Monday, May 1, 2017

Science X Newsletter Monday, May 1

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for May 1, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Quantum effects lead to more powerful battery charging

Ill-gotten gains are worth less in the brain

Scientists illuminate genetics underlying the mysterious powers of spider silks

Best of Last Week – Caterpillars eating plastic, math describings time travel and testosterone's impact on male behavior

'Valleytronics' advancement could help extend Moore's Law

Galapagos study identifies keystone predator in a complex food web

Common antibiotics linked to increased risk of miscarriage

Get ready: Your future surgery may use an automated, robotic drill

Thinking strategically about study resources boosts students' final grades

A fast, non-destructive test for two-dimensional materials

Shocked gas in galaxy collisions

3-D model of American football player's brain reconstructs moment of impact

Astrophysicists discover a star polluted by calcium

Membrane charge sensor to watch the regulation of our T cells

'Silent seizures' discovered in patients with Alzheimer's disease

Astronomy & Space news

Shocked gas in galaxy collisions

Collisions between galaxies, especially ones rich in molecular gas, can trigger bursts of star formation that heat the dust and result in their shining brightly in the infrared. Astronomers think that there is also significant gas inflowing to the central regions of galaxies that can stimulate starburst activity. Inflowing gas, as it collides with the gas in the inner regions, should produce powerful shocks that should make the gas itself glow. Some evidence for gas inflows on galactic scales has been discovered, but there have been few observational confirmations of the effects of the inflowing material in the inner region of the galactic nucleus.

Astrophysicists discover a star polluted by calcium

An international team of astrophysicists led by a scientist from the Sternberg Astronomical Institute of the Lomonosov Moscow State University has reported the discovery of a binary solar-type star inside supernova remnant RCW 86. Spectroscopic observation of this star reveals that its atmosphere is polluted by heavy elements ejected during the supernova explosion that produced RCW 86. In particular, it was found that the calcium abundance in the stellar atmosphere exceeds the solar abundance by a factor of six, which hints at the possibility that the supernova might belong to a rare type of calcium-rich supernova, enigmatic objects whose origin is yet not clear. The research results are published in Nature Astronomy on 2017 April, 24.

Next breakthroughs in exoplanet discovery

It was a good week for astrobiology. Within days of NASA's announcement that the necessary ingredients for life exist in the plumes erupting from the southern pole of Saturn's moon Enceladus, scientists gathered at Stanford University to discuss discovering life outside the Solar System.

SpaceX makes first US military launch, then lands rocket again

SpaceX on Monday blasted off a secretive US government satellite, known only as NROL-76, marking the first military launch for the California-based aerospace company headed by billionaire tycoon Elon Musk.

ESA's JUICE spacecraft could detect water from plumes erupting on Europa

ESA's JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE) mission to the Jovian system could easily confirm the presence of water on Europa, a new study finds. According to the research, it is feasible to detect water molecules (H2O) and water ions (H2O+) from the moon's plumes during a flyby mission.

Pardon my vomit—zero-G etiquette in the age of space tourism

It's a new era for space travel. And if there's one thing that sets it apart from the previous one, it is the spirit of collaboration that exists between space agencies and between the public and private sector. And with commercial aerospace (aka. NewSpace) companies looking to provide everything from launch services to orbital and lunar tourism, a day is fast-approaching when ordinary people will be able to go into space.

Travel 5 million years into the Milky Way's future

Gaze into Gaia's crystal ball and you will see the future. This video shows the motion of 2,057,050 stars in the coming 5 million years from the Tycho-Gaia Astrometric Solution sample, part of the first data release of European Space Agency's Gaia mission.

An immodest proposal—taking the pulse of the Earth

Not interested in small-scale goals, the NEST-funded project led by geomatics engineer Michael Sideris aims to create and then link an enormous network of sensors with a goal of characterizing Earth systems from the core to the magnetosphere.

Technology news

Recognition software drives matches across multiple science domains

The world is awash in images. Current estimates are that there were 2.1 billion smart phone users in mid-2016, up by half a billion since mid-2014, and they are generating a tremendous number of photos. In a perfect world, no one would store a photo without carefully annotating the place, time, and content next to the image. Of course, most of us are too busy grabbing new images to carefully curate the existing ones.

Study finds gender bias in open-source programming

A study comparing acceptance rates of contributions from men and women in an open-source software community finds that, overall, women's contributions tend to be accepted more often than men's - but when a woman's gender is identifiable, they are rejected more often.

Device allows users to manipulate 3-D virtual objects more quickly

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a user-friendly, inexpensive controller for manipulating virtual objects in a computer program in three dimensions. The device allows users to manipulate objects more quickly - with less lag time - than existing technologies.

Detecting walking speed with wireless signals

We've long known that breathing, blood pressure, body temperature and pulse provide an important window into the complexities of human health. But a growing body of research suggests that another vital sign - how fast you walk - could be a better predictor of health issues like cognitive decline, falls, and even certain cardiac or pulmonary diseases.

Zapping bacteria with sanitizers made of paper

Imagine wearing clothes with layers of paper that protect you from dangerous bacteria.

Dude. Let's sing Happy Birthday later. His red light is on

(Tech Xplore)—The big threat to putting in a satisfying day's work is quite simply interruptions. How was your weekend? So did you ever get the boat to run? Who do you think will win tonight? Cubicles, open floor plans, those "team nurturing" work spaces, do not help.

Tech billionaire buys Sydney mansion for record price

Tech billionaire Scott Farquhar has bought a Sydney waterfront mansion for an Australian record Aus$75 million (US$56 million), a report said Monday, after the owners resisted selling the 1863-built home to developers.

New chip under development at UTSA extends battery life of electronics

Ruyan Guo, Robert E. Clark Endowed Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), has received a $50,000 I-Corps grant from the National Science Foundation to commercialize a chip that can make lower power electronics, like cell phones, work more efficiently.

Opinion: Fruit juicers and hair brushes are now part of the Internet of (useless) Things

If ever proof were needed that not everything is improved by connecting a device to the Internet, the Juicero, a fruit and vegetable juicing machine, is it. At US $400, the Juicero produces a glass of juice from an US $8 Juicero pack containing pre-mashed fruit and vegetables. It turns out however, that the machine is a completely unecessary part to this process because the juice can be squeezed out of the packs by hand.

Can blockchain technology help poor people around the world?

Big Wall Street companies are using a complicated technology called blockchain to further increase the already lightning-fast speed of international finance. But it's not just the upper crust of high finance who can benefit from this new technology.

We should create cities for slowing down

Peter Jackson employed an intricate approach to the stage design of Lord of the Rings. The people who inhabited Middle Earth for hundreds of generations slowly left cultural traces, alterations, artefacts and remnants of their human existence on the environment.

Action on problem gambling online is a good first step, but no silver bullet

Reactions to new measures designed to tackle problem gambling online have so far been mixed. The federal human services minister, Alan Tudge, said he was "hopeful that in combination [they] will have a profound impact". But Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce chair Tim Costello dismissed them as "cosmetic". He called instead for a total ban on betting ads on TV during sports broadcasts.

8 tips to protect your identity beyond the computer

When it comes to identity theft, you need to protect the mailbox at your house as much as your email inbox, according to a new report from the Center for Identity at The University of Texas at Austin.

Anonymous app Yik Yak shuts down

Yik Yak, a mobile application which gained popularity for allowing users to make anonymous comments and which sparked debate on cyber bullying, has shut down.

First US offshore wind farm powering more of Rhode Island

The nation's first offshore wind farm is powering more of Rhode Island.

Twitter, Bloomberg team up for streaming news channel

Twitter is launching a 24-hour streaming news channel in partnership with the Bloomberg Media, in a major expansion of the social media firm's video operations, the two firms announced Monday.

Appeals court won't reconsider net neutrality ruling (Update)

A federal appeals court said Monday it won't reconsider its ruling to uphold the government's "net neutrality" rules that require internet providers to treat all online traffic equally.

Screen size, shape affect user perception of smartwatches

Large screens are more effective for promoting the hedonic (perceived attractiveness) and pragmatic (perceived control) qualities of smartwatches, while round and square screens are associated with hedonic and pragmatic quality, respectively, according to a study published online April 21 in the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication.

Supercomputers assist in search for new, better cancer drugs

Surgery and radiation remove, kill, or damage cancer cells in a certain area. But chemotherapy—which uses medicines or drugs to treat cancer—can work throughout the whole body, killing cancer cells that have spread far from the original tumor.

Airbnb, San Francisco reach deal on rental registrations

San Francisco and Airbnb reached a deal Monday that aims to prevent the short-term rental website from listing housing units that are not following city rules that limit the duration of stays and the number of nights units can be rented.

GM says will be first to profit from electric cars

US auto giant General Motors is poised to become the first manufacturer to make a profit from electric vehicles, a GM executive predicted on Monday.

The key to private and efficient data storage

Cloud storage services, like Dropbox and Gmail, may soon be able to better manage your content, giving you more storage capacity while still being unable to 'read' your data.

Reports: Fox News owner joins race to buy Tribune media

Fox News owner 21st Century Fox and a New York investment firm are in talks to buy TV station operator Tribune Media, according to several reports.

Medicine & Health news

Ill-gotten gains are worth less in the brain

The brain responds less to money gained from immoral actions than money earned decently, reveals a new UCL-led study.

Common antibiotics linked to increased risk of miscarriage

Many classes of common antibiotics, such as macrolides, quinolones, tetracyclines, sulfonamides and metronidazole, were associated with an increased risk of miscarriage in early pregnancy, according to a new study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Get ready: Your future surgery may use an automated, robotic drill

A computer-driven automated drill, similar to those used to machine auto parts, could play a pivotal role in future surgical procedures. The new machine can make one type of complex cranial surgery 50 times faster than standard procedures, decreasing from two hours to two and a half minutes. Researchers at the University of Utah developed the drill that produces fast, clean, and safe cuts, reducing the time the wound is open and the patient is anesthetized, thereby decreasing the incidence of infection, human error, and surgical cost. The findings were reported online in the May 1 issue of Neurosurgical Focus.

Thinking strategically about study resources boosts students' final grades

College students who participated in a self-administered intervention prompting them to reflect about their use of classroom resources had final grades that were higher than their peers, according to new findings published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

3-D model of American football player's brain reconstructs moment of impact

Scientists have modelled what happens to the brain of an American footballer when he collides forcefully with another player.

'Silent seizures' discovered in patients with Alzheimer's disease

Deep in the brains of two patients with Alzheimer's disease, the main memory structure, the hippocampus, displays episodic seizure-like electrical activity. These non-convulsive hippocampal seizures are the first signs of 'silent' brain electrical network dysfunction described in patients with Alzheimer's disease. The discovery, published in the journal Nature Medicine, provides a better understanding of the condition and can potentially lead to new treatments for this devastating disease affecting more than 5 million people in the U.S.

Oxygen improves blood flow, restores more function in spinal cord injuries

A new discovery at the University of Alberta will fundamentally alter how we view spinal cord function and rehabilitation after spinal cord injuries. Neuroscientists found that spinal blood flow in rats was unexpectedly compromised long after a spinal cord injury (chronically ischemia), and that improving blood flow or simply inhaling more oxygen produces lasting improvements in cord oxygenation and motor functions, such as walking.

New model could speed up colon cancer research

Using the gene-editing system known as CRISPR, MIT researchers have shown in mice that they can generate colon tumors that very closely resemble human tumors. This advance should help scientists learn more about how the disease progresses and allow them to test new therapies.

Study offers new insight into powerful inflammatory regulator

A new study in mice reveals how a protein called Brd4 boosts the inflammatory response—for better and for worse, depending on the ailment. The study is the first to show that this protein, while problematic in some circumstances, also can protect the body from infection. The findings are reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Better memory makes people tire of experiences more quickly

We're fickle creatures. At least if we can remember to be, according to a new study led by a University of Kansas researcher of marketing and consumer behavior.

Scientists surprised to discover lymphatic 'scavenger' brain cells

The brain has its own inbuilt processes for mopping up damaging cellular waste—and these processes may provide protection from stroke and dementia.

First US success of nonhuman primate gene editing

Mice have been and will continue to be good base models for human medicinal advances. However, their size and some of their physiological differences leave them lacking in important areas of human medicine, including neurological and reproductive research.

Gene editing strategy eliminates HIV-1 infection in live animals, researchers show

A permanent cure for HIV infection remains elusive due to the virus's ability to hide away in latent reservoirs. But now, in new research published in print May 3 in the journal Molecular Therapy, scientists at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM) and the University of Pittsburgh show that they can excise HIV DNA from the genomes of living animals to eliminate further infection. They are the first to perform the feat in three different animal models, including a "humanized" model in which mice were transplanted with human immune cells and infected with the virus.

Novel gene editing approach to cancer treatment shows promise in mice

A novel gene therapy using CRISPR genome editing technology effectively targets cancer-causing "fusion genes" and improves survival in mouse models of aggressive liver and prostate cancers, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researchers report in a study published online today in Nature Biotechnology.

New imaging method may predict immunotherapy response early

A noninvasive PET imaging method that measures granzyme B, a protein released by immune cells to kill cancer cells, was able to distinguish mouse and human tumors that responded to immune checkpoint inhibitors from those that did not respond early in the course of treatment.

Study confirms link between alcohol consumption, breast cancer risk in black women

Alcohol consumption is known to be a risk factor for breast cancer based on studies predominately done in white women. Now a University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center study has found the same risk exists for black women, an understudied group.

Heart failure mortality is inversely related to wealth of country

Death in patients with heart failure is inversely related to the wealth of the country they live in, according to late breaking results from the INTERCHF study presented today at Heart Failure 2017 and the 4th World Congress on Acute Heart Failure.1 Death rates in India and Africa were three to four times higher than those documented in Western countries.

Gauging five-year outcomes after concussive blast traumatic brain injury

Most wartime traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are mild but the long-term clinical effects of these injuries have not been well described. A new article published by JAMA Neurology identifies potential predictors of poor outcomes in service members diagnosed with concussive blast TBI.

Is alternate-day fasting more effective for weight loss?

Alternate day fasting regimens have increased in popularity because some patients find it difficult to adhere to a conventional weight-loss diet.

Heart disease risks experienced in childhood impact cognition later in life

Cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and smoking have long been associated with cognitive deficiencies in adults. A new study, published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found the burden of cardiovascular risk factors from childhood and adolescence is associated with worse midlife cognition regardless of adulthood exposure.

Smoking-related heart disease tied to effects of a single gene

Researchers have found a genetic explanation for how smoking can lead to coronary heart disease (CHD). Many people have a protective gene type that reduces levels of an enzyme connected to artery-clogging fatty plaques and CHD. However, in people carrying this gene, smoking counteracts the protective effect.

Use of telemedicine for mental health in rural areas on the rise but uneven

Newly published research by Harvard Medical School and the RAND Corporation reveals a dramatic growth in the use of telemedicine for the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders in rural areas, but strikingly uneven distribution of services across states.

Global aid for health leaves older adults out in the cold

Development assistance for health targets largely ignores older age groups, with 90 percent of the assistance going to people below the age of 60, according to a new study led by a researcher at the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center, Mailman School of Public Health. Children below the age of 5 receive the most development assistance for health. Findings from the study, Vast Majority of Development Assistance for Health Funds Target Those Below Age Sixty, will be published online and in the May issue of the journal, Health Affairs.

Modest increases in kids' physical activity could avert billions in medical costs

Increasing the percentage of elementary school children in the United States who participate in 25 minutes of physical activity three times a week from 32 percent to 50 percent would avoid $21.9 billion in medical costs and lost wages over the course of their lifetimes, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research suggests.

Golden years are longer and healthier for those with good heart health in middle age

People with no major heart disease risk factors in middle age live longer and stay healthy far longer than others, according to a 40-year study reported in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation.

California handgun sales spiked after two mass shootings, study finds

After the 2012 mass shooting of children and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, a leader of the National Rifle Association proclaimed, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

What elephants teach us about cancer prevention

Every time a cell divides, there is a chance for a mutation (mistake) to occur in the DNA - the substance that carries genetic information in all living organisms. These mutations can lead to cancer.

Chest physicians split on pros and cons of e-cigarettes

Patients are asking their chest physicians about using e-cigarettes to quit smoking, but those physicians are divided about whether the products do more harm than good, according to a Yale-led study. The finding demonstrates the need for more research on e-cigarettes that will help physicians counsel their patients who smoke.

Research reveals the addictive potential of a drug legally available in the UK and other countries

New research into a widely available anti-inflammatory drug by psychopharmacologists at the University of Sussex has discovered the first neurological evidence of its rewarding properties, sparking warnings around it being used as a recreational substance especially in rehab clinics and detention facilities.

Improving stroke data analysis provides more reliable comparisons of hospital performance

Improving the way data from patients with stroke are collected and analysed avoids misleading comparisons of hospital performance, according to latest research from Monash University.

Helping keep children with food allergies safe

Beginning in the mid-1990s, doctors began to see a rise in food allergies among children. On average, 2 to 8 percent of children today have a food allergy, said Dr. Alice Hoyt, a University of Virginia Health System allergist.

Preventing long-term complications of an ACL tear

A torn ACL (also known as the anterior cruciate ligament) is one of the most common knee injuries, with as many as 200,000 cases per year in the U.S. Young people under the age of 20 are at particular risk, in part because of participation in sports.

Serelaxin fails to meet primary endpoints in phase 3 RELAX-AHF-2 trial

Serelaxin has failed to meet the primary endpoints of the phase 3 RELAX-AHF-2 trial, according to late breaking results presented for the first time today at Heart Failure 2017 and the 4th World Congress on Acute Heart Failure.

Researchers develop bacteria-fighting wound dressing made with the help of crustaceans

A new type of wound dressing could improve thousands of people's lives, by preventing them from developing infections. The dressing, a type of compression held in place by a bandage, uses an antibacterial substance formed from the shells of crustaceans like shrimps. It is described in a paper published in the May issue of Radiation Physics and Chemistry.

Children of very young and older fathers show distinct patterns of learning social skills

The age of the father at the time his children are born may influence their social development, suggests a study published in the May 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP). Analyzing social behaviors of children from early childhood until adolescence, researchers found that those whose father was either very young or older at conception differed in how they acquired social skills. These findings may offer insights into how paternal age influences children's risk of autism and schizophrenia, which was shown in earlier studies.

Just 10 minutes of meditation helps anxious people have better focus

Just 10 minutes of daily mindful mediation can help prevent your mind from wandering and is particularly effective if you tend to have repetitive, anxious thoughts, according to a study from the University of Waterloo.

Widespread vitamin D deficiency likely due to sunscreen use, increase of chronic diseases

Results from a clinical review published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association find nearly 1 billion people worldwide may have deficient or insufficient levels of vitamin D due to chronic disease and inadequate sun exposure related to sunscreen use.

Research improves health for people with asthma

May is Asthma Awareness Month, and the National Institutes of Health is finding solutions to improve the health of the nearly 25 million people in the United States who currently have asthma. In recent decades, the prevalence of asthma has been increasing, resulting in millions of urgent medical visits and missed days of work and school each year.

One in three American adults may have had a warning stroke

About one in three American adults experienced a symptom consistent with a warning or "mini" stroke, but almost none - 3 percent - took the recommended action, according to a new survey from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA).

Personalized psychiatry matches therapy to specific patients with depression

Selecting the antidepressant that will be most effective for a specific patient suffering from depression can be a "try and try again" process. Examining new personalized and precision psychiatry approaches, a new study in Personalized Medicine in Psychiatry shows that body mass index (BMI), sex of the patient, and symptom profile can be used to determine a personalized treatment that guides antidepressant choice and significantly improves patient outcome.

New technique may prevent graft rejection in high-risk corneal transplant patients

Treating donor corneas with a cocktail of molecules prior to transplanting to a host may improve survival of grafts and, thus, outcomes in high-risk corneal transplant patients, according to a new study led by researchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear. The findings, published online in Scientific Reports, describe a novel strategy to promote the tolerance of corneal transplants in patients at high risk for rejection by targeting antigen-presenting cells in donor tissues with a combination of two cytokines, TGF-╬▓ and IL-10, that work together to promote tolerance of the graft by the transplant recipient's immune system.

Risk of heart transplant rejection reduced by desensitising patient antibodies

The risk of heart transplant rejection can be reduced by desensitising patient antibodies, according to research presented today at Heart Failure 2017 and the 4th World Congress on Acute Heart Failure. The breakthrough comes on the 50th anniversary of heart transplantation.

Researchers find regular use of aspirin can lower risk of breast cancer for women

A City of Hope-led study found that the use of low-dose aspirin (81mg) reduces the risk of breast cancer in women who are part of the California's Teacher's Study. This study—which is the first to suggest that the reduction in risk occurs for low-dose aspirin—was proposed by City of Hope's Leslie Bernstein, Ph.D., professor and director of the Division of Biomarkers of Early Detection and Prevention, and published online in the journal, Breast Cancer Research.

Pain reliever may help relieve the vision damage of glaucoma

The tip of our optic nerve is typically the first place injured by glaucoma.

A routine invasive strategy may significantly reduce death risk in unstable angina

The absolute cumulative probability of death at 12 months was 5 percent lower for patients who received routine invasive coronary angiography and revascularization as indicated during an unstable angina admission compared to those who did not. The survival benefit persisted when angiography was delayed up to 2 months after the first unstable angina episode. Results of a comparative effectiveness analysis are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Get out there and exercise

(HealthDay)—Everyone's made excuses for skipping exercise. It's too cold outside, you're too busy or you're just too tired to get out of bed.

U.S. toddlers eat more french fries than vegetables

(HealthDay)—American toddlers are more likely to eat french fries than green vegetables on any given day, according to a new national survey on children's eating habits.

Teleconcussion assessments are feasible for football players

(HealthDay)—Teleconcussion assessment with a remote neurologist assessing football players using a telemedicine robot is feasible for sideline concussion assessments, with high levels of agreement with face-to-face providers, according to a study published online March 24 in Neurology.

Less morbidity seen for high-intensity focused ultrasound of fibroids

(HealthDay)—High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) causes substantially less morbidity than surgery for treatment of uterine fibroids, with similar long-term quality of life (QoL), according to a study published online April 19 in BJOG.

Cold application decreases fibromyalgia pain

(HealthDay)—Local cold applications on the trapezius muscles significantly decreases the pain of patients with fibromyalgia, according to a study published online April 17 in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

Topical timolol not efficacious for cutaneous telangiectasias

(HealthDay)—Topical timolol has no effect on cutaneous telangiectasias among patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), according to a letter to the editor published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

CDC: US still faces too many repeat teen births

(HealthDay)—Although rates of repeat births among teens are on the decline, tens of thousands of American teens are still getting pregnant for a second time, according to research published in the April 28 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Adjusting meds may reduce fall risk in older adults

Simply adjusting the dose of an older adult's psychiatric medication could reduce their risk of falling, a new University of Michigan study suggests.

Brain tissue structure could explain link between fitness and memory

Studies have suggested a link between fitness and memory, but researchers have struggled to find the mechanism that links them. A new study by University of Illinois researchers found that the key may lie in the microstructure of the hippocampus, a region in the middle of the brain involved in memory processes.

Treatment of pregnant patients with bone and joint injuries complicated, requires team of physicians

Nearly one in 1,000 pregnant women in the United States suffer bone and joint injuries due to car crashes, domestic violence, drug or alcohol use, or osteoporosis. According to a literature review in the May 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the stage of a woman's pregnancy—how her body may have changed during the course of the pregnancy—needs to be factored into the mother and fetus' orthopaedic trauma care.

Scientists identify therapy with potential to eliminate dialysis need

Scientists at Indiana University have identified a therapy that could help reverse damage from acute kidney injury and eliminate the need for dialysis treatment in the future.

Engineering cells to make immunotherapy more effective

Immunotherapy, in which cells from the human immune system are unleashed to fight disease, has been the big story in cancer treatment over the past few years. When it works, it can spur long-lasting remission in patients for whom other treatments have failed. But most patients don't benefit, and there is still no good way to predict who will respond.

Connecting the dots between insulin resistance, unhealthy blood vessels and cancer

Over the decades, scientists have repeatedly shown that patients with increased levels of the hormone insulin in their blood can experience increased risks of cancer. Surprisingly, however, Joslin Diabetes Center researchers now have discovered that impaired effects of insulin also can boost these risks.

Mice with missing lipid-modifying enzyme heal better after heart attack

Two immune responses are important for recovery after a heart attack—an acute inflammatory response that attracts leukocyte immune cells to remove dead tissue, followed by a resolving response that allows healing.

Stroke prevention may also reduce dementia

Ontario's stroke prevention strategy appears to have had an unexpected, beneficial side effect: a reduction also in the incidence of dementia among older seniors.

Women should continue cervical cancer screening as they approach age 65

Cervical cancer is often thought of as a disease that primarily affects young women. Because of this, many older women fail to keep up with appropriate screening as they age. While current guidelines indicate that screening can be stopped for average risk patients after age 65, many women lack the appropriate amount of screening history to accurately assess their risk. A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that incidence rates of cervical cancer do not begin to decline until 85 years of age among women without a hysterectomy and that women over 65 who have not been recently screened may benefit from continued surveillance.

Combination therapy could provide new treatment option for ovarian cancer

Researchers have been trying to understand why up to 85 percent of women experience recurrence of high-grade serous ovarian cancer—the most common subtype of ovarian cancer—after standard treatment with the chemotherapy drug carboplatin.

Study: Medicaid patients wait longer to see doctors

Waiting to see a doctor is frustrating, as anyone who has spent too much time flipping through old magazines or warily eyeing coughing strangers can attest. According to a new study by MIT researchers, Medicaid patients experience more of this frustration than people with private health insurance.

FDA OKs immune-boosting drug for advanced bladder cancer

U.S. regulators have approved a new drug that harnesses the immune system to treat advanced bladder cancer.

Finding real rewards in a virtual world

Researchers at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute have demonstrated that remembering where a goal is requires the same parts of the brain in virtual reality as it does in the real world. Published in the journal eNeuro, the study found that mice trained to find rewards on a virtual road required the hippocampus, a region known to function the same way in non-virtual situations. The study also showed that mice performed poorly on the virtual test if they lacked Shank2, a protein known to be associated with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities.

Serial analysis of CTCs may provide biomarker predictive of NSCLC response to crizotinib

Among patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) fueled by ALK gene alterations who were being treated with crizotinib (Xalkori), a decrease in the number of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) harboring increased copies of the ALK gene over the first two months of treatment was associated with increased progression-free survival.

Expert spotlights early detection for melanoma awareness month

May brings Melanoma Awareness Month, along with the Memorial Day holiday and the beginning of summer vacations. With longer days and more outdoor activities, Baylor College of Medicine's Dr. Ida Orengo, professor of dermatology, addresses the dangers hiding behind sunburns and sun exposure.

Unreported data for workplace injuries

Accidents leading to work injuries cost an estimated $57 billion in Australia and new research from the University of South Australia shows workplaces are unlikely to be adequately addressing injury prevention because management decisions are informed by inaccurate data.

Improving the health of fragile tribes in Malaysia

Genetic studies on Malaysia's Orang Asli peoples could lead to tailored medical advice that is more appropriate for their unique makeup.

First national study comparing rural and city medical specialists

The first comprehensive national study about medical specialists working in rural and regional areas will be presented today at a national rural health conference in Cairns.

Many NHS patients experience relapse of depression and anxiety problems after discharge from mental

A new study reveals approximately 53 per cent of NHS patients had a clinically significant deterioration of depression and anxiety symptoms within a year after completing brief psychological treatments.

Students delivering life-saving heart health checks

High blood pressure is on the rise in South Australia with more than one in three, or 462,000 adults, walking around putting stress on their hearts every single day.

Auto pioneer's family turns tragedy into discovery with $5 million commitment to bipolar research

Fifty years ago this spring, entrepreneur Heinz Prechter moved his company to Detroit, to answer car buyers' fast-growing demand for sunroofs. But even as his products brought light into more than a million vehicles, he fought darkness in his own life.

New model enables analysis of tissue-engineered cartilage in lab by large animal testing

Researchers have developed a new model to analyze tissue engineered cartilage that allows for the use of a single method to assess functional tissue mechanics in cartilage constructs at all stages of development from the laboratory through large animal testing. This unified approach to soft-tissue modeling, which provides a valuable framework for comparing data across different testing methods and for standardizing mechanical outcomes reporting, is presented in an article in Tissue Engineering, Part A.

Study finds Medicaid expansion in Kentucky provided most benefit to those in poorer areas

The implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in Kentucky proved most beneficial for Kentuckians living in areas with high concentrations of poverty, particularly children, according to a study by a researcher in the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences in collaboration with colleagues at Ohio State University and Emory University. The study was published recently in Health Services Research.

Pancreatic cancer patients may live longer by traveling to academic hospital for operation

New study findings link traveling to an academic medical center for surgical removal of pancreatic or thyroid cancer with higher quality surgical care for both cancers, and longer survival for patients with pancreatic cancer compared with patients who receive treatment at a hospital closer to home. Despite the advantages, few patients with these cancers travel within the United States for their cancer operations, according to the authors of the study, which is published online as an "article in press" on the Journal of the American College of Surgeons website in advance of print publication.

Humanitarian cardiac surgery outreach helps build a better health care system in Rwanda

Providing adequate cardiothoracic surgical care in a resource-limited setting presents a unique cluster of challenges. A shortage of doctors or specialists, inadequate access to necessary medications, and patient limitations are just some of the myriad issues that make treating heart disease in places like sub-Saharan Africa incredibly difficult. This year's AATS Centennial, the annual meeting of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, features a presentation from a team of doctors and other medical professionals who have been travelling to Rwanda for the past 10 years as part of a surgical outreach program aimed at treating patients affected by rheumatic heart disease (RHD) and building a foundation for sustainable cardiothoracic care throughout the country.

SNMMI publishes appropriate use criteria for V/Q imaging in pulmonary embolism

The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) has published appropriate use criteria for ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) imaging in pulmonary embolism (PE). This is the second in a series of new AUC developed by SNMMI in its role as a qualified provider-led entity (PLE) under the Medicare Appropriate Use Criteria program for advanced diagnostic imaging. The AUC for bone scintigraphy was published in April 2017.

Smoke-free policies help decrease smoking rates for LGBT population

Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death and disability in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking among lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) individuals is higher than among heterosexual adults—nearly 24 percent of the LGBT population smoke compared to nearly 17 percent of the straight population. Now, researchers from the University of Missouri have found evidence of lower smoking prevalence and greater intentions to quit among the LGBT smokers who live in communities with smoke-free policies.

Uruguay to sign up users to buy cannabis in pharmacies

Uruguay, which in July will become the first country selling state-produced cannabis in pharmacies for recreational use, will open a user registry on Tuesday, authorities said.

No cut in salt, fewer grains: Gov't eases school meal rules

Schools won't have to cut more salt from meals just yet and some will be able to serve kids fewer whole grains, under changes to federal nutrition standards announced Monday.

Care management program reduced health care costs in Partners Pioneer ACO

Across the country, health care is going through a transformation both in how care is delivered and how it is paid for. These alternative payment models, such as Medicare's Accountable Care Organization (ACO), require health care delivery organizations to share in the financial risk associated with their patients' medical spending and encourage health care providers to think of alternative ways to get patients the care that they need. Although ACOs appear to lower medical spending, there is little information on how these savings are actually achieved. Today, researchers at Partners HealthCare published a study showing that Partners Pioneer ACO not only reduces spending growth, but does this by reducing avoidable hospitalizations for patients with elevated but modifiable risks. The study appears in the May issue of the journal Health Affairs.

Biology news

Scientists illuminate genetics underlying the mysterious powers of spider silks

Spider silks, the stuff of spider webs, are a materials engineer's dream: they can be stronger than steel at a mere fraction of weight, and also can be tougher and more flexible. Spider silks also tend not to provoke the human immune system. Some even inhibit bacteria and fungi, making them potentially ideal for surgery and medical device applications. Exploitation of these natural marvels has been slow, due in part to the challenges involved in identifying and characterizing spider silk genes, but researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have now made a major advance with the largest-ever study of spider silk genes.

Galapagos study identifies keystone predator in a complex food web

Despite popular metaphors and cartoons depicting straightforward "food chains," ecologists such as Brown University Professor Jon Witman typically doubt that they'll see predators in diverse tropical ecosystems have meaningful impacts on species even just two links down the line. But after six years of meticulous experimentation and observation off the coast of the famed Galápagos Islands, Witman and two colleagues have amassed direct evidence that just such an important "trophic cascade" is happening there.

It's all in the math: New tool provides roadmap for cell development

Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have created a new tool to describe the many possible ways in which a cell may develop. Rooted in the mathematical field of topology, the tool provides a roadmap that offers detailed insight into how stem cells give rise to specialized cells.

Tea tree genome contains clues about how one leaf produces so many flavors

The most popular varieties of tea—including black tea, green tea, Oolong tea, white tea, and chai—all come from the leaves of the evergreen shrub Camellia sinensis, otherwise known as the tea tree. Despite tea's immense cultural and economic significance, relatively little is known about the shrub behind the tea leaves. However, the first draft of the tea tree genome published May 1 in the journal Molecular Plant may help explain why tea leaves are so rich in antioxidants and caffeine.

Female dragonflies found to fake death to avoid male advances

(Phys.org)—A biologist with the University of Zurich has discovered a species of dragonfly whose females play dead to avoid copulating with other males once her eggs have already been fertilized. In his paper published in the journal Ecology, Rassim Khelifa recalls his first experience with a female mooreland hawker dragonfly playing dead, and what he found after further study of the species.

Read more about Jeepers creepers: Massive spider eyes shrink 25% in adulthood

The male net-casting spider appears to shift his focus by going easy on the eyes as he enters adulthood, says a new study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The gene that starts it all

The formation of a human embryo starts with the fertilization of the oocyte by the sperm cell. This yields the zygote, the primordial cell that carries one copy each of the maternal and paternal genomes. However, this genetic information starts being expressed only after the zygote divides a couple of times. But what triggers this process, called "zygotic genome activation", was unknown until now. EPFL scientists have just found that members of the DUX family of proteins are responsible for igniting the gene expression program of the nascent embryo. Published in Nature Genetics, this discovery is a milestone for developmental biology.

Plant cell walls' stretch-but-don't-break growth more complex than once thought

Plant cell wall growth is typically described as a simple process, but researchers using a microscope that can resolve images on the nanoscale level have observed something more complex.

Team discovers a new invasive clam in the US

They found it in the Illinois River near the city of Marseilles, Illinois, about 80 miles west of Lake Michigan - a strange entry point for an invasive Asian clam. The scientists who found it have no idea how it got there. But the discovery - along with genetic tests that confirm its uniqueness - means that a new species or "form" of invasive clam has made its official debut in North America.

Q&A: Expert says all's not right for endangered right whales

Those endangered North Atlantic right whales cavorting in Cape Cod Bay are fun to watch, but their frolicking doesn't tell the whole story.

The first sequencing of a channel catfish genome

A fish named "Coco" is at the center of the first genome sequence for any catfish species.

Purifying cells to treat disease

Various cell therapies involve injecting a specific cell type into a patient. These include, for example, bone marrow transplants and some types of immunotherapy that use T-cells (a white blood cell involved in immunity) to help fight cancer.

Behavior patterns indicators of illness onset in cattle

Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists are developing an early warning system for pen riders or animal care providers to more efficiently identify and treat cattle for bovine respiratory disease.

Why frogs need saving

On April 29, the world's frogs are celebrated on Save The Frogs Day.

Light pollution has serious impact on coastal wildlife, research shows

Scientists have recognised for some years that light pollution from buildings, vehicles and streetlights is a growing phenomenon that impacts on the behaviour and success of many animals including migrating birds, hunting bats and the moths they try to capture.

Five new truffle species identified in New Hampshire

They aren't the type you'd sprinkle over pasta. But University of New Hampshire researchers have found five new truffle species.

Developing climate-resilient wheat varieties

Increases in climate variability have placed new emphasis on the need for resilient wheat varieties. Alongside demands for increased resiliency, consumer interest in healthier, more functional foods is growing. Therefore, the identification of potential breeding targets to create climate-resilient, nutritionally improved wheat varieties is of particular interest.


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