Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Science X Newsletter Tuesday, Mar 7

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for March 7, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

A day at the museum with Smartify app: Get comments, collect favorites

Model shows ejection of gasses around black holes due to magnetism

New microscope technique offers a better way to measure magnetic field of individual atoms

Singapore study finds yellow taxis less accident prone than blue taxis

World's largest autism genome database shines new light on many 'autisms'

Blueberry concentrate improves brain function in older people

Accounting for extreme rainfall

Prehistoric ancestor of leukaemia virus found in bats

Argonne invents reusable sponge that soaks up oil, could revolutionize oil spill and diesel cleanup

Researchers find a way to enhance the effectiveness of laser systems

Sulforaphane, a phytochemical in broccoli sprouts, ameliorates obesity

How quantum mechanics is working to protect security online

System enables people to correct robot mistakes using brain signals

Study suggests complex life was present on Earth 2.33 billion years ago

Newly discovered phenomenon accelerates electrons as they enter a viscous state

Astronomy & Space news

Model shows ejection of gasses around black holes due to magnetism

An international team of researchers has created a model to explain the force that causes gases to be blown away from a black hole and have found the force to be magnetism. In their paper published in the journal Nature Astronomy, the team describes the factors that went into their model and the degree of confidence they have in it.

Three new minerals discovered in a unique meteorite

Researchers led by mineralogist Chi Ma have identified three new minerals in a tiny sample of the Khatyrka meteorite. The meteorite, recovered in pieces from the Koryak Mountains in eastern Russia in 1979 and 2011, made news in recent years for containing the first three natural quasicrystals ever found. (A quasicrystal is a phase of solid matter with symmetries previously thought to be impossible).

Earth is bombarded at random

Do mass extinctions, like the fall of the dinosaurs, and the formation of large impact craters on Earth occur together at regular intervals? "This question has been under discussion for more than thirty years now," says Matthias Meier from ETH Zurich's Institute of Geochemistry and Petrology. As late as 2015, US researchers indicated that impact craters were formed on Earth around every 26 million years. "We have determined, however, that asteroids don't hit the Earth at periodic intervals," says Meier, refuting the popular hypothesis.

Video: Sentinel-2B liftoff

Sentinel-2B liftoff on a Vega launcher from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana at 01:49 GMT (02:49 CET) on 7 March 2017.

Europe launches fourth Earth monitoring satellite

Europe launched a fourth satellite Tuesday for its Copernicus Earth-monitoring project to track changes in forest cover and air pollution, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced.

RIT helps advance space camera being tested on ISS

Imaging technology advanced by researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology and Florida Institute of Technology is being tested on the International Space Station and could someday be used on future space telescopes.

Technology news

A day at the museum with Smartify app: Get comments, collect favorites

What is Smartify? A hint is there if you go up on their website, where you see people darting around a museum. Nice. They are not wearing clunky headphones and are not restricted to a circle of tourists where they have to listen to a guide spouting dates and eras.

System enables people to correct robot mistakes using brain signals

For robots to do what we want, they need to understand us. Too often, this means having to meet them halfway: teaching them the intricacies of human language, for example, or giving them explicit commands for very specific tasks.

Business group: China tech plan threat to foreign firms

China is violating its free-trade pledges by pressing foreign makers of electric cars and other goods to share technology under an industry development plan that is likely to shrink access to its markets, a business group said Tuesday.

Uber skids have Lyft steering for passing lane

As Uber's gets dented by controversies, on-demand ride rival Lyft is accelerating expansion and out to pick up converts by appearing a friendlier, more sympathic alternative.

Manufacturing system may stem cost effects

High costs of production and labor, combined with high rates of technological change, often cause manufacturers in developed countries to take their production offshore to lower-cost sources.

Signaling success for 5th gen communications

One of the defining characteristics of the next generation of mobile communications will be the use of a multitude of lower-power antennas to maintain ubiquitous high-performance signal coverage. Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) researchers have now developed a signal optimization algorithm for future networks that, for the first time, can deliver the full performance promised by 5th generation (5G) communications.

Building a nomad pavilion out of novel recovered materials

Could recovered materials play a key role in tomorrow's civil engineering? EPFL researchers set out to answer that question by creating an easily demountable pavilion out of more than 200 reclaimed skis.

German court to rule in refugee's Facebook lawsuit

A court in southern Germany will rule on a case brought against Facebook by a Syrian refugee who wants the company to seek and delete posts falsely linking him to crimes committed by migrants.

How to protect your private data when you travel to the United States

On January 30 – three days after US President Donald Trump signed an executive order restricting immigration from several predominantly Muslim countries – an American scientist employed by NASA was detained at the US border until he relinquished his phone and PIN to border agents. Travellers are also reporting border agents reviewing their Facebook feeds, while the Department of Homeland Security considers requiring social media passwords as a condition of entry.

What fax machines can teach us about electric cars

Imagine if you could gas up your GM car only at GM gas stations. Or if you had to find a gas station servicing cars made from 2005 to 2012 to fill up your 2011 vehicle. It would be inconvenient and frustrating, right? This is the problem electric vehicle owners face every day when trying to recharge their cars. The industry's failure, so far, to create a universal charging system demonstrates why setting standards is so important – and so difficult.

Black cab trade needs overhaul to compete with Uber, say researchers

London's traditional black cab industry needs regulatory reform to respond to the emergence of Uber, a university study suggests.

Designing the fuel-efficient aircraft of the future

As much as we complain about air travel, the fact is, flying has gotten considerably cheaper, safer, faster and even greener, over the last 60 years.

Computer linguists are developing an intelligent system aid for air traffic controllers

Together with the German Aerospace Center (DLR), computer scientists from Saarland University have now developed a new system that listens in to these conversations and engages with the controllers. The scientists are presenting their prototype at the Cebit computer fair in Hannover, Germany (Hall 6, Stand E28).

Forget Trump; Slovenian president rules Instagram

Donald Trump may rule Twitter, but he's no match for his Slovenian counterpart on Instagram.

Uber seeks a second-in-command to steady the wheel

Uber on Tuesday began searching for a second-in-command to help embattled chief executive Travis Kalanick steady the wheel at the fast-growing on-demand ride service.

WikiLeaks: CIA has targeted everyday gadgets for snooping

Maybe the CIA is spying on you through your television set after all. Documents released by WikiLeaks allege a CIA surveillance program that targets everyday gadgets ranging from smart TVs to smartphones to cars. Such snooping, WikiLeaks said, could turn some of these devices into recorders that could snoop on everyday conversations—and could also circumvent data-scrambling encryption on communications apps such as Facebook's WhatsApp.

New kids streaming service will have 'Scooby Doo,' 'Jetsons'

A new streaming service aimed at kids will have episodes of classic cartoons like "Scooby Doo," ''The Flintstones" and "The Jetsons" as well as original series.

Oh Snap? After bursting out of the gate, shares give way

Anyone wanting to invest in the company that owns Snapchat now has an opportunity to do something that early investors were unable to do: buy shares for less than they cost on the first day of trading three days ago.

WikiLeaks reveals CIA trove alleging wide-scale hacking

WikiLeaks published thousands of documents Tuesday described as secret files about CIA hacking tools the government employs to break into users' computers, mobile phones and even smart TVs from companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft and Samsung.

Austrian official: Turkish cyberattack on foreign ministry

Austria's foreign ministry says that Turkish hackers have again attacked its internet pages amid simmering tensions between the two countries.

Trump set to roll back federal fuel-economy requirements

The Trump administration is moving to roll back federal fuel-economy requirements that would have forced automakers to increase significantly the efficiency of new cars and trucks, a key part of former President Barack Obama's strategy to combat global warming.

Medicine & Health news

World's largest autism genome database shines new light on many 'autisms'

The newest study from the Autism Speaks MSSNG project - the world's largest autism genome sequencing program - identified an additional 18 gene variations that appear to increase the risk of autism.

Blueberry concentrate improves brain function in older people

Drinking concentrated blueberry juice improves brain function in older people, according to research by the University of Exeter.

Sulforaphane, a phytochemical in broccoli sprouts, ameliorates obesity

Sulforaphane, a phytochemical contained in broccoli sprouts at relatively high concentrations, has been known to exert effects of cancer prevention by activating a transcription factor, Nrf2 (nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2), which regulates the balance of oxidation/reduction in the cell, and by enhancing the anti-oxidation ability of the body and detoxication of chemical compounds. On the other hand, when the balance of oxidation/reduction is deteriorated due to obesity, it has been known to lead to pathogenesis of various diseases. The effects of sulforaphane on obesity were, however, unclear.

Unusual metabolic activity illuminates embryonic development, cancer

Move over, cell signaling. Scientists seeking to understand embryonic development need to make room for metabolism, according to a new study, led by Harvard Medical School developmental biologist Olivier Pourquié, that also has implications for regenerative medicine and cancer research.

Brain architecture alters to compensate for depression

A study led by Ravi Bansal, PhD, and Bradley S. Peterson, MD, of The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles, has found structural differences in the cerebral cortex of patients with depression and that these differences normalize with appropriate medication. The study, published in Molecular Psychiatry on March 7, is the first to report within the context of a randomized, controlled trial, the presence of structural changes in the cerebral cortex during medication treatment for depression and the first to provide in vivo evidence for the presence of anatomical neuroplasticity in human brain.

Scientists pinpoint sensory links between autism and synesthesia

Concrete links between the symptoms of autism and synaesthesia have been discovered and clarified for the first time, according to new research by psychologists at the University of Sussex.

New protein discovered in aging and cancer

A protein has been found to have a previously unknown role in the ageing of cells, according to an early study by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). The researchers hope that the findings could one day lead to new treatments for ageing and early cancer.

When less is essential to keep the brain going

Like the junctions in an electronic circuit between two semiconductors in an integrated computer chip, synapses in the brain constitute the logic of information flow. Simply put, neurons form functional synapses every time we learn something, and make us forget when they disappear. Loss of synaptic functions in the human brain is at the root of many progressive neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's Disease. Although research has identified several factors that can potentially cause such disorders, the critical trigger is still elusive.

Study tests the 'three-hit' theory of autism

Since the first case was documented in the United States in 1938, the causes of autism have remained elusive. Hundreds of genes, as well as environmental exposures, have been implicated in these brain disorders. Sex also seems to have something to do with it: About 80 percent of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder are boys.

Caffeine boosts enzyme that could protect against dementia, study finds

A study by Indiana University researchers has identified 24 compounds—including caffeine—with the potential to boost an enzyme in the brain shown to protect against dementia.

Lifestyle choices condition colon and rectal cancer risk more than genetics

Researchers of the Colorectal Cancer research group of Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), led by Dr. Víctor Moreno, and linked to the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), the University of Barcelona (UB) and the Epidemiology and Public Health CIBER (CIBEResp), have issued the first predictive risk model of colon and rectal cancer based on Spanish data that combines genetic and lifestyle information. Their work, published by Scientific Reports, highlights the importance of improving lifestyle to reduce the risk of colon cancer and suggests to use a combination of lifestyle and genetic information to subdivide the population into different groups according to their colon cancer risk, which would fine tune the current screening method.

Inflammation in regeneration: A friend or foe?

Regeneration is an inherent property of life. However, the potential to regenerate differs across species: while fish and amphibians can re-grow appendages such as limbs, tails, and fins, mammals, including humans, cannot restore injured organs to their original shape and function. Therefore, elucidation of molecular mechanisms underlying the amazing regenerative capacity of lower vertebrates can show approaches to restore complex organs in humans, which is a clinical goal of the future.

Better injury data management can save fire departments hundreds of thousands of dollars

Fire departments and their municipalities could be shorting their budgets by hundreds of thousands of dollars since limited resources are keeping them from accurately counting firefighter injury data, according to new research out of Drexel University.

Evidence lacking to support 'lead diet'

For years, parents of children with high blood lead concentrations have been advised by health experts to provide their kids foods rich in iron, calcium and vitamin C.

Cyberbullying rarely occurs in isolation, research finds

Cyberbullying is mostly an extension of playground bullying – and doesn't create large numbers of new victims - according to research from the University of Warwick.

Smokefree laws cut heart attacks in big way

There is strong and consistent evidence that exposure to secondhand smoke causes heart attacks and that smokefree workplace and public place laws cut heart attacks (and other diseases). The most recent evidence comes from a large study in Sao Paolo, Brazil, where heart attack deaths dropped by 12 percent following implementation of its smokefree law.

Low-income girls often feel unprepared for puberty

My colleagues and I have conducted research focused on understanding and addressing the gap in menstrual support in countries around the world for over a decade.

Better dental care needed for people living with MS

Many Australians living with multiple sclerosis (MS) do not receive adequate oral health care or access to dental services.

Scientists explore signs of healthy brain aging

Younger people efficiently engage brain processes necessary to perform a task, while at the same time "shut down" processes irrelevant to the task, according to new research from the Center for Vital Longevity (CVL) at UT Dallas.

Self-persuasion iPad app spurs low-income parents to protect teens against cancer-causing hpv

As health officials struggle to boost the number of teens vaccinated against the deadly human papillomavirus, a new study from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, found that self-persuasion works to bring parents on board.

Research suggests child obesity can be tackled by simple sleep interventions

Families who receive brief interventions about how to improve their children's sleep have infants who are much less likely to be overweight, a University of Otago study has found.

The Ebola suspect's dilemma—what to do when seeking treatment is more likely to harm than to help

West Africa. 2014. The height of the Ebola outbreak sweeping the region. A person experiences sudden onset of fever, vomiting, diarrhea—textbook early symptoms of Ebola.

Male infertility research reveals how a new life begins

Research into a genetic mutation causing some men to be infertile shows that an important protein in the sperm that is a key component of the egg fertilization process, known as phospholipase C zeta (PLC-zeta), is ineffective in these individuals.

Clinical trial reveals a safer long term treatment for blistering skin disease

A clinical trial into the treatment of the severe blistering skin condition 'bullous pemphigoid' has found that starting treatment with an oral antibiotic is an effective and safer alternative to the current standard treatment of oral steroids which can have harmful long-term side effects.

Researchers aim to cure headache during flight

Many people suffer from pain when they fly but that may soon be a thing of the past. A new study from Aalborg University may have discovered the mechanisms responsible, opening the door to developing a cure.

Novel small molecule drug may help to ease symptoms in lupus sufferers

Lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease, has proved difficult to treat, but a new international study co-led by a Rush University Medical Center researcher suggests that a drug starting through the pipeline could ameliorate or even eliminate the symptoms in most sufferers.

Women suffer from asthma symptoms more frequently and more severely than men

Women suffer more frequently and more severely from pollen and food allergies and therefore also from asthma. Firstly, female sex hormones increase the risk and symptoms of asthma and allergies and, secondly, hormone preparations such as the contraceptive pill play a role. These factors should be given more consideration than was previously the case. Erika Jensen-Jarolim from MedUni Vienna's Institute of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research stresses this point on the occasion of International Women's Day on 8 March.

Heart drug improves or stabilizes heart function in Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Researchers at The Ohio State University Ross Heart Hospital and Nationwide Children's Hospital have shown early treatment with the heart failure medication eplerenone can improve heart function in young boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and stabilize heart function in older boys with the disease.

Family pets boost child development

Growing up with a pet can bring social, emotional and educational benefit to children and adolescents, according to a new University of Liverpool study. Youngsters with pets tend to have greater self-esteem, less loneliness, and enhanced social skills. This research adds strength to claims that household pets can help support healthy child development.

E-learning resource for diabetic foot care

A podiatry academic specialising in diabetic foot care has modernised an online resource designed to help nurses and other health professionals all over the country.

Researchers study a new way to lower LDL cholesterol

In a paper published in Biochemical Pharmacology, Saint Louis University researchers examined the way a nuclear receptor called REV-ERB is involved in regulating cholesterol metabolism. Their findings suggest that drugs targeting this nuclear receptor may be able to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol in an animal model.

Resveratrol preserves neuromuscular synapses, muscle fibers in aging mice

Scientists have discovered that resveratrol, a compound in the skin of red grapes and red wine, and metformin, a drug often prescribed to fight type 2 diabetes, have many of the neuroprotective benefits of a low-calorie diet and exercise.

Researchers map clonorchiasis risk across China

Clonorchiasis, a neglected tropical disease usually acquired by eating undercooked freshwater fish, affects an estimated 15 million people around the globe. More than 85% of cases are concentrated in China. Now, researchers have produced high-resolution risk maps for clonorchiasis in China. Their results, published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, identified provinces with the highest risk and important predictors for clonorchiasis. Moreover, the risk of the disease has been profiled for areas without survey data.

Evidence insufficient regarding screening for gynecologic conditions with pelvic examination

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 performing screening pelvic examinations in asymptomatic, nonpregnant adult women for the early detection and treatment of a range of gynecologic conditions. This statement does not apply to specific disorders for which the USPSTF already recommends screening (i.e., screening for cervical cancer with a Papanicolaou smear, screening for gonorrhea and chlamydia). The report appears in the March 7 issue of JAMA.

Being overweight in early pregnancy associated with increased rate of cerebral palsy

Among Swedish women, being overweight or obese early in pregnancy was associated with increased rates of cerebral palsy in children, according to a study appearing in the March 7 issue of JAMA.

Fewer overweight adults report trying to lose weight

Although weight gain has continued among U.S. adults, fewer report trying to lose weight, according to a study appearing in the March 7 issue of JAMA.

Dietary factors associated with substantial proportion of deaths from heart disease, stroke, and disease

Nearly half of all deaths due to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes in the U.S. in 2012 were associated with suboptimal consumption of certain dietary factors, according to a study appearing in the March 7 issue of JAMA.

Photos show promise as dietary assessment tool, but more training needed

Research at Oregon State University suggests that photographs of your food are good for a lot more than just entertaining your friends on social media - those pictures might help improve your health and also national nutrition policy.

Researchers identify key mutation that suppresses the immune system in melanoma

University of California, Irvine researchers have identified a specific mutation that allows melanoma tumor cells to remain undetected by the immune system. The finding may lead to the development of better immunotherapies and more effective methods to identify patients that would respond to these new therapies.

How exercise—interval training in particular—helps your mitochondria stave off old age

It's oft-repeated but true: exercise keeps you healthy. It boosts your immune system, keeps the mind sharp, helps you sleep, maintains your muscle tone, and extends your healthy lifespan. Researchers have long suspected that the benefits of exercise extend down to the cellular level, but know relatively little about which exercises help cells rebuild key organelles that deteriorate with aging. A study published March 7 in Cell Metabolism found that exercise—and in particular high-intensity interval training in aerobic exercises such as biking and walking—caused cells to make more proteins for their energy-producing mitochondria and their protein-building ribosomes, effectively stopping aging at the cellular level.

Scientists show how to amplify or stifle signals for immune responses

T cells, the managers of our immune systems, spend their days shaking hands with another type of cell that presents small pieces of protein from pathogens or cancerous cells to the T cell. But each T cell is programmed to recognize just a few protein pieces, known as antigens, meaning years can go by without the T cell, or its descendants, recognizing an antigen.

Urine-based biomarkers for early cancer screening test

A team of researchers, led by Professor Yoon-Kyoung Cho of Life Science at UNIST has recently developed a new technique that effectively identifies cancer-causing substances in the urine or blood.

Vaginal progesterone reduces the rate of preterm birth

Treatment with vaginal progesterone reduced the risk of preterm birth, neonatal complications and death in pregnant women with twins and who have a short cervix— a risk factor for preterm birth— according to a meta-analysis of individual patient data by researchers at the National Institutes of Health, the Wayne State University School of Medicine, the Detroit Medical Center, and other institutions in the United States and abroad.

Research shows infertility tied to relationship disruption in Ghana

Infertility is taking its toll on relationships in Ghana.

Can combined exercise and nutritional intervention improve muscle mass and function?

Although progressive muscle loss is a natural part of ageing, sarcopenia is generally identified when muscle mass and muscle function falls below defined thresholds. Sarcopenia's impact can be enormous as it affects mobility, balance, risk of falls and fractures, and overall ability to perform tasks of daily living. Given the ageing of populations worldwide, public health and clinical recommendations to prevent and manage sarcopenia are urgently needed.

Wise deliberation sustains cooperation

Giving people time to think about cooperating on a task can have a positive effect if they are big-picture thinkers, but if they tend to focus on their own, immediate experience, the time to think may make them less cooperative, University of Waterloo research has found.

Major pledge will boost brain research into causes of autism

Autism will be better understood thanks to a substantial investment from a US philanthropic foundation to the University of Edinburgh.

Diabetes drug may be effective against deadly form of breast cancer, study suggests

Researchers in China have discovered that a metabolic enzyme called AKR1B1 drives an aggressive type of breast cancer. The study, "AKR1B1 promotes basal-like breast cancer progression by a positive feedback loop that activates the EMT program," which has been published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine, suggests that an inhibitor of this enzyme currently used to treat diabetes patients could be an effective therapy for this frequently deadly form of cancer.

Are mind-body therapies effective in autism?

Researchers have shown that mindfulness therapy had significant positive effects on depression, anxiety, and rumination in adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and Nei Yang Gong therapy had a significant positive effect on self-control in children with ASD. These findings were reported in a review of 16 studies of mind-body therapies used to treat autism, published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. The article is available free on The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine website until April 7, 2017.

Researchers solve the mystery of the acid pump

Researchers at Aarhus University, Denmark, have succeeded in identifying the mechanisms involved in what is known as the acid pump, which at the cellular level pumps acid into the stomach - in some cases leading to gastric ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease. The research results emanate from Jens Chr. Skou's sodium-potassium pump, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize twenty years ago.

Study finds recurrent changes in DNA activate genes, promote tumor growth

Genetic mutations can increase a person's cancer risk, but other gene "enhancer" elements may also be responsible for disease progression, according to new research out of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. In a breakthrough study published in Nature Communications, scientists discovered changes in specific regions of DNA, outside of colorectal cancer genes, that "enhance" harmful gene expression to help grow tumors. The changes are highly conserved across tumor samples, suggesting a common mechanism that could be targeted by drug developers.

Researchers examine molecular-level problems of heart disease

Researchers are one step closer to understanding heart disease at a microscopic level, a breakthrough that could influence future treatments for millions of people.

City tax on cars cut pollution, kids' asthma risk

(HealthDay)—A tax designed to reduce mid-city traffic in Stockholm, Sweden, was tied to a reduction in asthma attacks in children, a new study suggests.

Moderate interobserver agreement for glaucoma software

(HealthDay)—There is moderate interobserver agreement among glaucoma specialists using two glaucoma progression software packages, according to a study published online Feb. 23 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Cost-effectiveness compared for metastatic melanoma treatments

(HealthDay)—For patients with BRAF wild-type metastatic melanoma, first-line pembrolizumab (PEM) every three weeks followed by second-line ipilumumab (IPI), or first-line nivolumab (NIVO) followed by IPI, are the most cost-effective strategies, according to a study published online Feb. 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Index predicts 10-, 14-year mortality in older adults

(HealthDay)—An 11-factor index predicts 10- and 14-year mortality with excellent calibration and discrimination among community-dwelling U.S. adults aged ≥65 years, according to a study published online Feb. 21 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Guidelines updated for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo

(HealthDay)—In a clinical practice guideline published in the March issue of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, updated recommendations are presented for the diagnosis and management of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).

Quality improvement project can reduce pediatric head CT use

(HealthDay)—A quality improvement (QI) project can decrease use of computed tomography (CT) in the emergency department for children with head injury, according to a study published online March 2 in Pediatrics.

Metreleptin doesn't improve glycemic control in T1DM

(HealthDay)—For patients with suboptimally controlled type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), metreleptin does not improve glycemic control, but is associated with reductions in body weight and daily insulin dose, according to a study published online Feb. 21 in Diabetes Care.

AAAAI: low vitamin E in mothers can up asthma risk in offspring

(HealthDay)—Children born to mothers with low levels of vitamin E might be more likely to develop asthma, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, held from March 3 to 6 in Atlanta.

AAAAI: asthma more likely to prove fatal in black children

(HealthDay)—Black American children are six times more likely to die from asthma than their white or Hispanic peers, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, held from March 3 to 6 in Atlanta.

Most health care providers can offer cost estimate

(HealthDay)—Most provider organizations can offer a cost estimate, although few patients request one, according to a report published by Becker's Hospital CFO.

FDA approves noctiva nasal spray for nocturnal polyuria

(HealthDay)—Noctiva (desmopressin acetate) nasal spray has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat frequent urination at night due to nocturnal polyuria.

Multilab replication project examines cooperation under time pressure

In 2012, a trio of psychological scientists reported research showing that people who made quick decisions under time pressure were more likely to cooperate than were people who were required to take longer in their deliberations. A new multi-laboratory effort was partially successful in replicating those results.

Spike in syphilis among newborns driven by broader epidemic

Neonatologist Gurvir Khurana had only read about it in textbooks. Seeing it in real life has been a shock: baby after baby born severely anemic, lungs filled with fluid, bodies covered with rashes. Some only lived minutes; others died within days or weeks.

Longer hospital stays might reduce readmissions from post-acute care facilities

More than 25 percent of Medicare beneficiaries who are admitted to the hospital are sent to a post-acute care facility (a health facility like a rehabilitation or skilled nursing center used instead of a hospital) after being discharged. However, more than 23 percent of these older adults face readmission to the hospital within 30 days, and often within the first week.

MRI-powered mini-robots could offer targeted treatment

Invasive surgical techniques - cutting through the breastbone for open heart surgery or making a large incision to inspect an abdominal tumor - allow physicians to effectively treat disease but can lead to sometimes serious complications and dramatically slow healing for the patient.

Controlling energy production by calcium is an organ-specific affair

A heart beat begins with a rush of calcium into the heart cell followed by a burst of energy from the resident mitochondria. These two events occur with each beat. Yet these events are not confined to heart cells and in fact occur in the cells of many other organs. A fundamental question researchers have asked is how different patterns of calcium intake can be linked to the very different energy needs of, for example, an incessantly beating heart cell compared to a liver cell that receives less regular calcium signals.

Ovarian cancer researchers find biomarker linked to prognosis in aggressive disease type

Ovarian cancer researchers have identified a protein biomarker expressed on the surface of tumour cells in high-grade serous ovarian cancer, the most common and lethal subtype of the disease.

Incidence of dementia in primary care increased in the Netherlands over 23 years

The incidence of registered dementia cases has increased slightly over a 23-year period (1992 to 2014) in the Netherlands, according to a study published by Emma van Bussel and colleagues from the Academic Medical Center Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in PLOS Medicine's Special Issue on Dementia.

PTSD risk can be predicted by hormone levels prior to deployment, study says

Up to 20 percent of U.S. veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan developed symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder from trauma experienced during wartime, but new neuroscience research from The University of Texas at Austin suggests some soldiers might have a hormonal predisposition to experience such stress-related disorders.

Giving up cigarettes linked with recovery from illicit substance use disorders

Smokers in recovery from illicit drug use disorders are at greater risk of relapsing three years later compared with those who do not smoke cigarettes. Results of the study by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the City University of New York appear online in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Lack of fruits and vegetables increases global heart disease burden

Globally, increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables could save millions of years lost to disability and premature death from heart disease, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association Epidemiology and Prevention | Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health 2017 Scientific Sessions.

Eating in social settings may be greatest temptation for dieters

For people trying to lose weight or maintain a lower body weight, the temptation to overeat is stronger when eating in a social setting, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention / Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health 2017 Scientific Sessions.

New study reveals the association between type 2 diabetes and the risk of death from cancer in East and South Asians

A new study published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]) reveals that type 2 diabetes (T2D) is associated with a 26% increase in the risk of death from cancer in Asians, as well as increases in the risk of death from site-specific cancers that can be even greater.

New research shows split on how people consider transgender rights issues

The Trump administration in late February withdrew Obama administration federal protections for transgender students that would allow them to use bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity.

GOP bill unlikely to settle passionate health care debate

The nation's passionate debate about the role of government in providing health care for citizens and paying the costs is unlikely to be settled by the legislation newly revealed by House Republicans.

Republican plan to replace Obamacare: what's new in it?

President Donald Trump's Republican allies in Congress have presented long-awaited legislation to repeal and replace Barack Obama's signature health care reforms. How would it work?

Biology news

Prehistoric ancestor of leukaemia virus found in bats

Ancient DNA traces from the family of viruses that cause a rare type of leukaemia have been found in the genomes of bats, filling the "last major gap" in retrovirus fossil record.

Study suggests complex life was present on Earth 2.33 billion years ago

An exhaustive genetic analysis of modern-day organisms has revealed new insights into Earth's earliest forms of complex life.

Random process may determine specialized cells in organs

What is the process that allows plant and animal organs to produce different specialized cells from an original set of identical cells? In the case of small and giant cells found in the sepals – the leaf-like covering of petals in a bud – of flowering Arabidopsis plants, the answer is randomness.

Study debunks old concept of how anesthesia works

Anesthesia induces unconsciousness by changing the function of proteins that reside on the surface of a thin membrane that forms a barrier around all cells, according to new research from Weill Cornell Medicine scientists. The findings challenge a century-old concept of how anesthetics work and may help guide the development of new agents associated with fewer side effects.

Paleontologists find fossil relative of Ginkgo biloba

A discovery of well-preserved fossil plants by paleontologists from the United States, China, Japan, Russia and Mongolia has allowed researchers to identify a distant relative of the living plant Ginkgo biloba.

Specialized beetles shed light on predator-prey associations in the cretaceous

Recently, a research team led by researchers from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NIGPAS) found a new morphologically specialized beetle from the mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber, shedding new light on the predator-prey associations in the late Mesozoic terrestrial ecosystem.

3-D scans reveal flexible skull patterns are key to island bird diversity

A study of the super-diverse bird groups, which include Darwin's finches, has found that modular skull parts helped them adapt to different roles.

First evidence of rhinoceros' ability to correct gender imbalance

Research led by Victoria University of Wellington has demonstrated the ability of rhinoceros to modify the sex of their offspring to avoid the dominance of one gender and limit severe competition for breeding.

Bumblebees' smelly feet help determine where to find lunch

Scientists from the University of Bristol have discovered that bumblebees have the ability to use 'smelly footprints' to make the distinction between their own scent, the scent of a relative and the scent of a stranger.

New study shines light on photosynthesis

Terry Bricker, Moreland Family Professor in the Louisiana State University (LSU) Department of Biological Sciences, and colleagues at Palacký University in the Czech Republic and at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio have solved a longstanding mystery in photosynthesis, a process used by plants and other organisms to convert light energy into chemical energy. Their findings are presented in a study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

A light rain can spread soil bacteria far and wide, study finds

A good rain can have a cleansing effect on the land. But an MIT study published today in Nature Communications reports that, under just the right conditions, rain can also be a means of spreading bacteria.

New frog from the Peruvian Andes is the first amphibian named after Sir David Attenborough

While there are already a number of species named after famous British broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough, including mammals, reptiles, invertebrates and plants, both extinct and extant, not until now has the host of the BBC Natural History's Life series been honoured with an amphibian.

'Black swan' events strike animal populations

Black swan events are rare and surprising occurrences that happen without notice and often wreak havoc on society. The metaphor has been used to describe banking collapses, devastating earthquakes and other major surprises in financial, social and natural systems.

Species appears to evolve quickly enough to endure city temperatures

The speed at which a tiny ant evolves to cope to its warming city environment suggests that some species may evolve quickly enough to survive, or even thrive, in the warmer temperatures found within cities, according to a new study by researchers at Case Western Reserve University.

Detailed chemical structure of P22 virus resolved

Scientists at Baylor College of Medicine, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Purdue University have completed a model of unprecedented near-atomic resolution of the chemical structure of the P22 virus. The study appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Principles of 3-D genome folding and gene expression studied across species

It seems like a feat of magic. Human DNA, if stretched out into one, long spaghetti-like strand, would measure 2 meters (six feet) long. And yet, all of our DNA is compacted more than 10,000 times to fit inside a single cell. How is this accomplished while preserving the overall, vital genomic organization?

Cells communicate better when not squeezed together, research shows

Scientists are beginning to realize that many cellular behaviors, such as metastasizing cancer cells moving through the body or wound healing, aren't random events, but the result of coordinated actions by cells.

Portuguese moth's mystery solved after 22 years

An unknown moth, collected from Portugal 22 years ago, has finally been named and placed in the tree of life thanks to the efforts of an international team of scientists. The moth was unambiguously placed in the family of geometer moths (Geometridae), commonly known as loopers or inchworms due to the characteristic looping gait of their larvae.

Fly-over states matter when understanding—and saving—migratory birds

Around the world, thousands of migratory animals travel hundreds or even thousands of miles each year. The journey of migratory animals is more important than their destination. Scientists use the endangered Kirtland's warblers to show how connecting all migration's points can chart a way to sustainability.

Biophysicists propose new approach for membrane protein crystallization

A team of scientists from MIPT, Research Center Jülich (Germany), and Institut de Biologie Structurale (France) has developed a new approach to membrane protein crystallization. For the first time, the scientists have showed that membrane proteins trapped in synthetic patches of cell membrane called "nanodiscs" can be transferred into the lipidic cubic phase and crystallized.

World's first-ever best-practice guide for responsible shark and ray tourism released

This World Wildlife Day, March 3, Project AWARE, WWF and The Manta Trust are pleased to release Responsible Shark and Ray Tourism: A Guide to Best Practice, the world's first-ever guidelines for shark and ray tourism operators. The Guide aims to provide practical, science-based guidance to help tourism operators, NGOs and local communities develop and maintain well managed tourism operations that help conserve shark and ray species, raise awareness for their protection, and benefit local communities.

Feral cats and fires affecting wildlife on Top End island

Native animals are declining on Melville Island, Australia's second largest island with brush-tailed rabbit-rats, black-footed tree-rats and northern brown bandicoots the worst hit. 

Fruit flies halt reproduction during infection

A protective mechanism that allows fruit flies to lay fewer eggs in response to bacterial infection is explained in a study published in the journal eLife.

Massive Hong Kong shark fin seizure as ban flouted

Hong Kong authorities have seized more than a tonne of shark fins as activists warn traders are sneaking the sought-after delicacy into the city by mislabelling shipments to get around bans by major transporters.

Should I be worried that the outbreak of cat flu in New York City could affect my pet?

Cats don't usually catch the flu, which is what made the outbreak that sickened cats in the New York City shelter system so newsworthy. A cat that had a respiratory infection and died from pneumonia in mid-November had tested positive for canine influenza H3N2.

Identification of genes controlling mouthpart development key to insect diversity

Nagoya University-led international research reveals functions of mouthpart-controlling genes in development of enlarged mandibles in the stag beetle.

Nitrogen uptake between fungi and orchids

Orchids are an example of an experimentally tractable plant that is highly dependent on its relationship with its mycorrhizal fungal partners for nutrient supply. In this recent study, researchers for the first time identified some genetic determinants potentially involved in nitrogen uptake and transfer in orchid mycorrhizas.

How fruit flies form orientation memory

Insects have a spatial orientation memory that helps them remember the location of their destination if they are briefly deflected from their route. Researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have examined how this working memory functions on the biochemical level in the case of Drosophila melanogaster. They have identified two gaseous messenger substances that play an important role in signal transmission in the nerve cells, i.e., nitric oxide and hydrogen sulfide. The short-term working memory is stored with the help of the messenger substances in a small group of ring-shaped neurons in the ellipsoid body in the central brain of Drosophila.

Brain scans of service-dog trainees help sort weaker recruits from the pack

Brain scans of canine candidates to assist people with disabilities can help predict which dogs will fail a rigorous service training program, a study by Emory University finds.

First underwater video footage of the True's beaked whale

The True´s beaked whale is a deep-diving mammal so rarely seen that it often defies recognition at sea by researchers. As a result, we have little data about its distribution, abundance and calving rate - information essential for its conservation. Scientists have now found a new coloration pattern in the species and obtained the first images of a calf along with the first underwater video of these whales - helping to reveal the secrets of this species.

Plant species discovered in Colombia named to honor Santos

Scientists have named a recently discovered Colombian plant species in honor of President Juan Manuel Santos' efforts to build peace following five decades of armed conflict.

Scientists engineering cells to eat deadly bacteria

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University are working to engineer single-cell organisms that will seek out and eat bacteria that are deadly to humans.

Survival instinct, not family bonds, weave massive spider colonies together

Spiders will live in groups if environmental conditions make it too difficult for single mothers to go it alone, new research shows.

Snake bit? Chemists figure out how to easily and cheaply halt venom's spread

Chemists at the University of California, Irvine have developed a way to neutralize deadly snake venom more cheaply and effectively than with traditional anti-venom—an innovation that could spare millions of people the loss of life or limbs each year.

Researchers develop equation that helps to explain plant growth

It is rare in biology that a single trait can answer questions spanning several fields of research. One such trait is plant biology's "leaf mass per area," a simple measurement calculated by weighing a dried leaf and dividing by its original fresh area. Leaf mass per area, or LMA, which has been measured in thousands of studies, is used in nearly every field of plant biology to make predictions of many processes and properties such as leaf photosynthetic rates, nitrogen content and plant environmental preferences.

White rhino killed by poachers at French zoo

Intruders at a French zoo have shot dead a white rhino and hacked off its horns in a grizzly overnight poaching incident, the police and the zoo said Tuesday.

ASHG opposes new executive order restricting travel to the US

The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) opposes and urges the White House to rescind its recent Executive Order "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States," issued March 6.

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