Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Science X Newsletter Wednesday, Jun 7

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for June 7, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Scientists improve people's creativity through electrical brain stimulation

New confirmation of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity

Scientists discover a 2-D magnet

Scientists discover the oldest Homo sapiens fossils at Jebel Irhoud, Morocco

Even moderate drinking linked to a decline in brain health, finds study

Motor-boat noise makes fish bad parents, leading to the death of their babies

Culture affects how people deceive others, say researchers

Impact of protective bacteria linked to infection route, study finds

How can you tell deep-sea octopuses apart? Check their warts

T. rex was not feathery, study says

Apple wants to rock the market with HomePod, faces challenges

Czech 'GyroDrive' beats flying cars for hybrid licence

Fungi awake bacteria from their slumber

Type of sugar may treat atherosclerosis, mouse study shows

'Immunoswitch' particles may be key to more-effective cancer immunotherapy

Astronomy & Space news

New confirmation of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity

Albert Einstein predicted that whenever light from a distant star passes by a closer object, gravity acts as a kind of magnifying lens, brightening and bending the distant starlight. Yet, in a 1936 article in the journal Science, he added that because stars are so far apart "there is no hope of observing this phenomenon directly."

Wow! mystery signal from space finally explained

(—A team of researchers with the Center of Planetary Science (CPS) has finally solved the mystery of the "Wow!" signal from 1977. It was a comet, they report, one that that was unknown at the time of the signal discovery. Lead researcher Antonio Paris describes their theory and how the team proved it in a paper published in the Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences.

High-pressure experiments solve meteorite mystery

With high-pressure experiments at DESY's X-ray light source PETRA III and other facilities, a research team around Leonid Dubrovinsky from the University of Bayreuth has solved a long standing riddle in the analysis of meteorites from Moon and Mars. The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, can explain why different versions of silica can coexist in meteorites, although they normally require vastly different conditions to form. The results also mean that previous assessments of conditions at which meteorites have been formed have to be carefully re-considered.

NASA picks 12 new astronauts from crush of applicants

NASA chose 12 new astronauts Wednesday from its biggest pool of applicants ever, selecting seven men and five women who could one day fly aboard the nation's next generation of spacecraft.

Image: An astronaut's view from the 'corner office'

NASA astronaut Jack Fischer tweeted this photograph from the International Space Station on June 3, 2017, writing, "Never had a corner office with a view, but I must admit, I like it… a lot! #SpaceRocks"

How do we know the universe is flat? Discovering the topology of the universe

Whenever we talk about the expanding universe, everyone wants to know how this is going to end. Sure, they say, the fact that most of the galaxies we can see are speeding away from us in all directions is really interesting. Sure, they say, the Big Bang makes sense, in that everything was closer together billions of years ago.

Technology news

Apple wants to rock the market with HomePod, faces challenges

Apple's new HomePod speaker may be music to the ears of its loyal fans, but how much it can crank up volume in the smart speaker market remains to be heard.

Czech 'GyroDrive' beats flying cars for hybrid licence

As global automakers compete to bring the first flying car to market, Czech pilot Pavel Brezina is trying a different tack: instead of creating a car that flies, he has made a "GyroDrive"—a mini helicopter you can drive.

Engineers design drones that can stay aloft for five days

In the event of a natural disaster that disrupts phone and Internet systems over a wide area, autonomous aircraft could potentially hover over affected regions, carrying communications payloads that provide temporary telecommunications coverage to those in need.

Researchers suggest adding self-doubt to robots to keep them from overstepping bounds

(Tech Xplore)—A team of researchers from the University of California at Berkeley has found some evidence that suggests making robots less self-assured might make them easier to integrate into society. In their paper uploaded to the prepress server arXiv, the group explains their theory and the results of a simulation they ran to test it.

Autonomous cars (no human backup) may hit the road next year

Autonomous vehicles with no human backup will be put to the test on publicly traveled roads as early as next year in what may be the first attempt at unassisted autonomous piloting.

Study reveals that green incentives could actually be increasing CO2 emissions

Globally, from China and Germany to the United States, electric vehicle (EV) subsidies have been championed as an effective strategy to boost production of renewable technology and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

From chasing critters to chasing work projects: Our 9 to 5 futures may be tied to AR

(Tech Xplore)—We've seen the many videos, showing gamers and just plain curious friends chilling at home with the AR experience, wearing headsets and moving, kneeling, waving, stepping back and forth as they get immersed in what they see before them.

Uber moves to repair tainted image with 20 firings, 1 hiring

Uber, the world's leading ride-hailing company, has taken two big steps toward repairing its corporate image: It fired 20 employees for a host of harassment problems and hired an Apple marketing executive to rescue its tainted brand.

Alleged Russian hack reveals a deeply flawed election system

Election officials have long contended that the highly decentralized, often ramshackle U.S. voting system is its own best defense against vote-rigging and sabotage . New evidence from a leaked intelligence report indicates that hasn't deterred foreign adversaries from exploring ways to attack it anyway.

Drivers bewildered by twisting Chinese interchange

Five suspended levels and cars going in all directions: a new highway interchange is driving motorists to tears, as they find themselves lost in a concrete maze resembling a plate of spaghetti.

Oregon city approves permit for US' first all-wood high-rise

Officials in Oregon have approved construction permits for the first all-wood high-rise building in the nation.

Survival of the fittest—biology's role in sustainable power generation

Scientists from the University of Geneva are using the rules of genetics to better understand how to incorporate wind and solar power into the current electrical grid to produce a renewable power system. The researchers published their study in IEEE/CAA Journal of Automatica Sinica (JAS), a joint publication of the IEEE and the Chinese Association of Automation.

Scientists recommend drones for pipeline monitoring

The use of aerial drones to monitor oil and gas pipelines could bring significant benefits to operators, according to research carried out by scientists at the University of Aberdeen.

Retirement and regeneration—how robots and replicants experience death

In the 2014 film Interstellar, Matt Damon's Dr Mann explains that "a machine doesn't improvise well because you cannot program a fear of death."

Breakthrough in CMOS-compatible ferroelectric memory

Imec, the world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technology, announced today at the 2017 Symposia on VLSI Technology and Circuits the world's first demonstration of a vertically stacked ferroelectric Al doped HfO2 device for NAND applications. Using a new material and a novel architecture, imec has created a non-volatile memory concept with attractive characteristics for power consumption, switching speed, scalability and retention. The achievement shows that ferro-electric memory is a highly promising technology at various points in the memory hierarchy, and as a new technology for storage class memory. Imec will further develop the concept in collaboration with the world's leading producers of memory ICs.

200 years of the bicycle—computer scientists electrify historic 'dandy horse'

In honor of the inventor, their prototype is still made completely of wood, but it also contains an electric motor, battery, sensors and mini-computer. As soon as the rider pushes off from the ground, the motor starts and provides additional power during the entire ride. With their "Draisine 200.0" the computer scientists are testing the validity of mathematical proofs, among other things to improve the safety of e-bike software.

Fake online profiles easier to fish out with new software tool

People who use fake profiles online could be more easily identified, thanks to a new tool developed by computer scientists.

Lowe's to lay off about 125 workers, move jobs to India

Home improvement retailer Lowe's says it's laying off approximately 125 information technology workers, the third round of job cuts this year.

'Charliecloud' simplifies Big Data supercomputing

At Los Alamos National Laboratory, home to more than 100 supercomputers since the dawn of the computing era, elegance and simplicity of programming are highly valued but not always achieved. In the case of a new product, dubbed "Charliecloud," a crisp 800-line code helps supercomputer users operate in the high-performance world of Big Data without burdening computer center staff with the peculiarities of their particular software needs.

Arrest in NSA news leak fuels debate on source protection

It was a major scoop for The Intercept— documents suggesting a concerted Russian effort to hack US election systems—but the online news site is drawing fire in media circles following the arrest of the alleged source of the leak.

Five workers exposed to radiation at Japan nuclear lab

Five workers at a Japanese nuclear facility that handles plutonium have been exposed to high levels of radiation after a bag containing highly radioactive material apparently broke during equipment inspection, the country's Atomic Energy Agency said Wednesday.

Scientists propose new method to correct common power problem in microgrids

Scientists from the Northeastern University, China, have developed a new method to diagnose a serious electrical problem in microgrids. They have published their work in IEEE/CAA Journal of Automatica Sinica (JAS), a joint publication of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the Chinese Association of Automation.

Scientists develop divide and conquer approach for more stable power generation

Wind is a powerful but often unreliable energy source. To increase reliability and availability of wind-generated power, scientists have developed a two-pronged approach to ensure wind-generated power doesn't diminish as a renewable resource.

Combatting weeds with lasers

A robot automatically identifies weeds in a field and combats them with a short laser pulse. Sustainable agriculture, which avoids the use of herbicides as far as possible, could benefit from this smart idea. Dr. Julio Pastrana and Tim Wigbels from the Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation at the University of Bonn are convinced of this. With an EXIST Business Start-up Grant from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the scientists are now driving forward the development of this practical tool for field work.

Air traffic privatization plan hits turbulence in Congress

President Donald Trump's plan to privatize the nation's air traffic control system is running into bipartisan opposition in Congress, where Republicans fret that it could raise costs for air travelers and hurt small airports.

Medicine & Health news

Scientists improve people's creativity through electrical brain stimulation

Scientists have found a way to improve creativity through brain stimulation, according to researchers at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and Goldsmiths University of London.

Even moderate drinking linked to a decline in brain health, finds study

Alcohol consumption, even at moderate levels, is associated with increased risk of adverse brain outcomes and steeper decline in cognitive (mental) skills, finds a study published by The BMJ today.

Culture affects how people deceive others, say researchers

Psychologists have discovered that people's language changes when they lie depending on their cultural background.

Type of sugar may treat atherosclerosis, mouse study shows

Researchers have long sought ways to harness the body's immune system to treat disease, especially cancer. Now, scientists have found that the immune system may be triggered to treat atherosclerosis and possibly other metabolic conditions, including fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes.

Limited short-term memory caused by 'interference' from similar items seen earlier, says study

Our short-term memory is severely limited in everyday experience, but according to a new study from City, University of London and the Hungarian Academy of Science, it has no intrinsic limits when it comes to remembering information.

Genes influence ability to read a person's mind from their eyes

Our DNA influences our ability to read a person's thoughts and emotions from looking at their eyes, suggests a new study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

Researchers shed light on how our eyes process visual cues

The mystery of how human eyes compute the direction of moving light has been made clearer by scientists at The University of Queensland.

Innovative therapy strategy for pancreatic cancer uses engineered exosomes targeting mutated KRAS gene

Genetic manipulation of exosomes, virus-sized particles released by all cells, may offer a new therapeutic approach to treating pancreatic cancer, according to a study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Retinal cells 'go with the flow' to assess own motion through space

Think of the way that a long flat highway seems to widen out around you from a single point on the horizon, while in the rear-view mirror everything narrows back to a single point behind you. Or think of the way that when a spaceship in a movie accelerates to its "warp" or "hyper" speed, the illusion is conveyed by the stars turning into streaks that zip radially outward off the screen. That's how a new study in Nature says specialized cells in the retina sense their owner's motion through the world—by sensing that same radiating flow.

Social experience tweaks genome function to modify future behavior

Mice have a reputation for timidity. Yet when confronted with an unfamiliar peer, a mouse may respond by rearing, chasing, grappling, and biting—and come away with altered sensitivity toward future potential threats.

Feared by drug users but hard to avoid, fentanyl takes a mounting toll

Fentanyl, a highly potent prescription opioid, has Rhode Island drug users on high alert. But despite widespread aversion, fentanyl now causes the majority of the state's drug overdose deaths.

Researchers identify gene that may play a central role in heart disease

Heart disease kills more than 600,000 Americans every year, which translates to more than one in every four deaths. Although lifestyle choices contribute to the disease, genetics play a major role. This genetic facet has remained largely mysterious. But new research by scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) has identified what may be a key player: a mutated gene that leads to irregular heartbeat, which can lead to a dangerously inefficient heart.

Predicting autism: Study links infant brain connections to diagnoses at age 2

For the first time, autism researchers used MRIs of six-month olds to show how brain regions are connected and synchronized, and then predict which babies at high risk of developing autism would be diagnosed with the condition at age two. A previous UNC-lead study, published in Nature in February, used MRIs to determine differences in brain anatomy that predict which babies would develop autism as toddlers.

New treatment hope for women with BRCA1 breast cancers

Researchers have found a new way to use immunotherapy, a breakthrough mode of cancer treatment which harnesses the patient's immune system, to treat an aggressive form of breast cancer.

Higher alcohol consumption leads to greater loss of muscle tissue in postmenopausal women

If you feel as though you can't do as much physically as you've gotten older, there may be a reason. Both aging and menopause are known to affect sarcopenia, which is a loss of muscle mass and strength, which in turn affects balance, gait, and overall ability to perform tasks of daily living. A new study is one of the first to link alcohol consumption with a higher prevalence of sarcopenia in postmenopausal women. The study outcomes are being published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

Many rape victims experience involuntary paralysis that prevents them from resisting

Active resistance is often considered to be the "normal" reaction during rape, but a new study found that most victims may experience a state of involuntary paralysis, called tonic immobility, during rape. Tonic immobility was also associated with subsequent posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and severe depression after rape. The findings, which are published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, indicate that for health care follow-up and legal matters, tonic immobility should be assessed in all sexual assault victims.

What causes women to stop breastfeeding early?

A recent systematic literature review has investigated potential sociodemographic, physical, mental, and social factors that may cause breastfeeding mothers to stop breastfeeding before infants reach 6 months of age.

Eggs can significantly increase growth in young children

Eggs significantly increased growth and reduced stunting by 47 percent in young children, finds a new study from a leading expert on child nutrition at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. This was a much greater effect than had been shown in previous studies.

Overcoming immune suppression to fight against bovine leukemia

Bovine leukemia is a systemic, malignant lymphosarcoma in cows which is mainly caused by infection with a retrovirus, bovine leukemia virus (BLV). In 2016, 3,125 cases of bovine leukemia were reported in Japan, which was the largest number of cases among the infectious bovine diseases designated by the Act on Domestic Animal Infectious Diseases Control. Bovine leukemia is commonly seen in other Asian countries, South America and North America.

How have HPV vaccines affected cervical cancer screening?

A new review looks at cervical cancer screening in the era of HPV vaccination. The review notes that trials have demonstrated the efficacy and safety of vaccines against HPV infection, but the complete effect of HPV vaccination as a cancer prevention strategy may not be fully evident for decades, given the slow progression from HPV infection to the development of cervical cancer.

Excessive exercise may damage the gut

A review of published studies has found that people who exercise excessively may be prone to acute or chronic gut issues.

Running multiple marathons does not increase risk of atherosclerosis

Running multiple marathons does not increase the risk of atherosclerosis, according to research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Research tracks roots of harmful behaviour among young adults

New collaborative research conducted by epidemiologists at The University of Manchester and at Aarhus University, Denmark has demonstrated the strong link between being admitted to hospital for trauma as a child and different forms of harmful and self-destructive behaviour in young adults.

The complete epigenomes of the most frequent tumors mapped

A research team from the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) has managed to characterize the complete epigenomes of the most frequent tumors, including those of colon, lung and breast cancer. Their work, published in Oncogene, was led by Dr. Manel Esteller, Director of the Epigenetics and Cancer Biology Program at IDIBELL, ICREA Researcher and Professor of Genetics at the University of Barcelona, and represents a big step in the study of origin and progression of these tumors.

Mining the data mother lode

A mother posting on Facebook about the way her son behaves while playing video games could provide a vital clue for the correct treatment for his epilepsy. This is but one type of social media chatter that is informing data scientists at Penn Medicine's Health Language Processing Lab (HLP). One of the newest entities with the Penn Institute for Biomedical Informatics, HLP combines social media content with other sources of health information in a unique way aimed at understanding how people use language to communicate health needs.

Researchers identify potential target for treatment of aggressive brain cancer

Researchers from the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore (CSI Singapore) at the National University of Singapore have discovered that the BCL6 protein could potentially be used as a marker to predict clinical outcomes of patients suffering from Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), the most malignant cancer of the brain.

Potential therapeutic target for Parkinson's disease

Investigations by scientists in Japan illustrate how the loss of a key mitochondrial protein facilitates the progression of Parkinson's disease. The findings are published in Nature Communications (June 2017).

Depression link with inflammatory bowel disease remains unclear

Being depressed may have little impact on flare ups for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), researchers have found.

Why restoring morale is important to mental health in difficult times

The term demoralization was originally coined in the 1970s by a psychiatrist who was seeing patients that didn't quite meet full criteria for major depression. Nonetheless, they were suffering – in a shared state of emotional distress and sense of incompetence.

Scientists use wearables to track patient data

From Fitbit trackers to sticky patches, Northwestern scientists and clinicians are using wearable technology to gather a wealth of novel information about patients and to devise innovative ways to treat and prevent disease.

3-D printing breakthrough heralds new era for advanced skin models

Scientists in South Korea have come up with a new method for 3-D printing human skin, which both shortens the process and reduces the cost.

Being overweight or obese in childhood closely linked to heart health risk in middle age

Being overweight or obese from as early as three years of age is associated with measures of cardiovascular risk in early midlife, according to new findings from the world-renowned Dunedin Study.

Lab-grown organoids hold promise for patient treatments

Ophir Klein is growing teeth, which is just slightly less odd than what Jeffrey Bush is growing – tissues that make up the face. Jason Pomerantz is growing muscle; Sarah Knox is growing salivary glands; and Edward Hsiao is printing 3-D bone using a machine that looks about as complex as a clock radio.

Gonorrhoea treatment reaching crisis point

The threat of increased antibiotic resistance is often in the headlines. Now two Massey University researchers argue that in the case of sexually-transmitted gonorrhoea, this is inevitable, and we had better figure out what to do after the antibiotics stop working.

Exposure to fungus leads to cell damage in the airways, increases allergy symptoms

A new study finds that exposure to a widespread outdoor fungus can increase cell damage (oxidative stress) in the airways. This spike weakens the airways' barrier defense system that, when functioning normally, removes infection- and allergy-causing organisms (mucociliary clearance). The study, published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology—Cell Physiology, was chosen as an APSselect article for June.

Food safety concerns over listeria stifle Hispanic-style cheese market

Better understanding of manufacturing steps and research on different Hispanic-style cheese varieties needed for risk analysis and prevention, say researchers in the Journal of Dairy Science

Drusen as promising biomarkers for progression of macular degeneration

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a common disease of the centre of the retina, primarily affecting those aged over 50. The first signs of the disease are so-called drusen, which occur under the retina in the form of round, yellow deposits. However, in some way that has not yet been unexplained, these disappear over time, leaving no trace, and this, in itself, is a sign that there is a very high risk of developing advanced AMD and going blind. Hrvoje Bogunovic from MedUni Vienna's Department of Ophthalmology has now developed a computer model that can be used with Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to analyse which drusen will survive and which will disappear: "This is a promising marker for progression of the disease."

Pregnant women could get on their bikes and stay healthy with better support

Medical advice from risk-averse health professionals may contribute to some women's decisions to stop cycling to work during pregnancy, meaning they miss out on the potential benefits of the active commute. A recent study in the Journal of Transport & Health reveals the reasons why women decide to stop or continue cycling to work when they are pregnant, including often ambiguously worded or overly-cautious advice from medical guidelines, midwives and obstetricians.

Data show five-year response for AAT deficiency gene therapy

Data demonstrating sustained protein expression five years after a single intramuscular injection of a gene-based therapy for the treatment of alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency also shows improvements in multiple indicators of AAT biological activity. The study appears in the June issue of Molecular Therapy. Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation (AGTC), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, developed the gene-based therapy evaluated in the study, which was led by Terence R. Flotte, MD, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medical Education, executive deputy chancellor, provost and dean of the School of Medicine, and colleagues at UMass Medical School.

Why Amazon should keep prescription drugs off its voluminous shelves

Amazon hit a milestone this month after the price of one share hit US$1,000 for the first time, giving it a total value of close to $500 billion. That makes it the fourth-biggest company in the U.S. in terms of market capitalization and twice the size of brick-and-mortar rival Walmart.

What causes alopecia areata and can you treat this type of hair loss?

Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss and comes from the Greek word alōpekía referring to the skin condition, mange, in foxes. Alopecia areata causes a unique form of hair loss different to the more common age-related male and female pattern hair loss.

Research says H. pylori needs much closer attention

It was long thought that gastric ulcers and other digestive woes were brought about by stress. But in 2005, clinical fellow Barry J. Marshall and pathologist J. Robin Warren were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for recognizing the role of Helicobacter pylori in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.

Low-level drinking during pregnancy influences babies' facial development

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy at low levels – even the occasional drink – can subtly influence the way a baby's face is formed in the womb, researchers from the Murdoch Children's Research Institute have found.

Data from satellite imagery useful for malaria early warning systems

Researchers at Umeå University have developed a model that uses seasonal weather data from satellite images to accurately predict outbreak of malaria with a one-month lead time. With a so-called GAMBOOST model, a host of weather information gathered from satellite images can be used as a cost-effective disease forecasting model, allowing health officials to get ahead of the malaria infection curve by allocating resources and mobilizing public health responses. The model was recently described in the journal Scientific Reports, a Nature Research publication.

Insomnia associated with increased risk of suicidality

People who suffer from insomnia are three times more likely to report thoughts of suicide and death during the past 30 days than those without the condition, reports a new meta-analysis from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The study is the first to control for depression and anxiety and evaluate in-depth the relationship between the broadly defined terms of insomnia and suicidality to reveal trends that may inform future targeted treatment for some of the 32 million individuals struggling with insomnia in the United States each year.

Researchers find possible explanation for unparalleled spread of Ebola virus

The world may be closer to knowing why Ebola spreads so easily thanks to a team of researchers from Tulane University and other leading institutions who discovered a new biological activity in a small protein from the deadly virus. The team's findings were recently published in the Journal of Virology.

Women with past adverse childhood experiences more likely to have ovaries removed, study shows

Mayo Clinic researchers report that women who suffered adverse childhood experiences or abuse as an adult are 62 percent more likely to have their ovaries removed before age 46. These removals are for reasons other than the presence of ovarian cancer or a high genetic risk of developing cancer, says the new study published today in BMJ Open.

Aggressive flies: A powerful new model for neuropsychiatric disorders

Alterations in social behaviour, including aggression, are associated with a number of neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Along with DiGeorge syndrome and velo-cardio-facial syndrome, these disorders are linked to mutations in the proline dehydrogenase gene PRODH, which is situated in a region known as 22q11 on chromosome 22. The PRODH protein is localised on the inner membrane of mitochondria and known to be involved in proline catabolism; however, the exact mechanism by which PRODH and altered proline metabolism contribute to neuropsychiatric disorders is not well understood. Researchers have previously used mouse models to investigate the role of PRODH in schizophrenia and other conditions associated with 22q11 mutations. Now, a team from the University of Leuven in Belgium and the University of Bristol in the UK have published new research in Disease Models & Mechanisms (DMM) providing insights into the cellular mechanisms that link PRODH defects and behavioural disorders using a new fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) model.

Beta cells under fire

Type 2 diabetes causes pathological changes in the beta cells. Scientists have successfully depicted the processes on the basis of the metabolome and proteome for the first time. Their work has been published in Cell Metabolism.

New study on children shows fiber supplement changes gut bacteria

A couple of teaspoons of a fibre supplement, taken daily, has produced some exciting results that will help children with overweight or obesity maintain a healthier weight and prevent many diseases caused by obesity.

Michigan heart surgery outcomes improved after Medicaid expansion, study finds

Expanding Medicaid coverage is associated with better outcomes for heart surgery patients, according to a study led by University of Virginia School of Medicine researchers.

Effectiveness of antipsychotic treatments in patients with schizophrenia

A new study published by JAMA Psychiatry examines the comparative effectiveness of antipsychotic treatments for the prevention of psychiatric rehospitalization and treatment failure among a nationwide group of patients with schizophrenia in Sweden.

Improvements in control of cardiovascular risk factors not seen at all socioeconomic levels in US

Between 1999 to 2014, there was a decline in average systolic blood pressure, smoking, and predicted cardiovascular risk of 20 percent or greater among high-income U.S. adults, but these levels remained unchanged in adults with incomes at or below the federal poverty level, according to a study published by JAMA Cardiology.

Red onions pack a cancer-fighting punch, study reveals

The next time you walk down the produce aisle of your grocery store, you may want to reach for red onions if you are looking to fight off cancer.

Dining hall intervention helped college students choose healthier options

As students transition from high school to college, they enter a critical period for weight gain. Although eating in a buffet-style dining hall offers freedom and flexibility in food choice, many students cite the abundance of food available as a cause for weight gain. As most college students' diets are low in fruits and vegetables and high in calories, sugar, fat, and sodium, researchers from the University of Toronto and Memorial University of Newfoundland created a cross-sectional study to examine whether messaging encouraging fruit, vegetable, and water intake could influence the habits of university students.

Diagnostic radiation exposure safe for children, experts state

In an article published in the June 2017 issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, researchers assert that exposure to medical imaging radiation not only doesn't increase an adult person's risk of getting cancer, it doesn't increase a child's risk. According to the authors, the long-held belief that even low doses of radiation, such as those received in diagnostic imaging, increase cancer risk is based on an inaccurate, 70-year-old hypothesis and leads to unnecessary fear and misdiagnoses.

Clinical study finds effective stability rate of over 80 percent in CM treatment of chronic renal failure

The School of Chinese Medicine (SCM) of Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) recently conducted a clinical study on Chinese medicine treatment of chronic renal failure. The findings indicated that the effective stability rate of the Chinese medicine treatment for this disease for periods of three months, half a year and one year is 96.3%, 88.89% and 83.95% respectively.

Home blood pressure monitors inaccurate 70 percent of the time, study finds

Seventy per cent of readings from home blood pressure monitors are unacceptably inaccurate, which could cause serious implications for people who rely on them to make informed health decisions, new UAlberta research reveals.

Researcher finds centenarians have lower incidence of chronic illness, contributing to longer health span

Centenarians have a lower incidence of chronic illness than those in their 80s and 90s, according to research from the George Washington University (GW).

Mining cancer data for treatment clues

There is an enormous amount that we do not understand about the fundamental causes and behavior of cancer cells, but at some level, experts believe that cancer must relate to DNA and the genome.

Retailers charging women more than men for common hair loss medication

Women pay an average of 40 percent more than men for minoxidil foams - a hair loss remedy most commonly known as Rogaine - according to a new analysis from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The price difference appears despite the fact that the men's and women's version of the products - which are branded and marketed differently—contain the same drug strength and inactive ingredients. JAMA Dermatology published the findings online today.

Drinking non-cow's milk associated with lower height in children

Children who drink non-cow's milk—including other animal milk and plant-based milk beverages—are shorter than children who drink cow's milk, new research suggests.

Overweight children are excluded from friendships, study finds

Overweight children have more unreciprocated friendships and frenemies than their thinner counterparts, a Keck School of Medicine of USC study finds.

Does consuming low-fat dairy increase the risk of Parkinson's disease?

Consuming at least three servings of low-fat dairy a day is associated with a greater risk of developing Parkinson's disease compared to consuming less than one serving a day, according to a large study published in the June 7, 2017, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. In addition, drinking more than one serving of low-fat or skim milk per day is associated with a greater risk of developing Parkinson's disease compared to drinking less than one serving per week. The study results do not show that dairy products cause Parkinson's disease—they just show an association.

Working workouts into your life

(HealthDay)—Weekly fitness guidelines can seem like a laundry list of to-do's that you just can't get done—30 minutes of cardio at least five days, resistance training two or three times and at least two flexibility sessions.

Even moderate drinking may dull the aging brain

(HealthDay)—People who drink at even moderate levels may see some of their mental skills slip faster as they age, a new study suggests.

Teen boys treated for assault often want mental health care, too

(HealthDay)—Many teen boys treated at an ER following a violent assault also want psychological services to help them cope with the trauma, according to new research.

Nurse-led psych intervention beneficial in breast cancer

(HealthDay)—A nurse-led psychological intervention program is beneficial for patients with breast cancer at high risk of depression, according to a study published online May 30 in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Lifespan up with adoption of four healthy lifestyle behaviors

(HealthDay)—Adoption of four healthy lifestyle behaviors is associated with increased lifespan for men and women, according to a study published online May 31 in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

Severe hypoglycemia rates have equilibrated for DCCT groups

(HealthDay)—Rates of severe hypoglycemia have equilibrated between the two Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT)/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (EDIC) treatment groups in association with duration of diabetes and HbA1c level, according to a study published online May 26 in Diabetes Care.

Inpatient progress note content often cut and pasted

(HealthDay)—Less than 20 percent of progress note content is entered manually by medical students, residents, and direct care hospitalists, according to a research letter published online May 30 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Ablation successful for trigeminal neuralgia in pregnancy

(HealthDay)—Trigeminal neuralgia in pregnancy can be managed successfully by conventional radiofrequency ablation of Gasserian ganglion, according to a case report published online June 2 in Pain Practice.

Abnormal chest radiograph in active uveitis often sarcoidosis

(HealthDay)—Most patients with active uveitis of unknown origin with abnormal chest radiographs have findings consistent with sarcoidosis, according to a study published in the June 1 issue of the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Don't rely on smartphone apps to treat back pain

University of Sydney researchers have found that smartphone apps for treating back pain have questionable value as they are generally of poor quality, and have not been rigorously evaluated.

How cells divide tasks and conquer work

Despite advances in neuroscience, the brain is still very much a black box—no one even knows how many different types of neurons exist. Now, a scientist from the Salk Institute has used a mathematical framework to better understand how different cell types divide work among themselves.

Researcher uses advanced analytics to identify individuals at risk of potentially inappropriate prescription opioid use

New prediction tools to help health-care providers identify patients at risk of inappropriate prescription opioid use, while allowing safe administration of legitimate pain management to those not at high-risk, are being developed by University of Arizona College of Pharmacy researcher Jenny Lo-Ciganic, PhD.

Study disputes link between uterine fibroids and miscarriage risk

A 10-year study, led by Vanderbilt University Medical Center professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology Katherine Hartmann, M.D., Ph.D., disrupts conventional wisdom that uterine fibroids cause miscarriages.

Easing family distress: New international guidelines to identify dementia with Lewy bodies

New guidelines have been published on the clinical and physical indicators to help ensure patients with dementia with Lewy bodies get an accurate diagnosis and the best care possible.

U.S. liver cancer deaths have doubled since 1980s: study

(HealthDay)—Liver cancer is the fastest-growing cause of cancer deaths in the United States, a new study reports.

Risk of cardiac malformations from lithium during pregnancy less significant

Lithium, a commonly used medicine to treat bipolar disorder, has been associated with a 400 fold increased risk of Ebstein's anomaly, a congenital malformation of the heart, and a 5 fold increased risk of cardiac defects overall in infants when taken early in pregnancy. However, a new study published by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) in the New England Journal of Medicine on June 7 suggests there may be a more modest increased risk of cardiac defects when using lithium during the first trimester of pregnancy, in the order of two cases per 100 live births in infants exposed to lithium during that time as compared to one case per 100 live births in the unexposed women.

Study: Common surgical treatment for melanoma does not improve patients' overall survival

Patients who receive the standard surgical treatment for melanoma that has spread to one or more key lymph nodes do not live longer, a major new study shows.

Mammograms: Are we overdiagnosing small tumors?

An analysis of breast cancer data revealed that many small breast cancers have an excellent prognosis because they are inherently slow growing, according to Yale Cancer Center experts. Often, these cancers will not grow large enough to become significant within a patient's lifetime and subsequently early detection could lead to overdiagnosis, said the reseachers. In contrast, large tumors that cause most breast cancer deaths often grow so quickly that they become intrusive before they can be detected by screening mammography, they note.

Recent presidential election could have negative impact on health

Stress, increased risk for disease, babies born too early, and premature death are among the negative health impacts that could occur in the wake of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, according to a new article from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Massachusetts General Hospital/McLean Hospital.

New class of type 2 diabetes drug associated with rare, life-threatening outcome

A new class of drugs, known as SGLT2 inhibitors, is increasingly being prescribed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, but may increase the risk of rare but serious complication known as diabetic ketoacidosis. In a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital quantify that risk, finding that patients are twice as likely to experience diabetic ketoacidosis if taking an SGLT2 inhibitor rather than another class of diabetes drugs. However, diabetic ketoacidosis is still extremely rare: even for patients taking an SGLT2 inhibitor, only about one in every 1,000 patients will experience this complication, the researchers estimate.

Study finds link between teen cannabis use and illicit drug use in early adulthood

One in five adolescents at risk of tobacco dependency, harmful alcohol consumption and illicit drug use:

Researchers find plus-size fashion models improve women's psychological health

A new study by Florida State University researchers reveals women are more likely to pay attention to and remember average and plus-size models in the media compared to thin models.

Researchers find cause and possible relief of cancer bone pain

In a paper published in the journal Pain, Saint Louis University researcher Daniela Salvemini, Ph.D., reports discovering a key molecular pathway that drives cancer-related bone pain while providing a potential solution with a drug that already is on the market.

Pregnancy diet high in refined grains could increase kids' obesity by age 7

Children born to women with gestational diabetes whose diet included high proportions of refined grains may have a higher risk of obesity by age 7, compared to children born to women with gestational diabetes who ate low proportions of refined grains, according to results from a National Institutes of Health study. These findings, which appear online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, were part of the Diabetes & Women's Health Study, a research project led by NIH's Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

Girls more likely to have sex, take sexual risks, and marry young if they menstruate early

The timing of a girl's first menstruation may affect her first sexual encounter, first pregnancy, and her vulnerability to some sexually transmitted infections, according to a meta-analysis by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. These patterns of sexual and reproductive health outcomes for girls in low- and middle-income countries who menstruated at an early age are similar to what has been observed in high-income countries such as the U.S. Until now, there was little known about associations between early menarche and sexual and reproductive health outcomes in less advanced economies. The results are published online in the journal PLOS ONE.

Study links certain characteristics with ISIS anxiety

A new study examines the characteristics of individuals who are most likely to have anxiety concerning threats posed by ISIS.

Study examines self-management intervention in patients with epilepsy

A new study has found that a multi-component self-management intervention (MCI) for adults with epilepsy may be an important tool to increase efficiency in epilepsy care.

Exercise may help combat postpartum depression

An analysis of published studies indicates that physical exercise during pregnancy and the postpartum period is a safe way to achieve better psychological well-being and to reduce postpartum depressive symptoms.

Certain cardiovascular medications may increase risk of falling

A new analysis suggests that among older adults who take cardiovascular medications, those using non-selective beta-blockers may be at an increased of falling compared with those using selective beta-blockers. These types of drugs are already known to differ by their receptor binding properties and their systemic effects on the body.

Can pain increase the risk of dying early?

Pain that interferes with daily life, rather than pain per se, was associated with an increased risk of early death in a recent analysis.

Study reveals level of magnesium sulfate to prevent cerebral palsy in preterm infants

A new study suggests that to optimize neuroprotection and prevent cerebral palsy in extremely preterm infants, women should receive magnesium sulfate to obtain a blood level between 3.7 and 4.4 mg/dL at the time of delivery. The study included 636 women who received magnesium sulfate and 1269 who received placebo.

Religious coping may affect couples dealing with type 2 diabetes

A new study indicates that spousal engagement in shared glycemic control activities—such as planning a healthy diet—may help patients with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar levels.

Public health expert discusses the drivers of health inequality

As economic inequality has risen in the U.S. over the last few decades, so has health inequality. What's driving the growth of these disparities in public health, now documented in numerous studies? In a new article, published this week in the journal Health Affairs, MIT Assistant Professor Mariana Arcaya, along with her co-author, Jose F. Figueroa of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, takes a big-picture look at the global trends exacerbating uneven health outcomes—and urges public-health advocates to do the same. MIT News talked to Arcaya, the Charles H. and Ann E. Spaulding Career Development Assistant Professor in MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning, about the need to think on large scales in public health.

Track mosquitoes with your smartphone

During my first summer in New York City, mosquitoes bit me mercilessly. Eventually I learned which parks and gardens to avoid, but I was struck by the large geographic variation in mosquito prevalence. Interested in whether the city made any data about mosquitoes publicly available, I learned that the city only had 52 permanent mosquito traps, roughly one per 6 square miles. For reference, the Upper West Side, Upper East Side and Central Park combined take up less than 5 square miles. Moreover, the majority of the trapping locations in NYC are within parks. Vector control officials either do not have the resources or the legal authority to trap mosquitoes in many locations, particularly homeowner backyards.

NCI-MATCH cancer trial reaches 6,000-patient tumor sequencing goal two years early

The rapid pace of patient enrollment in the National Cancer Institute-Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice (NCI-MATCH or EAY131) precision medicine cancer treatment trial will result in the study reaching its goal of sequencing the tumors of 6,000 patients in June, nearly two years sooner than expected. The ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group (ECOG-ACRIN), which is leading this signal-finding trial under the sponsorship of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), reports that wide-scale adoption throughout the NCI National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) and NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) caused the unprecedented rate of patient enrollment.

Mutations unveiled that predispose lung cancers to refractory histologic transformation

Cancer pedigree analysis reveals the mutations in RB1 and TP53 genes play a key role in treatment-resistant, cancer cell-type transformation during EGFR inhibitor therapy for lung cancers.

Study finds youth football players have significant differences in head impact exposure

A study of 97 youth football players ages 9-13 years who participated in different age- and weight- based levels over four seasons of play found that that youngsters experienced a total of 40,538 head impacts. Measures of linear head acceleration and the number of impacts per player in competition versus practice sessions differed significantly depending on the youngsters' age/weight level, as reported in the study published in Journal of Neurotrauma.

Clinical efficacy and future development of continuous glucose monitoring highlighted in DTT

A growing body of data from clinical studies of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) in type 1 diabetes supports the value of CGM for reducing variability in blood glucose levels and the risks of both hypo- and hyperglycemia, and for improving patient quality of life compared to self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG). A review of recent CGM trials and the impact of CGM accuracy on the future of automated insulin delivery systems are the focus of two in a series of articles published as a special supplement to Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics (DTT).

Talking money with the hospital trying to treat you

The financial counselor will see you now.

Biology news

Motor-boat noise makes fish bad parents, leading to the death of their babies

Noise from motorboats is making fish become bad parents, and reducing the chance of their young surviving, research led by marine experts at the University of Exeter has shown.

Impact of protective bacteria linked to infection route, study finds

The benefits of protective bacteria - which safeguard organisms from further disease without causing harm - depend on how subsequent infections enter the body, a study of fruit flies has shown.

How can you tell deep-sea octopuses apart? Check their warts

It's usually pretty easy for dedicated scientists with years of experience to tell two species of their favorite organism apart, be it squirrels or birds. The scientists have seen a lot of the animal they specialize in, and the important traits that separate species have been well-documented for centuries. But when it comes to rarely-seen animals in the deep sea, those fundamental assessments are yet to be done.

Fungi awake bacteria from their slumber

When a soil dries out, this has a negative impact on the activity of soil bacteria. Using an innovative combination of state-of-the-art analysis and imaging techniques, researchers at UFZ have now discovered that fungi increase the activity of bacteria in dry and nutrient-poor habitats by supplying them with water and nutrients. The ability of fungi to regulate drought stress in soil and thus sustain ecosystem functions is an important insight in the context of climate change.

Science spins truth out of resilient worms

Worms, it appears, are good at keeping secrets.

Cope's gray treefrogs meet the cocktail party problem

You've been there: Trying to carry on a conversation in a room so noisy that the background chatter threatens to drown out the words you hear. Yet somehow your auditory system is able to home in on the message being conveyed by the person you're talking with. The secret to rising above the noise—a dilemma known in the world of sound science as "the cocktail party problem"—turns out to lie in its ability to discern patterns in the background noise and selectively ignore such patterns, according to a new study published in Current Biology earlier this month.

Scientists propose a new paradigm that paints a more inclusive picture of the evolution of organisms and ecosystems

In 1859, Charles Darwin included a novel tree of life in his trailblazing book on the theory of evolution, On the Origin of Species. Now, scientists from Rutgers University-New Brunswick and their international collaborators want to reshape Darwin's tree.

Study doesn't support theory red and eastern wolves are recent hybrids, researchers argue

A team led by University of Idaho researchers is calling into question a widely publicized 2016 study that concluded eastern and red wolves are not distinct species, but rather recent hybrids of gray wolves and coyotes. In a comment paper that will publish Wednesday, June 7, in the journal Science Advances, the team examines the previous study and argues that its genomic data and analyses do not definitively prove recent hybridization—but rather provide support for the genetic and evolutionary distinctiveness of red and eastern wolves.

Bee buzzes could help determine how to save their decreasing population

According to recent studies, declines in wild and managed bee populations threaten the pollination of flowers in more than 85 percent of flowering plants and 75 percent of agricultural crops worldwide. Widespread and effective monitoring of bee populations could lead to better management; however, tracking bees is tricky and costly. Now, a research team led by the University of Missouri has developed an inexpensive acoustic listening system using data from small microphones in the field to monitor bees in flight. The study, published today in PLOS ONE, shows how farmers could use the technology to monitor pollination and increase food production.

Holistic management makes ecosystems healthier, people wealthier

Economists agree that natural ecosystems store large quantities of wealth, but the challenge of measuring that wealth has prevented it from being included in typical accounting systems.

Which extinct ducks could fly?

We're all familiar with flightless birds: ostriches, emus, penguins—and ducks? Ducks and geese, part of a bird family called the anatids, have been especially prone to becoming flightless over the course of evolutionary history. However, it can be difficult to determine from fossils whether an extinct anatid species could fly or not. A new study from The Auk: Ornithological Advances takes a fresh approach, classifying species as flightless or not based on how far their skeletal proportions deviate from the expected anatomy of a flying bird and offering a glimpse into the lives of these extinct waterfowl.

Scientists model gene regulation with chromatin accessibility

Researchers from the Academy of Mathematics and Systems Science (AMSS) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have teamed up with Stanford University and Tsinghua University scientists to successfully model data on gene regulation with paired expression and chromatin accessibility (PECA) and have developed new tools to infer context-specific regulatory networks.

Increased sea ice drift puts polar bears on faster-moving treadmill

A new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the University of Wyoming found that increased westward ice drift in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas requires polar bears to expend more energy walking eastward on a faster-moving "treadmill" of sea ice.

Old apple varieties could provide important health benefits

Researchers from Cranfield University and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew have constructed the metabolic fingerprint of British heritage apples and mainstream commercial varieties highlighting the extraordinary phytochemical content of some very old apples with dates of introduction spanning several centuries.

Highly safe biocontainment strategy hopes to encourage greater use of GMOs

Use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) - microorganisms not found in the natural world but developed in labs for their beneficial characteristics - is a contentious issue.

Mouse lemur could serve as ideal model for primate biology and human disease

The mouse lemur—the world's smallest primate—has the potential to transform the field of genetics and serve as an ideal model for a wide range of primate biology, behavior and medicine, including cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's disease, Stanford University School of Medicine researchers say.

Researchers identify protein target to halt citrus tree disease

University of Florida researchers may have come a step closer to finding a treatment for a disease called Huanglongbing, or citrus greening, that has been decimating citrus trees in the state. In work published this week in mSphere, an open access journal from the American Society for Microbiology, the investigators describe identifying a small protein from one bacterium living in Asian citrus psyllids—the flying insects that spread the disease as they feed on the trees—that can "cross-talk," moving to another bacterium within the insects to silence so-called "prophage genes" containing viral material in the second bacterium, helping prevent an insect immune reaction that would likely be detrimental to both bacteria.

Scientists aim to stamp out new horticultural pest

Scientists will pursue cutting-edge microbiology and robotics research in a bid to stop a destructive and abundant pest which is now threatening fruit production around the world.

Many forks make light work

New insights into the control of DNA replication and cell division in Corynebacterium glutamicum, a biotechnologically important microorganism, could help to optimize the industrial production of amino acids.

Kestrels' strategies for flight and hunting vary with the weather

Kestrels adapt their flight and hunting strategies to weather conditions, including solar radiation, wind speed, and air temperature, according to a study published June 7, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Jesús Hernández-Pliego from Estación Biológica de Doñana, Spain, and colleagues.

Female Steller sea lions tend to breed near their birthplace

Female Steller sea lions tend to breed at or near the rookery where they were born, according to a study published June 7, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Kelly Hastings from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, USA, and colleagues.

Waste not, want not: Byproduct of ethanol industry makes suitable cattle feed supplement

Making a living raising cattle isn't as simple as just buying a herd and turning it out to pasture. Cattle require specific diets to maintain proper nutrition and weight gain. And how to do this in the most effective and efficient way possible has interested both ranchers and researchers for generations.

Finding new homes won't help Emperor penguins cope with climate change

If projections for melting Antarctic sea ice through 2100 are correct, the vanishing landscape will strip Emperor penguins of their breeding and feeding grounds and put populations at risk. But like other species that migrate to escape the wrath of climate change, can these iconic animals be spared simply by moving to new locations?

Culls, poultry transport ban as S. Korea fights bird flu outbreak

South Korea has imposed a temporary nationwide ban on poultry transportation as it struggles to contain an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N8 virus, which has led to the slaughter of some 190,000 birds.

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