Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Science X Newsletter Tuesday, Mar 21

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for March 21, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Unusual fluid behavior observed in microgravity

Efficiency of silicon solar cells climbs past 26 percent

Hot Jupiter KELT-16b offers unique opportunity for research

Breaking the supermassive black hole speed limit

Transparent silver: Tarnish-proof films for flexible displays, touch screens

Before and after: Unique changes spotted on comet 67p/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Fish evolve by playing it safe

Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform announced, designed for 4G connectivity

Face recognition flushes out China's toilet paper crooks

New catalysts mimic human vision

Researchers discover unique DNA editing function

A new, gel-like coating beefs up the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries

Light-controlled gearbox for nanomachines

Evolutionary computation scientists find social norms required for the transition to cooperative societies

Quantum dots illuminate transport within the cell

Astronomy & Space news

Hot Jupiter KELT-16b offers unique opportunity for research

(Phys.org)—A large international team of researchers has found that a hot Jupiter called KELT-16b is likely to offer a unique opportunity for research for many years to come. In their paper published in The Astronomical Journal, the team describes known characteristics of the exoplanet and why they believe it offers an opportunity to learn more about several aspects of exoplanet characteristics and development.

Breaking the supermassive black hole speed limit

A new computer simulation helps explain the existence of puzzling supermassive black holes observed in the early universe. The simulation is based on a computer code used to understand the coupling of radiation and certain materials.

Before and after: Unique changes spotted on comet 67p/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

A study published March 21, 2017 in the journal Science summarizes the types of surface changes observed during the two years that the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft spent investigating comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Notable differences are seen before and after the comet's most active period—perihelion—when it reached its closest point to the Sun along its orbit.

Origami-inspired robot can hitch a ride with a rover

The next rovers to explore another planet might bring along a scout.

Astronomers hazard a ride in a 'drifting carousel' to understand pulsating stars

What sounds like a stomach-turning ride at an amusement park might hold the key to unravelling the mysterious mechanism that causes beams of radio waves to shoot out from pulsars—super-magnetic rotating stars in our Galaxy.

Rosetta comet orbiter films deep-space landslide

Landslides are not unique to Earth, researchers revealed on Tuesday.

Striking workers delay French rocket launch

The launch of a French rocket called Ariane 5 which would have placed two communications satellites for Brazil and South Korea into orbit was delayed on Monday by striking workers.

Glitter helps to monitor ocean waves

The notion of glitter might appear as somewhat frivolous, but scientists are using Sun glitter in images from the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission to map the motion of the sea surface.

Eye-opening numbers on space debris

Orbital debris, otherwise known as "space junk", is a major concern. This massive cloud that orbits the Earth is the result of the many satellites, platforms and spent launchers that have been sent into space over the years. And as time went on, collisions between these objects (as well as disintegrations and erosion) has created even more in the way of debris.

Looking for signs of the Big Bang in the desert

The silence of an immense desolate land in which to search for reverberations coming from the time at which everything began. The Simons Observatory will be built in the Chilean Atacama desert at an altitude of several thousand metres for the purposes of studying primordial gravitational waves which originated in the first instants of the Big Bang. The SISSA research group led by Carlo Baccigalupi and Francesca Perrotta will take part in this prestigious international project which will lead to the realization of an ultra-modern telescope project. Their role will involve studying and removing 'signal contaminants', emissions from our galaxy and other astrophysical objects which interfere with the analysis and study of primordial gravitational waves.

Trump signs bill authorizing NASA funding, Mars exploration (Update)

President Donald Trump signed a bill into law Tuesday that updates NASA's mission to add exploration of Mars and authorizes $19.5 billion in spending for the U.S. space agency for the current budget year.

NASA's hybrid computer enables Raven's autonomous rendezvous capability

A hybrid computing system developed at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, is the enabling technology behind an ambitious experiment testing a relative navigation and autonomous docking capability known as Raven.

A chance for the Pluto-huggers? Scientist leads effort to restore underdog's planetary stature

Ejected a decade ago from its place among the planets, the distant, icy world of Pluto still has its admirers.

Technology news

Efficiency of silicon solar cells climbs past 26 percent

(Tech Xplore)—A team of researchers working at Kaneka Corporation has broken the record for silicon-based solar cell efficiency by producing a cell that was tested to be 26.3-percent efficient—an increase of 0.7 percent over the previous record holder. In their paper published in the journal Nature Energy, the team describe the techniques they used to improve efficiency and their plans to continue reaching for the theoretical limit of 29.1 percent.

Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform announced, designed for 4G connectivity

(Tech Xplore)—A Qualcomm announcement on Monday with the dateline New Delhi...What are they up to? Could it have anything to do with emerging markets and consumer digital explosion? Of course.

Face recognition flushes out China's toilet paper crooks

A years-long crime spree by Chinese toilet paper thieves may have reached the end of its roll after park officials in southern Beijing installed facial recognition technology to flush out bathroom bandits.

A new, gel-like coating beefs up the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries

Yale scientists have developed an ultra-thin coating material that has the potential to extend the life and improve the efficiency of lithium-sulfur batteries, one of the most promising areas of energy research today.

A simple statistical trick could help make a ubiquitous model of decision processes more accurate

Markov decision processes are mathematical models used to determine the best courses of action when both current circumstances and future consequences are uncertain. They've had a huge range of applications—in natural-resource management, manufacturing, operations management, robot control, finance, epidemiology, scientific-experiment design, and tennis strategy, just to name a few.

Google opens 'shortcuts' to information, tools on phones

Google wants to make it easier for you to find answers and recommendations on smartphones without having to think about what to ask its search engine.

Apple cuts prices on lower-end iPads, releases red iPhones

Apple is cutting prices on two iPad models and introducing red iPhones, but the company held back on updating its higher-end iPad Pro tablets.

New brain-inspired cybersecurity system detects 'bad apples' 100 times faster

Cybersecurity is critical—for national security, corporations and private individuals.

Better policy needed to protect privacy of smart TV viewers

Dutch and European policymakers should do more to protect media users' privacy instead of leaving the matter entirely to data protection law and data protection authorities. This is one of the recommendations of a research paper authored by UvA privacy experts Kristina Irion and Natali Helberger which is published in the journal Telecommunications Policy.

Engineering team develops novel nanofibre solution for clean, fresh air

A research team from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has successfully concocted a novel nanofibre solution that creates thin, see-through air filters that can remove up to 90 per cent of PM2.5 particles and achieve high air flow of 2.5 times better than conventional air filters. As an added bonus, this eco-friendly air filter improves natural lighting and visibility while blocking harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Google affiliate offers tools to safeguard elections

An organization affiliated with Google is offering tools that news organizations and election-related sites can use to protect themselves from hacking.

Robonaut—perception in space

In order to remain safe, robots are commonly used to reach what human hands cannot. Often a robot is used to uncover victims from rubble or bring them safely to shore. These helpful hands can even reach a world far beyond our own – outer space.

The rise of self-driving cars

Once the stuff of science fiction, self-driving cars may soon be cruising our nation's roadways. Federal and state authorities are rushing to keep up with this rapidly advancing technology. The U.S. Department of Transportation just issued its first guidelines for highly automated vehicles or HAVs and fully driverless vehicles could be operating on California roads by the end of the year. Several bills calling for the extensive testing and regulation of autonomous vehicles are on Connecticut's legislative docket this year. The University of Connecticut is helping state and regional officials address this issue as one of the sponsors of the first Northeast Autonomous Vehicles Summit taking place March 30-31 in Mystic, Conn. UConn Today discussed the brave new world of robotic cars with associate research professor Eric Jackson, director of the Connecticut Transportation Safety Research Center at UConn.

A revival in rammed-earth construction

Through an exhibition and two semester-long courses, EPFL is paying tribute to a forgotten art: that of making buildings out of earth. The aim is to demonstrate how this age-old technique can still play a role in contemporary architecture.

How companies can stay ahead of the cybersecurity curve

If you're like me, on a given day you interact with a whole range of connected technologies for work and play. Just today, I used Box to share and download files for work, called up Tile to find my keys, relied on Google Maps to run an errand while streaming a podcast to my AirPods, and connected via Skype with a colleague overseas. And that was all before lunch. As we interact with technology of all sorts, what security safeguards should we expect from the companies building the Internet of Everything?

Working towards super-efficient, ultra-thin silicon solar cells

Despite a surge in solar cell R&D in recent years involving emerging materials such as organics and perovskites, the solar cell industry continues to favor inorganic crystalline silicon photovoltaics. While thin-film solar cells offer several advantages—including lower manufacturing costs—long-term stability of crystalline silicon solar cells, which are typically thicker, tips the scale in their favor, according to Rana Biswas, a senior scientist at Ames Laboratory, who has been studying solar cell materials and architectures for two decades.

The world's most efficient and environment-friendly solar cells

In the future, solar cells can become twice as efficient by employing a few smart little nano-tricks.

Spinning sail technology is poised to bring back wind-powered ships

Over 200 years after steamships first began crossing the ocean, wind power is finding its way back into seafaring. Global shipping firm Maersk is planning to fit spinning "rotor sails" to one of its oil tankers as a way of reducing its fuel costs and carbon emissions. The company behind the technology, Finnish firm Norsepower, says this is the first retrofit installation of a wind-powered energy system on a tanker.

New study calls for U.S. solar policy reform

The rapidly expanding solar energy industry could meaningfully contribute to curbing climate change only if governments and the private sector approach it more economically and efficiently, according to a new Stanford study.

Taxi-hailing app Grab hits the road in Myanmar

Ride-hailing firm Grab launched a trial service in Yangon on Tuesday, becoming the first international company to enter Myanmar and stealing a march on fierce rival Uber in the largely untapped market.

US, UK bar laptop carry-ons from Mideast, N. Africa flights (Update)

The U.S. and British governments, citing unspecified threats, are barring passengers on some international flights from mostly Middle Eastern and North African countries from bringing laptops, tablets, electronic games and other devices on board in carry-on bags.

Supreme Court sympathetic to Microsoft in Xbox owners' suit (Update)

The Supreme Court suggested Tuesday that it is sympathetic to Microsoft Corp. in a dispute with disgruntled owners of the Xbox 360 video-game system who sued saying the console has a design defect that scratches game discs.

Amazon invests in Costa Rica as tiny nation carves out profitable niche in world economy

In the 19th century, the customs house here brimmed with the imported wares that first helped this tiny Spanish-speaking nation become part of the wider world economy.

France to probe Fiat for emissions cheating

French investigating magistrates will open a probe into carmaker Fiat Chrysler for suspected cheating in diesel emissions tests, judicial sources said on Tuesday.

New security measure could cause travelers to reroute trips

A new U.S. security measure banning many electronic devices on flights from eight mostly Muslim countries is leading travelers to reconsider their plans to fly through some airports in the Middle East.

No new threat led to airline laptop limits, officials say

U.S. and British officials said Tuesday the decision to bar laptops and tablets from the cabins of some international flights wasn't based on any specific threat but on longstanding concerns about terrorists targeting jetliners.

Wells Fargo: All ATMs will take phone codes, not just cards

Wells Fargo plans to upgrade all 13,000 of its ATMs next week to allow customers to access their funds using their cellphones instead of traditional bank cards.

YouTube reverses some restrictions on gay-themed content

The YouTube video shows two women, dressed in suits and ties. They smile; they sniffle back tears; they gaze into each other's eyes. They are reading their wedding vows to one another.

Researchers develop biometric app for smartphone security

Scientists from the Institute of Cyber Intelligence Systems at the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Russia) are developing a mobile app called InCallAuth, which allows a smartphone recognize its owner by a characteristic movement of the hand when answering a call.

Twitter suspends more accounts linked to 'terrorism'

Twitter said Tuesday it suspended 376,890 accounts in the second half of 2016 for "promotion of terrorism," an increase of 60 percent over the prior six-month period.

Medicine & Health news

Mouse study identifies new method for treating depression

Standard antidepressant medications don't work for everyone, and even when they do they are slow to kick in. In an effort to find better depression treatments, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine discovered that inhibiting an enzyme called Glyoxalase 1 (GLO1) relieves signs of depression in mice. Moreover, inhibiting GLO1 worked much faster than the conventional antidepressant Prozac.

Scientists find a previously unknown role for the cerebellum

Pity the cerebellum, tucked in the back of the brain mostly just keeping our muscles running smoothly. Its larger neighbor, the cerebrum, gets all the attention. It's the seat of intelligence, the home of thinking and planning. It's what separates humans from our less quick-witted ancestors. The cerebellum – which literally means "little brain" – is thought to just sit there helping us balance and breathe, like some kind of wee heating and ventilation system.

Huntington's disease alters neurons from development

Huntington's disease could alter neurons from when they start developing, according to a study conducted by the international HD iPSC Consortium. The study was published in the scientific journal Nature Neuroscience.

During learning, neurons deep in brain engage in a surprising level of activity

It's the part of the brain that makes sure you cannot tickle yourself. The cerebellum, an apple-sized region near the base of the skull, senses that your own fingers are the ones trying to tickle, and cancels your usual response.

How the brain sees the world in 3-D

We live in a three-dimensional world, but everything we see is first recorded on our retinas in only two dimensions.

Insulin resistance may lead to faster cognitive decline

A new Tel Aviv University study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease finds that insulin resistance, caused in part by obesity and physical inactivity, is also linked to a more rapid decline in cognitive performance. According to the research, both diabetic and non-diabetic subjects with insulin resistance experienced accelerated cognitive decline in executive function and memory.

Satnavs 'switch off' parts of the brain

Using a satnav to get to your destination 'switches off' parts of the brain that would otherwise be used to simulate different routes, reveals new UCL research.

Gene mutation may be linked to unexplained female infertility

Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital and Rice University have uncovered a gene mutation that may provide answers to unexplained female infertility. The study appears in Scientific Reports, a member of the Nature family of journals.

Changes in the vascular system may trigger Alzheimer's disease

As the average age of Americans increases, so too does the problem of Alzheimer's, one of the world's most common neurological diseases. In recent years, scientists have explored many new approaches to clear the plaques and tangles in the brain that characterize the condition, but the new drugs have largely turned out to be disappointing.

Growing global temperatures could be contributing to rising diabetic numbers

Rising temperatures across the world may be playing a part in the growing numbers of people developing diabetes, suggests research published online in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.

Risk of liver disease and cancer starts from adolescence in overweight or obese men

Young men who are overweight or obese could run a higher risk of developing severe liver disease or liver cancer in later life, suggests research published online in the journal Gut.

Food insecurity in early childhood linked to young children's skills in kindergarten

In the United States, estimates show that a substantial number of children under age 5 live in households that are food insecure. That means that they do not have food, or they lack sufficient quantity or quality of food to fuel a healthy and active lifestyle. A new study has found that children who experience food insecurity in early childhood are more likely to start kindergarten less ready to learn than their peers from homes that are food secure.

Suicide risk is higher in first year after deliberate self-harm

New findings suggest that American adults who survive deliberate self-harm are at increased risk of suicide in the first year after such an event, indicating a need to direct clinical interventions in the critical 12 months following such episodes. The suicide risk is greatest in the month immediately following a self-harm attempt using a firearm, according to a study from researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC), New York Psychiatric Institute, and colleagues.

Energy drinks mask alcohol's effects, increase injury risk

People who mix highly caffeinated energy drinks with their alcoholic beverages may be at increased risk for injury, according to a review in the March issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Frequent dining out may lead to food budget-busting behaviors

People who frequently dine out—including workers who often eat out for lunch—may struggle to maintain control of their food budget, according to a Penn State researcher.

New method for the diagnosis of autism found

Auditory hypersensitivity is a major complication in autism. Researchers at Mie University in Japan have demonstrated, using a rat autism model, that morphological abnormality of the auditory pathway is involved in this impairment. More importantly, this nerve pathway is responsible for the exploration of so-called sound localization. The researchers suggest a new diagnostic approach for autism such as asking the parent, 'Does your child seem to know where the sound comes from?'

Research reveals how family history can affect your memory of hangovers

People with a family history of alcoholism are already known to be at a greater risk of developing a drinking problem, but new research led by Psychologist Dr Richard Stephens at Keele University has found they are also more likely to hold onto the painful memory of hangovers.

Bushmeat consumption decreases during the Ebola epidemic

New analyses of interview data collected in Liberia show a decrease in bushmeat consumption and meal frequency during the Ebola crisis. However, wealthy households reduced their consumption of bushmeat less than poor households. Moreover, people who had knowledge on the health risks associated with eating bushmeat reduced their consumption substantially more than people who lacked this knowledge.

Infections during pregnancy may interfere with genes linked to prenatal brain development

If a mother picks up an infection during pregnancy, her immune system will kick into action to clear the infection - but this self-defence mechanism may also have a small influence how her child's brain develops in the womb, in ways that are similar to how the brain develops in autism spectrum disorders. Now, an international team of researchers has shown why this may be the case.

Shortage of drug to treat low blood pressure from septic shock associated with increased deaths

Patients with septic shock admitted to hospitals affected by the 2011 shortage of the drug norepinephrine had a higher risk of in-hospital death, according to a study published online by JAMA. The study is being released to coincide with its presentation at the 37th International Symposium on Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine.

Screening for both malnutrition and frailty needed to enhance health of aging populations

By 2035 one in four Canadians will be 65 years old or older, an age group prone to malnutrition and frailty. A new literature review published today in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism describes the similarities between these two conditions, which are generally considered separately by clinicians, and recommends research efforts, diagnostic tools and medical treatments that consider both conditions.

Researchers gain insight into day-to-day lives of parents raising children with autism

Like all parents, couples who have a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) share the ups and downs of parenting.

Using math to develop an algorithm to treat diabetes

When people ask me why I, an applied mathematician, study diabetes, I tell them that I am motivated for both scientific and human reasons.

Skin sensors provide wealth of patient data

When her medications aren't working, Bernadette Mroz says, "my world goes into a spin cycle. I cannot function mentally, emotionally, or physically."

Why normalising illness would make it easier to cope with

Why are we so shocked when we, or someone we know, becomes ill? Why are many people scared of illness and unable to support their loved ones when illness strikes? And why do so many people still think "it won't happen to me"?

Study suggests physical activity may help protect children from onset of depression

The health benefits associated with regular physical activity are well known, and existing research has shown that exercise may help in the treatment of depression in children. In a new study, researchers at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and University of Calgary researchers at the Alberta Children's Hospital have identified exercise as one of the factors that can affect a child's risk for developing depressive symptoms in the future. The paper, published in the March 17 online edition of Pediatrics, is the first meta-analysis to examine the potential protective association of childhood physical activity with depression over time.

Breakthrough in detecting mutations in genomes of single cells

Einstein researchers have developed and validated a method for accurately identifying mutations in the genomes of single cells. The new method, which can help predict whether cancer will develop in seemingly healthy tissue, is described in a paper published in today's online edition of Nature Methods. The corresponding author is Jan Vijg, Ph.D., professor and chair of genetics and the Lola and Saul Kramer Chair in Molecular Genetics.

Masculine ideal of self-reliance puts men at risk, says study

For the first time large-scale empirical research has linked notions of what it is to be a man with suicidal thoughts, which the researchers argue puts a spotlight on the societal attitudes that may be putting men at greater risk of taking their own lives.

Study underscores benefit of smartphone use to track children's health

A new, wide-ranging review of available research shows parents and caregivers can improve health outcomes for kids by using mobile-phone apps and text messaging.

Evidence supports nationwide roll-out of home safety measures

New evidence from the University of Otago, Wellington shows that government social investment in safer housing would be justified to prevent falls.

Hospital patients less likely to die when accreditation surveys are underway

Patients treated at hospitals during unannounced accreditation inspections appear to have a slightly lower risk of dying within 30 days of admission, compared with patients treated in the few weeks before or after such surveys take place, according to a study led by researchers at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Hospital quality linked to readmission rates for COPD and other diseases

Nearly one in five patients admitted to hospitals in the United States are readmitted within 30 days, at a cost of $17 billion annually. To reduce readmission rates, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) tracks readmissions for certain conditions, including heart failure, pneumonia, and most recently, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), a disease of the lungs.

Helping ease public speaking anxiety

Researchers at The University of Western Australia have found that a simple and reassuring message can help reduce people's anxiety about speaking in public as well as make them feel positive about their nerves before the talk.

Testing the efficacy of new gene therapies more efficiently

Using a new cellular model, innovative gene therapy approaches for the hereditary immunodeficiency Chronic Granulomatous Disease can be tested faster and cost-effectively in the lab for their efficacy. A team of researchers from the University of Zurich and the Children's Hospital Zurich successfully achieved this using the 'gene-scissor' CRISPR/Cas9 technology. The aim is to treat severely affected patients in the near future using novel approaches.

Study highlights risks of sepsis

A new study from researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham analyzing three different methods for characterizing sepsis has helped to illustrate the risk of death or severe illness attributable to the condition. The study, published online in March in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, is one the most comprehensive studies of the burden of sepsis in the United States.

More women than men lose interest in sex after treatment for imminent heart attack

Women are more likely to lose interest in sex than men, while men are more dissatisfied after treatment for a (imminent) heart attack. Emotional distress plays an important role, negatively impacting all aspects of sexual functioning.

Blame culture preventing parents accessing mental health support for children

Feelings that others are dismissive or blame parents commonly cited as reasons for not accessing help for children and young people with mental health concerns.

Women at risk of 'stress-induced' heart attacks, says study

The largest ever study into a form of heart attack that mainly affects younger, seemingly healthy women has found there could be 1,000 victims per year in the UK.

Improving retention for student and early career nurses

Researchers from City, University of London are working in partnership with Barts Health NHS Trust to develop a new intervention which aims to improve nurse retention for students and early career nurses.

Clinical trial looks at targeted genetic therapies for lung cancer

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine are enrolling patients in a clinical trial looking at targeted gene therapies in patients with early stage lung cancer who have had surgery.

New approach uses ultrasound to measure fluid in the lungs

A team of engineering and medical researchers has found a way to use ultrasound to monitor fluid levels in the lung, offering a noninvasive way to track progress in treating pulmonary edema – fluid in the lungs – which often occurs in patients with congestive heart failure. The approach, which has been demonstrated in rats, also holds promise for diagnosing scarring, or fibrosis, in the lung.

Stem cell therapy could help mend the youngest of broken hearts

Researchers have shown stem cells from the umbilical cord may hold the key to a new generation of graft and could reduce the number of surgeries required to treat young children born with certain types of congenital heart disease.

Interferon drug shows promise in treating Ebola

Toronto)—A pilot study of a class of drugs used to treat hepatitis and some forms of multiple sclerosis has been shown for the first time to ease symptoms of Ebola patients, while also increasing their survival.

New medicine to prevent mothers dying in childbirth succeeds in first trial in humans

The Monash University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS) today announced positive results from a first-in-human study of a new, inhaled form of a medicine that could significantly reduce maternal deaths around the world. The results open the possibility of a streamlined pathway to registration, meaning that the medicine could be accessible to mothers much sooner than would otherwise be possible.

Researchers identify potential treatment for type of muscle and brain degenerative disease

UCLA researchers have discovered the molecular basis of, and identified potential treatment for, an incurable disease known as inclusion body myopathy, Paget disease with frontotemporal dementia, or IBMPFD. Using both genetically engineered fruit flies that have the fly equivalent of the disease gene as well as cells from people with IBMPFD, the researchers discovered how mutations carried by those with IBMPFD cause cellular damage. They also identified two compounds that are able to reverse the effects of IBMPFD-associated mutations in flies and human IBMPFD cells. The findings suggest potential strategies to combat IBMPFD and other degenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as ALS.

Children's Hospital Colorado research argues for use of medical homes in pediatrics

New research from Children's Hospital Colorado (Children's Colorado) argues strongly in favor of the redirection of public funding to invest in improving the use of patient centered medical homes for children with public or no insurance. As defined in Colorado State Statute:

Potential early warning signs of osteoporosis found in South Asian women

Pre-menopausal South Asian women could be more at risk of developing osteoporosis in later life than white Caucasian women, a new study in the journal Bone reports.

What to do in a disaster: New must-have guide for health professionals

A world-first grass-roots guide for doctors, nurses, paramedics and other health professionals will give them a much-needed common language to deal with the growing number of natural and man-made disasters worldwide.

Older mothers are better mothers

The average maternal age has increased steadily for the past many years - and that is actually not so bad. New research from Aarhus BSS shows that older mothers are less likely to punish and scold their children while raising them, and that the children have fewer behavioural, social and emotional difficulties.

Parents' advice can support or undermine targets of school bullying-prevention programs

Children who are bystanders to a bullying incident are more likely to intervene if their parents have given them advice to intervene and less likely to intervene if their parents tell them to "stay out of it," according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, a journal of the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. The study suggests that culturally-consistent family components may enhance and promote the success of school-based anti-bullying efforts.

AML study correlates gene mutations with 34 disease subgroups

A large, new study of adults with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) correlates 80 cancer-related gene mutations with five subtypes of AML, which are defined by the presence of specific chromosomal abnormalities. The findings might help guide mutation testing and treatment decisions in the future.

Active surveillance preserves quality of life for prostate cancer patients

Faced with the negative quality-of-life effects from surgery and radiation treatments for prostate cancer, low risk patients may instead want to consider active surveillance with their physician, according to a study released Tuesday by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Tailored sexual health messages urgently needed for young female tourists, expert says

With both tourism and casual "hookup" sex on the rise among college-age adults, there's an urgent need for gender-sensitive and age-appropriate sexual health campaigns that are tailored to young women's motivations for taking sexual risks while traveling, a new study suggests.

New insights into side effects can help prostate cancer patients choose treatments

For many men newly diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer, concerns about potential quality-of-life issues often guide treatment decisions. A new study led by UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers identifies distinct patterns of side effects that patients could use to guide their choices.

Direct-to-consumer TV advertising associated with greater testosterone testing, new use, and use without testing

Televised direct-to-consumer advertising for testosterone therapies increased across U.S. metropolitan areas between 2009 and 2013, and exposure to these ads was associated with greater testosterone testing, new use of testosterone therapies, and use without recent testing, according to a study published by JAMA.

Findings show lack of benefit of prenatal DHA supplementation on IQ in children

Longer-term follow-up of a randomized trial found strong evidence for the lack of benefit of prenatal DHA supplementation on IQ in children at 7 years of age, according to a study published by JAMA.

Caution needed for drugs in development for most common malignant pediatric brain tumor

Researchers led by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have worked out how a crucial cancer-related protein, a "histone writer" called Ezh2, plays a role in suppressing as well as driving the most aggressive form of the brain tumor medulloblastoma.

Inappropriate use of PCI drops under increased scrutiny in N.Y.

(HealthDay)—From 2010 to 2014 there was a decrease in the rate of inappropriate percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs) performed in New York State, according to a study published in the March 14 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

No link for paternal use of MTX, adverse pregnancy outcomes

(HealthDay)—Paternal exposure to methotrexate within 90 days before pregnancy is not associated with congenital malformations, stillbirths, or preterm birth, according to a study published in the April issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Intradiscal steroid offers short-term relief of lower back pain

(HealthDay)—For patients with chronic low back pain (LBP) with active discopathy, a single glucocorticoid intradiscal injection (GC IDI) is associated with reduced LBP at one month but not 12 months after the intervention, according to a study published online March 21 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Patient, physician co-washing may increase hand washing

(HealthDay)—A new approach to outpatient hand washing involving patient and physician co-washing may increase hand washing, according to a study published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Phthalate, paraben levels up in children with atopic dermatitis

(HealthDay)—Children aged 4 to 9 years with atopic dermatitis and with frequent use of emollients have increased urinary levels of low-molecular weight (LMW) phthalate metabolites and parabens, according to a study published online March 9 in Allergy.

Lack of recent health care tied to unawareness of diabetes

(HealthDay)—Factors that are associated with being unaware of diabetes include not receiving health care in the past year, while a family history of diabetes and hospitalizations in the past year are factors associated with increased awareness, according to a study published online March 13 in Diabetes Care.

Serum periostin IDs comorbid chronic rhinosinusitis in asthma

(HealthDay)—For patients with asthma, serum periostin is useful for detecting chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps, according to a study published online March 1 in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids may protect corneal nerves in dry eye

(HealthDay)—Oral, long-chain omega-3 (ω-3) essential fatty acid (EFA) supplementation is neuroprotective to corneal nerves for patients with dry eye disease, according to a study published online March 12 in Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics.

For adolescents, pre-pregnancy BMI directly linked to excess pregnancy weight gain

Specific messaging and resources are needed to promote healthy weight gain during pregnancy for young mothers, a new study suggests.

Pathogen demonstrates genome flexibility in cystic fibrosis

Chronic lung infections can be devastating for patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), and infection by Burkholderia cenocepacia, one of the most common species found in cystic fibrosis patients, is often antibiotic resistant. In a study published today in Genome Research, scientists sequenced and phenotyped multiple B. cenocepacia isolates from 16 CF patients. They found extensive variation among isolates during chronic lung infection as well as changes in clinically relevant bacterial phenotypes.

Genetic assessment developed to determine risk for age-associated Alzheimer's disease

An international team of scientists, led by researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and University of California San Francisco, has developed a novel genetic score that allows individuals to calculate their age-specific risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD), based upon genetic information.

Brain fatty acid levels dysregulated in Alzheimer's disease

The concentration of six unsaturated fatty acids in key brain regions are associated with Alzheimer disease (AD) cognitive symptoms and neuropathology, according to a study publishing in PLOS Medicine.

'Geofencing' shows promise in tracking chronic care

Location-tracking apps on smartphones could be used to help track and manage care for thousands of patients who suffer from chronic diseases, and possibly even provide feedback to them on lifestyle changes that could help, according to an initial assessment by researchers at UC San Francisco.

Individuals with autism at substantially heightened risk for injury death

Deaths in individuals with autism increased 700 percent in the past 16 years and were three times as likely as in the general population to be caused by injuries, according to a new study by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. The findings are published online in the American Journal of Public Health.

Initial hospital costs from gunshot wounds total $6.6 billion over 9 years, study finds

Gun violence resulted in initial hospitalization costs of more than $6.6 billion nationwide from 2006 through 2014—an average of $734.6 million per year, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford School of Medicine.

Transgender college freshmen drink more, experience more blackouts

A survey of more than 422,000 college freshmen found that students who identified as transgender were more likely than their cisgender peers to experience negative consequences from drinking, including memory blackouts, academic problems and conflicts such as arguments or physical fights.

Ads for low-testosterone treatments benefit sales but not necessarily health

Direct-to-consumer advertising for drugs to treat testosterone deficiency—or "low T"—increases prescriptions to men for hormone-replacement therapies but may not improve their health, UC Davis physician Richard Kravitz said in an editorial published in the March 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers close to identifying crucial gene for human cleft lip and palate

A group of researchers has found that three siblings born with cleft lip and palate share a common gene mutation associated with the birth defect.

Could OTC medicines be the answer to alcoholism?

Researchers have long wondered if medications could treat alcohol abuse. Ihsan Salloum, M.D., chief of the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, hopes to answer that question in part with a new clinical trial with E. Sherwood Brown, M.D., Ph.D., at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. The study is determining if two over-the-counter (OTC) medications can diminish alcohol abuse in diagnosed bipolar patients.

Vital directions for health and health care

A new publication from the National Academy of Medicine identifies eight policy directions as vital to the nation's health and fiscal future, including action priorities and essential infrastructure needs that represent major opportunities to improve health outcomes and increase efficiency and value in the health system, according to the article published online by JAMA.

FDA OKs new drug as add-on treatment for Parkinson's

U.S. regulators have approved the first new drug in a decade for Parkinson's disease, a neurological disorder that causes tremors and movement difficulties.

Tattoo artists risk serious pain in the neck

(HealthDay)—That "ink" on your shoulder may have hurt the tattoo artist more than it hurt you.

Avoid unsightly fungal toenail infections

(HealthDay)—Fungal nail infections, though unsightly, are generally painless and can often be prevented, a skin and nail specialist says.

Family history of colon cancer calls for earlier screening

(HealthDay)—If you've got a family history of colon or rectal cancers, you probably need to start screening for these conditions before you turn 50, a cancer expert says.

Approach to childhood mental health based on Victorian values

The approaches to protecting children with mental health issues are much the same today as in Victorian and Edwardian times, new research shows.

Dental public health expert reacts to latest figures on the number of children who have had teeth extracted in hospital

The Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons has obtained and published data which show a shocking 24 per cent rise in the number of tooth extractions in hospital for children aged four and under in the past decade.

JDR systematic analysis examines global burden of oral conditions

Today, the International and American Associations for Dental Research (IADR/AADR) published a systemic analysis in the Journal of Dental Research. Authored by Wagner Marcenes, King's College London Dental Institute, England, UK, "Global Burden of Oral Conditions in 1990-2015: A Systemic Analysis" examines data to assess progress toward the Federation Dental International (FDI), World Health Organization (WHO) and IADR Oral Health Goals of reducing the level of oral diseases and minimizing their impact by 2020.

Spray painting biomaterials onto heart promotes cardiac repair after myocardial infarction

Researchers have demonstrated the effectiveness of a minimally invasive method to form a regenerative cardiac patch that promotes repair of damaged cardiac tissue in a mouse model of a heart attack. Biomaterials sprayed onto the heart formed a platelet fibrin gel, called a cardiac patch, that helps the heart heal without the need for sutures or glue, as described in an article published in Tissue Engineering, Part C.

States can lower risk of measles outbreak by strengthening exemption policies

States with weaker non-medical exemption policies for vaccinations can reduce the likelihood of a measles outbreak 140 to 190 percent by strengthening them, a new study from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus shows.

Why are kidney stones so painful?

Dear Mayo Clinic: How do doctors decide on the best treatment for kidney stones? When I had a calcium stone, my doctor gave me medication and told me to drink plenty of water until it passed. When my mother had one, she went through a procedure to break up the stone. Why the difference? Also, what makes these stones so painful?

Thyroid cancer: treatment and prognosis

Dear Mayo Clinic: How is thyroid cancer treated? Does it always require taking out the thyroid? When is iodine treatment used, and how does that work?

San Francisco woman sickened by herbalist's toxic tea dies

A San Francisco woman who fell critically ill after drinking tea from a Chinatown herbalist has died.

Antenatal screening in Europe: How to avoid mother-to-child transmission of infections

Transmission of infections with HIV, hepatitis B, syphilis or rubella from mother to child before and during birth as well as in infancy still occur across Europe - despite existing prevention methods. A new ECDC report outlines the cornerstones for effective antenatal screening programmes across the EU/EEA countries.

National Academy of Medicine releases publication on how to improve nation's health system

As the nation discusses repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, the National Academy of Medicine today released a publication on crosscutting priorities that provides a succinct blueprint to address challenges to Americans' health and health care that span beyond debates over insurance coverage. The paper is part of the NAM's Vital Directions for Health and Health Care Initiative, which conducted a comprehensive national health and health care assessment over the past 18 months. Written by the initiative's bipartisan steering committee, the publication presents a streamlined framework of eight policy directions consisting of four priority actions and four essential infrastructure needs to advance American health, health care, and scientific progress.

Journal of Parkinson's Disease celebrates key breakthroughs

Marking the 200th anniversary of James Parkinson's first published description of the disease that would come to bear his name, the Journal of Parkinson's Disease is proud to publish Milestones in 200 Years of Parkinson's Disease Research. This special issue features commentaries by luminaries in the field, who are responsible for some of the greatest advances in understanding and treating the disease since it was first characterized. The issue is openly available as a service to the Parkinson's disease (PD) community.

OxyContin maker asks judge to toss case brought by city

The maker of the pain medication OxyContin has asked a federal judge in Seattle to throw out a Washington city's lawsuit that seeks to hold the drugmaker responsible for allowing its pills to flood the black market and into Everett.

Biology news

Fish evolve by playing it safe

New research supports the creation of more marine reserves in the world's oceans because, the authors say, fish can evolve to be more cautious and stay away from fishing nets.

Researchers discover unique DNA editing function

A species of unicellular ciliate has found a special trick to make use of the cellular machinery in seemingly impossible ways. Researchers at the University of Bern have for the first time described a mechanism in detail how so-called "junk DNA" is transcribed before being degraded – and this mechanism is remarkably clever.

Researchers discover 'map' in malaria vaccine hunt

A promising vaccine target for the most deadly type of malaria has had its molecular structure solved by Institute researchers, helping in the quest to develop new antimalarial therapies.

Evolutionary biology professor explains how to 'walk the Tree of Life'

Pop quiz: Are crocodiles more closely related to lizards or to birds? The answer may surprise you. Although traditional taxonomy classifies birds separately, they are actually closely related to crocodilians, sharing such groupwide characteristics as nest construction, parental care, a four-chambered heart and acoustic communication.

New drug strategy: Target ribosome to halt protein production

The discovery of a chemical compound that halts the production of a small set of proteins while leaving general protein production untouched suggests a new drug search strategy: Find compounds that target undesired proteins before they are even made.

Croc horror: Love lost after Aussie teen reptile stunt

A British backpacker who inspired a drunk Australian teenager to swim in crocodile-infested waters, narrowly avoiding death, said Tuesday she was not impressed by the fraught romantic gesture.

Results of mouse studies deeply affected by the way the animals are handled

A new study shows that how mice are picked up by the experimenter can substantially change their behaviour in cognitive tests. The work, by Dr Kelly Gouveia and Professor Jane Hurst from the University of Liverpool, was published in Scientific Reports today.

Icelandic drinking horn changes our historic understanding of St. Olav

After the Reformation, Norway's Olav Haraldsson was no longer supposed to be worshipped as a saint. An Icelandic drinking horn offers some clues on how the saint's status changed over time.

How to stop the thieves when all we want to capture is wildlife in action

Many Australian field scientists, including myself, have been swayed in recent years by the attraction of using camera traps to survey wildlife.

New study sets the stage for engineering fungi to make fuels instead of toxins

Molds produce a wide range of both valuable and toxic molecules, which have important implications for energy production, agriculture and human health. A recent study revealed that an organelle within fungal cells called the endoplasmic reticulum acts as a cellular factory for synthesizing diverse natural products called sesquiterpenes in fungal cells.

Predatory bacteria as a new 'living' antibiotic

Antibiotic resistance is one of medicine's most pressing problems. Now, a team from Korea is tackling this in a unique way: using bacteria to fight bacteria.

Monash discovery triples critically endangered plant population

A new population of a critically endangered plant species has been discovered on sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island, tripling the previously known population to some 1500 plants.

Egyptian mortality mystery in tilapia fish closer to being solved

A new virus that has decimated fish populations in Ecuador and Israel has spread to Egypt, according to a new report from the University of Stirling and WorldFish.

Newly discovered protist parasites contribute to the stability of rainforest ecosystems

Tropical rainforests are among the most species-rich areas on earth. Thousands of animal and plant species live there. The smaller microbial protists, which are not visible to the naked eye, are also native to these forests, where they live in the soils and elsewhere. A team of researchers formed by Micah Dunthorn, University of Kaiserslautern, examined them more closely by analyzing their DNA. They discovered many unknown species, including many parasites, which may contribute to the stability of rainforest ecosystems. These results have now been published in the scientific journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.

Almond-crop fungicides a threat to honey bees

Fungicides commonly used in almond orchards can be harmful to almond growers' primary pollinator: honey bees.

New species of terrestrial crab found climbing on trees in Hong Kong

A new species of terrestrial crab has been found to climb trees on the eastern coast of Hong Kong. All specimens spotted during the survey have been collected at a height of approximately 1.5 - 1.8 m, walking on the bark of the branches at ebbing and low tides. The species is described in the open access journal ZooKeys.

Livestock can uproot protected wildlife from prime real estate

The story of wildlife conservation is usually framed as man vs. treasured wildlife. But there's growing evidence that the narrative deserves to have leading roles for livestock such as sheep, yaks or cows.

HIV co-infection influences natural selection on M. tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) remains a major global health problem, with 10 million cases and 2 million deaths per year, according to the World Health Organization. The only available vaccine is effective in children but its effect wanes in older children and adults.

Thailand's coin-eating turtle dies of blood poisoning

A 25-year-old sea turtle in Thailand who swallowed nearly a thousand coins tossed by tourists seeking good luck died Tuesday, two weeks after having surgery to remove the coins from its stomach.

Bone surgery for El Salvador's last male jaguar

Vets in El Salvador's zoo carried out an operation Monday to clean up a bone infection in the country's last male jaguar, an 18-year-old named Greco.

China's demand for medicine fuels African donkey slaughter

Under a cloudless sky in South Africa's northwestern farming region, donkeys still amble along muddy paths, pausing to nibble on grass, oblivious to the threat from a demand for Chinese medicine.

A happy lab rat? Check the ears!

What do you think of when you hear the term "lab rat"? Chances are, you might not picture an animal happily playing rough-and-tumble with a human handler and then coming back for more. Scientists have traditionally studied negative expressions in rats, as they are more reliable and easier to elicit (imagine a rat freezing still when exposed to sudden loud noise). However, a group of researchers from the Division of Animal Welfare at the University of Bern in Switzerland decided to see if they could get positive facial expressions out of lab rats instead. To do this they developed a novel "two-handed" tickling experiment and found that rats do indeed exhibit robust positive emotional indicators via pinker and more relaxed ears. Take a look at these images and see if you can identify the happier rat!

Nepal's rich indigenous medical knowledge is under threat

Nepal is a diverse demography with over 125 ethnic communities. It is equally rich in biodiversity. The diverse ethnic communities have a rich repertoire of knowledge related to the use of the herbs and animals for medicinal purposes. 

Detecting salmonella in pork meat twice as fast

A new method developed at the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, halves the time it takes slaughterhouses to test for disease-causing salmonella in pork meat. The test can save the slaughterhouses money i.e. by ensuring meat reaches the market faster, which in turn reduces the costs of operating the meat chillers.

Bird flu confirmed in two poultry flocks in north Alabama

Alabama officials have confirmed bird flu in two poultry flocks, just a week after three commercial breeders had to kill their chickens across the state line in Tennessee.


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1 comment:

Kathy Walter said...

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