Friday, July 28, 2017

Science X Newsletter Friday, Jul 28

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for July 28, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Optical lens can transfer digital information without loss

Evidence found of ultralow-velocity zone possibly feeding Icelandic plume

Possible first sighting of an exomoon

New light-activated catalyst grabs CO2 to make ingredients for fuel

Scientists find moon of Saturn has chemical that could form 'membranes'

Astrophysicists map out the light energy contained within the Milky Way

Mainstream Model 3 holds promise—and peril—for Tesla

Scientists set sail to unlock secrets of 'lost continent' Zealandia

A scientific take on awesome success of Gangnam video

Scientists use new data mining strategy to spot those at high Alzheimer's risk

Sleep or sex? How the fruit fly decides

Researchers discover how human cells maintain the correct number of chromosomes

Simple, low-cost respiratory sensor measures and tracks personal metabolism

Eclipse balloons to study effect of Mars-like environment on life

Materials emitted by a water pipe repair method may pose health risks, new safeguards and research needed

Astronomy & Space news

Possible first sighting of an exomoon

(—A team led by David Kipping of Columbia University has spotted what might be the first evidence of an exomoon. They have written a paper describing their findings and have uploaded it to the arXiv preprint server.

Scientists find moon of Saturn has chemical that could form 'membranes'

NASA scientists have definitively detected the chemical acrylonitrile in the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan, a place that has long intrigued scientists investigating the chemical precursors of life.

Astrophysicists map out the light energy contained within the Milky Way

For the first time, a team of scientists have calculated the distribution of all light energy contained within the Milky Way, which will provide new insight into the make-up of our galaxy and how stars in spiral galaxies such as ours form. The study is published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Eclipse balloons to study effect of Mars-like environment on life

Steps forward in the search for life beyond Earth can be as simple as sending a balloon into the sky. In one of the most unique and extensive eclipse observation campaigns ever attempted, NASA is collaborating with student teams across the U.S. to do just that.

Scientists unveil new 3-D view of galaxies

For many years astronomers have struggled to get good-quality 3-D data of galaxies. Although this technique is very powerful as it allows researchers to "dissect" objects, this was a slow process as each galaxy had to be observed independently.

Space capsule with 3 astronauts blasts off to orbiting lab

A Soyuz space capsule successfully blasted off for the International Space Station on Friday, carrying an American astronaut, a Russian cosmonaut and an Italian astronaut.

Image: Haze on the Saturn horizon

This false-color view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft gazes toward the rings beyond Saturn's sunlit horizon. Along the limb (the planet's edge) at left can be seen a thin, detached haze. This haze vanishes toward the right side of the scene.

Planetary defense campaign will use real asteroid for the first time

For the first time, NASA will use an actual space rock for a tabletop exercise simulating an asteroid impact in a densely populated area. The asteroid, named 2012 TC4, does not pose a threat to Earth, but NASA is using it as a test object for an observational campaign because of its close flyby on Oct. 12, 2017.

In solar eclipse's 'path of totality,' rooms go for $1,000 and vendors sell every trinket under the sun

Hotels have been sold out for years. Eclipse viewing glasses are back-ordered on Amazon. People are charging thousands for a one-night stay in their homes. There are T-shirts, mugs, posters, books, iPhone cases, pillows and leggings.

Aalto-1 satellite sends first image

Launched on the morning of 23 June from India, the Aalto-1 satellite's first month in space has gone according to plan.

Low Frequency Array Ireland officially launched

On 27 July 2017, the newly built Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) station in Ireland will be officially opened. This extends the largest radio telescope in the world, connecting to its central core of antennas in the north of the Netherlands, now forming a network of two thousand kilometres across. Astronomers can now study the history of the universe in even more detail. The station will be opened by the Irish Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan.

Image: Hubble's cosmic atlas

This beautiful clump of glowing gas, dark dust and glittering stars is the spiral galaxy NGC 4248, located about 24 million light-years away in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs).

Technology news

Mainstream Model 3 holds promise—and peril—for Tesla

For Tesla, everything is riding on the Model 3.

A scientific take on awesome success of Gangnam video

(Tech Xplore)—When Gangnam Style busted out of its corner of the world in 2012, pundits and everyday people struggled to wonder why it was so catchy and why so liked.

Simple, low-cost respiratory sensor measures and tracks personal metabolism

The U.S. military has great interest in more comprehensive measurement and tracking of metabolism, both for optimizing the performance of warfighters under demanding physical conditions and for maintaining the health and wellness of forces during and after their military careers. While sensors for making metabolic measurements have existed for decades, they are expensive, cumbersome instruments primarily intended for clinical or professional use. MIT Lincoln Laboratory, in collaboration with the U.S. Army Research Institute for Environmental Medicine (USARIEM), has undertaken a research effort to create a low-cost personal metabolic sensor and an associated metabolic fuel model. The Carbon dioxide/Oxygen Breath and Respiration Analyzer (COBRA) enables individuals to make on-demand metabolic measurements simply by breathing into it.

What algorithms can't tell us about community detection

Many who study networks care about groups of interconnected nodes. These groups, called "communities" or "modules," represent real-world relationships like friend groups on Facebook, businesses in a supply chain, and even species within a food web. The challenge is to identify whether, and ultimately where, these structures exist within a mass of data.

Design method helps animated characters gain physical form

Disney Research has developed a method for designing cable-driven mechanisms that help artists and hobbyists give physical form and motion to animated characters.

Making animated characters jump just got easier

The way a videogame character jumps, kicks, walks, runs or even breathes is determined by a loop of frames known as a motion cycle. Also critical for producing animated films, motion cycles are as important as they are difficult to create. But an innovative new tool from Disney Research can make the task much easier.

Microsoft Insider Preview Build announcements: More from Cortana, phone link

(Tech Xplore)—Microsoft announced a new Insider Preview Build for Windows 10 on PC and Mobile. The builds are 16251 for PC, and 15235 for Mobile. Judging by news stories, the most popular talking point around all the new tweaks and features is how Windows lets you link your phone and PC.

Alexa: The roommate I need, but am not quite sure I want

We were introduced at a party.

Apple axes iPod nano and shuffle

Touch became the last iPod standing on Thursday as Apple removed nano and shuffle stand-alone digital music players from its lineup.

Los Angeles to have fully electric bus fleet by 2030

Known for its bouts of heavy smog , the city of Los Angeles on Thursday announced plans to have a fleet of fully electric, zero-emissions buses by 2030.

'Big hunt' for Russian hackers, but no obvious election link

Pyotr Levashov appeared to be just another comfortable member of Russia's rising middle-class—an IT entrepreneur with a taste for upmarket restaurants, Thai massages and foreign travel.

The scientific reason you don't like LED bulbs—and the simple way to fix them

There's a handy trick for reading station signs that otherwise fly past in a blur as you travel in a high-speed train. Look at one side of the window and then immediately at the other side of the window. When you change your gaze, your eyes will automatically make a rapid jerking movement, known as a saccade. If the direction of the saccade is the same as that of the train, your eyes will freeze the image for a split second, long enough to read the station name if you time things right.

AI advances to put greater value on human judgment: U of T experts

With the rise of artificial intelligence and concern about its potential impact on jobs, U of T's Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb argue that human judgment will become an increasingly valuable skill.

Study helps Californians save electricity—and money—this summer

Electricity demand fluctuates each day, and consumers who want to unplug during peak times to save money and help the environment now have a new tool at their disposal. Chai Energy, a partner of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, is making real-time energy information a reality for electricity consumers who want to reduce or shift their electricity usage during peak periods when electricity is the most expensive.

Lonely hearts seek virtual girlfriends at Hong Kong fair

Virtual reality games usually promise shoot 'em up adventures but in Hong Kong Friday lovelorn tech fans donned headsets to go on imaginary dates.

Steve Jobs' widow takes stake in Atlantic magazine

An organization led by the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs announced Friday it was taking a majority stake in The Atlantic, a prestigious 160-year-old cultural magazine.

Tesla 3 to hit the road in automotive milestone

Tesla delivers its first Model 3 vehicles Friday in what is likely to be a milestone for electric cars and possibly for the entire auto industry.

EPA OKs pollution controls on new diesel Jeeps, Ram pickups

U.S. regulators have blessed emissions controls on 2017 versions of Fiat Chrysler diesel trucks, allowing them to go on sale and potentially helping to resolve allegations that the company cheated on pollution tests.

Arizona aims to combat wrong-way driving with new technology

Arizona transportation officials are moving forward with a first-in-the-nation pilot program that will use thermal camera technology to curb the wrong-way driving problem plaguing the state.

Croatian taxis protest Uber at height of tourism season

Hundreds of Croatian taxi drivers are protesting against Uber services, disrupting traffic at the height of the tourism season in the Adriatic country.

Stampede2 storms out of the corral in support of US scientists

Today, the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) dedicated Stampede2, the largest supercomputer at any U.S. university, and one of the most powerful systems in the world in a ceremony at The University of Texas at Austin's J.J. Pickle Research Campus.

Medicine & Health news

Scientists use new data mining strategy to spot those at high Alzheimer's risk

The push to develop treatments for Alzheimer's disease has been a promising and disappointing endeavor over the past two decades, yielding a greater understanding of the disease yet still failing to generate successful new drugs.

A new insight into Parkinson's disease protein

Abnormal clumps of certain proteins in the brain are a prominent feature of Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases, but the role those same proteins might play in the normal brain has been unknown.

Immune cells may be key to better allergy, infection therapies

By learning how a recently discovered immune cell works in the body, researchers hope to one day harness the cells to better treat allergies and infections, according to new Cornell research.

BACE-Inhibitor successfully tested in Alzheimer's animal model

The protein amyloid beta is believed to be the major cause of Alzheimer's disease. Substances that reduce the production of amyloid beta, such as BACE inhibitors, are therefore promising candidates for new drug treatments. A team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has recently demonstrated that one such BACE inhibitor reduces the amount of amyloid beta in the brain. By doing so, it can restore the normal function of nerve cells and significantly improve memory performance.

To pick a great gift, it's better to give AND receive

If it's the thought that makes a gift count, here's a thought that can make your gift count extra: Get a little something for yourself.

Newly discovered biomarkers may lead to promising diagnostic tool for Alzheimer's

Diagnosing Alzheimer's disease and determining a patient's prognosis is an inexact business, and that stands in the way of better personalized care and advances in treatment.

Artificial light from digital devices lessens sleep quality

There's no doubt we love our digital devices at all hours, including after the sun goes down. Who hasn't snuggled up with a smart phone, tablet or watched their flat screen TV from the comfort of bed? A new study by researchers at the University of Houston College of Optometry, published in Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics, found that blue light emitted from those devices could contribute to the high prevalence of reported sleep dysfunction.

Researchers developing new tool to distinguish between viral, bacterial infections

Antibiotics are lifesaving drugs, but overuse is leading to one of the world's most pressing health threats: antibiotic resistance. Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center are developing a tool to help physicians prescribe antibiotics to patients who really need them, and avoid giving them to individuals who don't.

Faster-acting antidepressants may finally be within reach

Some activity patterns in the brain can be dangerous, producing persistent dark moods that drain people's motivation, pleasure, and hope. For the past thirty years, pills like Prozac or Zoloft—collectively known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs—have offered millions of Americans a way to shed the heavy cloak of depression and attain more wholesome states of mind.

Hunger-controlling brain cells may offer path for new obesity drugs

Is the solution to the obesity epidemic all in our heads? A study by researchers at The Rockefeller University suggests that it might be.

Morphine effects similar to placebo in rheumatoid arthritis

(HealthDay)—For patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)/fibromyalgia (FM) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA), morphine has anti-hyperalgesic effects comparable to placebo, according to a study published online July 19 in PAIN Practice.

World Hepatitis Day sets the stage for the elimination of viral hepatitis

Today, World Hepatitis Day, marks the first time that the global health community has come together to officially begin moving towards the elimination of viral hepatitis by 2030.

Research finds increased risk of dementia in patients who experience delirium after surgery

Delirium is common in elderly hospitalized patients, affecting an estimated 14 - 56% of patients. It frequently manifests as a sudden change in behavior, with patients suffering acute confusion, inattention, disorganized thinking and fluctuating mental status.

Depression, schizophrenia may become redundant terms

Labelling patients with conditions like schizophrenia or depression might become a thing of the past as doctors and scientists look beyond the symptoms to develop a new generation of psychiatric treatments.

Trigeminal nerve stimulation shows promise for management of traumatic brain injury

Researchers at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and the department of neurosurgery at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, announced today that they have published a paper with research findings that could have implications for the treatment of many neurological conditions, including severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). The team of researchers found that in an animal model with TBI, trigeminal nerve stimulation (TNS) resulted in increased cerebral blood flow (CBF) and oxygen to the brain. These latest findings were published in Scientific Reports.

Errors made by 'DNA spellchecker' revealed as important cause of cancer

Cancer is mostly caused by changes in the DNA of our cells that occur over a lifetime rather than inherited traits. Identifying the causes of these mutations is a difficult challenge because many processes can result in a DNA sequence change. Researchers at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona, Spain, have now identified an important mechanism causing these mutations: mistakes made by a DNA 'spell checker' that repairs damage in the genome.

House dust mites may be carriers for IgE sensitization in dermatitis

(HealthDay)—For patients with atopic dermatitis (AD), house dust mites (HDMs) may act as carriers for immunoglobulin E (IgE) sensitization to microbial antigens, according to a study published online July 25 in Allergy.

How chronic fatigue syndrome wears patients out

(HealthDay)—Imagine if your muscles kept telling your brain you were exhausted, even when you were resting.

Kindergarten anxiety? Use the summer to prepare your child

It's the first day of kindergarten for your child, and you're not sure who's more anxious. Excitement, trepidation, anticipation. Starting school can be a stressful time.

From chronic to cured—could Australia be the first to eliminate hep C?

Australia is on track to eliminate hepatitis C by 2026, a new report released by the Kirby Institute on World Hepatitis Day shows.

New insights into protein's role in inflammatory response

A protein called POP2 inhibits a key inflammatory pathway, calming the body's inflammatory response before it can become destructive, Northwestern Medicine scientists have demonstrated in mouse models.

Youth more likely to discourage than promote smoking among peers

Young people more often discourage smoking among their peers than encourage it, new University of Otago research suggests.

Why do we actually have blood?

Just as a village can't grow into a city without some form of transport (road, rail or river) that provides necessary interconnections for it to flourish, living things are limited in the size they can reach unless they have some form of circulatory system to transport nutrients and remove waste.

Estrogen regulates pathological changes of bones via bone lining cells

The female sex hormone estrogen plays an important role in the structural stability of bones. To date, however, it had been unclear exactly which cells were involved in the hormone's protective function in preventing changes in bone density. Researchers at Vetmeduni Vienna were able to show for the first time that estrogen uses a certain cell type as a "mediator" for its beneficial effects on bone. When estrogen binds to these so-called "bone lining cells", which cover the bone surfaces, it regulates the expression of a protein called RANKL in these cells. Estrogen deficiency leads to uncontrolled expression of RANKL, which can trigger pathological changes in the bones. The results were published in Scientific Reports.

Repairing damaged nerves and tissue with spider threads

The golden orb-weaver spider from Tanzania spins such strong webs that Tanzanian fishermen use them for fishing. Their spider silk is more tear-resistant than nylon and four times more elastic than steel, is heat-stable up to 250° C, extremely waterproof and, on top of that, has antibacterial properties. These characteristics also make it attractive from the point of view of biomedical research. Initial studies conducted by Christine Radtke, new Professor for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital, have shown in an animal model that the threads have great potential for nerve and tissue repair.

Foodborne illness is often avoidable

Each year, Americans develop more than 50 million cases of foodborne illness. While some are caused by eating out, others originate in home kitchens. Still more result from contact with someone already infected.

Screen time linked to diabetes

Daily screen time of three or more hours is linked to several risk factors associated with the development of diabetes in children, according to a study by St George's, University of London.

Stroke survivors and their carers often have poor mental health

Recent research has shed light on how stroke impacts not only a person's physical health and well-being, but also their social and mental health. While this may not be surprising, the simultaneous decrease in mental health for their carers may be more unexpected.

New precision medicine approach could save patients grappling with life-threatening intestinal infections

For years, patients in hospitals and nursing homes have faced an elevated risk of infection and even death due to a bacterium known as Clostridium difficile. In 2015, the Centers for Disease Control reported nearly half a million Americans had suffered from this disease—29,000 of those cases resulted in death within a month of diagnosis.

Cancer cells put the brakes on immune system

In order for cancer cells to successfully spread and multiply, they must find a way to avoid the body's own immune system. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center have published an explanation for how this occurs with chronic lymphatic leukemia (CLL).

Manipulating a type of brain cell gets weight loss results in mice

A new study has found something remarkable: the activation of a particular type of immune cell in the brain can, on its own, lead to obesity in mice. This striking result provides the strongest demonstration yet that brain inflammation may be a cause, rather than a consequence, of obesity. It also provides promising leads for new anti-obesity therapies.

A molecule for proper neural wiring in the cerebellum

Researchers at Hokkaido University have found that the L-gutamate/L-aspartate transporter (GLAST) molecule plays an essential role in establishing and maintaining proper neural wiring of Purkinje cells in the cerebellum.

Regret helps children to make better decisions

Regret gets a bad press. It is a painful emotion experienced upon realising that a different decision would have led to a better outcome. And it is something that we strive to avoid. In sharp contrast, our recent research on children's decision making emphasises that the ability to experience regret is a developmental achievement associated with learning to make better choices. The results of this research suggest a different, more functional relationship between regret and decision making.

Death rate for depressed heart patients double than for non-depressed heart patients

People who are diagnosed with coronary artery disease and then develop depression face a risk of death that's twice as high as heart patients without depression, according to a major new study by researchers at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City.

Green tea ingredient may ameliorate memory impairment, brain insulin resistance, and obesity

A study published online in The FASEB Journal, involving mice, suggests that EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), the most abundant catechin and biologically active component in green tea, could alleviate high-fat and high-fructose (HFFD)-induced insulin resistance and cognitive impairment. Previous research pointed to the potential of EGCG to treat a variety of human diseases, yet until now, EGCG's impact on insulin resistance and cognitive deficits triggered in the brain by a Western diet remained unclear.

New surgical strategy offers hope for repairing spinal injuries

Scientists in the UK and Sweden previously developed a new surgical technique to reconnect sensory neurons to the spinal cord after traumatic spinal injuries. Now, they have gained new insight into how the technique works at a cellular level by recreating it in rats with implications for designing new therapies for injuries where the spinal cord itself is severed.

Study finds walnuts may promote health by changing gut bacteria

Research led by Lauri Byerley, PhD, RD, Research Associate Professor of Physiology at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, has found that walnuts in the diet change the makeup of bacteria in the gut, which suggests a new way walnuts may contribute to better health. The findings are published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry available online.

'Eye freckles' may predict sun-related problems

(HealthDay)—Dark spots that appear on the iris—the colored part of the eye—aren't cancerous, but these "eye freckles" could signify other issues related to excessive sun exposure, researchers say.

How savvy are you about nail care safety?

(HealthDay)—Before your next manicure or pedicure, give some thought to the safety of your nail care products.

Are you eating for the wrong reasons?

(HealthDay)—You don't have to have an eating disorder, like binge eating, to have an overeating habit.

Vision problems can harm kids' development, grades

(HealthDay)—Poor eyesight can make life harder for people at any age, but it can really take a toll on children's school performance and well-being, vision experts say.

Generic eye drops for seniors could save millions of dollars a year

(HealthDay)—Prescribing generic drugs for seniors' eye problems could save the U.S. government hundreds of millions of dollars a year, a new study suggests.

Variation in management for infants with GERD

(HealthDay)—For infants with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), there is considerable variation in diagnostic testing and surgical utilization, according to a study published online July 28 in Pediatrics.

Light therapy shows moderate benefits for cognitively impaired

(HealthDay)—For cognitively impaired individuals, light therapy has a moderate effect on behavioral disturbances (BDs) and depression, and a small effect on sleep quality, according to a meta-analysis published online July 22 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Retinyl propionate, climbazole improves photodamaged skin

(HealthDay)—Retinyl propionate and climbazole (RPC) is associated with clinical improvement in moderately photodamaged skin for women aged 40 to 70 years, according to a study published online July 22 in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science.

Gene expression may predict response to methotrexate in RA

(HealthDay)—For patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), increased baseline gene expression of p21, caspase 3, and runt-related transcription factor (RUNX)2 in the peripheral blood may be associated with improved clinical response to methotrexate (MTX), according to a study published online July 25 in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

Walnuts up insula activation to highly desirable food cues

(HealthDay)—Short-term walnut consumption is associated with reduced feelings of hunger and appetite and increased activation of the right insula, according to a study published online July 17 in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

Significantly higher serum melatonin in human myopes

(HealthDay)—Human myopes exhibit significantly higher serum melatonin (Mel) concentration than non-myopes, according to a study published online July 18 in Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics.

CRC screen up for older patients, those not in labor force

(HealthDay)—Factors associated with colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates at U.S. community health centers include age and insurance status, but not patient-provider communication, according to a study published online July 14 in Cancer.

Total, saturated fat linked to increased risk of lung cancer

(HealthDay)—High intake of total and saturated fat is associated with increased risk of lung cancer, according to research published online July 25 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

ACOG: Opioid agonist Rx first choice in affected pregnancies

(HealthDay)—While opioid agonist pharmacotherapy continues to be the recommended therapy for pregnant women with an opioid use disorder, medically supervised withdrawal can be considered under the care of a physician experienced in perinatal addiction treatment and with informed consent, according to a committee opinion published in the August issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Dulled taste may prompt more calories on path to obesity

Cornell University food scientists have found that people with a diminished ability to taste food choose sweeter - and likely higher-calorie - fare. This could put people on the path to gaining weight.

FDA to target addictive levels of nicotine in cigarettes

For the first time, the federal government is proposing cutting the nicotine level in cigarettes so they aren't so addictive.

Cannabis and goggles: the latest in concussion treatments and research

Bari Gold was never one for tutus. When she was 4, Roberta Gold gave in to her daughter's competitive spirit and enrolled her in a local soccer program. While the rest of the girls picked daisies on the field, Bari played fiercely against her opponents. She joined a travel team at 9 and worked her way through school and club teams as a center back.

Double-booked: When surgeons operate on two patients at once

The controversial practice has been standard in many teaching hospitals for decades, its safety and ethics largely unquestioned and its existence unknown to those most affected: people undergoing surgery.

Over-the-counter devices hold their own against costly hearing aids

Hearing aids that can cost more than $2,000 apiece are only slightly more effective than some over-the-counter sound-amplification devices that sell for just a few hundred dollars, according to a recent study.

Is it Alzheimer's or another dementia form? Why doctors need to distinguish

Alzheimer's disease now affects an estimated 5.5 million Americans, and after decades of feverish work, researchers have so far failed to find a treatment that halts or reverses the inexorable loss of memory, function and thinking ability that characterize this feared illness.

Orthostatic hypotension is more than feeling dizzy every now and then

Dear Mayo Clinic: What's the difference between feeling dizzy every now and then and orthostatic hypotension? How is it diagnosed, and can it be treated?

Two methods to de-identify large patient datasets greatly reduced risk of re-identification

Two de-identification methods, k-anonymization and adding a "fuzzy factor," significantly reduced the risk of re-identification of patients in a dataset of 5 million patient records from a large cervical cancer screening program in Norway.

Three US senators balk at health bill, putting reforms in peril

US Republican efforts to reform health care neared collapse Thursday as three senators threatened to oppose a partial repeal of Obamacare unless House leaders pledged to negotiate further—the latest in a series of setbacks.

Inadequate housing plays a large role in unnecessary hospitalizations

Homelessness and inadequate housing are major causes of unnecessary hospitalizations, according to a study by University of Hawai'i researchers.

Cancer of childhood in sub-Saharan Africa

Collated Childhood cancer statistics in sub Saharan Africa have been published for the first time as a monograph in the peer reviewed journal ecancermedicalscience, allowing researchers and policymakers a critical new insight into the impact of paediatric cancer across this region.

Dutch fund for women's sexual health tops $300 million

The Dutch government says a campaign to raise funds for access to birth control, abortion and women's sexual health programs in developing nations has so far raised more than 260 million euros ($305 million).

Phase 2 clinical trial for type 1 diabetes reaches halfway treatment point

The Sanford Project: T-Rex Study, a Phase 2 clinical trial conducted collaboratively by Sanford Health and Caladrius Biosciences, Inc., (Caladrius), has reached the halfway point for enrollment and treatment.

Terminally-ill British baby Charlie Gard dies

Charlie Gard, the terminally-ill British baby whose plight drew sympathy from Pope Francis and US President Donald Trump and sparked a debate about medical ethics, died on Friday, his mother said.

6 tips to keep you motivated for exercise

Exercise is good for your health. You probably have heard that before.

Court clears way for Arkansas abortion pill rules

An appeals court panel cleared the way Friday for Arkansas to restrict how the abortion pill is administered in the state, saying a judge didn't estimate how many women would be burdened by a 2015 law's requirement.

Biology news

Sleep or sex? How the fruit fly decides

Choosing between sex or sleep presents a behavioral quandary for many species, including the fruit fly. A multi-institution team has found that, in Drosophila at least, males and females deal with these competing imperatives in fundamentally different ways, they report July 28 in the journal Nature Communications.

Researchers discover how human cells maintain the correct number of chromosomes

Cell division is an essential process in humans, animals and plants as dying or injured cells are replenished throughout life. Cells divide at least a billion times in the average person, usually without any problem. However, when cell division goes wrong, it can lead to a range of diseases, such as cancer, and problems with fertility and development, including babies born with the wrong number of chromosomes as in Down's syndrome.

Protecting plants from the power of sunlight

It's 11pm. You don't feel good. Your palms are clammy, your mind is racing, and you just can't fall asleep. As a precaution, you measure your vitals. Blood pressure is 160/95, worryingly high. You take another measurement ten minutes later: still high.

Three species of tiny frogs discovered in Peruvian Andes

A University of Michigan ecologist and his colleagues have discovered three more frog species in the Peruvian Andes, raising to five the total number of new frog species the group has found in a remote protected forest since 2012.

Study highlights health consequences of selectively breeding German Shepherd Dogs

German Shepherd Dogs (GSDs) could be predisposed to health conditions such as arthritis because of the way they have been bred in recent decades, according to a new study published in the open access journal Canine Genetics and Epidemiology.

Aggressive spiders are quick at making accurate decisions, good at hunting unpredictable prey

Spiders, like humans and many other animals, have distinct personalities. Two studies by scientists from the National University of Singapore (NUS) unveiled interesting findings about the relationship between personality traits of spiders and their decision making, as well as hunting styles.

What marsupials taught us about embryo implantation could help women using IVF

What do a swollen sprained ankle and a new pregnancy have in common? Believe it or not, they're both closely tied to the body's inflammation response.

Ancient biology meets modern ingenuity

The average person might struggle to get excited about bacterium found in rabbit droppings – but it's potentially a knight in shining armour for our planet.

Using science to combat illegal wildlife trade

Leading scientists from around the world convened this week at the International Congress for Conservation Biology in Cartagena, Colombia, to discuss how to better leverage science to combat illegal wildlife trade—both within countries and across international borders.

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