Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Science X Newsletter Tuesday, Aug 1

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for August 1, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Sun's core rotates four times faster than its surface

History of gum disease increases cancer risk in older women

Researchers develop alternative to wasteful methane flaring

Boat noise disrupts fish cooperation

Researchers describe structures, mechanisms that enable bacteria to resist antibiotics

Company focused on swinging metal 3-D printing into faster lane

How a budget-friendly robot pleased the audience at DefCon (and cracked a safe)

Resistance training may slow down the progression of multiple sclerosis

The importance of vocalizations between mice and their offspring

Study reinforces the Amazon forest's importance in regulating atmospheric chemistry

Big-headed gecko shows human actions are messing with evolution

Molecular nanoparticles lead to major advancement in the development of solar cells

Visual processing capabilities of flatworm found to be more complex than thought

Voyager spacecraft still reaching for the stars and setting records after 40 years

Image: Intense star formation in the Westerhout 43 region

Astronomy & Space news

Sun's core rotates four times faster than its surface

The sun's core rotates nearly four times faster than the sun's surface, according to new findings by an international team of astronomers. Scientists had assumed the core was rotating like a merry-go-round at about the same speed as the surfa

Voyager spacecraft still reaching for the stars and setting records after 40 years

Humanity's farthest and longest-lived spacecraft, Voyager 1 and 2, achieve 40 years of operation and exploration this August and September. Despite their vast distance, they continue to communicate with NASA daily, still probing the final frontier.

Image: Intense star formation in the Westerhout 43 region

Hidden from our sight, the Westerhout 43 star-forming region is revealed in full glory in this far-infrared image from ESA's Herschel space observatory. This giant cloud, where a multitude of massive stars come to life in the billowing gas and dust, is almost 20 000 light-years away from the Sun, in the constellation of Aquila, the Eagle.

NASA continues to study pulsars, 50 years after their chance discovery

A little bit of "scruff" in scientific data 50 years ago led to the discovery of pulsars—rapidly spinning dense stellar corpses that appear to pulse at Earth.

Father, son prepare for eclipse after missed 1979 viewing

The last time a total solar eclipse blacked out the sun in Oregon nearly 40 years ago, Gene Brick was working in a timber mill that refused to shut down for the spectacle.

Sunrise through the solar arrays

On July 26, 2017, a member of the Expedition 52 crew aboard the International Space Station took this photograph of one of the 16 sunrises they experience every day, as the orbiting laboratory travels around Earth. One of the solar panels that provides power to the station is seen in the upper left.

New Laser SETI project will look for signals that most telescopes cannot see

Big discoveries in science are often made when innovative instruments probe nature in new ways. Laser SETI will search the sky for a variety of pulsed light signals that might have been overlooked before. We may find ET, and we also may find new physics.

NASA enhances online scientific tool used by hundreds worldwide

Hundreds of scientists worldwide currently use an online application that accesses at least one terabyte of data to calculate everything from the spectrum of an exoplanet and the weather on Mars to the chemical makeup and orbit of a celestial object. It's now expected to get even better.

SwRI's small satellite mission moves forward

NASA has selected Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) to further develop the concept for a small satellite mission to image the Sun's outer corona. SwRI's "Polarimeter to Unify the Corona and Heliosphere" (PUNCH) program was selected for a mission concept study through NASA's Heliophysics Small Explorers Program (SMEX).

Gold replica of US space module pinched from Ohio museum

A gold replica of a lunar landing module gifted to US astronaut Neil Armstrong by French jewlers has been pilfered from an Ohio museum, with security footage offering little help to police.

Technology news

Company focused on swinging metal 3-D printing into faster lane

(Tech Xplore)—Metal 3-D printing has yet to command center stage, but 3-D printing-watchers say that, with the developments going on at a Massachusetts-based company, that may change.

How a budget-friendly robot pleased the audience at DefCon (and cracked a safe)

(Tech Xplore)—For an audience like the one at DefCon in Las Vegas this was quite an act. They sat through some tense minutes as a robot tried, and finally succeed, to crack a combination safe live on stage.

Algorithms that can sketch, recreate 3-D shapes

A University of British Columbia computer scientist has created a new software that can create a design sketch of an everyday object, addressing the challenge of accurately describing shapes.

Bitcoin dispute results in split-coin

A dispute among developers of virtual currency Bitcoin gave birth Tuesday to a new version of the crypto coin after they failed to agree on software changes.

Smart underwear proven to prevent back stress with just a tap

TV infomercials offer a world of potential solutions for back pain, but most of them have at least one of three problems—they're unproven, unworkable or just plain unattractive.

Virgin America computer systems hacked

Alaska Airlines says it is taking precautions including requiring employees to change their passwords after Virgin America's computer systems were hacked.

Tech advances will lead to MH370 discovery - Malaysia Airlines

The resting place of missing flight MH370 will eventually be found but it will require advances in science and technology, including artificial intelligence, Malaysia Airlines' chief said Tuesday.

Sony net profit soars in April-June quarter

Japanese electronics and entertainment giant Sony said Tuesday its net profit nearly quadrupled in the three months to June, backed by brisk sales of smartphone components and cameras and solid revenue from its game business.

Indonesia lifts threat to ban encrypted app Telegram

The Indonesian government lifted its threat to ban the encrypted messaging app Telegram because it's taking steps to block "negative" content that includes forums for Islamic State group supporters. But it warned other sites could now face scrutiny.

Uncovering data theft quickly

Computer experts have always struggled to find solutions for protecting businesses and authorities from network breaches. This is because there are too many vague indicators of potential attacks. With PA-SIEM, IT managers have a solution that effectively protects their systems while exposing data thieves and criminal hackers more quickly than conventional software.

Reliably determining and predicting attitude motion of defunct satellites

Uncontrollable flying objects in the Earth's orbit are an enormous risk for active satellites and for spacecraft in general. Since April 2012, the European environmental satellite ENVISAT has also been adrift in orbit. Now, the Fraun-hofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Techniques FHR has developed pioneering methods to precisely determine the attitude rotation of malfunctioning satellites and, thus, to support de-orbiting missions in the future.

Automated painting of individual pieces

Reductions of 20 percent in paint use, 15 percent in energy consumption and 5 percent in production time – the SelfPaint automated painting system offers significant advantages compared to manual painting operations, which have previously been the preferred option. SelfPaint's biggest advantage could well be that it is also suitable for painting individual pieces, known in industry as batch size 1.

Micro-membrane diaphragm pump for delivering ambient air to gas sensors

Particulate matter harms the heart and lungs. In the future, a smartphone with an inbuilt gas sensor could be used to warn of heavy exposure. To help the sensor respond quickly and provide accurate measurements, researchers at Fraunhofer have developed a powerful micro diaphragm pump for delivering ambient air to the sensor.

Facebook is fighting social media identity theft in India, but it's a global problem

Every Facebook account comes with a profile picture, but how can we prevent these often personal photos from being stolen?

Creating a high-speed internet lane for emergency situations

During large disasters, like hurricanes, wildfires and terrorist attacks, people want emergency responders to arrive quickly and help people deal with the crisis. In order to do their best, police, medics, firefighters and those who manage them need lots of information: Who is located where, needing what help? And what equipment and which rescuers are available to intervene? With all of the technology we have, it might seem that gathering and sharing lots of information would be pretty simple. But communicating through a disaster is much more challenging than it appears.

Tesla's Model 3 and the transition to sustainability

The first Model 3s were delivered this week, and with it, perhaps the beginning of the end of the internal combustion era. This might be the way horse stable owners felt when they first saw a Ford Model T. The new Tesla is as snazzy as the very expensive earlier models, but its price is a more affordable $35,000 rather than the upwards of $100,000 cost of more luxurious models. Elon Musk, like the late Steve Jobs, seems to know how to bring a product to market and create buzz around it. Like the iPhone and the first Model T, the trick seems to be to create a good that you know people need, or could easily learn to need. Marketing geniuses seem to have a feel for how to create and sell these goods. It seems more craft than science, but listening to Musk, you know he has that feel. It's true that a sustainable, renewable resource based economy requires fewer rather than more cars, but the cars we end up with need to be capable of running on electricity from renewable sources rather than gasoline refined from fossil fuels. The Tesla 3 is a big step in the right direction.

Germany tests facial recognition technology at rail station

German authorities have launched a six-month test of automatic facial recognition technology at a Berlin railway station, which the country's top security official says could be used to improve security in the future.

Apple results could hold clues to iPhone 8 sales date

Apple's next iPhone is coming. But when, exactly?

Amazon under federal investigation over Iran-linked sales

Under federal investigation for possibly violating U.S. sanctions against Iran, Amazon.com has admitted to selling consumer goods to at least one person on the government's list of people and entities associated with terrorism.

Use of this visual technology is becoming popular for big events

At an after-party for the red carpet premiere of the seventh season of "Game of Thrones" at Walt Disney Concert Hall, partygoers watched as Westeros came to life on the building before them.

Spain will shut down country's oldest nuclear plant

The Spanish government says it's closing the country's oldest nuclear power station because of lack of support among political parties and companies involved to keep it open.

UK presses tech firms to choke off online extremism

Britain's interior minister is traveling to California to press Internet firms including Facebook, Twitter and Google to stem the flow of extremist content online.

Sprint posts rare profit, says a deal may be coming soon

Sprint said Tuesday that it should be able to "strike a deal" in the "near future," driving up shares of the fourth-largest U.S. wireless carrier.

Spanish court backs extradition of Russian programmer to US

Spain's National Court has recommended the extradition to the United States of a Russian computer programmer accused by U.S. prosecutors of developing malicious software that stole information from financial institutions and caused losses of $855,000.

Medicine & Health news

History of gum disease increases cancer risk in older women

Postmenopausal women who have a history of gum disease also have a higher risk of cancer, according to a new study of more than 65,000 women.

Resistance training may slow down the progression of multiple sclerosis

In the past, multiple sclerosis patients were advised not to exercise for fear of exacerbating the condition. However, it is now known that physical training can relieve many of the symptoms, including the excessive fatigue and mobility impairments that are often seen. New research now shows that resistance training may protect the nervous system and thus slow the progression of the disease.

The importance of vocalizations between mice and their offspring

A study by a research team at the Max Delbrück Center in Berlin that appears in the journal PNAS has found a group of neuronal cells in the brain stem that coordinate exhalation and tension of muscles in the larynx of baby mice without which they are mute. The cries of human babies may well depend on similar connections, which could also be impaired in speech disorders.

Research shows how pronouns can be used to build confidence in stressful situations

You're preparing for a major presentation. Or maybe you have a job interview. You could even be getting ready to finally ask your secret crush out on a date.

Gut viruses tied to potentially deadly complication of bone marrow transplant

A virus hiding quietly in the gut may trigger the onset of a severe complication known as graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) in patients who receive bone marrow transplants, according to a new study led by scientists at UC San Francisco and Saint-Louis Hospital in Paris, France.

Antibodies may reveal timing of previous influenza infection

The amount of influenza-specific antibodies present in an individual's blood can indicate not only if they experienced the flu, but potentially when—a finding that could improve disease monitoring in the tropics, where flu season is unending.

Zika infections unlikely to be passed by kissing, casual contact: study

Saliva is no way to pass a Zika virus infection.

Revealed: Brain 'switch' tells body to burn fat after a meal

Scientists at Monash University's Biomedicine Discovery Institute have found a mechanism by which the brain coordinates feeding with energy expenditure, solving a puzzle that has previously eluded researchers and offering a potential novel target for the treatment of obesity.

Characteristics of metabolically unhealthy lean people

Compared to people who are of normal weight and metabolically healthy, subjects who are of normal weight but metabolically unhealthy (~20 percent of normal weight adults) have a more than three-fold higher risk of mortality and/or cardiovascular events. This risk is also higher than that of metabolically healthy obese subjects. Norbert Stefan, Fritz Schick and Hans-Ulrich Häring have now addressed characteristics determining metabolic health in lean, overweight and obese people, showed that a reduced accumulation of fat in the lower body puts lean people at risk and highlighted implications of their findings for personalized prevention and treatment of cardiometabolic diseases.

Investigators use light to kill microbial 'vampires'

On July 24 Vanderbilt scientist Eric Skaar, Ph.D., MPH, summarized his group's latest paper in a tweet: "If S. aureus is going to drink our blood like a vampire, let's kill it with sunlight."

Researchers help find pathologic hallmarks of Alzheimer's in aged chimpanzee brains

Dementia affects one-third of all people older than 65 years in the United States. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer's disease, a progressive, irreversible brain disease that results in impaired cognitive functioning and other behavioral changes. Humans are considered uniquely susceptible to Alzheimer's disease, potentially due to genetic differences, changes in brain structure and function during evolution, and an increased lifespan.

Are artificial sweeteners counterproductive when dieting?

Next time you drop an artificial sweetener into your coffee thinking of the weight you'll lose by avoiding sugar, think again.

Magic helps unmask how the brain works

Tricks and illusions, once the domain of magicians, are helping scientists unveil how the brain works.

Egypt activists challenge mental disability stigma

Ghada Tosson waits anxiously outside an Egyptian high school in the Helwan district south of Cairo as her daughter with Down's syndrome sits her end-of-year exam.

Researchers demonstrate transmission of diabetes symptoms via prion-like mechanism

Researchers from McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston have discovered that the symptoms of diabetes can be induced by a misfolded form of a pancreatic protein. The findings, which are reported in a paper to be published August 1 in The Journal of Experimental Medicine, raise the possibility that type 2 diabetes can be transmitted by a mechanism similar to prion diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (mad cow disease).

Call for global action on life-threatening fungal infections

University of Manchester researchers have co-ordinated a 'first of its kind' series, published today in the prestigious journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Concussions and CTE—more complicated than even the experts know

For many, American football is a beautiful game that is simple to enjoy but complex to master. Choreographed with a mixture of artistry and brutality, it features the occasional "big hit" or bone-jarring tackle, forcing a fumble and turning the tide of the game.

Perfect for athletes and health aficionados—the lupine protein beverage

The beverage market in the health, sports and wellness sector is continually coming up with new products. Now, researchers at Fraunhofer have developed a protein-rich drink based on sweet lupines, which tastes sour and refreshing at the same time. And the lupine drink can be produced at any brewery.

Testing begins for student-created app to aid Alzheimer's diagnosis

In the hectic, tightly scheduled day at a memory clinic, doctors set aside blocks of time to meet with new patients suspected of having dementia. But much of that time is taken up gathering information needed to make a diagnosis, leaving little time for doctors to discuss the condition's life-changing implications with patients and their families.

Argonne goes deep to crack cancer code

A cancer diagnosis is overwhelming, the treatment often complex and uncertain. Doctors have yet to understand how a specific cancer will affect an individual, and a drug that may hold promise for one patient, may not work for another.

Bottleshops affect people's health, so our laws need to reflect that

When a new alcohol supermarket opens up in your neighbourhood you might think it's a great place to get a cheap bottle of wine. But what if one is set to open in a disadvantaged area with a high number of existing outlets, high rates of alcohol-related crime and domestic violence?

Lifestyle intervention and cardiac arrhythmia

What do George Bush Sr. and Joe Biden have in common?

Study examines fees, finances of medical specialty boards

Although many physicians have objected to high certification fees of the American Board of Medical Specialties member boards, which are nonprofit organizations and have a fiduciary responsibility to match revenue and expenditures, most of these boards had overall revenue that greatly exceeded expenditures in 2013, according to a study published by JAMA.

Steroid treatment for type of kidney disease associated with increased risk for serious infections

Among patients with IgA nephropathy and excess protein in their urine, treatment with pills of the steroid methylprednisolone was associated with an unexpectedly large increase in the risk of serious adverse events, primarily infections, according to a study published by JAMA. IgA nephropathy is a kidney disease that occurs when the antibody immunoglobulin A (IgA) lodges in the kidneys.

Weight gain between pregnancies linked to increased risk of gestational diabetes

The risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) increases with increased weight gain between pregnancies, according to a new study published in PLOS Medicine by Linn Sorbye of the University of Bergen, Norway, and colleagues.

Talking baseball assists aging adults with dementia

For many aging adults some of their strongest childhood memories may be linked to playing baseball, talking about games, or going to see their favorite Major League team with their father.

Better health is par for the course for golf fans, study shows

Most people who attend golf events exceed recommended daily step counts, researchers found.

Which type of chocolate is best for your health? Here's the science

The Aztec emperor Montezuma II said that a soldier could march for a whole day on a single cup of cocoa. But this was not the hot chocolate we would be familiar with today. It was gritty, bitter and often had a fatty scum on top. And if that doesn't sound unpleasant enough, it was occasionally laced with chilli or human blood.

Study shows adolescent depression increases risk for violence

Adolescent depression increases the risk of violence, suggests a study published in the August 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP).

Contact lenses: A molecule from pig stomach mucus prevents corneal damage

After a long day of working at the computer, scratchy contact lenses are not only painful, over longer periods of time they can also damage ocular tissue. Relief may be in sight from a natural mucus component referred to as a mucin. A team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now succeeded in demonstrating that contact lenses coated with purified porcine gastric mucin do not cause damage to the eye anymore.

New insights into diagnosing and treating invasive fungal infections will help save lives

Thousands of patients suffering from invasive fungal infections in intensive-care units or after organ transplantation will benefit from the latest insights into diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, published today in the prestigious journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Gene-regulatory factors shown to improve pancreatic cancer response to chemotherapy

Pancreatic cancer is a particularly devastating disease because of the difficulty of identifying it at an early stage, and the difficulty of treating it when discovered at a late stage. Although various treatment options such as surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy are available, the mortality rate remains extremely high, so efforts are increasingly being targeted at improving its detection and treatment.

Philippines has fastest growing HIV infections in Asia: UN

The Philippines has the fastest growing number of HIV infections in Asia, a report by the United Nations and the government showed Tuesday.

Take the (exercise) plunge

(HealthDay)—You can do more than just beat the heat the next time you go to the pool. Whether you swim or do aquatic exercises, working out in water improves strength, flexibility and cardiovascular health.

Drowning can occur hours after swimming

(HealthDay)—While it happens rarely, a person can drown on dry land hours after having been in the water.

Sodium intake > 3.7 g/day linked to adverse cardiac strain

(HealthDay)—Estimated sodium intake (ESI) above 3.7 g/day is associated with left ventricular longitudinal strain (LS), circumferential strain, and e' velocity, according to a study published in the Aug. 8 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Stent surgery could benefit select glaucoma patients

(HealthDay)—Stent surgery using a 6-mm-long stent made of gelatin material seems promising for patients with glaucoma, according to a report from the University of Michigan.

Maryland scientists research gene linked to depression

Although there are medications to treat depression, many scientists aren't sure why they're effective and why they don't work for everyone.

Internet has put a spotlight on sex addiction

Each week in his Bellevue counseling office, Bill Lennon sees 13 groups of eight men, all seeking help for compulsive sexual behavior. Such behavior can range from obsessively viewing pornography to answering Craigslist ads for minors selling themselves at cheap motels.

Opioids commission recommends that Trump declare a national emergency

The White House commission on opioid addiction has recommended that President Donald Trump declare a national emergency over the epidemic that each day kills dozens of Americans.

Scientists genetically modify human embryos for first time, reports say

A team of researchers has created the first genetically modified human embryos, the MIT Technology Review reported this week.

Kids, cash, and snacks: What motivates a healthier food choice?

What determines how children decide to spend their cash on snacks? A new study shows that children's experience with money and their liking of brands influenced purchase decisions - and that for some children, higher prices for unhealthy snacks might motivate healthier choices. The study is published in the journal Appetite.

Scientists call for tougher laws on enforced high heel wear

More needs to be done to stop women having to wear high heels against their will, according to the most thorough review of scientific studies into the shoes.

Missing signals lead to diabetic nerve injury

Molecules that help cells communicate with each other—called cytokines—might be the key to repairing diabetic nerve damage, according to a new study published in Experimental Neurology. Diabetes devastates nerve cells, which can lead to poor circulation, muscle weakness, blindness, and other painful side effects. The new study showed diabetic mice can't repair nerve cells after damage due to low levels of specific cytokines.

Study charts flu shot's impact on pregnant women and their babies

Pregnant women and young babies are among those most at risk for complications, hospitalization, and death from the flu. While doctors have long recommended flu shots for protection, experts weren't exactly sure how the shots affect pregnancy.

Researchers develop a new test to assist GP antibiotic prescribing

A research team at the University of Bristol has won a prestigious international award for a technology that could help in the fight against antibiotic resistance.

Elective freezing of IVF embryos linked to higher pregnancy rates in some cases

A delay in transferring embryos to the mother improves the success of in vitro fertilization in certain cases, according to a study by scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Celmatix Inc. and several other institutions.

A new HER2 mutation, a clinical trial and a promising diagnostic tool for metastatic breast cancer

There is a group of metastatic breast cancers that has the HER2 gene amplified - the cells have many copies of it - which leads to enhanced activity of the product enzyme, a tyrosine kinase. HER2 has been established as a therapeutic target in breast cancer, and breast cancers in which the HER2 gene is not amplified do not, in general, respond to HER2-directed therapeutic approaches.

Scientists in China identify way to treat nerve damage caused by insecticides and chemical

New research has uncovered a potential new therapy for the currently untreatable delayed neuropathy caused by acute exposure to insecticides or chemical weapons that attack the nervous system. The study, published in the open access journal Cell Discovery, identifies a new biological mechanism responsible for the neuropathy, as well as the drugs to treat it.

Hospital patients with dementia and other causes of confusion 'have worse outcomes'

Hospital patients with dementia and other causes of confusion have longer stays and worse treatment outcomes than people without the condition, research led by the University of Stirling has found.

Dutch farmers cry 'fowl' as eggs poisoned by insecticide

Dozens of poultry farms have been closed across The Netherlands after a toxic insecticide is believed to have contaminated hundreds of thousands of eggs, Dutch officials said Tuesday.

Research identifies effects of cognitive behaviour therapy on parents of children with autism

Parents of children with autism experience a greater impact from their child's therapy than once thought, according to new research out of York University's Faculty of Health.

For white middle class, moderate drinking is linked to cognitive health in old age

Older adults who consume alcohol moderately on a regular basis are more likely to live to the age of 85 without dementia or other cognitive impairments than non-drinkers, according to a University of California San Diego School of Medicine-led study.

Poor adherence to self-monitoring of glucose in GDM

(HealthDay)—Only about 60 percent of women with newly diagnosed gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) perform ≥80 percent of required self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) tests, according to a study published online July 18 in Diabetes Care.

Conservative fluid management benefits black ARDS patients

(HealthDay)—For patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), conservative fluid management is associated with reduced mortality for non-Hispanic black, but not white, patients, according to a study published online July 14 in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Laparoscopic niche resection may reduce related symptoms

(HealthDay)—Laparoscopic niche resection is associated with improvement in niche-related symptoms and/or fertility-related problems in women with a large niche (residual myometrium [RM]

Comprehensive initiative has positive impact on opioid Rx

(HealthDay)—A comprehensive initiative, including creation of prescribing and dispensing policies, monitoring and follow-up processes, and clinical coordination through electronic health record integration, can have a positive impact on opioid prescribing, according to research published online July 14 in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice.

Idhifa approved for some with acute myeloid leukemia

(HealthDay)—Idhifa (enasidenib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat adults with a specific genetic mutation that leads to relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Breast-feeding lowers mom's breast cancer risk: study

(HealthDay)—Breast-feeding helps protect women against breast cancer, a new report finds.

Rich, well-educated get bigger bang for buck from mediterranean diet

(HealthDay)—The Mediterranean diet—rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, olive oil, nuts and whole grains—has long been hailed as a heart-healthy eating plan. But new research suggests its health benefits may be limited to the rich and well-educated.

Policy changes reduced use of certain prescription opioids: study

(HealthDay)—Tighter U.S. government restrictions on prescription painkillers containing hydrocodone led to reduced use of opioid medications such as Vicodin, a new study says.

New imaging tracer allows early assessment of abdominal aortic aneurysm risk

Yale University researchers have developed a way in which medical imaging could potentially be used to assess a patient's rupture risk for abdominal aortic aneurysm. Delaying surgical treatment can be life-threatening, and this new type of imaging could allow physicians to diagnose disease and better plan its management. The study is presented in the featured article of the August issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Aye group discovers avenue for precision cancer treatment

One of the goals of personalized medicine is to be able to determine which treatment would work best by sequencing a patient's genome. New research from the lab of Yimon Aye, assistant professor of chemistry and chemical biology, could help make that approach a reality.

Lifelike 3-D cinematic imaging promises numerous medical uses

Newly developed "cinematic rendering" technology can produce photorealistic 3D images from traditional CT and MRI data, with potential applications in medical education, communication with patients and physicians, and early disease detection, according to an article published in the August 2017 issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR).

For infants with skull flattening, earlier helmet therapy gives better results

For infants with skull flattening related to sleep position, starting helmet therapy at a younger age, especially before 24 weeks, increases the treatment success rate, suggests a study in the August issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

California health premiums to rise an average 12.5 percent (Update)

Monthly premiums for California health insurance plans sold under former President Barack Obama's health care overhaul will rise by an average of 12.5 percent next year, officials said Tuesday.

Scientists map the distribution of antimicrobial resistance across Chinese major cities

The global emergence of antimicrobial resistance threatens therapies that combat bacterial pathogens. Resistance genes detected in city sewage may serve as a proxy for the resistance burden of their urban populations. Professor ZHU Yongguan from the Institute of Urban Environment of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and his collaborators recently conducted a nationwide survey of antimicrobial resistance elements in China's urban sewage and showed that the distribution of antimicrobial-resistant genes (ARG) was characterized by the well-known Hu Huanyong line, which delineates a striking difference in the distribution of China's population. This demonstrated that the emergence of ARGs is driven by human activity.

Study examines drowning-induced brain injury in children

A new study indicates that children who develop brain injury due to non-fatal drowning often experience severe motor deficits but maintain relatively intact perceptual and cognitive capabilities.

Key drug sales push Pfizer profit up 50 percent

Rising sales of most key drugs, lower one-time charges and reduced manufacturing costs helped drive Pfizer's second-quarter profit up 50 percent.

Molecule's role in maintaining liver size and function revealed

For organs to maintain a steady state and fulfill their intended functions, the rates at which the cells within them multiply or die off need to be equal. This balance must also be adjusted when events such as an injury or infection occur. However, the mechanisms by which such balance is achieved have remained obscure, including for the liver, which is particularly vulnerable to destabilization owing to its function in detoxifying the body.

How to get to a world without suicide

After his son's suicide aged 18, Steve Mallen sees the world differently. Along with a growing number of mental health experts, he wants to reduce the rate of suicide across the world, and is aiming for zero. Simon Usborne finds out more.

Increased α5β1 integrin could improve tumor cell-killing performance in geriatric patients

A new report in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology describes an important step toward developing cancer treatments involving the body's immune system. Specifically, chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy involves collecting white blood cells from patients and re-engineering them into potent cancer-killing agents. This report showed that CAR-T cells from geriatric donors have specific defects that lead to decreased tumor cell-killing performance, when compared to younger donors. The study also uncovered the Geri-T method, which increases α5β1 integrin expression to reverse age-related CAR-T dysfunction.

Brown to lead 'NeuroNex' center for creating bioluminescent neuroscience tools

With up to $9.2 million in funding over five years from the National Science Foundation, Brown University will lead a national center dedicated to developing and disseminating new tools based on giving nervous system cells the ability to make and respond to light. Neuroscientists could use the tools to uniquely manipulate and observe the circuitry of the brain in a variety of model organisms.

Poor appetite and food intake in older adults

Having a poor appetite is a serious health concern for older adults. It can lead to inadequate nutrition, which can shorten your life or reduce your quality of life. Between 11 percent and 15 percent of older adults who live independently are estimated to have poor appetites.

Vorinostat renders dormant HIV infection vulnerable to clearance

The ability for HIV to hide in the body in a dormant state makes curing the 40 million people living with the virus a challenge. Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have shown the drug Vorinostat reverses this latency, causing resting CD4 T-cells to express HIV. The investigators have developed an assay that detects antigen production and includes immune effectors capable of clearing the virus. These results were published in EBioMedicine.

Puerto Rico betting on medical marijuana to help ease crisis

Puerto Rico is joining more than two dozen U.S. states in pinning a little of its future on medical marijuana.

Biology news

Boat noise disrupts fish cooperation

Noise from motorboats changes the behaviour of cleaner fish and the species they help.

Big-headed gecko shows human actions are messing with evolution

Evolution doesn't have to take millions of years. New research shows that a type of lizard living on man-made islands in Brazil has developed a larger head than its mainland cousins in a period of only 15 years.

Visual processing capabilities of flatworm found to be more complex than thought

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with the National Centre for Biological Sciences in India has found that the visual processing capabilities of the planarian flatworm are much more complex than has been thought. In their paper published on the open access site Science Advances, the team describes a series of experiments they carried out with the flatworm and what they learned about its visual processing capabilities.

Embryos rapidly outgrow mother's genetic kick-start

Attaining independence from one's parents is an enduring theme in the lives of many organisms. Birds must fly the nest, just as mammals must wean off their mother's milk.

Noise helps cells make decisions: Team reveals the importance of genetic noise in development

Random differences between cells early in development could be the key to making different cells in the body, according to new research from a team co-led by Professor Wolf Reik. Different cell types - brain, blood, skin, gut etc. - all have unique and vital roles, yet they all start out the same. Cells become different as a result of a long sequence of biochemical choices made before we're born. For us to be healthy, these choices need to ensure we get the right number of each cell type.

Study identifies enzyme that protects cells from toxic fat

A new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Howard Hughes Medical Institute sheds light on how a key fat-producing enzyme helps protect cells from a toxic form of fat.

Dietary restriction can improve learning in worms

Dietary restriction - the reduction of a specific nutrient or total dietary intake without triggering malnutrition—increases longevity and improves learning, but are these processes regulated separately? A new study publishing on August 1 in the open access journal PLOS Biology by Mihir Vohra, Kaveh Ashrafi and colleagues at the University of California at San Francisco, indicates that the answer is "yes." The team shows that depletion of a single amino acid metabolite improves learning in an experimental animal, but has no effect on lifespan.

Evolution of fan worm eyes

Scientists examining the multiple eyes found on the tentacles of fan worms have discovered they evolved independently from their other visual systems, specifically to support the needs of their lifestyle.

Revealed: the mother (and father) of all flowers

The first flower to appear along the path of plant evolution, during the time of the dinosaurs, was a hermaphrodite with petal-like organs arranged in concentric circles, researchers said Monday.

Researchers explore how to effectively release and control engineered species

So, you've genetically engineered a malaria-resistant mosquito, now what? How many mosquitos would you need to replace the disease-carrying wild type? What is the most effective distribution pattern? How could you stop a premature release of the engineered mosquitos?

Pennsylvania snowshoe hares differ from those in Yukon

Snowshoe hares in Pennsylvania—at the southern end of the species' range—show adaptations in fur color and characteristics, behavior and metabolism, to enable them to survive in less wintry conditions than their far northern relatives, according to a team of researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Size matters, and so do temperature and habitat, to scavengers and the carcasses they eat

Size matters in the carrion world, and so do habitat and temperature.

Survey reveals why WA horses are saddled with tooth decay

Horses fed oaten hay are almost three times more likely to develop tooth decay according to a new study at The University of Western Australia.

Tracking microbial succession in petroleum wells

Microbes are invisible to the naked eye, but play key roles in maintaining the planet's biogeochemical cycles. In the Earth's subsurface, microbes have adapted to thrive in the relatively stable extreme conditions. To learn more about how some of these populations respond to disruptions in their environment, researchers in the petroleum industry conducted a comparative genetic analysis of the microbial communities in multiple oil wells within an offshore oil field. The analysis utilized tools developed at the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI), a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

Sex matters: Male bias in the lab is bad science

When I first started doing experimental biology, I noticed that we only looked at males.

The good news and bad news about the rare birds of Papua New Guinea

The rainforests of Papua New Guinea are home to one of the richest bird populations in the world. But many are threatened by logging and palm oil farming.

No simple way of predicting breathing difficulties in pugs, French bulldogs and bulldogs from external features

As many as a half of all short-nosed dogs such as pugs, French bulldogs and bulldogs experience breathing difficulties related to their facial structure. However, research published today by the University of Cambridge suggests that there is no way to accurately predict from visible features whether an apparently healthy pug or French bulldog will go on to develop breathing difficulties.

Oral bacteria may help forensic scientists estimate time since death

Accurately determining the time since death is an important aspect of forensic sciences and casework. New research indicates that this might be achieved by examining changes in the bacterial communities of the mouth that occur after death.

Cycad leaf physiology research needed

The living cycad species are among the world's most threatened plant groups, but are also among the world's least studied plant groups. The need for a greater understanding of basic physiology of cycads has been discussed for decades, yet to date the needed research is lacking.

Adorable alpine animal acclimates behavior to a changing climate

As climate change brings new pressures to bear on wildlife, species must "move, adapt, acclimate, or die." Erik Beever and colleagues review the literature on acclimation through behavioral flexibility, identifying patterns in examples from invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and fishes, in the cover article for the August issue of the Ecological Society of America's (ESA) journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. The authors focus on the American pika (Ochotona princeps) as a case study in behavioral adaptation.

Bangladesh doubles wildlife sanctuary to save its tigers

Bangladesh has more than doubled the size of the wildlife sanctuary in the world's largest mangrove forest to try to protect endangered Bengal tigers whose numbers have fallen sharply, officials said Tuesday.

Whole genome sequencing identifies cause of zoonotic epidemic

For the first time, researchers have used whole genome sequencing to identify the cause of a zoonotic infection that sparked a national epidemic. In a study published this week in mBio, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, researchers describe their use of whole genome sequencing to determine the cause of a respiratory disease that ripped through a population of native horses in Iceland several years ago.

Deadly fungus affecting hibernating bats could spread during summer

The cold-loving fungus (Pseudogymnoascus destructans, or Pd) that causes white-nose syndrome , a disease that has killed millions of North American bats during hibernation, could also spread in summer months. Bats and humans visiting contaminated caves and mines can inadvertently contribute to the spread of the fungus, according to a recently published study by the U.S. Geological Survey .

Panda at French zoo expecting... twins!

French zoo officials were doubly delighted on Tuesday on learning that their pregnant panda is expecting not one but two cubs at the weekend.

Elephants, tigers kill one human a day in India

Endangered elephants and tigers are killing one person a day in India as humans put a growing squeeze on their habitat, according to new government figures.

Human-wildlife conflict in India: 1 human killed every day

A deadly conflict is underway between India's growing masses and its wildlife, confined to ever-shrinking forests and grasslands, with data showing that about one person has been killed every day for the past three years by roaming tigers or rampaging elephants.

Endangered frog habitat sparks California farm lawsuit

Tiny frogs and toads used to swarm over the Sierra Nevada. Now, the government says nearly 2 million acres of land needs to be preserved to prevent them from going extinct.

Studying an elusive South African primate

At a remote South African field site, CU Boulder Professor Michelle Sauther and CU alumnus Frank Cuozzo are leading research on two of the world's least studied non-human primates: the iconic, big-eyed African bushbabies, also known as galagos.

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