Sunday, April 23, 2017

Science X Newsletter Sunday, Apr 23

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for April 23, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Thousands join March for Science to fight 'alternative facts' (Update 3)

China's first cargo spacecraft docks with space lab

Icelandic language at risk; robots, computers can't grasp it

Could genetics influence what we like to eat?

So what's wrong? Health companion app uses AI, machine learning to ask smart questions

Intel Optane SSD technology draws superlatives

Astronomy & Space news

China's first cargo spacecraft docks with space lab

China's first cargo spacecraft, Tianzhou-1, successfully completed docking with an orbiting space lab on Saturday, the Beijing Aerospace Control Center said.

SpaceX's next launch to mark start of new era

An upcoming launch of a government spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office will mark the first time the U.S. Department of Defense has used SpaceX for a mission.

Supply ship named for John Glenn arrives at space station

A supply ship bearing John Glenn's name arrived at the International Space Station on Saturday.

Technology news

So what's wrong? Health companion app uses AI, machine learning to ask smart questions

(Tech Xplore)—Your eye does not feel right. Your gums don't feel right. Your arm aches but you cannot recall doing anything out of the ordinary.

Intel Optane SSD technology draws superlatives

(Tech Xplore)—Memory tech is in the April spotlight in the form of Intel's new Optane solid state drive.

Russian man sentenced to 27 years in hacking case

A federal judge on Friday handed down the longest sentence ever imposed in the U.S. for a cybercrime case to the son of a member of the Russian Parliament convicted of hacking into more than 500 U.S. businesses and stealing millions of credit card numbers, which he then sold on special websites.

DJ app looks to lend professional spin to party dance mixes

James Jones had the problem that every college student wants: too many paid gigs.

Tech entrepreneur turned small-town Texas values into a global social network

The gig: Nirav Tolia, 45, is the co-founder and chief executive of Nextdoor, the neighborhood social network that lets people connect with their neighbors, share news, tips and sometimes gossip with their local community. The San Francisco-based 152-employee startup has raised $210 million in venture capital funding and boasts more than 126,000 communities using its platform, covering more than 70 percent of U.S. neighborhoods.

3-D technology is game-changer for recruiting future engineers

Stratasys Ltd. employees ran a marathon of sorts earlier this month as they dashed to dozens of Twin Cities schools to introduce 3,500 students to the wonderment of 3-D printing.

China's quota threat charges up electric car market

China's electric-car market is already the world's biggest, but a government proposal to introduce "new energy" vehicle quotas for automakers is further charging it up.

Resetting your Apple ID password can sometimes be tricky

I got a call from my mother-in-law this week. She usually doesn't call me directly unless she has a technology problem, and this time, it was a good one.

Gadgets: Electric bike has 'get up 'n go, then stow' features

Foldable electric transportation was a new category for me and I was more than impressed with the 30-pound URB-E Sport GT motorized bike I got to play with at CES earlier this year.

Medicine & Health news

Could genetics influence what we like to eat?

Have you ever wondered why you keep eating certain foods, even if you know they are not good for you? Gene variants that affect the way our brain works may be the reason, according to a new study. The new research could lead to new strategies to empower people to enjoy and stick to their optimal diets.

FDA approves second near-copy of Remicade for immune disorders

Federal regulators on Friday approved another alternative version of Remicade, an expensive injected drug widely used for rheumatoid arthritis and other immune system disorders.

SIRT is better tolerated than sorafenib, but doesn't increase overall survival in HCC

Results of the SARAH trial presented today demonstrate that SIRT resulted in median overall survival (OS) of 8.0 months compared to 9.9 months with sorafenib (p=0.179), in patients with locally advanced and inoperable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The trial, presented at The International Liver Congress 2017 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, further demonstrated that the cumulative incidence of radiologic progression in the liver as the first event was significantly lower in the SIRT group compared to the sorafenib group (p=0.014), and the response rate was significantly higher in the SIRT group compared to the sorafenib group (19.0% vs 11.6%, p=0.042). Both the side-effect profile and quality of life scores were significantly better over time in the SIRT group compared to the sorafenib group (p=0.005).

Trial of fibrate therapy in primary biliary cholangitis shows treatment is well tolerated

The results of the BEZURSO study, presented today, found that bezafibrate in combination with UDCA normalised prognostic markers of liver disease in patients with primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) with an inadequate response to UDCA. The study, presented at The International Liver Congress 2017 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, showed that the bezafibrate and UDCA combination therapy was well tolerated, normalised prognostic biochemical parameters, improved fatigue and itching, and prevented progression of liver stiffness and ELF score, which are predictors of liver failure and mortality.1,2

New therapy has potential to advance the treatment of pediatric cholestatic liver diseases

Results presented today from a study of a novel ileal bile acid transport inhibitor, A4250, demonstrated that it reduced levels of blood (serum) bile acids, which are characteristic of many liver diseases and often associated with severe liver damage, in children with cholestatic liver diseases. The data, presented at The International Liver Congress 2017 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, showed that oral treatment with A4250 also improved pruritus (itching) in 74% of patients and was well tolerated, with mostly mild and transient side effects.

Long-term treatment of decompensated cirrhosis with human albumin improves survival

Results from the ANSWER study presented today showed that long-term administration of human albumin improves the survival rate of patients with decompensated cirrhosis (the symptomatic stage of chronic liver disease). The study, presented at The International Liver Congress 2017 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, demonstrated that treatment with human albumin also improved the management of ascites (accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity) and quality of life, and reduced the incidence of severe complications of the disease and the need for hospitalisation.

Cold weather and fewer sun hours are associated with increased rates of alcoholic cirrhosis

New data presented today at The International Liver Congress 2017 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, suggests that colder and less sunny regions of the world have higher rates of alcoholic cirrhosis, a disease caused by excessive drinking which results in irreversible scarring of the liver. An international team of scientists analysing data from over 190 countries found that every increase in temperature of one degree Celsius was linked with a decrease in the alcohol-attributable fraction (AAF*) of cirrhosis of 0.3%. Heavy alcohol intake causes a perception of warmth, while fewer sunlight hours have been linked to depression which in turn, may lead to alcohol abuse. As a result, the researchers hypothesised that colder countries would have higher rates of alcohol consumption and therefore an increased burden of alcoholic cirrhosis.

Many students reluctant to use asthma inhalers at school

(HealthDay)—The thought of having to pull out an inhaler in the middle of school might stop some kids with asthma from breathing better, a study of British schoolchildren suggests.

Surveillance biopsy timing not tied to reclassification

(HealthDay)—Timing of the first active surveillance biopsy is not associated with increased adverse reclassification of prostate cancer, according to a study published in the April issue of The Journal of Urology.

Microvascular endothelial dysfunction can predict dementia

(HealthDay)—Markers of microvascular endothelial dysfunction can predict dementia, according to a study published online April 13 in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

More wrong-patient orders in NICU versus non-NICU ped units

(HealthDay)—The risk of wrong-patient orders is higher in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) versus non-NICU pediatric units, and the risk of errors can be reduced with interventions, according to a study published online April 21 in Pediatrics.

Early glycemic control with metformin cuts CVD events

(HealthDay)—For patients with type 2 diabetes who initiate metformin, early achievement of low hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) is associated with a reduction in the subsequent risk of cardiovascular events or death, according to a study published online April 12 in Diabetes Care.

Case report describes adverse reaction to clindamycin

(HealthDay)—In a case report published online April 17 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis secondary to clindamycin therapy is described.

1-g IV acetaminophen dose may be insufficient in multiple trauma

(HealthDay)—A dosage of 1 g intravenous acetaminophen every six hours yields serum concentrations below 10 µg/mL for critically ill multiple-trauma patients, according to a study published online April 17 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Surgeon volume impacts parathyroidectomy outcomes

(HealthDay)—Patients undergoing parathyroidectomy by high-volume surgeons have a lower rate of vocal cord paralysis compared to patients of low-volume surgeons, according to a study published online April 20 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Bilateral submental cryolipolysis safe, efficacious

(HealthDay)—Cryolipolysis is safe and efficacious for reduction of lateral and submental fat, according to a study published online April 20 in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.

Next seven great achievements in pediatric research predicted

(HealthDay)—The next seven great achievements in pediatric research are presented in an article published online April 21 in Pediatrics.

Wearable devices increasingly being used to record health data

(HealthDay)—Wearable devices are increasingly being used by patients to record health care data, and the number is expected to grow, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

NYC to raise cigarette prices to highest in the US

(HealthDay)—A proposal to boost the base price of a pack of cigarettes from $10.50 to $13.00 would make cigarettes in New York City the most expensive in the country.

Risk of flu-related death higher for unvaccinated children

Most children who die from the flu are not vaccinated.

A new worry for smokers' families: 'thirdhand smoke'

Michael Miller does what many smokers do to protect his sons and daughter from cigarette smoke. He takes it outside.

The USA can learn from these foreign health care systems

The U.S. has lots to learn when it comes to health care coverage.

Suicide and genetics: a complicated association

Dear Mayo Clinic: Why does it seem that suicide tends to run in families? Does it have anything to do with genetics?

Study finds obesity as top cause of preventable life-years lost

A team of researchers from Cleveland Clinic and New York University School of Medicine have found that obesity resulted in as much as 47 percent more life-years lost than tobacco, and tobacco caused similar life-years lost as high blood pressure.

Testing urine for particular proteins could be key to preventing kidney transplant failure

Testing for molecular markers in the urine of kidney transplant patients could reveal whether the transplant is failing and why, according to research presented at the 27th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID).

Drug-resistant bacteria in patients' urine or stools raise risk of drug-resistant sepsis

People who have recently been found to have drug-resistant bacteria in their urine or stool samples have a greatly increased risk of developing a bloodstream infection that is also resistant to certain antibiotics, according to a study presented at the 27th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID).

New research sheds light on treating bloodstream infections with fewer side effects

Patients with bloodstream infections could avoid treatment with a combination of antimicrobial therapies if they are given the right drug as early as possible and if they are classified as at low risk of death. This would reduce the risk of adverse side effects, as well as the likelihood of drug resistance developing in the bacteria that cause the infection—carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE).

Timing and duration matters for school lunch and recess

A new study finds that the duration and timing of lunch and recess is related to food choices and physical activity of school children. These findings could help schools make policies that promote healthier school lunches and increased physical activity during recess.

Beta blocker shows cancer-fighting properties

A new study finds that carvedilol, a drug typically used to treat high blood pressure, can protect against the sun-induced cell damage that leads to skin cancer. Researchers serendipitously discovered the beta blocker's cancer-fighting properties after making an error in the lab.

Majority of parents plan to use telemedicine for pediatric care

New findings released today by Nemours Children's Health System show 64 percent of parents polled have used or plan to use telemedicine within the next year for their child. The survey, Telemedicine in America 2017: Parents Use of Virtual Visits, found that only 15 percent of parents have tried these services, but a strong majority is receptive to online doctor visits for common childhood ailments and routine well-child visits.

Dutch 'abortion boat' arrives off Mexico

A Dutch sailing boat offering abortions, often in defiance of some country's laws, arrived in international waters off Mexico on Friday, the organization crewing it said.

Predicting severe liver disease: Obesity, insulin, diabetes, cholesterol, alcohol

A study conducted in Finland, presented today, demonstrates that in the general population, central obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, lipid abnormalities and high alcohol consumption were the strongest predictors of severe liver disease. The study, presented at The International Liver Congress 2017 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, also found that the only significant predictor of severe liver disease among individuals who consume high amounts of alcohol (more than 210 g/week in men, and more than 140 g/week in women), is diabetes.

After Ebola, Liberians slowly embrace mental health care

Drawn-out deaths. Communities torn apart. Survivor's guilt. Patrick Fallah says his memories of the days when the Ebola virus swept through Liberia are so awful that he sometimes has trouble focusing on the present.

Golf ball pieces from harvest cause hash brown recall

A food company is recalling frozen hash browns from stores in nine states because the potatoes may have pieces of golf balls in them.

Biology news

Totally bizarre facts about the star-nosed mole

A quarter-century of research on the star-nosed mole has unearthed startling insights into the evolution of animal behavior and the limits of physiology. Kenneth Catania of Vanderbilt University will present a new synthesis of remarkable anatomical findings about the star-nosed mole at the American Association of Anatomists annual meeting during the Experimental Biology 2017 meeting, to be held April 22-26 in Chicago.

Giraffe's baby bump boosts tiny zoo's upkeep, conservation

April the giraffe has brought a bundle to a tiny zoo in rural upstate New York, thanks to a YouTube video livestream of her pregnancy and birth of an incredibly cute calf that has riveted viewers around the world.

An intimate look at the mechanics of dolphin sex

Earth's creatures outwardly display an astonishing diversity of genitalia and mating behavior, but the intricate details of how genitalia interact during copulation has remained largely mysterious. In a new study, researchers deploy inventive new techniques to decipher the internal dynamics of copulation. They demonstrate the approach in multiple species of marine mammals, which are animals known to have unusually shaped genitalia.

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