Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Science X Newsletter Wednesday, Jul 12

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for July 12, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

How children look at mom's face is influenced by genetic factors and altered in autism

New 'hot Jupiter' with short orbital period discovered

Scientists design solar cell that captures nearly all energy of solar spectrum

Watch 3-D movies at home, sans glasses

Live-in grandparents helped human ancestors get a safer night's sleep

The most effective individual steps to tackle climate change aren't being discussed

Ants build sinking Eiffel Towers when trying to escape

Using treated graywater for irrigation is better for arid environments

Germany: Ambitious project calls for battery housed in underground salt caverns

Targeting 'broken' metabolism in immune cells reduces inflammatory disease

New research points to treatment breakthrough for viruses

Common strength 'genes' identified for first time

See-through heart tissue reveals hidden complexity

House dust spurs growth of fat cells in lab tests

HIV hijacks surface molecule to invade cell

Astronomy & Space news

New 'hot Jupiter' with short orbital period discovered

(Phys.org)—An international team of astronomers reports the discovery of a new "hot Jupiter" exoplanet with a short orbital period of just three and a half days. The newly detected giant planet, designated KELT-20b, circles a rapidly rotating star known as HD 185603 (or KELT-20). The finding was presented in a paper published July 5 on arXiv.org.

Smallest-ever star discovered by astronomers

The smallest star yet measured has been discovered by a team of astronomers led by the University of Cambridge. With a size just a sliver larger than that of Saturn, the gravitational pull at its stellar surface is about 300 times stronger than what humans feel on Earth.

NASA closes Chamber A door to commence Webb telescope testing

Though the Webb telescope will be enveloped in darkness, the engineers testing the telescope will be far from blind. "There are many thermal sensors that monitor temperatures of the telescope and the support equipment," said Gary Matthews, an integration and testing engineer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who is testing the Webb telescope while it is at Johnson. "Specialized camera systems track the physical position of the hardware inside the chamber, monitoring how Webb moves as it gets colder."

HIRMES—a new high-resolution mid-infrared spectrometer for SOFIA

NASA is developing a new instrument to expand the boundaries of astronomy research. A team of scientists and technologists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) is developing the High-Resolution Mid-Infrared Spectrometer (HIRMES)—an innovative instrument that will enable new scientific investigations and important contributions to our understanding of the cosmos. HIRMES' commissioning is anticipated for late 2018 on NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a heavily modified Boeing 747SP that carries a 2.5m-diameter infrared telescope. SOFIA flies above ~95% of the Earth's atmospheric water vapor, allowing astronomers to gain access to wavelengths that are not possible to observe from the ground, even with the most powerful groundbased telescopes. HIRMES applies emerging detector and optical technologies tailored to take maximum advantage of the unique platform provided by SOFIA, covering the 25–122-micron spectral range with resolving powers ranging from 600 to 100,000.

NASA's SDO watches a sunspot turn toward Earth

An active region on the sun—an area of intense and complex magnetic fields—has rotated into view on the sun and seems to be growing rather quickly in this video captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory between July 5-11, 2017.

Technology news

Scientists design solar cell that captures nearly all energy of solar spectrum

Scientists have designed and constructed a prototype for a new solar cell that integrates multiple cells stacked into a single device capable of capturing nearly all of the energy in the solar spectrum. The new design converts direct sunlight to electricity with 44.5 percent efficiency, giving it the potential to become the most efficient solar cell in the world.

Watch 3-D movies at home, sans glasses

While 3-D movies continue to be popular in theaters, they haven't made the leap to our homes just yet—and the reason rests largely on the ridge of your nose.

Germany: Ambitious project calls for battery housed in underground salt caverns

(Tech Xplore)—A company has an ambitious plan: To build the world's largest battery. Germany is the hatching grounds. Ewe Gasspeicher, subsidiary of utility company Ewe, is talking about its plan with an approach that centers around the redox flow battery principle.

Method for designing efficient computer chips may get miniature smart drones off the ground

In recent years, engineers have worked to shrink drone technology, building flying prototypes that are the size of a bumblebee and loaded with even tinier sensors and cameras. Thus far, they have managed to miniaturize almost every part of a drone, except for the brains of the entire operation—the computer chip.

Low-cost smart glove wirelessly translates the American Sign Language alphabet into text

A glove fitted with wearable electronics can translate the American Sign Language alphabet and then wirelessly transmit the text for display on electronic devices—all for less than $100, according to a study published July 12, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Timothy O'Connor and Darren Lipomi from University of California, San Diego, US, and colleagues.

Using the stairs just got easier with energy-recycling steps

Researchers at Georgia Tech and Emory University have created a device that makes walking up and down stairs easier. They've built energy-recycling stairs that store a user's energy during descent and return energy to the user during ascent.

Soft and stretchy fabric-based sensors for wearable robots

Wearable technologies—from heart rate monitors to virtual reality headsets—are exploding in popularity in both the consumer and research spaces, but most of the electronic sensors that detect and transmit data from wearables are made of hard, inflexible materials that can restrict both the wearer's natural movements and the accuracy of the data collected. Now, a team of researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) at Harvard University has created a highly sensitive soft capacitive sensor made of silicone and fabric that moves and flexes with the human body to unobtrusively and accurately detect movement.

Ads heading for Messenger home screens globally

Facebook on Tuesday said that advertisements will begin popping up on Messenger home screens globally after promising tests with users in Australia and Thailand.

Building a safer lithium-ion battery

Lithium-ion batteries have become an indispensable power source for our proliferating gadgets. They have also, on occasion, been known to catch fire. To yield insight into what goes wrong when batteries fail and how to address the safety hazard, scientists report in the journal ACS Sensors that they have found a potential way to track lithium ions as they travel in a battery.

Automated security kiosk could alleviate travel, border woes

An automated screening kiosk developed by a Missouri University of Science and Technology researcher could alleviate concerns about safety and wait time at U.S. airports and border crossings.

Lightweight module that can pick up and move objects could lead to faster and more accurate automation

A module for rapid, accurate and versatile positioning of semiconductor chips has been developed by Singaporean researchers. It features a novel electromechanical actuator that can move objects both linearly and rotationally.

We're close to banning nuclear weapons—killer robots must be next

On Friday, 122 countries voted in favour of the "Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons".

Why can't we fix our own electronic devices?

Traditionally, when a car breaks down, the solution has been to fix it. Repair manuals, knowledgeable mechanics and auto parts stores make car repairs common, quick and relatively inexpensive. Even with modern computer-equipped vehicles, regular people have plenty they can do: change oil, change tires and many more advanced upgrades.

Energy storage paired with solar more cost effective in Minnesota today

As federal policy on renewable energy is being rolled back, a new UMN-led report finds that when environmental benefits are considered combined energy storage and solar arrays can be a more cost-effective alternative in Minnesota – implementable today – to natural gas peaking plants, which are fired up only to meet peak demand.

Robots debate future of humans at Hong Kong tech show

It was a spooky sight: two lifelike disembodied robot torsos discussing the pros and cons of humans in front of a nervously tittering audience in Hong Kong Wednesday.

Politicians jeopardise the safety of whistleblowers with bad technology

The Western Australian Liberal Party has created a website, www.wawhistleblowers.com, encouraging whistleblowers to report on WA public officers, government ministers and members of parliament.

Big-data analysis points toward new drug discovery method

A research team led by scientists at UC San Francisco has developed a computational method to systematically probe massive amounts of open-access data to discover new ways to use drugs, including some that have already been approved for other uses.

US bans Kaspersky software amid concerns over Russia ties

The US government has moved to block federal agencies from buying software from Russia-based Kaspersky Labs, amid concerns about the company's links to intelligence services in Moscow.

Google, Facebook join online protest of net neutrality rollback

How many online activists does it take to save Silicon Valley's favorite Obama-era regulation?

Serving pizzas made by robots

Not long after the pizzeria Zume opened for business last year, its kitchen staff noticed a problem with some of its pizzas: they had holes in them.

Amazon to build fulfillment center employing 1,500 near Orlando airport

Amazon announced Monday it will expand its internet retailing empire by building a massive fulfillment center south of Orlando International Airport.

Tech review: Samsung QLED TV is picture perfect

It's time to make a confession about my television. I only have one TV in my house, and it's a 10-year-old, 42-inch Panasonic plasma set.

What to know about the net neutrality 'day of action' internet protest

Right now, you may have a shaky idea of what net neutrality is, but on July 12, a massive online protest plans to make you painfully aware.

Data analysis in the kitchen: Modeling flavor networks to predict tasty ingredient combinations

What's on the menu tonight? How about some roast beef with strawberry-, beer- and garlic sauce? Or perhaps something lighter based on tomatoes, apricots and whiskey gum? Gourmet chefs and foodies alike love to experiment in the kitchen and come up with new flavor combinations, and recent research is taking the science of combining ingredients to a whole new—computable—level. New research published in Frontiers in ICT suggests and analyses a possible new principle behind ingredient mixing in traditional cuisines—the food-bridging hypothesis - and compares it to the previously suggested food-pairing hypothesis, in order to examine what data driven graphical modelling can tell us about tasty ingredient combinations.

Adapters enable better communication between machines

Plug and play is a technology that allows users to connect devices such as printers or USB memory sticks to a computer and directly use them without installing any software. This technology is now also available for industrial applications: Engineers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) developed an adapter that makes it much easier to interconnect parts of a production facility and align them with each other. It allows a much quicker, more flexible and safer modification or extension of such facilities.

Face scans for Americans flying abroad stir privacy issues

If the Trump administration gets its way, all U.S. citizens flying abroad will have to submit to face scans at airport security.

Hyperloop startup moves closer to near-supersonic rail

US startup Hyperloop One on Wednesday announced the first successful full-systems test of its near-supersonic rail transit system.

Apple to open data center in China with government ties

Apple will open a data center in mainland China with ties to the country's government, raising concerns about the security of iCloud accounts that store personal information transferred from iPhones, iPads and Mac computers there.

Efficient and intelligent: Drones get to grips with planning the delivery of goods

When goods are needed urgently, for instance, in rural areas poorly served by transport infrastructure, or in large, heavily congested cities, they could be delivered by drones. In 2013, Amazon was one of the first to declare the intention to work towards the automated delivery of goods by small autonomous helicopters. A multi-disciplinary research team at the Alpen-Adria-Universität assembled by Christian Bettstetter and Friederike Wall is due to deliver initial insights on the efficient operation of (self-organised) delivery of goods. Doctoral student Pasquale Grippa will present the results at the conference "Robotics: Science and Systems," which is scheduled to take place at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from July 12th.

Code @ TACC robotics camp delivers on self-driving cars

On a hot and breezy June day in Austin, parents, friends, brothers and sisters navigated through main campus at The University of Texas at Austin and helped carry luggage for the new arrivals to their dorm rooms. Thirty-four high school students from mostly low-income Title I schools in Central Texas, some from as far away as Houston, said good-bye to their families.

Medicine & Health news

How children look at mom's face is influenced by genetic factors and altered in autism

New research has uncovered compelling evidence that genetics plays a major role in how children look at the world and whether they have a preference for gazing at people's eyes and faces or at objects.

Targeting 'broken' metabolism in immune cells reduces inflammatory disease

The team, led by researchers at Imperial College London, Queen Mary University of London and Ergon Pharmaceuticals, believes the approach could offer new hope in the treatment of inflammatory conditions like arthritis, autoimmune diseases and sepsis.

New research points to treatment breakthrough for viruses

RMIT University scientists in Melbourne, Australia, have led an international collaboration that potentially unlocks better treatment of viral diseases, including the flu and common cold.

Common strength 'genes' identified for first time

Common genetic factors that influence muscle strength in humans have been identified for the first time in a study led by researchers from the University of Cambridge and published today in Nature Communications.

See-through heart tissue reveals hidden complexity

A technique borrowed from neuroscience to see through brain tissue is helping scientists to see the fine structure of the heart.

House dust spurs growth of fat cells in lab tests

Poor diet and a lack of physical activity are major contributors to the world's obesity epidemic, but researchers have also identified common environmental pollutants that could play a role. Now one team reports in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology that small amounts of house dust containing many of these compounds can spur fat cells to accumulate more triglycerides, or fat, in a lab dish.

Synapses in the brain mirror the structure of the visual world

The research team of Prof. Sonja Hofer at the Biozentrum, University of Basel, has discovered why our brain might be so good at perceiving edges and contours. Neurons that respond to different parts of elongated edges are connected and thus exchange information. This can make it easier for the brain to identify contours of objects. The results of the study are now published in the journal Nature.

New tool demonstrates differences in human immune systems

Immune system function varies significantly between individuals, and up to now there has been no effective means of measuring and describing these differences. Now, researchers at Karolinska Institutet have shown that white blood cell composition is unique in individuals, and that the composition of these cells may predict immune system response to various forms of stimulation. The study, which is published in PNAS, paves the way for more individualised treatment of diseases involving the immune system, e.g. autoimmune disorders, allergies and various forms of cancer.

New potential treatment for aggressive types of childhood cancer

A combination of substances that impacts chemical modifications in the DNA of tumours and triggers the tumours to differentiate into harmless nerve cells could represent a new method of treating aggressive forms of neuroblastoma. The new method has been proposed by researchers at Karolinska Institutet, after studies using mice showed that the combination treatment resulted in a significant suppression in tumour growth. The study, published in PNAS, also questions a hypothesis within the research field that could result in potentially harmful wrong treatment of children with neuroblastoma.

'Fusion genes' drive formation and growth of colorectal cancer

Genetic mutations caused by rearranged chromosomes drive the development and growth of certain colorectal cancers, according to new research conducted by Weill Cornell Medicine investigators.

Exposure to a common visual illusion may enhance your ability to read fine print

Exposure to a common visual illusion may enhance your ability to read fine print, according to new research from psychologists at the Universities of York and Glasgow.

Blood test for early detection of pancreatic cancer headed to clinic

A newly identified biomarker panel could pave the way to earlier detection and better treatment for pancreatic cancer, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania. Currently over 53,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer—the fourth leading cause of cancer death—every year. The blood biomarkers, detailed today in Science Translational Medicine, correctly detected pancreatic cancer in blood samples from patients at different stages of their disease.

Surgery for early prostate cancer may not save lives

A major 20-year study provides further evidence that prostate cancer surgery offers negligible benefits to many men with early-stage disease. In such men, who account for most cases of newly diagnosed prostate cancer, surgery did not prolong life and often caused serious complications such as infection, urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

Discovery of brain-like activity in immune system promises better disease treatments

The Australian National University (ANU) has led the discovery of brain-like activity in the immune system that promises better treatments for lymphoma, autoimmune diseases and immunodeficiency disorders, which collectively affect millions of people globally.

Tumor-targeting drug shows potential for treating bone cancer patients

The treatment of osteosarcoma, the most common tumor of bone, is challenging. A study led by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found a drug known as bone metastasis-targeting peptidomimetic (BMTP-11) has potential as a new therapeutic strategy for this devastating illness.

Diabetes causes shift in oral microbiome that fosters periodontitis, study finds

A new study led by University of Pennsylvania researchers has found that the oral microbiome is affected by diabetes, causing a shift to increase its pathogenicity. The research, published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe this week, not only showed that the oral microbiome of mice with diabetes shifted but that the change was associated with increased inflammation and bone loss.

Chronic liver inflammation linked to Western diet

A new study in The American Journal of Pathology reports that mice fed a Western diet, which is high in fat and sugar, resulted in hepatic inflammation, especially in males. Moreover, liver inflammation was most pronounced in Western diet-fed male mice that also lacked farnesoid x receptor (FXR), a bile acid receptor.

Predictive model may help forecast migraine attacks

A new model based on measuring stress from daily hassles may help forecast future migraine headache attacks in those who develop them frequently. The findings, which are published in a Headache study, suggest that it may be possible to predict the occurrence of tomorrow's migraine attack based on today's stress.

Half of kids who needed epinephrine didn't get it before trip to the emergency room

Anyone suffering a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) should receive epinephrine as quickly as possible. A new study showed that even kids who were prescribed an epinephrine auto injector didn't receive the life-saving medication when they needed it.

Programs that teach emotional intelligence in schools have lasting impact

Social and emotional learning programs for youth not only immediately improve mental health, social skills, and learning outcomes but also continue to benefit children years later, according to new research from UBC, University of Illinois at Chicago and Loyola University.

Opioid maker fined $35mn over shipments that fed addiction crisis

Drug manufacturer Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals was fined $35 million Tuesday for supplying and not reporting suspicious massive orders of its highly addictive oxycodone, helping to fuel the US addiction crisis.

No statistically significant risk of ID in children from mothers using antidepressants

A study published by JAMA Psychiatry reports no evidence of an association between intellectual disability in children and mothers who took antidepressant medication during pregnancy when other mitigating factors, such as parental age and underlying psychiatric disorder, were considered.

Clinical trial looks at tramadol for opioid withdrawal

A randomized clinical trial published by JAMA Psychiatry compared tramadol extended-release with clonidine and buprenorphine for the management of opioid withdrawal symptoms in patients with opioid use disorder in a residential research setting.

Everyday chemicals linked to chronic disease in men

Chemicals found in everyday plastics materials are linked to cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes and high blood pressure in men, according to Adelaide researchers.

Case study highlights potential risk for triceps tendon ruptures in athletes

In a case report recently published by experts at Baylor College of Medicine in the journal Sports Health, sports medicine expert Dr. Theodore Shybut highlights the need to be aware of the potential risk of tendon ruptures after the use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics, which are commonly used to treat a broad array of bacterial infections such as pneumonia, urinary tract/genitourinary, skin and soft tissue infections.

Virtual reality system helps surgeons, reassures patients

Having undergone two aneurysm surgeries, Sandi Rodoni thought she understood everything about the procedure. But when it came time for her third surgery, the Watsonville, California, resident was treated to a virtual reality trip inside her own brain.

Memory of social interactions impaired in all phases of schizophrenia

People with schizophrenia have trouble remembering the details of social interactions in all phases of the illness, researchers report. However, in the early stages of schizophrenia, patients can remember more about these interactions if given hints about context. This finding suggests a potential strategy for memory training.

Missing link identified between immune cells and Alzheimer's

By studying the effects of immune cells that surround blood vessels in the brain, Weill Cornell Medicine researchers have discovered a new pathway involving these cells that may contribute to the cause of Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers survey strategies to improve end of life quality

Globally, 20 million people per year require palliative care at the end of their lives.

Next step in depression treatment? Add rather than switch

Millions of patients suffering from major depression get little relief from the first drug they are prescribed. A major new study of 1,522 patients at 35 U.S. Veterans Health Administration medical centers shows these patients benefit more from adding an antidepressant treatment than from switching to another one, researchers report July 11 in the journal JAMA.

Children born to mothers with diabetes during pregnancy are at risk of developing attention problems

Babies born to mothers who develop diabetes during pregnancy – known as gestational diabetes (GDM) – are shown to have attentional deficiencies as early as 6–18 months of age, suggesting the need to reduce insulin resistance prior to pregnancy.

Smartphone apps can be memory aids for people with brain injuries, and everyone else

Smartphone apps allow us to outsource remembering appointments or upcoming tasks. It's a common worry that using technology in this way makes our brain's memory capacity worse, but the reality is not that simple.

Stress can worsen effects of toxic chemical exposure

When a pregnant woman suffers from stress, she's more likely to have a low birth weight baby than a non-stressed pregnant woman if both are exposed to the same toxic chemicals, according to the first study examining the combined impact of stress and environmental chemicals on fetal development.

What do high school principals know about concussion?

When it comes to helping high school student athletes recover from concussion, support is needed beyond the athletic field. It is also essential when they return to the classroom. A new study examining principals' perceptions about concussion will be released today and presented at the American Academy of Neurology's Sports Concussion Conference in Jacksonville, Fla., July 14 to 16, 2017.

Government funds dwindle for cardiac arrest research

National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding to conduct cardiac arrest research has dwindled in the last decade and is a fraction of what the government spends to study other leading causes of death, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Moms who breastfeed may have reduced risk of multiple sclerosis

Mothers who breastfeed for a total of at least 15 months over one or more pregnancies may be less likely to develop multiple sclerosis (MS) compared with those who don't breastfeed at all or do so for up to four months, according to a study published in the July 12, 2017, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Improving diet quality over time linked with reduced risk of premature death

People who improve the quality of their diets over time, eating more whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and fish and less red and processed meats and sugary beverages, may significantly reduce their risk of premature death, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. It is the first study to show that improving diet quality over at least a dozen years is associated with lower total and cardiovascular mortality, and underscores the importance of maintaining healthy eating patterns over the long term.

Time perception and temporal information processing in patients with schizophrenia

Persons suffering from schizophrenia have a different perception of time than healthy individuals. There is far more variation in the way that a time interval is perceived by people with schizophrenic disorders than by those who do not have the condition. Patients with schizophrenia are also less precise when it comes to judging the temporal order of events. These are the conclusions drawn from the results of a meta-analysis undertaken by psychologists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), for which they evaluated 68 international publications from the past 65 years and compared the data of 957 schizophrenia patients with that of 1,060 healthy control persons.

Rhythmic firing of brain cells supports communication in brain network for language

The communication between brain regions specialized in language is supported by rhythmic synchronization of brain cells. Moreover, different rhythms reflect different directions of information flow - a breakthrough in the research on communication between functionally specialized brain regions. Neuroscientists from the Nijmegen Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics (MPI) and Radboud University publish their findings in PNAS on July 11.

Public health at risk when opinion trumps evidence

In the Trump era, we have seen dramatic reductions in dialogue on important issues of the day. We have seen attacks on the legitimacy of science. We have seen attacks on trusted news sources, derided as fake. On social media, one person's opinion, whether expert or not, often seems to outweigh all other forms of evidence. Belief in an opinion is treated as a legitimate form of evidence. For many people today, beliefs about vaccination or breastfeeding or marijuana inform everyday important decisions that affect their health and the public's health.

The policy termites slowly eating out the foundations of smoking

Across 40 years of working in tobacco control, there have been countless times when I've been asked "so, has [insert here] policy or [insert here] campaign worked?".

Children conceived using donor sperm have similar health and well-being to general population

Children conceived using donor sperm have similar health and well-being to the general population, according to a study published in Reproductive BioMedicine Online.

Higher use of general health care services throughout adult life linked with traumatic childhoods

Experiencing physical, sexual or emotional abuse as a child, or other stresses such as living in a household affected by domestic violence, substance abuse or mental illness, can lead to higher levels of health service use throughout adulthood.

Insufficient levels of vitamin D in pregnancy detrimental to child development

Vitamin D deficiency in expectant mothers during pregnancy has a negative effect on the social development and motor skills of pre-school age children, a new study in the British Journal of Nutrition reports.

Doctors vary in support for monitoring of opioid prescriptions, school of public health study finds

Doctors who work in emergency rooms are generally supportive of prescription drug monitoring programs, while those in other specialties appear more concerned regulatory oversight will interfere with the doctor-patient relationship and do little to curb the opioid epidemic, according to a study led by a researcher at Georgia State University.

Predicting heart events after liver transplant

The first app and score to determine the one-year risk of a liver transplant patient dying or being hospitalized for a heart attack or other cardiovascular complication has been developed by Northwestern Medicine scientists.

Sinus disease symptoms improve 10 years after patients quit smoking

Patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) who quit smoking will see their condition improve over a period of about 10 years, according to the results of a new study led by the Sinus Center at Mass. Eye and Ear. The study, published online today in Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, is not only the first to quantify the severity of symptoms and quality-of-life impact of smoking on CRS patients, but also estimates the timeline of reversal of the smoking effects on the sinuses after cessation for the first time. The findings may provide better motivation for patients suffering from chronic sinus disease to break the habit.

How severe, ongoing stress can affect a child's brain

A quiet, unsmiling little girl with big brown eyes crawls inside a carpeted cubicle, hugs a stuffed teddy bear tight, and turns her head away from the noisy classroom.

Preserving and rejuvenating donor organs using ex vivo perfusion

Each day, tens of thousands of patients on waiting lists across the United States await a simple phone call: one that says a match has been found and an organ is available for transplant. Despite a growing demand for donors, organ shortages continue to hinder many patients' chances in receiving their potentially life-saving call.

Face-to-face bullying more common than cyberbullying among teenagers

Despite the growth of social media, the internet and their central role in modern childhood, traditional bullying – such as name-calling or being excluded by others – remains considerably more common than cyberbullying, according to the largest study of its kind published in The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health journal.

New approach to leukaemia can help improve successful treatment

New University of Liverpool research, presented at an international conference, confirms that a novel approach to the treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) can safely increase treatment success and reduce negative side effects.

Football boosts bone development in boys

Playing football can improve bone development in adolescent boys, new research shows.

First aid in the brain: When language suddenly fails

After a stroke a person often suffers from language problems. In some cases certain linguistic abilities can be regained, whereas others are lost forever. Now scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brains Sciences (MPI CBS) in Leipzig have found one possible explanation: The injury of some brain areas can be well compensated, whereas this is not the case with others. These findings could not just be relevant for therapy after a stroke but also prove the hierarchical structure of language.

Weighing portions adds up to weight loss

(HealthDay)—Portion control is a must when you want to lose weight.

Mathematical modeling could help with personalized cancer care

A new study from the University of Southern California could pave the way for improving personalised lung cancer care and treatment.The research used mathematical modelling to examine if there was a link between the molecular and anatomical properties of lung cancer metastases, and whether this has an influence on how they spread through the body.

Expecting the worst: People's perceived morality is biased towards negativity

Researchers from the University of Surrey and University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy) collected data from more than 400 participants on behavioural expectations of people described as 'moral' and 'immoral'. Participants were asked to estimate the probability that an individual possessing a characteristic (i.e. honesty) would act in an inconsistent manner (i.e. dishonestly).

Research raises antibiotic questions

A James Cook University scientist has warned about the side effects of overusing topical antibiotics, including concerns they're contributing to global antibiotic resistance.

Creating music by thought alone

Neurologists have created a hands-free, thought-controlled musical instrument, which they've recently described in a report in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Researchers hope that this new instrument will help empower and rehabilitate patients with motor disabilities such as those from stroke, spinal cord injury, amputation, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Breathing in a new gene therapy to treat pulmonary hypertension

Mount Sinai has partnered with Theragene Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to advance a novel airway-delivered gene therapy for treating pulmonary hypertension (PH), a form of high blood pressure in blood vessels in the lungs that is linked to heart failure. If the therapy succeeds in human clinical trials, it will provide patients for the first time with a way to reverse the damage caused by PH.

FDA advisers review data on potential first US gene therapy

Cancer experts who advise government regulators are reviewing what could be the first gene therapy approved in the U.S.

Study: After watching disturbing video, CPAP usage soars

Like more than 20 million other Americans, John Brugger has been diagnosed with sleep apnea. He snored, tossed and turned, and struggled to breathe during the night, which often left him not only exhausted the next day, but also raised his risk of heart attack, stroke and car accidents. Fed up, Brugger went to his doctor, who suggested he use a CPAP machine, which delivers air through a face mask while he sleeps to keep his throat open with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).

Spread of breast cancer reduced by targeting acid metabolite

It's a metabolite found in essentially all our cells that, like so many things, cancer overexpresses. Now scientists have shown that when they inhibit 20-HETE, it reduces both the size of a breast cancer tumor and its ability to spread to the lungs.

Cancer survivors get a taste for kefir after exercise

Kefir may be a beneficial post-exercise beverage for cancer survivors. It means that cancer survivors can enjoy the nutritional support that milk provides without the potential for significant stomach upset, report researchers in the Journal of Dairy Science.

Fighting cancer: Natural and synthetic progestin therapies in post-menopausal women help breast cancer grow and spread

Hormone replacement therapies, or medications containing female hormones that substitute those no longer produced by the body, often are prescribed to reduce the effects of menopausal symptoms in women. Research has indicated that women who take hormone replacement therapies have a higher incidence of breast cancer. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have linked natural and synthetic progestins to the body's production of specialized cancer cells that act like stem cells in humans. Findings could help scientists target these rare cells that proliferate in breast cancers and metastasize elsewhere, and may help clinicians identify immunotherapies to combat the spread of the disease.

The wiser brain: Insights from healthy elders

The archetype of old wise elders distinguished for their wisdom and sound judgement continues to inspire dreams of reaching a bright and enlightened old age. However, it is presently unclear how such elders are able to stop the natural cognitive decline associated with old ageing.

Study: Diet not connected to GI problems in children with autism

Many children with autism spectrum disorder experience significant gastrointestinal issues, but the cause of these symptoms is unknown. Professionals in the medical community have suggested a potential link between diet and gastrointestinal issues related to autism. Now, researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine have found that diet is not a contributing factor in these individuals. The researchers hope the findings could help lead to improved treatment options.

Detecting long-term concussion in athletes

Lawyers representing both sides in concussion lawsuits against sports leagues may eventually have a new tool at their disposal: a diagnostic signature that uses artificial intelligence to detect brain trauma years after it has occurred.

Scientists probe function of cerebellar interneurons with new technique

The cerebellum is an area of brain at the back of your head involved in movement. Its neuronal circuitry is relatively simple compared to other areas, but scientists still have a lot left to learn regarding its role in motor control and motor learning. The cerebellum is composed of several distinct types of neurons and isolating the function of each individual type of neuron within its circuit has remained a challenge.  

Is a biological driver behind the need for self-fulfillment?

As human beings, what drives us to higher levels of existence? Once we have satisfied the basics - food, shelter, a mate, children - then what? For many it's the idea of self-actualization, or realizing our full potential.

Not all cancers need treatment right away

The biopsy shows cancer, so you have to act fast, right? Not necessarily, if it's a prostate tumor.

House panel seeks to block FDA 'vaping' rules

A House panel is again trying to exempt increasingly popular e-cigarettes from new Food and Drug Administration rules.

Australia cautiously enters medical marijuana market

At a secret location in Australia's southeast, Peter Crook delicately tends to a two-month-old cannabis cutting.

Senate consumer choice idea could raise premiums for sick

A health care proposal from Senate conservatives would let insurers sell skimpy policies provided they also offer a comprehensive plan. It's being billed as pro-consumer, allowing freedom of choice and potential savings for many.

Germany eyes European Medicines Agency after Brexit

Germany said Wednesday it would apply for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to move from London to Bonn after Brexit, pitting the western city against EU competitors from Helsinki to Barcelona.

Home remedies: Don't scratch swimmer's itch

Swimmer's itch is an itchy rash that can occur after you go swimming or wading outdoors. Also known as cercarial dermatitis, swimmer's itch is most common in freshwater lakes and ponds, but it occasionally occurs in salt water.

New series of papers call for a global recovery treatment consensus for stoke patients

The absolute number of people who have a stroke every year; stroke survivors, related deaths, and the overall global burden of stroke is increasing. Neurorehabilitation clinicians and researchers have long been aware of the limited evidence for stroke recovery and rehabilitation.

The number of illustrations in storybooks influences children's word learning

New research shows that the number of illustrations presented in a storybook can influence preschool children's ability to learn words from shared reading.

Iowa hospital unwittingly posts 5,300 patients' data online

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics says it accidentally posted online the names, admission dates and medical records numbers of around 5,300 current and former patients for two years.

Rice team developing flat microscope for the brain

Rice University engineers are building a flat microscope, called FlatScope, and developing software that can decode and trigger neurons on the surface of the brain.

Biology news

Live-in grandparents helped human ancestors get a safer night's sleep

A sound night's sleep grows more elusive as people get older. But what some call insomnia may actually be an age-old survival mechanism, researchers report.

Ants build sinking Eiffel Towers when trying to escape

If you want to see the Eiffel Tower, you don't have to go to Paris. Just look down at your feet —but watch your step.

HIV hijacks surface molecule to invade cell

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have discovered a key step in the process that HIV uses to inject its genetic material into cells. Working with cultures of cells and tissues, the researchers prevented the invasion process by chemically blocking this step, preventing HIV genetic material from entering cells. The findings could lead to the eventual development of new drugs to prevent HIV infection.

Taking cells out to the movies with new CRISPR technology

Researchers are developing ways to harness DNA, the blueprint of biological life, as a synthetic raw material to store large amounts of digital information outside of living cells, using expensive machinery. But, what if they could coerce living cells, like large populations of bacteria, into using their own genomes as a biological hard drive that can be used to record information and then be tapped for it anytime? Such an approach could not only open entirely new possibilities of data storage, but also be engineered further into an effective memory device that may be able to record the molecular experiences cells are having during their development, or exposure to stresses and pathogens in a chronological fashion.

Anti-CRISPR proteins decrease off-target side effects of CRISPR-Cas9

CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing is based on a tactic bacteria developed to protect themselves from viruses.

Spider walks like an ant and raises front legs to mimic ant antenna

(Phys.org)—A small team of researchers at Cornell University has found that a certain species of spider raises its front legs periodically to mimic the look of antennae on ants. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the group reports that the spider also walks in a zig-zap pattern similar to ants.

RNA molecules live short lives

A research group at the Biozentrum, University of Basel, has developed a new method to measure the half-life of RNA molecules. The study revealed that commonly used methods provide distorted results and that RNA molecules live an average of only two minutes, ten times shorter than previously assumed. The results have now been published in the journal Science Advances.

Early squirrel gets the real estate, study finds

Those young squirrels now scampering around your neighbourhood were born in this year's earliest litters and are more likely to survive than squirrels born later and still curled up in their nests, according to a new University of Guelph study.

Seaside sparrows caught between predators and rising seas

Sea-level rise may be a big problem for saltmarsh birds, but so is predation, and birds sometimes find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place: They can place their nests lower in the vegetation to avoid predators, putting them at greater risk of flooding, or move them up to keep them dry but risk getting eaten. A new study from The Condor: Ornithological Applications finds that greater pressure from predators increases the risk of flooding for Seaside Sparrow nests—but the upside is that protecting them from predators could also mitigate the worst effects of climate change.

Nesting in cavities protects birds from predators—to a point

Nesting in cavities provides birds with some protection from predators—but it isn't foolproof. A new study from The Auk: Ornithological Advances explores how Poland's cavity-nesting Marsh Tits deal with predator attacks and finds that while tactics such as small entrances and solid walls do help, adaptations like this can only take the birds so far.

George the wombat turns one, warms hearts again

An orphan baby wombat who warmed the hearts of the world in a viral Facebook video viewed 40 million times has turned one, with his latest exploits also proving a huge hit.

The fork in the road to DNA repair

Japanese researchers from Osaka University have uncovered a way in which our cells regulate the repair of broken DNA. Their results, published in the journal Cell Reports show a common molecule regulates multiple repair mechanisms and help shed light on how the cell maintains the integrity of the human genome when it is damaged.

Does greed help a forager survive?

In a world of sometimes scarce resources, greed, the trait that encourages resource accumulation, would seem to be an evolutionary advantage. But, new research reveals that while greed may appear to be a good strategy, it isn't often the best one.

Japan baby panda healthy after 30 days

A baby panda in Japan has survived its crucial first 30 days, zoo officials said Wednesday, as fresh video showed the cub at one month old.

Female fish prefer averagely active lovers

In evolution, a high sex drive does not always pay off. Female mosquitofish swim away from over-impetuous lovers because they leave them hardly any time to feed and also tend to injure their genitalia more often.

Cellular thermometer discovered

Scientists from Freie Universität Berlin have identified a mechanism that allows cells to adapt their gene expression program to very small changes in temperature. "Like a thermometer, these changes in gene expression follow the temperature in linear form and thus enable gradual adaptation to the given temperature," explains Prof. Dr. Florian Heyd from Freie Universität, who led the study. This cellular thermometer is sensitive enough to react to changes in body temperature between 36 and 38 ° C with altered gene expression. This discovery lays the foundation for a number of other, application-oriented questions. The experiments were carried out in mice, but since there are also time-of-the-day dependent differences in body temperature in humans, it is to be expected that the mechanism also plays an important role in human physiology. The findings were published in the highly regarded science journal Molecular Cell.

Behind Green Eyes: New Species of deep-water hermit crab finds itself unusual shelters

'Green-eyed hermit crab' is the common name for a new species recently discovered off the West Coast of South Africa. Apart from its magnetic stare, however, there is a number of characteristic morphological traits and an unusual home preference that all make the crustacean unique.

New analysis of rare Argentinian rat unlocks origin of the largest mammalian genome

New biological information gleaned from the red vizcacha rat, a native species of Argentina, demonstrates how genomes can rapidly change in size.

Intensive fishing finds no more Asian carp beyond barrier

Two weeks of intensive fishing in and around a Chicago waterway failed to produce any proof that more Asian carp have made it past electronic barriers intended to keep the invasive species out of Lake Michigan.

Evolution of a bacterial enzyme in green algae

A new jigsaw piece in the evolution of green algae has been identified by researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum together with colleagues from Max Planck Institute in Mülheim an der Ruhr. They analysed the hydrogen-producing enzyme of a phylogenetically old alga. Its properties were radically different from those of analogous enzymes in more recent algae. The team headed by Vera Engelbrecht and Prof Dr Thomas Happe from the research group Photobiotechnology in Bochum outlines their results in the journal Biochimica et Biophysica Acta.

How migrating birds 'run a marathon,' burning muscles and organs in long flights

Migrating birds complete long non-stop flights of many hours for songbirds and days for some shorebirds to reach breeding or wintering grounds. During such flights a bird's metabolic rate is very high, fueled by stored fat, but also by burning the protein in muscles and organs in a process that is not well understood, says eco-physiologist Alexander Gerson at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Synthesizing the human genome from scratch

For the past 15 years, synthetic biologists have been figuring out how to synthesize an organism's complete set of DNA, including all of its genes. They've tackled the genomes of microbes, but now one large consortium has its sights set on the human genome. The cover story in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, explores Genome Project-write (GP-write) and the technical and ethical challenges it faces.

No monkeying around: Court weighs if animal owns its selfies

A curious monkey with a toothy grin and a knack for pressing a camera button was back in the spotlight Wednesday as a federal appeals court heard arguments on whether an animal can hold a copyright to selfie photos.


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1 comment:

Michelle Greger said...

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