Monday, April 3, 2017

Science X Newsletter Monday, Apr 3

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for April 3, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Building block of thermal computer operates at 600 K

New slowly evolving Type Ibn supernova discovered

Best of Last Week—Universe expansion rate sans dark energy, more deadly heat across planet and mental shortcuts

Jumping droplets whisk away hotspots in electronics

Graphene sieve turns seawater into drinking water

Tiny black holes enable a new type of photodetector for high speed data

Spray-on memory could enable bendable digital storage

Security researchers show that Google's AI tool for video searching can be easily deceived

Researchers 'iron out' graphene's wrinkles

When wheelchair design can take many steps up

SpaceX wants to try recycling more of Falcon 9 rocket

Samsung's assistant Bixby in tough challenge to rivals

Exposure to BPA substitute, BPS, multiplies breast cancer cells

Patients' immune system may influence effectiveness of cancer immunotherapy

A beach lover's dream: A step toward long-lasting sunscreen

Astronomy & Space news

New slowly evolving Type Ibn supernova discovered

(—An international team of astronomers has detected a new slowly evolving Type Ibn supernova as part of the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE). The new event, designated OGLE-2014-SN-13, has the longest rise time ever observed in Type Ibn supernovae. The discovery is described in a paper published Mar. 23 on the arXiv pre-print server.

SpaceX wants to try recycling more of Falcon 9 rocket

SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk said he wants to go further in the reuse of his rockets after successfully launching the first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket that was recycled from a previous flight.

Mysterious bursts of energy do come from outer space

Fast Radio Bursts present one of modern astronomy's greatest mysteries: what or who in the Universe is transmitting short bursts of radio energy across the cosmos?

The space weather forecast for Proxima Centauri B

Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Earth (only 4.28 light-years away) is getting a lot of attention these days. It hosts a planet, Proxima Cen b, whose mass is about 1.3 Earth-mass (though it could be larger, depending on the angle at which we are viewing it). Moreover, Proxima Cen b orbits the star in its habitable zone. Proxima Cen itself is an M-dwarf star with a mass only about one-tenth the Sun's mass and a luminosity about one-thousandths of the Sun's; because the star is dim, the planet's habitable zone is twenty times closer to the star than the Earth's is to the Sun, and the planet orbits in 11.3 days. M dwarfs are the most abundant type of stars, and their small radii make them easier targets (relatively speaking) to spot transiting exoplanet signatures. Recent statistical estimates have concluded that half of M dwarf stars probably host an exoplanet between about 0.5–1.4 Earth-radii orbiting in or near their "habitable zone." Proxima Cen and its exoplanet, therefore, are important benchmark objects for understanding low-mass stars, their planets, and the planetary environments.

Astronomers hoping to directly capture image of a black hole

Astronomers want to record an image of the heart of our galaxy for the first time: a global collaboration of radio dishes is to take a detailed look at the black hole which is assumed to be located there. This Event Horizon Telescope links observatories all over the world to form a huge telescope, from Europe via Chile and Hawaii right down to the South Pole. IRAM's 30-metre telescope, an installation co-financed by the Max Planck Society, is the only station in Europe to be participating in the observation campaign. The Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy is also involved with the measurements, which are to run from 4 to 14 April initially.

Astronomers find orbit of Mars hosts remains of ancient mini-planets

The planet Mars shares its orbit with a handful of small asteroids, the so-called Trojans. Now an international team of astronomers using the Very Large Telescope in Chile have found that most of these objects share a common composition; they are likely the remains of a mini-planet that was destroyed by a collision long ago. The findings are reported in a paper to appear in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society in April.

Where old satellites go to die

Meteosat-7, EUMETSAT's oldest operational meteorological satellite, tomorrow begins its final journey to the great graveyard orbit in the sky.

Image: Jupiter on 25 February 2017

Earth is about to pass between the Sun and Jupiter, placing the giant planet opposite the Sun on 7 April. This event is termed 'opposition' by astronomers, and takes place roughly every 13 months. This is the length of time Earth takes to travel around the Sun relative to Jupiter's nearly 12-year orbit about five times further away.

Solar Dynamics Observatory captured trio of solar flares April 2-3

The sun emitted a trio of mid-level solar flares on April 2-3, 2017. The first peaked at 4:02 a.m. EDT on April 2, the second peaked at 4:33 p.m. EDT on April 2, and the third peaked at 10:29 a.m. EDT on April 3. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured images of the three events. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however—when intense enough—they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.

Storm-scanning satellites enter operations phase

NASA's Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) mission has successfully completed its development and commissioning phase and moved into the operations phase. The constellation of eight microsatellites—the first engineered and fabricated by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI)—has now started on-orbit instrument calibration and validation and is on track to collect data for the 2017 hurricane season.

Technology news

Security researchers show that Google's AI tool for video searching can be easily deceived

University of Washington researchers have shown that Google's new tool that uses machine learning to automatically analyze and label video content can be deceived by inserting a photograph periodically and at a very low rate into videos. After they inserted an image of a car into a video about animals, for instance, the system returned results suggesting the video was about an Audi.

When wheelchair design can take many steps up

(Tech Xplore)—The biggest gift to someone who gets around is the gift of greater independence. Lifts for wheelchairs are available but not always in proximity. Some students got together and started thinking they might be able to change the curious lack of progress in wheelchair design to help those who use them.

Samsung's assistant Bixby in tough challenge to rivals

Samsung's Bixby is the new kid on the block of personal digital assistants and is likely to face a rough reception in a neighborhood dominated by tech sector rivals.

Anticipated DDR5 standard is forecasted for 2018

(Tech Xplore)—The JEDEC DDR5 standard is under development. Announced last month by the JEDEC Solid State Technology Association, this is a move to be watched on publication some time next year.

Android apps can conspire to mine information from your smartphone

Mobile phones have increasingly become the repository for the details that drive our everyday lives. But Virginia Tech researchers have recently discovered that the same apps we regularly use on our phones to organize lunch dates, make convenient online purchases, and communicate the most intimate details of our existence have secretly been colluding to mine our information.

Researchers create deep learning algorithm that could boost drug development

Artificially intelligent algorithms can learn to identify amazingly subtle information, enabling them to distinguish between people in photos or to screen medical images as well as a doctor. But in most cases their ability to perform such feats relies on training that involves thousands to trillions of data points. This means artificial intelligence doesn't work all that well in situations where there is very little data, such as drug development.

Cyborgs at work: employees getting implanted with microchips

The syringe slides in between the thumb and index finger. Then, with a click, a microchip is injected in the employee's hand. Another "cyborg" is created.

Economist suggests US lags in solar cell technology due to investor impatience

(Tech Xplore)—Max Jerneck, an economist with the Stockholm School of Economics, has published an article in the journal Science Advances discussing the current state of solar cell development and sales in the U.S. and why it currently lags so far behind China and Japan. He suggests it is primarily due to investor impatience and a financial climate in which profits are spent on dividends and stock buybacks rather than investment in what many see as risky endeavors.

New technology could end costly crude oil pipeline blockages

Getting crude oil from the wellhead to its downstream destination can be literally stopped in its tracks when components of the oil known as asphaltenes clump together, reducing the flow or causing a complete blockage.

Researcher at security event shows smart TV attack

(Tech Xplore)—Smart TVs vulnerable to hacks? That is no longer a question but an answer, for researcher Rafael Scheel, with Oneconsult, a cyber security consulting company.

Hacked New York Post app sends out 'Heil President' alert

The New York Post app has been hacked on April Fools' Day, sending out push alert notifications that included "Heil President Donald Trump."

What's in a Chinese name? Ancient rites and growing business

In a one-room shop tucked inside a Beijing alley, a bearded 74-year-old fortune-teller in crimson tunic offers what Chinese parents have sought for centuries: an auspicious name for their newborn.

Dems urge Trump to veto bill blocking online privacy rule

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer is urging President Donald Trump to veto a resolution that would kill an online privacy regulation, a move that could allow internet providers to sell information about their customers' browsing habits.

Tesla reports record deliveries of vehicles in first quarter

Electric car maker Tesla Inc. says it delivered a record 25,000 vehicles in the first quarter, up 69 percent from the same period last year.

Industry, academic partners team up to fight fake news

A global alliance of tech industry and academic organizations unveiled plans on Monday to work together to combat the spread of "fake news" and improve public understanding of journalism.

Shares in UK chipmaker dive 60 pct after Apple ends contract (Update)

Shares in chipmaker Imagination Technologies plunged over 60 percent on Monday after the British company announced that Apple plans to stop using its products.

Astronaut study gives voice to people with disabilities

When his father was diagnosed with a debilitating disease four years ago, it sparked Ivo Vieira into developing a novel means of communication for people coping with extreme limitations, building on technology originally explored to help ESA astronauts in space.

New study to investigate links between cybercrime and autistic traits

A new project between the University's Centre for Applied Autism Research, the charity Research Autism and the cybercrime unit of the National Crime Agency (NCA) - launched today (Monday 3 April) - will examine the links between cybercrime and autistic-like personality traits.

Visualizing scientific big data in informative and interactive ways

Humans are visual creatures: our brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, and 90 percent of information sent to the brain is visual. Visualization is becoming increasingly useful in the era of big data, in which we are generating so much data at such high rates that we cannot keep up with making sense of it all. In particular, visual analytics—a research discipline that combines automated data analysis with interactive visualizations—has emerged as a promising approach to dealing with this information overload.

Electronic synapses that can learn: towards an artificial brain?

Researchers from the CNRS, Thales, and the Universities of Bordeaux, Paris-Sud, and Evry have created an artificial synapse capable of learning autonomously. They were also able to model the device, which is essential for developing more complex circuits. The research was published in Nature Communications on April 3, 2017.

New security procedures secure the intelligent factory

At the Hannover Messe from April 24 to 28, 2017, Fraunhofer researchers will present two new procedures for the protection of Industrie 4.0 production facilities (Hall 2, Booth C16/C22): here, a self-learning system recognizes security incidents in manufacturing facilities without knowledge of the underlying system architecture. Hardware-based security modules report manipulation tests on machines and components.

Robot epigenetics: Adding complexity to embodied robot evolution

Evolutionary robotics is a new exciting area of research which draws on Darwinian evolutionary principles to automatically develop autonomous robots. In a new research article published in Frontiers in Robotics and AI, researchers add more complexity to the field by demonstrating for the first time that just like in biological evolution, embodied robot evolution is impacted by epigenetic factors.

Computing—quantum deep

In a first for deep learning, an Oak Ridge National Laboratory-led team is bringing together quantum, high-performance and neuromorphic computing architectures to address complex issues that, if resolved, could clear the way for more flexible, efficient technologies in intelligent computing.

National Archives to White House: Save all Trump tweets (Update)

The National Archives and Records Administration has told the White House to keep each of President Donald Trump's tweets, even those he deletes or corrects, and the White House has agreed.

Twitter drops egg icon in battle with internet 'trolls'

An egg icon that for years marked profiles of new Twitter users was gone Monday, a victim of "trolls" who often hid behind them to launch anonymous online attacks.

Google: machine learning may fix ad placement dispute

Google on Monday said it will apply machine smarts and outside eyes to help ensure brands don't find ads paired with hateful videos on YouTube.

Charter won't have to compete with other cable companies now

Federal regulators are letting Charter out of a requirement that would have forced it to compete with other broadband providers and possibly cut prices.

EU tightens rules on sourcing conflict minerals

The European Union is introducing new rules to help prevent minerals being used to finance armed conflicts.

More objective than human hearing

In industrial production, the testing of machines and products by means of acoustic signals still takes a niche role. At the Hannover Messe 2017, Fraunhofer is exhibiting a cognitive system that detects erroneous sounds more objectively than the human ear (Hall 2, Booth C16/C22). The technology has successfully passed the initial practical tests and there detected up to 99 percent of the errors.

Batteries—quick coatings

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are using the precision of an electron beam to instantly adhere cathode coatings for lithium-ion batteries—a leap in efficiency that saves energy, reduces production and capital costs, and eliminates the use of toxic solvents.

Multi-university effort to advance materials, define the future of mobility

Three MIT-affiliated research teams will receive about $10M in funding as part of a $35M materials science discovery program launched by the Toyota Research Institute (TRI). Provided over four years, the support to MIT researchers will be primarily directed at scientific discoveries and advancing a technology that underpins the future of mobility and autonomous systems: energy storage.

Lanes at Newark airport automatically retrieve luggage bins

It's every traveler's nightmare: You're running late for a flight and the person in front of you in the security line has taken the only two available luggage bins and is slowly putting items in, one by one.

Montana joins others in effort to bolster internet privacy

States have started writing their own legislation to protect broadband privacy after Congress voted to repeal regulations that would have required internet providers to obtain their customers' consent before collecting their personal information.

Medicine & Health news

Exposure to BPA substitute, BPS, multiplies breast cancer cells

Bisphenol S (BPS), a substitute for the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in the plastic industry, shows the potential for increasing the aggressiveness of breast cancer through its behavior as an endocrine-disrupting chemical, a new study finds. The results, which tested BPS in human breast cancer cells, will be presented Saturday at ENDO 2017, the Endocrine Society's 99th annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Patients' immune system may influence effectiveness of cancer immunotherapy

Higher or lower levels of certain immune cells in cancer patients may be associated with how well they respond to immunotherapy, according to preliminary results of a study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI).

New measurement technique lowers estimated vitamin D recommended daily allowance

After re-measurement of vitamin D by improved technology, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D intake drops from 800 to 400 International Units (IU) per day, new research reports. The results of the study will be presented Sunday, April 2, at ENDO 2017, the annual scientific meeting of the Endocrine Society, in Orlando, Fla.

A 'sci-fi' cancer therapy fights brain tumors, study finds

It sounds like science fiction, but a cap-like device that makes electric fields to fight cancer improved survival for the first time in more than a decade for people with deadly brain tumors, final results of a large study suggest.

Babies cry most in UK, Canada, Italy and Netherlands

Babies cry more in Britain, Canada and Italy, than the rest of the world—according to new research by the University of Warwick.

Altering the immune system to reverse paralysis

In the ultimate betrayal, one's own immune system can turn against the protective sheath that envelops neurons in the brain, leaving the body paralyzed. Researchers have developed an experimental treatment that tames the wayward immune system in rodents, returning the power of movement to paralyzed mice. The approach may someday combat autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes, in humans.

'Sniffing' urine to detect prostate cancer could prevent unnecessary biopsies

On the list of dreaded medical tests, a prostate biopsy probably ranks fairly high. The common procedure requires sticking a needle into the prostate gland to remove tissue for assessment. Thousands of men who undergo the uncomfortable procedure, prompted by a positive PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test, ultimately don't require cancer treatment. Today, scientists report progress toward minimizing unnecessary biopsies: They have identified the molecules likely responsible for the scent of prostate cancer, which could be detected by chemically "sniffing" urine.

Elimination of specific neurons outside the brain triggers obesity

A research team led by Ana Domingos, from Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia (IGC; Portugal) has developed a new genetic technique that eliminates specific neurons of the peripheral nervous system without affecting the brain. Using this novel technique in mice, the researchers studied the function of the neurons that innervate the adipose tissue, and saw that their elimination results in mice gaining weight very quickly. Published on April 3 in Nature Communications, this technique opens new avenues for the study of many diseases related to the peripheral nervous system and to other cells outside the brain.

Telomere length predicts cancer risk

The length of the telomere "caps" of DNA that protect the tips of chromosomes may predict cancer risk and be a potential target for future therapeutics, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) scientists will report today at the AACR Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Blood vessels and the immune system talk to each other; implications for cancer treatment

Some cancer therapies aim at stopping tumor growth by affecting the blood vessels that nurture the tumor mass, while others act on the immune system attempting to eliminate the tumor. Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have discovered that tumor blood vessels and the immune system influence each other's functions, and propose that considering these bilateral effects in cancer therapy might improve outcomes. The study appears in Nature.

Man moves paralyzed legs using device that stimulates spinal cord

Mayo Clinic researchers used electrical stimulation on the spinal cord and intense physical therapy to help a man intentionally move his paralyzed legs, stand and make steplike motions for the first time in three years.

iTango: New technique studies neuromodulation in real time

When we think of neuronal communication, we often picture a single neuron releasing molecular neurotransmitters into a junction called a synapse where they stimulate another neuron. But sometimes, instead of crossing a synapse, neurotransmitters flow widely throughout the brain - flooding different types of receptors and stimulating many other neurons at a time. In this scenario, they are known as neuromodulators. Identifying and manipulating specific neurons impacted by neuromodulation has been a challenge for researchers. Hyungbae Kwon's lab at Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI), and collaborators from University of Geneva, Korea University and Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, have recently developed a technique with a newly designed gene expression system that allows researchers to visualize and manipulate neuromodulation in real time.

Ladies, this is why fertility declines with age

Researchers at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Center (CRCHUM) have discovered a possible new explanation for female infertility. Thanks to cutting-edge microscopy techniques, they observed for the first time a specific defect in the eggs of older mice. This defect may also be found in the eggs of older women. The choreography of cell division goes awry, and causes errors in the sharing of chromosomes. These unprecedented observations are being published today in Current Biology.

Researchers identify new brain pathway that controls hand movements

Picking up a slice of pizza or sending a text message: Scientists long believed that the brain signals for those and related movements originated from motor areas in the frontal lobe of brain, which control voluntary movement.

Meningitis bacteria adapting to STI niche, genetic analysis shows

Neisseria meningitidis, a bacterium usually associated with meningitis and sepsis, is the cause of a recent cluster of sexually transmitted infections in Columbus, Ohio and in other US cities. The bacterium appears to be adapting to a urogenital environment, an analysis of the organism's DNA shows.

Biomarker identified for likely aggressive, early stage breast cancer

The one-size-fits-all approach to early stage breast cancer creates a paradox: Millions of dollars are spent on unnecessary surgeries and radiation to treat women with low-risk 'in situ' lesions, an estimated 85% of which would never progress to invasive cancers. Meanwhile, the standard conservative treatment is insufficient for many early-stage tumors that have progressed past the in situ stage and fails to prevent their spread to distant sites in the body.

Stem cell innovation regrows rotator cuffs

Every time you throw a ball, swing a golf club, reach for a jar on a shelf, or cradle a baby, you can thank your rotator cuff. This nest of tendons connecting your arm bone to your shoulder socket is a functional marvel, but it's also prone to tearing. Now, a team of researchers from UConn Health has found a way to regenerate rotator cuff tendons after they're torn and make a stronger repair.

Screening the dark genome for disease

Researchers have developed a method to swiftly screen the non-coding DNA of the human genome for links to diseases that are driven by changes in gene regulation. The technique could revolutionize modern medicine's understanding of the genetically inherited risks of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer, neurological disorders and others, and lead to new treatments.

Researchers find e-cigarette flavors linked to use in youth and young adults

Flavored e-cigarettes and e-cigarette marketing could be increasing e-cigarette use among youth and young adults, according to researchers from the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health in Austin. These findings are part of a series of papers by UTHealth researchers that were published today in the journal Tobacco Regulatory Science.

Early-life BPA exposure reprograms gene expression linked to fatty liver disease

Exposure during infancy to the common plasticizer bisphenol A (BPA) "hijacks" and reprograms genes in the liver of newborn rats, leading to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in adulthood. A new study has found how this process occurs, and researchers will present the results Saturday at ENDO 2017, the Endocrine Society's 99th annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Exposure to common flame retardants may raise the risk of papillary thyroid cancer

Some flame retardants used in many home products appear to be associated with the most common type of thyroid cancer, papillary thyroid cancer (PTC), according to a new study being presented Saturday at the Endocrine Society's 99th annual meeting, ENDO 2017, in Orlando, Fla.

Decision-tree tool can help screen women with gestational diabetes for sleep apnea

Healthcare providers can use a decision-tree tool to screen women who have gestational diabetes (GDM) for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), new research from Thailand reports. The results of the study will be presented in a poster Saturday, April 1, at ENDO 2017, the annual scientific meeting of the Endocrine Society, in Orlando, Fla.

Late sleep-wake time preference linked to depression in individuals with diabetes

People with type 2 diabetes who are "night owls" and prefer the evening for activity report having more symptoms of depression than those who are early to bed and early to rise, regardless of the quality of their sleep, a new study finds. Study results are being presented Saturday at the Endocrine Society's 99th annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Recent thyroid cancer trends in the United States suggest age, racial disparities

In the United States, thyroid cancer incidence is rising among young people as well as Hispanics and African Americans, a new study reports. Results of this research will be presented in a poster Monday, April 3, at ENDO 2017, the annual scientific meeting of the Endocrine Society, in Orlando, Fla.

Pyrethroid pesticide exposure appears to speed puberty in boys

Environmental exposure to common pesticides may cause boys to reach sexual maturity earlier, researchers have found. They will present their study results Saturday at the Endocrine Society's 99th annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

People with higher thyroid hormone levels may be at greater risk for atherosclerosis

Middle-aged and elderly people with higher free thyroxine levels may be more likely to develop atherosclerotic diseases, new research from the Netherlands reports. The results of the study will be presented Sunday, April 2, at ENDO 2017, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, in Orlando, Fla.

Cow's milk interferes with absorption of thyroid supplement levothyroxine

Taking the common oral thyroid hormone medication levothyroxine with a glass of cow's milk significantly decreases the body's ability to absorb the drug, a preliminary study finds. Results will be presented Sunday at ENDO 2017, the Endocrine Society's 99th annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

New molecules may offer treatment option for some aggressive prostate cancers

Novel molecules called selective androgen receptor degraders (SARDs) may offer the next generation of treatment options for advanced prostate cancer, a new industry-sponsored study reports. The results of this research will be presented Saturday, April 1, at ENDO 2017, the 99th annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, in Orlando, Fla.

Prolonged sleep disturbance can lead to lower bone formation

Insufficient sleep, a common problem that has been linked to chronic disease risk, might also be an unrecognized risk factor for bone loss. Results of a new study will be presented Saturday at the Endocrine Society's 99th annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Patients with heart failure, subclinical hypothyroidism have worse outcomes

Patients with more severe heart failure have higher levels of the thyroid hormones TSH and T4 and lower T3 levels, and those with higher T4 levels may be more likely to have atrial fibrillation, new research reports. The study results will be presented Sunday, April 2, at ENDO 2017, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, in Orlando, Fla.

New gene-based blood tests identify more skin cancers

Genetic testing of tumor and blood fluid samples from people with and without one of the most aggressive forms of skin cancer has shown that two new blood tests can reliably detect previously unidentifiable forms of the disease.

Alcohol abuse even before pregnancy may harm offspring

Mothers who binge drink before they become pregnant may be more likely to have children with high blood sugar and other changes in glucose function that increase their risk of developing diabetes as adults, according to a new study conducted in rats. The results will be presented Sunday at the Endocrine Society's 99th annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Where you live could determine risk of heart attack, stroke or dying of heart disease

People living in parts of Ontario with better access to preventive health care had lower rates of cardiac events compared to residents of regions with less access, found a new study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Technique for 'three-parent baby' revealed

Details of a pioneering IVF technique using mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT) have been revealed, giving hope to those families with inheritable mitochondrial disorders that they may be able to have healthy children in the future.

Maternal pertussis vaccination reduces risk for newborns by more than 90 percent

Among infants of women who received the Tdap pertussis booster vaccine during pregnancy, the risk of contracting pertussis was reduced by an estimated 91 percent during the first two months of life ? the critical period before they can receive their first childhood acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccination. The findings from the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center were reported today in the journal Pediatrics.

A biomarker for cancer of the oropharynx

Cancer of the oropharynx has become increasingly common: In the United States alone, the number of newly diagnosed cases has tripled over the past three decades. About 70 percent of these tumors are caused by infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16.

Helping communities tackle the opioid epidemic

With opioid drug overdoses becoming a growing national health crisis, Rutgers experts have created a toolkit to help communities across New Jersey combat the deadly problem.

Why men and women lie about sex, and how this complicates STD control

When it comes to reporting the number of sex partners or how often they have sexual intercourse, men and women both lie. While men tend to overreport it, women have a tendency to underreport it. Although the story is not that simple and clear-cut, I have discovered some interesting reasons why this is the case – and why it matters to doing research on sexual health.

Diversity key to better lymphoma immune response

A University of Queensland researcher has found patients with non-hodgkins lymphoma are most likely to survive if they have a rich variety of T-cells.

Inactivity and screen time linked to teen depression

Low levels of physical activity combined with high recreational screen time have been linked to poor mental health of adolescents in developing countries.

High-fat diet hurts the microbiota in the oesophagus

UNSW researchers have observed how microbiota in the oesophagus is affected by a high-fat diet, depleting known beneficial bacteria and increasing the levels of "bad" bacteria.

What's cytomegalovirus and why do pregnant women need to know about it?

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a virus transmitted from person to person via body fluids like urine or saliva. For people with a healthy immune system, CMV is likely to cause no more than a temporary fever or headache. But when a pregnant woman is infected, the results can be far more serious.

Prenatal exposure to Superfund sites may affect brain development

Children who live near hazardous waste sites can benefit from environmental cleanups, suggests one of the first large-scale studies to examine the short and long-term effects of prenatal exposure to Superfund sites on brain development.

Targeted therapies selected based on multigene panel improved outcomes for patients with hard-to-treat cancers

The progression-free survival rate (PFS) in cancer patients treated with targeted therapies (identified using a multigene panel test on their tumor samples) was significantly higher than the PFS in these patients when they were treated with previous line of therapy, according to clinical trial data published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Wearable medical device improves survival for patients with glioblastoma

Patients with glioblastoma who wore a medical device that delivers alternating electrical fields in addition to being treated with the chemotherapeutic temozolomide had significantly improved median overall survival compared with those treated with temozolomide only, according to final results from a randomized phase III clinical trial presented here at the AACR Annual Meeting 2017, April 1-5.

Combination HER2-targeted therapy effective in heavily pretreated HER2-positive colorectal cancer patients

A combination of two HER2-targeted therapies, trastuzumab (Herceptin) and lapatinib (Tykerb), showed clinical benefit in patients with heavily pretreated HER2-positive metastatic colorectal cancer, according to final results from the phase II clinical trial HERACLES, presented here at the AACR Annual Meeting 2017, April 1-5.

CT scans may offer a non-invasive alternative to diagnose immunotherapy-induced colitis

Computed Tomography (CT) scans are a reliable tool to establish a diagnosis of immune-related colitis, a potentially life-threatening adverse event in patients with advanced melanoma who receive the immune checkpoint inhibitor ipilimumab, and this non-invasive approach could provide a safer alternative to a colonoscopy and biopsy to confirm colitis, according to a study published in Cancer Immunology Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

New research into meningitis bacteria could hold key to developing improved vaccines

Kingston University scientists have completed the genome sequence for a deadly strain of the bacteria that causes meningitis and septicaemia – a breakthrough which could lead to improved vaccines to help prevent its spread.

Area of the brain affected by autism detected

Brain researchers at ETH Zurich and other universities have shown for the first time that a region of the brain associated with empathy only activates very weakly in autistic people. This knowledge could help to develop new therapies for those affected by autism.

Identification of protein crucial to lymphatic system development

Lymphatic vessels form a circulatory system that plays an important role in controlling the amount of fluid in tissues, and allowing the immune system to identify and target threats. When the lymphatic system malfunctions, fluid accumulates in tissues, producing a condition known as edema. This can be fatal; for example, lung edema can cause respiratory arrest. The molecular mechanisms underlying lymphatic system development are not fully understood, with particular uncertainty surrounding the later stages of development, in which the primitive system is remodeled to produce a mature, functional lymphatic vasculature.

What are 'coffee naps' and can they help you power through the day?

Caffeine and napping have something in common. Both make you feel alert and can enhance your performance, whether that's driving, working or studying. But some people are convinced that drinking a coffee before a nap gives you an extra zap of energy when you wake up.

Breastfeeding does not necessarily boost children's intelligence, study finds

New research has found no evidence that breastfeeding boosts children's intelligence or other cognitive abilities.

Five-year survival rate for nivolumab-treated advanced lung cancer patients much higher than historical rate

Treatment with the immune checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab (Opdivo) yielded durable responses in some patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with a five-year survival rate of 16 percent, according to data from a phase I clincal trial presented here at the AACR Annual Meeting 2017, April 1-5.

Avelumab safe and yields durable responses for patients with advanced Merkel cell carcinoma

The immunotherapeutic avelumab (Bavencio) was well tolerated by patients with advanced Merkel cell carcinoma, and the majority of those whose cancer responded to avelumab treatment had durable responses, according to results from a phase II clinical trial presented here at the AACR Annual Meeting 2017, April 1-5.

Triple-negative breast cancer patients who responded to immunotherapy had long-term survival benefit

Among patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) who were treated with the anti-PD-L1 cancer immunotherapy atezolizumab (Tecentriq), those who responded to the medicine lived significantly longer (overall survival) compared with those who did not respond, according to data from a phase I clinical trial presented here at the AACR Annual Meeting 2017, April 1-5.

Girls are better at masking autism than boys

Girls with autism have relatively good social skills, which means that their autism is often not recognised. Autism manifests itself in girls differently from in boys. Psychologist Carolien Rieffe and colleagues from the Autism Centre and INTER-PSY (Groningen) report their findings in scientific journal Autism.

Patients in intensive care feel better with light adapted to the time of day

New research shows that the light environment in intensive care affects how patients feel – even a year after completed hospitalization. With light adapted to the time of day, health even improves for patients who are barely conscious when they are admitted for care.

New insight into role of male hormones in fertility and polycystic ovary syndrome

Research led by University of Birmingham scientists in collaboration with Northwestern University in Chicago, US, has provided fresh insight into the role of male hormone in supporting and disrupting the production of eggs by ovarian follicles.

Food contaminants under the spotlight

Scientists from the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute have been studying the fate of food contaminants in the human digestive system , of which little research has been previously conducted.

Integrating caregivers at discharge significantly cuts patient readmissions

Systematically integrating informal caregivers into the discharge planning process for elderly patients reduces hospital readmissions by a quarter, a University of Pittsburgh Health Policy Institute analysis discovered.

Nanoparticle treatment could improve immunotherapy against cancer

Researchers at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center have discovered a potential novel strategy for improving drugs that unleash the immune system against cancer—by binding two compounds to a nanoparticle.

Beyond genomics: Using proteomics to target tumors

Dr. Amanda Paulovich, whose lab has a leading role in the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot, will speak April 5 at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting about her lab's pioneering methods to measure proteins that serve as tumor markers.

New model paves way for immune therapies against colorectal cancer

About 95 percent of colorectal cancers are considered "microsatellite stable" and very few of these cancers respond to immunotherapy, meaning that the vast majority of metastatic colorectal cancer patients are unable to benefit from medicines that activate the immune system against the disease - a strategy that has helped dramatically extend the lives of patients with related cancers. A study presented at American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2017 describes a new "humanized mouse" model of colorectal cancer, allowing researchers to test new drugs and new drug combinations against the disease, potentially opening the door to immunotherapy for the larger, microsatellite-stable population of colorectal cancer patients.

Study sheds light on dark side of tumor suppressor gene, p53

The gene p53 is the most commonly mutated gene in cancer - it is p53's job to monitor cells for DNA damage and to mark damaged cells for destruction and so cancer cells with mutated DNA must disable p53 before it disables them. However, there is a second, darker side to p53. While intact or "wild type" p53 is a tumor suppressor, mutated p53 can itself become an oncogene, driving the progression of the disease. A University of Colorado Cancer Center study presented today at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2017 picks apart the dark side of this gene, the mutated, oncogenic form of p53, to show that other genes, Mdm2 and now for the first time Mdm4, keep mutated p53 in check.

Negative regulator stops extreme immune response to parasite, averting multi-organ damage

Cytokines are proteins secreted by several types of immune cells in response to infection, inflammation, or injury. Interleukin-17 (IL-17) is one such cytokine that causes inflammation, by controlling the production of other cytokines and mobilizing a type of white blood cell (neutrophil) that fights infections. During some parasitic infections, host protection is achieved by an IL-17 response, but too much IL-17 causes chronic tissue damage. This response is therefore tightly regulated by other cytokines, but the precise mechanisms were unclear.

New report links early life antibiotic use to inflammatory gut diseases in adulthood

A new research report in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology involving mice shows that antibiotic use very early in life that alters the normal development/growth of gut bacteria, may contribute to the development of inflammatory bowel disease, and potentially other inflammatory diseases like asthma and multiple sclerosis. This study adds more evidence to suggest that altering gut flora may be a viable treatment strategy for some inflammatory diseases.

Hormones are behind hernias of the groin in elderly men, study suggests

Researchers have identified an apparent cause of inguinal hernia, or groin hernia, in older men: altered sex hormone levels that weaken and scar muscle tissue in the lower abdomen. Results of their study using an animal model will be presented Monday at ENDO 2017, the Endocrine Society's 99th annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Researchers document how melanoma tumors form

There's a reason why melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, is so aggressive. You just need to watch the cells in action.

Study shows real-world massage is effective treatment for low back pain

In the first study of its kind, researchers found real-world massage therapy to be an effective treatment for chronic low back pain.

Researchers use new imaging to show key enzyme in ovarian cancer

A new imaging test may provide the ability to identify ovarian cancer patients who are candidates for an emerging treatment that targets a key enzyme cancer cells need to survive. Currently, epithelial ovarian cancer patients with BRCA1 mutations are considered candidates for the treatment, but there is no method to measure the enzyme levels to help guide treatment choices. Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania used a new type of imaging to do just that in hopes of finding patients who may benefit from treatment to block the enzyme, including patients without the BRCA mutation. Researchers will present their findings at the upcoming 2017 American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. (Abstract 3716).

Diagnosing cancer: New process for identifying biomarkers established

Scientists at Ruhr-Universität Bochum have established a process for identifying biomarkers for the diagnosis of different types of cancer. With the aid of a specific type of infrared (IR) spectroscopy, the researchers applied an automated and label-free approach to detect tumour tissue in a biopsy or tissue sample. Unlike with label-based processes, such as are currently deployed by pathologists, the tissue remains unmodified. This, in turn, facilitates detailed protein analyses in the next step. Studying tissue samples from patients who suffered from lung or pleural cancer, the researchers identified protein biomarkers that are typical of the respective subtype of cancer.

Society considers people with mental illnesses to be more dangerous than they are

How dangerous does the general public consider mentally ill people to be? Scientists at the University of Basel and the University Psychiatric Clinics Basel have investigated the factors that influence social stigma. The journal Scientific Reports published the results.

Estetrol (E4) shows promise as a safe, effective drug for use in advanced prostate cancer

The natural fetal estrogen estetrol, also called E4, is being tested as a new drug that may help treat advanced prostate cancer, according to an ongoing industry-sponsored study from the Netherlands. The final results will be presented in a poster on Saturday, April 1, at ENDO 2017, the annual scientific meeting of the Endocrine Society, in Orlando, Fla.

Higher anabolic hormone levels predict lower risk of worsening frailty in men

A new study suggests that middle-age and elderly men are less likely to develop worsening frailty if they have high levels of certain anabolic hormones, which are muscle- and bone-building hormones. The study results will be presented Sunday at ENDO 2017, the Endocrine Society's 99th annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Advanced FDG-PET image analysis identifies cell mutations in cancer patients

Researchers have used positron emission tomography (PET) to successfully identify genetic cell mutations that can cause lung cancer. The research, published in the featured article of the April 2017 issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, shows that an advanced image analysis technique, radiomics, can non-invasively identify underlying cell mutations in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). More people in the United States die from lung cancer than from any other type of cancer, and NSCLC is the most common form.

Progesterone and bisexuality: Is there a link?

Bisexuality is quite common among men and women whose mothers received additional doses of the sex hormone progesterone while pregnant. This is one of the findings of a study led by June Reinisch, Director Emerita of The Kinsey Institute in the US, published in Springer's journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. The study tracked the sexual development of 34 Danes whose mothers were treated with the hormone to prevent miscarriage.

Gallbladder removal is common. But is it necessary?

Johns Hopkins researchers say that the findings they published in the current edition of The American Journal of Gastroenterology could have important implications for the field of personalized medicine.

New experimental drug offers hope for menopausal women with frequent hot flushes

Women plagued by frequent hot flushes during the menopause could cut the number of flushes by almost three-quarters, thanks to a new drug compound.

Magnetic brain stimulation causes weight loss by making gut bacteria healthier

A new study finds that a noninvasive electromagnetic brain stimulation technique helps obese people lose weight, partly by changing the composition of their intestinal bacteria—the so-called gut microbiota. Results of the technique, called deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS), will be presented Sunday at ENDO 2017, the Endocrine Society's 99th annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

New natural estrogen-progesterone capsule reduces postmenopausal hot flashes

A natural, or bioidentical, combined estradiol-progesterone capsule (TX-001HR) significantly decreases the frequency and severity of moderate to severe hot flashes in postmenopausal women, the Replenish study finds. Results of this phase 3, randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial will be presented Monday at ENDO 2017, the Endocrine Society's 99th annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Global decline in deaths among children, adolescents but progress uneven

Deaths among children and adolescents decreased worldwide from nearly 14.2 million deaths in 1990 to just over 7.2 million deaths in 2015 but this global progress has been uneven, according to a new article published online by JAMA Pediatrics.

Low-calorie sweeteners promote fat accumulation in human fat

Low-calorie, artificial sweeteners appear to play havoc with the body's metabolism, and large consumption of these sugar substitutes could promote fat accumulation, especially in people who are already obese, preliminary research suggests. The study results will be presented Monday at ENDO 2017, the Endocrine Society's 99th annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

New simple tool can help identify people at high risk for prediabetes

The time to maximal sugar level during an oral glucose tolerance test is associated with higher risk for prediabetes and could give important information about the ability of the pancreas to secrete insulin, according to research presented at the Endocrine Society's 99th annual meeting, ENDO 2017, in Orlando, Fla. This simple tool could help to identify people who may benefit from early treatment strategies.

Is early pregnancy BMI associated with increased risk of childhood epilepsy?

Increased risk for childhood epilepsy was associated with maternal overweight or obesity in early pregnancy in a study of babies born in Sweden, according to a study published online by JAMA Neurology.

Program equips rural primary care providers to manage complex diabetes

Primary care providers (PCPs) and community health workers in rural areas of New Mexico gained confidence in in their ability to manage patients with complex diabetes by participating in a videoconferencing educational program led by diabetes specialists, a new study found. Results, which will be presented Sunday at the Endocrine Society's 99th annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., suggest that these patients can now receive treatment in their local communities.

Stress a common seizure trigger in epilepsy, study affirms

Patients with epilepsy face many challenges, but perhaps the most difficult of all is the unpredictability of seizure occurrence. One of the most commonly reported triggers for seizures is stress.

Study finds significant variability in doctors' angioplasty death rates

Some doctors have higher or lower than expected death rates from coronary angioplasty procedures, also known as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI); however, doctors should not be judged solely on the rate of patients who die from the procedure. The rate is highly variable over time, according to a study today in JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions.

Diabetes control is more difficult for night-shift workers

People with type 2 diabetes have poorer control over their blood glucose levels when they work the night shift compared with those who work in the daytime or are unemployed, a new study finds. The study results, to be presented Monday at the Endocrine Society's 99th annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., showed that poor long-term glycemic, or blood sugar, control, was independent of what workers ate or any sleep problems they had.

Deploying an ancient defense to kill cancer

A recent small trial in 15 cancer patients with advanced soft-tissue sarcomas aimed to find out whether an experimental drug based on a certain bacterial molecule could trigger an immune response to fight cancer.

New interferon shows promise against hepatitis B in cell culture, and animal model

Hepatitis B is notoriously difficult to eradicate with currently available agents.. Now, in a new study, a novel form of "pegylated" interferon-β has reduced hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections in experimental human-derived cells and in mice more effectively than the conventional pegylated interferon-α2a, suggesting that it could lead to improved treatment for hepatitis B infection in humans. The research is published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Brain signals after a meal respond to food pictures more in obese than lean kids

Brain signals that should help tell us we are full after eating appear to be dulled in obese children, according to preliminary results of a new study being presented Monday at ENDO 2017, the Endocrine Society's 99th annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Traumatic brain injuries leave women prone to mental health problems

Traumatic brain injuries affect the body's stress axis differently in female and male mice, according to research presented at the Endocrine Society's 99th annual meeting, ENDO 2017, in Orlando, Fla. The results could help explain why women who experience blast injuries face a greater risk of developing mental health problems than men.

Study finds more childhood cancer survivors would likely benefit from genetic screening

Twelve percent of childhood cancer survivors carry germline mutations that put them or their children at increased risk of developing cancer, according to a landmark study presented today at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. The findings from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital are expected to have an immediate and potentially life-saving impact on the growing population of childhood cancer survivors.

Women experience high rates of health insurance 'churn' before and after childbirth

A high percentage of women in the U.S. move in and out of health insurance coverage—sometimes referred to as 'churn'—in the months before and after childbirth, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Low-income women experience the brunt of these insurance disruptions, which cause coverage gaps that can lead to adverse health outcomes.

More than eight million children could face higher insurance costs without CHIP

More than 8 million children enrolled in the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) could be at risk of losing coverage if federal funding for the program is not extended this year. Children with chronic conditions are most vulnerable, and their families could face substantial cost increases if they lose CHIP coverage and need to shift their insurance to a Marketplace plan, according to a Yale study.

The impact of ACA Medicaid expansion on dental visits: mixed results

Dental coverage for adults is an optional benefit under Medicaid, one that about half of the states offer. With thirty-one states and the District of Columbia expanding Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), how many more low-income Americans sought dental care?

Extreme heat exposure linked to firefighter heart attacks

Exposure to extreme heat and physical exertion during firefighting may trigger the formation of blood clots and impair blood vessel function, changes associated with increased risk of heart attack, according to new research in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation.

Weight history over time shows higher risk of death for overweight, obese people

People who are obese or overweight at some point in their adult lives have an elevated risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer and other causes, according to a new study by researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) and the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health.

Race ranks higher than pounds in diabetes, heart-health risks

Americans of South Asian descent are twice as likely as whites to have risks for heart disease, stroke and diabetes, when their weight is in the normal range, according to a study headed by Emory University and UC San Francisco.

Trial of new triple inhaler shows 20 percent reduction in COPD flare-ups

Flare-ups in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the UK's fourth leading cause of death, can be reduced by 20% by a combined triple inhaler, according to the results of a trial of more than 2,000 people conducted by The University of Manchester.

Skin cancer finding provides hope for patients with rare type of melanoma

A team of researchers report a significant genetic association linked to an aggressive form of melanoma in a study published today in the journal Genome Research. Acral lentiginous melanoma, or ALM, is an uncommon type of melanoma that typically occurs on the palms and soles and is often difficult to treat.

Researchers find shoulder pad foam layer plays role in fewer concussions

Simon Fraser University researchers have found that a simple modification to hockey players' shoulder pads could have an impact on shoulder-to-head contact, the most common cause of concussions in ice hockey. 

Some head and neck cancer patients benefit from continued checkpoint inhibitor treatment

New research suggests that some patients with head and neck cancers can benefit by continuing treatment with an immunotherapy drug after their tumors show signs of enlargement according to investigators at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and other organizations.

The secret to staying motivated

Have you ever started off well on a new goal such as losing weight or saving more money, only to find that motivation fizzles after a period of time?

Most US kids who die from flu are unvaccinated

(HealthDay)—The yearly flu shot could prevent most flu-related deaths among children and teenagers, a new U.S. government study estimates.

Defect prompts Mylan to recall some Epipens

(HealthDay)—Mylan, the maker of the Epipen, says it is recalling "select lots" of the device used to treat dangerous allergic reactions due to a defect that might render it "difficult to activate in an emergency."

Guys, a good night's sleep might save your life

(HealthDay)—Adequate sleep isn't a luxury; it's essential. And for men, it might even mean the difference between life and death, a preliminary study suggests.

School nurses overwhelmed by guidelines for managing obesity

(HealthDay)—Barriers to school nurse-led implementation of national guidelines for managing overweight and obesity in school health services have been identified, according to a study published online March 23 in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

MRI measures can predict pulmonary arterial HTN outcome

(HealthDay)—Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures can predict outcomes in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), according to a study published online March 22 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Adding defibrillator to CRT no benefit in dilated cardiomyopathy

(HealthDay)—For patients with heart failure with indications for cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), those with ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICM), but not those with nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), benefit from additional primary prevention implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy, according to a study published in the April 4 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Bidirectional link for anorexia nervosa, celiac disease

(HealthDay)—There is a bidirectional association between anorexia nervosa (AN) diagnosis and celiac disease (CD) in women, according to a study published online April 3 in Pediatrics.

Lower psoriasis area, severity scores for women versus men

(HealthDay)—Women have lower median Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) scores than men, according to a study published online March 24 in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology.

Twenty-five food categories explain 70 percent of salt intake

(HealthDay)—For U.S. persons, 70 percent of dietary sodium comes from 25 food categories, with bread the top contributor, according to research published in the March 31 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Can daily low-dose aspirin lower cancer death risk?

(HealthDay)—Millions of Americans take low-dose aspirin every day for heart health. In doing so, they may also slightly lower their risk of dying from several cancers, a large new study suggests.

Drug combination boost PARP inhibitor response in resistant ovarian cancer

About one-third of patients with ovarian cancer who wouldn't be expected to respond to a PARP inhibitor had partial shrinkage of their tumor when a kinase inhibitor was added to treatment, report scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Drug combination shows benefit in RAS-driven cancers

Cancers driven by the RAS oncogene are aggressive and difficult to treat, and thus far precision drugs haven't been able to target the mutant RAS gene successfully.

Many transgender individuals consider their fertility important, survey shows

Nearly one-fourth of transgender individuals in Toronto, Canada, regard their own fertility as important, but most lack knowledge regarding and access to reproductive options, a new survey finds. Results of the survey will be presented Sunday at the Endocrine Society's 99th annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Cambodia to allow foreigners to leave with surrogate babies

The Cambodian government is set to allow foreign couples to return home with babies conceived to surrogates before the 'womb for rent' business was banned last year, an official said Monday.

Keep it short and personal—the best way to recruit cancer patients for research

It's a conversation preoccupying cancer researchers: how do we turn around the declining participation in quality of life studies?

Providing abortion by telehealth—the first 1000 medical abortions safe and effective

Associate Professor Suzanne Belton says, 'Telehealth abortions with tablets are a safe and effective way for Australian women to seek a termination of pregnancy.'

How AIDS denialism spreads in Russia through online social networks

The appointment of former president Thabo Mbeki as chancellor of one of the highest institutions in South Africa on March 1 has drawn much international attention. Mbeki has been sharply criticised for being a champion of AIDS denialism and held responsible for numerous deaths through his policies regarding antiretroviral drugs.

A canine model of juvenile dermatomyositis

Human juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM) is the most common childhood inflammatory myopathy (a type of disease affecting muscle and related tissues), causing a characteristic skin rash and progressive muscle weakness beginning around age seven. The causes of the disease are multifactorial, and identifying genetic factors has proven challenging in heterogeneous human populations. The domestic dog suffers from many of the same genetically complex diseases that affect humans, but dogs possess a unique population structure that makes it easier to use genome-wide efforts to tease apart genetic factors. Out of hundreds of genetically isolated dog breeds, only collies and Shetland sheepdogs are routinely affected by dermatomyositis (DMS). This indicates a strong heritable component for this naturally-occurring model of JDM. On the cover of PLOS Genetics' February issue, a four-month-old Shetland sheepdog named Lorelei exhibits facial lesions characteristic of DMS.

Working after infarction, stroke or cancer? Different preferences for men and women

Female and male workers over 50 years old respond in different ways to severe health problems. If physically recovered, men tend to work more hours, but women prefer to enjoy more free time. And single men and women risk leaving the labour market more than those in couples.

Modernising NHS records could make significant impact on medical care

Digitising health records to include key patient and treatment information could help identify patterns of illness, effectiveness of treatments and how these patients' gender and ethnicity influence this.

Substituting nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurses for physicians older care

Substituting nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and nurses for physicians in healthcare for the aging population may achieve healthcare quality at least as good as care provided by physicians, according to a review of published studies.

Is gender affirmative treatment effective for coexisting gender dysphoria and psychosis?

A new study demonstrates that gender dysphoria in individuals with coexisting psychotic disorders can be adequately diagnosed and safely treated with gender affirming psychological, endocrine, and surgical therapies. The study is published in LGBT Health.

Boys from low income families move less

Parents' income and educational level are associated with their children's physical activity and screen time, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland. Lower income and educational levels were associated with less supervised physical activity in particular. In boys, these were also associated with more screen time.

New tool uses behavioral cues to assess pain in ICU patients who can't communicate

A new Behavior Pain Assessment Tool (BPAT) provides a simple way to evaluate pain in critically ill patients—including those who aren't able to communicate their pain verbally, reports a study in PAIN, the official publication of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP).

Ethics complicate clinical interpretation and reporting of human genome sequence results

Medical use of a patient's genomic sequence information can improve diagnostic capabilities and enable personalized therapies, but technical and practical barriers to understanding the clinical implications of sequence data and interpreting them for patients are contributing to ongoing ethical concerns. Current practices in genome sequencing and ethical controversies related to results reporting, including when to inform patients of incidental findings, are discussed in an article published in Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers.

Artificial pancreas improves blood sugar control in young kids

An artificial pancreas, which delivers insulin in an automated way to individuals with type 1 diabetes, appears to be safe and effective for use in children ages 5 to 8 years, a new study finds. Results will be presented Tuesday at the Endocrine Society's 99th annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Good communication helps improve outcomes for heart patients

Patients with hardened arteries who reported good communication with their healthcare providers were less likely to use the emergency room and more likely to comply with their treatment plans, according to a new study presented at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2017.

DOJ: For decade, Sanofi vaccine unit overcharged VA on meds

The vaccines unit of French pharmaceutical company Sanofi SA will pay a $19.9 million fine for overcharging the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for two products between 2002 and 2011.

Patients who trust the medical profession are more likely to take their high blood pressure medicine

Patients with high blood pressure who had more trust in the medical profession were more likely to take their high blood pressure medicine than those with less trust, according to a new study presented at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2017.

Depressed veterans with heart disease face financial barriers to care

Veterans with heart disease who are also depressed are more likely than those without depression to have trouble paying for medications and medical visits and often report delays in seeking medical care, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research 2017 Scientific Sessions.

Patients with higher thyroid hormone levels lose more weight after bariatric surgery

Patients who have higher levels of the thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T3) lose more weight after bariatric surgery, new research from Portugal reports. The study results will be presented in a poster Monday, April 3, at ENDO 2017, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, in Orlando, Fla.

In US military, white kids, officers' kids more likely to use diabetes technology

Even with equal access to healthcare in the United States military, significant disparities in caring for children with type 1 diabetes still exist, new research reports. The results of the study will be presented Monday, April 3, at ENDO 2017, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, in Orlando.

In Mexico, disparities in cesarean births

The April issue of Health Affairs includes an analysis of cesarean birth rates in Mexico, the country in the Americas with the second-highest prevalence of cesarean deliveries (second only to Brazil).

Questions remain about the benefits and harms of cannabis

Despite dramatic changes in the legal landscape and usage rates of cannabis, evidence is still lacking regarding its potential health and therapeutic effects. Recently, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released its third comprehensive review of the literature surrounding cannabis and made recommendations for future research. The authors of an Ideas and Opinions piece published in Annals of Internal Medicine summarized the group's key findings in an effort to educate physicians on the most relevant health outcomes of cannabis use and the potential therapeutic indications for cannabis and cannabinoid products.

Biology news

Model predicts number of species yet to be discovered regionally

Many scientists have developed models to predict the total number of species on Earth—including those not yet discovered—of an animal or plant group, but University of Chicago researchers have developed the first such model that breaks the number down by region, providing a valuable new tool for biodiversity inventory and analysis.

Parasitic wasp may aid battle against diseases spread by mosquitoes

Scientists at the University of Georgia are using lessons learned from a parasitic wasp to gain insights into how mosquito-borne diseases, like malaria and the Zika virus, evade detection by their hosts' immune systems, enabling them infect other animals, including humans.

Researchers capture dinoflagellate on video shooting harpoons at prey

(—An international team of researchers has filmed for the first time a type of single-cell organism, a dinoflagellate, shooting its harpoon-like organelle at prey as a means of capture. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the team describes how they managed to capture the tiny creatures in action and what they learned by watching them engage with prey.

Neurobiologists discover important characteristics of the motion detector in the fly brain

In order to react to changes in the environment in good time, the brain must analyze the signals it receives from the eyes rapidly and accurately. For example, the ability to recognise the direction in which an approaching car is moving is vital to the survival of modern humans in cities. Using the brain of the fruit fly Drosophila as a model, scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology study how the brain extracts this essential motion information. They have now described in detail the cells that enable downstream neurons to recognize the direction of movement. Interestingly, the characteristics of these input cells exactly match to a motion detector model they recently proposed. In addition, the cells alter their characteristics according to the animals' state: when the fly is active, the cells respond faster to light stimuli.

Do smart songbirds always get the girl?

If the early bird catches the worm, then does the smart songbird get the girl? That's what a researcher at Florida Atlantic University and collaborators from the University of Miami, Duke University, and the College of Charleston were determined to find out in a new study published in the journal Animal Cognition. Compelling evidence shows females prefer mates with better cognitive abilities in a number of animals including fish, birds, rodents and even humans. For male songbirds, their ability to sing complex songs has been suggested to signal cognitive ability and is vital for attracting females as well as repelling rival males. However, what's not clear is how female songbirds can judge the cognitive abilities of potential mates, which is a necessary first step if smarter mates are preferred over their not-as-smart counterparts.

Weedy rice, which differs genetically from wild and crop rice, is adapted for undercover life in agricultural fields

A new study in the April 3 issue of Nature Genetics describes an adventure that reveals the deep history of a family, including some disreputable relatives. But the family in this case is Asian rice (Oryza sativa), and the disreputable relatives are the weedy cousins of domesticated rice.

Surprise discovery of Europe's first cave fish

Researchers reporting in Current Biology on April 3 have discovered the first European cave fish. A hobby cave diver first sighted the fish, a loach in the genus Barbatula, living in a hard-to-reach, underground water system in South Germany.

Mutant lifestyles: Researchers uncover a potent genetic element in Earth's smallest life forms

It's the stuff of science fiction, though there's nothing fiction about it: Researchers have discovered a multitude of previously unidentified microorganisms possess a genetic element that enables them to self-mutate.

New species evolve faster as mountains form

Mountains, like rainforests, are hotbeds of biodiversity. But scientists aren't sure why. For years, they've thought that it might be related to the new environments that arise when mountains form— as plants and animals adapt to the new micro-habitats and their populations become isolated by increasingly rugged terrain, they divide into new species at a faster rate than usual. However, there was little hard proof that this hypothesis was correct. In a new paper in PNAS, a team has put forth compelling quantitative evidence in favor of the hypothesis, analyzing thousands of plant species from China's Hengduan Mountains and adjacent regions. They found that as the Hengduan Mountains were forming, the plants there evolved into new species at a faster rate than in the nearby Himalayas, which are older.

Malaria parasites soften our cells' defenses in order to invade

Malaria parasites cause red blood cells to become bendier, helping the parasites to enter and cause infection, says a new study.

Indonesia's 'selfie monkey' threatened by hunger for its meat

The crested black macaque shot to fame when one of the monkeys snapped grinning selfies and became embroiled in a US court battle—but the tussle over copyright is the least of the rare animal's worries.

Researchers convert grass into biofuel

Researchers at Ghent University (Belgium, Europe) have developed a process that turns grass into biofuel.

Unique dolphin strategy delivers dangerous octopus for dinner

For wild predators, catching, killing and eating prey can sometimes be a risky business. We can see this on the African savannah, where a well-aimed kick from a zebra can spell trouble for a hungry lion.

Enzyme follows a two-step verification system before cutting and repairing DNA damage

Microscopes that reveal the hidden complexities of life down to the nanoscale level have shown in exquisite detail how an enzyme involved in DNA repair works its molecular magic.

The worrying state of Mediterranean fish stocks

Fish stocks in the Mediterranean Sea are deteriorating at an alarming rate. A recent analysis by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) shows that 93% of the assessed fish stocks are overexploited, and a number of them are on the verge of depletion. In addition, the Mediterranean Sea has lost 41% of its marine mammals and 34% of the total fish population over the past 50 years.

Study identifies ways to encourage 'refuge' planting, slowing resistance to Bt crops

A new study from North Carolina State University finds a significant shortfall in the amount of "refuge" cropland being planted in North Carolina – likely increasing the rate at which crop pests will evolve the ability to safely devour genetically engineered Bt crops. However, the study also identified actions that may make farmers more likely to plant refuge crops in the future.

New species of tree living crab found in Western Ghats

A recent research paper in The Journal of Crustacean Biology reveals a new genus and new species of tree crab in Kerala, southern India. Known scientifically as the "Kani maranjandu," it is substantially different from other congeners. Its distinguishing characters include: the structure of its hard upper shell, as well as its male abdominal structure and reproductive parts, and of course, its diagnostic elongated walking legs, which no other genus has. (see fig 1).

German researchers sequence rye genome for first time

Scientists in Germany have for the first time mapped the entire genome of rye, a cereal known for its hardy properties.

Watch their steps: Yosemite tracks journey of bears online

Wildlife enthusiasts around the world can now follow the daily journey of Yosemite National Park's black bears from their laptops and smartphones, tracking the iconic animals as they lope up steep canyons and cross vast distances in search of food and mates.

Norway kicks off minke hunt, raises quota to 999 whales

Norway on Saturday kicked off its annual six-month whale hunting season with whalers allowed to kill an increased quota of 999 minke whales, up from 880 animals in 2016.

Researchers investigating status of goldenseal in Pennsylvania

Funded by a $50,000 grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences are conducting an 18-month study of the forest herb goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) in Pennsylvania.

Nepal to relocate five rare one-horned rhinos

Conservationists on Monday captured a rare one-horned rhinoceros in Nepal as part of an attempt to increase the number of the vulnerable animals, which are prized by wildlife poachers.

Microscopy—biomass close-up

Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists created an approach to get a better look at plant cell wall characteristics at high resolution as they create more efficient, less costly methods to deconstruct biomass.

Clicks, snaps and howls drowned out by the noise of ships

Far from being the silent, dreamlike landscape we often imagine, the sea is peppered with animal sounds, a chorus of clicks, snaps and howls.

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: