Thursday, August 3, 2017

Science X Newsletter Thursday, Aug 3

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for August 3, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Despite heavy armor, new dinosaur used camouflage to hide from predators

Natural compound coupled with specific gut microbes may prevent severe flu

World's smallest neutrino detector observes elusive interactions of particles

Scientists ID tiny prehistoric sea worm with 50 head spines

Standard model of the universe withstands most precise test by Dark Energy Survey (Update)

Twilight observations reveal huge storm on Neptune

Scientists deliver knockout blow to multiple cancers

Mishap doesn't dampen enthusiasm for security robots

World's blind population to soar: study

Kuri to capture your special moments in home videos

Humans have been altering tropical forests for at least 45,000 years

New clue to solving the mystery of the Sun's hot atmosphere

Researchers want to know how early life affects the adult brain

Structural view suggests RNAi multiplies its effect in repressing gene expression

Gene therapy via skin could treat many diseases, even obesity

Astronomy & Space news

Twilight observations reveal huge storm on Neptune

Spectacular sunsets and sunrises are enough to dazzle most of us, but to astronomers, dusk and dawn are a waste of good observing time. They want a truly dark sky.

New clue to solving the mystery of the Sun's hot atmosphere

The elemental composition of the Sun's hot atmosphere known as the 'corona' is strongly linked to the 11-year solar magnetic activity cycle, a team of scientists from UCL, George Mason University and Naval Research Laboratory has revealed for the first time.

New work offers fresh evidence supporting the supernova shock wave theory of our Solar System's origin

According to one longstanding theory, our Solar System's formation was triggered by a shock wave from an exploding supernova. The shock wave injected material from the exploding star into a neighboring cloud of dust and gas, causing it to collapse in on itself and form the Sun and its surrounding planets.

Astronomers identify oldest known asteroid family

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) was part of an international team that recently discovered a relatively unpopulated region of the main asteroid belt, where the few asteroids present are likely pristine relics from early in solar system history. The team used a new search technique that also identified the oldest known asteroid family, which extends throughout the inner region of the main asteroid belt.

Two Voyagers taught us how to listen to space

As NASA's twin Voyager spacecraft were changing our understanding of the solar system, they also spurred a leap in spacecraft communications.

Researchers brighten perspective of mysterious mini-halos

The largest gravitationally bound objects in the universe are galaxy clusters that form at the intersection of cosmic web filaments. These entities are shaped and grow through massive collisions as material streams into their gravitational pull. Within the heart of some galaxy clusters are mysterious and little known radio mini-halos. These rare, dispersed, and steep-spectrum (brighter at low frequencies) radio sources surround a bright central radio galaxy and are highly luminous at radio wavelengths.

NASA team miniaturizes century-old technology for use on CubeSats

A century-old technology that scientists use to probe the ionosphere—the important atmospheric layer that can interfere with the transmission of radio waves—is getting smaller.

GOES-S and GOES-T satellites coming together

Progress continues on the development of NOAA's GOES-S and GOES-T spacecraft that will follow the successful launch of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite or GOES-R, renamed GOES-16 upon reaching geostationary orbit.

NASA selects proposals to study sun, space environment

NASA has selected nine proposals under its Explorers Program that will return transformational science about the sun and space environment and fill science gaps between the agency's larger missions; eight for focused scientific investigations and one for technological development of instrumentation. One, called sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment (sunRISE), is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.

NASA-developed technologies showcased on Dellingr's debut flight

Along for the ride on Dellingr's maiden journey is a suite of miniaturized NASA-developed technologies—one no larger than a fingernail—that in many cases already have proven their mettle in suborbital or space demonstrations, boosting confidence that they will perform as designed once in orbit.

Dark Energy Survey reveals most accurate measurement of dark matter structure in the universe

Imagine planting a single seed and, with great precision, being able to predict the exact height of the tree that grows from it. Now imagine traveling to the future and snapping photographic proof that you were right.

Technology news

Mishap doesn't dampen enthusiasm for security robots

On his first day at work as a security guard, Steve was greeted warmly, drawing attention from passersby, including some taking selfies with him at the tony retail-residential complex he patrolled. Then he fell into the fountain.

Kuri to capture your special moments in home videos

(Tech Xplore)—The Mayfield Robotics team introduced Kuri earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Kuri is now in the news again, though, because the little home robot has some interesting updates, and the highlight is something called Kuri Vision.

Team sets new record for magnetic tape storage—makes tape competitive for cloud storage

Research scientists have achieved a new world record in tape storage – their fifth since 2006. The new record of 201 Gb/in2 (gigabits per square inch) in areal density was achieved on a prototype sputtered magnetic tape developed by Sony Storage Media Solutions. The scientists presented the achievement today at the 28th Magnetic Recording Conference (TMRC 2017) here.

Vertical axis wind turbines can offer cheaper electricity for urban and suburban areas

According to a prediction made by the U.S. Department of Energy, wind energy could provide 20 percent of electricity in the U.S. by the year 2030. This has motivated researchers from the University of Utah's Department of Mechanical Engineering to investigate the performance capabilities and financial benefits of vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs) in urban and suburban areas.

Glasses generate power with flexible organic solar cells

Organic solar cells are flexible, transparent and lightweight, and can be manufactured in arbitrary shapes or colors. Thus, they are suitable for a variety of applications that cannot be realized with conventional silicon solar cells. In Energy Technology, researchers from KIT report sunglasses with colored, semitransparent solar cells applied to the lenses that supply a microprocessor and two displays with electric power. This paves the way for other applications such as the integration of organic solar cells into windows or overhead glazing.

Improved air quality research software to help reduce emissions, pollution

Purdue University researchers are developing an on-site computer and software system that could provide a more flexible, high-quality and user-friendly way to conduct agriculture-based air quality research to better understand and limit emission and pollution impact.

China issues bike-sharing guidelines as complaints rise

China on Thursday issued national guidelines governing bike-sharing operations to nurture a new industry credited with spurring a transport revolution while addressing mounting complaints over an accumulation of millions of bikes on city streets.

Argonne uses digital tools to preserve Southwestern cultural heritage

Hollywood's Indiana Jones gained fame for wielding his pistol and bullwhip, but researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory prefer to equip themselves with something far more sophisticated: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysis.

Understanding corrosion processes in concrete

Will reinforced concrete bridges still be standing for years to come, or has corrosion already set in? ETH scientists have discovered that previous concrete samples were too small to allow a reliable statement on the condition of reinforced concrete.

To restore trust in online transactions, retailers need to develop a virtual handshake

At one time, transactions between merchants and consumers were often sealed with a handshake. This handshake was more than a kind gesture—it helped reassure both parties that the other was committed to the deal and would correct any problems. As more transactions occur online, finding fair and efficient resolution of problems that arise can be challenging. In a new book, a University of Missouri legal expert says it's in the best interest of both retailers and consumers to establish a new virtual handshake to bring trust back into such interactions.

Creature-cataloging contest for computers

At a glance, would you be able to tell the difference between a donkey and a mule? A jaguar and a leopard? Most computers can't, at least not yet, but a contest hosted by Caltech and Cornell Tech, the engineering campus of Cornell University, aimed to change that.

The future of search engines: Researchers combine artificial intelligence, crowdsourcing and supercomputers

How do search engines generate lists of relevant links?

Apple, Huawei, Amazon gain in sluggish tablet market

Apple, Huawei and Amazon boosted tablet sales over the past quarter, despite the ongoing slump in the overall market for the devices, surveys showed Thursday.

How realistic are plans to ban new gas and diesel cars?

Ban the sale of gasoline and diesel cars by a deadline—2040, 2030, even 2025. More and more governments are proposing just that.

'It's hurt my wallet'—How one fake news publisher is faring after Facebook crackdown

"President Donald Trump signs an executive order allowing the hunting of bald eagles," a headline from the St. George Gazette blared last month.

Russian given almost 4 years in US botnet fraud

A US judge on Thursday sentenced a Russian citizen to 46 months in prison for his role in a global computer fraud that took in millions, the Justice Department announced.

Hacker who helped stop ransomware attack arrested in US

Marcus Hutchins, a young British researcher credited with derailing a global cyberattack in May, has been arrested for allegedly creating and distributing banking malware, U.S. authorities say.

Voting machines and election systems - a quick look

Digital voting machines are in the spotlight in Venezuela, where the head of Smartmatic, a maker of election systems used in the country's tumultuous constituent-assembly election, said Wednesday that the official turnout figure had been "tampered with ." The company's CEO said the count was off by at least 1 million votes—possibly in either direction.

Getting CCL technology ready for use at coal power plants

Among second generation carbon capture technologies stands 'Calcium carbonate looping' (CCL). But even though it is considered less toxic than alternatives and proved to yield low efficiency penalties, the method is still far from being market-ready. SCARLET-enabled breakthroughs are expected to give it a push.

Public hearing on Wisconsin $3B Foxconn tax break bill

The public is getting a chance to tell Wisconsin lawmakers what they think of a $3 billion tax incentive package that's part of an agreement struck with electronics giant Foxconn Technology Group.

Website services help drivers fight tickets

Summer is the busiest travel season, and that means long stretches of highway, wandering attention and maybe a few miles through counties or states spent over the speed limit.

Facebook makes diversity gains but still struggles in key area

Facebook made progress in improving the gender and racial balance of its workers, with women, African Americans and Hispanics all gaining more representation in the Silicon Valley company's ranks over the last year.

Here's what's on the dark web: Child snuff videos, WMD recipes, your phone number

An internet realm known as the dark web was once promoted as a safe haven for political dissidents and libertarians worldwide, and financed partly by the State Department. But it has turned into a criminal cesspool.

Gadgets: Tech gear tops the list for back-to-school shopping

Back to school shopping lists in my day included pens, pencils, and notebook paper. These days your list is a lot more modern and tech-related. Here are a few items that would make great additions to any back-to-school shopping list.

Medicine & Health news

Natural compound coupled with specific gut microbes may prevent severe flu

Microbes that live in the gut don't just digest food. They also have far-reaching effects on the immune system. Now, a new study shows that a particular gut microbe can prevent severe flu infections in mice, likely by breaking down naturally occurring compounds—called flavonoids—commonly found in foods such as black tea, red wine and blueberries.

Scientists deliver knockout blow to multiple cancers

Targeting healthy cells that have been hijacked by cancer cells could help treat many different types of the disease, according to research funded by Cancer Research UK and published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute today.

World's blind population to soar: study

The world's blind will increase threefold from about 36 million today to 115 million in 2050 as populations expand and individuals grow ever older, researchers said Thursday.

Researchers want to know how early life affects the adult brain

It's said to be a "lightbulb" moment - when an idea pops into your head.

Gene therapy via skin could treat many diseases, even obesity

A research team based at the University of Chicago has overcome challenges that have limited gene therapy and demonstrated how their novel approach with skin transplantation could enable a wide range of gene-based therapies to treat many human diseases.

Mice fed tryptophan develop immune cells that foster a tolerant gut

Immune cells patrol the gut to ensure that harmful microbes hidden in the food we eat don't sneak into the body. Cells that are capable of triggering inflammation are balanced by cells that promote tolerance, protecting the body without damaging sensitive tissues. When the balance tilts too far toward inflammation, inflammatory bowel disease can result.

Diabetes drug shows potential as disease-modifying therapy for Parkinson's disease

A drug commonly used to treat diabetes may have disease-modifying potential to treat Parkinson's disease, a new UCL-led study suggests, paving the way for further research to define its efficacy and safety.

Study suggests people would go to extremes to protect their honor

(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers from Florida State University, the University of North Carolina and the University of Queensland has found that many people will go to extraordinary lengths to protect their reputation and honor. In their paper published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, the group describes collecting and combining data from several previous studies to learn more about how strenuously people will protect their reputation. To confirm their findings, the team then conducted several experiments of their own.

Scientists create stem cell therapy for lung fibrosis conditions

A team of scientists from the UNC School of Medicine and North Carolina State University (NCSU) has developed promising research towards a possible stem cell treatment for several lung conditions, such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cystic fibrosis—often-fatal conditions that affect tens of millions of Americans.

Researchers identify neurons that control brain's body clock

Neurons in the brain that produce the pleasure-signaling neurotransmitter dopamine also directly control the brain's circadian center, or "body clock" - the area that regulates eating cycles, metabolism and waking/resting cycles - a key link that possibly affects the body's ability to adapt to jet lag and rotating shift work, a new University of Virginia study has demonstrated.

How can we achieve greater balance in future cases like Charlie Gard's, asks expert?

Professor Dominic Wilkinson at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics says it is in the interests of all children that cases like Charlie Gard's are accompanied by fair, accurate, and balanced discussion - and he asks, how can we achieve greater balance in future cases?

Acid attack bystanders can make a real difference if they act fast, say experts

Educating the public to act quickly after an acid attack can minimise injury and substantially improve outcomes for victims, say experts in The BMJ today.

TB: Genetic drug resistance tests as good in gauging treatment outcome, death risk as traditional culture-based tests

Novel molecular tests are gaining popularity as a rapid way to detect genetic mutations that render tuberculosis impervious to drugs. Yet, how well these new tests fare in gauging risk of actual drug failure and patient death has remained unclear.

Bolivia's midwives help reduce maternal mortality

Mariana Limachi left the hospital in this high Andes city in tears after a doctor told her she needed a C-section because the umbilical cord was wrapped around her 8-month fetus.

Austria: Women with leak-prone breast implants compensated

An Austrian consumer watchdog says 69 women in the country given leak-prone breast implants made by a French company have received 3,000 euros (over $3,550) each in damages.

Study shows feasibility of cancer screening protocol for Li-Fraumeni syndrome patients

In a new study from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, researchers found a higher than expected prevalence of cancer at baseline screening in individuals with Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS), a rare inherited disorder that leads to a higher risk of developing certain cancers. The research demonstrates the feasibility of a new, comprehensive cancer screening protocol for this high-risk population.

11 organizations urge cautious but proactive approach to gene editing

An international group of 11 organizations with genetics expertise has issued a policy statement on germline genome editing in humans, which recommends against genome editing that culminates in human pregnancy; supports publicly funded, in vitro research into its potential clinical applications; and outlines scientific and societal steps necessary before implementation of such clinical applications is considered.

Coming face-to-face with disability could end supernatural myth-making in Africa

Many people in rural African communities still believe that disability is caused by supernatural forces, curses and as 'punishment' for wrongdoings - according to University of East Anglia research.

Yoga effective at reducing symptoms of depression

People who suffer from depression may want to look to yoga as a complement to traditional therapies as the practice appears to lessen symptoms of the disorder, according to studies presented at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.

New method for organ transplant monitoring promises better care for patients

Using a combination of DNA sequencing and computer science techniques, a team of researchers has developed a new method for monitoring the health of organ transplant patients - one that promises to provide life-saving clues to diagnose organ rejection at an early stage.

Air travel responsible for spread of dengue through Asia

While the incidences of many other infectious diseases have declined over the past decade, the number of cases and outbreaks of dengue virus have continued to increase. The spread of dengue to new areas is likely due in large part to trends in air travel, researchers now report in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Sense of smell deficits are common, linked to malnutrition in patients with kidney disease

A Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) study has found that deficits in the sense of smell are important contributors to the frequently observed lack of appetite in patients with serious kidney disease. In their report in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, the research team describes finding olfactory abnormalities in around 70 percent of patients with chronic kidney disease and 90 percent of those with end-stage renal disease and that more significant deficits were associated with factors indicating poor nutrition. A proof-of-concept trial of a potential treatment for these olfactory deficits had promising results.

A Braf kinase-inactive mutant induces lung adenocarcinoma

The initiating oncogenic event in almost half of human lung adenocarcinomas is still unknown, complicating the development of selective targeted therapies. Yet these tumours harbour a number of alterations without obvious oncogenic function, including BRAF-inactivating mutations. Researchers at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) have demonstrated that the expression of an endogenous Braf (D631A) kinase-inactive isoform in mice, corresponding to the human BRAF(D594A) mutation, triggers lung adenocarcinoma in vivo, indicating that BRAF-inactivating mutations are initiating events in lung oncogenesis.

New injectable antiretroviral treatment proved to be as effective as standard oral therapy

Intramuscularly administered antiretroviral therapy (ART) may be as effective for HIV treatment as current oral therapies. This is the main conclusion of a Phase II clinical trial carried out by 50 research centers around the world, including nine in Spain, to which the team of Dr. Daniel Podzamczer of the Bellvitge University hospital (HUB) has contributed. The results of the trial, published in The Lancet, pave the way to the implantation of all-injectable antiretroviral therapies with a lower frequency of administration, which would imply a significant improvement of the quality of life of HIV patients.

Human embryo CRISPR advances science, but let's focus on ethics, not world firsts

Following early reports last week that scientists had edited the DNA of human embryos, American researchers have now published their much anticipated paper in the journal Nature.

Researchers find arthritis drug could treat blood cancer patients

Blood cancer sufferers could be treated with a simple arthritis drug, scientists at the University of Sheffield have discovered.

How to keep your brain sharp in older age

New research from the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) has revealed which mentally engaging activities best keep the brain sharp.

Brain study reveals clues to treating Fragile X syndrome

Scientists have discovered how the brain can self-correct disruptions in processing, pointing the way towards possible new treatments for autism and intellectual disability.

Different sensory pathways engaged in feeling and responding to external temperature

To maintain the body at an appropriate temperature despite changes in the environment, there are a number of physiological and behavioral responses that can be adopted, such as shivering or moving into or out of direct sunlight. Although these responses are well understood, there is still a lack of understanding of the nerve and brain pathways that control them.

Preventing the development of brain tumours

Researchers from the University of Portsmouth's Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence have identified molecules which are responsible for metastatic lung cancer cells binding to blood vessels in the brain.

Children gain learning boost from two-year, full-day kindergarten

Ontario made a bold public policy move in September 2010 when full-day learning was made available to all four- and five-year-old children in the province—via a unique two-year, full-day kindergarten program.

Methylprednisolone trial for Berger's disease stopped early

Methylprednisolone is a prescription drug used to treat conditions involving inflammation, like asthma, arthritis, gout, tendinitis, transplant rejection, allergic reactions, and the skin conditions eczema and psoriasis.

Antibiotic overload a concern for Aussie kids

A new study has found that half of Australian infants are treated with antibiotics during their first year of life – one of the highest rates in the world.

How dieting encourages your body to replace lost weight

Obesity is a risk factor for numerous disorders that afflict the human race, so understanding how to maintain a healthy body weight is one of the most urgent issues facing society. By 2025, it is estimated that 18 percent of men and 21 percent of women will be obese worldwide.

Fat shaming in the doctor's office can be mentally and physically harmful

Medical discrimination based on people's size and negative stereotypes of overweight people can take a toll on people's physical health and well-being, according to a review of recent research presented at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.

Discovery points to drugs that would 'short-circuit' deadly leukemia

Researchers at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have discovered that survival of a particularly aggressive form of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) depends on production of a small molecule called heme that is a kind of molecular "battery." The researchers said discovery of this vulnerability points the way to new targeted drug therapies that block heme synthesis, killing the leukemic cells.

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Steps toward a promising therapy for a rare bone disease

Patients with multiple hereditary exostoses (MHE)—a rare disease that causes the growth of multiple benign bone tumors—have limited treatment options. The genetic disorder affects roughly 1 in 50,000 people and can be very painful, debilitating and poses the risk of malignant transformation to deadly sarcoma. Surgery, physical therapy and pain management are currently the only options available to MHE patients.

Neuroscientists develop new forms of diagnosis and therapy for temporal lobe epilepsy

What if you fell off your bicycle today and ten years later you developed epilepsy? Relationships like this might appear far-fetched but are entirely possible, say Freiburg researchers. Using the latest MRI scanning procedures, Prof. Dr. Carola Haas, Department of Neurosurgery, Prof. Dr. J├╝rgen Hennig, Department of Radiology, and Prof. Dr. Ulrich Egert, Department of Microsystems Engineering (MST) of the University of Freiburg, in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Jan Korvink of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, have shown how certain disorders of the hippocampus can initiate a drug resistant epilepsy. The team has discovered biomarkers that - if used for screening - could massively improve treatment options for epilepsy. The researchers have published their results in the online journal eLife.

Could mutations and inherited genes play a role in cerebral palsy?

Hemiplegic cerebral palsy hampers movement in one side of a person's body. In the first genetic study of its kind to exclusively focus on those with hemiplegic cerebral palsy, a group of 26 Canadian researchers has investigated the genetic differences and hereditary factors involved in this neurodevelopmental condition. Mutations in specific parts of an individual's genetic make-up were identified. Some of these variations are inherited, while others are not, according to lead authors Mehdi Zarrei and Stephen Scherer of The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, and Darcy Fehlings of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and the University of Toronto. The results are published in Genetics in Medicine, which is the official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics and is published by Springer Nature.

Research into childhood obstructive sleep-disordered breathing examined

Although sleep apnea is typically considered a condition affecting adults, breathing problems during sleep in children are common and may affect their health and behavior. Disturbed sleep in children due to breathing problems is often caused by large tonsils and adenoids blocking the upper airways. This is called obstructive sleep-disordered breathing (oSDB) and has been the subject of increased research during the past decade. While milder forms of oSDB are most common, the more severe form requires tonsil or adenoid surgery. Through a comprehensive review of published research, investigators have identified important gaps in how and where children with this condition are best managed. Their findings are published in the journal Chest.

Mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's diagnoses trigger lower self-ratings of quality of life

Researchers at Penn Medicine have discovered that a patient's awareness of a diagnosis of cognitive impairment may diminish their self-assessment of quality of life. In a study published this month in the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences the researchers report that older adults who were aware of their diagnosis—either Mild Cognitive Impairment or mild stage Alzheimer's disease dementia—reported greater depression, higher stress, and lower quality of life than those who were unaware. They also found that older adults who had an expectation that their disease would worsen over time reported lower overall satisfaction with daily life.

Modularity metric summarizes network fragmentation to explain aphasia recovery differences

While it is common for people who have had a stroke to experience language disturbances (aphasia), approximately 60 to 70 percent of survivors recover their ability to produce language within six months. The other 30 to 40 percent of stroke patients, however, suffer permanent aphasia.

Scientists track Zika virus transmission in mice

National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists have developed a mouse model to study Zika virus transmitted sexually from males to females, as well as vertically from a pregnant female to her fetus. They are using the model to study how and when the virus is spread, including how the virus crosses the placenta, as well as to investigate potential treatments to block virus transmission.

As many as 1 in 3 experience new or worse pain with yoga

(HealthDay)—Many people try yoga hoping to heal an injury, but some wind up with more aches and pains, a new study finds.

Americans taking more prescription drugs than ever: survey

(HealthDay)—A new survey finds 55 percent of Americans regularly take a prescription medicine—and they're taking more than ever.

Time for a makeup refresh?

(HealthDay)—You love a certain shade of lipstick, but do you know how long ago you bought this particular tube of it?

Traveling with dementia: tips for family caregivers

(HealthDay)—Traveling with a loved one who has dementia requires special preparation. The Alzheimer's Foundation of America has some advice.

Are clinicians overprescribing gabapentinoids for pain?

(HealthDay)—Clinicians may be overprescribing gabapentinoids, in part as a response to the opioid epidemic, according to a perspective piece published in the Aug. 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Signature ID'd for allergen-specific type 2 helper cells

(HealthDay)—In research published in the Aug. 2 issue of Science Translational Medicine, scientists have identified a human type 2 helper (TH2) cell signature in allergen-specific TH2 cells.

Age of first exposure to pornography shapes men's attitudes toward women: study

The age at which a boy is first exposed to pornography is significantly associated with certain sexist attitudes later in life, but not necessarily in the way people might think, according to research presented at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.

Mysterious children's neurological disease is traced to a single error in one gene

In a new study published today in The American Journal of Human Genetics, a multinational team of researchers describes, for the first time, the biological basis of a severe neurological disorder in children.

Why are doctors underusing a drug to treat opioid addiction?

A drug approved for private physicians to treat opioid addiction is being underprescribed, and a survey of addiction specialists suggests that many of them are not willing to increase their use of it, despite an expanding opioid addiction epidemic in the United States, according to research presented at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.

Patients with open wounds get unproven treatments

Carol Emanuele beat cancer. But for the past two years, the Philadelphia woman has been fighting her toughest battle yet. She has an open wound on the bottom of her foot that leaves her unable to walk and prone to deadly infection.

Blowing out the candles on your birthday cake? You may wish you hadn't.

Turns out germophobes may be right about the whole "blowing out the candles" thing.

Most newborns with epilepsy benefit from genetic testing, study finds

Because of genetic testing, Orion Maynard's parents knew the cause of his epilepsy weeks after he was born. The results influenced his treatment, qualified him for immediate intervention services and led to the discovery that future siblings had a 50-percent chance of being born with the same condition.

New genetic mutation that causes male infertility discovered

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Soroka University Medical Center in Beer-Sheva, Israel have discovered a new genetic mutation that prevents sperm production.

New treatment approved for acute myeloid leukemia

(HealthDay)—The combination chemotherapy drug Vyxeos (daunorubicin and cytarabine) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as the first treatment for certain high-risk types of acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Moderate, vigorous activity not tied to more elderly falls

(HealthDay)—Falls are not more common or injurious in older women who engage in higher levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), according to a study published online July 29 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Genetic variation impacts pharmacokinetics of exemestane

(HealthDay)—The OATP1B1 c.521>C single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) influences exemestane pharmacokinetics in healthy postmenopausal women, according to a study published online July 29 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.

Centralized mailings can improve CRC screening adherence

(HealthDay)—A centralized program which includes mailings can increase the time in compliance with colorectal cancer (CRC) screening guidelines, according to a study published online July 28 in Cancer.

Review suggests benefits of aerobic exercise in fibromyalgia

(HealthDay)—Aerobic exercise seems beneficial for patients with fibromyalgia, with improvements in health-related quality of life (HRQOL), according to a review published online June 21 in the Cochrane Library.

ABO incompatible dual graft living donor liver transplant viable

(HealthDay)—Dual-graft (DG) adult living donor liver transplantation (ALDLT) with ABO-incompatible (ABOi) and ABO-compatible (ABOc) graft combination is associated with high rates of graft survival, with no significant difference for ABOi and ABOc grafts, according to research published online July 31 in the American Journal of Transplantation.

Ipragliflozin beneficial in T2DM complicated by liver disease

(HealthDay)—For patients with type 2 diabetes and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), ipragliflozin exerts beneficial effects on NAFLD and glycemic control, similar to pioglitazone, according to a study published online July 27 in Diabetes Care.

For young adults, fractures mainly due to severe trauma

(HealthDay)—In a cohort of young adults, fractures mainly result from severe trauma, with few fractures at osteoporotic sites, according to a study published online July 29 in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

Of mice and cheeseburgers: Experimental drug reverses obesity-related liver disease

A drug developed at the University of Rochester Medical Center protected mice from one of the many ills of our cheeseburger and milkshake-laden Western diet—non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

How long do batters 'keep their eye on the ball'? Eye and head movements differ when swinging or taking a pitch

Where are baseball batters looking during the fraction of a second when a pitched ball is in their air? Their visual tracking strategies differ depending on whether they're swinging at the pitch, reports a study in the August issue of Optometry and Vision Science, the official journal of the American Academy of Optometry.

Believing the future will be favorable may prevent action

People tend to believe that others will come around to their point of view over time, according to findings from a series of studies published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The findings show that this "belief in a favorable future" holds across various contexts and cultures, shedding light on some of the causes and consequences of the political polarization evident today.

Muscle, not brain, may hold answers to some sleep disorders

Scientists exploring the brain for answers to certain sleep disorders may have been looking in the wrong place.

New research shows the power of radiomics to improve precision medicine

Precision medicine has become the leading innovation of cancer treatment. Patients are routinely treated with drugs that are designed to target specific tumors and molecules. Despite the progress that has been made in targeted cancer therapies, the path has been slow and scientists have a long road ahead. In a collaborative project, researchers at the Moffitt Cancer Center and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigated the emerging field of radiomics has the potential to improve precision medicine by non-invasively assessing the molecular and clinical characteristics of lung tumors. Their work was published in the July 21 issue of eLIFE, a novel, emerging journal in biomedicine founded by National Academy members and Nobel Prize winners.

CAREFOR calls on EU to safeguard independent academic research

Three leading European organisations in the fight against cancer have called the EU to urgently increase its support for independent academic research for the benefit of cancer patients, in an article published (today) in ESMO Open.

Hereditary cancer syndromes focus of JAMA Oncology collection

JAMA Oncology published a collection of articles on hereditary cancer syndromes, including Li-Fraumeni and Lynch syndromes.

New botulinum neurotoxin discovered—potential to treat a number of medical conditions

Botulinum toxins are currently applicable in more than 80 medical conditions including muscle spasms, overactive bladder, chronic migraine, cervical dystonia, sweating and cerebral palsy (CP). A new toxin, Botulinum neurotoxin type X (BoNT/X), has the potential to open up a new field of toxin therapeutics related to intracellular membrane trafficking and secretion.

Inside a nerve-rattling trip to pay pot taxes

Jerred Kiloh's eyes narrowed as he checked his mirror again. The black Chevy SUV with tinted windows was still behind him.

Cultural factors account for cost differences at the end of life

In the final year of life, men incur more healthcare costs than women on average. Dying is more expensive in the French and Italian speaking parts of Switzerland than in the German-speaking part. These are the findings of an analysis of health insurance data that was conducted as part of the National Research Programme "End of life" (NRP 67).

Bangladesh sees high rates of drug resistance to urinary tract infection

Organisms causing urinary tract infections (UTI) are increasingly proving to be ineffective or showing resistance to drugs that are used to kill the germs. This phenomenon has been increasing worldwide, especially to commonly used antimicrobials (drugs) in children.

What role does the gut play in type 2 diabetes?

In the destructive cycle that leads to and perpetuates type 2 diabetes, driven by overeating, excessive blood glucose, defective pancreatic beta cell function, and imbalances in insulin-regulating hormone levels, the gut appears to play a key role. The effects of gastric emptying rates on blood sugar levels after eating and resulting glucose-related hormone release are examined in the article "The Gut: A Key to the Pathogenesis of Type 2 Diabetes?" published in Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders.

SNMMI publishes appropriate use criteria for hepatobiliary scintigraphy in abdominal pain

The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) has published appropriate use criteria (AUC) for hepatobiliary scintigraphy in abdominal pain. This is the third in a series of new AUC developed by SNMMI in its role as a qualified provider-led entity (PLE) under the Medicare Appropriate Use Criteria Program for Advanced Diagnostic Imaging. The other recently released AUC are for bone scintigraphy in prostate and breast cancer and for ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) imaging in pulmonary embolism, which is endorsed by the American College of Emergency Physicians. In addition, the AUC for F-18-FDG PET restaging and response assessment of malignant disease has been approved by the SNMMI Board and will soon be available online and will be published in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Chile Congress OK's bill to legalize abortion in some cases

Chile's Congress has approved a bill that would legalize abortion in limited circumstances—ending the country's status as the last in South America to ban all abortions.

Electrical grounding technique may improve health outcomes of NICU babies

A technique called "electrical grounding" may moderate preterm infants' electromagnetic exposure in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and improve their health outcomes, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

New report gives methods for developing dietary reference intakes based on chronic disease

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine outlines how to examine whether specific levels of nutrients or other food substances (NOFSs) can ameliorate the risk of chronic disease and recommends ways to develop dietary reference intakes (DRI) based on chronic disease outcomes. The committee that conducted the study and wrote the report was tasked specifically with assessing the options presented in a 2017 report from a working group sponsored by the U.S. and Canadian government DRI steering committees that convened to identify key scientific challenges encountered in the use of chronic disease endpoints to establish DRI values.

Senate passes legislation to ensure no halt in FDA reviews

Drug and medical device makers would pay higher user fees under legislation the Senate approved and sent to the president on Thursday. The revenue raised would help pay for the government reviews required to bring their products to the market.

From battle to business: Researchers help veterans return to work

As many as 360,000 men and women leave the military each year—good news for employers in need of the wealth of experience and skills veterans bring to the workforce.

August GIE studies show promising results for patients with endoscopic treatments

The August issue of GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), features a study reporting that a simpler procedure for collecting biopsy specimens during various procedures can improve patient care, and a study showing how a relatively new procedure, POEM, has been adapted to help an additional set of patients with gastroparesis, a troubling stomach problem.

Biology news

Structural view suggests RNAi multiplies its effect in repressing gene expression

Continuously throughout our lives, our cells are expressing genes. It's the first step in making proteins, the stuff of all the structures in the body and molecular players in the countless dramas unfolding every second as cells execute tasks that enable our organs to function.

Animal coloration research: On the threshold of a new era

In the last 20 years, the field of animal coloration research has experienced explosive growth thanks to numerous technological advances, and it now stands on the threshold of a new era.

Lizard blizzard survivors tell story of natural selection

An unusually cold winter in the U.S. in 2014 took a toll on the green anole lizard, a tree-dwelling creature common to the southeastern United States. A new study offers a rare view of natural selection in this species, showing how the lizard survivors at the southernmost part of their range in Texas came to be more like their cold-adapted counterparts further north.

Saving the monarch butterfly—biologist explains population census discrepancies

Monarch butterfly populations have taken a nosedive over the last 20 years, according to researchers who monitor the number of butterflies that spend the winter in Mexico every year. But organizations of citizen scientists in the United States who conduct yearly censuses of monarchs in state parks and other locations in the summer have reported no consistent dip in the number of butterflies they see.

Light pollution as a new threat to pollination

Artificial light disrupts nocturnal pollination and leads to a reduced number of fruits produced by the plant. This loss of night time pollination cannot be compensated by diurnal pollinators. The negative impact of artificial light at night on nocturnal pollinators might even propagate further to the diurnal community, as ecologists of the University of Bern were able to show.

Why scorpion stings are so painful

(Phys.org)—A combined team of researchers from the U.S. and China has figured out why scorpion stings are so painful. In their paper published on the open access site Science Advances, the team explains how scorpion venom containing a variety of toxins and is mildly acidic, causing a lot of pain.

Scientists link biodiversity genomics with museum wisdom through new public database

A new publically available database will catalog metadata associated with biologic samples, making it easier for researchers to share and reuse genetic data for environmental and ecological analyses.

Scientists edit human embryos to safely remove disease for the first time – here's how they did it

Scientists in the US have released a paper showing that they have successfully edited human embryos to correct a mutation that causes an inheritable heart condition. The findings are hugely important as they demonstrate for the first time that the technology may one day be used safely to edit out many devastating diseases.

Border wall would put more than 100 endangered species at risk, says expert

Last week the U.S. House approved a spending bill that includes $1.6 billion to fund the start of the "contiguous and impassable wall" along the Mexican border. Yesterday the Department of Homeland Security issued a news release announcing "a waiver to waive certain laws, regulations and other legal requirements to ensure the expeditious construction of barriers and roads in the vicinity of the international border near San Diego," and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announced his support for the president's plan via a Twitter post and video.

Isotope fingerprints in feathers reveal songbirds' secret breeding grounds

Using isotope fingerprints in feathers, researchers have pinpointed the northern breeding grounds of a small, colourful songbird.

For the first time, researchers have mapped the complete genome of two closely related megapests

For the first time, researchers from Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have mapped the complete genome of two closely related megapests potentially saving the international agricultural community billions of dollars a year.

DNA provides new insights on the control of invasive Russian knapweed

A recent study featured in the journal Invasive Plant Science and Management sheds new light on the control of Russian knapweed, an invasive plant found in the western U.S.

Current threats to our oceans are revealed

Covering two-thirds of our planet, the ocean was once thought to be too big to be threatened by human activity. Scientific evidence now shows that our use and abuse of this environment is having a detrimental effect on marine habitats across the globe.

Forensic entomologist unearths Chinese migrant fly in Europe

An insect that was once found mainly in China and in South America has begun to appear in Europe. Forensic entomologists - who gain vital crime scene information such as time of death by studying the infestation of human cadavers - need to learn as much as they can about the newcomer. The University of Huddersfield's Dr Stefano Vanin, assisted by some of his students, is leading the way.

Malawi hails 'historic' relocation of 520 elephants

Malawi on Thursday celebrated the successful conclusion of a two-year project moving 520 sedated elephants by truck to a reserve where the animals had been nearly wiped out by poaching.

The Oriental eye fly that transmits conjunctivitis newly recorded in China

The conjunctivitis-transmitting Oriental eye fly (Siphunculina funicola) has been recorded for the first time in China. In the same paper, published in the open access journal ZooKeys, a team of three scientists further describe three species of the same genus, which are new to science.

Canada OKs Idaho company's genetically engineered potatoes

Canadian officials say three types of potatoes genetically engineered by an Idaho company to resist the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine are safe for the environment and safe to eat.

Activists sound alarm over Russia's whale trade

A young beluga whale looks down as it is winched in a net onto the deck of a rusty Russian ship moored at a far-eastern port.

Millions of Dutch eggs destroyed in growing insecticide scandal (Update)

Supermarkets in the Netherlands and Germany were Thursday removing millions of eggs from their shelves believed to have been contaminated by a toxic insecticide in a widening food scandal.

Giant cage could help cut number of burned birds over NJ Meadowlands

Soon, there should be fewer birds getting burned or killed by an invisible flame as they fly over the New Jersey Meadowlands.

Regulators: Menhaden fish population in good shape

One of the most important little fish in the sea is in good shape.


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