Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Science X Newsletter Tuesday, May 9

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for May 9, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Scientists solve 400-year-old mystery of Prince Rupert's drops

Homo naledi's surprisingly young age opens up more questions on where we come from

Transition-metal free carbon-carbon bond-forming reaction: vinylation of azaallyls

High-temperature devices made from films that bend as they 'breathe'

New materials bring quantum computing closer to reality

Study with infants suggests color categorization is biological

Oldest evidence of life on land found in 3.48-billion-year-old Australian rocks

Analysis predicts extremely disruptive, total transition to EV / autonomous vehicles in 13 years

Achieving near-perfect optical isolation using opto-mechanical transparency

Alaska tundra source of early-winter carbon emissions (Update)

Plans for habitat and wildlife conservation need to consider the risk of Lyme disease

A new tool to decipher evolutionary biology

Brain-imaging system uses 'multi-pupil' prism arrays

Study researches 'gorilla arm' fatigue in mid-air computer usage

Ocean absorption of carbon dioxide compensates for emissions from seafloor methane seeps

Astronomy & Space news

Surprise! When a brown dwarf is actually a planetary mass object

Sometimes a brown dwarf is actually a planet—or planet-like anyway. A team led by Carnegie's Jonathan Gagné, and including researchers from the Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx) at Université de Montréal, the American Museum of Natural History, and University of California San Diego, discovered that what astronomers had previously thought was one of the closest brown dwarfs to our own Sun is in fact a planetary mass object.

Two James Webb instruments are best suited for exoplanet atmospheres

The best way to study the atmospheres of distant worlds with the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch in late 2018, will combine two of its infrared instruments, according to a team of astronomers.

Image: Saturn's hexagonal polar jet stream

Saturn's hexagonal polar jet stream is the shining feature of almost every view of the north polar region of Saturn. The region, in shadow for the first part of the Cassini mission, now enjoys full sunlight, which enables Cassini scientists to directly image it in reflected light.

NASA team pursues blobs and bubbles with new PetitSat mission

Figuring out how plasma bubbles and blobs affect one another and ultimately the transmission of communications, GPS, and radar signals in Earth's ionosphere will be the job of a recently selected CubeSat mission.

Astronauts experience decrease in blood vessel function during spaceflight, study finds

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station have decreased physical fitness because of a decrease in the way oxygen moves through the body, according to a Kansas State University kinesiology study.

Video: Sizing up floods from space

Floods are the deadliest, most frequent, and most expensive natural disasters in the U.S. and in the world. Because floods are difficult to predict, often cover wide areas, and can last for days, emergency responders and disaster relief organizations need all the information they can get about the situation on the ground in order to respond effectively.

Technology news

Analysis predicts extremely disruptive, total transition to EV / autonomous vehicles in 13 years

(Tech Xplore)—RethinkX, an independent think tank that analyzes and forecasts disruptive technologies, has released an astonishing report predicting a far more rapid transition to EV/autonomous vehicles than experts are currently predicting. The report is based on an analysis of the so-called technology-adoption S-curve that describes the rapid uptake of truly disruptive technologies like smartphones and the internet. Additionally, the report addresses in detail the massive economic implications of this prediction across various sectors, including energy, transportation and manufacturing.

Brain-imaging system uses 'multi-pupil' prism arrays

A specialized type of adaptive-optics technology that has been demonstrated by taking high-resolution time-lapse images of functioning brain cells might be used to better understand how the brain works.

Study researches 'gorilla arm' fatigue in mid-air computer usage

Researchers at Purdue University's C Design Lab are studying arm and muscle fatigue connected to advancements in the use of hand gestures for mid-air computer interaction.

Right research and development investments are 'good bets' for both climate and economies, say researchers

Investing in new ways of utility-scale electricity storage and capturing carbon to store underground should be a priority for governments aiming to meet the greenhouse gas and 'green energy' targets set out in the Paris Agreement despite shrinking research and development budgets, suggests a new paper published today in Nature Energy.

Computer-generated doctor explains test results to patients

If viewing your latest medical test results on your doctor'ss online portal leaves you scratching your head and wondering whether to start planning your 100th-birthday bash or begin writing your will, you're not alone.

Amazon's new Alexa speaker has a screen too (Update)

Amazon on Tuesday unveiled the latest member of its family of devices powered by its Alexa digital assistant—this one with a touchscreen.

Study looks at how brainwaves can be used to nab passwords

(Tech Xplore)—Security sleuths have given us much to think about in recent years, reminding us, often alerting us, when our privacy may be at risk when using mobile and desktop items.

Experiments show that a few self-driving cars can dramatically improve traffic flow

The presence of just a few autonomous vehicles can eliminate the stop-and-go driving of the human drivers in traffic, along with the accident risk and fuel inefficiency it causes, according to new research. The finding indicates that self-driving cars and related technology may be even closer to revolutionizing traffic control than previously thought.

US regulator website hacked after TV host comments

The US agency regulating internet policy said Monday its website was attacked after a TV host urged viewers to pressure officials over plans to roll back "net neutrality" rules.

Cuban town hooked on pirate social network

On a traffic island in a country town, young Cubans are doing what most of their compatriots cannot: surfing an online social network.

Pandora explores sale after securing $150 million

Pandora, which dominates internet radio but has seen its model eclipsed by music streaming companies such as Spotify, said Monday it was open to buyers after securing a fresh $150 million.

Toshiba wrangles with Western Digital over chips unit sale

Money-losing Japanese electronics company Toshiba is sparring with its U.S. joint venture partner Western Digital over the planned sale of Toshiba's computer-chip business.

Team invents bio-inspired anti-vibration structures with wide engineering applications

The Department of Mechanical Engineering of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has developed a novel bio-inspired nonlinear anti-vibration system that can significantly reduce vibration in mechanical systems. The system is better than existing devices in cost-efficiency and performance reliability, and has many applications.

Researchers developing robotic prosthetics to help restore balance in fall victims

We all lose our balance sometimes; we slip, we fall, we get back up. But for some, life is a balance beam, and merely walking around poses great risks of tripping, slipping or falling. Dr. Pilwon Hur, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University, has set out to help people with balance issues walk through life with ease. Using biomechanics and neuromechanics, Hur and his team in the Human Rehabilitation Group at Texas A&M are developing robotic prosthetics and therapy devices to restore balance to those who have lost it through injury, illness or age.

Lab developed aerodynamic devices improve tractor trailer fuel efficiency

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers, as part of a Navistar SuperTruck I team, helped design a new type of tractor-trailer truck that significantly improves fuel economy.

Immersive virtual-reality creation software for everyone

Imverse, an EPFL spinoff, has developed a software that lets users convert 360-degree images from 2-D into 3-D and both manipulate and create virtual-reality content in real time with the help of virtual-reality glasses. The system will be unveiled at the World VR Forum in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, from 11 to 14 May.

Harnessing the potential of big data to improve the security of Internet of Things devices

The power of big data is used in a strategy developed by A*STAR to improve the security of networks of internet-connected objects, known as the Internet of Things (IoT), technology which will make everything from streetlights to refrigerators 'smart'.

Electric impulses clean industrial water and paints

Most paints for households or industry are based on water and, hence, are environmentally more compatible than paints based on solvents. Water-based paints, however, have one drawback: Microorganisms, such as bacteria, feel very comfortable and spread. This also affects paint shops of automotive industry and other sectors. Sterilization of industrial water and paints with electric impulses is the objective of the DiWaL cooperation project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). This project is coordinated by researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and executed in cooperation with partners from research and industry.

Energy efficiency is important to wireless and broadcast networks

When a digital TV system operates with excess transmit power there is no benefit for either the user or broadcaster. New research has found that by deploying a spatially adaptive broadcast system, broadcast powers can be reduced by up to 35 per cent, reducing carbon emissions and saving money.

Norway supermarket chain pioneers battery recycling machines

Norway's second-largest supermarket chain said Tuesday it has introduced reverse vending machines that give customers discount coupons for new batteries when they deposit old ones for recycling.

Researchers use Twitter to track the flu in real time

"This flu is horrendous. Can't breathe, can't sleep or eat. Muscles ache, fever 102. Should have gotten the shot. Time for a movie marathon."

Bucking the trend? Layer3 TV sees its future in old-school cable, but with higher tech

With more and more internet streaming services making their debut, cable companies and their set-top boxes can look a little old-school.

Social, computer scientists want to share data on group behavior

Computer and social scientists have collaborated to develop a large data set on how group behavior and technology influence decision-making - and they want to share that data with other researchers.

Samsung's unlocked S8 makes it easier to switch carriers

Samsung is making it easier for consumers to switch wireless carriers by offering an unlocked version of its Galaxy S8 phone .

US teen breaks internet record, spurred by love of nuggets

An American teenager has broken the world record for the most retweets, in a crusade to win a year's supply of his favorite food: chicken nuggets.

Facebook says it found faster way to translate through AI

Facebook says its researchers have found a new way to use artificial intelligence to translate material on its social network faster and more accurately.

Power plants could cut a third of their emissions by using solar energy

Led by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the COMBO-CFB project has developed a new innovative concept to increase solar energy production in the energy system. According to this research, the concept can reduce fuel consumption and emissions stressing the climate by more than 33 per cent. The concept is based on the combination of concentrated solar power (CSP) technology and a traditional power plant process into a hybrid plant which produces electricity on the basis of consumption.

Fox harassment claims create clouds around Sky takeover bid

A U.K. scandal torpedoed Rupert Murdoch's first attempt to take control of British-based broadcaster Sky. Now claims of sexual harassment at his U.S.-based Fox News are creating storm clouds around a second.

Workers at US nuclear site take cover after tunnel collapse

Hundreds of workers at a nuclear site in the US state of Washington were ordered to take cover Tuesday after a storage tunnel filled with contaminated material collapsed, but there was no initial indication of a radioactive leak.

NREL's advanced atomic layer deposition enables lithium-ion battery technology

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has entered into an exclusive license agreement with Forge Nano to commercialize NREL's patented battery materials and systems capable of operating safely in high-stress environments. A particular feature of the technology is the encapsulation of materials with solid electrolyte coatings that can be designed to meet the increasingly demanding needs of any battery application.

Techno-infused opera about Steve Jobs gets new backers

A techno-infused opera about the life of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has earned the financial backing of opera companies in San Francisco and Seattle, ensuring the musical meditation on the iconic entrepreneur will travel to America's high-tech enclave.

Medicine & Health news

Study with infants suggests color categorization is biological

(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers with members from the University of Sussex and the University of California has found evidence that suggests color categorization in humans is biological rather than learned. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group outlines the experiments they conducted with infants, what they found, and what they believe their results suggest about the nature of color differentiation in humans.

Dairy not linked to increased heart disease: study

'Blessed are the cheesemakers', misheard a character in the film The Life of Brian. Now nutritional scientists have shown that Monty Python may have been spot on.

The veins in your brain don't all act the same

Certain blood vessels in the brainstem constrict when blood vessels elsewhere in the body would dilate. And that contrary behavior is what keeps us breathing, according to a new paper by UConn researchers published May 8 in eLife.

Study: Side effects emerge after approval for many US drugs

Almost one-third of new drugs approved by U.S. regulators over a decade ended up years later with warnings about unexpected, sometimes life-threatening side effects or complications, a new analysis found.

Men and women show equal ability at recognizing faces

Despite conventional wisdom that suggests women are better than men at facial recognition, Penn State psychologists found no difference between men and women in their ability to recognize faces and categorize facial expressions.

Study finds low rate of cancer screening among transplant patients

People who have received organ transplants are at higher risk of developing and dying of cancer than the general population. Yet their rates of cancer screening do not meet existing guidelines, a new study has found.

Childhood bullying linked to health risks in adulthood

Childhood bullying may lead to long-lasting health consequences, impacting psychosocial risk factors for cardiovascular health well into adulthood, according to a study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The unique study tracked a diverse group of over 300 American men from first grade through their early thirties and the findings indicate that being a victim of bullying and being a bully were both linked to negative outcomes in adulthood.

Metabolic markers accurately diagnose typhoid fever

Researchers have identified a metabolite 'signature' that can accurately distinguish typhoid from other fever-inducing tropical diseases using patient blood samples.

More women than men leaving practice of medicine

(HealthDay)—More women than men leave the practice of medicine, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

Expert recommends careful flower selection to prevent allergic reactions this Mother's Day

When it comes to allergies, all flowers are not created equal, according to an expert at Baylor College of Medicine. If your mom suffers from allergies, be sure to select her Mother's Day flowers carefully this year with these tips.

Study reveals low adoption of advice to reduce nuclear cardiology radiation exposure

A study in 65 countries has revealed low adoption of International Atomic Energy Agency recommendations to reduce nuclear cardiology radiation exposure. The research is presented today at ICNC 2017 by Dr Edward Hulten, a cardiologist at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, USA.

Scientists crowdsource autism data to learn where resource gaps exist

Many areas across the globe have few autism experts, leading to delayed care for kids who live there. Stanford scientists have launched a crowdsourcing project to pinpoint such geographic gaps, and find ways to fill them.

Throwing injuries in young baseball players: Is there something we are not considering?

Baseball marks the end of winter and the start of spring, and we as a nation delight in watching not only the pros but also our kids play this great game.

Uncovering the pathology of a rare pediatric leukemia

A team of scientists has demonstrated the mechanism by which ETO2-GLIS2, a gene fusion, promotes the development of an aggressive form of pediatric leukemia. The findings, published in Cancer Cell, also reveal an opportunity for the development of therapeutics.

Researchers identify new heartburn target

Acid reflux and heartburn affect more than 20 percent of the U.S. population, but common medications to treat the disease might not work for a large portion people who suffer from the diseases.

10 new sun safety myths debunked

We all love talking about the weather. And it's easy for myths about sun protection to spread. Last year we tackled 12 common sun safety myths, but there are still plenty more alternative facts out there.

Kids weigh payoff when choosing whether to deal with the good and the bad

Five- and 6-year-olds won't pay a cost to deal with a do-gooder but—after thinking about it for a bit—are willing to turn down a better deal from a wrongdoer, according to a new Yale-led study published May 4 in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.

Study pinpoints key pathway in inflammation and aging

In patients with colitis, a serious condition affecting the gut, the immune system turns against the body's own microbes, causing inflammation. To combat this inflammation, scientists have focused in on a chemical signal known as IL-10. While it's understood that IL-10 plays a critical role in controlling inflammation and preventing colitis, it's not clear how.

New tools detect serious gut conditions

Researchers at FlexiMap, a spin-out company from the University of Auckland's Bioengineering Institute (ABI), are developing tools that will revolutionise our understanding of the stomach and intestine by measuring its bioelectrical activity.

An adult's perspective on children's portion size

Children develop their eating behaviors in the environments they grow up in, and whether at home, in childcare or out in eateries, adults determine the quality and quantity of children's food provisions.

Indicator proteins could help identify patients at risk of complications during dengue fever infection

Dengue virus (DENV) infection threatens over half of the world's population, and with millions of cases each year, scientists are working hard to fully understand the disease and bring it under control. Now, A*STAR researchers have uncovered several molecular markers whose levels are elevated during DENV and provide a measure of the severity of the disease.

Immune cells localized near pancreatic cancer cells have altered metabolism, could promote cancer

A diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is a virtual death sentence, with only 3 to 5 per cent of patients surviving beyond five years. A key reason that it has the lowest survival rate of all major cancers is that it readily spreads from the pancreas to other parts of the body. However, its extreme mobility has remained a mystery.

GPs urgently need training on autism

Most of us get slightly anxious about going to the GP. What if it turns out that nothing's wrong? Or perhaps there's something seriously wrong? Despite these minor concerns, most of us are happy to book an appointment, turn up at the practice and talk to a GP about our health problem. But what if you're autistic? What if you have trouble communicating verbally and yet the only way to book an appointment is over the phone? What if your experience of pain is different to that of other people, and you can't work out whether you need to go to the GP in the first place? What if the sounds and smells of the doctor's waiting room are too overwhelming for you to even enter the building?

Dad's involvement with baby early on associated with boost in mental development

Fathers who interact more with their children in their first few months of life could have a positive impact on their baby's cognitive development.

Blood pressure in Germany is decreasing – yet there is room for much more improvement

A current evaluation of seven population-based studies in Germany reveals that blood pressure has decreased in the last two decades. The greatest decrease was seen in 55 to 74 year-olds. Despite the decrease, blood pressure in Germany is still too high. Particularly with regards to men, scientists of the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK) see the need for action.

Researchers uncover key role for microRNA in inflammatory bowel disease

An international team of researchers has discovered that a microRNA produced by certain white blood cells can prevent excessive inflammation in the intestine. The study, "Myeloid-derived miR-223 regulates intestinal inflammation via repression of the NLRP3 inflammasome," which will be published May 9 in The Journal of Experimental Medicine, shows that synthetic versions of this microRNA can reduce intestinal inflammation in mice and suggests a new therapeutic approach to treating patients with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.

Mosquito-borne viruses like Zika may be spread at lower temperatures, potentially expanding impact

Transmission of mosquito-borne diseases, such as Zika, occur at lower temperatures than previously thought, a recently released study co-authored by two University of South Florida researchers shows.

Jumping to your death? Motivations of extreme sports

Researchers have debunked the myth that extreme sportsmen and women are adrenalin junkies with a death wish, according to a new study.

Age no barrier for back surgery benefits

Seniors can benefit from herniated disc surgery, according to the results of a study conducted by Mattis A. Madsbu, a medical student at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and colleagues at the Department of Neurosurgery at St. Olavs Hospital in Trondheim, Norway. Madsbu's supervisor was NTNU consultant neurosurgeon Sasha Gulati.

Primary care hepatitis C treatment program shows promise for success, broader implementation

By employing a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model of care, Boston Medical Center's (BMC) Adult Primary Care Practice successfully treated 66 patients with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), or one-fifth of those referred into the program, using new oral medications between March 2015 and April 2016. A PCMH is a model of primary care focused on comprehensive, team-based, and coordinated care that is accessible to all patients and centered on quality and safety. BMC's multidisciplinary team approach demonstrates that physicians in primary care settings can deliver HCV care and is important to expand HCV treatment.

Right-or left-handedness affects sign language comprehension

The speed at which sign language users understand what others are 'saying' to them depends on whether the conversation partners are left- or right-handed, a new study has found.

Pupils' mental health improved through school-based program, study shows

School-aged children can be taught to better their mental health through intervention programmes delivered at school, suggests a new study carried out in east London and led by an academic at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

A suspicious mind leads to a suspicious face

In a series of studies, social psychology researchers show that Black participants who hold suspicious views of Whites visualize White faces, even smiling ones, as less trustworthy, less authentic and sometimes more hostile. The authors suggest there are some potential advantages to these biases, as well as drawbacks. The results are published in Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Researchers home in on mutation profiles of clear cell endometrial cancer

In the largest genomics study of clear cell endometrial cancer (CCEC) tumors to date, National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) researchers and their collaborators have identified mutations in the TAF1 gene. They've also demonstrated that the mutation profiles of CCEC tumors are sometimes similar to other types of uterine cancer, namely serous endometrial cancers or endometrioid endometrial cancers. The study was published May 9, 2017, in the journal Cancer.

IBS patients (can't get no) satisfaction, study finds

Patient satisfaction is playing an increasingly important role in evaluating the quality of health care and reimbursing physicians for it. Exactly what drives that satisfaction has been difficult to determine.

Long-term use of quinine for muscle cramps associated with increased risk of death

Long-term off-label use of quinine, still prescribed to individuals with muscle cramps despite Food and Drug Administration warnings of adverse events, is associated with an increased risk of death, according to a study published by JAMA.

Combination treatment for advanced lung cancer does not improve survival

Among patients previously treated for a type of advanced lung cancer, use of a combination treatment did not improve progression-free or overall survival, according to a study published by JAMA.

Screening for thyroid cancer not recommended

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends against screening for thyroid cancer in adults without any signs or symptoms. The report appears in the May 9 issue of JAMA.

Safety events common for pharmaceuticals and biologics after FDA approval

Among more than 200 new pharmaceuticals and biologics approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from 2001 through 2010, nearly a third were affected by a postmarket safety event such as issuance of a boxed warning or safety communication, according to a study published by JAMA.

One pregnant woman found to have Zika after DC testing error

District of Columbia officials say a pregnant woman tested positive for the Zika virus after initially being told she tested negative last year.

Doctors should be paid by salary, not fee-for-service, argue behavioral economists

While most conflict of interest research and debate in medicine focuses on physicians interacting with pharmaceutical and device companies, one important source of conflicts is largely ignored in the medical literature on conflicts of interest: how doctors are paid.

Stroke patients take the lead in their rehabilitation

Every year, 17 million people worldwide suffer strokes, and a third are left paralyzed on one side of their body. But current rehabilitation solutions are not always effective in improving mobility declines after the first few months. This is where EPFL startup Intento comes in with a new device that can help patients regain mobility in their arms. Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) conducted a clinical study on the device and has now published the encouraging results in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Study: Genetic tests often overused and misinterpreted

One of every three genetic tests examined by a team of researchers at the San Diego Naval Medical Center shouldn't have been prescribed, a finding that adds to growing body of evidence suggesting that genetic tests are routinely overused and often misinterpreted.

Why pregnant women need Tdap vaccine

Pregnant women who receive the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine have babies who are less likely to suffer from this highly contagious respiratory tract infection during their first year of life, according to a recent study.

Could there be a 'social vaccine' for malaria?

Every two minutes, a child will die from malaria in Africa. It is a preventable, treatable disease, that each year affects approximately 200 million people globally. Of those, more than 90 per cent of cases will stem from Sub-Saharan Africa—a region rife with the most dangerous of malaria pathogens and the mosquito most likely to transfer it. The young are particularly vulnerable to the disease with nearly 70 per cent of all deaths occurring in children under the age of five.

Half of seniors who went to doctor for cold, bronchitis, sinusitis or laryngitis received unnecessary antibiotics

Nearly one in two seniors in Ontario who visited a family doctor for a non-bacterial infection received an unnecessary antibiotic prescription, according to a new study from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) Western site in London, Ontario and Lawson Health Research Institute.

Research elucidates hormone ghrelin's role in blood glucose regulation

UT Southwestern research investigating the blood glucose-regulatory actions of the hormone ghrelin may have implications for development of new treatments for diabetes.

Most home kitchens in Philadelphia study would earn severe code violations

If held to the same standards as restaurants in the area, most Philadelphia home kitchens examined for a pair of Drexel University studies would receive "critical code violations."

Nutrition researchers aim to make science more accessible to young minds and the public

As a kid, University of Illinois neuroscience doctoral student Austin Mudd, was already interested in science. It was his favorite class to go to and the only homework he really wanted to do, he says.

Stereotactic partial breast radiation lowers number of treatments to five

UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers found in a recent phase one clinical trial that stereotactic partial breast radiation was as safe as traditional radiation but decreased treatment time from six weeks to just days.

Smile and the world thinks you're older: Study

Turn that frown upside-down? Not if you're keen on looking younger, you shouldn't.

Colorectal tumors initiate VEGF-A/CXCL1 cascade, creating distant niches for metastases

Primary colorectal tumors secrete VEGF-A, inducing CXCL1 and CXCR2-positive myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC) recruitment at distant sites and establishing niches for future metastases, report Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) investigators in an article published online ahead of print on April 28, 2017 by Cancer Research. Liver-infiltrating MDSCs help bypass immune responses and facilitate tumor cell survival in the new location. This research illuminates mechanisms by which primary tumors contribute to premetastatic niche formation and suggests CXCR2 antagonists may reduce metastasis.

Elevated cardiac troponin may occur without heart attack

Elevated cardiac troponin, a diagnostic marker of damage to the heart, may occur even if a patient has not had a heart attack, according to a study published in JACC: Basic to Translational Science.

Seniors who live with their abusers often suffer recurrent abuse

Older adults who have been hospitalized for injuries from an assault are more likely to experience subsequent physical abuse if they are female, widowed, diagnosed with dementia, or return home to live with the perpetrator, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Vitamin D levels not linked to asthma or dermatitis

Vitamin D supplementation is unlikely to reduce the risk of asthma in children or adults, atopic dermatitis, or allergies according to a new study published in PLOS Medicine by Brent Richards, of McGill University, Canada, and the Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital, Canada, and colleagues.

Study finds Alzheimer's disease likely not caused by low body mass index

A new large-scale genetic study found that low body mass index (BMI) is likely not a causal risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, as earlier research had suggested, according to a study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Avastin as effective as Eylea for treating central retinal vein occlusion

Monthly eye injections of Avastin (bevacizumab) are as effective as the more expensive drug Eylea (aflibercept) for the treatment of central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO), according to a clinical trial funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health. After six monthly injections, treatment with either drug improved visual acuity on average from 20/100 to 20/40.

Anti-hypertension DASH diet may reduce the risk of gout

The results of a study led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators suggest that following a diet known to reduce the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease may also reduce the risk of gout. The team's analysis of more than 25 years of data, published in The BMJ, found a significantly lower incidence of gout in men with dietary patterns similar to those of the DASH diet - which emphasizes increased consumption of fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products - while those following a more typical Western diet showed an increased risk of developing gout.

When malaria infects the placenta during pregnancy, baby's future immunity can be affected

Mothers infected with malaria during pregnancy can pass more of their own cells to their baby and change the infant's risk of later infection, a new study shows.

Precision medicine improves treatment outcomes for some pancreatic cancer patients

University of Pittsburgh and UPMC researchers are paving the way for genome-targeted treatments in pancreatic cancer, an especially deadly form of cancer with few existing therapeutic options, according to a pair of recent studies.

Trial aims to extend remission for children treated with T-cell immunotherapy for leukemia

After phase 1 results of Seattle Children's Pediatric Leukemia Adoptive Therapy (PLAT-02) trial have shown T-cell immunotherapy to be effective in getting 93 percent of patients with relapsed or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) into complete initial remission, researchers have now opened a first-in-human clinical trial aimed at reducing the rate of relapse after the therapy, which is about 50 percent. The new phase 1 pilot study, PLAT-03, will examine the feasibility and safety of administering a second T-cell product intended to increase the long-term persistence of the patient's chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells that were reprogrammed to detect and destroy cancer.

Grape seed extract could extend life of resin fillings

A natural compound found in grape seed extract could be used to strengthen dentin—the tissue beneath a tooth's enamel—and increase the life of resin fillings, according to new research at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry.

Severe foot pain linked to recurrent falls

Researchers from Hebrew Senior Life's Institute for Aging Research have discovered that foot pain - particularly severe foot pain - correlates to a higher incidence of recurrent falls. This finding also extends to those diagnosed with planus foot posture (flat feet), indicating that both foot pain and foot posture may play a role in falls among older adults.

Do you overeat? Your brain wiring may be why

(HealthDay)—A new brain scan study suggests that people whose brains are wired to produce a more muted response to food may ultimately compensate by eating more, thereby raising their risk for obesity.

Expired EpiPens may still help save a life: study

(HealthDay)—EpiPens—devices used to rescue people during a severe allergic reaction—can remain effective years after their expiration date, a new study reports.

Low-dose aspirin no aid against cognitive decline

(HealthDay)—Low-dose aspirin does not protect against cognitive decline, according to a review published April 20 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Voriconazole exposure may affect SCC after lung transplant

(HealthDay)—For lung transplant (LTx) recipients, prolonged exposure to voriconazole may be associated with the development or recurrence of skin squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), according to a study published online May 2 in the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research.

ARVO: Dichoptic augmented-reality treats adult amblyopia

(HealthDay)—A novel contrast-rebalance paradigm of daily-activity-based dichoptic training with an augmented reality (AR) platform appears beneficial for adults with monocular anisometropic amblyopia, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, held from May 7 to 11 in Baltimore.

Cambodia seizes 68 tonnes of fake cosmetic products

Cambodian authorities have confiscated 68 tonnes of fake cosmetic products that purported to be made in countries like Japan and South Korea, an official said, calling it the country's largest bust of counterfeit make-up.

Teens asked for their experiences with grief

Young people are encouraged to participate in an online study into how adolescents cope with the death of a friend or relative.

Could the Tudors help us to improve the quality of our sleep?

A historian from The University of Manchester has gone back in time to find out what we can learn from the Tudors about the quality of sleep.

Stem cells therapy for naturally occurring intervertebral disc disease

The intervertebral disc is the "shock absorber" between the vertebrae of the spine, cushioning every step, bend and jump. If the fibrocartilage tissue in the spine degenerates over time, an intervertebral disc can "slip" – pinching the medulla or nerves. The consequences include intense pain or even paralysis. Dogs and people are often susceptible to this disease. Since intervertebral discs themselves cannot regenerate, the affected disc material is removed in an operation that can be performed on both people and animals. The pressure on the nerves and medulla disappears, but the degeneration of the disc remains.

What's the best way for patients with inflammatory bowel disease to address abdominal pain?

When researchers analyzed published studies on how to treat recurrent abdominal pain among patients with inflammatory bowel disease, which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, stress management appeared to be a promising strategy.

Trial to investigate if statins could become multiple sclerosis treatment

A UCL researcher is leading a phase 3 trial involving more than 1,000 people with multiple sclerosis (MS) to investigate whether simvastatin could become a treatment for the condition. 

Hair therapy boosts Istanbul's receding tourism

On his to-do list for his trip to Istanbul, Palestinian tourist Jameel wants to visit the Blue Mosque and take a tour on the Bosphorus, like any other tourist.

New ambulatory monitoring device offers window into stomach's bioelectrical activity

The potentially debilitating condition known as gastroparesis, which results when stomach muscle contractions function abnormally, causing the stomach's contents to empty too slowly, affects as many as five million Americans. Often the cause of the disease is unknown and the underlying bioelectrical activity that initiates and coordinates gastric contractions, known as slow waves, is not fully understood.

21st century cures emerge as 20th century science matures

Most of the new drugs approved by the FDA since 2010 arose from basic scientific research that was initiated in the 1970s or 1980s, a new study from Bentley University has found. The analysis shows that development of new targeted and biological therapeutics rest on the maturation of basic science over decades. The research, published today in the journal PLOS One, appears as scientists are increasingly concerned about federal support for basic biomedical research.

Lessening radiation risk for children with congenital and acquired heart disease

Newly released recommendations for pediatric radiation safety will be discussed during the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) 2017 Scientific Sessions in New Orleans. Theposition paper, "Radiation Safety in Children with Congenital and Acquired Heart Disease: A Scientific Position Statement on Multimodality Dose Optimization from the Image Gently Alliance," provides cardiologists,radiologists, pediatricians and internal medicine physicians guidance for treating pediatric patients withcongenital and acquired heart disease (CAHD). Leading experts will discuss these recommendations during theImage Gently Campaign: Radiation Safety in Pediatric Catheterization session, Wednesday, May 10.

34 dead of suspected cholera as Yemen outbreak spreads

Thirty-four people have died of cholera-related causes and more than 2,000 have been taken ill in Yemen, as humanitarian organisations warned Tuesday that the outbreak could spiral out of countrol.

7 common exercise errors

(HealthDay)—Are you sabotaging your exercise goals? Avoid these common mistakes.

Biology news

Plans for habitat and wildlife conservation need to consider the risk of Lyme disease

Lyme disease – an infection contracted from the bite of an infected tick– is an important emerging disease in the UK, and is increasing in incidence in people in the UK and large parts of Europe and North America.

A new tool to decipher evolutionary biology

Understanding evolution is one of the cornerstones of biology—evolution is, in fact, the sole explanation for life's diversity on Earth. Based on the evolution of proteins, researchers may explain the emergence of new species and functions through genetic changes, how enzymes with novel functions might be engineered, or, for example, how humans are related to their closest relatives such as gorillas or bonobos.

Newly discovered malaria mechanism gives hope to pregnant women

Resistance to malaria drugs means that pregnant women are unable to overcome the anaemia caused by the malaria parasite – and their babies are born undersized. A study carried out at Karolinska Institutet, however, exposes the effects of malaria in pregnant women and shows how the PTEF protein is central to the infection. The study, which is published in the scientific journal Nature Microbiology, opens the way for new malaria drugs.

Research yields new details about trap-jaw ants

Trap-jaw ants, with their spring-loaded jaws and powerful stings, are among the fiercest insect predators, but they begin their lives as spiny, hairy, fleshy blobs hanging from the ceiling and walls of an underground nest. New research provides the first detailed descriptions of the larval developmental stages of three species of Odontomachus trap-jaw ants.

Four-billion-year-old 'fossil' protein resurrected in bacteria protects them from viruses

In a proof-of-concept experiment, a 4-billion-year-old protein engineered into modern E. coli protected the bacteria from being hijacked by a bacteria-infecting virus. It was as if the E. coli had suddenly gone analogue, but the phage only knew how to hack digital. The ancient protein, an ancestral form of thioredoxin, was similar enough to its present-day analogues that it could function in E. coli but different enough that the bacteriophage couldn't use the protein to its advantage. The work, which could be useful in plant bioengineering, appears May 9 in Cell Reports.

Noise pollution from gas compressors changes abundance of insects, spiders

The relentless roar of natural gas compressors influences the numbers of insects and spiders nearby, triggering decreases in many types of arthropods sensitive to sounds and vibrations, a collaborative Florida Museum of Natural History study shows.

Plasma protection for rice crops

Diseased rice seeds treated with atmospheric plasma show significant improvement and growth, offering a potential tool to protect rice crops from fungus and blight. A team from Tohoku University in Japan found that immersing infected rice seeds in hot water and then irradiating them with plasma reduced infection rates between 60 and 90 percent.

A mammoth task—how do we decide which species to resurrect?

The resurrection of vanished species - through cutting-edge technologies such as gene-editing - should be targeted towards recently extinct species rather than ancient ones, according to a leading University of Otago conservation biologist.

Imaging live zebrafish embryos reveals in real time how the basic body plan is laid out

A team from A*STAR's Institute of Medical Biology and Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Singapore show how the gene-regulating proteins Pou5f3 and Nanog determine the organization of body structures in zebrafish embryos. Their work shows how precise the orchestration of molecular events behind normal embryonic development,and why it can easily go wrong.

Scientists have mapped the DNA of tea – and it could stave off a pending crisis

The world's most popular drink (after water) is under threat. We already know much about the threat of climate change to staple crops such as wheat, maize and rice, but the impact on tea is just coming into focus. Early research indicates that tea grown in some parts of Asia could see yields decline by up to 55% thanks to drought or excessive heat, and the quality of the tea is also falling.

A molecular rivet for long-range force transmission

Researchers from the Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore (MBI) at the National University of Singapore have described, for the first time, how plastin, an actin-bundling protein, acts as a molecular rivet, providing global connectivity to the cortex underlying the plasma membrane of embryonic cells to facilitate polarisation and cell division. The work was published in the Journal of Cell Biology on 11 April 2017.

Closing the gate to mitochondria

Eukaryotic cells contain thousands of proteins, which are distributed to different cellular compartments with specific functions. A German-Swiss team of scientists led by Prof. Dr. Bettina Warscheid from the University of Freiburg and Prof. Dr. André Schneider from the University of Bern has developed the method "ImportOmics". This method enables the scientists to determine the localization of proteins that are imported via specific entry "gates" into distinct membrane-bound compartments, so-called organelles. Knowing the exact localization of individual proteins, the route they take to reach their destination, and the overall composition of cellular compartments is important for understanding fundamental mechanisms of cell biology. This is the prerequisite to understand disease mechanisms that rely on defective cellular functions.

New strategy to enhance the efficiency of cereal straw for biofuel production

Straw is commonly used for feeding animals, burning, baling, etc. As one of the "Three Canton Treasures", straw can actually be used as a raw material to produce biofuel.

How Varroa mites take advantage of managed beekeeping practices

As the managed honey bee industry continues to grapple with significant annual colony losses, the Varroa destructor mite is emerging as the leading culprit. And, it turns out, the very nature of modern beekeeping may be giving the parasite the exact conditions it needs to spread nearly beyond control.

The first microbial supertree from figure-mining thousands of papers

While recent reports reveal the existence of more than 114,000,000 documents of published scientific literature, finding a way to improve the access to this knowledge and efficiently synthesise it becomes an increasingly pressing issue.

Protecting life's tangled ecological webs

Ecosystems are a complex web of interactions. These ecological networks are being reorganized by extinctions and colonization events caused by human impacts, such as climate change and habitat destruction. In a paper published this week in Nature Ecology & Evolution, researchers from McGill University and University of British Columbia have developed a new theory to understand how complex ecological networks will reorganize in the future.

US fishing generated more than $200 billion in sales in 2015; two stocks rebuilt in 2016

U.S. commercial and recreational fishing generated $208 billion in sales, contributed $97 billion to the gross domestic product, and supported 1.6 million full- and part-time jobs in 2015—above the five year average, according to NOAA's Fisheries Economics of the United States report released today.

Federally subsidized shrubs, grasses crucial to sage grouse survival in Washington

The sage grouse is an exceptionally showy bird and an icon of the American West. But its sagebrush habitat is disappearing, and there is debate over how best to protect the populations in an increasingly developed landscape.

Research reveals globe-trotting history of sika deer

On first glance, Yakushima Island in Japan and Dorchester County, Maryland, wouldn't appear to have a lot in common, but a closer ecological look reveals one stark similarity: both are home to populations of sika deer.

Researchers find significant increase of invasive seaweed changing sea habitat

Walking along the beaches of New England, it is easy to spot large amounts of a fine red seaweed clogging the coastline, the result of sweeping changes in the marine environment occurring beneath the water. To further investigate, researchers at the University of New Hampshire looked at seaweed populations over the last 30 years in the Southwestern Gulf of Maine and found the once predominant and towering kelp seaweed beds are declining and more invasive, shrub-like species have taken their place, altering the look of the ocean floor and the base of the marine food chain.

Researchers provide update on popular fish model of development

Annual killifish are an excellent animal model for research on interactions between genes and the environment during development. A new article describes the development of one particular South American species of this fish in great detail and updates the classic embryo staging guide developed in 1972.

Yes, stinging nettles sting. But they have many assets too.

At a time of year when weeds may be getting the better of you, what sweet revenge it is to turn them into an asset. Eat them!

New lobster fishing rules on the way amid warming waters

New restrictions are coming to southern New England's lobster fishery in an attempt to save the area's population of the crustaceans, which has dwindled as waters have warmed.

Threatened bird nesting again on Los Angeles area beaches

The western snowy plover is nesting along the Los Angeles area coast for the first time in nearly seven decades, federal officials said.


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1 comment:

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