Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Science X Newsletter Tuesday, May 23

Dear Reader ,

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

Spotlight Stories Headlines

New blackbody force depends on spacetime geometry and topology

Study provides surprisingly complex portrait of ancient trade networks

Binary star composed of two brown dwarfs discovered by microlensing

A self-healing structural color hydrogel inspired by nature

VLA reveals new object near supermassive black hole in famous galaxy

Off-the-shelf, power-generating clothes are almost here: Scientists introduce coating that turns fabrics into circuits

Why our brain cells may prevent us burning fat when we're dieting

AI wins as Google algorithm beats No. 1 Go player (Update)

Researchers show off omnicopter with ball-catching skills

A new tool for discovering nanoporous materials

Air circulation affects frost more than global warming—for now

Wolves need space to roam to control expanding coyote populations

Chinese online retailer developing one-ton delivery drones

Weyl fermions exhibit paradoxical behavior

Study offers guidance for targeting residual ovarian tumors

Astronomy & Space news

Binary star composed of two brown dwarfs discovered by microlensing

(Phys.org)—Using gravitational microlensing, astronomers have recently found a binary star composed of two brown dwarfs. The newly discovered system is the third brown-dwarf binary detected with this technique. The finding was presented in a paper published May 16 on the arXiv pre-print server.

VLA reveals new object near supermassive black hole in famous galaxy

Pointing the Very Large Array (VLA) at a famous galaxy for the first time in two decades, a team of astronomers got a big surprise, finding that a bright new object had appeared near the galaxy's core. The object, the scientists concluded, is either a very rare type of supernova explosion or, more likely, an outburst from a second supermassive black hole closely orbiting the galaxy's primary, central supermassive black hole.

'Victory' for US astronauts on critical spacewalk to replace power box (Update)

Two US astronauts successfully completed Tuesday what NASA described as a "critical" spacewalk to repair a failed piece of equipment that helps power the International Space Station.

Image: Slim crescent of Enceladus

The low angle of sunlight along the slim crescent of Saturn's moon Enceladus (313 miles or 504 kilometers across) highlights the many fractures and furrows on its icy surface.

NASA scientist parlays experience to build ocean worlds instrument

An instrument originally developed to search for organic molecules on Mars is being repurposed to potentially hunt for life on a handful of moons in the outer solar system that appear to host oceans, geysers and vents of ice volcanoes.

Technology news

Off-the-shelf, power-generating clothes are almost here: Scientists introduce coating that turns fabrics into circuits

A lightweight, comfortable jacket that can generate the power to light up a jogger at night may sound futuristic, but materials scientist Trisha Andrew at the University of Massachusetts Amherst could make one today. In a new paper this month, she and colleagues outline how they have invented a way to apply breathable, pliable, metal-free electrodes to fabric and off-the-shelf clothing so it feels good to the touch and also transports enough electricity to power small electronics.

AI wins as Google algorithm beats No. 1 Go player (Update)

Google's computer algorithm AlphaGo narrowly beat the world's top-ranked player in the ancient Chinese board game of Go on Tuesday, reaffirming the arrival of what its developers tout as a ground-breaking new form of artificial intelligence.

Researchers show off omnicopter with ball-catching skills

(Tech Xplore)—A little flying device is drawing attention in the media this month on two counts, the way it moves and what it can do, which is fetching a ball in a pouch.

Chinese online retailer developing one-ton delivery drones

China's biggest online retailer, JD.com Inc., announced plans Monday to develop drone aircraft capable of carrying a ton or more for long-distance deliveries.

Google helps advertisers track spending in physical stores (Update)

Google already monitors online shopping—and now it's keeping an eye on physical stores to try to sell more digital advertising.

Microsoft Surface gets battery boost, better viewing angles

Microsoft is refreshing its Surface Pro tablet with longer battery life and faster processors.

US says Fiat Chrysler used software to cheat emissions tests

The U.S. government is suing Fiat Chrysler, alleging that some of its diesel pickup trucks and Jeep SUVs cheat on emissions tests.

How to prevent 3-D printing hacks? Install secret flaws and share the decoder ring

Additive manufacturing (AM), also called 3D printing, is growing fast. Worldwide, the AM market grew nearly 26 percent to more than $5 billion last year, versus 2015, and another 17.4 percent this year versus last. The rapid prototyping market alone is expected to reach $5 billion by 2020.

China scrambles to tame bike chaos

A booming rental bike business has flooded China's streets with packs of cyclists, but their habit of going the wrong way and abandoning their rides anywhere is causing havoc.

North Korea-linked hackers 'highly likely' behind WannaCry: Symantec

The Lazarus hacking group, widely believed to be connected to North Korea, is "highly likely" responsible for the WannaCry global cyberattack that hit earlier this month, US anti-virus firm Symantec said.

Sony chief promises profitability, but is short on specifics

Sony's leader promised a comeback for the Japanese electronics and entertainment company having its best profitability in two decades.

Nokia and Apple settle long-running legal disputes

Nokia and Apple have settled their numerous legal disputes after signing an agreement to work together.

Exploring underground with a colliding drone

ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano last weekend helped to explore the caverns under Sicily using a drone that deliberately bumped into its surroundings in order to build a map.

How 3-D printing became a new craft technology

For many people, craft is wooden chairs and pottery, all lovingly constructed by hand. A 3-D-printed plastic object? Not so much.

What are software vulnerabilities, and why are there so many of them?

The recent WannaCry ransomware attack spread like wildfire, taking advantage of flaws in the Windows operating system to take control of hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide. But what exactly does that mean?

How far can your shoes run?

Research data on the durability of running shoes challenges a common assumption.

Solar cells more efficient thanks to new material standing on edge

Researchers from Lund University in Sweden and from Fudan University in China have successfully designed a new structural organization using the promising solar cell material perovskite. The study shows that solar cells increase in efficiency thanks to the material's ability to self-organise by standing on edge.

Appeals court revives challenge to NSA surveillance practice

A challenge to the government's practice of collecting certain internet communications can move forward, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

More than play: Can video games train sailors and marines?

Blasting video game zombies, aliens and gangsters might not seem intellectually stimulating, but current research shows these computerized conflicts actually sharpen a range of cognitive skills—including better multitasking, increased attention span, faster reaction time and greater visual acuity.

Sensing insole for footstrike pattern detection in runners

Researchers at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) have developed a mobile biofeedback device for footstrike pattern modification for injury prevention and rehabilitation in runners.

Sheffield energy experts design cooling system for Qatar 2022 stadium

A unique system to keep football fans and players cool at the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, which was co-designed by engineers from the University of Sheffield, has been officially unveiled at the newly renovated Khalifa stadium.

Target, states reach $18.5 million settlement on data breach

Target Corp. has reached an $18.5 million settlement over a massive data breach that occurred before Christmas in 2013, New York's attorney general announced Tuesday.

Medicine & Health news

Why our brain cells may prevent us burning fat when we're dieting

A study carried out in mice may help explain why dieting can be an inefficient way to lose weight: key brain cells act as a trigger to prevent us burning calories when food is scarce.

Study offers guidance for targeting residual ovarian tumors

Most women diagnosed with ovarian cancer undergo surgery to remove as many of the tumors as possible. However, it is usually impossible to eliminate all of the cancer cells because they have spread throughout the abdomen. Surgery is therefore followed by 18 weeks of chemotherapy.

Scholars analyze children's ability to detect 'sins of omission'

Children age six to seven, and even as young as four years old, can under certain conditions identify when they are presented with information that is misleading – but technically true – according to a new study from Stanford psychologists.

A new strategy reported to combat influenza and speed recovery

The influenza virus turns infected lung cells into factories that churn out thousands of copies of the virus to spread the infection. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have reported a promising new approach that uses an investigational cancer drug to dial down viral production and dramatically increase survival of flu-infected mice. The findings appear today in the journal Cell Reports.

Researchers suggest dual gait testing as early predictor of dementia

In a new study, researchers at Lawson Health Research Institute and Western University are demonstrating that gait, or motion testing, while simultaneously performing a cognitively demanding task can be an effective predictor of progression to dementia and eventually help with earlier diagnosis. To date, there is no definitive way for health care professionals to forecast the onset of dementia in a patient with memory complaints.

Immunotherapy target suppresses pain to mask cancer

Once hailed as a breakthrough in cancer treatment, immunotherapies are now raising concerns as doctors note new side effects like severe allergic reactions, acute-onset diabetes and heart damage.

Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases share common crucial feature

A Loyola University Chicago study has found that abnormal proteins found in Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease all share a similar ability to cause damage when they invade brain cells.

Researchers find piece in inflammatory disease puzzle

Inflammation is the process by which the body responds to injury or infection but when this process becomes out of control it can cause disease. Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) researchers, in collaboration with the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS), have shed light on a key aspect of the process. Their findings may help guide the development of new treatments of inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis, which can lead to heart attack or stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

Brain area involved in addiction activated earlier than previously thought in recreational cocaine users

Even among non-dependent cocaine users, cues associated with consumption of the drug lead to dopamine release in an area of the brain thought to promote compulsive use, according to researchers at McGill University.

Raised blood platelet levels 'strong predictor' of cancer

Having a high blood platelet count is a strong predictor of cancer and should be urgently investigated to save lives, according to a large-scale study.

New study examines child death rates in motor vehicle crashes by state

Unintentional injury is the leading cause of pediatric death in the U.S. and motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) are the most common cause of injury. A new paper published in the Journal of Pediatrics by researchers at Center for Surgery and Public Health (CSPH) at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, is the first to examine state-level factors contributing to variation in pediatric mortality in motor vehicle crashes and to identify trends across states.

Dentists in good compliance with American Heart Association guidelines, according to Rochester epidemiology project

In the first study examining dental records in the Rochester Epidemiology Project, results show that dentists and oral surgeons are in good compliance with guidelines issued by the American Heart Association (AHA) in 2007, describing prophylactic antibiotic use prior to invasive dental procedures.

Family history of Alzheimer's may alter metabolic gene that increases risk for disease

A new Iowa State University study may have identified the link that explains years of conflicting research over a mitochondrial gene and the risk for Alzheimer's disease.

Reform on the menu as WHO votes for new chief

The World Health Organization's 194 members on Tuesday choose among three candidates to replace Margaret Chan as global health supremo, with each pledging to reform an agency under scrutiny.

Strategic brain training positively affects neural connectivity for individuals with TBI

A recent study from the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas shows that a certain type of instructor-led brain training protocol can stimulate structural changes in the brain and neural connections even years after a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

City life could present psychosis risk for adolescents

Living in a city could significantly increase young people's vulnerability to psychotic experiences, according to a new study from King's College London and Duke University.

Food is not just the sum of its nutrients—It is time to rethink nutrition labelling

The nutritional value of a food should be evaluated on the basis of the foodstuff as a whole, and not as an effect of the individual nutrients. This is the conclusion of an international expert panel of epidemiologists, physicians, food and nutrition scientists and brought together by the University of Copenhagen and University of Reading. Their conclusion reshapes our understanding of the importance of nutrients and their interaction.

Just one alcoholic drink a day increases breast cancer risk, exercise lowers risk

Drinking just one glass of wine or other alcoholic drink a day increases breast cancer risk, finds a major new report by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF).

US child welfare system could save $12 billion, improve outcomes

Striking a better balance between programs to prevent child maltreatment and services for those who have already suffered from abuse could improve long-term outcomes for children and reduce child welfare system costs in the United States by $12 billion, according to a new RAND Corporation report.

Pediatricians can play a pivotal role in reducing pediatric firearm-related injuries

A review led by Children's National Health System researchers published May 23, 2017 in Hospital Pediatrics indicates that while firearms are present in 18 percent to 64 percent of U.S. homes, almost 40 percent of parents erroneously believe that their children are unaware where weapons are stored, and 22 percent of parents wrongly think that their children have never handled household firearms.

US approves Sanofi, Regeneron arthritis drug

US federal regulators have given the green light to French pharmaceutical company Sanofi and its US partner Regeneron to market a drug to treat the chronic inflammatory condition, rheumatoid arthritis.

Parents' reasons for not vaccinating children influence public attitudes toward them

Mothers are viewed negatively if their child hasn't been vaccinated, no matter the reason. But mothers who outright refuse to vaccinate their children are viewed in a harsher light compared to those who delay vaccines because of safety concerns or who aren't up to date due to time constraints.

Omega-3 fatty acids can neutralize listeria

Certain fatty acids are not only part of a healthy diet—they can also neutralise the harmful listeria bacterium, a new study shows. This discovery could eventually lead to improved methods to combat dangerous and drug-resistant bacteria.

Scientists develop test to identify best treatment for gonorrhea

Researchers from UCLA have developed a laboratory test that helps physicians determine which people with gonorrhea may be more treatable with an antibiotic that has not been recommended since 2007 because of concerns that the resistance to the drug was growing.

Readily available antibiotic could help to curb lung damage from TB

Imperial scientists have found how a common antibiotic could help reduce lung destruction in people with Tuberculosis (TB).

Less than 50 percent of U.K. adolescents eat fruit or veg daily

Less than 50 per cent of adolescents in the UK eat fruit or vegetables every day, according to the latest research from the University of St Andrews.

Political violence gets under kids' skin—and may stay

When children are victims of political violence, they tend to become more aggressive with members of their own peer group, and that aggression tends to linger as they age, according to a University of Michigan study.

Can better tech improve doctor-patient conversations? A case study with CAT scans in the ER

A Yale-led team of researchers have developed an electronic application tool that puts patients at the center of a decision about an overused medical test: the CAT or CT scan. If it pans out in wider pilot testing, the innovative app could inform the way that health technology tools are developed and used by physicians and patients, said lead author Dr. Ted Melnick.

Infecting mosquitoes with bacteria so they can't infect us with viruses like Zika and dengue

Mosquitoes and their itchy bites are more than just an annoyance. They transmit dangerous viruses with deadly consequences – making them the most lethal animal on Earth. It's the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquito species that are behind outbreaks of dengue virus, Zika virus, yellow fever virus and Chikungunya virus, responsible for over 100 million human cases around the world annually. And they're expanding their habitat around the world as the global climate warms, bringing them into contact with more potential victims who have less immunity and increased susceptibility to these mosquito-transmitted viruses.

Majority of Americans say they are anxious about health—millennials are more anxious than baby boomers

Nearly two-thirds of Americans are extremely or somewhat anxious about health and safety for themselves and their families and more than a third are more anxious overall than last year. By generation, millennials are the most anxious, baby boomers are the least. People of color also report higher levels of anxiety. This is according to a new national poll released today by the American Psychiatric Association.

Obesity related to upbringing

The proportion of children who are overweight has increased enormously over the past 20 years. The number has currently stabilised but even so there are still too many overweight and obese children. Could there be some connection with the way they are brought up? Roxanna Camfferman's PhD research shows that there is indeed a connection between upbringing and body weight.

A new T-cell population for cancer immunotherapy

Scientists at the University of Basel in Switzerland have, for the first time, described a new T cell population that can recognize and kill tumor cells. The open access journal eLife has published the results.

Low vitamin D levels if you're lactose intolerant

Those with a genetic intolerance to lactose may suffer from a vitamin D deficiency. That's according to a recent study conducted at the University of Toronto and published in the Journal of Nutrition.

Do best-selling drugs that calm stomachs damage kidneys? The answer's unclear

Sherry Herman was watching TV when the ad popped up on the screen. Lawyers were seeking clients for a class-action lawsuit, suggesting a link between certain heartburn pills and chronic kidney disease - including the beige capsules she'd taken for years.

Telepsychiatry helps mental health patients in rural Missouri 

Holden Comer lives in Owensville, a town of 2,600 22 miles from the nearest interstate highway in east central Missouri. When he was 5, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress and attention deficit disorders.

Online pulmonary rehabilitation not inferior to face-to-face rehab

Online pulmonary rehabilitation for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was found to be as effective as face-to-face rehabilitation programs at improving patients' exercise capacity and symptom control, according to new research presented at the 2017 American Thoracic Society International Conference.

DNA vaccine protects against toxic proteins linked to Alzheimer's

A new DNA vaccine when delivered to the skin prompts an immune response that produces antibodies to protect against toxic proteins associated with Alzheimer's disease - without triggering severe brain swelling that earlier antibody treatments caused in some patients.

Social factors of patients affect hospital performance measures

A team of researchers led by a University of Colorado School of Medicine faculty member found that measures to evaluate readmission rates at children's hospitals would be more accurate if the social factors of the patients are included.

Pulmonary Thrombosis-on-a-Chip provides new avenue for drug development

The average human pair of lungs is permeated by a network of about 164 feet of blood vessels (roughly the width of a football field), including microscopic blood capillaries, which facilitate the diffusion of oxygen into the bloodstream in exchange for carbon dioxide. Damage to any of those vessels can cause a blood clot, or thrombus, to form, which can cause or exacerbate a number of lung diseases, including pneumonia, acute lung injury and acute chest syndrome. The use of some drugs is also limited by their propensity to promote clot formation in lung vessels. Developing and testing drugs to treat or prevent pulmonary thrombosis is difficult because the complex interplay between the many different cell types in the lung hampers efforts to tease out the exact causes of clot formation. A new study conducted by members of the Wyss Institute at Harvard University, Emulate Inc., and Janssen Pharmaceutical Research and Development, published today in the journal Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, is the first to successfully recreate a human pulmonary thrombosis within an organ-level model of the lung in vitro.

Loss of airway blood vessels is associated with risk of death in smokers without COPD

In a new study, CT-measured vascular pruning - the diminution of distal pulmonary blood vessels (vessels on the outer edges of the lungs) - was associated with increased risk of death in smokers without chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The study was presented at the 2017 American Thoracic Society International Conference.

WHO elects new chief to lead reform (Update)

The World Health Organization was electing its new leader Tuesday, with the race narrowed to two finalists who have vowed to shake up the fiercely criticised agency.

You don't see what I see? Visual perception may depend on birthplace and environment

Perhaps we only see what we've learned to see.

Recommended daily protein intake too low for the elderly

You can find the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) on the nutrition labels of all your processed food. Food manufacturers are obliged to list the nutritional value of their products, and therefore must mention the percent daily value of the RDA their product meets for certain nutrients.

Stem cells may significantly improve tendon healing by regulating inflammation

New research published online in The FASEB Journal suggests that tendon stem (TSCs) may be able to significantly improve tendon healing by regulating inflammation, which contributes to scar-like tendon healing and chronic matrix degradation. This has implications for the treatment of acute tendon injuries and chronic tendon disease.

Increased lysyl oxidase may be a significant contributor to heart disease and cancer

It's known that people with high blood pressure have increased levels of the enzyme lysyl oxidase (LOX), but it has not been clear if LOX actually contributes to heart disease. Now, a new research report appearing online in The FASEB Journal helps answer this question by showing that LOX does negatively affect heart function in mice.

Probing problems with bariatric surgery: Reoperations, variation are common

Every year, nearly 200,000 Americans turn to surgeons for help with their obesity, seeking bariatric surgery to lose weight and prevent life-threatening health problems.

Rethinking exercise: Replace punishing workouts with movement that makes you happy

Many women start fitness programs to lose weight, and when they don't, they feel like failures and stop exercising.

Tracking cancer's signaling pathways

Malignant melanoma is one of the most common and dangerous types of cancer. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) investigated how and why brown pigmented moles turn into malignant melanoma using innovative robot technology. The insights gained can simplify methods of diagnosis in the future; furthermore, they suggest that certain cosmetic products and creams should be avoided.

Depression risk following natural disaster can be predicted via pupil dilation

Pupil dilation could identify which individuals are at greatest risk for depression following disaster-related stress, and help lead to targeted interventions, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Discovery of a key regulatory gene in cardiac valve formation

Researchers from the University of Basel in Switzerland have identified a key regulator gene for the formation of cardiac valves - a process crucial to normal embryonic heart development. These results are published in the journal Cell Reports today.

Fiber-rich diet linked to lowered risk of painful knee osteoarthritis

A fibre-rich diet is linked to a lowered risk of painful knee osteoarthritis, finds the first study of its kind, published online in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Comparison of antibiotic treatments for cellulitis

Among patients with uncomplicated cellulitis, the use of an antibiotic regimen with activity against MRSA did not result in higher rates of clinical resolution compared to an antibiotic lacking MRSA activity; however, certain findings suggest further research may be needed to confirm these results, according to a study published by JAMA.

Mortality rates at teaching hospitals lower compared with non-teaching hospitals

Patients admitted to major teaching hospitals are less likely to die compared with patients admitted to minor teaching or non-teaching hospitals, according to a large national study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Phone-based transitional care program has high engagement among surgical patients

For patients undergoing complex abdominal operations in the United States, poor transitions from the hospital to home contribute to hospital readmission rates ranging from 13 to 30 percent. To address this situation, a research team used the framework of a successful phone-based transitional care program adapted to the needs of surgical patients, based on a systems engineering approach. The researchers found the program was feasible for hospital staff to implement and provided a positive experience for patients, according to study results published as an "article in press" on the Journal of the American College of Surgeons website ahead of print publication.

First study shows tie between probiotic and improved symptoms of depression

Probiotics may relieve symptoms of depression, as well as help gastrointestinal upset, research from McMaster University has found.

Study leads to breakthrough in better understanding acute myeloid leukemia

A study led by the University of Birmingham has made a breakthrough in the understanding of how different genetic mutations cause acute myeloid leukaemia.

Skin color no shield against skin cancer

Sidney Brown thought the mole on his nose was just an annoying pimple. He didn't consider that it could be a cancerous tumor, because, Brown thought, "skin cancer is something white people get."

Using a genetic signature to overcome chemotherapy-resistant lung cancer

Patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) often respond to standard chemotherapy, only to develop drug resistance later, and with fatal consequences. But what if doctors could identify those at greatest risk of relapse and provide a therapy to overcome or avoid it?

Among all cancers, lung cancer appears to put patients at greatest suicide risk

A lung cancer diagnosis appears to put patients at the greatest risk of suicide when compared to the most common types of non-skin cancers, according to new research presented at the ATS 2017 International Conference.

Helping ease kids' fears after Manchester terror attack

(HealthDay)—As reports of the carnage at Monday's Ariana Grande show in Manchester, England, continue to pour in, many teens with tickets to concerts during the coming summer music season may be reluctant to attend an event.

Checking patient's drug history may help curb opioid abuse

(HealthDay)—Doctors can help stem the U.S. opioid epidemic by checking their patients' drug history before prescribing powerful painkillers, a new study suggests.

You're less apt to fact-check 'fake news' when it's on social media: study

(HealthDay)—Talk of "fake news" is everywhere this year. Now a new study suggests that people may be less apt to fact-check reports they see on social media, compared to other settings.

Case of gnathostomiasis caused by roe ingestion reported

(HealthDay)—In a case report published online May 4 in The Journal of Dermatology, gnathostomiasis caused by ingestion of raw roe from Oncorhynchus masou ishikawae is described.

Five-year risk of repeat SUI, POP surgery less than 10 percent

(HealthDay)—For women undergoing surgery for stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and pelvic organ prolapse (POP), the risk of repeat procedures is less than 10 percent, with increased risks for older women and initial POP surgery, according to a study published in the June issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Risk up for triple Tx versus DAPT in DES implantation with A-fib

(HealthDay)—For patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with drug-eluting stents (DES), atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with increased risks, with no benefit and higher risk seen for triple therapy compared to dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT), according to a study published online May 17 in JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions.

Poor health of those undergoing chronic homelessness

High or very high levels of psychological distress, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, chronic physical conditions, and poor social support, are common characteristics of those experiencing chronic homelessness, according to new research.

New peanut allergy treatment now in clinical trials

A new peanut allergy treatment developed by Monash researchers is now beginning clinical trials in Melbourne and Adelaide.

Americans show strong support for mental health coverage

Americans, both Republicans and Democrats, overwhelmingly feel that insurance should cover mental health. Seventy-seven percent of all Americans said private health insurance offered through an employer or union should cover mental health, including 76 percent of Democrats and 81 percent of Republicans. This is according to a new national poll released today by the American Psychiatric Association.

Americans favor treatment, not enforcement, to address opioid crisis

Many Americans have been directly touched by the opioid crisis—more than a quarter of Americans and more than a third of millennials, report knowing someone who has been addicted to opioids or prescription painkillers. More than two-thirds of Americans, 69 percent, say they "understand how someone accidentally gets addicted to opioids," according to a new national poll released today by the American Psychiatric Association.

Analysis identifies genetic variants associated with cardiac structure and function

Strong or weak, big or small – variations in our genome play a decisive part in how our heart is shaped and works. Scientists of the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK) together with an international consortium have identified 10 new genetic variants associated with cardiac structure and function. The results contribute to the understanding of the complex pattern of genetic and environmental factors that underlies cardiovascular diseases and could thus form the basis for new therapies.

Wives of migrant workers at higher risk of HIV in Nepal

Travelling abroad to work or study has become a national trend in Nepal, especially in the young male population. Over three million Nepali migrant workers are in the Middle East, Malaysia and India. Particularly in India and in Malaysia, migrant workers are involved in risky sexual practices which may have health consequences to their wives as well.

Follow-up imaging is less when radiologists read ED ultrasounds

According to a study presented at the American College of Radiology annual meeting, the use of follow-up imaging is significantly less when initial emergency department (ED) ultrasound examinations are interpreted by a radiologist than a nonradiologist. The work, conducted by researchers at the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute, was named an ACR 2017 Gold Merit Abstract Award recipient in the Advocacy, Economics and Health Policy category.

Inflammatory bowel disease, bone marrow transplant precision medicine clinical trial opens

In an effort to find new strategies to personalize treatment for pediatric patients, Seattle Children's has opened the first clinical trial applying next-generation T-cell receptor (TCR) sequencing and single-cell gene expression analysis to better understand how the immune system drives both inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in pediatric autoimmunity patients and graft-versus host disease (GVHD) in pediatric bone marrow transplant (BMT) patients.

Scientists uncover dietary strategy to address obesity using component in red chili

Scientists have discovered a dietary strategy that may address obesity by reducing endotoxemia, a major contributor to chronic, low-grade inflammation (CLGI). The researchers uncovered an interaction between dietary capsaicin (CAP), the major pungent component in red chili, and gut microbiota. This novel mechanism for the anti-obesity effect of CAP acts through prevention of microbial dysbiosis and the subsequent gut barrier dysfunction that can lead to CLGI.

Rising incidence of tick-borne Powassan virus infection in North America

Cases of human infection with Powassan virus (POWV), which can cause fatal neuroinvasive disease and long-term neurological effects, appear to be increasing in the United States. POWV is transmitted by Ixodes tick species found in North America. A comprehensive review of this potential emerging public health threat, the most recent research on the virus and its tick vector, and the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of POWV disease is published in Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases.

ACP brings prescription to improve American health care to Congress

The American College of Physicians today released a set of recommendations aimed at providing a forward-thinking agenda for health care reform, 'A Prescription for a Forward-Looking Agenda to Improve American Health Care.' The paper articulates ACP's view that now is the time to move away from the debate over repealing and replacing the ACA, and instead, urges Congress and the administration to join with ACP and others to create and implement a forward-looking agenda to improve American health care.

Ways to track weight loss success

(HealthDay)—Self-monitoring is part of virtually every weight loss plan, and weighing yourself is a key part of self-monitoring. After all, the one thing every dieter wants to see is results.

Botulism outbreak tied to nacho cheese kills 1, sickens 9

A botulism outbreak linked to contaminated nacho-cheese dip sold at a Northern California gas station has killed one man and left at least nine other people hospitalized, health officials said.

Ethiopia's Tedros elected new WHO chief

Ethiopia's Tedros Adhanom was elected as the new head of the powerful World Health Organization on Tuesday, vowing to shake up an agency seen as needing major reform.

Biology news

Wolves need space to roam to control expanding coyote populations

Wolves and other top predators need large ranges to be able to control smaller predators whose populations have expanded to the detriment of a balanced ecosystem.

Researchers reveal bioelectric patterns guiding worms' regenerative body plan after injury

Researchers have succeeded in permanently rewriting flatworms' regenerative body shape by resetting their internal bioelectric pattern memory, causing even normal-appearing flatworms to harbor the "code" to regenerate as two-headed worms. The findings, published today in Biophysical Journal, suggest an alternative to genomic editing for large-scale regenerative control, according to the authors.

Study shows snakes, thought to be solitary eaters, coordinate hunts

Snakes, although as social as birds and mammals, have long been thought to be solitary hunters and eaters. A new study from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, shows that some snakes coordinate their hunts to increase their chances of success.

Biosynthetic secrets: How fungi make bioactive compounds

Biological engineers at Utah State University have successfully decoded and reprogrammed the biosynthetic machinery that produces a variety of natural compounds found in fungi.

Genetic mutation trade-offs lead to parallel evolution

Organisms in nature adapt and evolve in complex environments. For example, when subjected to changes in nutrients, antibiotics, and predation, microbes in the wild face the challenge of adapting multiple traits at the same time. But how does evolution unfold when, for survival, multiple traits must be improved simultaneously?

New project uses phones and drones to monitor endangered species

Conservation researchers have developed an interactive software tool called ConservationFIT that can "read" digital images of animal footprints captured from smartphones, cameras or drones and accurately identify the species, sex and age of the animal that made the tracks, and even match tracks to individual animals.

Baby bump: China eatery in Japan soars on pregnant panda hopes

Swelling hopes for a baby panda in Tokyo have bumped up the stock price of a Chinese restaurant chain in the area, with locals setting their sights on a flurry of tourists.

Clock mystery from 350 years ago is shedding light on human health

In 1665, the inventor of the pendulum clock, Christiaan Huygens, noticed that two of his clocks hung on the same wall would eventually sync up, so that their pendulums swung in opposite directions in perfect time. This "insensible motion," he thought, might be put to use so that clocks would regulate each other.

Corn seed treatment insecticides pose risks to honey bees, yield benefits elusive

Nearly every foraging honey bee in the state of Indiana will encounter neonicotinoids during corn planting season, and the common seed treatments produced no improvement in crop yield, according to a Purdue University study.

Large study uncovers genes linked to intelligence

Exactly what constitutes intelligence, and to what extent it is genetic, are some of the most controversial questions in science. But now a new study of nearly 80,000 people, published in Nature Genetics, has managed to identify a number of genes that seem to be involved in intelligence.

Wood beetles are nature's recyclers – with a little help from fungi

Dead wood-eating beetles, such as termites, can cause damage to residential properties. But they repay humans by performing a priceless service: helping us recycle decomposing dead trees.  

Crazy for ant eggs: Team reveals that 'yellow crazy ant' workers lay eggs as a food source

As worker ants busily hurry about providing for colony and queen, we can imagine a range of tasks that they must be performing. But laying eggs?

Three new mini thorn snails described from Georgia (USA), Belize and Panama

Although computer tomography (CT) is widely used in medicine, its application in micro snail identification is still at the pioneering stage.

Research decoding the first deep-sea mussel genome published

A joint research led by Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has assembled the 1.64 gigabytes genome of a deep-sea mussel, which is roughly equivalent to 50% of the size of human genome. This is the first decoded genome among all deep-sea macrobenthic animals, revealing a complete set of DNA. The discovery gives wider insights into future research on the mechanisms of symbiosis in other marine organisms such as giant tubeworms and giant clams.

Common artificial sweetener likely a safe, effective birth control and pesticide

Because of its quick lethality to freshly hatched flies and the ability to halt egg production, the artificial sweetener behind Truvia could be a potent but safe pesticide, according to a new study by Drexel University researchers.

Cowbird moms choosy when selecting foster parents for their young

Brown-headed cowbirds are unconventional mothers. Rather than building nests and nurturing their chicks, they lay their eggs in the nests of other species, leaving their young ones to compete for resources with the foster parents' own hatchlings. Despite their reputation as uncaring, absentee moms, cowbird mothers are capable of making sophisticated choices among potential nests in order to give their offspring a better chance of thriving, a new study shows.

Scientists transform how complex marine data from the Ocean Health Index is synthesized, communicated

In 2012, scientists at UC Santa Barbara's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) launched the Ocean Health Index (OHI), a scientific framework to measure and track the health of the world's oceans. Working in partnership with the nonprofit Conservation International, the OHI team measured the combined benefits that oceans sustainably provide for people—from wild-caught and farmed seafood to habitats that protect coastlines. Annual status reports show how and where to improve ocean management.

Lizards may be overwhelmed by fire ants and social stress combined

Lizards living in fire-ant-invaded areas are stressed. However, a team of biologists found that the lizards did not exhibit this stress as expected after extended fire ant exposure in socially stressful environments, leading to questions about stress overload. "After encounters with non-lethal stress levels (from fire-ant exposure), we asked; Okay, they (the lizards) live, but what happens then?" said Tracy Langkilde, professor of biology, Penn State. "Do they live and are fine? Do they live and remain stressed? We just don't know."

Morocco fishermen decry 'El Negro' dolphin attacks

In Morocco's northern port city of Al-Hoceima, fishermen are clamouring for state support for a struggling sector which they say is under attack from dolphins.

Fall calving season may yield higher returns for southeastern beef producers

The vast majority of cow-calf producers in Tennessee and the Southeast using a defined calving season have long favored spring calving; however, researchers at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture have evaluated the risk and returns for a fall calving season, proving once again that timing is everything.

Oyster farming to benefit from new genetic screening tool

Oyster farmers are set to benefit from a new genetic tool that will help to prevent disease outbreaks and improve yields.

Declawing linked to aggression and other abnormal behaviors in cats

Declaw surgery (onychectomy) is illegal in many countries but is still a surprisingly common practice in some. It is performed electively to stop cats from damaging furniture, or as a means of avoiding scratches. Previous research has focused on short-term issues following surgery, such as lameness, chewing of toes and infection, but the long-term health effects of this procedure have not to date been investigated.

Gulf Coast anglers plan protest against fishing limits

Recreational anglers along the Gulf Coast are planning a floating protest against strict federal limits on red snapper fishing that they say are hurting businesses throughout the region.


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