Thursday, July 13, 2017

Science X Newsletter Thursday, Jul 13

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for July 13, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Micromotors are powered by bacteria, controlled by light

Juno spacecraft spots Jupiter's Great Red Spot

New way to see artery damage before heart disease sets in

Re-creating old weapons for new discoveries of human history

Scientists develop imaging method for measuring glutathione in real time

Study reveals interplay of an African bat, a parasite and a virus

Mountain gorillas have herpes virus similar to that found in humans

Researchers develop dynamic templates critical to printable electronics technology

Surging heat may limit aircraft takeoffs globally

Researchers revolutionize vital conservation tool with use of gold nanotechnology and lasers (Update)

New imaging technique able to watch molecular dynamics of neurodegenerative diseases

Hyperloop One team celebrates Nevada desert track test

Scientists capture first high-resolution image of key HIV protein transitional state

New evidence in support of the Planet Nine hypothesis

Smart atomic cloud solves Heisenberg's observation problem

Astronomy & Space news

Juno spacecraft spots Jupiter's Great Red Spot

Images of Jupiter's Great Red Spot reveal a tangle of dark, veinous clouds weaving their way through a massive crimson oval. The JunoCam imager aboard NASA's Juno mission snapped pics of the most iconic feature of the solar system's largest planetary inhabitant during its Monday (July 10) flyby. The images of the Great Red Spot were downlinked from the spacecraft's memory on Tuesday and placed on the mission's JunoCam website Wednesday morning.

New evidence in support of the Planet Nine hypothesis

Last year, astronomers announced the existence of an unknown planet in our solar system. However, this hypothesis was subsequently called into question as biases in the observational data were detected. Now, Spanish astronomers have used a novel technique to analyse the orbits of the so-called extreme trans-Neptunian objects and, once again, they report that there is something perturbing them—a planet located at a distance between 300 to 400 times the Earth-sun distance.

Chandra peers into a nurturing cloud

In the context of space, the term 'cloud' can mean something rather different from the fluffy white collections of water in the sky or a way to store data or process information. Giant molecular clouds are vast cosmic objects, composed primarily of hydrogen molecules and helium atoms, where new stars and planets are born. These clouds can contain more mass than a million suns, and stretch across hundreds of light years.

Moon Express reveals plans for private exploration of the moon

(Phys.org)—Private company Moon Express has announced via its website its plans for exploring the moon—plans that include sending three craft to the moon over the next three years. Officials with the company have also been speaking with the press regarding their ambitions.

More to life than the habitable zone

Two separate teams of scientists have identified major challenges for the development of life in what has recently become one of the most famous exoplanet systems, TRAPPIST-1.

A university in Oregon will use balloons to track eclipse

Portland State University in Oregon will launch four high-altitude balloons equipped with GPS tracking systems and 360-degree video cameras during the upcoming solar eclipse.

Image: Robot meets its masters

Seen at ESA's technical centre in the Netherlands, BepiColombo has completed its final tests in launch configuration, the last time it will be stacked like this before being reassembled at the launch site next year to begin its mission to Mercury.

In space, this is the age of reusability

Big plans are being made in space.

Tributes to wetter times on Mars

A dried-out river valley with numerous tributaries is seen in this recent view of the Red Planet captured by ESA's Mars Express.

Moon dust collected by Neil Armstrong to be auctioned in NY

Moon dust that Neil Armstrong collected during the first lunar landing was displayed Thursday at a New York auction house—a symbol of America's glory days in space now valued at $2 million to $4 million.

Image: Desktop CubeSat test

A standard satellite needs extensive test facilities to put it through its paces, but a laboratory desktop has been used to simulate this ESA CubeSat's post-deployment activation.

Technology news

Hyperloop One team celebrates Nevada desert track test

(Tech Xplore)—Hyperloop One has accomplished a full systems test and it has reported that the test was successful.

Startup's stress sensor tracks users' unconscious responses to products and experiences

Humans experience a range of emotions in response to products and experiences on a daily basis. Shoppers may get excited for certain brands and then overwhelmed by choices. Audience members may oscillate between apathy and engagement during performances. Children can become frustrated, bored, or entertained while learning a new subject.

Flying cars and no more pilots in flight revolution: Airbus

Pilotless aircraft, flying electric vehicles and bespoke air cabins are the future of flight, Airbus said Thursday.

Research makes robots better at following spoken instructions

A new system based on research by Brown University computer scientists makes robots better at following spoken instructions, no matter how abstract or specific those instructions may be. The development, which was presented this week at the Robotics: Science and Systems 2017 conference in Boston, is a step toward robots that are able to more seamlessly communicate with human collaborators.

Windows Phone 8 fades out as Microsoft mulls mobile strategy

Microsoft has ended support for its Windows 8 smartphones, as the US tech giant focuses on other segments, amid ongoing speculation about its strategy for mobile.

ISPs surprise net neutrality fans on protest day

AT&T has a surprise for tech firms and internet activists supporting net neutrality, the principle that bars internet service providers from playing favorites with websites and apps.

Nevada DMV nabs criminal with facial recognition technology

A man who fled federal custody more than 25 years ago couldn't escape new-age crime fighting, thanks to facial recognition technology.

Security lapse leaks data from millions of Verizon customers

A security researcher says a lapse has exposed data from millions of Verizon customers, leaking names, addresses and personal identification numbers, or PINs.

French court annuls Google's $1.27 billion back tax bill

A French court annulled a 1.1 billion-euro ($1.27 billion) tax adjustment imposed on Google by France's tax authorities, saying Wednesday that the way the California firm operates in France allows it to be exempt from most taxes.

Personal computer market continues to slump

Worldwide shipments of personal computers continued to slump in the recently ended quarter but showed signs of stabilizing, according to figures released Wednesday by market trackers.

Daimler manipulated emissions in one million cars: report

German luxury automaker Daimler manipulated the engines of around one million diesel vehicles to make them appear less polluting, local media reported Thursday, raising echoes of competitor Volkswagen's 'dieselgate' scandal.

eSports league announces franchises for 'Overwatch' competition

A league being formed for local-based eSports—competitive video gaming as a spectator event—has awarded seven franchises aimed at fueling the fires of fans with city-based teams.

Apple unveils iCloud data centre in China as cyber laws tightened

Apple has unveiled plans to build a data centre in China to store its local iCloud customers' personal details, marking the first such move by a foreign technology firm following the imposition of strict new cyber-security laws in the country.

More driving on city streets, less on country roads

Despite a plethora of alternative transportation modes—buses, trains, bicycles—city dwellers are driving more miles than ever, say University of Michigan researchers.

Researcher studies cross-laminated timber as seismic retrofit tool

Safer historic buildings and more jobs for the timber industry are the goals of a partnership between an Oregon State University structural engineering researcher and a newly formed nonprofit group in Corvallis, Oregon.

Uber cedes control in Russian market with Yandex tie-up

Uber is ceding control of the Russian market by agreeing to merge its ride-hailing business in the country with Yandex, the Russian search-engine leader that also runs a popular taxi-booking app.

The next step in sustainable design—bringing the weather indoors

A building's primary purpose may be to keep the weather out, but most do such an effective job of this that they also inadvertently deprive us of contact with two key requirements for our well-being and effectiveness: nature and change.

Optimizing hydrogen-powered passenger ferries

Maritime transportation has emerged as one solution to the traffic gridlock that plagues coastal cities. But with urban passenger ferries operating in sensitive environments and tourist areas, hydrogen fuel cell-powered passenger ferries offer a quiet, zero-emission alternative to conventional diesel vessels.

New suit can enhance athletes' performance with data

When it comes to professional athletics, every little bit counts, and for centuries, athletes have been doing everything they can to get ahead. From legal means like hiring the best trainers and purchasing the best equipment, to less legal means like pharmaceutical enhancement, athletic advantages come in all forms. But thanks to CMU-SV Professor Pei Zhang, the modern athlete now has access to the newest advancement in performance enhancing technology: data.

The end of sneakernet?

Not everyone marvels at the speed of the internet.

India's TCS profits fall by 6 percent

India's largest IT services firm Tata Consultancy Services reported a nearly 6 percent fall in quarterly earnings Thursday owing to a strengthening rupee, the company said.

Server outage at Brazil foreign ministry after rogue emails

Two employees of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry say the agency briefly suffered an unspecified computer outage after a flurry of suspicious emails.

Medicine & Health news

New way to see artery damage before heart disease sets in

Researchers have developed a new way to non-invasively peer into a person's arteries, detect inflammation, and possibly ward off heart disease before it becomes too severe to treat, a study said Wednesday.

Scientists develop imaging method for measuring glutathione in real time

Glutathione is the most abundant natural antioxidant in cells. It protects them from damage and regulates a number of important functions, including cell proliferation and death, the synthesis of the genetic material and proteins and the activation of gene expression. These functions are regulated by changes in the concentration of glutathione, but the current methods do not allow for real-time measurements of glutathione levels inside cells. Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital and Rice University have moved the field of glutathione research a step forward by developing a fluorescent probe - they called it RealThiol - that can measure real-time changes of glutathione concentration in living cells. Published in Nature Communications, this study offers a new tool to investigate the roles glutathione plays in aging, health and diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, cardiovascular conditions and diabetes, among others.

Mountain gorillas have herpes virus similar to that found in humans

Scientists from the University of California, Davis, have detected a herpes virus in wild mountain gorillas that is very similar to the Epstein-Barr virus in humans, according to a study published today in the journal Scientific Reports.

Scientists capture first high-resolution image of key HIV protein transitional state

A new, three-dimensional snapshot of HIV demonstrates the radical structural transformations that enable the virus to recognize and infect host cells, according to a new study led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI).

How neurons sense our everyday life

Researchers from King's College London have discovered a molecular mechanism that enables neuronal connections to change through experience, thus fuelling learning and memory formation. The findings are published in the journal Neuron and have the potential to reveal new therapeutic strategies for neurological and psychiatric disorders.

After 'freezing' in fear, what part of the brain helps make fish swim again?

The brain is the body's mission control center, sending messages to the other organs about how to respond to various external and internal stimuli. Located in the forebrain, the habenular region is one such message-conducting system. Two new papers from Carnegie scientists explain how the habenulae develop and their unsuspected role in recovering from fear.

Vaccines protect fetuses from Zika infection, mouse study shows

Zika virus causes a mild, flu-like illness in most people, but to pregnant women the dangers are potentially much worse. The virus can reduce fetal growth, cause microcephaly, an abnormally small head associated with brain damage, and even trigger a miscarriage.

Artificial intelligence helps build brain atlas of fly behavior

A smart computer program named JAABA has helped scientists create a brain-wide atlas of fruit fly behavior.

Using fMRI and multivoxel pattern analysis reveals independent brain activation patterns in bilingual people

(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers from China and the U.S. has found independent brain activation patterns in bilingual people when they switch between languages. In their paper published on the open access site Science Advances, the group explains how they used a two-pronged approach to learn more about how the brain allows people to speak in more than one language.

Researchers discover indicator of lung transplant rejection

Research by scientists at Dignity Health St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center's Norton Thoracic Institute was published in the July 12, 2017 issue of Science Translational Medicine titled "Zbtb7a induction in alveolar macrophages is implicated in anti-HLA-mediated lung allograft rejection."

Tiny cellular antennae key to fat formation in muscle

Like it or not, as we age, our muscle cells are slowly exchanged, one by one, for fat cells. This process quickens when we injure a muscle, and an extreme form of this process is also seen in muscle-wasting diseases such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Now, scientists at UC San Francisco have shown that cellular antennae called cilia, found on fat-forming cells interspersed in muscle, play a key role in this muscle-to-fat transformation.

Ga-ga, goo-goo, why a baby likes you

By the age of one, infants already prefer speakers of their native tongue, but do not necessarily view speakers of an unfamiliar language negatively, according to new UBC research. The findings suggest that, while positivity toward familiar groups may be innate, dislike for unfamiliar groups appears to be a learned behaviour.

Newly discovered elovanoids called a 'transformative new concept of biology'

Research led by Nicolas Bazan, MD, PhD, Boyd Professor and Director of the Neuroscience Center of Excellence at LSU Health New Orleans, has discovered a new class of mediators, or biochemical triggers that he named elovanoids (ELVs). Elovanoids are the first bioactive chemical messengers made from omega-3 very long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (VLC-PUFAs,n-3) that are released in response to cell injury or when cells are confronted with adversities for survival. This discovery provides the first evidence of the existence of elovanoids and of their significant role in protecting and sustaining retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) and photoreceptor cell survival. The work is published online in Nature Research's Scientific Reports.

Cancer cells force normal cells to mimic viruses to help tumors spread, resist treatment

In a study that could explain why some breast cancers are more aggressive than others, researchers say they now understand how cancer cells force normal cells to act like viruses - allowing tumors to grow, resist treatment, and spread. The virus mimic is detected in the blood of cancer patients, particularly in cases of an aggressive type known as triple-negative breast cancer. Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania say cracking the code of how this process works opens up the possibility of targeting this mechanism for treatment. They published their findings today in Cell.

Diet rich in tomatoes cuts skin cancer in half in mice

Daily tomato consumption appeared to cut the development of skin cancer tumors by half in a mouse study at The Ohio State University.

Study links maternal obesity during pregnancy to behavioral problems in boys

Maternal obesity and child neurodevelopmental problems have both increased in the U.S. and scientists have suggested a possible link. A new study has found that the heavier mothers were when they entered pregnancy, the higher the risk of behavior problems for their sons. However, it did not show the same effects in girls. The results are reported in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

ADHD medication tied to lower risk for alcohol, drug abuse in teens and adults

The use of medication to treat attention deficient hyperactivity disorder is linked to significantly lower risk for substance use problems in adolescents and adults with ADHD, according to a study led by researchers at Indiana University.

Experts call for a ban on children rugby tackling

In light of the British Lion's rugby success, Newcastle University experts warn steps need to be taken to ensure children's safety when they play the sport.

Should we screen for cirrhosis?

Recent guidelines are right to recommend screening high risk patients for cirrhosis, say liver specialists Mark Hudson at Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, and Nick Sheron at Southampton General Hospital.

WHO decision to downgrade Tamiflu 'comes far too late' argues expert

In an editorial published today, Mark Ebell, Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Georgia, outlines important lessons from the Tamiflu story.

Machine-learning techniques unlock benefit of weight loss for type 2 diabetes patients

Losing weight reduces the risk of long-term cardiovascular illness and mortality for the majority of patients with type 2 diabetes, but for a small subgroup, weight-loss intervention can lead to dramatically worse outcomes, according to new research published today in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Genetically enhanced, cord-blood derived immune cells strike B-cell cancers

Immune cells with a general knack for recognizing and killing many types of infected or abnormal cells also can be engineered to hunt down cells with specific targets on them to treat cancer, researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center report in the journal Leukemia.

DNA links deadly germs, tainted heart surgery devices to German factory

Contamination at a German factory that makes crucial machines used during open-heart surgery is the likely source of a global outbreak of deadly infections tied to the devices, the largest analysis to date shows.

Scientists stumble across new method of making antibiotics

Cancer researchers in the UK may have stumbled across a solution to reverse antibiotic drug resistance and stop infections like MRSA.

Electrical stimulation of brain may help people with schizophrenia learn to communicate better

UCLA researchers have found that people with schizophrenia were able to more accurately determine whether two auditory tones matched or differed, after receiving a type of electrical brain stimulation. Being able to distinguish tones is essential for verbal communication.

Care for chronically ill children may suffer when parents and doctors are at odds

Holly remembers the day doctors diagnosed her son with cerebral palsy and told her he would need life-long care.

New toolkit designed to help those who help trauma victims

Firefighters, emergency responders, and other victim service professionals dedicate their lives to caring for others. But in order to do that effectively, they must also care for themselves.

Root of cardiac fibrosis defined

Northwestern Medicine scientists have identified a novel molecular mechanism that regulates scar formation in the heart, a common manifestation of aging and nearly every form of heart disease. The discovery was published in the journal Circulation.

Study shows many parents in the dark about concussions

Despite the large volume of information about sports related concussions on the Internet, many parents and guardians of young athletes have a limited understanding of concussions, according to a study co-authored by a faculty member of UTA's College of Nursing and Health Innovation.

Study identifies source of cell-specific change in Alzheimer's disease

Researchers led by Arizona State University (ASU) and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) have identified altered expression of a gene called ANK1, which only recently has been associated with memory robbing Alzheimer's disease, in specific cells in the brain.

Researchers investigate possible link between carnitine deficiency and autism

Researchers are always looking for new clues to the causes of autism, with special emphasis on prevention or treatment. At Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Arthur Beaudet has been following clinical and genetic clues in patients with autism spectrum disorder and experimental results in animal models that have led him to propose that the lack of carnitine, a nutrient needed for the normal development and workings of the brain, the liver, the heart and other muscles, might be involved in triggering mild forms of autism.

Testing a soft artificial heart

ETH researchers from the Functional Materials Laboratory have developed a silicone heart that beats almost like a human heart. In collaboration with colleagues from the Product Development Group Zurich, they have tested how well it works.

Stroke recovery window may be wider than we think

Stroke survivors may experience delayed recovery of limb function up to decades after injury, according to a new case study. The article, published ahead of print in the Journal of Neurophysiology, was chosen as an APSselect article for July.

Registry identifies early onset of heart failure and lack of defibrillators in Asia

For the first time this year a late breaking clinical trials session will be held at the Asian Pacific Society of Cardiology (APSC) Congress to highlight world-class research coming out of the region.

Is 'ovarian tissue freezing' superior to egg freezing?

Many women are turning to egg freezing to promote fertility, but what happens when it isn't an option because of special medical or other conditions? And, what option is there for women who want to preserve hormonal function, not just fertility? Ovarian tissue freezing, an outpatient procedure which removes and freezes ovarian tissue for later use, can deliver these outcomes but has been considered experimental until now. According to a new study, nearly four out of 10 (37.7%) women who undergo the procedure are able to have children later in life as a result. This study is out today in Reproductive Sciences.

A simple breath test could be the next step in diagnosing breast cancer

The USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center is recruiting people for a clinical trial that will research the effectiveness of a breath test for breast cancer diagnostics. The BreathLink device captures a two-minute sample of a patient's breath and provides prompt results on whether there are indications of breast cancer. If proven effective, the test would be used with mammograms to rule out false-positive tests, sparing patients the pain, cost and anxiety of unnecessary biopsies.

A new Alzheimer's disease study examines how cognitive and physical activity can help brains stay healthy

It can start slowly and with slight changes.

Diabetes sparks a rise in neuropathy

Autonomic and small fiber neuropathy used to be considered rare conditions. But with approximately 30 million Americans affected by diabetes—one of the main underlying causes for these diseases—it's an emerging problem.

Women exposed to smoke while in womb more likely to miscarry

Women exposed to cigarette smoke while in their mothers' wombs are more likely to experience miscarriage as adults, according to new research from the University of Aberdeen.

Suicide in children and young people linked to bereavement, new report finds

Children and young people who die by suicide have often experienced the death of a family member or friend, in some cases also by suicide, according to a new report by The University of Manchester's National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness (NCISH).

Firearm-safety class rates in US little changed in 20 years

Only about three in five U.S. firearm owners have received any formal gun training, according to a new study from the University of Washington.

Elderly yoginis have greater cortical thickness

Scientists in Brazil have imaged elderly female yoga practitioners' brains and found they have greater cortical thickness in the left prefrontal cortex, in brain areas associated with cognitive functions like attention and memory. The results suggest that yoga could be a way to protect against cognitive decline in old age.

Medical researchers propose new disease category of skin disorders

Dry scaly skin, blistering, rashes. Many people will experience some kind of skin problem at some time in their life, if only briefly. However, some individuals are severely affected by chronic skin problems throughout their lives. Most sufferers of any kind of skin problem will agree that the timing and triggers of skin flare-ups are somewhat mysterious. Medical science has only recently begun to separate the environmental and genetic factors behind these conditions.

New data network for Huntington's disease research

Huntington's disease is an hereditary disorder of the nervous system caused by a faulty gene on chromosome four. The faulty gene leads to cell death in neurons in the brain resulting in gradual physical, mental and emotional changes, and ultimately death. Those born to a parent with Huntington's disease have a 50:50 chance of developing it, and there is currently no cure.

Increased parental anxiety with increased diabetes risk

(HealthDay)—Parents of children at increased genetic risk for type 1 diabetes and with positive islet autoantibody (IA) testing have increased anxiety, according to a study published online June 29 in Diabetes Care.

More than 1 in 3 with Behcet's has bacterial overgrowth

(HealthDay)—About one-third of patients with inactive intestinal Beh├žet's disease (BD) have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), and rifaximin is associated with symptom improvement, according to a study published online June 30 in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Review: Little evidence on vitamin D-allergy association

(HealthDay)—Vitamin D supplementation seems not to prevent allergies in pregnant women, breastfeeding women, or infants, though there is very little evidence about the association between vitamin D and allergic diseases, according to a review published online July 4 in Allergy.

Clinical decision rules accurately ID rhinosinusitis

(HealthDay)—Clinical decision rules can be used to diagnose acute rhinosinusitis and acute bacterial rhinosinusitis, according to a study published in the July/August issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Education can boost knowledge, cut anxiety in glaucoma

(HealthDay)—For newly diagnosed glaucoma patients, a patient-centered glaucoma-related educational intervention can improve knowledge and reduce anxiety, according to a study published online July 9 in Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology.

Rivaroxaban OK for stroke prevention in cancer patients

(HealthDay)—The safety and efficacy of rivaroxaban treatment for nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AF) in patients with active cancer is similar to the general population, according to a study published in the July 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Vitamin D deficiency linked to alopecia areata severity

(HealthDay)—For pediatric patients with alopecia areata (AA), vitamin D is negatively correlated with disease severity, number of patches, and disease duration, according to a study published online recently in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.

Chest CT is increasingly being used in COPD assessment

(HealthDay)—Chest computed tomography (CT) is increasingly being used, and can provide additional insight, in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to research published online June 29 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Mortality up with impaired LV global longitudinal strain in CKD

(HealthDay)—Severely impaired left ventricular (LV) global longitudinal strain (GLS) is associated with worse prognosis in predialysis and dialysis patients, according to a study published in the Aug. 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

Could calcium hold the key to fighting a dangerous hospital infection?

It lurks in hospitals and nursing homes, surviving the cleaning crew's attempt to kill it by holing up in a tiny hard shell. It preys upon patients already weak from disease or advanced age.

Bacterium actively drives colorectal cancer tumor cell growth

A subspecies of the bacterium Streptococcus gallolyticus appears to actively promote the development of colorectal cancer, according to new research published in PLOS Pathogens.

Study tracks leishmaniasis in dogs, wild animals and sand flies in Brazil

In the past, leishmaniasis—a parasitic infection that can be fatal in humans—has been confined to rural areas of the developing world. More recently, however, epidemics have occurred in urban environments, particularly areas of recent development. Now, researchers have surveyed the environmentally protected area in Campinas, Southeastern Brazil, which has undergone several changes by human action, especially the implementation of condominiums, and revealed that more than one percent of dogs, as well as some opossums and insect species in the area carry the parasite responsible for the most dangerous form of leishmaniasis. The results of their study are published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

MMA fighters, boxers may have signs of long-term brain injury in blood

Boxers and mixed martial arts fighters may have markers of long-term brain injury in their blood, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's Sports Concussion Conference in Jacksonville, Fla., July 14 to 16, 2017.

Side effects not a major problem for new class of breast cancer drugs

A ground-breaking new class of oral drugs for treating breast cancer, known as cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors, are generally well-tolerated, with a manageable toxicity profile for most patients. This is the conclusion of a comprehensive review of toxicities and drug interactions related to this class of drugs, recently published in The Oncologist.

Babies with hearing loss need early intervention, but only half get it

Children with hearing loss who are diagnosed by 3 months of age and receive interventions by 6 months develop a far greater vocabulary than those whose diagnosis and treatment come later, according to a CU Boulder study published this week in the journal Pediatrics. Yet 17 years after early detection guidelines were established, nearly half of babies with hearing loss aren't meeting them, the study found.

Zika vaccine protects fetus against infection and birth defects

Immunizing female mice with a Zika vaccine can protect their developing fetus from infection and birth defects during pregnancy, according to new research from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. The findings are now available in Cell.

BASF introduces first new class of public health insecticide for malaria prevention in more than 30 years

BASF has received a recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO) for Interceptor(R) G2, a long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito net (LN) based on chlorfenapyr. Chlorfenapyr is a completely new insecticide class for combating mosquitoes for public health. This is the first WHO recommendation for a product based on a new insecticide class in more than 30 years.

Panel calls on FDA to review safety of opioid painkillers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration should review the safety and effectiveness of all opioids, and consider the real-world impacts the powerful painkillers have, not only on patients, but also on families, crime and the demand for heroin.

Using a microRNA to shift the makeup of glioblastoma subtypes

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), an extremely aggressive brain cancer, is a very complex disease. It is characterized by a fast-growing tumor in the brain composed of many subpopulations of cells, including glioblastoma stem cells, which play a crucial role in glioblastoma initiation, expansion and therapy-resistance. GBM's diverse make up - termed heterogeneity - is of clinical importance because it is a key factor that leads to treatment failure, allowing the tumor to become resistant to treatment or for cancer to recur.

Nevada regulators mull expedited marijuana supply licensing

Following an overwhelming demand for recreational marijuana, Nevada regulators are set to vote Thursday on emergency rules that would expedite licensing for pot distributors.

Improving the survival rates of childhood brain tumours: Translating Discoveries

The future of children with brain tumours is very promising. To do nothing is to ignore the very real possibility of a treatment and cure. It is the time now to accelerate clinical and laboratory research in childhood brain tumours.

Aerobic exercise found safe for non-dialysis kidney disease patients

A new study finds that moderate exercise does not impair kidney function in some people with chronic kidney disease (CKD). The study—the first to analyze the effects of exercise on kidney disease that does not require dialysis—is published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology—Renal Physiology. The paper was chosen as an APSselect article for July.

When opinions threaten friendships

(HealthDay)—Friendships are supportive connections, and it's not always easy to make them in adulthood. So protecting them is important.

IPM's dapivirine vaginal ring now under review by European Medicines Agency

The nonprofit International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM) is pleased to announce that its application for the monthly dapivirine vaginal ring, designed to reduce the risk of HIV-1 infection via vaginal intercourse in HIV-negative women in combination with safer sex practices, has been validated and is now under review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). IPM designed the ring, which releases an antiretroviral drug (ARV) called dapivirine over the course of one month, to offer a discreet and long-acting HIV prevention method for women, who insert and replace it themselves.

US charges 412 people for health fraud, opioid scams

US authorities slapped 412 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals with fraud charges Thursday, many for overprescribing opioids that have stoked an expanding national addiction crisis.

Poor thyroid function may affect dialysis patients' quality of life and daily living

A new study indicates that impaired thyroid function may have detrimental effects on dialysis patients' health and well-being. The findings appear in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).

Can sexual risk and behaviors among women help explain HIV disparities by race/ethnicity?

Researchers examined the sexual behaviors of a nationally representative group of U.S. women that can prevent against or increase risk for HIV infection and reported the differences in behaviors such as condom use and concurrent sex partners and the changes in these behaviors over 7 years for white, black, and Latina women ages 18-44 in a study published in Journal of Women's Health.

New report presents national strategy to reduce opioid epidemic

Years of sustained and coordinated efforts will be required to contain and reverse the harmful societal effects of the prescription and illicit opioid epidemics, which are intertwined and getting worse, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report, requested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), says it is possible to stem the still-escalating prevalence of opioid use disorder and other opioid-related harms without foreclosing access to opioids for patients suffering from pain whose providers have prescribed these drugs responsibly. The committee that conducted the study and wrote the report recommended actions the FDA, other federal agencies, state and local governments, and health-related organizations should take—which include promoting more judicious prescribing of opioids, expanding access to treatment for opioid use disorder, preventing more overdose deaths, weighing societal impacts in opioid-related regulatory decisions, and investing in research to better understand the nature of pain and develop non-addictive alternatives.

New Republican health bill teeters, with support in doubt (Update)

Republican leaders unveiled a revamped health care bill Thursday aimed at salvaging President Donald Trump's top legislative priority, but the fresh effort already faced skepticism from within the party's conservative and moderate wings.

Medics in pink: Dubai launches women-only ambulances

Four women in pink remain on standby 12 hours a day, seven days a week, to come to the aid of their "sisters" in the Gulf emirate of Dubai.

Biology news

Study reveals interplay of an African bat, a parasite and a virus

If there is anything scientists are certain of when it comes to bats and their supposed role in causing human disease, it is that they still have a lot to learn.

Largest study of malaria gene function reveals many potential drug targets

The malaria parasite's success is owed to the stripping down of its genome to the bare essential genes, scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and their collaborators have found. In the first ever large-scale study of malaria gene function, scientists analysed more than half of the genes in the parasite's genome and found that two thirds of these genes were essential for survival—the largest proportion of essential genes found in any organism studied to date.

New study sheds light on disease-busting 'recycling bins' in our cells

Scientists have made an important step in understanding how cells keep themselves clean and healthy - a finding that may have implications for combating neurodegenerative diseases and cancer.

50-year-old flu virus model revamped, revealing pandemic prediction possibilities

The scientific textbook depiction of the flu virus is about to get a facelift, due to a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine team's discovery that a model of the influenza genome architecture untouched since the 1970s isn't so perfect after all.

Squirrels have long memory for problem solving

Squirrels can remember problem-solving techniques for long periods and can apply them to new situations, researchers have discovered.

How social rank can trigger vulnerability to stress

Stress is a major risk factor for a range of psychopathologies. However, stress does not affect everyone equally: in the face of sustained adversity, some people develop depression symptoms while others adapt and remain resilient. Identifying risk factors and biomarkers for vulnerability to developing stress-induced depression in order to identify individual susceptibility before stress exposure has been a major challenge. EPFL scientists have now shown that social organization can affect differential vulnerability to chronic stress and underscored brain energy metabolism as a predictive biomarker for social status and susceptibility to stress-induced depression. The work is published in Current Biology.

What 'Thrones' fans already know: Ravens can see ahead

More than 170 years after Edgar Allan Poe's fictional raven croaked, "Nevermore," scientists are reporting that real-life ravens think about the future.

Climate change deepens threat to Pacific island wildlife

Land mammals and reptiles in the Pacific islands facing extinction due to habitat loss, hunting and other threats could be decimated by climate change, a study published Thursday said.

Watermelon cultivar wards off soil-borne diseases

Some people love to eat a juicy, seedless watermelon for a tasty, refreshing snack during a hot, Florida summer day. University of Florida scientists have found a way to stave off potential diseases while retaining that flavor.

Tackling disease in three dimensions—supercomputers help decode RNA structure

A cure for cancer, HIV and other stubborn diseases has evaded the brightest minds for generations. But with supercomputers – computing systems that can calculate, analyze and visualize extremely large amounts of data – researchers are gaining a leg up in the fight for better treatments and cures.

Genetic clocks in zooplankton species regulate what is likely the largest daily movement of biomass worldwide

The copepod species Calanus finmarchicus schedules its day using a genetic clock that works independently of external stimuli. The clock shapes the copepod's metabolic rhythms and daily vertical migration. This, in turn, has an enormous influence on the entire food web in the North Atlantic, where Calanus finmarchicus is a central plankton species. Wherever the high-calorie copepod is found determines where its predator species are. The results of the study will be published in the journal Current Biology.

Are Australia's native pigeons sitting ducks?

Andrew Peters, Charles Sturt University

A hit love song for toads

James Cook University researchers in Australia say they now know exactly what makes horny cane toads boogie. And the toad tune could help sound the death knell for the pests.

Chillier winters, smaller beaks

Although Charles Darwin lived and worked in the 19th century, modern evolutionary biologists are far from exhausting all avenues of inquiry regarding birds and evolution. For example, in the 1990s, researchers such as Russ Greenberg, ornithologist from the Smithsonian Institution in the United States, began to explore a new question concerning the relationship between climate and the evolution of beak size. This question was inspired by Allen's Rule, which states that warm-blooded animals living in cold climates will have shorter limbs and appendages than those that live in warmer climates. The biological mechanism behind this rule is thermoregulation—more body surface area helps animals to shed heat better whereas less surface area helps them to conserve it. Since a bird's beak plays a large role in thermoregulation—it has lots of blood vessels and is not covered in feathers—researchers wondered whether hotter climates beget larger beaks and colder climates beget smaller ones. Indeed, studies revealed that climate has influenced beak size, but not which type of climate had more of an overall impact.

Getting to the roots of Sahara mustard invasion in the American Southwest

In 2015, a rural community in southeastern California approached Daniel Winkler and his doctoral advisor, Travis Huxman, for help with an invader that was hurting their local economy. An Old World annual plant called Sahara mustard (Brassica tournefortii) was spreading rapidly through the deserts of the southwestern U.S., carpeting the local Anza-Borrego Desert in spring, and smothering the native wildflowers that draw tourists to the region. Loss of native plants put the animals that depend on them for food and shelter at risk. The mustard was disrupting the entire desert ecosystem.

Mapping invasive alien species of Union concern

The first ever Baseline Distribution of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern has been published by the JRC. The 37 invasive alien species covered by this report have been prioritised as species that need to be addressed at the level of the EU territory.

Villagers in Niger 'massacre' 27 hippos

At least 27 hippos have been slaughtered in a touristy zone in western Niger by villagers who blame them for destroying crops and harming livestock, local authorities said on Thursday.

Team studies mechanism of H. influenzae biofilm formation

A research study identifying novel bacterial physiology in the creation of biofilms by Nationwide Children's Hospital scientists has been published in the current issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Insect attack! US West is battling crop-killing swarms

Farmers in the U.S. West face a creepy scourge every eight years or so: Swarms of ravenous insects that can decimate crops and cause slippery, bug-slick car crashes as they march across highways and roads.


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