to ALS.

Home neighborhood motivates older people to physical activity

A recent study conducted at the Gerontology Research Center of the University of Jyväskylä shows that walk-friendly environmental design may provide opportunities for physical activity in old age. However, especially when mobility function starts to decline, it is important that older adults are aware of attractive environmental factors in their neighborhood.

Early childhood the key to improving Indigenous health

A major study into the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children has found programs and policies to promote healthy weight should target children as young as three.

Sugar fixation hampering obesity battle

Public debate around obesity has become dangerously fixated with sugar, according to one of the UK's leading experts on obesity and diabetes.

An epigenetic lesion could be responsible for acute T-cell leukemia

Researchers from the Epigenetics and Cancer Biology Program (PEBC) led by Dr. Manel Esteller at the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) have discovered how an epigenetic lesion can lead to T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The article, published in the journal Leukemia, leader in the field of hematology, correlates the lesion with the activation of a powerful oncogen capable of malignizing this type of cells of the immune system.

Fluctuation in the concentration of calcium ions contributes to brain shape

The first step in shaping the brain is that the neural plate, a sheet-like cell layer, curves to form the neural tube. Assistant Professor Makoto Suzuki of the National Institute for Basic Biology, Professor Naoto Ueno, and their colleagues have shown that during the process of neural tube formation a transient increase in the concentration of calcium ions in cells causes these morphological changes and is essential for neural tube formation.

Consumption of legumes associated with lower risk of diabetes

Legumes are a food group rich in B vitamins, contain different beneficial minerals (calcium, potassium and magnesium) and sizeable amounts of fibre and are regarded as a low-glycemic index food, which means that blood glucose levels increase only slowly after consumption. Due to these unique nutritional qualities, eating legumes regularly can help improve human health. In fact, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) declared 2016 as the international year of legumes to raise people's awareness of their nutritional benefits.

Molecular therapy set to protect at-risk patients against heart attack and stroke

Even a single dose of a specific ribonucleic acid molecule, known as a small interfering RNA (siRNA), offers patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease long-lasting protection against high LDL cholesterol - one of the main risk factors for heart attack and stroke. This is the result of a clinical study that researchers from Charité and Imperial College London have published as leading authors in the current edition of New England Journal of Medicine.

Medication history for patients on blood thinners is critical to EMS

One change to field triage guidelines for emergency medical services (EMS) responding to older adults with head trauma could make a "clinically important improvement over usual care," according to a study and accompanying editorial published earlier this month in Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Lung probe that spots infections aims to cut antibiotic overuse

A new imaging tool that rapidly diagnoses bacterial lung infections could help prevent unnecessary use of antibiotics in intensive care units.

Join forces to reduce US violence, says UK expert

Violence in the US can be reduced if police and health agencies join forces, says a leading UK expert.

UN sends 3.5M emergency yellow fever vaccines to Brazil

The World Health Organization said it and partners have shipped 3.5 million doses of yellow fever vaccine to Brazil to help the country stamp out its worst outbreak in years.

Different databases, differing statistics on racial disparities in immediate breast reconstruction after mastectomy

Three major national databases include varying estimates of racial gaps in the use of immediate breast reconstruction (IBR) after mastectomy for breast cancer, reports a study in the March issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Donor-recipient weight and sex mismatch may contribute to kidney transplant failure

A new study indicates that the success of a kidney transplant may rely in part on a kidney donor's weight and sex, factors that are not typically considered when choosing a recipient for a deceased donor kidney. The findings, which appear in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN), suggest that changes may be needed to current immunology-based protocols that match donors and recipients.

Meningitis C kills 282 in Nigeria amid shortage of vaccines

A Nigerian official says a meningitis strain new to the West African nation has killed 282 people and infected nearly 2,000 amid a shortage of vaccines.

Biology news

How do plants make oxygen? Ask cyanobacteria

The ability to generate oxygen through photosynthesis—that helpful service performed by plants and algae, making life possible for humans and animals on Earth—evolved just once, roughly 2.3 billion years ago, in certain types of cyanobacteria. This planet-changing biological invention has never been duplicated, as far as anyone can tell. Instead, according to endosymbiotic theory, all the "green" oxygen-producing organisms (plants and algae) simply subsumed cyanobacteria as organelles in their cells at some point during their evolution.

Study finds that napping flies have higher resistance to deadly human pathogen

A new University of Maryland study has found that fruit flies genetically coded to take frequent naps had the strongest resistance to both a fungal infection and to a bacteria that the World Health Organization says is one of the world's most dangerous superbugs for humans.

Reasons behind mosquitoes' unusual flight behaviour identified in new study

The reason behind mosquitoes' unusual flight behaviour has long puzzled scientists. The angular sweep of their wings is around 40 degrees, which is less than half that of the honey bee, prompting speculation over how they fly at all.

Unique genome architectures after fertilisation in single-cell embryos

Using a newly developed method, researchers at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA) have been able to shed light on the complexity of genome reorganization occurring during the first hours after fertilization in the single-cell mammalian embryo. Their findings have recently been published in the journal Nature. The team of researchers (from three continents) have discovered that the egg and sperm genomes that co-exist in the single-cell embryo or zygote have a unique structure compared to other interphase cells. Understanding this specialized chromatin "ground state" has the potential to provide insights into the yet mysterious process of epigenetic reprogramming to totipotency, the ability to give rise to all cell types.

An enzyme keeps the parasites of the genome in check and turns them into an evolutionary advantage

Jumping genes are double-edged sword: By copying and integrating themselves into other parts of the genome these so-called transposons can lead to a variety of genetic disorders such as haemophilia or breast cancer. On the other hand the mobile DNA bits can create new genes and new gene expression programs. This is crucial for maintaining high genetic variability and adaptability to environmental changes. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics Freiburg in collaboration with the University of Freiburg have now found that an enzyme called DHX9 can neutralize the harmful structures formed by transposons and effectively increase the tolerance of the genome to include these jumping genes. By understanding this process better scientists can devise better therapies for diseases caused by transposons while retaining their evolutionary advantage.

Harmful bacteria discovered in both amphibians and mammals

Brucella bacteria have a not-so-illustrious reputation for causing illness and death in mammals.

Weather forecasting technology used to predict where proteins anchor within human cells

Met Office technology used to study climate change is being used by scientists to predict the behaviour of vitalsorting and location of proteins cells in cells of the the human body.

This timid little fish escapes predators by injecting them with opioid-laced venom

Fang blennies are small fish with big teeth. Specifically, they have two large canine teeth that jut out of their lower jaw. Since blenny fish are only about two inches long, these "fangs" would be less than intimidating if not for the venom within. Blenny fish venom most likely causes a sudden drop in blood pressure in would-be predators, such as grouper fish, that have been bitten by blennies, researchers report on March 30 in Current Biology.

What climate change means for leaf litter

The carbon dioxide coming from some of Earth's tiniest residents may not be increasing as quickly as some believed in the face of global climate change.

Improved variety of guayule plant as a natural source of tire rubber

Rubber is a substance usually made from petroleum or from the Asian rubber tree plant. But rubber can also be produced from a domestic plant called "guayule." Guayule is a woody desert shrub cultivated in the southwestern United States as a source of natural rubber (latex), organic resins, and high-energy biofuel feedstock.

Even short-duration heat waves could lead to failure of coffee crops

"Hot coffee" is not a good thing for java enthusiasts when it refers to plants beset by the high-temperature stress that this century is likely to bring, research at Oregon State University suggests.

Deadly pathogen to cure itself?

A Massey professor of microbiology has led new research that could yield a vaccine against an emerging deadly pathogen that has proven resistant to various treatments.

Roosters are nicer to their relatives than to other males

Male domestic fowl are less aggressive towards related males than to unrelated males when competing for copulations, according to a new study from Linköping University in Sweden. This finding, which has been published in the scientific journal Behavioral Ecology, suggests that domestic fowl can recognise their kin among individuals in a group, and that their behaviour is different towards kin and non-kin.

Fungal viruses cross the barriers between distantly related fungal species

According to research conducted at the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), some fungal viruses (mycoviruses) that infect fungi associated with forest trees are able to cross the barriers between distantly related fungal species. This overturns the former theory that mycoviruses are host specific, and will create new perspectives on their possible roles in regulating forest biodiversity.

Red and violet light reset the circadian clock in algae via novel pathway

As anyone who has spent wakeful nights suffering from jetlag will attest, the human body has a strong sense of time. The body clock runs on a 24-hour cycle, or circadian (from the Latin meaning "about a day") rhythm. When our internal cycle gets out of sync with our surroundings, such as when crossing time zones, jetlag can result. The circadian rhythm therefore needs to be reset, which is achieved primarily by exposure to light.

Is it a boy or is it a girl? New method to ID baby sea turtles' sex

Is it a boy or is it a girl? For baby sea turtles it's not that cut and dry. Because they don't have an X or Y chromosome, baby sea turtles' sex is defined during development by the incubation environment. The nest's thermal environment determines whether an embryo will develop as a male or female. Warmer sand temperatures produce more females and cooler sand temperatures produce more males. To make things even more complicated, in some species of sea turtles, their sexual anatomy is not physically apparent until about a decade or so when they approach sexual maturity.

Rearranging nest boxes keeps more blue orchard bees around

Orchard growers looking for alternatives to honey bees for managed pollination services have new reason to be optimistic about the potential of one honey bee cousin, the blue orchard bee.

Newly characterized protein has potential to save US farmers millions annually

Instead of turning carbon into food, many plants accidentally make a plant-toxic compound during photosynthesis that is recycled through a process called photorespiration. University of Illinois and USDA/ARS researchers report in Plant Cell the discovery of a key protein in this process, which they hope to manipulate to increase plant productivity.

Manatees are no longer endangered: US officials

Manatees are no longer an endangered species, US officials said Thursday, declaring success after decades of efforts to rebuild the population of the chubby sea cows in Florida and the Caribbean region.

A novel method that helps reducing noise problems produced by road traffic

Scientists from the universities of Granada (UGR) and Southampton (United Kingdom) have designed a new method to reduce noise problems caused by road traffic, one of the main environmental impacts of roads, and which has important effects on people's health and their physical and psychological well-being.

Student writing project exposes NYC's illegal ivory trade

In spring 2016, student Wendy Hapgood walked around midtown Manhattan, visiting antique stores advertising mammoth ivory for sale that she found on Google maps. "Mammoth tusk is so interesting," she explained, "A piece of ancient past, a long extinct mammal, dug up in the tundra in Russia, sent to China for carving, then finding its way here."

Researcher finds ways to reduce stress in shelter dogs

"Who's a good dog? You are, aren't you? Yes, you're the best dog that ever was."

The importance of crop genetic diversity

In North Carolina, the seventh most-productive blueberry state in the U.S., blueberries ripen between June and August. But North Carolina shoppers can buy blueberries throughout the year. That's because most people only eat a few kinds of food, so farmers around the world are growing the same crops to meet the demand of consumers thousands of miles away. As Rob Dunn points out in his new book, that practice poses some significant risks.

Sockeye salmon removed from flood-threatened Idaho hatchery

About 4,000 endangered Snake River sockeye salmon have been evacuated from a flood-threatened hatchery in southwestern Idaho.

Tigers, ready to be counted

A new methodology developed by the Indian Statistical Institute, and WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) may revolutionize how to count tigers and other big cats over large landscapes.

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

No comments: