Thursday, July 20, 2017

Science X Newsletter Thursday, Jul 20

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for July 20, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Probability that the quantum world obeys local realism is less than one in a billion, experiment shows

Researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

Converting carbon dioxide to methane using iron and sunlight

Optical high-bitrate nanoantenna developed for use with optical waveguide

Experiment finds evidence for the Majorana fermion, a particle that's its own antiparticle

Researchers discover biological hydraulic system in tuna fins

Telescope design promises to revolutionize amateur astronomy

Nontoxic underwater adhesive could bring new surgical glue

New mechanism to destroy viruses could lead to future therapies

Abe Lincoln mystery 'almost certainly' solved using technique that unmasked JK Rowling

Rovers drive through Tenerife darkness

Study predicts heart cells' response to dwindling oxygen

Study examines effects of stopping psychiatric medication

First direct observation and measurement of ultra-fast moving vortices in superconductors

Biologists find frog's future health influenced by gut microbes as tadpoles

Astronomy & Space news

Telescope design promises to revolutionize amateur astronomy

The SETI Institute and French startup Unistellar announced a partnership today to commercialize a new telescope that promises to deliver an unparalleled view of the cosmos to amateur astronomers, and provide the opportunity to contribute directly to cutting-edge science.

Rovers drive through Tenerife darkness

A pair of ESA rovers trundled around a moon-like area of Tenerife by both day and night during a nine-day test campaign, gathering terabytes of data for follow-up analysis.

New research opens the way to understand life on Mars through meteorites

Research led by Monash University Earth scientists has added a new dimension to understanding life on Mars with the discovery that meteorites may be able to 'trap' evidence of Martian life.

Spiral arms allow school children to weigh black holes

Astronomers from Swinburne University of Technology, Australia, and the University of Minnesota Duluth, USA, have provided a way for armchair astronomers, and even primary school children, to merely look at a spiral galaxy and estimate the mass of its hidden, central black hole. The research was supported by the Australian Research Council and has been published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Scientists get best measure of star-forming material in galaxy clusters in early universe

The international Spitzer Adaptation of the Red-sequence Cluster Survey (SpARCS) collaboration based at the University of California, Riverside has combined observations from several of the world's most powerful telescopes to carry out one of the largest studies yet of molecular gas - the raw material which fuels star formation throughout the universe - in three of the most distant clusters of galaxies ever found, detected as they appeared when the universe was only four billion years old.

Hubble sees martian moon orbiting the Red Planet

The sharp eye of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured the tiny moon Phobos during its orbital trek around Mars. Because the moon is so small, it appears star-like in the Hubble pictures.

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

It was midafternoon, but it was dark in an area in Boulder, Colorado on Aug. 3, 1998. A thick cloud appeared overhead and dimmed the land below for more than 30 minutes. Well-calibrated radiometers showed that there were very low levels of light reaching the ground, sufficiently low that researchers decided to simulate this interesting event with computer models. Now in 2017, inspired by the event in Boulder, NASA scientists will explore the moon's eclipse of the sun to learn more about Earth's energy system.

Neil Armstrong moon bag sells for $1.8mn in New York

A bag Neil Armstrong used to collect the first ever samples of the moon—which was once nearly thrown out with the trash—sold at auction Thursday for $1.8 million, Sotheby's said.

Moon dust heading to auction after galactic court battle

A bag containing traces of moon dust is heading to auction—surrounded by some fallout from a galactic court battle.

Good night, LISA Pathfinder

After 16 months of science measurements an international team deactivated the LISA Pathfinder satellite on the evening of the 18th of July 2017. The gravitational-wave laboratory in space powered down after receiving the last commands in the evening and circles the Sun on a safe parking orbit. LISA Pathfinder has tested key technologies for LISA, the future gravitational-wave observatory in space, and has demonstrated their operative readiness. LISA is scheduled to launch into space in 2034 as an ESA mission and will "listen" to the entire Universe by measuring low-frequency gravitational waves.

Simplifying complexity

The flight dynamics experts working on the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter mission meet regularly to assess progress of the spacecraft's almost-year-long aerobraking manoeuvres at Mars.

Ground-based images of planets obtained by Pic-Net Pro-Am team

The first observing run of a collaboration between amateur and professional astronomers to monitor our planetary neighbours has resulted in some of the best planetary images ever taken from the ground.

Technology news

Researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

Imagine rescuers searching for people in the rubble of a collapsed building. Instead of digging through the debris by hand or having dogs sniff for signs of life, they bring out a small, air-tight cylinder. They place the device at the entrance of the debris and flip a switch. From one end of the cylinder, a tendril extends into the mass of stones and dirt, like a fast-climbing vine. A camera at the tip of the tendril gives rescuers a view of the otherwise unreachable places beneath the rubble.

Strengthening 3-D printed parts for real-world use

From aerospace and defense to digital dentistry and medical devices, 3-D printed parts are used in a variety of industries. Currently, 3-D printed parts are very fragile and only used in the prototyping phase of materials or as a toy for display. A doctoral student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University has pioneered a countermeasure to transform the landscape of 3-D printing today.

3-D printing sweeps toy manufacturing off the shelves

Cheap, plastic toys—no manufacturer necessary. The 2020 toy and game market is projected to be $135 billion, and 3-D printing brings those profits home.

Google, EU dig in for long war

Google and the EU are gearing up for a battle that could last years, with the Silicon Valley behemoth facing a relentless challenge to its ambition to expand beyond search results.

SoftBank CEO sees massive data, AI as key to future advances

Masayoshi Son, chief executive of SoftBank Group Corp., says artificial intelligence combined with data gathered by billions of sensors will bring on an "information revolution," that will benefit people more than the 19th Century Industrial Revolution.

Enhanced security in effect on international flights to US

Travelers flying to the U.S. from nearly 300 international airports, including those in Mexico and Canada, are now subject to stepped-up security measures that include stricter screening for electronic devices larger than cellphones.

China clamping down on use of VPNs to evade Great Firewall

China is tightening control over foreign companies' internet use in a move some worry might disrupt their operations or jeopardize trade secrets as part of a crackdown on technology that allows web surfers to evade Beijing's online censorship.

NBC News launches new broadcast on Snapchat

NBC News launched a news show Wednesday on Snapchat, a first-of-its- kind broadcast aimed at wooing a younger audience.

Earthquake shake tests toward 20-story earthquake-safe buildings made from wood

Engineering researchers are putting a two-story wooden structure through a series of powerful earthquake simulations at the University of California San Diego shake table this week. The goal is to gather the data required to design wood buildings as tall as 20 stories that do not suffer significant damage during large earthquakes.

Can the UK's gas grid go green? New white paper explores options

Options for a greener gas grid are explored by researchers from Imperial College London in a white paper out today.

China orders tech firms to ramp up censorship

China has ordered the country's biggest technology firms to immediately "rectify" violations and shut accounts that publish "bad information", in the latest move by authorities to tighten policing of the web.

'Social media triangulation' provides new approach for emergency responders

During emergency situations like severe weather or terrorist attacks, local officials and first responders have an urgent need for accessible, reliable and real-time data. Rob Grace, a doctoral student in Penn State's College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), and his colleagues at the Center for Crisis, Community, and Civic (3C) Informatics are working to address this need by introducing a new method for identifying local social media users and collecting the information they post during emergencies.

Google Street View finally captures missing Austria

Google's Street View cars on Thursday started taking images in Austria, the only EU country along with Germany to remain largely absent from the popular online service showing 360-degree pictures of places around the world.

Alexa, turn up my Kenmore AC; Sears cuts a deal with Amazon

Sears will begin selling its appliances on, including smart appliances that can be synced with Amazon's voice assistant, Alexa.

US, European police say 'dark web' markets shut down

US and European police on Thursday announced the shutdown of two huge "dark web" marketplaces that allowed the anonymous online trade of drugs, hacking software and guns.

Musk says government likes plan for high-speed tunnels

In a tantalizing Tweet, Elon Musk says he has "verbal government approval" to build a tunnel for high-speed transportation from New York to Washington.

Wisconsin working on incentives to lure Foxconn to state

Wisconsin is working on a package of incentives to lure Taiwanese iPhone manufacturer Foxconn to the state as part of a deal that two state lawmakers said Thursday they believe could come as soon as the end of the month.

Britain's Johnson meets high-tech robots in Japan

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Thursday shook hands with one of Japan's high-tech robots, a humanoid candidate to carry the torch as part of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Enhancing the resilience of the nation's electricity system: report

With growing risks to the nation's electrical grid from natural disasters and as a potential target for malicious attacks, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should work closely with utility operators and other stakeholders to improve cyber and physical security and resilience, says a new congressionally mandated report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Medicine & Health news

Study examines effects of stopping psychiatric medication

Despite numerous obstacles and severe withdrawal effects, long-term users of psychiatric drugs can stop taking them if they choose, and mental health care professionals could be more helpful to such individuals, according to a new study.

Team traces masculinization in mice to estrogen receptor in inhibitory neurons

Researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have opened a black box in the brain whose contents explain one of the remarkable yet mysterious facts of life.

A sodium surprise: Engineers find unexpected result during cardiac research

Irregular heartbeat—or arrhythmia—can have sudden and often fatal consequences. A biomedical engineering team at Washington University in St. Louis examining molecular behavior in cardiac tissue recently made a surprising discovery that could someday impact treatment of the life-threatening condition.

Scientists elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies to HIV in calves

Scientists supported by the National Institutes of Health have achieved a significant step forward, eliciting broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) to HIV by immunizing calves. The findings offer insights for HIV vaccine design, and support further study of modified bovine antibodies as HIV therapeutics or prevention tools in humans, scientists reported in a paper published online today in Nature.

Faulty support cells disrupt communication in brains of people with schizophrenia

New research has identified the culprit behind the wiring problems in the brains of people with schizophrenia. When researchers transplanted human brain cells generated from individuals diagnosed with childhood-onset schizophrenia into mice, the animal's nerve cell networks did not mature properly and the mice exhibited the same anti-social and anxious behaviors seen in people with the disease.

Scientists reveal how patterns of brain activity direct specific body movements

New research by Columbia scientists offers fresh insight into how the brain tells the body to move, from simple behaviors like walking, to trained movements that may take years to master. The discovery in mice advances knowledge of how cells in the motor cortex—the brain's movement center—communicate with muscles, and may help researchers better understand what happens in injury or disease, when the mechanisms that underlie movement go awry.

Want to win at sports? Take a cue from these mighty mice

As student athletes hit training fields this summer to gain the competitive edge, a new study shows how the experiences of a tiny mouse can put them on the path to winning.

Scientists discover combined sensory map for heat, humidity in fly brain

Northwestern University neuroscientists now can visualize how fruit flies sense and process humidity and temperature together through a "sensory map" within their brains, according to new research.

Study points to link between antidepressant use in pregnancy and autism in children

Children exposed to antidepressants during pregnancy seem to be at a slightly higher risk of autism than children of mothers with psychiatric disorders who were not treated with antidepressants during pregnancy, finds a study published in The BMJ today.

MRSA emerged years before methicillin was even discovered

Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) emerged long before the introduction of the antibiotic methicillin into clinical practice, according to a study published in the open access journal Genome Biology. It was the widespread use of earlier antibiotics such as penicillin rather than of methicillin itself which caused MRSA to emerge, researchers at the University of St Andrews, and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK suggest.

Lifestyle changes to stave off Alzheimer's? Hints, no proof

There are no proven ways to stave off Alzheimer's, but a new report raises the prospect that avoiding nine key risks starting in childhood just might delay or even prevent about a third of dementia cases around the world.

Researchers identify critical need for standardized organ donation metrics

Across the country, there are 58 Organ Procurement Organizations (OPO), which are responsible for recovering and distributing organs and tissues for life-saving and life-enhancing transplants. Each OPO is designated to serve a specific geographic area and works with the transplant centers in their area to match donors with recipients. With more than 117,000 people awaiting a lifesaving organ transplant, these OPOs work very hard to identify as many organ donors as possible to help save these lives. But according to a study published today in the American Journal of Transplantation, there seem to be significant differences in the results of these efforts.

Researchers finds links between meal frequency and BMI

A study by researchers from Loma Linda University School of Public Health and the Czech Republic has found that timing and frequency of meals play a role in predicting weight loss or gain.

Campaigner with drug past warns of 'chemsex' HIV link

The sexual health expert credited with coining the term "chemsex" told AFP that drug-laced sexual encounters are boosting HIV infections in gay communities.

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

Fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Australian school students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

Investigating effectiveness of new PTSD treatment

A novel approach of using visual and physical stimulus to help military veterans address their traumatic experiences could soon play a significant role in helping British veterans overcome post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), thanks to a new Cardiff University research project.

Less invasive treatment for blocked artery in the leg is safe, review finds

Researchers found in a review of data from three large studies that a minimally invasive treatment to treat peripheral artery disease offers a safe alternative to standard surgery.

Shedding light on an emerging infectious disease

It lives in the lining of blood vessels and is transmitted to people mostly by fleas or ticks or lice, causing an array of diseases in both humans and animals.

As tide turns, AIDS claimed 1 million lives in 2016: UN (Update)

AIDS claimed a million lives in 2016, almost half the 2005 toll that marked the peak of the deadly epidemic, said a UN report Thursday proclaiming "the scales have tipped".

For the elderly, physical therapy can help straighten a hunched back

A hunched back affects four out of 10 people over age 65. This extreme forward curvature of the upper back, called hyperkyphosis, increases disability and the risk of falls and fractures, but it's rarely deemed a treatable condition among older people.

New food policies could take the bite out of India's malnutrition

India has spent the last 50 years combating hunger by boosting its production of staple crops like wheat, rice and maize. The strategy has worked – up to a point.

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

Better services needed for postnatal depression and anxiety, says study

Depression and anxiety affect nearly one in five of all women in the perinatal period, with potentially very serious consequences for mothers, babies and families.

Bowel cancer screening cost effective, but does not reduce health inequalities

Bowel-cancer screening in New Zealand will improve health cost effectively, according to University of Otago research just published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

Producing human-animal hybrid eggs for research found ethical

Scientists should not be prevented from creating human-animal chimeras to produce human eggs for research, according to Dr César Palacios-González, Centre of Medical Law and Ethics in The Dickson Poon School of Law at King's.

Close or far, how smell tells us it's popcorn

People know a smell is popcorn whether it is cooking down the hallway or held right under their noses. Yale researchers Douglas Storace and Lawrence Cohen in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology have found that an early step during the processing of odors in the olfactory bulb of the brain explains why the concentration of an odor does not impact our ability to identify it.

Does grooming by child abusers lead to Stockholm syndrome?

New research from Massey University's School of Social Work identifies how grooming allows Stockholm syndrome to become established in child sexual abuse cases.

Study suggests ending opioid epidemic will take years

The question of how to stem the nation's opioid epidemic now has a major detailed response. A new study chaired by University of Virginia School of Law Professor Richard Bonnie provides extensive recommendations for curbing the problem.

Hearing voices need not be a problem in itself

When people hear voices, it is whether those voices fit or are at odds with their life goals and values that governs whether they find them distressing. That is the conclusion of research published today, Friday 16 June 2017, in the journal Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice by psychologists Dr Filippo Varese, Dr Warren Mansell and Dr Sara Tai from the University of Manchester.

Study of coffee and dementia stirs worldwide interest

Combine a product widely loved with a disease widely dreaded and what do you get? Widespread attention, a UWM researcher found.

Nutrition advice aimed at children also improves parents' diets

Nutrition advice aimed at children also improves parents' diets, according to research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Exclusion from school can trigger long-term psychiatric illness

Excluding children from school may lead to long- term psychiatric problems and psychological distress, a study of thousands of children has shown.

Brits consume more sugar than thought

Eating more sugar is linked to obesity, the first study using objective measures of sugar intake has found.

Want to develop 'grit'? Take up surfing

My friend, Joe Weghofer, is a keen surfer, so when he was told he'd never walk again, following a 20ft spine-shattering fall, it was just about the worst news he could have received. Yet, a month later, Joe managed to stand. A further month, and he was walking. Several years on, he is back in the water, a board beneath his feet. Joe has what people in the field of positive psychology call "grit", and I believe surfing helped him develop this trait.

Our brains synchronise during a conversation

The rhythms of brainwaves between two people having a conversation begin to synchronize, concludes a study published in Scientific Reports, led by the Basque research centre BCBL. According to scientists, this interbrain synchrony may be a key factor in understanding language and interpersonal communication.

Most ADHD medications aren't associated with risk of irritability

Irritability in children refers to angry and overly reactive moods that are often associated with acts of aggression. Irritability is common across psychiatric diagnoses, but is especially common in children with ADHD. Some common ADHD medications are purported to increase irritability, leading doctors and families to avoid them, even though medication is a highly effective treatment.

Fluctuating hormones can affect women's sleep

As women, we know that hormones can wreak havoc on our moods and appetites, but did you know that they can also play a huge role in how many zzz's we catch each night? "Insomnia is much more common in women than men," says Yale Medicine sleep specialist Christine Won, MD. "This can be caused by a variety of reasons, including psychological, social, and physiological."

What it's really like to live with dementia

More than 225,000 people develop dementia every year – that's roughly one person every three minute. At the moment, 850,000 people in the UK are living with dementia. This figure is set to rise to two million by 2051.

Low-cost drugs package saves lives of people starting HIV treatment late

Treating people who start HIV treatment late with a package of low-cost drugs to prevent serious infections saves three lives for every 100 people treated, according to the findings of a trial led by the Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinical Trials Unit at UCL.

New study says PPIs do not cause dementia

Several studies have reported associations between proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) use and dementia. New research published on July 18 in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), puts these claims to rest. The study authors report that there is no convincing evidence to support the suggestion that PPI use increases dementia risk. These findings are based on an analysis of 13,864 participants from the Nurses' Health Study II who completed testing on cognitive function, which is key predictor of the risk of dementia later in life.

fMRI, EEG may detect consciousness in patients with acute, severe traumatic brain injury

The use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) may be able to identify ICU patients with severe traumatic brain injuries who have a level of consciousness not revealed by the standard bedside neurological examination. A report from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators, published in the journal Brain, is the first to test such an approach in acutely ill patients for whom critical decisions may need to be made regarding the continuation of life-sustaining care.

Alzheimer's drug cuts hallmark inflammation related to metabolic syndrome by 25 percent

An existing Alzheimer's medication slashes inflammation and insulin resistance in patients with metabolic syndrome, a potential therapeutic intervention for a highly dangerous condition affecting 30 percent of adults in the United States, according to new clinical trial results by scientists at Northwell Health's Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.

Reducing inflammation protects stem cells during wound repair

Scientists have found a new way to protect stem cells from harsh inflammation during wound repair. In a study recently published in the journal Cytotherapy, researchers in India discovered that treating mice with a common anti-inflammatory drug called celecoxib promoted stem cell survival and healing when they injected the cells into wounds.

Perceiving oneself as less physically active than peers is linked to a shorter lifespan

Would you say that you are physically more active, less active, or about equally active as other people your age?

Small survey: Most primary care physicians can't identify all risk factors for prediabetes

Johns Hopkins researchers who distributed a survey at a retreat and medical update for primary care physicians (PCPs) report that the vast majority of the 140 doctors who responded could not identify all 11 risk factors that experts say qualify patients for prediabetes screening. The survey, they say, is believed to be one of the first to formally test PCPs' knowledge of current professional guidelines for such screening.

Immune-cell numbers predict response to combination immunotherapy in melanoma

Whether a melanoma patient will better respond to a single immunotherapy drug or two in combination depends on the abundance of certain white blood cells within their tumors, according to a new study conducted by UC San Francisco researchers joined by physicians from UCSF Health. The findings provide a novel predictive biomarker to identify patients who are most likely to respond well to a combination of immunotherapy drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors—and to protect those who won't respond from potentially adverse side effects of combination treatment.

Sexual health clinics should ask about abuse

Training clinicians to proactively ask patients about domestic violence is feasible for sexual health clinics to implement and could increase referrals to specialist services, according to a study by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and the University of Bristol involving over 4,300 women.

Taste and health affect consumer choices for milk and nondairy beverages

In recent years, retail sales of fluid milk have experienced significant change and per capita consumption has decreased at a rate of 830 mL per year since 1975. Between 2011 and 2014, sales of fluid milk have decreased 3.8% but the amount of nondairy, plant-based beverages sold increased 30% between 2010 and 2015. To learn more about what affects consumer decisions regarding fluid milk purchases, researchers from North Carolina State University used surveys, conjoint analysis, and means-end-chain analysis to uncover the underlying values among dairy milk and nondairy beverage consumers. The results of the study highlighted the most important factors for both milk and nondairy beverages, which were the same: they must be healthy and taste good.

Study finds day-to-day experiences affect awareness of aging, mood

A study of older adults finds an individual's awareness of aging is not as static as previously thought, and that day-to-day experiences and one's attitude toward aging can affect an individual's awareness of age-related change (AARC) - and how that awareness affects one's mood.

UN warns of growing resistance to AIDS drugs

Countries must halt the rise of AIDS drug resistance to prevent a swell in new infections and deaths and spiralling treatment cost, the UN's health agency warned Thursday.

Molecular changes with age in normal breast tissue are linked to cancer-related changes

Several known factors are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer including increasing age, being overweight after menopause, alcohol intake, and family history. However, the underlying biologic mechanisms through which many of these recognized breast cancer risk factors contribute to onset of disease remains unclear. A new study led by Brock Christensen, PhD, with first author Kevin Johnson, PhD, at Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center provides insight into how changes that occur with age may predispose breast tissue cells to becoming cancerous. Specifically, the Dartmouth study demonstrates that age is the breast cancer risk factor most strongly associated with normal breast DNA methylation differences, and regions in the genome where DNA methylation changes occur with age are particularly sensitive to disruption in cancer. Taken together, this new data provides insight into how epigenetic dysregulation with age in normal breast tissue itself may contribute to breast cancer risk.

Study offers potential diagnostic and prognostic tools for HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders

UAlberta researchers believe they now have a clearer picture of why people living with HIV so commonly suffer from dementia and other neurocognitive disorders.

Is mental health associated with perception of nasal function?

A study of preoperative patients for rhinoplasty suggests poor mental well-being and low self-esteem were associated with poorer perceptions of nasal function, according to a new study published by JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.

Laser treatment reduces eye floaters

Patients reported improvement in symptoms of eye floaters after treatment with a laser, according to a study published by JAMA Ophthalmology.

Concurrent chemotherapy, proton therapy improves survival in patients with advanced lung cancer

For patients with advanced, inoperable stage 3 lung cancer, concurrent chemotherapy and the specialized radiation treatment, proton therapy, offers improved survival compared to historical data for standard of care, according to a new study from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Genetic predisposition to breast cancer due to non-brca mutations in ashkenazi Jewish women

Genetic mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer in Ashkenazi Jewish women. A new article published by JAMA Oncology examines the likelihood of carrying another cancer-predisposing mutation in BRCA1, BRCA2 or another breast cancer gene among women of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry with breast cancer who do not carry one of the founder mutations.

Study finds aboriginal community with strong ethno-cultural identity and connection to the land has lower suicide rates

July 20, 2017 - A University of Guelph-Humber funded study investigating mental health perceptions and practices of an Aboriginal community in northern Ontario, and its significantly lower rates of mental health services utilization and suicide, suggests that a strong ethno cultural identity and connection to the land are significant factors to positive mental health outcomes in this region.

Using a pig model to study chronic diseases may help minimize drug failure rate

Scientists may be able to minimize the failure rate of drugs for diseases linked to high-calorie diets, such as colon cancer and type 2 diabetes, if they test treatments using a pig model, according to an international team of researchers.

Innate reaction of hematopoietic stem cells to severe infections

Researchers at the University of Zurich have shown for the first time that hematopoietic stem cells detect infectious agents themselves and begin to divide—that is, without signals from growth factors. This direct production of defensive cells damages hematopoiesis in the long term, however, which could lead to malignant hematopoietic stem cell diseases at advanced age.

Heart toxin reveals new insights into HIV-1 integration in T cell genome

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 may have evolved to integrate its genetic material into certain immune-cell-activating genes in humans, according to new research published in PLOS Pathogens.

Google searches can be used to track dengue in underdeveloped countries

An analytical tool that combines Google search data with government-provided clinical data can quickly and accurately track dengue fever in less-developed countries, according to new research published in PLOS Computational Biology by Shihao Yang of Harvard University and colleagues.

Climate change and sugarcane expansion expected to boost hantavirus cases

Rising global temperatures and changes to land use have both been shown to have profound impacts on human health. Now researchers, reporting in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, have found one more infectious disease that's expected to be affected. By 2050, the number of people in risk of hantavirus in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo, they found, will increase by more than 20% due to climate change and land use changes.

Patients may be at risk after discharge from the ER with acute kidney injury

A new study indicates that patients discharged from the emergency department with acute kidney injury (AKI) remain at an increased risk of dying within 30 days. The findings appear in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).

High-dose influenza vaccine leads to lower hospitalizations in nursing home residents

In the largest nursing home study to date on the effect of a high dose (HD) flu vaccine, researchers found that vaccines with four times the antigen of standard flu (SD) vaccines significantly reduced the risk of respiratory and all-cause hospitalization during flu season.

In making decisions, are you an ant or a grasshopper?

In one of Aesop's famous fables, we are introduced to the grasshopper and the ant, whose decisions about how to spend their time affect their lives and future. The jovial grasshopper has a blast all summer singing and playing, while the dutiful ant toils away preparing for the winter.

Opioids and obesity, not 'despair deaths,' raising mortality rates for white Americans

Drug-related deaths among middle-aged white men increased more than 25-fold between 1980 and 2014, with the bulk of that spike occurring since the mid-1990s when addictive prescription opioids became broadly available, according to new CU Boulder research.

Speech language therapy delivered through the Internet leads to similar improvements as in-person treatment

Telerehabilitation helps healthcare professionals reach more patients in need, but some worry it doesn't offer the same quality of care as in-person treatment. This isn't the case, according to recent research by Baycrest.

Study finds gene variant increases risk for depression

A University of Central Florida study has found that a gene variant, thought to be carried by nearly 25 percent of the population, increases the odds of developing depression.

Post-op pain may often be underrated by inpatient staff

(HealthDay)—Postoperative pain is frequently underrated when assessed by nursing staff on wards, according to a study published online July 14 in PAIN Practice.

USPSTF: Ovarian cancer screen to be avoided for most women

(HealthDay)—The potential harms of ovarian cancer screening outweigh the benefits, so only very specific groups of women should be screened for the disease, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) says in a draft recommendation.

How much sleep do you really need?

(HealthDay)—Health initiatives typically center on diet and fitness. But the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society state that getting enough sleep is just as important as eating right and exercising.

More patients OK'd for cancer trials under Obamacare: study

(HealthDay)—The Affordable Care Act has enabled more privately insured patients to enroll in clinical trials for new cancer treatments, a new study contends.

Travelers to Europe need measles protection: CDC

(HealthDay)—Americans traveling to Europe should take steps to protect themselves against measles, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises.

Reduction of opioid dose may improve pain, quality of life

(HealthDay)—Reductions in opioid dosing might improve pain and function, as well as boost quality of life, according to a report published online July 18 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Aspirin responsiveness can change after bariatric surgery

(HealthDay)—The effects of aspirin on platelet inhibition may be more potent after bariatric surgery, according to a study published online July 14 in Cardiovascular Therapeutics.

Improved survival with enhanced prophylaxis plus ART in HIV

(HealthDay)—For patients with advanced HIV who are initiating antiretroviral therapy (ART), enhanced prophylaxis is associated with reduced rates of death at 24 and 48 weeks, according to a study published in the July 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

AAIC: Turnover kinetics vary for different amyloid beta isoforms

(HealthDay)—Amyloid beta (Aβ)38 has faster turnover kinetics than Aβ40 and Aβ42, according to a study published online July 19 in Alzheimer's & Dementia to coincide with presentation at the annual Alzheimer's Association International Conference, held from July 16 to 20 in London.

EHR-based prompt ups hepatitis C screening for baby boomers

(HealthDay)—Implementation of an electronic health record (EHR)-based prompt can improve hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening rates among baby boomers, according to a study published online July 17 in Hepatology.

68Ga-somatostatin analog PET-CT linked to reduced costs

(HealthDay)—For imaging neuroendocrine tumors, 68Ga-somatostatin analog positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) is associated with reduced costs compared with 111In-octreotide scintigraphy, according to a study published online July 17 in the Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology.

Capsaicin nasal spray effective for mixed rhinitis patients

(HealthDay)—Capsaicin nasal spray is effective for mixed rhinitis (MR) patients, who have more than one major etiologic factor involved in the mucosal pathology, according to a study published online July 16 in Allergy.

Shooting the achilles heel of nervous system cancers

Virtually all cancer treatments used today also damage normal cells, causing the toxic side effects associated with cancer treatment. A cooperative research team led by researchers at Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center devised a strategy to target cancer cells while sparing normal cells. This strategy capitalizes on the fact that processes that allow a cell to form a tumor, such as loss or mutation of the tumor suppressor NF1, also expose vulnerabilities in the tumor cell that are absent in normal cells. These vulnerabilities are known as the "Achilles heel" of cancer cells. Although much is known about the mutations that cause a cell to become malignant, little is known about the vulnerabilities of cells with these mutations. The team has published new findings on this Achilles heel found in cells that have been rewired by NF1 loss.

New PET-CT scan improves detection in rare cardiac condition

Using a new imaging technique that can diagnose cardiac sarcoidosis much more accurately than traditional tests, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago have found that the disease affects other organs in 40 percent of patients with cardiac sarcoidosis. The findings are published in the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology.

High levels of antibiotic-resistance in Indian poultry farming raises concerns

A new study from India raises questions about the dangers to human health of farming chicken with growth-promoting antibiotics—including some of the same drugs used in raising millions of chickens in the United States and worldwide.

Insurance approval rates for clinical trial participation rose under Affordable Care Act

Approval rates for privately insured patients seeking to enroll in oncology clinical trials increased after the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

Dynamic switch for FUS proteinopathy

NUS biologists have discovered that dynamics of the FUS protein plays a key role in FUS proteinopathy that causes certain neurological diseases.

Risk factors identified for elbow and shoulder injuries in professional baseball pitchers

Increasing numbers of elbow-related injuries in professional baseball pitchers has led to research studying risk factors, especially those that can be modified and adjusted to help prevent lost playing time. Decreased shoulder flexion and external rotation were identified as key predictors of injuries to pitchers during the season, according to a study presented today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Annual Meeting in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Surgery is a low risk treatment option for patients with pectoralis major tendon ruptures

Surgery is an effective and safe option to treat patients with pectoralis major tendon (PMT) ruptures, generally demonstrating a low risk of re-rupture and complications, according to research presented today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Annual Meeting in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Youth patellar dislocations may pose risk for future injuries later in life

Young patients who suffer patellar dislocations are at a higher risk of recurring dislocations, especially long-term after their initial injury, according to research presented today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Annual Meeting in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Researchers received the Herodicus Award, presented to the best resident paper featured at the meeting, and determined by the Herodicus Society.

Nine Legionnaires' disease cases connected to Graceland hotel

Health officials say the number of people diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease in an outbreak at the hotel at Graceland has risen to nine.

Family factors may influence a child's temperament

A new study indicates that a child's temperament may be influenced by maternal postpartum depression, maternal sensitivity, and family functioning. Maternal depression was associated with difficult temperaments in infants when maternal sensitivity was low, but not when maternal sensitivity was high. Family functioning similarly moderated these links.

Young adult cancer survivors struggle to get back to normal

Cancer survivors often talk about wanting to get back to normal, but a new study indicates many young adults who survived the disease struggle with attaining this goal two years after their initial diagnosis.

France lifts ban on embalming HIV deceased

France on Thursday lifted a ban on embalming the bodies of HIV-positive people, ending three decades of discrimination in death against people infected with the AIDS virus.

Indian man who played guitar during brain surgery makes recovery

An Indian man who strummed the guitar as surgeons operated on his brain demonstrated Thursday how the unusual procedure had cured the problem hindering his ability to play.

Donor-recipient tissue mismatch analysis may help personalize treatment after transplant

Researchers have found that a detailed examination of the degree of tissue type mismatch between donors and recipients can help determine how much medication an individual recipient will need after transplantation. The findings, which appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN), may help guide transplant physicians in choosing the appropriate doses for individual patients.

Study provides insights on preeclampsia

Researchers have developed a method that could help rapidly diagnose preeclampsia in pregnant women. They have also uncovered clues that might help explain why women with preeclampsia often develop an abnormal amount of protein in the urine, or proteinuria. The findings, which appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN), may lead to better diagnostics and treatments for affected women.

Doctor who linked kids' lead exposure to health issues dies

A pediatrician and University of Pittsburgh researcher who linked lead exposure in children to health and intelligence issues has died. Dr. Herbert Needleman was 89.

Norovirus confirmed in diner who reported eating at Chipotle

A person who reported eating at a Chipotle in northern Virginia has tested positive for norovirus. But health officials say that's not yet enough to determine the cause of the roughly 60 reported illnesses it has identified.

Biology news

Researchers discover biological hydraulic system in tuna fins

Cutting through the ocean like a jet through the sky, giant bluefin tuna are built for performance, endurance and speed. Just as the fastest planes have carefully positioned wings and tail flaps to ensure precision maneuverability and fuel economy, bluefin tuna need the utmost control over their propulsive and stabilizing structures as they speed through the ocean. The outstanding maneuverability and precision locomotion of these powerful fish are supported by a vascular specialization that is unique among vertebrates, according to new research from Stanford University and the Monterey Bay Aquarium: pressurized hydraulic fin control.

Biologists find frog's future health influenced by gut microbes as tadpoles

University of South Florida biologists have found that a crucial window in the development of tadpoles may influence a frog's later ability to fight infectious diseases as an adult.

Elephant seals recognize each other by the rhythm of their calls

Every day, humans pick up on idiosyncrasies such as slow drawls, high-pitched squeaks, or hints of accents to put names to voices from afar. This ability may not be as unique as once thought, researchers report on July 20 in Current Biology. They find that unlike all other non-human mammals, northern elephant seal males consider the spacing and timing of vocal pulses in addition to vocal tones when identifying the calls of their rivals.

Researchers discover how CRISPR proteins find their target

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have discovered how Cas1-Cas2, the proteins responsible for the ability of the CRISPR immune system in bacteria to adapt to new viral infections, identify the site in the genome where they insert viral DNA so they can recognize it later and mount an attack.

Gene drives likely to be foiled by rapid rise of resistance

A study in fruit flies suggests that existing approaches to gene drives using CRISPR/Cas9, which aim to spread new genes within a natural population, will be derailed by the development of mutations that give resistance to the drive. Jackson Champer, Philipp W. Messer, and colleagues at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York report these findings July 20, 2017 in PLOS Genetics.

Use of cognitive abilities to care for grandkids may have driven evolution of menopause

Instead of having more children, a grandmother may pass on her genes more successfully by using her cognitive abilities to directly or indirectly aid her existing children and grandchildren. Such an advantage could have driven the evolution of menopause in humans, according to new research published in PLOS Computational Biology.

Not under the skin, but on it: Living together brings couples' microbiomes together

Couples who live together share many things: Bedrooms, bathrooms, food, and even bacteria. After analyzing skin microbiomes from cohabitating couples, microbial ecologists at the University of Waterloo, in Canada, found that people who live together significantly influence the microbial communities on each other's skin.

Hot dogs: Is climate change impacting populations of African wild dogs?

Climate change may be harming the future of African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) by impacting the survival rates of pups, according to one of the first studies on how shifting temperatures are impacting tropical species.

A simple bacteria reveals how stress drives evolution

A common bacteria is furthering evidence that evolution is not entirely a blind process, subject to random changes in the genes, but that environmental stressors can also play a role.

Technology could transform microalgae into bio-based chemicals to increase biofeedstock, reduce landfill waste

Gen3Bio Inc., a Purdue Foundry-affiliated company, is developing a unique process that could more effectively and affordably transform microalgae into bio-based chemicals to maximize the value of biofeedstock and reduce landfill waste.

High diversity on coral reefs—a very big game of rock-paper-scissors

For a long time, scientists have wondered how a large number of species can live together while competing for a single, limiting resource. Why doesn't a single species that is better at competing for the resource crowd out all the others? According to new findings by Macquarie University, the answer to this question on coral reefs is like a very big game of rock-paper-scissors.

Nesting aids make agricultural fields attractive for bees

Wild bees are important pollinators of many crop plants – sometimes they are even more efficient than honeybees. Their numbers can be increased sustainably using simple means as a recent study has found.

Giant sunfish species eludes discovery for centuries

An elusive new species of ocean sunfish has been discovered by an international team of researchers led by a Murdoch University PhD student.

'Invasive' species have been around much longer than believed

The DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Palaeoscience funded researchers based in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies and in the Evolutionary Studies Institute of the University of the Witwatersrand have used fossil pollen records to solve an ongoing debate regarding invasive plant species in eastern Lesotho.

Lions and lambs—can you solve this classic game theory puzzle?

How many lions does it take to kill a lamb? The answer isn't as straightforward as you might think. Not, at least, according to game theory.

'Sound' research shows slower boats may cause manatees more harm than good

Slower boat speeds reduce risks to manatees. Or do they? Not exactly, according to research conducted at Florida Atlantic University. In fact, the very laws enacted to slow down boats in manatee habitats may actually be doing more harm than good. However, an innovative alerting device is proving to deliver a better solution.

Researchers improve method to identify aquatic species using environmental DNA

Determining which fish are living in various bodies of water can be a daunting task for scientists studying those populations. Identifying invasive or endangered species, for example, has often relied on the ability to catch them.

Reintroduced Przewalski's horses have a different diet

The Przewalski's horse, also called Takhi or Mongolian wild horse, is the only remaining wild horse species. In 1969, wild horses were officially declared extinct. However, a few animals survived in captivity. In 1992, first captive bred wild horses were returned to the wild.

Mixed outcomes for plants and animals in warmer 2080s climate

More than three quarters of plants and animals in England are likely to be significantly affected by climate change by the end of the century, say researchers.

Search and rescue dogs do their jobs despite travel stress

When disaster strikes, you want the very best tools, functioning at their peak. In the case of catastrophic earthquakes, tornadoes, or even bombings in war zones, those tools are search and rescue dogs. But researchers have found that getting dogs to disaster sites can add to the animals' stress.

Researchers in Cambodia find nest of rare riverine bird

Wildlife researchers in Cambodia have found a breeding location for the masked finfoot bird, one of the world's most endangered, raising hopes of its continuing survival, the researchers announced Thursday.

Library of CRISPR targeting sequences increases power of the gene-editing method

CRISPR, the gene-editing technology that has taken biology by storm, is now more powerful than ever. Scientists have assembled a library of RNA sequences that can be used by researchers to direct the CRISPR-cas9 complex to cut DNA with exquisite, unprecedented precision.

Team discovers new paradigm for describing trophic cascades caused by infectious agents

When gray wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park, they sparked a resurgence of aspen trees.

Many pet owners unable to spot an out of hours vet emergency

Although the results only reflect behaviour for one out-of-hours service, the authors believe that this tendency could be be replicated across the small animal veterinary sector.

Kenyan cattle herders defend 'necessary' land invasions

Close by a narrow, rickety bridge in Kenya's central Laikipia highlands two herders sit on blistering hot rock next to the muddy trickle of the Ewaso Nyiro river to explain why they routinely break the law, invading private land to graze their cattle.

Could the secret of a long life be found in cheese?

Suspected life-extending properties of homemade cheese and yoghurt from the Carpathian Mountains will be analysed at Abertay University in a bid to discover their biological secrets.

Chiggers, fleas more noticeable in summer

As people become more active in summer, so do a few familiar pests that keep Texans itching – and scratching for relief, said Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologists.

Growing organic rice for market niche not simple

A market niche for organic rice has a potential to yield premium prices for farmers, but it's more involved than simply planting the seed and forgetting it until harvest time.

Online test reveals if humans instinctively understand apes

An online experiment to investigate whether humans can understand the meaning of ape gestures has been created by researchers at the University of St Andrews.

Alternative antimicrobial compounds could come from wastewater

Municipal wastewater may become a key ally in the fight against antibiotic-resistant disease-causing bacteria and fungi, a new study at Stellenbosch University (SU) found.

Cucumbers in space provide insights on root growth

Scientists have untangled the competing influences of water and gravity on plant roots—by growing cucumbers during spaceflight.

Heritage and ancient grain project feeds a growing demand

After a century of markets dominated by a few types of wheat and white flour, ancient and heritage wheat varieties are making a comeback.

Could sharks help save shipping industry billions?

Whales, sharks, butterflies and lotus leaves might together hold the secret to saving the shipping industry millions and help save the planet, according to a marine biologist at the University of Portsmouth, UK.

Wolves to the slaughter: France approves cull to save sheep

The French government on Thursday gave the green light for the cull of dozens of wolves in mountainous areas where sheep are under sustained attack.

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