Monday, July 24, 2017

Science X Newsletter Monday, Jul 24

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for July 24, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Researcher builds 'Game of Thrones' network model to predict character deaths

New Type Ia supernova discovered using gravitational lensing

Best of Last Week–Quantum particles move backwards, hyperloop hyperbole and artificial sweeteners linked to weight gain

Indian monsoons have strengthened over past 15 years, study shows

Scientists spy new evidence of water in the Moon's interior

Scientists capture first image of major brain receptor in action

Engineers invent the first bio-compatible, ion current battery

Bird songs provide insight into how developing brain forms memories

High-temperature superconductivity in B-doped Q-carbon

Elastic Leidenfrost effect enables soft engines

Creating the largest neutrino detectors in the world

UK to tighten rules on drones after near-misses with planes

Robot finds possible melted fuel inside Fukushima reactor

ASML lithography team turns corner in throughput spec of wafers per hour

Neuroticism may postpone death for some

Astronomy & Space news

New Type Ia supernova discovered using gravitational lensing

(—Using gravitational lensing, an international team of astronomers has detected a new Type Ia supernova. The newly discovered lensed supernova was found behind the galaxy cluster known as MOO J1014+0038. The findings were detailed in a paper published July 14 on the arXiv pre-print repository.

Scientists spy new evidence of water in the Moon's interior

A new study of satellite data finds that numerous volcanic deposits distributed across the surface of the Moon contain unusually high amounts of trapped water compared with surrounding terrains. The finding of water in these ancient deposits, which are believed to consist of glass beads formed by the explosive eruption of magma coming from the deep lunar interior, bolsters the idea that the lunar mantle is surprisingly water-rich.

Mapping dark matter

About eighty-five percent of the matter in the universe is in the form of dark matter, whose nature remains a mystery. The rest of the matter in the universe is of the kind found in atoms. Astronomers studying the evolution of galaxies in the universe find that dark matter exhibits gravity and, because it is so abundant, it dominates the formation of large-scale structures in the universe like clusters of galaxies. Dark matter is hard to observe directly, needless to say, and it shows no evidence of interacting with itself or other matter other than via gravity, but fortunately it can be traced by modeling sensitive observations of the distributions of galaxies across a range of scales.

Life evolves adaptions to microgravity

Life has found ways to overcome, and even thrive, in many extreme situations—from super saline pools to the high temperatures of hydrothermal vents. A new experiment has shown that the microgravity found in space is also an environment in which life can adapt.

Hunting molecules with the Murchison Widefield Array

Astronomers have used an Australian radio telescope to observe molecular signatures from stars, gas and dust in our galaxy, which could lead to the detection of complex molecules that are precursors to life.

Dark matter is likely 'cold,' not 'fuzzy,' scientists report after new simulations

Dark matter is the aptly named unseen material that makes up the bulk of matter in our universe. But what dark matter is made of is a matter of debate.

Saturn surprises as Cassini continues its grand finale

As NASA's Cassini spacecraft makes its unprecedented series of weekly dives between Saturn and its rings, scientists are finding—so far—that the planet's magnetic field has no discernable tilt. This surprising observation, which means the true length of Saturn's day is still unknown, is just one of several early insights from the final phase of Cassini's mission, known as the Grand Finale.

Image: Hubble's galaxy NGC 4242

Tucked away in the small northern constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs) is the galaxy NGC 4242, shown here as seen by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The galaxy lies some 30 million light-years from us. At this distance from Earth, actually not all that far on a cosmic scale, NGC 4242 is visible to anyone armed with even a basic telescope, as British astronomer William Herschel found when he discovered the galaxy in 1788.

Researchers studying how to sustain well-being during prolonged space flights

As humans prepare to venture deeper into outer space, including potential trips to Mars, researchers are hard at work trying to understand and mitigate the effects of low gravity and radiation on space travelers' bodies.

NASA recommends safety tips to view the August solar eclipse

More than 300 million people in the United States potentially could directly view the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse, and NASA wants everyone who will witness this celestial phenomenon to do so safely.

Eclipse science along the path of totality

Leading U.S. solar scientists today highlighted research activities that will take place across the country during next month's rare solar eclipse, advancing our knowledge of the Sun's complex and mysterious magnetic field and its effect on Earth's atmosphere.

Booze in space: how the universe is absolutely drowning in the hard stuff

A cold beer on a hot day or a whisky nightcap beside a coal fire. A well earned glass can loosen your thinking until you feel able to pierce the mysteries of life, death, love and identity. In moments like these, alcohol and the cosmic can seem intimately entwined.

Youngest Mars volcanoes could have supported life, researchers find

It may seem that Mars was once a much more exciting planet. True, there are dust storms and possible water-seeps occurring today, but billions of years ago it was a dramatic place with huge volcanoes, a giant canyon system and branching river valleys being formed.

NASA mission surfs through waves in space to understand space weather

The space surrounding our planet is full of restless charged particles and roiling electric and magnetic fields, which create waves around Earth. One type of wave, plasmaspheric hiss, is particularly important for removing charged particles from the Van Allen radiation belts, a seething coil of particles encircling Earth, which can interfere with satellites and telecommunications. A new study published in Journal of Geophysical Research using data from NASA's Van Allen Probes spacecraft has discovered that hiss is more complex than previously understood.

Technology news

Researcher builds 'Game of Thrones' network model to predict character deaths

(TechXplore)—"The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword," says Lord Eddard Stark, the head of House Stark, the Lord of Winterfell, Lord Paramount and Warden of the North, and Hand of the King to King Robert I Baratheon on HBO's Game of Thrones, on the subject of public execution. "If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die."

Engineers invent the first bio-compatible, ion current battery

Engineers at the University of Maryland have invented an entirely new kind of battery. It is bio-compatible because it produces the same kind of ion-based electrical energy used by humans and other living things.

UK to tighten rules on drones after near-misses with planes

British officials announced plans Saturday to further regulate drone use in a bid to prevent accidents and threats to commercial aviation.

Robot finds possible melted fuel inside Fukushima reactor

Lava-like rocks believed to be melted nuclear fuel have been spotted inside Japan's stricken Fukushima reactor by an underwater robot, the plant's operator said at the end of a three-day inspection.

ASML lithography team turns corner in throughput spec of wafers per hour

(Tech Xplore)—Last year, lithography held a major share of the semiconductor manufacturing equipment market than other equipment (WhaTech). "Lithography has progressed over the past few years because of extensive R&D in this field."

Target 'best connected neighbors' to stop spread of infection in developing countries

Our lives benefit from social networks: the contact and dialogue between family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. However these networks can also cost lives by transmitting infection or misinformation, particularly in developing nations.

Microsoft Paint brushed aside

Microsoft on Monday announced the end of days for its pioneering Paint application as it focuses on software for 3-D drawing.

InstantCAD allows manufacturers to simulate, optimize CAD designs in real-time

Almost every object we use is developed with computer-aided design (CAD). Ironically, while CAD programs are good for creating designs, using them is actually very difficult and time-consuming if you're trying to improve an existing design to make the most optimal product.

Gigabyte shows fanless single-board computer details

(Tech Xplore)—Gigabyte is a name to watch in motherboard and graphics card markets and this month is making news over its new GA-SBCAP3350. The company has added product details to its website.

China cashing out as mobile payment soars

Yang Qianqian holds out her smartphone to scan a barcode on the mobile of a vendor selling fresh fruit and vegetables at a bustling outdoor market in Beijing.

Russians march against state internet crackdown

Around 1,000 people marched through central Moscow on Sunday to protest against the government's harsh legislative controls on the internet.

Uber's airport service in Madrid under attack from town hall

The city of Madrid has asked Spain's anti-trust watchdog to investigate whether Uber's new airport transport service violates fair competition laws.

Philips profits plunge 32.9% in second quarter

Dutch electronics giant Philips Monday posted a 32.9 percent fall in second quarter profits, hit mainly by the costs of spinning off its lighting business last year.

Thai cops bust $3 million phone scam gang

A gang of 44 people from China and Taiwan have been arrested in Thailand for running an elaborate phone scam that conned $3 million from scores of victims, police said Monday.

Smart sensors could save lives

3-D-printed, disposable sensors capable of detecting noxious gases and changes in temperature and humidity, could revolutionize environmental monitoring.

Artificial intelligence holds great potential for both students and teachers – but only if used wisely

Artificial intelligence (AI) enables Siri to recognise your question, Google to correct your spelling, and tools such as Kinect to track you as you move around the room.

Will this Aussie robot be Amazon's 'pick' of the bunch?

It's the competition that could save billions in logistics - and QUT's custom-built robot may be the winning solution.

Multiplying the computing factor of algorithms on FPGA chips

Researchers at Linköping University have developed a method to increase by a factor of five the computing power of a standard algorithm performed by standard FPGA chips.

Academics on Google's payroll?

The Google Transparency Project, an arm of an organization called the Campaign for Accountability, released a study this month claiming that Google funneled money to hundreds of academic research projects related to antitrust, intellectual property and other legal policy issues important to the company's bottom line. Worse, the Google Transparency Project alleged that most of the resulting publications failed to disclose Google's financial stake in the research. Pitched as an expose of corporate corruption of the ivory tower, the story got immediate traction in national and international media outlets.

Google parent books $2.7B fine as European fight looms

Google parent Alphabet is taking a $2.7 billion write-down to cover a large fine EU antitrust enforcers assessed in June . While the search giant can shrug off the cost, uncertainty lingers over its ability to operate freely on the continent going forward.

Alphabet profit hit by EU fine on Google

Google parent Alphabet on Monday reported a quarterly profit of $3.5 billion, in a sharp decline from a year ago, with a massive fine by the European Commission biting into earnings.

Fact-checking site Snopes pleads for help to stay alive

Snopes, touted as the internet's oldest fact-checking website, said Monday it is in danger of shutting down due to a legal dispute with a digital services company hosting the site.

World's highest output density with power amplifier for W-band GaN transmitters

Fujitsu today announced the development of a gallium-nitride (GaN) high-electron mobility transistor (HEMT) power amplifier for use in W-band (75-110 GHz) transmissions. To realize long-distance, high-capacity wireless communications, a promising approach is to utilize the W-band and other high frequency bands that encompass a broad range of usable frequencies, and increase output with a transmission power amplifier. At the same time, demand exists for improved efficiency in power amplifiers in order to mitigate the increased power consumption of communication systems. Fujitsu has now succeeded in developing a power amplifier for use in W-band transmissions that offers both high output power and high efficiency, improving transistor performance through the reduction of electrical current leakage and internal GaN-HEMT resistance.

Swedish leader says security leak in 2015 was disaster

A security leak in Sweden in 2015 is causing reverberations in the Scandinavian country two years later with Prime Minister Stefan Lofven saying it was "a disaster," exposing the nation to harm.

German automakers' shares fall on diesel emissions concerns

The German auto industry's troubles over excessive diesel emissions are looming larger.

Medicine & Health news

Scientists capture first image of major brain receptor in action

Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers have captured the first three-dimensional snapshots of the AMPA-subtype glutamate receptor in action. The receptor, which regulates most electrical signaling in the brain, is involved in several important brain activities, including memory and learning.

Bird songs provide insight into how developing brain forms memories

Researchers at the University of Chicago have demonstrated, for the first time, that a key protein complex in the brain is linked to the ability of young animals to learn behavioral patterns from adults.

Neuroticism may postpone death for some

Data from a longitudinal study of over 500,000 people in the United Kingdom indicate that having higher levels of the personality trait neuroticism may reduce the risk of death for individuals who report being in fair or poor health. The research, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, further revealed that a specific aspect of neuroticism related to worry and feelings of vulnerability was associated with lower mortality, regardless of self-reported health.

Immune cells the missing ingredient in new bladder cancer treatment

New research offers a possible explanation for why a new type of cancer treatment hasn't been working as expected against bladder cancer.

Girl's HIV infection seems under control without AIDS drugs

A South African girl born with the AIDS virus has kept her infection suppressed for more than eight years after stopping anti-HIV medicines—more evidence that early treatment can occasionally cause a long remission that, if it lasts, would be a form of cure.

Meds by monthly injection might revolutionize HIV care (Update)

Getting a shot of medication to control HIV every month or two instead of having to take pills every day could transform the way the virus is kept at bay.

Study suggests link between autism, pain sensitivity

New research by a UT Dallas neuroscientist has established a link between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and pain sensitivity. 

Study suggests same gut bacteria can trigger different immune responses depending on environment

(Medical Xpress)—A group of researchers affiliated with several institutions in the U.S. has found that one type of gut bacteria triggers different kinds of immune responses depending on the state of the environment they are in. In their paper published in the journal Science Immunology, the team describes their study of the gut biome and the Helicobacter bacteria.

Higher cognitive abilities linked to greater risk of stereotyping

People with higher cognitive abilities are more likely to learn and apply social stereotypes, finds a new study. The results, stemming from a series of experiments, show that those with higher cognitive abilities also more easily unlearn stereotypes when presented with new information.

Illuminating neural pathways in the living brain

Using light alone, scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried are now able to reveal pairs or chains of functionally connected neurons under the microscope. The new optogenetic method, named Optobow, allows probing the pathways along which information flows by targeted activation of individual neurons and monitoring the responses of neighboring cells. The shape of the cells and their contact points are also revealed – even in dense tissue in which the thin fibers of thousands of cells are interwoven. With Optobow, it is thus possible to discover individual components of functional circuits in the living brain.

Researchers develop new method to generate human antibodies

An international team of scientists has developed a method to rapidly produce specific human antibodies in the laboratory. The technique, which will be described in a paper to be published July 24 in The Journal of Experimental Medicine, could speed the production of antibodies to treat a wide range of diseases and facilitate the development of new vaccines.

New therapeutic approach for difficult-to-treat subtype of ovarian cancer identified

A potential new therapeutic strategy for a difficult-to-treat form of ovarian cancer has been discovered by Wistar scientists. The findings were published online in Nature Cell Biology.

Research identifies new brain death pathway in Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's disease tragically ravages the brains, memories and ultimately, personalities of its victims. Now affecting 5 million Americans, Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., and a cure for Alzheimer's remains elusive, as the exact biological events that trigger it are still unknown.

Small drop in measles vaccinations would have outsized effect, study estimates

Small reductions in childhood measles vaccinations in the United States would produce disproportionately large increases in the number of measles cases and in related public health costs, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Baylor College of Medicine.

Researchers pave new path toward preventing obesity

People who experience unpredictable childhoods due to issues such as divorce, crime or frequent moves face a higher risk of becoming obese as adults, according to a new study by a Florida State University researcher.

Exposure to violence hinders short-term memory, cognitive control

Being exposed to and actively remembering violent episodes—even those that happened up to a decade before—hinders short-term memory and cognitive control, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Molecular hitchhiker on human protein signals tumors to self-destruct

Powerful molecules can hitch rides on a plentiful human protein and signal tumors to self-destruct, a team of Vanderbilt University engineers found.

Using money to buy time linked to increased happiness

New research is challenging the age-old adage that money can't buy happiness.

New map may lead to drug development for complex brain disorders, researcher says

Just as parents are not the root of all their children's problems, a single gene mutation can't be blamed for complex brain disorders like autism, according to a Keck School of Medicine of USC neuroscientist.

Research examines lung cell turnover as risk factor and target for treatment of influenza pneumonia

Influenza is a recurring global health threat that, according to the World Health Organization, is responsible for as many as 500,000 deaths every year, most due to influenza pneumonia, or viral pneumonia. Infection with influenza most typically results in lung manifestations limited to dry cough and fever, and understanding how the transition to pneumonia occurs could shed light on interventions that reduce mortality. Research led by University of Cincinnati (UC) scientists takes a different approach to investigating how influenza spreads through the lungs by focusing on how resistant or susceptible cells lining the airway are to viral infection.

Patients taking opioids prior to ACL surgery more likely to be on pain medications longer

More than 130,000 Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) surgeries take place each year with the majority of patients not requiring pain medication after three months post-operatively. However, researchers presenting their work at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Annual Meeting today in Toronto, Ontario, Canada found that those patients who were filling opioid prescriptions prior to surgery were 10 times more likely to be filling prescriptions five months after surgery.

S.Africa circumcision ritual: a dangerous route to manhood

Naked, covered in white clay mud, and with his penis wrapped in leaves, Abongile Maqegu, 20, sits in a hut in South Africa recovering from his circumcision—a traditional ritual that can prove fatal.

Headway on AIDS threatened by funding slowdown

Progress in beating back the AIDS epidemic risks being eroded by a funding shortfall set to grow under Donald Trump's proposed cuts to global health projects, experts and campaigners warned ahead of a major HIV conference.

Longer estrogen exposure may protect against depression

(HealthDay)—Women exposed to estrogen for longer periods of time during the reproductive years may have a lower risk of depression, according to a study published online July 17 in Menopause.

AMA module offers help for adding pharmacist to practice

(HealthDay)—A new American Medical Association (AMA) education module has been developed to help embed clinical pharmacists within a medical practice.

The scoop on avoiding 'brain freeze'

(HealthDay)—Gulping down a cold smoothie or giant scoop of ice cream sometimes leads to a fleeting severe headache known as "brain freeze."

Sports specialization may lead to more lower extremity injuries

Better education to coaches and parents about the effects of single sport specialization is critical, say researchers presenting their work today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada.

Sports success not necessarily related to specialization

Specializing in one sport early in a child's athletic career is often touted as a way to gain that elusive college scholarship or even go on to the pros. However, researchers presenting their work at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada today say "not so fast."

'Draconian' US funding cuts would cost lives: AIDS meeting

Leaders in the fight against HIV on Sunday urged the US government, the largest donor to global AIDS research and treatment, to reject "draconian" funding cuts proposed by President Donald Trump.

Tai chi may help prevent falls in older and at-risk adults

An analysis of published studies indicates that tai chi may help reduce the number of falls in both the older adult population and at-risk adults. The findings, which are published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, offer a simple and holistic way to prevent injuries.

Weight in adolescence may affect colorectal cancer risk

A new study has uncovered a link between being overweight or obese in adolescence and an increased risk of developing colon cancer in adulthood. Obesity was also associated with an elevated risk of developing rectal cancer. Published early online in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the findings come at a time of growing concern about the impact of adolescent overweight and obesity on chronic disease later in life.

Link between income inequality and physical activity for women, but not for men

A recent paper published in the Journal of Public Health finds that women from areas with high income inequality are less likely to meet overall physical activity recommendations than men from the same geographical area.

Stroke survivors without early complications at long-term risk of death, stroke

People who survive a stroke or a mini-stroke without early complications have an increased risk of death, another stroke or heart attack (myocardial infarction) for at least 5 years following the initial stroke, found a new study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

AAP counsels pediatricians to focus on clusters of cardiometabolic risk factors to help obese kids

Because obesity affects one in six U.S. children and adolescents, there is a pressing need to identify the subset of overweight or obese kids at the highest risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic complications and to direct interventions to them. Since frameworks used to identify adults at heightened risk for such complications are a poor fit for kids, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now recommends that pediatricians instead focus on clusters of cardiometabolic risk factors that are associated with obesity.

Women with HIV in Cameroon still stigmatised

Blandine, a 28-year-old mother of a baby girl, sits restlessly on a chair in a women's health centre in Cameroon's capital, not knowing how or what to feel as she waits for an HIV test.

US study of dapivirine ring in lactating women finds little drug gets into breast milk

The antiretroviral (ARV) drug dapivirine that is released from an experimental vaginal ring to protect against HIV is absorbed in very low concentrations into breastmilk, according to a U.S. study of the dapivirine ring among women who were no longer nursing their babies but still producing milk.

Musicians have high prevalence of eating disorders, study finds

They may live for the limelight and the call of their muse, but musicians may also be prone to eating disorders, according to new research.

New study targets lethal fungal infection

The development of new drugs to fight a common fungal pathogen which kills half a million people globally each year is a step closer thanks to a University of Queensland-led study.

More Australians dying of accidental overdose of pharmaceutical opioids

In a reversal of the heroin epidemic of the late 90s and early 2000s, older Australians aged 35 to 54 are now more likely to die from an opioid overdose, a new report reveals.

World-first ketamine trial shows promise for geriatric depression

Australian researchers have completed the world's first randomised control trial (RCT) assessing the efficacy and safety of ketamine as a treatment for depression in elderly patients.

Smokers who receive CT lung screening are more likely to quit

Smokers who undergo a CT scan of their lungs are more likely to quit than those who don't, concludes a trial led by Cardiff University.

Women now have clearer statistics on whether IVF is likely to work

Australian women considering IVF will now, for the first time, have a more meaningful idea of their chances of having a baby, whether it's their first or subsequent round of IVF.

Issues with maternal screening for congenital cytomegalovirus infection

Human cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common virus found worldwide. When CMV infects fetuses, it can cause serious complications such as hearing difficulties and mental retardation in affected infants. A group of researchers have evaluated for the first time the efficacy of maternal universal screening using CMV IgG avidity tests for congenital CMV infection, and they have also identified issues with the current maternal CMV screening methods.

Potential biomarker discovered to allow more precise classification of malignant brain tumours in children

After leukaemia, primary tumours of the brain and spinal cord are the second commonest cancers in childhood and adolescence. The presence of the enzyme telomerase characterises a particularly malignant subgroup of cerebellar ependymomas and, in addition to the known markers, could provide information that allows a more accurate prognosis and hence also choice of treatment. This was shown by a study conducted at MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital within the framework of the Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC) and in collaboration with the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg. The study has now been published in leading journal Nero-Oncology.

How the human body first fights off pathogens

People constantly encounter viruses, bacteria or parasites. Fortunately, our skin, the specialized lining of our guts and other parts of our body that are exposed to the outside world prevent them from entering. When a pathogen breaches this barrier, our body's defences come into play.

App lets patients work alone or with others to prevent, monitor, and reverse chronic disease

Lack of patient adherence to treatment plans is a lingering, costly problem in the United States. But MIT Media Lab spinout Twine Health is proving that regular interventions from a patient's community of supporters can greatly improve adherence, leading to improved health outcomes and savings.

Alcohol boosts recall of earlier learning

Drinking alcohol improves memory for information learned before the drinking episode began, new research suggests.

Chances to treat childhood dementia

Although dementia is most often seen in adults, childhood or adolescent dementia does occur. A team of researchers from the University of Würzburg believes that established therapeutic drugs might be effective against childhood dementia.

Study finds 275,000 calls to poison control centers for dietary supplement exposures from 2000 through 2012

U.S. Poison Control Centers receive a call every 24 minutes, on average, regarding dietary supplement exposures, according to a new study from the Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Central Ohio Poison Center, both at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Alcohol to claim 63,000 lives over next five years, experts warn

Alcohol consumption will cause 63,000 deaths in England over the next five years – the equivalent of 35 deaths a day – according to a new report from the University of Sheffield Alcohol Research Group.

Breast cancer patients can use antiperspirants during radiotherapy

Women undergoing daily radiation therapy for breast cancer are commonly told they should not use antiperspirant for fear that it could cause greater radiation damage to the skin, but a new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania shows that advice is not based on sound science. While they found that about eight out of every 10 patients reported their doctors told them not to use antiperspirants and roughly the same number of doctors say they routinely make that recommendation, their study also showed there was no difference in the radiation skin dose absorbed by these patients with or without these deodorants. They published their findings in Radiotherapy and Oncology this month.

Kidney disease risk score can be built into patients' electronic health records

More than 26 million Americans have chronic kidney disease (CKD). Primary care physicians who take care of these patients can help reduce the risk of complications and death if they recognize the progression of kidney failure early, but this is often difficult to do - deterioration can be rapid and more than one laboratory test may be needed to accurately predict a patient's risk. A new electronic health record (EHR) tool could help physicians quickly and accurately flag patients that should be referred to a nephrologist. Designed by Brigham and Women's Hospital investigators, this tool draws upon recent research that has identified several tests that can be used to calculate an individual's risk score.

Study finds 90 percent of American men overfat

Does your waist measure more than half your height?

Civil unrest after Freddie Gray's death harms health in Baltimore mothers

The April 2015 civil unrest associated with Freddie Gray's death while in police custody caused a significant spike of stress in mothers of young children living in affected neighborhoods, according to new research from the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM). The research, conducted before, during and after the period of civil unrest, found that the number of mothers with depressive symptoms increased from an average of 21% before the incident to an average of 31% during the acute period, spiking to 50% in August 2015. Mothers also reported concerns about disruptions in daily routines such as eating, sleeping and shopping, all of which can undermine maternal well-being and negatively affect parenting behaviors and subsequently, child development.

Psychologists say our 'attachment style' applies to social networks like Facebook

A new investigation appearing this week in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin suggests a strong association between a person's attachment style—how avoidant or anxious people are in their close relationships—and their perception and management of social networks like Facebook.

Swaziland halves world's highest HIV infection rate: report

Swaziland, which bears the world's heaviest HIV burden, has almost halved the rate of new infections in five years by boosting access to virus-suppressing drugs, researchers said Monday.

Experimental HIV vaccine regimen is well-tolerated, elicits immune responses

Results from an early-stage clinical trial called APPROACH show that an investigational HIV vaccine regimen was well-tolerated and generated immune responses against HIV in healthy adults. The APPROACH findings, as well as results expected in late 2017 from another early-stage clinical trial called TRAVERSE, will form the basis of the decision whether to move forward with a larger trial in southern Africa to evaluate vaccine safety and efficacy among women at risk of acquiring HIV.

Eye test could help diagnose autism

A new study out in European Journal of Neuroscience could herald a new tool that helps physicians identify a sub-group of people with Autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The test, which consists of measuring rapid eye movements, may indicate deficits in an area of the brain that plays an important role in emotional and social development.

'Strong for surgery' shows promise in reducing smoking rates for patients facing surgery

Cigarette smoking is one behavior that can lead to poor postoperative outcomes in spine operations, a very common procedure. However, smoking is one of the toughest habits to break.

Hospitals overwhelmed as Sri Lanka dengue toll nears 300

Sri Lanka announced Monday it was intensifying its war on dengue fever, with schools to shut across the island to help curb the unprecedented outbreak of the mosquito-borne virus that has claimed nearly 300 lives.

Obamacare led to gains for children, but gaps persist for Latino kids

New research shows that the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare) significantly improved the number of youth in the United States who had health insurance and received well-child visits. However, disparities in insurance coverage and access to care remain, as improvements for Latino youth weren't enough to narrow the significant gap between them and white and black children.

Does the affordable care act impact patient visits in the emergency department?

As the debate surrounding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) looms in the U.S. Congress, Johns Hopkins researchers are weighing in on one aspect of the law. In 2014, as part of the ACA, Maryland was one of the states that expanded eligibility for its Medicaid program. One of the proposed benefits of expanding Medicaid under the ACA was a reduction in emergency department patient visits. However, some research prior to the ACA implementation found new Medicaid enrollees increased their visits to the emergency department.

Candidate AIDS vaccine passes early test

The three-decade-old quest for an AIDS vaccine received a shot of hope Monday when developers announced that a prototype triggered the immune system in an early phase of human trials.

Can't get to the gym? Work out in your office

(HealthDay)—Making time for exercise during your workday can be difficult.

MYCN copy number tied to poor features in neuroblastoma

(HealthDay)—The rate of unfavorable features is increased in association with increasing MYCN copy number in patients with neuroblastoma, according to a study published online July 11 in Cancer.

Exercise training improves left ventricular function in T1DM

(HealthDay)—For adolescents with type 1 diabetes, a 20-week exercise training intervention is associated with improved aerobic capacity and stroke volume, according to a study published online July 18 in Diabetes Care.

Prevalence of vertebral fracture varies with assessment method

(HealthDay)—The prevalence of vertebral fracture varies for different methods of radiological assessment, according to a study published online July 18 in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

Lasting damage after monolateral acute primary angle closure

(HealthDay)—Significantly greater structural and functional damage occurs in eyes with monolateral acute primary angle closure (APAC) compared with fellow eyes, and more than half of fellow eyes develop chronic angle closure glaucoma (CACG), according to research published online July 19 in Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology.

Immunotherapy efficacy up with Gal-1/SIT co-administration

(HealthDay)—Galectin-1 (Gal-1), allergen-specific immunotherapy (SIT) co-administration may suppress allergic responses in the intestine more than use of SIT or Gal-1 alone, according to an experimental study published online July 18 in Allergy.

Depression among heart attack survivors can be deadly, yet is often ignored

Clyde Boyce has been hospitalized 14 times in the past four years.

Hot days can seriously affect seniors' health

"Is it hot enough for you?"

Can you be allergic to the sun?

Can you be allergic to the sun?

Research targets long-term brain deficits in cardiac arrest survivors

Research conducted by Jason Middleton, PhD, Assistant Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy, and Neuroscience at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, and colleagues may lead to a treatment to prevent long-term sensory problems by restoring normal brain function in survivors of cardiac arrest. The study, done in a rodent model and using modeling data, is published online in eNeuro, an open-access journal of the Society for Neuroscience.

Monitoring fluid intake may help improve outcomes for bariatric surgery patients

Nurses on the bariatric surgery care team at a Connecticut hospital were having difficulty keeping track of patients' fluid intake after hospital admission. To standardize this process, and to avoid patient readmission following bariatric surgery procedures, the team implemented a water intake improvement project to increase the amount of water these patients drank following their weight-loss operations. Study results were presented yesterday at the 2017 American College of Surgeons Quality and Safety Conference.

Too little vitamin D may hinder recovery of injured corneas

Injury or disease in combination with too little vitamin D can be bad for the window to your eyes.

Stress hormone linked to mood and hippocampus volume

Individual differences in the pattern of release of the hormone cortisol in response to a stressful experience reveal how stressed a person actually feels, suggests a study of healthy women published in The Journal of Neuroscience. This approach could help to better identify and treat individuals more susceptible to the negative feelings associated with the physiological stress response.

Anti-cancer chemotherapeutic agent inhibits glioblastoma growth and radiation resistance

Glioblastoma is a primary brain tumor with dismal survival rates, even after treatment with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. A small subpopulation of tumor cells—glioma stem cells—is responsible for glioblastoma's tumorigenesis, treatment resistance and subsequent tumor recurrence.

Scientists propose novel therapy to lessen risk of obesity-linked disease

With obesity related illnesses a global pandemic, researchers propose in the Journal of Clinical Investigation using a blood thinner to target molecular drivers of chronic metabolic inflammation in people eating high-fat diets to limit weight gain and disease.

Benefits of continued statin use after adverse reactions

Statins are known to reduce the risk of death and cardiovascular events for people who are at high risk; however, as many as 75 percent of patients discontinue statin therapy within two years, often after reporting an adverse reaction, such as muscle aches and pains or gastrointestinal symptoms. A new study by researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital explores outcomes for patients who continue receiving statins after experiencing an adverse reaction, finding that they had a lower risk of death and cardiovascular events. Among a subset of patients who continued taking a different statin, about 26 percent experienced a second adverse reaction, but the vast majority continued receiving the medication. The team reports its findings in a paper published July 25 in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Expert: Statin denial is an Internet-driven cult with deadly consequences

Steven E. Nissen, MD, researcher, patient advocate, and chairman of cardiovascular medicine at Cleveland Clinic, says that Internet propaganda promoting bizarre and unscientific criticisms of statins has given these life-saving drugs a bad reputation. As a result, statin adherence rates are extremely low, despite their well-documented morbidity and mortality benefits. Dr. Nissen's commentary is published in Annals of Internal Medicine in response to an article about continuing statin prescriptions after adverse reactions.

Study links sudden deaths in Bangladeshi children to chemicals sprayed on fruit trees

Excessive and improper applications of insecticides and other agriculture chemicals in local fruit orchards may have triggered an outbreak of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES), a condition often associated with deadly inflammation of the brain, that killed 13 children in a rural Bangladesh community in 2012, according to a new study published online today in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Dog walking could be key to ensuring activity in later life

A new study has shown that regularly walking a dog boosts levels of physical activity in older people, especially during the winter.

Raccoon roundworm—a hidden human parasite?

The raccoon that topples your trashcan and pillages your garden may leave more than just a mess. More likely than not, it also contaminates your yard with parasites—most notably, raccoon roundworms (Baylisascaris procyonis).

Working around spinal injuries: Rehabilitation, drug treatment lets rats recover some involuntary movement

A new study in rats shows that changes in the brain after spinal cord injury are necessary to restore at least some function to lower limbs. The work was published recently in the journal eLife.

Scientists gain clearer picture of how genes affect lean body mass

Scientists from the Institute for Aging Research (IFAR) at Hebrew SeniorLife (HSL), along with several other research institutions are making great strides in understanding the genetics behind lean body mass, which is largely made up of muscle mass. A new study, published in the journal Nature Communications, outlines their findings in what is the largest, most comprehensive genetic study of lean mass to date.

Reaching black men in barbershops could lead to early detection of colorectal cancer

Aging black men are at much greater risk of dying prematurely of colorectal cancer than any other group in the United States, and are less likely than their white counterparts to be diagnosed at an early stage of the disease. Now a new study finds that patients who enrolled for screening through patient navigator programs at local barbershops were twice as likely to get screened for colorectal cancer.

New vaccine production could improve flu shot accuracy

A new way of producing the seasonal flu vaccine could speed up the process and provide better protection against infection.

Genome editing with CRISPR-Cas9 prevents angiogenesis of the retina

A research team from the Schepens Eye Research Institute of Massachusetts Eye and Ear has successfully prevented mice from developing angiogenesis of the retina—the sensory tissue at the back of the eye—using gene-editing techniques with CRISPR-Cas9. Angiogenesis causes vision loss and blindness and is a feature of several degenerative eye conditions, including proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). In a report published online today in Nature Communications, the researchers present a novel gene-editing technique to prevent retinal angiogenesis, which could lead to the development of new therapies for eye conditions marked by pathological intraocular angiogenesis.

Videotaping sleepers raises CPAP use

(HealthDay)—A video may be worth a thousand words for someone with sleep apnea.

Does your child really have a food allergy?

(HealthDay)—Many people misunderstand what food allergies are, and even doctors can be confused about how to best diagnose them, suggests a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Patients with irreparable rotator cuff tears may have surgical option, new research shows

The arthroscopic superior capsule reconstruction (SCR) surgical technique can offer patients with irreparable rotator cuff repairs the opportunity to return to sports and jobs that require heavy physical work, as presented in research today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Annual Meeting in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

5 reasons why health care bill would fail, 3 why it may not

There are many reasons why the Senate will probably reject Republicans' crowning bill razing much of former President Barack Obama's health care law. There are fewer why Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell might revive it and avert a GOP humiliation.

ICRC says 600,000 Yemenis could contract cholera in 2017

More than 600,000 people are expected to contract cholera in Yemen this year, the International Committee of the Red Cross warned Sunday as the war-torn country's healthcare system faces collapse.

GOP health bill still a mystery before planned vote

The Senate will move forward with a key vote this week on a Republican health bill but it's not yet known whether the legislation will seek to replace President Barack Obama's health care law or simply repeal it.

Love your bones

Osteoporosis is one of the leading healthcare issues worldwide. Characterised by reduced bone tissue and changes in bone structure, osteoporosis increases fragility and risk of fractures in older adults. It is estimated about 22 per cent of women over 50 years of age will develop osteoporosis. So what can you do to reduce the risk of osteoporosis in your younger years?

Kaiser Permanente emergency department intervention for adult head trauma reduces CT use

Implementing a decision support tool for the use of computed tomography for adult head injuries resulted in reduced CT use and allowed for better identification of injuries, according to a new Kaiser Permanente study published today in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Risk score may help in the care of patients with suspected appendicitis

A new study indicates that a classification system based on patient symptoms and basic lab tests can reduce the need for diagnostic imaging, hospital admissions, and surgery in patients with suspected appendicitis.

Drug interaction concerns may affect HIV treatment adherence among transgender women

Transgender women—people whose birth certificates indicate or once indicated male sex but who identify as women—are at high risk of HIV acquisition, and thus are a key population for HIV prevention and treatment efforts. A new study by researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health and Gilead Sciences reveals that among transgender women in Los Angeles, more than half of those living with HIV were concerned that taking both antiretroviral therapy (ART) for the treatment of HIV and feminizing hormone therapy (HT) may be associated with harmful drug interactions, about which little is clinically understood. Many in the surveyed group cited these concerns as a reason for not taking anti-HIV medications, HT, or both as prescribed by a health care professional.

Charlie Gard parents drop legal fight, agree to let him die

The parents of Charlie Gard, whose battle to get their critically ill baby experimental treatment stirred international sympathy and controversy, dropped their legal effort Monday, saying tearfully that it was time to let their son die.

Mitsubishi Tanabe to buy Israel's NeuroDerm for $1.1 bn

Japan's Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma announced Monday a billion-dollar deal to buy an Israeli company that specialises in developing treatments for Parkinson's disease.

First evidence for American nurses credentialing center Pathway to Excellence program

In a new study, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing's Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research (CHOPR), and the Rutgers University School of Nursing examined the factors influencing the likelihood of missed nursing care in the home care setting. Their findings indicate that home care nurses with poor work environments are more likely to miss required care.

More than half of murdered U.S. women killed by partners, exes

(HealthDay)—Most women murdered in the United States die at the hands of a current or former intimate partner, according to research published in the July 21 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Mice feel others' pain—literally

Pain sensitivity associated with alcohol withdrawal may activate the same brain region in both drinking and non-drinking mice, finds a study published in eNeuro.

Red Cross chief visits besieged city on Yemen's front lines

The chief of the international Red Cross made a rare visit to the front lines in Yemen Monday, taking a dirt road to reach the besieged western city of Taiz, devastated by more than two years of fighting.

Health officials: Norovirus likely caused Chipotle illnesses

Health officials said that norovirus is believed to be what caused dozens of people to report becoming ill after eating at a Chipotle in suburban Washington, D.C., earlier this month.

Additional studies needed to evaluate CVD risks of hormone therapy for transgender patients

A new narrative review authored by Carl Streed Jr., MD, at Brigham and Women's Hospital, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, discusses how more research is needed to better understand cardiovascular disease (CVD) and CVD risk factors in transgender patients receiving long term cross-sex hormone therapy.

Enhanced recovery pathway for colorectal surgical patients improves outcomes, reduces cost

A protocol that standardizes care before, during, and after colorectal operations has reduced hospital stays by more than half, reduced complications by more than one-third, and cut costs up to $11,000 per procedure, according to study results presented yesterday at the American College of Surgeons (ACS) 2017 Quality and Patient Safety Conference.

After bunion surgery, immediate x-rays predict recurrence risk

For patients undergoing surgery to repair a bunion deformity of the foot, non-weight-bearing x rays taken immediately after surgery can provide a good estimate of the risk that the bunion will return over time, reports a study in the current issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Biology news

Boat-shaped membrane protein offers novel solution for working in the cell membrane

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have identified a novel structure that helps an enzyme solve a challenging biological problem by bobbing like a ship at the surface of the cell membrane. The finding offers a glimpse of how life works at the molecular level and a possible new target for antibiotics in the future.

Evolutionary biologists solve puzzle of evolutionary relationships among vertebrates

Using the largest and most informative molecular phylogenetic dataset ever analysed, evolutionary biologists were able to construct a new phylogenetic tree of jawed vertebrates. This new tree resolves several key relationships that have remained controversial, including the identification of lungfishes as the closest living relatives of land vertebrates. The evolution of jawed vertebrates is part of our own history since humans belong to the tetrapods more specifically we are mammals, or, even more specifically, primates. The study utilised a novel set of newly developed analyses for building and reconstructing, large-scale genomic datasets. In the future, this method might also be used to reconstruct the evolutionary relationships among other enigmatic groups of organisms that await resolution. The research was done as part of a large collaborative work between several laboratories, with evolutionary biologists Dr Iker Irisarri and Professor Axel Meyer from the University of Konstanz among the principal investigators.

Receptors for neuron communication in humans vital for reproduction in mosses

Glutamate receptors play a central role in the human nervous system. Scientists estimate 90 percent of the human brain's synapses, or connections between neurons, send signals using glutamate. The role of similar receptors in plants, which do not have a nervous system, is not fully understood.

Researchers find corn gene conferring resistance to multiple plant leaf diseases

Researchers at North Carolina State University have found a specific gene in corn that appears to be associated with resistance to two and possibly three different plant leaf diseases.

Fungi that evolved to eat wood offer new biomass conversion tool

Twenty years ago, microbiologist Barry Goodell, now a professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and colleagues discovered a unique system that some microorganisms use to digest and recycle wood. Three orders of "brown rot fungi" have now been identified that can break down biomass, but details of the mechanism were not known.

Research showing how nematodes use smell to select new insect hosts could improve biological control of crop pests

Tiny eel-like creatures called nematodes are surrounding us. While they can be free-living (a cup of soil or seawater contains thousands), the most well-known nematodes are the parasitic kind that wreak havoc in people, animals and plants.

Algae cultivation technique could advance biofuels

Washington State University researchers have developed a way to grow algae more efficiently—in days instead of weeks—and make the algae more viable for several industries, including biofuels.

How fear alone can cause animal extinction

Researchers have discovered that the fear of predators causes flies to spend less time eating, more time being vigilant, have less sex, and produce fewer offspring. 

Newly discovered Nevada toad species already under threat

Nevada's new toad species is already on the brink of extinction.

Rhino poaching dips slightly in South Africa

The number of rhinos killed for their horns by poachers in South Africa dipped slightly in the first half of this year, but more than 500 were still slaughtered, the government announced Monday.

Healthy sharks sustain healthy oceans

A team from The University of Western Australia has completed a four month research expedition looking for signs of healthy coral reefs in the remote Kimberley. They observed an unexpectedly high number of sharks in the region, suggesting sharks play a key role in regulating the health of coral reefs.

Three new 'club-tailed' scorpions join the tree of life

A team of researchers—including Dr. Lauren Esposito, Curator of Arachnology at the California Academy of Sciences and colleagues the American Museum of Natural History and Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil)—have painstakingly revised a large group of Neotropical "club-tailed" scorpions. After sifting through DNA and comparing the physical traits of hundreds of specimens to reorganize (and strengthen) scientific understanding of this scorpion group, the scientists described three two new genera and new species. The authors also restored a long-forgotten group called Heteroctenus. The colorful, new-to-science club-tailed scorpions hail from the tropical regions of North, Central, and South America. The results appear this summer in the Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History.

Nutritional value of soybean meal varies among sources from different countries

Research from the University of Illinois is helping swine producers know what they're getting when they buy soybean meal from different countries. Genetic differences among varieties of soybeans, as well as differences in growing conditions and processing, may affect the nutritional value of soybean meal produced in different places.

Fishing crew catches 926-pound shark off New Jersey coast

A fishing crew has reeled in a 926-pound Mako shark, and New Jersey officials say it's the biggest shark catch in the state's history.

Greatest threat to eastern forest birds is habitat loss on wintering grounds

Within the next few decades, human-caused habitat loss looms as the greatest threat to some North American breeding birds. The problem will be most severe on their wintering grounds, according to a new study published today in the journal Global Change Biology. By the end of this century, the study's authors say predicted changes in rainfall and temperature will compound the problem for birds that breed in eastern North America and winter in Central America. 

Sri Lanka navy rescues two elephants washed out to sea

Two young elephants washed out to sea were saved from drowning Sunday by the Sri Lankan navy in the second such incident off the island in as many weeks.

Shaping up against pathogens

Plants can reprogram their genetic material to mount a defensive response against pathogens, which may have applications for agriculture.

Hugs, drugs and choices—helping traumatised animals

Rosie, like a real-life Babe, ran away from an organic piggery when she was only a few days old. She was found wandering in a car park, highly agitated, by a family who took her home and made her their live-in pet. However, after three months they could no longer keep her.

South Africa moves ahead on domestic trade in rhino horn

South Africa said Monday it is moving ahead with draft regulations for a domestic trade in rhino horn, despite critics' concerns that a legal market will spur rhino poaching.

CHESS imaging reveals how copper affects plant fertility

For the first time, Cornell University researchers are using imaging capabilities at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) to explore how copper affects plant fertility. The work could provide key insights into how plants can be bred for better performance in marginal soils.

This email is a free service of Science X Network
You received this email because you subscribed to our list.
If you no longer want to receive this email use the link below to unsubscribe.
You are subscribed as


No comments: