Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Science X Newsletter Tuesday, Mar 28

Dear Reader ,

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

Spotlight Stories Headlines

New insight into superfluids reveals a storm at the surface

New outbursts detected in a peculiar, active dwarf nova MN Draconis

Ancient palace complex discovered in Mexican Valley of Oaxaca

Ubiquitous marine organism co-evolved with other microbes, promoting more complex ecosystems

Physicists show ion pairs perform enhanced 'spooky action'

Mathematicians predict delaying school start times won't help sleep deprived teenagers

Using a method from Wall Street to track slow slipping of Earth's crust

Samsung patent application explores watch rim for second display

Self-driving car crash comes amid debate about regulations

Novel approach can reveal personalized breast cancer treatments

Dust helps regulate Sierra Nevada ecosystems, study finds

For deaf people, the reorganization of brain circuits impacts on the success of cochlear implants

Evolving 'lovesick' organisms found survival in sex

New intermediate discovered for the photodissociation of triiodide anion, a classic textbook reaction

NuSTAR probes puzzling galaxy merger

Astronomy & Space news

New outbursts detected in a peculiar, active dwarf nova MN Draconis

(Phys.org)—A team of astronomers led by Karolina Bąkowska of the Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center in Warsaw, Poland, has discovered several new outbursts in a peculiar, active dwarf nova known as MN Draconis. The results of new observations, which could provide better understanding of dwarf novae in general, were published Mar. 20 in a paper on arXiv.org.

NuSTAR probes puzzling galaxy merger

A supermassive black hole inside a tiny galaxy is challenging scientists' ideas about what happens when two galaxies become one.

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

Scientists from NJIT's Center for Solar-Terrestrial Research are providing some of the first detailed views of the mechanisms that may trigger solar flares, colossal releases of magnetic energy in the Sun's corona that dispatch energized particles capable of penetrating Earth's atmosphere within an hour and disrupting orbiting satellites and electronic communications on the ground.

New, highly accurate positions and motions available for millions of stars

The United States Naval Observatory (USNO) has released a new catalog of over 107 million stars, the 5th USNO CCD Astrograph Catalog (UCAC5). This catalog of about 5.5 gigabytes of binary data is currently available from the German Astrophysical Virtual Observatory (GAVO) Data Center. It will soon be available from the Astronomical Data Center (CDS) in Strasbourg, France and its mirror sites. In addition to very precise positions, this catalog contains the most accurate "proper motions" ever measured for such a large number of stars. A paper by USNO scientists Norbert Zacharias, Charlie Finch, and Julien Frouard describing this research has been published in The Astronomical Journal.

Image: Mysterious Jovian dark spot

This enhanced-color image of a mysterious dark spot on Jupiter seems to reveal a Jovian "galaxy" of swirling storms.

James Webb space telescope completes acoustic and vibration tests

At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland the James Webb Space Telescope team completed the acoustic and vibration portions of environmental testing on the telescope. These tests are merely two of the many that spacecraft and instruments endure to ensure they are fit for spaceflight.

New Zooniverse project—muon hunter

A new citizen science project, led by Associate Professor Lucy Fortson, is asking for help from the public to identify and categorize hundreds of thousands of ring patterns within images produced by VERITAS gamma-ray observatory cameras.

Technology news

Samsung patent application explores watch rim for second display

(Tech Xplore)—The word small in digital gadgetry usually gets a bad reception. Small screen, small fonts, small display, are descriptives that usually draw frowns if not apologies. Samsung is another story.

Self-driving car crash comes amid debate about regulations

A crash that caused an Uber self-driving SUV to flip onto its side in a Phoenix suburb serves as a stark reminder of the challenges surrounding autonomous vehicles in Arizona, a state that has gone all-in to entice the company by promising minimal government regulation.

New nano devices could withstand extreme environments of space

Behind its thick swirling clouds, Venus is hiding a hot surface pelted with sulfuric acid rains. At 896 F (480 C) degrees, the planet's atmosphere would fry any of today's electronics, posing a challenge to scientists hoping to study this extreme environment.

Study shows energy certification programs actually do reduce energy demands of large buildings

(Tech Xplore)—A pair of researchers with the Georgia Institute of Technology and UCLA has found that owners of large buildings who participate in voluntary energy performance certification programs really do see smaller energy bills than do owners of other buildings in the same general area. In their paper published in the journal Nature Energy, Omar Asensio and Magali Delmas describe how they analyzed data from a utility company in Los Angeles over a six-year period and compared building energy consumption rates for those participating in three energy certification programs versus those who do not participate in any energy saving programs. Margaret Walls with Resources for the Future offers a News & Views piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue.

The next cyberattack could come from sound waves

You might think your smartphone or laptop is relatively safe from cyber attacks thanks to anti-virus and encryption software. But your devices are increasingly at risk from "side-channel" attacks, where an intruder can bypass traditional network entry points and use another way to compromise the device.

Musk diving into minds while reaching for Mars (Update)

Not content to reach for Mars and dethrone fossil fuels, tech entrepreneur Elon Musk on Tuesday is turning his focus to delving into people's minds.

Desktop scanners can be hijacked to perpetrate cyberattacks

A typical office scanner can be infiltrated and a company's network compromised using different light sources, according to a new paper by researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Weizmann Institute of Science.

System allocates data center bandwidth more fairly, so no part of a webpage lags behind others

A webpage today is often the sum of many different components. A user's home page on a social-networking site, for instance, might display the latest posts from the users' friends; the associated images, links, and comments; notifications of pending messages and comments on the user's own posts; a list of events; a list of topics currently driving online discussions; a list of games, some of which are flagged to indicate that it's the user's turn; and of course the all-important ads, which the site depends on for revenues.

Waze gets into the order-ahead business with Dunkin' Donuts

Waze's traffic navigation app already shows ads prodding drivers to swing by fast-food joints like Dunkin' Donuts and Taco Bell. Now it's adding a new item to its menu—the ability to place orders at some shops.

Amazon buys Mideast's Souq.com after $800M counteroffer (Update)

Amazon purchased the Middle East's biggest online retailer Souq.com on Tuesday for an undisclosed amount, a day after a state-backed firm disclosed an $800 million counteroffer.

Can computers one day understand emotions? New patent paves the way

A new patent awarded to a Penn State team led by James Wang, professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology; Reginald Adams, associate professor of psychology in the College of the Liberal Arts; Jia Li, professor of statistics in the Eberly College of Science; and Michelle Newman, professor of psychology, takes the next step in computer learning techniques in the hopes that computers can one day understand the complex realm of human feelings.

Air could be the world's next battery

Wind and sun, two unpredictable resources, are becoming ever more important as sources of energy in Europe. This means that we face a growing need for energy storage facilities, because if energy cannot be used immediately when it is generated, it needs to be stored until it is needed.

Design could save truck fuel with turbulence-cutting electric wind generators

For road vehicles, wind resistance increases fuel consumption. But one way to fight wind is with wind. Researchers in Sweden are experimenting with reducing drag on trucks with electric wind devices that mimic the way vortex generators increase lift on airplane wings.

How WhatsApp encryption works – and why there shouldn't be a backdoor

A battle between national security and privacy is brewing. Governments and secret services are asking encrypted messaging services such as WhatsApp to allow them access to users' data. Most recently, in the wake of the March attack at Westminster, Amber Rudd, the UK home secretary, said it was unacceptable that the government couldn't read the encrypted messages of suspected terrorists.

China's Tencent takes 5% stake in Tesla: SEC filing

China's giant Tencent Holdings has taken a five percent stake in the Tesla electric car company as it moves to ramp up production, according to an official filing Tuesday.

Got camera? Facebook adds more Snapchat-like features

Facebook is adding more Snapchat-like features to its app. The company says it wants to let your camera "do the talking" as more people are posting photos and videos instead of blocks of text.

Uber pulls out of Denmark citing tougher cab standards

The Danish branch of the ride-sharing service Uber said Tuesday it is shutting down its services in Denmark due to a proposed law that toughens standards for cabs.

Clarifying how lithium ions ferry around in rechargeable batteries

Although most of our electronic devices, like mobile phones, laptops and electric vehicles use lithium rechargeable batteries, what is going on inside them is not fully understood. Researchers from the Center for Molecular Spectroscopy and Dynamics, within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) succeeded in observing in realtime the ultrafast dynamics of lithium ions with femtosecond time resolution (1/1,000,000,000,000,000 of a second). These findings help to explain what happens during the process of charging and discharging: a cornerstone for the advanced batteries with better performance. Published on Nature Communications, this study reveals the interactions between lithium ions and electrolytes, which are organic molecules that surround the lithium ions and conduct electricity, and were able to conclude that the existing theory on ion diffusion in lithium rechargeable batteries is not completely correct.

Amazon tests grocery pickup service in Seattle

Amazon is testing a grocery pickup service in Seattle.

What makes a cyberattack? Experts lobby to restrict the term

When U.S. senator John McCain told Ukrainian television that the allegedly Russian-backed breach of the Democratic National Committee's server was "an act of war," Michael Schmitt cringed.

Parents who play Pokemon GO with kids: 'It wasn't really about the Pokemon'

Parents who regularly play "Pokémon GO" with their children report a number of side benefits from playing the mobile device-based game, including increased exercise, more time spent outdoors and opportunities for family bonding, according to new University of Washington research.

Samsung's fire-prone Note 7 phone may return after recalls

Samsung's fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 phone might come back as refurbished or rental phones.

Fighting world hunger: Robotics aid in the study of corn and drought tolerance

Developing drought tolerant corn that makes efficient use of available water will be vital to sustain the estimated 9 billion global population by 2050. In March 2014, the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded the University of Missouri a $20 million grant as part of a multi-institutional consortium to study how corn maintains root growth during drought conditions. Using funding from the NSF, Mizzou engineers on a multidisciplinary team have developed a robotic system that is changing the way scientists study crops and plant composition.

Chinese tech company Tencent acquires 5 percent Tesla stake

Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings has acquired a 5 percent stake in electric car maker Tesla Inc.

Uber diversity report says 36 percent of employees are women

Uber's first report on employee diversity shows low numbers for women, especially in technical positions. In that regard, the company is similar to other Silicon Valley giants such as Google, Facebook and Apple.

Electronics ban on flights not a longterm solution: IATA boss

British and US bans on laptops and tablet computers in the cabin of flights are not sustainable in the long term, the head of the association representing airlines said Tuesday.

A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones

Two PhD students in National University of Singapore, Unmanned System Research Group spent four years developing novel hybrid unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The U-Lion is a hybrid UAV that can take off and land vertically like helicopter UAVs, and transit to cruise flight like airplanes.

Can robots write meaningful news?

Robots and computers are replacing people everywhere; doctors, pilots, even journalists. Is this leading to a dystopian society, or could it be something positive?

How Facebook – the Wal-Mart of the internet – dismantled online subcultures

Before the internet, people interested in body modification – not just tattoo and piercing enthusiasts, but those drawn to more unusual practices like ear pointing, tongue splitting, suspension, scarification and the voluntary amputation of limbs and organs – had a difficult time meeting others who shared their interests.

Countering fake news with contagions

Social media is a wonderful tool for sharing information quickly; But not surprisingly, some of that information is false and has played a role in the dissemination of conspiracy theories and fake news.

World Video Game Hall of Fame names 2017 finalists

The World Video Game Hall of Fame's 2017 finalists span decades and electronic platforms, from the 1981 arcade classic "Donkey Kong" that launched Mario's plumbing career to the 2006 living room hit "Wii Sports," that made gamers out of grandparents.

Medicine & Health news

Mathematicians predict delaying school start times won't help sleep deprived teenagers

Delaying school start times in the UK is unlikely to reduce sleep deprivation in teenagers, research from the University of Surrey and Harvard Medical School has found. The research, conducted in collaboration between mathematicians and sleep scientists, predicts that turning down the lights in the evening would be much more effective at tackling sleep deprivation.

Novel approach can reveal personalized breast cancer treatments

The goal of cancer therapy is to destroy the tumor or stop it from growing and spreading to other parts of the body. Reaching toward this goal, a team of researchers from various institutions, including Baylor College of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, has developed a new way to approach breast cancer treatment. First, they search for the proteins that drive tumor growth, and then test in the lab drugs that potentially neutralize these specific biological drivers. The study appears in Nature Communications.

For deaf people, the reorganization of brain circuits impacts on the success of cochlear implants

A cochlear implant is an electronic device capable of restoring hearing in a profoundly deaf person by directly stimulating the nerve endings in the inner ear. This technology enables people who have become deaf to communicate orally, even by telephone; children born deaf can learn to speak and to benefit from normal schooling. However, results are extremely variable—implants have limited benefit for some patients, and there is no means of predicting failure based on purely clinical factors.

Researchers identify interaction among proteins that cause cancer cells to metastasize

Researchers at Mayo Clinic have identified an interaction among proteins that allows cancer cells to grow and metastasize. They say the discovery may play a role in developing a better understanding of how tumors grow in a variety of malignancies, including breast, prostate, pancreatic, colon, lung and skin cancers. Their work is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Brain stimulation improves schizophrenia-like cognitive problems

"A beautiful, lobular structure," is how Krystal Parker describes the cerebellum - a brain region located at the base of the skull just above the spinal column. The cerebellum is most commonly associated with movement control, but work from Parker's lab and others is gradually revealing a much more complex role in cognition that positions the cerebellum as a potential target for treating diseases that affect thinking, attention, and planning, such as schizophrenia.

Researchers develop new method to 'fingerprint' HIV

HIV is a master of disguise. The virus uses a shield of sugar molecules, called glycans, to hide from the immune system and block antibodies from attacking it.

Biomechanical analysis of head injury in pediatric patients

The biomechanics of head injury in youths (5 to 18 years of age) have been poorly understood. A new study reported in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics set out to determine what biomechanical characteristics predispose youths with concussions to experience transient or persistent postconcussion symptoms.

Alcohol use in veterans with schizophrenia less common than thought

U.S. military veterans who are being treated for schizophrenia are much less likely to drink any alcohol than the general population. However, they are equally likely to misuse alcohol. And when they do misuse alcohol, it leads to worsening of their symptoms, according to a new study led by Dr. Alexander Young, a psychiatry professor at UCLA.

'Space pants' could help people suffering from peripheral artery disease

Purdue has produced 23 astronauts, more than any other public institution. Now, a university professor is working with a key piece of their equipment to help people with peripheral artery disease.

Could nasal insulin be an effective therapy for Alzheimer's?

Can insulin, the hormone used for nearly a century to treat diabetes, improve cognition, memory and daily function in people with mild cognitive impairment or mild dementia due to Alzheimer's disease?

Scientists report genetic test to help predict men at most risk from aggressive prostate cancer

Scientists are reporting a test which can predict which patients are most at risk from aggressive prostate cancer, and whether they suffer an increased chance of treatment failure. This test, reported at the European Association of Urology conference in London, and published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, may give men a better view on how to deal with their prostate cancer risk.

Pioneering stem cell gene therapy cures infants with bubble baby disease

UCLA researchers have developed a stem cell gene therapy cure for babies born with adenosine deaminase-deficient severe combined immunodeficiency, a rare and life-threatening condition that can be fatal within the first year of life if left untreated.

Unexpected role for calcium ion channel protein revealed

A new study published in Nature Communications and co-authored by Northwestern Medicine scientists shows how two proteins of the Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channel family interact with each other to control the flow of calcium ions into cells and modulate downstream immune responses.

Findings offer new ideas about vaccine development

Vaccine development is largely trial and error—which results in years of pricey development and just a 6 percent success rate—but a University of Michigan researcher believes he's found a way to potentially improve those numbers.

Prolonged prenatal ultrasound exposure leads to decreased bone density and strength in young rabbits

Young rabbits exposed to ultrasound during fetal development had weaker thighbones than unexposed rabbits, according to a study published in the Pertanika Journal of Science & Technology. While the finding applies to a relatively small group of test subjects, 142 young rabbits, it raises questions about the rising use of prenatal ultrasounds in women worldwide.

Non-coding RNA molecule could play a role in osteoporosis

Researchers from Hong Kong Baptist University and colleagues have demonstrated that a molecule called miR-214-3p plays a role in inhibiting bone formation. MiR-214-3p is a microRNA (miRNA): a non-coding RNA involved in regulating gene expression to coordinate biological processes.

New therapy focus for depression in young people

A therapy which focuses on finding ways to engage in activities that generate positive emotions and combat negative ones could be an effective way of treating young people with depression, researchers at the University of York say.

Trial to test for Barrett's oesophagus launches in GP surgeries across the UK

A Cancer Research UK-funded trial allowing GP surgeries to test for Barrett's oesophagus – a condition that can increase the risk of developing oesophageal cancer – launches in the UK today.

Discovery may help patients beat deadly pneumonia

Researchers have found that a hormone responsible for controlling iron metabolism helps fight off a severe form of bacterial pneumonia, and that discovery may offer a simple way to help vulnerable patients.

Blocking 'gateway mutations' could prevent polio vaccine from re-evolving virulence

A relentless vaccination campaign has succeeded in eradicating the polio virus from most of the world, reducing the burden of the disease by 99 percent since the year 2000 and preventing more than 13 million children from contracting the disease, according to World Health Organization estimates. However, in regions where vaccination has remained incomplete, on rare occasions the weakened virus used in the vaccine has evolved the ability to escape the vaccinated person and spread to other, unprotected individuals.

Researchers find biomarker that could help predict the onset of type 1 diabetes

A significant finding has been made by the 3U Diabetes Consortium, of Dublin City University, Maynooth University and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), which has the potential to contribute to the identification of biological markers that predict the development of Type 1 diabetes, a chronic autoimmune disease.

Cracking the brain's genetic code to prevent neurological and psychiatric diseases

An international network of neurologists, geneticists and researchers led by the Keck School of Medicine of USC is cracking the human genetic code so that one day people could check their "brain health" in the same way they screen their cholesterol level.

A soldier and a sex worker walk into a therapist's office. Who's more likely to have PTSD?

When we think about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), we most often think of soldiers traumatised by their experiences of war. But the statistics tell another story.

First steps toward male infertility treatment

Scientists from the University of Dundee believe they have taken the first steps towards developing drugs to treat infertile men.

Why gender can't be ignored when dealing with domestic violence

Domestic violence is a violation of human rights with damaging social, economic and health consequences. It is any incident of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse. That abuse can be psychological, emotional, physical, sexual and financial.

Analysing the way children sleep could help us to understand autism

On average, humans spend roughly a third of their lives asleep. This might sound like quite a long time, but sleep has been shown to be vital for "normal" human functioning. Without enough sleep, things go downhill for most people pretty quickly.

PTSD prevented by using Tetris in the emergency department

A single dose psychological intervention including the computer game Tetris can prevent the unpleasant, intrusive memories that develop in some people after suffering a traumatic event. Researchers have been able to demonstrate how the survivors of motor vehicle accidents have fewer such symptoms if they play Tetris in hospital within six hours of admission after also having been asked to recall their memory of the accident. The results of the study, which was conducted by researchers at Karolinska Institutet with colleagues at Oxford University and elsewhere, are published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

Novel drug delivery beats swine flu at gene level

Scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University together with their colleagues from St. Petersburg and London have elaborated a new approach to deliver anti-viral RNAi to target cells against H1N1 influenza virus infection. Drug encapsulating via a layer-by-layer technique and sol-gel chemistry beats swine flu at the gene level. The first test showed an 80 percent drop in virus protein synthesis.

Cortisol excess hits natural DNA process and mental health hard

High concentrations of the stress hormone cortisol affect important DNA processes and increase the risk of long-term psychological consequences. These relationships are evident in a study from the Sahlgrenska Academy on patients with Cushing's syndrome, but the findings also open the door for new treatment strategies for other stress-related conditions such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress.

Researchers find gene Wt1 to impact women's fertility

It has been estimated that more than 80 million people in the world have an unfulfilled desire to have children. But for every 10th couple, the reasons therefor remain unclear. Now, researchers from the Leibniz Institute on Aging (FLI) in Jena/Germany have, together with clinical partners, found a new gene mutation that obviously leads to infertility in women. The mutated gene WT1 plays an important role in the early embryonic development controlling proteins (especially proteases) that are needed for the successful nidation in mother's womb. The astonishing results were recently published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics.

Why repetition may hold key to helping children with specific language impairment

Simple repetition learning techniques could help young children struggling with language to learn vocabulary faster, according to the latest research from scientists from the UK and Germany.

Landmark Everest experiment shows low-oxygen environments lead to cognitive decline

Exposure to low oxygen environments, or hypoxia, can have significant consequences for our brain and body, according to a new study led by researchers from City, University of London and UCL (University College London).

The life-saving treatment that's being thrown in the trash

A few hours before beginning chemotherapy, a man named Chris faces his cellphone camera with a mischievous smile and describes a perfectly absurd milestone at 1.37pm on a Wednesday. "There is no more beautiful moment in a man's life…" he says with puckish glee. Because how can you not laugh when you've been invited to bank your sperm in advance of being "Godzilla-ed" with chemotherapy and radiation, all just four days after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia at the age of 43 and given a 5 to 15 per cent chance of survival?

Broad support exists for larger warnings on cigarette packs

Health warnings cover about 10 percent of a cigarette pack's exterior surface in the United States, but there is broad support, even among smokers, for making them significantly larger, a University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center study has found.

Astaxanthin compound found to switch on the FOX03 'longevity gene' in mice

The University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine ("JABSOM") and Cardax, Inc. ("Cardax") (OTCQB:CDXI), a Honolulu based life sciences company, have jointly announced the results of an animal study evaluating the effectiveness of a compound that holds promise in anti-aging therapy.

Evaluation between maternal mental health and discharge readiness

Each year, more than 450,000 babies are born preterm in the U.S., many of whom spend days, weeks or even months in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The mothers of these infants are at increased risk for maternal mental health disorders including depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress, which could impact their transition home to care for their infant.

Group investigates how phototherapy combats neuropathic pain

Low-level laser therapy has been shown by recent studies to be a non-invasive and effective alternative for treating neuropathic pain, a chronic condition caused by nerve damage, spinal cord injury or diseases such as diabetes.

Entrepreneurs love their companies like parents love their children: study

A multidisciplinary study, run by researcher Marja-Liisa Halko from the University of Helsinki, asks whether entrepreneurs love their companies like parents love their children. The study used functional MRIs to study the brain activity of fathers and high-growth entrepreneurs. Fathers were shown pictures of their own children as well as other children they knew. Entrepreneurs were shown pictures of their own companies and other companies that they were familiar with.

Researchers turn urine into research tools

One of the biggest challenges in studying Down syndrome is finding the right research model. Animals and established cell lines are limited in their ability to mimic human disease, and results don't always translate to patient populations. Stem cells hold enormous potential as research tools that can be collected directly from patients and grown into innumerable cell types. But harvesting stem cells can be tricky and invasive—a tough sell to institutional review boards when dealing with children or patients with intellectual disability.

Which self-help websites actually improve health? New research yields a list

From depression to weight loss, insomnia to cutting back on alcohol or cigarettes, the Internet teems with sites that promise to help people improve their health.

Researchers find video games influence sexist attitudes

There are distinct similarities in the way women are portrayed in many popular video games. Female characters are typically attractive, scantily clad, appear in sexually suggestive ways and generally have limited roles.

Honesty may not be the best policy for hospital safety grades, study suggests

When a child brings home a report card from school, part of their grade comes from how often they made it to class or turned in homework. But the larger part comes from how they did on tests, in class and on take-home assignments. In other words, how much they've learned, or how hard they're trying.

New Zealand children's exposure to lead linked to lower IQ

Extremely high levels of lead in New Zealand cities in the 1970s and 1980s appear responsible for a loss of intelligence and occupational standing among today's adults.

Insurance coverage for IVF increases chance of having baby

Women who pursue in vitro fertilization (IVF) to become pregnant are more likely to give birth if they have health insurance that covers the procedure, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Findings support use of less invasive hysterectomy for early-stage endometrial cancer

Researchers found similar rates of disease-free survival and no difference in overall survival among women who received a laparoscopic or abdominal total hysterectomy for stage I endometrial cancer, according to a study published by JAMA.

Vitamin D, calcium supplementation among older women does not significantly reduce risk of cancer

Among healthy postmenopausal women, supplementation with vitamin D3 and calcium compared with placebo did not result in a significantly lower risk of cancer after four years, according to a study published by JAMA.

Therapies that target dementia in early stages critical to success

Targeting dementia in the earlier stages of the condition could be critical for the success of future therapies, say researchers from the University of Bristol, who have found that the very earliest symptoms of dementia might be due to abnormal stability in brain cell connections rather than the death of brain tissue, which comes after.

Early use of marijuana can increase its negative health impacts

With new legislation imminent in Canada, marijuana is a hot topic these days. Those who smoke it may be cheering. Those who've never tried it may be thinking, why not? And those looking to make a business out of it are grappling with how to navigate a challenging product.

Protein identified as potential druggable target for pancreatic cancer

A protein known as arginine methyltransferase 1 (PRMT1) may be a potential therapeutic target for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), the most common type of pancreatic cancer, and one of the most deadliest with a less than 10 percent, five-year survival rate. PRMT1 is involved in a number of genetic processes including gene transcription, DNA repair and signaling.

New process designed to streamline faster care for EMS triage, transport of stroke patients

A new process, developed by the American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association, will help streamline the initial emergency care of stroke patients.

FDA approves 1st drug for moderate and severe eczema cases

U.S. regulators have approved the first powerful, injected medicine to treat serious cases of the skin condition eczema.

Marathon running may cause short-term kidney injury

According to a new Yale-led study, the physical stress of running a marathon can cause short-term kidney injury. Although kidneys of the examined runners fully recovered within two days post-marathon, the study raises questions concerning potential long-term impacts of this strenuous activity at a time when marathons are increasing in popularity.

Exercise: the cellular 'fountain of youth'

(HealthDay)—High-intensity exercise may help older adults reverse certain aspects of the "cellular" aging process, a new study suggests.

What you need to know about cholesterol

(HealthDay)—Cholesterol plays a vital role in your health, so it's important to understand the different types of cholesterol and how to influence their levels, a heart specialist says.

Zejula approved for certain female cancers

(HealthDay)—Zejula (niraparib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat adult women with recurring cancers of the ovaries, fallopian tubes or abdominal wall (peritoneum) whose tumors have shrunk in response to platinum-based chemotherapy.

Post-op urinary retention common after spinal stenosis Sx

(HealthDay)—Postoperative urinary retention (POUR) is a common morbidity after surgery for degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis, according to research published in the April issue of The Spine Journal.

Novel oral budesonide prep treats eosinophilic esophagitis

(HealthDay)—Budesonide oral suspension (BOS) is associated with improvement in symptomatic, endoscopic, and histologic parameters in adolescent and young adult patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), according to a study published in the March issue of Gastroenterology.

ACP issues challenge to cut task burden and put patients first

(HealthDay)—In a position paper published online March 28 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, recommendations are presented to address the impact of administrative tasks and reduce the administrative burden on clinicians.

Teens exposed to opioid rx at risk for serious outcomes

(HealthDay)—Teenagers with prescription opioid exposures are more likely to have health care facility (HCF) admission and serious medical outcomes than younger children, according to a study published online March 20 in Pediatrics.

Psoriasis may up risk of melanoma, hematologic cancer

(HealthDay)—Patients with psoriasis may have a higher risk of melanoma and hematologic cancers than the general population, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Tobacco use in youth higher among sexual minorities

(HealthDay)—The prevalence of tobacco use is higher for sexual minorities, with significant differences seen by sex, according to a study published online March 27 in Pediatrics.

New strategy identifies potential drugs and targets for brain repair

Researchers have discovered drugs that activate signaling pathways leading to specific adult brain cell types from stem cells in the mouse brain, according to a study publishing on 28 March in the open access journal PLOS Biology by Kasum Azim of the University of Zurich and colleagues from INSERM/university of Lyon and University of Portsmouth. The results may open new avenues for drug development aimed at treatment of degenerative brain disorders.

Effects of at-home cognitive stimulation therapy on dementia patients and caregivers

Individual Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (iCST), an intervention carried out at home by family caregivers, has little impact on the cognition of patients with dementia, a new study has found, but boosts the quality of the relationship between the patient and caregiver. The new study, a randomized, controlled trial by Martin Orrell of the University of Nottingham, UK, and colleagues, is published in PLOS Medicine.

Prostate screening often occurs without discussion of benefits, risks

A new study finds that while a blood test that helps to screen for prostate cancer remains common, only 30 percent of men in a large national survey reported having a balanced discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of the screening with their doctor. Moreover, having such a discussion of both pros and cons has become less likely since the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued a recommendation against performing prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing in 2012.

WHO warns of measles outbreak across Europe

The World Health Organization warned Tuesday of large measles outbreaks in countries where immunisation has dropped, after more than 500 cases of the highly contagious disease were reported across Europe in January.

Elevated blood pressure not a high mortality risk for elderly with weak grip

A study of nearly 7,500 Americans age 65 or older suggests that elevated blood pressure is not related to high mortality risk among people in that age group with weak grip strength.

Rarely studied gene USF3 plays role in predisposition to thyroid cancer

Charis Eng, M.D., Ph.D., of Cleveland Clinic and her team have discovered that a faulty, rarely studied gene called USF3 may predispose individuals to thyroid cancer. They recently published this discovery in Human Molecular Genetics.

Very premature babies benefit most from corticosteroids before birth

Giving corticosteroid drugs to mothers at risk of preterm delivery - from as early as 23 weeks of pregnancy - is associated with a lower rate of death and serious illness for their babies, finds a study published by The BMJ today.

With health insurance at risk, community health centers face cut-backs

Repeal of key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, combined with a failure to renew critical funding streams, would result in catastrophic funding losses for community health centers-forcing these safety net providers to cut back on services, lay off staff or shut down clinical sites, according to a report published today. The report represents the first analysis of the potential effects on medically underserved communities of the types of health insurance losses contained in legislation now pending in Congress.

Some state lawmakers seek to protect birth-control access

Even with the Republican failure to repeal Barack Obama's health care law, Democratic lawmakers in some states are pressing ahead with efforts to protect birth control access, Planned Parenthood funding and abortion coverage in case they are jeopardized in the future.

Why does the same exercise exert effects on individuals differently?

Selenoprotein P, a kind of hepatokine hormone secreted from the liver, has been found to cause so-called 'exercise resistance,' which prevents physical exercise. Research results now reveal this as one of the reasons that individual responsiveness to exercise differs markedly and could lead to therapy for lifestyle diseases due to lack of exercise, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Could diabetes drugs curb our dementia epidemic?

People with lifestyle-related diabetes are at an increased risk of developing dementia and, with both conditions on the rise, scientists are scrambling to understand their connection in the hope of finding new treatments.

Opinion: Did medical Darwinism doom the GOP health plan?

"We are now contemplating, Heaven save the mark, a bill that would tax the well for the benefit of the ill."

Regional Australia faces more drug problems than meth alone

A high use of methylamphetamine and prescription medications is a problem for regional Australia, according to an Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) report designed to combat illicit drugs.

Why do we choose to get vaccinations?

Since vaccines protect not only those who take them, but also the people who otherwise could have been infected, there are many plausible motives for choosing to get vaccinated. Apart from the most obvious – wanting to protect oneself or one's children from becoming ill – research shows that many also are affected by care for others.

Understanding cerebral vasospasm brain injuries

Dr. Javier Provencio is on the trail of a 70-year-old medical mystery. He and colleagues at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have made strides in finding the culprit behind a type of delayed cognitive deterioration that plagues brain aneurysm survivors.

Dementia: The right to rehabilitation

Rehabilitation is important for people with dementia as it is for people with physical disabilities, according to a leading dementia expert.

Evidence insufficient to screen for celiac disease

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has concluded that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for celiac disease in asymptomatic persons. The report appears in the March 28 issue of JAMA.

Unraveling the functional diversity of longevity gene SIRT1

While the search for elixir of life has captivated human imagination for millennia, researchers around the world have put in efforts to extend healthy lifespan and reduce the burden of morbid diseases in an increasingly aging population.

Neurological diseases cost the US Nearly $800 billion per year

A new paper published in the Annals of Neurology reports the most common neurological diseases pose a serious annual financial burden for the nation.

ASCO and Cancer Care Ontario update guideline on radiation therapy for prostate cancer

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and Cancer Care Ontario today issued a joint clinical practice guideline update on brachytherapy (internal radiation) for patients with prostate cancer. The update provides evidence-based recommendations for different patient risk groups, and specifies the most effective forms of brachytherapy.

Georgia Cancer Center participates in NCI-driven initiative to understand racial, ethnic, age disparities in six cancers

The Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University is one of a dozen sites across the nation helping build a molecular profile of six cancers that often strike early and disparately.

Tomographic imaging advances considered good yet can lead to overdiagnosis in PE patients

Although advances in tomographic imaging have improved the sensitivity of ventilation-perfusion (V/Q) scans for pulmonary embolism (PE), they may lead to overdiagnosis by revealing small and clinically insignificant PEs, according to a state-of-the-art review published in the March 2017 issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR).

New report lays plan to eliminate 90,000 hepatitis B and C deaths by 2030

Hepatitis B and C kill more than 20,000 people every year in the United States. A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine presents a strategy to eliminate these diseases as serious public health problems and prevent nearly 90,000 deaths by 2030.

Biology news

Evolving 'lovesick' organisms found survival in sex

Being 'lovesick' takes on a whole new meaning in a new theory which answers the unsolved fundamental question: why do we have sex?

Climate change puts invasive plants on the move

Climate change may force one of New England's invasive plant species to retreat north, while another will likely stay put and take over an even greater area, according to a new study by UConn faculty and former doctoral candidates.

A step toward making crops drought tolerant

QUT researchers are part of an international consortium of researchers whose work hopes to future-proof crops against the impacts of global climate change.

Inflammation awakens sleepers

The inflammatory response that is supposed to ward off pathogens that cause intestinal disease makes this even worse. This is because special viruses integrate their genome into Salmonella, which further strengthens the pathogen.

Mustard seeds without mustard flavor: New robust oilseed crop can resist global warming

University of Copenhagen and the global player Bayer CropScience have successfully developed a new oilseed crop that is much more resistant to heat, drought and diseases than oilseed rape. The breakthrough is so big that it will feature as cover story of the April issue of Nature Biotechnology, the most prestigious journal for biotechnology research.

Biologists find 'skin-and-bones' mechanism underlying zebrafish fin regeneration

University of Oregon biologists have figured out how zebrafish perfectly regenerate amputated fins with a precisely organized skeleton.

'Flying syringes' could detect emerging infectious diseases

Blood-sucking flies can act as 'flying syringes' to detect emerging infectious diseases in wild animals before they spread to humans, according to research published in the journal eLife.

New research disproves common assumption on cranial joints of alligators, birds, dinosaurs

Paleontologists have long assumed that the shape of joints in the skulls of dinosaurs, and their closest modern relatives alligators and birds, reveals how much movement are allowed in their skulls. Researchers from the University of Missouri School Of Medicine recently discovered that although alligators, birds and dinosaurs have a similar skull-joint shape, it no longer can be assumed that this lone fact can determine movement.

Female menstrual cycle in a dish

Northwestern Medicine has developed a miniature female reproductive tract that fits in the palm of your hand and could eventually change the future of research and treatment of diseases in women's reproductive organs.

Malaria parasites 'walk through walls' to infect humans

Researchers have identified proteins that enable deadly malaria parasites to 'walk through cell walls' - a superpower that was revealed using the Institute's first insectary to grow human malaria parasites.

How bacteria hunt other bacteria

A bacterial species that hunts other bacteria has attracted great interest as a potential living antibiotic, but exactly how this predator tracks down its prey has not been clear. A study published March 28 in Biophysical Journal sheds light on this question, revealing that the bacterial predator Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus (BV) homes in on its target by taking advantage of fluid forces generated by its own swimming movements and those of its prey. These hydrodynamic flow fields bring the bacteria in close proximity, giving BV a greater chance of successful attack.

Discovery of a new regulatory protein provides new tool for stem cell engineering

Bioengineers at the University of California San Diego have discovered a protein that regulates the switch of embryonic stem cells from the least developed "naïve" state to the more developed "primed" state. This discovery sheds light on stem cell development at a molecular level.

Cornering endangered species

As certain species decline in number, the geographic areas they inhabit also shrink. Still, even with less space to occupy, these decreasing populations manage to remain locally abundant.

A molecular on/off switch for CRISPR

Picture bacteria and viruses locked in an arms race. For many bacteria, one line of defense against viral infection is a sophisticated RNA-guided "immune system" called CRISPR-Cas. At the center of this system is a surveillance complex that recognizes viral DNA and triggers its destruction. However, viruses can strike back and disable this surveillance complex using "anti-CRISPR" proteins, though no one has figured out exactly how these anti-CRISPRs work—until now.

Herpes STDs: From chimps to humans to cold sore cousin mixing before worldwide spread

It's an axiom of the infectious disease research community that wherever humans go, germs are likely to follow. Such is the case with the herpes virus family.

Stop eating! You are full

Researchers have identified a molecule sent by fat cells to the fly brain that senses when they have had enough food and inhibits feeding, according to a study publishing March 28 in the open access journal PLOS Biology by Walton Jones of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Daejeon, and colleagues.

Neonicotinoid insecticides losing efficiency in potato psyllid control

The potato industry may be losing a mainstay in the battle against psyllids, according to a recent Texas A&M AgriLife Research study.

The role of tiny RNA in genetic diversity

All species, from zebrafish to humans, possess a genetically diverse collection of traits that allow them to adapt to changing environments. Yet scientists do not fully understand how organisms reach a state of optimal diversity—just enough variability to respond to environmental risks but not too much to function properly.

How Australia's animals and plants are changing to keep up with the climate

Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing Australia's wildlife, plants and ecosystems, a point driven home by two consecutive years of mass coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef.

Microalgae have great potential as fish feed ingredient

Commercially produced microalgae could become a sustainable fish feed ingredient, a project from the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, has shown. In the project concepts have been developed to grow, harvest, dry and store two types of algae that are rich in protein, antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids.

Chlamydia—how bacteria take control

To survive in human cells, chlamydiae have a lot of tricks in store. Researchers of the University of Würzburg have now discovered that the bacterial pathogens also manipulate the cells' energy suppliers in the process.

Wild Thai tiger cub footage sparks hope for endangered species

Conservationists on Tuesday hailed the discovery of a new breeding population of tigers in Thailand as a "miraculous" victory for a sub-species nearly wiped out by poaching.

Sharing expert experimental knowledge to expedite design

A reference tool specific to metabolic engineering that optimizes processes to make cells produce useful substances gives researchers a common language and will facilitate novel designs.

Highway to health: Findings point way to more nutritious crops

Almost every calorie that we eat at one time went through the veins of a plant. If a plant's circulatory system could be rejiggered to make more nutrients available - through bigger seeds or sweeter tomatoes - the world's farmers could feed more people.

Key research priorities for agricultural microbiomes identified

A coordinated effort to understand plant microbiomes could boost plant health and agricultural productivity, according to a new Perspective publishing March 28 in the open access journal PLOS Biology by Posy Busby of Oregon State University in Corvallis and colleagues at eight other research institutions.

Virtual museum brings extinct species back to life

Dozens of fascinating digital 3-D models are shedding new light on specimens held at the University of Dundee's D'Arcy Thompson Museum while enhancing the learning of anatomy students around the world.

Bacterial strain diversity in the gut

What drives bacterial strain diversity in the gut? Although there are a number of possible explanations, a recent opinion piece published in TRENDs in Microbiology by Dr Pauline Scanlan, a Royal Society – Science Foundation Ireland Research Fellow at the APC Microbiome Institute, University College Cork, addresses one potentially important and overlooked aspect of this unresolved question.

About time! Predicting midge seasonality key to reducing livestock diseases

Ecologists at the UK-based Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) have led a study which informs optimal strategies for control of devastating midge-borne diseases like bluetongue and Schmallenberg virus that affect cattle and sheep in the UK and beyond.


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