Friday, August 4, 2017

Science X Newsletter Friday, Aug 4

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for August 4, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Physicists investigate fundamental limits of quantum engines

Microbot origami can capture, transport single cells

Genome sequencing shows maize adapted to highlands thousands of years ago

Primordial black holes may have helped to forge heavy elements

Improving students' academic performance—there's an app for that

Cognitive hearing aid filters out the noise

New additive helps researchers more selectively convert CO2 to multicarbon fuels

Lab develops dual-surface graphene electrode to split water into hydrogen and oxygen

Scientists crack mystery of the luckless apostles of Paris

Panasonic finds comfort paths to drowsiness control

Researchers working on blood test to detect brain metastases while still treatable

Brain tumor scientists map mutation that drives tumors in childhood cancer survivors

A Chinese 3D print studio fuses ancient art with modern tech

Carbonitride aerogels mediate the photocatalytic conversion of water

Software lets designers exploit the extremely high resolution of 3-D printers

Astronomy & Space news

Two weeks in the life of a sunspot

On July 5, 2017, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory watched an active region—an area of intense and complex magnetic fields—rotate into view on the Sun. The satellite continued to track the region as it grew and eventually rotated across the Sun and out of view on July 17.

Image: Astronaut Paolo Nespoli and the Mares human physiology experiment

The newest crewmember on the International Space Station, ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli, has hit the ground running. After arriving in the early hours of 29 July and taking the rest of the day off, Paolo and the crew were back to work by 30 July.

Eclipse to shed light on weather in space and on Earth

When a total solar eclipse sweeps across U.S. skies on Monday, Aug. 21, UMass Lowell faculty and students will be stationed around the country, conducting research that will be used to better predict the weather and improve GPS, satellite and shortwave-radio communications.

Lockheed Martin reveals first images from telescope as thick as a pen cap

Lockheed Martin today revealed the first images from an experimental, ultra-thin optical instrument, showing it could be possible to shrink space telescopes to a sliver of the size of today's systems while maintaining equivalent resolution.

Technology news

Cognitive hearing aid filters out the noise

People who are hearing impaired have a difficult time following a conversation in a multi-speaker environment such as a noisy restaurant or a party. While current hearing aids can suppress background noise, they cannot help a user listen to a single conversation among many without knowing which speaker the user is attending to. A cognitive hearing aid that constantly monitors the brain activity of the subject to determine whether the subject is conversing with a specific speaker in the environment would be a dream come true.

Panasonic finds comfort paths to drowsiness control

(Tech Xplore)—Panasonic has developed technology to help keep drivers safer from risks of drowsiness at the wheel. Cool air and louder music are engineered as remedies, for example, to keep the driver not only awake but feeling comfortable.

A Chinese 3D print studio fuses ancient art with modern tech

The small, ornate figurines look like relics of a bygone age: a serene Buddha's head from the Tang dynasty, or a collection of stone-faced soldiers from the Qin era.

Software lets designers exploit the extremely high resolution of 3-D printers

Today's 3-D printers have a resolution of 600 dots per inch, which means that they could pack a billion tiny cubes of different materials into a volume that measures just 1.67 cubic inches.

Why humans find faulty robots more likeable

It has been argued that the ability of humans to recognize social signals is crucial to mastering social intelligence - but can robots learn to read human social cues and adapt or correct their own behavior accordingly?

Simultaneous design and nanomanufacturing speeds up fabrication

Design and nanomanufacturing have collided inside of a Northwestern University laboratory.

Hacker who helped stop global cyberattack arrested in US (Update)

Marcus Hutchins, a young British researcher credited with derailing a global cyberattack in May, was arrested for allegedly creating and distributing malicious software designed to collect bank-account passwords, U.S. authorities said Thursday.

Engineers develop thoroughly modern magnesium process

University of Colorado Boulder engineers have revamped a World War II-era process for making magnesium that requires half the energy and produces a fraction of the pollution compared to today's leading methods.

Toyota, Mazda plan $1.6 billion US plant, to partner in EVs

Japanese automakers Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. plan to spend $1.6 billion to jointly build auto manufacturing plant in the U.S.—a move that will create up to 4,000 jobs, both sides said Friday.

Toyota's quarterly profit improves on strong sales

Toyota Motor Corp. reported Friday that its fiscal first quarter profit rose 11 percent as sales improved around the world, including in the U.S., Europe and Japan. prevails in tentative court ruling over finances, ownership

In the battle over ownership of fact-checking website, creator David Mikkelson was handed an early victory Thursday that should keep him in power as CEO of the company and return months of lost advertising revenue to the cash-strapped site.

Software helps industry to design lighter, more efficient parts

Computer-aided engineering (CAE) systems help manufacturers to design parts with the ideal topology (inner and outer shape and structure) to withstand the conditions under which they will operate, such as specific temperature and pressure conditions, vibrations, and various stresses and strains, and to produce them with as little raw material as possible. In sum, CAE enables industrial design software to optimize part topology.

The 'splinternet' may be the future of the web

Both The Economist and WIRED are worried about the "splinternet". The UK research organisation NESTA thinks it could "break up" the world wide web as we know it.

China to launch world's first quantum communication network

As malicious hackers find ever more sophisticated ways to launch attacks, China is about to launch the Jinan Project, the world's first unhackable computer network, and a major milestone in the development of quantum technology.

If we keep subsidizing wind, will the cost of wind energy go down?

There are high hopes for renewable energy to help society by providing a more stable climate, better energy security and less pollution. Government actions reflect these hopes through policies to promote renewable energy. In the U.S. since 1992 there's been a federal subsidy to promote wind energy, and many states require electricity utilities to use some renewable energy.

The economic black hole at the heart of the shift to electric vehicles

The ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars and vans from 2040 is perhaps the most significant policy announcement made by the UK government in the past decade (with the possible exception of Brexit). It feels like a key moment for the fight against pollution and climate change, but the shift from petrochemicals to electric vehicles will be disruptive and extremely expensive. The ramifications need to be considered systematically.

Hong Kong eSports festival a knockout for gaming fans

Hundreds of youthful fans cheered on some of the world's best-known video game players as they competed in a cyber battle during Hong Kong's first ever large-scale eSports festival Friday.

Computer law expert says British hacker arrest problematic

A computer law expert on Friday described the evidence so far presented to justify the U.S. arrest of a notorious British cybersecurity researcher as being problematic—an indictment so flimsy that it could create a climate of distrust between the U.S. government and the community of information-security experts.

Arrest shines light on shadowy community of good, bad hackers

Two months ago, Marcus Hutchins was an "accidental hero," a young computer whiz living with his parents in Britain who found the "kill switch" to the devastating WannaCry ransomware.

Nigerian man charged in US school districts phishing scam

A Nigerian citizen has been arrested in a phishing scheme that targeted school districts in Connecticut and Minnesota in an effort to get employees' personal information and file bogus tax returns, federal authorities said Friday.

Medicine & Health news

Researchers working on blood test to detect brain metastases while still treatable

Houston Methodist cancer researchers are now closer to creating a blood test that can identify breast cancer patients who are at increased risk for developing brain metastasis, and also monitor disease progression and response to therapy in real time.

Brain tumor scientists map mutation that drives tumors in childhood cancer survivors

Neuroscientists have uncovered the genetic basis for why many long-term survivors of childhood cancer develop meningiomas, the most common adult brain tumour, decades after their treatment with cranial radiation.

Genetic risk for lupus tied to ancestry

Northwestern Medicine collaborated with international colleagues in a study that identified two dozen new genes linked to lupus after analyzing genetic samples from over 27,000 individuals across the globe.

Flame retardant exposure found to lower IQ in children

A hazardous class of flame retardant chemicals commonly found in furniture and household products damages children's intelligence, resulting in loss of IQ points, according to a new study by UC San Francisco researchers.

Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D

A pioneering new study is set to help surgeons repair hearts without damaging precious tissue.

Cultural activities may influence the way we think

A new Tel Aviv University study suggests that cultural activities, such as the use of language, influence our learning processes, affecting our ability to collect different kinds of data, make connections between them, and infer a desirable mode of behavior from them.

Tracing the path of Parkinson's disease proteins

As neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease progress, misfolded proteins clump together in neurons, recruiting normal proteins in the cell to also misfold and aggregate. Cells in which this occurs degenerate and eventually die. Being able to keep an eye on the whereabouts of these corrupted proteins is key to unraveling these diseases and developing cures.

Drug zeroes in on mutated nuclear receptors found in cancer, leaves normal proteins alone

Researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) have published a study in Nature Communications shedding new light on how K-80003 (TX803), an anti-cancer agent discovered at the Institute, prevents activation of the PI3K pathway, resulting in inhibition of cancer cell growth. Because the PI3K pathway is common to many cancers, K-80003 could have broad therapeutic applications. Tarrex Biopharma, Inc. has licensed the compound and announced they will soon begin Phase 1 clinical trials at the Dana Farber Cancer Center for patients with colorectal cancer.

Study identifies multiple roles of glucose metabolism in platelet activation and survival

Platelets, the cells in blood that enable clotting, are highly reliant on their ability to metabolize glucose, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Iowa.

Aggressive breast cancers may contribute to racial survival disparities

A higher proportion of aggressive breast cancer subtypes are seen in black women, University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers have found. The study findings help to explain a gap in mortality that exists between black and white women with breast cancer, and could lead to improved treatment approaches to help close it.

Psychologists examine how to package health recommendations

In the world of health care, the phrase "too much information"—or TMI—can be a serious problem. If you Google "How to prevent cancer," for example, you will find list after list of websites claiming to have the winning strategy, with some plans presenting 20-30 steps.

For homeless on heroin, treatment can be elusive with no ID

Nearly two decades of using heroin and a year of living on the streets of Philadelphia had led Steven Kemp to a simple conclusion: It was time to get sober. But when he staggered into a detox facility on a recent Friday night, his head brimming with the thought that suicide would end the pain, he was told he couldn't be admitted because he didn't have a photo ID.

Protein at all 3 meals may help preserve seniors' strength

(HealthDay)—Eating protein at all three daily meals, instead of just at dinner, might help seniors preserve physical strength as they age, new research suggests.

Change in conversion definition may improve TB detection

(HealthDay)—A change of QuantiFERON-TB interferon (IFN)γ values from 0.7 IU/mL is associated with an increased incidence in the rate of tuberculosis, according to a study published online July 24 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Patient groups provide input for cochlear implant QOL tool

(HealthDay)—Adult patient focus groups have been used to develop an initial item bank for a cochlear implant (CI)-specific quality-of-life (QOL) instrument, according to a study published online Aug. 3 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Genetics expert discusses creating ground rules for human germline editing

A Stanford professor of genetics discusses the thinking behind a formal policy statement endorsing the idea that researchers continue editing genes in human germ cells.

Verbal aggression by patients linked with higher level of anger among mental health nurses than physical advances

Exposure to targeted, personal and verbal aggression by patients can adversely affect mental health nurses decision-making regarding physical restraint, new research published today in the world's leading nursing research journal reveals.

Testing for immune 'hotspots' can predict risk that breast cancer will return

Scientists have developed a new test that can pick out women at high risk of relapsing from breast cancer within 10 years of diagnosis.

Workplace menopause study finds 'women feel they need to cope alone'

A call for more menopause-friendly workplaces is made in a new Government report prepared by a team from the University of Leicester.

Software helps men with prostate cancer choose the right treatments

Like many men diagnosed with prostate cancer, Bill Pickett faced a tough question when he came to UCLA for treatment: how to fight it?

New communication technique helps people with dementia

People with advanced dementia could be helped to interact through a non-verbal communication technique known as 'Adaptive Interaction', researchers at the University of St Andrews have discovered.

Heartburn medicine can increase risk of kidney disease

People who take proton pump inhibitors for stomach acid reflux run a greater risk of chronic kidney disease than those who take H2-receptor antagonists for the same complaint, a new study published in Gastroenterology reports.

High intensity interval training can reverse frailty at advanced age, preclinical study finds

Growing older may not have to mean growing frail. A preclinical study has revealed that brief periods of intense physical activity can be safely administered at advanced age, and that this kind of activity has the potential to reverse frailty.

How combat vets' PTSD affects families

Soldiers who experience the horror and terror of conflict often return home far different people than they were when they left. Many are angry, suffer from depression, harbour suicidal thoughts or attempt to isolate themselves from the world, hoping to avoid triggers that can instantly force them to relive their experiences.

Mind-body maximizes benefits of exercise to seniors

By 2035, a third of the Canadian population will be over 60 years old. And Kinesiology PhD student Nárlon Boa Sorte Silva wants to make sure every one of them stays active and engaged in life via exercise.

HDAC3 role in B-cell development

Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are enzymes that modulate gene expression and have important roles in development and disease. HDAC inhibitors are active against lymphoma, and understanding the roles of specific HDACs is important for further therapeutic development.

Investigators match novel cancer mutations with potential therapies

Research led by Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) investigators may have solved a mystery about why a targeted therapy stops working in a small group of breast cancer patients.

Assessing the accuracy of cardiovascular data in electronic health records

In a new study published in the journal Circulation, Northwestern Medicine investigators identified similarities and differences between cardiovascular data pulled from electronic health records (EHRs) and data collected in a traditional cohort study.

Expert discusses effects of alcohol misuse, obesity and viral hepatits on liver disease

Liver disease has become one of the most common causes of premature death in the UK, with a cost not just in lives but also to health services and society.

Obstetric providers need greater support for new prenatal screening test

A new study shows most New Zealand obstetric providers need more support when providing a revolutionary genetic prenatal screening test because of its complexity and because it is not publicly funded.

Newborn baby development has been vastly underestimated, study shows

Newborn babies may be adorable, demanding and helpless but we tend not to think of them as particularly social creatures as they come to terms with what this exciting and terrifying new world outside the womb means for them.

Countering atopic dermatitis immune reactions

Human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-G is a protein that interacts with specific cell receptors to inhibit immune responses. The protein is best known for its role in protecting the fetus from attack by its mother's immune system. A team of researchers from Hokkaido University in Japan successfully used it to treat mice with an induced form of atopic dermatitis.

Watching children learn how to lie

For the liar, telling a lie has obvious costs. Keeping track of the lies one tells and trying to maintain the plausibility of a fictional narrative as real-world events intrude is mentally taxing. The fear of getting caught is a constant source of anxiety, and when it happens, the damage to one's reputation can be lasting. For the people who are lied to the costs of lying are also clear: Lies undermine relationships, organizations and institutions.

Why anecdotes aren't strong evidence when it comes to quitting smoking

In the early 1990s, I was the guest of the local health service in Broken Hill, New South Wales, during a national week promoting quitting smoking. I went on the local radio and the host invited ex-smokers to call in and talk about how they had quit.

Fun sex is healthy sex—why isn't that on the curriculum?

Damn—we forgot to teach our kids how to have fun sex.

Tipping point of all-terrain vehicles lower than often expected

Denise Pelletier never could have imagined that as an adult she would have to learn to walk, talk and read again. But a disastrous all-terrain vehicle (ATV) accident left her with a traumatic brain injury—one she continues to struggle with 16 years later.

Infectious disease physician dispels vaccine myths ahead of back-to-school physicals

Having updated vaccinations is an important step for children heading back to school.

UV light treatment offers better outcomes for skin disease sufferers

Routine prescribing of UV light treatment for severe skin conditions could significantly reduce the use of steroid creams and tablets while improving patient outcomes, according to new research from the University of Dundee.

Do we really face a human fertility cliff-edge? Science offers hope

A friend recently confided in me about his fertility problems. His physician had told him his sperm were small and malformed, to the point that he might struggle to get his wife pregnant. In an effort to make him feel less bad, perhaps, she added that male fertility problems were currently at "epidemic" levels in the UK.

Cell aging in lung epithelial cells

Pulmonary fibrosis can possibly be attributed to a kind of cellular aging process, which is called senescence. This has been shown by researchers from the Helmholtz Zentrum München, partner in the German Center for Lung Research (DZL). As they report in the European Respiratory Journal, they have already successfully counteracted this mechanism in the cell culture with the help of drugs.

Higher number of mitochondrial DNA-molecules can compensate for negative effects of mutations

Male infertility can be caused by mutations in the DNA of mitochondria, the powerhouses of cells. By increasing the total DNA amount in mitochondria, scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne restored testis function and semen quality in infertile mice.

Do I need a heart scan?

Dear Mayo Clinic: I'm a 57-year-old man, and my doctor recently recommended I have a CT scan of my heart to look for calcium in my arteries. I've never had heart problems. Is this test really necessary?

New mindfulness method helps coaches, athletes score

When it comes to success in sports, coaches and athletes understand that there's a mental component, but many don't have an understanding of how to prepare psychologically. That's where the concept of mindfulness can be beneficial, via a program to help athletes and coaches at all levels develop that mental edge and improve their performance.

Stigma due to age, sexual orientation, HIV status contributes to poor mental, physical health

When it comes to HIV prevention and treatment, there is a growing population that is being overlooked—older adults—and implicit ageism is partially responsible for this neglect, according to a presentation at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.

Can breast milk feed a love of vegetables?

(HealthDay)—Want your preschooler to eat veggies without a fuss? Try eating veggies while you're breast-feeding.

The fine print on medication expiration dates

(HealthDay)—The expiration dates on over-the-counter and prescription medications seem pretty black and white, but there's some question about whether drugs last even longer.

Clues about immune resolution identified in blood

Stopping a wound from bleeding is essential for human health. Blood coagulation - in which blood goes from liquid to gel and forms a clot - can prevent excessive bleeding and infection. But exactly what molecular events transpire when blood coagulates has remained somewhat mysterious. Using a new profiling procedure invented by investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital permitted them to elucidate the role of immunoresolvents - molecules that help resolve inflammation and infections -in blood coagulation, identifying a new cluster of these molecules that are produced when blood coagulates. The team's findings are published online in Science Signaling.

Why is conducting research in some countries so difficult?

Low- and middle-income countries such as Brazil face a lack of epidemiological data, and one of the key priorities for researchers is developing high-quality surveys. Investigators at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health with collaborators at the Federal University of São Paulo studied the difficulties in conducting a longitudinal epidemiological survey in a school-based sample in Brazil. The findings are published online in the journal BMC Psychiatry.

Prior dengue or yellow fever exposure does not worsen Zika infection in monkeys

Rhesus macaques previously infected with dengue or yellow fever viruses appear to be neither more nor less susceptible to severe infection with Zika virus, according to new research published in PLOS Pathogens.

Study examines altered gene expression in heart failure

Heart failure refers to a condition in which heart muscle becomes weakened over time, making it increasingly difficult for the heart to pump blood through the body like it should.

Teen drivers take more chances as senior year begins

(HealthDay)—Older teens are more likely to do risky things while driving and have a higher rate of crashes and near misses than their younger classmates, a new survey finds.

Mavyret approved for hepatitis C

(HealthDay) —Mavyret (glecaprevir and pibrentasvir) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat adults with certain types of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Fluticasone furoate slows loss of lung function in COPD

(HealthDay)—Regular use of fluticasone furoate (FF), either alone or in combination with vilanterol (VI), appears to reduce the rate of forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) decline in patients with moderate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and a high risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a study published online July 24 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

mAb glucagon receptor blocker suitable for further development

(HealthDay)—The glucagon receptor blocker REGN1193, a fully human monoclonal antibody, seems safe and tolerable enough for further development, according to a study published online July 28 in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

Not all 80-, 90-year-olds with rectal cancer are treated

(HealthDay)—About 15 percent of octogenarians and nonagenarians with stage II/III rectal adenocarcinoma do not receive treatment, according to a study published online July 31 in Cancer.

Epigenetic markers correlate with allergic rhinitis severity

(HealthDay)—Participants with grass pollen-induced allergic rhinitis undergo epigenetic changes within three hours of exposure to grass pollen, according to a study published online July 29 in Allergy.

Reconstruction method in gastric CA surgery affects bone density

(HealthDay)—The reconstruction method may affect postoperative bone mineral density (BMD) loss in gastric cancer, according to a study published online July 31 in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate has early benefit in binge eating

(HealthDay)—Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (LDX) is associated with early improvement in efficacy measures in adults with binge-eating disorder (BED), according to research published in the August issue of the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

Employer-based health coverage likely to stay awhile

Get your insurance through your employer? The ongoing political turmoil around "Obamacare" all but guarantees you'll still be able to do that.

German supermarket chain yanks eggs amid pesticide scare

A major supermarket chain said Friday it is removing all eggs from sale in its German stores amid a scare over possible pesticide contamination that Dutch producers fear will cost them millions of euros in lost income.

What does choice mean when it comes to health care?

President Trump continues to threaten millions of Americans who now have health insurance with loss of coverage by undermining the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as "Obamacare." His goal has been to repeal the ACA, or to have it repealed by a version of congressional bills.

Discovering potential targeted treatments for bile duct cancer

An international study on bile duct cancer or cholangiocarcinoma (CCA), a rare but highly lethal form of liver cancer, has discovered that tumours in the bile duct may be made up of different cancer subtypes. This finding suggests the potential of offering different targeted treatments based on the genetic features of the different disease subtypes.

Biology news

Genome sequencing shows maize adapted to highlands thousands of years ago

(—An international team of researchers has found evidence showing that maize evolved to survive in the U.S. southwest highlands thousands of years ago. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group outlines their genomic study, which revealed the genetic changes that allowed the plant to live in the harsher environment.

New digital method enhances understanding of changes in DNA's makeup

Scientists have developed a computational method to detect chemical changes in DNA that highlight cell diversity and may lead to a better understanding of cancer.

Plants forget stressful weather events to rapidly recover

A new study led by the Australian National University (ANU) has found that plants are able to forget stressful weather events to rapidly recover.

Skin-ditching gecko inexplicably leaves body armor behind when threatened

When trouble looms, the fish-scale geckos of Madagascar resort to what might seem like an extreme form of self-defense—tearing out of their own skin.

Scientists discover unknown virus in 'throwaway' DNA

A chance discovery has opened up a new method of finding unknown viruses.

Paris's urban rooftop hives hope to preserve honeybees

To check the beehives he has set up on the roof of the sprawling Monnaie de Paris on the banks of the River Seine, Audric de Campeau slips on a harness over tan-coloured trousers.

Great white chomps on researcher's underwater video camera

The top shark scientist in Massachusetts has shot hundreds of great white shark videos, but for the first time one has tried to take a bite of his camera.

Cockroach gardeners: Spreading plant seeds across the forest floor

In forest ecosystems, cockroaches are known as important decomposers that consume dead and decaying plants. Quite unexpectedly, however, researchers have found that they also provide seed dispersal services for the plant Monotropastrum humile, a forest-floor herb belonging to the azalea family (Ericaceae). This entirely new mode of plant-insect interaction is reported online in the July 27th, 2017 issue of the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society.

Molecular biologists discover an active role of membrane lipids in health and disease

All living cells that grow and divide have a constant demand for producing new proteins and new membrane lipids. Some cells of the human body, however, are specialized to secrete tremendous amounts of proteins. Plasma cells, for example, produce antibodies that ward off bacteria and viruses. Another example are cells from the pancreas that manufacture insulin, which is essential for regulating blood sugar levels. Such cells are known as secretory cells.

Precision breeding needed to adapt corn to climate change

The US Corn Belt and European maize owe their existence to a historic change: the ability of this plant, originally from the tropics, to flower early enough to avoid winter. Research led by Cornell University in New York and the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tuebingen, Germany reveals that indigenous people in the American southwest started the process of adapting maize to temperate growing seasons 4000 years ago and refined it over the following 2000 years.

Video: Researchers find new solution to combat age-old bedbug problem

As the summer travel season kicks into high gear, Penn State researchers have found a potential solution to those unwanted guests that can turn a relaxing vacation into a skin-crawling nightmare.

Aussie plant could be new 'antibiotic' weapon against Golden Staph

QUT researchers and Australian biotech company HFPA are hoping to turn a native Australian plant into a major new antibiotic after discovering the plant possesses antibacterial activity equivalent to some antibiotics currently used to treat Golden Staph infections.

Technology tracks 'bee talk' to help improve honey bee health

Biologists are working to better understand Colony Collapse Disorder given the value of honey bees to the economy and the environment. Monitoring bee activity and improving monitoring systems may help to address the issue. 

New model helps in fight against deadly parasitic disease

Cole Porter romanticized the phrase in his 1936 song, but the probable origin of having someone—or something—under one's skin is much less pleasant to consider. An early usage of the phrase by author Bayard Taylor in 1864 illustrates: "The idea was like a tropical sand-flea. It had got under my skin, and the attempt to dislodge it opened the germs of hundreds of others." Today, in some water bodies, the possibility of going in for a swim and coming out with a disease-causing parasite lodged under the skin remains all too real.

New paper explores why Peru's parrots eat clay

For more than 16 years, researchers and volunteers have been observing wildlife along the clay cliffs of Southeastern Peru's Tambopata River. They've gathered data every day, logging more than 20,000 hours and building one of the most extensive datasets on tropical parrots in the world.

DNA sequencing and big data open a new frontier in the hunt for new viruses

Discovering new viruses has historically been biased towards people and animals that exhibit symptoms of disease – like a cough, fever or skin blister.

Microbes have their own version of the internet

Creating a huge global network connecting billions of individuals might be one of humanity's greatest achievements to date, but microbes beat us to it by more than three billion years. These tiny single-celled organisms aren't just responsible for all life on Earth. They also have their own versions of the World Wide Web and the Internet of Things. Here's how they work.

Drug safety for penguins

Researchers from the University's Institute of Translational Medicine have determined the most effective drug dose to help penguins in managed care fight off disease.

Wildlife royalties—a future for conservation?

Should people who profit from the cultural representation of wildlife pay towards conservation?

Recreating the wild: De-extinction, technology, and the ethics of conservation

Is extinction forever? Efforts are under way to use gene editing and other tools of biotechnology to "recreate" extinct species such as the woolly mammoth and the passenger pigeon. Could such "de-extinction" initiatives aid conservation by reviving species lost to habitat destruction and climate change? Or are they more likely to hinder conservation? What should the guiding ideals of conservation be in a new age of biotechnology? These are some of the questions addressed in Recreating the Wild: De-extinction, Technology, and the Ethics of Conservation, a new special report of the Hastings Center Report.

Rare Christmas Island reptiles on the road to recovery

The 13,500 hectare island lies 2600km northwest of Perth and 350km south of Indonesia in the Indian Ocean.

Seasonal effects: 'Winter foals' are smaller than foals born in summer

Season determines behaviour, metabolism and reproductive activity in many animal species, including horses. Even in domesticated horse breeds metabolic activity is reduced in winter. Although these effects are known since a few years, effects on pregnant mares and their foals have not been investigated so far. Researchers from Vetmeduni Vienna have now demonstrated that seasonal changes during winter have a strong influence on pregnancy and foetal development. Foals born early in the year are smaller than herd mates born at a later time and these differences persist to at least 12 weeks after birth. The study has recently been published in Theriogenology.

Young eagle rescued at Florida garbage collection center

Wildlife officials have rescued a juvenile bald eagle that was suffering from poisoning at a Florida trash and garbage collection center.

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