Friday, April 7, 2017

Science X Newsletter Friday, Apr 7

Dear Reader ,

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

Spotlight Stories Headlines

New insight into proving math's million-dollar problem: the Riemann hypothesis (Update)

Possible venus twin discovered around dim star

Money to burn: As the wealthy get wealthier, carbon emissions grow in US states

Brain's navigation more complex than previously thought

New study shows that people who were encouraged to judge each other's morals cooperated better in groups

Renewable plastic precursor could grow cellulosic biofuel industry

Cannibal larvae eat eggs, grow fast, avoid predators

Puffins that stay close to their partner during migration have more chicks

ALMA captures explosive star birth

Deep brain stimulation decreases tics in young adults with severe Tourette syndrome

Volcanic arcs form by deep melting of rock mixtures

'Nesting doll' minerals offer clues to Earth's mantle dynamics

How sleep deprivation affects memory-making in the brain

Exoplanet discovery by an amateur astronomer shows the power of citizen science

You spy with your little eye – dogs can adopt the perspective of humans

Astronomy & Space news

Possible venus twin discovered around dim star

Astronomers using NASA's Kepler space telescope have found a planet 219 light-years away that seems to be a close relative to Venus. This newly discovered world is only slightly larger than Earth, and orbits a low-temperature star called Kepler-1649 that's one-fifth the diameter of our Sun.

ALMA captures explosive star birth

Star birth can be a violent and explosive event, as dramatically illustrated in new ALMA images.

Exoplanet discovery by an amateur astronomer shows the power of citizen science

You don't need to be a professional astronomer to find new worlds orbiting distant stars. Darwin mechanic and amateur astronomer Andrew Grey this week helped to discover a new exoplanet system with at least four orbiting planets.

Asteroid to fly safely past Earth on April 19

A relatively large near-Earth asteroid discovered nearly three years ago will fly safely past Earth on April 19 at a distance of about 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers), or about 4.6 times the distance from Earth to the moon. Although there is no possibility for the asteroid to collide with our planet, this will be a very close approach for an asteroid of this size.

Exoplanet mission gets ticket to ride

A Soyuz rocket operated by Arianespace from Europe's spaceport in Kourou will boost ESA's upcoming exoplanet satellite into space.

Galileo's search and rescue service in the spotlight

Europe's Galileo satnav network does more than let us find our way – it is also helping to save lives. Today sees a spotlight cast on Galileo's Search and Rescue service, which pinpoints people in distress on land or sea.

Supermassive black holes stifle galaxy growth

An international team of scientists involved in the SDSS-IV MaNGA (Sloan Digital Sky Survey-IV Mapping Nearby Galaxies at Apache Point Observatory) project is studying approximately 10,000 galaxies near Earth. The researchers are trying to build maps that can provide details of individual galaxies in order to understand their life cycles, from birth, growth via star formation and eventually death.

Tiny thrusters demonstrate a capability needed to detect gravitational waves

On December 3, 2015, the LISA Pathfinder mission blasted into space carrying the most stable spacecraft thruster system ever qualified for use in space. Developed by NASA JPL, the Space Technology 7 (ST-7) Disturbance Reduction System (DRS) is designed to control the spacecraft's position to within a millionth of a millimeter. ST-7 DRS consists of clusters of colloid micronewton thrusters and control software residing on a dedicated computer. To operate, the thrusters apply an electric charge to small droplets of liquid and accelerate them through an electric field. This new thruster technology has never successfully been used in space before. ST-7 DRS will deliver extremely small pulses of energy (5 to 30 micronewtons of thrust) to precisely control the LISA Pathfinder spacecraft.

Technology news

Machine learning chip earns another feather in Google thinking cap

(Tech Xplore)—Google has said the TPU beat Nvidia and Intel. Let's explain that. There is so much to explain. TPU stands for Tensor Processing Unit. This is described by a Google engineer as "an entirely new class of custom machine learning accelerator."

Samsung Electronics expects Q1 profits to jump

Embattled Samsung Electronics said Friday it expects profits to jump by half in the first quarter, despite a smartphone recall fiasco and the arrest of its de facto head.

The stampede of wind farm complaints that never happened

National Wind Farm Commissioner, Andrew Dyer, has just released his much anticipated first annual report.

Automated automobile cattle avoidance

Driverless cars are hitting the headlines across the globe but for the foreseeable future we will still have drivers. The pressure then is how might some of the safety features of driverless cars be incorporated into conventional vehicles? Writing in the International Journal of Vehicle Autonomous Systems, researchers from India describe a real-time automatic obstacle detection and alert system for driver assistance.

Pitt designs new wheelchair powered by compressed air

A new waterproof motorized wheelchair that runs entirely on compressed air was unveiled today at Morgan's Wonderland, a 25-acre theme park in San Antonio, Texas. The park was built specifically for individuals with disabilities, and 10 of these chairs will be available to patrons at the venue's new splash park, Morgan's Inspiration Island, when it opens later this spring.

Google adds 'fact check' to global search results

Google is adding a fact-checking tag to search results globally, its latest initiative to help curb the spread of misinformation and "fake news," the company said Friday.

Protecting driver privacy in the connected age

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers have demonstrated that is possible to compromise a driver's private information stored in the cloud for Usage-Based Insurance (UBI) programs based on only part of the data collected.

Social networking sites could be used to monitor and respond to global disease outbreaks

That social networking sites are a pervasive force won't come as a surprise to the billions of users worldwide. But how effective are they when it comes to informing the public health response to disease outbreaks? To answer this question and provide clear, quantitative data on how social media supports disease monitoring and response, a joint study between the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) Institute of High Performance Computing and Singapore's Ministry of Health examined the 2013 avian flu outbreak in China.

Hybrid 'eco-roof' design combines five existing energy-saving technologies into a single system

Scientists at the University of Malaya have designed a roof that can help address an environmental conflict: increasing demands for energy to increase living comfort versus a need to scale back fossil fuel use to address climate change. The conflict has driven interest in more efficient renewable energy sources, especially in emerging economies.

Berlin to expand bike lines, approves self-driving car test

Officials and cycling campaigners in Berlin have agreed to budget about 50 million euros ($53 million) a year to expand bike use with the goal of reducing car traffic in the German capital.

Lithium reviving centuries-old Czech mining tradition

A surge in global use of lithium, a key component in electric batteries, is leading to the revival of a centuries-long mining tradition in the Czech Republic's Ore Mountains.

Medicine & Health news

Brain's navigation more complex than previously thought

Neuroscientists' discovery of grid cells, popularly known as the brain's GPS, was hailed as a major discovery. But new Stanford research suggest the system is more complicated than anyone had guessed.

Deep brain stimulation decreases tics in young adults with severe Tourette syndrome

A surgical technique that sends electrical impulses to a specific area of the brain reduces the "tics," or involuntary movements and vocal outbursts, experienced by young adults with severe cases of Tourette syndrome, according to a new study led by investigators from NYU Langone Medical Center.

How sleep deprivation affects memory-making in the brain

Scientists have known that a lack of sleep can interfere with the ability to learn and make memories. Now, a group of University of Michigan researchers have found how sleep deprivation affects memory-making in the brain.

Researchers detect protein that increases effectiveness of vaccines

Researchers have discovered a protein they believe would help make vaccinations more effective and provide protection from other diseases such as cancer.

Why did we see 'the dress' differently? The answer lies in the shadows, new research finds

When "the dress" went viral in 2015, millions were divided on its true colors: gold and white or black and blue? In a new study, New York University neuroscientist Pascal Wallisch concludes that these differences in perception are due to our assumptions about how the dress was illuminated.

Transcription factor expression tied to medial amygdala neuronal ID, sex-specific response

Neurons derived from two different types of precursor cells that later develop into neurons in the medial amygdala - one of the interconnected structures in the brain involved in emotion, motivation and memory - help to program innate reproductive and aggressive behaviors into the brain, research led by Children's National Health System indicates.

Rescue protein gives doomed cells a stay of 'execution'

A research team led by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital immunologists has discovered how a set of proteins delays the "executioner" machinery that kills damaged or infected cells in a process called necroptosis. The scientists believe the finding may have wide clinical implications if researchers can develop drugs to control the cellular rescue machinery.

Structural racism, mass incarceration, and health care system fuel growing health inequalities in the US

Structural racism, mass incarceration, and the widening income gap between rich and poor all feed growing health inequalities in the USA, which the health care system—by its very design and financing - only helps exacerbate, according to a new five paper Series published in The Lancet.

Big women have nearly threefold greater risk of atrial fibrillation

Big women have a nearly threefold greater risk of atrial fibrillation than small women, according to research presented today at EuroPrevent 2017. The study included 1.5 million women who were followed-up for more than 30 years.

Drug testing breakthrough sees side effects before they happen

Expensive large-scale trials on no-hoper drugs could become a thing of the past after a European research collaboration worked out how to tell if a medication is likely to cause side effects before they actually appear.

To avoid golf injuries, get your wrist in gear

If you are looking to improve your golf game this spring, be sure to watch your… wrist. According to a hand and wrist expert at Baylor College of Medicine, wrist injuries are one of the most common types of golf injuries.

CD38 gene is identified to be important in postnatal development of the cerebral cortex

The brain consists of neurons and glial cells. The developmental abnormality of glial cells causes various diseases and aberrant cerebral cortex development. CD38 gene knockout is shown to cause aberrant development of glial cells, especially astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. The CD38 gene is known to be involved in cerebral cortex development. The present study suggests the importance of glial cells for cerebral cortex development.

Researchers find new mechanism essential for maintaining breathing rhythm; potential treatment for apnea

In a new study published in the journal Neuron, a group of researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital, Washington University and the University of Pennsylvania reveal a new neural mechanism that helps maintain breathing rhythm.

Researcher studies exercise dependence in weightlifters

Is it possible for people to become addicted to exercise? In a culture where 70 percent of the population is overweight or obese, and yet only 15 percent exercise regularly enough to gain health benefits, why should anyone bother to study people who may exercise too much and produce detrimental consequences? These are the questions that Bruce Hale, professor of kinesiology at Penn State Berks, ponders in his research on exercise dependence.

HDL composition may help predict health risks and design therapeutics

To most of us, HDLs, or high-density lipoproteins, are simply tiny, cholesterol-rich particles that act as the biochemical "good guys" in the battle against clogged arteries and coronary heart disease.

Parents can help soothe burns treatment stress

Playful distraction can trump kisses and cuddles to reduce a child's anxiety and pain during potentially painful burns dressing changes.

Researchers call for children to wear helmets around horses

A new study has recommended helmets should always be worn by children not only when riding horses but also when around horses, to reduce the risk of head injuries.

Study shows link between food insecurity and poor mental health

While a lack of access to safe and nutritious food can contribute to malnutrition, and a whole host of other physical effects, what, if any, are the effects on mental health?

The number of new flu viruses is increasing, and could lead to a pandemic

Influenza has affected humans for over 6,000 years, causing pandemics at regular intervals. During the 1918 Spanish flu, it was thought to be a bacteria, until an American physician Richard Shope identified the virus in 1931.

Higher death rate among youth with first episode psychosis

A new study shows that young people experiencing first episode psychosis have a much higher death rate than previously thought. Researchers analyzed data on approximately 5,000 individuals aged 16-30 with commercial health insurance who had received a new psychosis diagnosis, and followed them for the next 12 months. They found that the group had a mortality rate at least 24 times greater than the same age group in the general population, in the 12 months after the initial psychosis diagnosis. This study, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health, underscores that young people experiencing psychosis warrant intensive and proactive treatments, services and supports.

Yoga helps preserve muscle mass in older women, study says

A new study by the University of Connecticut finds that practicing yoga may improve protein utilization among older women, and lead to the maintenance of muscle at a time in life when muscle loss is common.

WHO: Japan needs anti-smoking law ahead of Tokyo Olympics

Japan should ban smoking in all public places if it wants to successfully host the Tokyo Olympics and promote tourism, a senior World Health Organization official said Friday.

Theory of evolution leads to new cancer approach

A world-first book combining evolutionary ecology and oncology aims to improve cancer prevention and therapies.

To eat or not to eat (before exercising)—that is the question

Exercise enthusiasts often wonder whether it's better to eat or fast before a workout. A new study is the first of its kind to show the effects of eating versus fasting on gene expression in adipose (fat) tissue in response to exercise. This study highlights the different roles fat plays in powering and responding to exercise. The study is published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology—Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Mobile phones improve outcomes for HIV-positive people across the globe

The use of mobile technology shows great promise for those who are HIV-positive, especially among those who have limited resources and those in poor areas of the world, according to a new paper published by researchers at the University at Albany.

Risk adjustment, reinsurance transfer offer financial benefit

(HealthDay)—Risk adjustment and reinsurance transfer programs seem to have been effective for increasing revenues at the expense of claims costs, according to research published in the March issue of Health Affairs.

Occupational therapy ups functioning in frail seniors

(HealthDay)—For physically frail older adults, occupational therapy is associated with improved functioning, according to a review published online April 3 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Cardiorespiratory fitness impacts BMI-related heart failure risk

(HealthDay)—Higher body mass index (BMI) is associated with increased risk of heart failure, which is largely explained by differences in cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), according to a study published online April 5 in JACC: Heart Failure.

Prevalence of metformin use 0.7 percent in prediabetes

(HealthDay)—For U.S. adults with prediabetes, the prevalence of metformin use is 0.7 percent, according to a study published online April 3 in Diabetes Care.

Peptide acts as mediator for learning

The ability of the brain to respond and adapt to changes is scientifically called brain plasticity. This ability is the basis of all learning processes. New neurons, which can still be generated in the adult brain in specific areas, are instrumental in this process.

Money can't buy confidence in birth services, research shows

Less than 50% of eligible women take up the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) Indian Government cash incentive scheme.A team of researchers based at institutions in India, Australia, and the UK, including Public Health Foundation of India, the University of Adelaide, and Lancaster University, identified that more significant factors are at play, including familial support and transport challenges.

Asthma drug helps patients with skin disorder

Patients who develop itchy wheals in response to cold or friction benefit from treatment with omalizumab, a drug normally used to treat asthma. Two separate clinical studies, conducted by researchers from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, have shown the drug's active substance to be highly effective against different types of urticaria (hives). Results from these studies have been published in the current edition of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

PET radiotracer design for monitoring targeted immunotherapy

In an article published in the April issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, researchers at Stanford University in California provide a template for assessing new positron emission tomography (PET) radiotracers that can accurately identify molecules in cancer cells that prevent the immune system from attacking the cancer.

Ovarian cancer patients get access to life-extending drug

Cancer patients in America are now receiving a life-extending drug developed by scientists at Newcastle University.

U.S. blood supply safe from Zika virus, officials say

(HealthDay)—U.S. blood banks are confident they have the tools to protect America's blood supply from possible new Zika virus outbreaks during the upcoming mosquito season.

Who really needs all those heart tests?

(HealthDay)—Sometimes the treatment for heart problems may be more aggressive than it needs to be, according to Consumer Reports.

Preparing for anesthesia: Five tips you should know

(HealthDay)—If you have surgery on your calendar, don't wait until the last minute to start preparing, especially if you're going to need anesthesia.

FDA approves hep C drugs for kids 12 and older

(HealthDay)—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved two drugs to treat hepatitis C infection in children aged 12 and older.

SGA prescribing higher for veterans with PTSD / dementia

(HealthDay)—Elderly veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with dementia have increased odds of being prescribed second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) compared with those with PTSD alone, according to a study published online April 3 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Antenatal betamethasone doesn't impact pediatric bone mass

(HealthDay)—Exposure to repeat doses of antenatal betamethasone is not associated with alterations in bone mass in mid-childhood compared with a single course of glucocorticoids, according to a study published online April 7 in Pediatrics.

Combo Rx plus stem-cell tx ups PFS in multiple myeloma

(HealthDay)—Combination therapy with lenalidomide, bortezomib, and dexamethasone (RVD) plus stem-cell transplantation is associated with longer progression-free survival than RVD alone for adults with multiple myeloma, according to a study published in the April 6 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

991 used oregon's physician-aided dying law 1998 to 2015

(HealthDay)—Fewer than 1,000 residents have followed through since Oregon became the first state to permit physician-aided dying in 1997, according to a report published online April 6 in JAMA Oncology.

CDC: syphilis rates up among U.S. men who have sex with men

(HealthDay)—Syphilis rates among men who have sex with men (MSM) have increased significantly in the past two decades, according to research published in the April 7 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion bests injections in T2DM

(HealthDay)—For patients with type 2 diabetes and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) >8 percent following multiple daily injections (MDI), continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII) is associated with a significantly greater reduction in HbA1c than MDI, according to a study published online April 4 in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

New medication significantly decreases involuntary movement

Antipsychotic treatment can cause involuntary movements such as lip smacking, tongue protrusions and excessive eye blinking. These movements typically occur after more than 3 months of treatment and are called tardive dyskinesia.

Uruguay to start selling marijuana in pharmacies

Uruguay will become the world's first country to allow recreational marijuana to be sold in pharmacies starting in July, the president's office said Thursday.

Swiss giant Novartis likely bribed 'thousands' in Greece: minister

Greece's justice minister on Friday said Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis had likely bribed "thousands" of doctors and civil servants to promote its products, amid an ongoing probe.

KFC to stop using chickens raised with human antibiotics

KFC said Friday that it will stop serving chickens raised with certain antibiotics.

AGA releases best practice advice on long-term PPI use

When proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are appropriately prescribed, their benefits are likely to outweigh their risks, according to an American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Clinical Practice Update1 published in Gastroenterology, the official journal of AGA. Additionally, there is currently insufficient evidence to recommend specific strategies for mitigating PPI adverse effects.

Risks of diabetics fasting during Ramadan: Hypoglycemia rates with insulin pump v. injections

A new study examining the risk of fasting during Ramadan for people with type 1 diabetes compared blood glucose control and the rates of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia between users of insulin pump therapy versus multiple daily insulin injections. The researchers report their findings in Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics (DTT).

A moldable scaffold for bone

A team including researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is developing a new material that can be used to replace skull bone lost to injury, surgery, or birth defect. The bioactive foam is malleable when exposed to warm saline, allowing surgeons to easily shape it to fit irregular defects in the skull, where it hardens in place. Once implanted in the skull, specially coated pores within the foam attract bone cells, naturally regenerating bone to replace the foam, which dissolves over time.

Many older adults will need help with managing their medicines and money

In a study of nearly 9500 individuals aged 65 and older who did not need help in managing medications or finances, many needed assistance as time went on.

Professor breaks new ground on counseling survivors of trauma, sexual assault

Recent work by a University of Montana communication studies professor is drawing national attention for her approach to incorporating research in interpersonal communication with the delivery of mental health services to sexual assault survivors.

Drug epidemic: One small-town mayor takes on pill distributors

In this once prosperous West Virginia coal town of 1,900 people, residents say it's not just the decades-long demise of mining that hurt the community—it's the scourge of drug use that came with it.

Biology news

Cannibal larvae eat eggs, grow fast, avoid predators

Insects that cannibalize often do so to boost their nutrition, but a new study of Colorado potato beetles suggests another reason for the behavior: to lay low from predators.

Puffins that stay close to their partner during migration have more chicks

Puffin pairs that follow similar migration routes breed more successfully the following season, a new Oxford University study has found.

You spy with your little eye – dogs can adopt the perspective of humans

Humans are able to interpret the behaviour of others by attributing mental states to them (and to themselves). By adopting the perspectives of other persons, they can assume their emotions, needs and intentions and react accordingly. In the animal kingdom, the ability to attribute mental states (Theory of Mind) is a highly contentious issue. Cognitive biologists from the Messerli Research Institute of the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna could prove with a new test procedure that dogs are not only able to identify whether a human has an eye on a food source and, therefore, knows where the food has been hidden. They can also apply this knowledge in order to correctly interpret cues by humans and find food they cannot see themselves. This perspective taking ability is an important component of social intelligence. It helps dogs to cope with the human environment. The results have been published in the journal Animal Cognition.

Biology professors suggest instincts evolved from learning

(—A pair of biology professors, one with the University of Illinois, the other with Macquarie University in Australia has proposed in a Perspective piece in the journal Science that the traits we see as instinctual in animals were likely learned by ancestors. In their paper, Gene Robinson and Andrew Barron suggest that those behaviors learned by ancestors wound up in their DNA somehow, making them instinctual behaviors in later generations.

Tropical lowland frogs at greater risk from climate warming than high-elevation species, study shows

A new study of Peruvian frogs living at a wide variety of elevations—from the Amazon floodplain to high Andes peaks—lends support to the idea that lowland amphibians are at higher risk from future climate warming.

New study reveals how some chickens got striped feathers

Birds show an amazing diversity in plumage colour and patterning. But what are the genetic mechanisms creating such patterns? In a new study published today in PLOS Genetics, Swedish and French researchers report that two independent mutations are required to explain the development of the sex-linked barring pattern in chicken. Both mutations affect the function of CDKN2A, a tumour suppressor gene associated with melanoma in humans.

400 million years of a stable relationship: Clues to the molecular basis of balance in AM symbiosis

Walking through a grassy field or forest take a moment to consider what lies beneath the surface. A web of plant roots interacts symbiotically with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi that extend their hyphae from the root system further into the earth, accessing nutrients such as phosphates to give to the plant in return for carbohydrates, tit for tat.

Smell helps primates flee parasites

Researchers from the CNRS have discovered that mandrills use their sense of smell to avoid contamination by intestinal protozoans through contact with infected members of their group. Their work, published in Science Advances, shows that parasites shape the social behavior of these primates, leading them to develop a strategy of parasite avoidance through smell.

Food for thought? Diet helps explain unique human brainpower

It's the mystery of all mysteries of science. Why is it that humans are so unusual compared to all other life? The key to solving this riddle lies in explaining the evolution of our large brains and exceptional intelligence.

How molecular clocks are refining human evolution's timeline

DNA holds the story of our ancestry – how we're related to the familiar faces at family reunions as well as more ancient affairs: how we're related to our closest nonhuman relatives, chimpanzees; how Homo sapiens mated with Neanderthals; and how people migrated out of Africa, adapting to new environments and lifestyles along the way. And our DNA also holds clues about the timing of these key events in human evolution.

The truth about spider bites in Australia – they're unlikely to eat your flesh

Recent news reports that a man had both his legs amputated after being bitten by a white-tailed spider have again cast this relatively harmless spider in a negative light. Experts have since said amputations may have been wrongly blamed on a spider bite, and authorities now consider a bacterial infection to be responsible for the man's injuries. Despite this, the damage to the largely harmless white-tail may have been done.

Grey squirrels are bad for the British countryside

According to some animal rights groups the grey squirrel is a victim of circumstance. They say it has been made a scapegoat for regional red squirrel population extinctions and claim that loss of the reds is caused entirely coincidentally by habitat change. They suggest the true facts are being hidden and scientific research being intentionally misinterpreted.

Study finds unused farmland could be key to aiding the survival of farmland birds

Planting wild flowers at the edges of arable fields could significantly improve the habitat for farmland birds and contribute to their survival, a study has found.

Birds to help unravel the inner working of nature's most complex societies

It is one of the most spectacular sights in nature - the magnificent aerial ballet of 'murmurations' taking place as a flock of tens of thousands of birds ebbs and flows across the skyline, moving as one.

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

No comments: