Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Science X Newsletter Wednesday, Aug 2

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for August 2, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Chandra observations provide insights about young stellar cluster NGC 3293

'Perfect liquid' quark-gluon plasma is the most vortical fluid

Ancient DNA analysis reveals Minoan and Mycenaean origins

Hubble detects exoplanet with glowing water atmosphere

Deadly heat waves could hit South Asia this century: study

Autism may reflect excitation-inhibition imbalance in brain, study finds

New simulations could help in hunt for massive mergers of neutron stars, black holes

Early gene-editing success holds promise for preventing inherited diseases

Pregnancy loss and the evolution of sex are linked by cellular line dance

New research reveals ecosystem cascades affecting salmon

Celebrity Twitter accounts display 'bot-like' behavior

Evolutionary biologists identify non-genetic source of species variability

Apple's next big leap might be into augmented reality

Update on the Larsen-C iceberg breakaway

An app for the perfect selfie: Algorithm direct user where to position camera for best photo

Astronomy & Space news

Chandra observations provide insights about young stellar cluster NGC 3293

(—Observations conducted with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have uncovered a young stellar cluster designated NGC 3293. The data provided by the spacecraft reveal insights about its stellar population. The findings were presented July 27 in a paper published on

Hubble detects exoplanet with glowing water atmosphere

Scientists have found the strongest evidence to date for a stratosphere on an enormous planet outside our solar system, with an atmosphere hot enough to boil iron.

New simulations could help in hunt for massive mergers of neutron stars, black holes

Now that scientists can detect the wiggly distortions in space-time created by the merger of massive black holes, they are setting their sights on the dynamics and aftermath of other cosmic duos that unify in catastrophic collisions.

Simulations suggests Venus may once have had an ocean

(—A team of researchers with Université Paris-Saclay has found evidence suggesting that the planet Venus may once have had an ocean. In their paper published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, the group describes entering a multitude of data into a computer simulation and running it using different parameters, showing the likelihood that Venus once had a thick cloud cover and a thin ocean.

Satellite launched to monitor climate change and vegetation

Two satellites including one dedicated to monitoring the effects of climate change on vegetation were successfully launched into orbit late Tuesday, launch company Arianespace said.

Protect your eyes from long-term damage while viewing the eclipse

Watching the captivating sight of the moon's passing between the sun and Earth, where the moon fully or partially covers the sun, could cause serious and potentially long-term harm to the eye if not viewed properly. Eye specialists from the University of Alabama at Birmingham offer tips on eye safety during the eclipse to avoid post-exposure symptoms like pain, red eyes, light sensitivity, tearing or watery eyes, blurry vision, and many others.

NASA-supported search programs that detect and track near-Earth objects

A few NASA-funded astronomer teams are always on the hunt for potentially hazardous near-Earth objects, asteroids and comets whose orbits periodically bring them within 30 million miles of Earth's orbit. At NASA, the Planetary Defense Coordination Office supports the search programs, while also planning and coordinating any response to possible asteroid impacts.

Mars Curiosity rover approaches 5 years of exploration

Before taking the helm at WPI in 2014, President Laurie Leshin, a geochemist and space scientist, had a passion for space and a lifelong fascination with Mars. Her professional career set her on a path to NASA where she shaped future human spaceflight programs and activities as the deputy associate administrator for NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. She also held roles as the director of NASA's Sciences and Exploration Directorate, and as the deputy center director for Science & Technology at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

Image: Nanobot's giant leap

This highly mobile, jumping Nanobot was designed by a team of space engineers challenged to develop a Moon mission that was not only technically viable but could also make a profit.

Running out of gas: Gas loss puts breaks on stellar baby boom

Understanding the history of star formation in the Universe is a central theme in modern astronomy. Various observations have shown that the star formation activity has varied through the 13.8 billion-year history of the Universe. The stellar birthrate peaked around 10 billion years ago, and has declined steadily since then. However, the cause of the declining stellar birthrate is still not well understood.

Cutting-edge Adaptive Optics Facility sees first light

The Unit Telescope 4 (Yepun) of ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) has now been transformed into a fully adaptive telescope. After more than a decade of planning, construction and testing, the new Adaptive Optics Facility (AOF) has seen first light with the instrument MUSE, capturing amazingly sharp views of planetary nebulae and galaxies. The coupling of the AOF and MUSE forms one of the most advanced and powerful technological systems ever built for ground-based astronomy.

Solar eclipse apps help people prepare for celestial extravaganza

The upcoming solar eclipse in August bids to be more than a rare celestial event - it could meld the increasingly pervasive world of smartphone apps with a total eclipse visible from sea to shining sea.

NASA set to launch Dellingr; CubeSat purposely designed to improve reliability of small satellites

NASA scientists and engineers named their new CubeSat after the mythological Norse god of the dawn. Now, just days from launch, they are confident Dellingr will live up to its name and inaugurate a new era for scientists wanting to use small, highly reliable satellites to carry out important, and in some cases, never-before-tried science.

Vega lofts two satellites on second launch this year

This morning, Arianespace launched a Vega rocket carrying two Earth observation satellites for Italy, France and Israel encased in Vega's lighter protective fairing.

Technology news

Celebrity Twitter accounts display 'bot-like' behavior

'Celebrity' Twitter accounts - those with more than 10 million followers - display more bot-like behaviour than users with fewer followers, according to new research.

Apple's next big leap might be into augmented reality

Apple's iPhone may be ready for its next big act—as a springboard into "augmented reality," a technology that projects life-like images into real-world settings viewed through a screen.

An app for the perfect selfie: Algorithm direct user where to position camera for best photo

Computer scientists at the University of Waterloo have developed a smartphone app that helps people learn the art of taking great selfies.

OptiTrack shows new advances in wide-area VR tracking at Los Angeles event

(Tech Xplore)—New signs that the techies are keen on getting the VR parties started on better levels: A multi-layer virtual reality experience is possible with OptiTrack's news of technology advancements.

Researchers dress virtual avatars with digitally captured clothing

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) have developed technology to digitally capture clothing on moving people, turn it into a 3-D digital form, and dress virtual avatars with it. This new technology makes virtual clothing try-on practical.

Automatic image retouching on your phone

The data captured by today's digital cameras is often treated as the raw material of a final image. Before uploading pictures to social networking sites, even casual cellphone photographers might spend a minute or two balancing color and tuning contrast, with one of the many popular image-processing programs now available.

Team finds reason behind defects in 3-D printing

High-speed images of a common laser-based metal 3-D printing process, coupled with newly updated computer models, have revealed the mechanisms behind material redistribution, a phenomenon that leads to defects in printed metal parts, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers reported.

Chinese team breaks record for largest virtual universe

(TechXplore)—A team of researchers with the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing has announced that it has broken a record set just last month by a team at the University of Zurich in Switzerland—they have created the largest-ever virtual universe. An announcement regarding the record breaking feat, was made via Science and Technology Daily, an official Chinese newspaper.

New tool increases adaptability, autonomy of 'Skyrim' nonplayer characters

Computer science researchers at North Carolina State University and Universidade de Lisboa have developed a tool for use with the game Skyrim that can be used to create nonplayer characters (NPCs) that allow for more variability and flexibility in game play. The tool, called CIF-CK, is an artificial intelligence (AI) architecture program that uses social behavior models to make individual NPCs more reactive and adaptable to player behavior.

Smaller, smarter, softer robotic arm for endoscopic surgery

Flexible endoscopes can snake through narrow passages to treat difficult to reach areas of the body. However, once they arrive at their target, these devices rely on rigid surgical tools to manipulate or remove tissue. These tools offer surgeons reduced dexterity and sensing, limiting the current therapeutic capabilities of the endoscope.

Cicada wings may inspire new surface technologies

Researchers are looking to insects - specifically cicadas - for insight into the design of artificial surfaces with de-icing, self-cleaning and anti-fogging abilities.

Hyperloop startup says superfast rail a reality

The near-supersonic rail system known as hyperloop has passed another key milestone on its path to become reality, the US startup Hyperloop One said Wednesday.

Apple beats profit estimates, boosting shares

Apple on Tuesday reported stronger-than-expected results for the past quarter, with higher revenues and profits, delivering a boost to its share price.

Diesel at cross-roads as Germany's car bosses, politicians meet

Bosses of Germany's powerful car industry and top politicians meet Wednesday on the fate of diesel engines, as the sector faces an existential threat after a colossal pollution cheating scandal and new allegations of collusion.

Wisconsin company holds 'chip party' to microchip workers

A brief sting is all employees of a Wisconsin technology company said they felt Tuesday when they received a microchip implant in their hand that will allow them to open doors, log onto computers or buy breakroom snacks by simply waving their hand.

Samsung heir takes stand to deny corruption charges

The heir to the world's top smartphone maker Samsung took the stand Wednesday in his corruption trial, to be questioned by prosecutors about the scandal that brought down South Korea's last president.

German automakers to give 5 million diesel cars new software (Update)

German automakers committed Wednesday to fitting over 5 million diesel cars in the country with updated software to reduce harmful emissions and to finance incentives for drivers to trade in older models, the transport minister said.

Lack of internet affordability may worsen Australia's digital divide, says report

We often think of the internet as a levelling, democratising technology – one that extends access to knowledge, education, cultural resources and markets.

Inside the fight against malware attacks

When malicious software attacks, computer scientists and security researchers want to know how the attackers got into what was supposed to be a secure system, and what they're actually doing that's causing problems for users. It's a growing problem, affecting government projects, retail stores and individuals around the world.

A big hurdle do-good companies face

Have you ever wondered who collects the clothes you stuff into that donation drop box in your neighborhood? Chances are, you assumed it was a nonprofit, but that box actually may instead belong to a for-profit social venture. If you don't know what that means, you're not alone.

Mapping electricity access for a sixth of the world's people

Most Americans can charge their cell phones, raid the fridge or boot up their laptops at any time without a second thought.

Hundreds show up for jobs at Amazon warehouses in US cities

Hundreds of people showed up Wednesday for a chance to pack and ship products to Amazon customers, as the e-commerce company held a giant job fair at nearly a dozen U.S. warehouses.

Bitcoin ATMs invade Philly, taking cryptocurrency to the masses

There's no shortage of bitcoin in Philadelphia.

Facebook's Oculus woos virtual reality game makers with millions

Facebook-owned Oculus wants game makers to buy into the future of virtual reality, but for some developers, creating content for a smaller audience is also a gamble.

Art museum will send art directly to your phone with new texting feature

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is making it easier for art lovers to see its extensive collection, no matter where they are in the world.

Uber's bumpy CEO search

Getting rid of Travis Kalanick may have been hard for Uber's investors and board of directors. But replacing him could prove harder.

Defying predictions, wind tunnels find new customers in autos, athletics—even fast food

Wind tunnels were supposed to be put out of work by now.

Smartphone sales slip as top vendors consolidate market share

Global smartphone sales saw a modest decline in the second quarter of 2017, as market leaders Samsung and Apple consolidated their positions, a survey showed Wednesday.

Tesla fending off worker complaints on pay, safety

As electric carmaker Tesla prepares to release quarterly results Wednesday, it is also trying to fend off escalating worker complaints about pay and safety at its California factory, where a move to unionize is gaining steam.

Is there finally some relief from annoying robocalls?

For Michael Rizzo, answering the phone is too often a waste of time.

Tech sector battles US lawmakers on sex trafficking bill

The tech sector is digging in for battle with US lawmakers over a proposed law aimed at curbing human trafficking by holding website owners liable for illegal content posted by others.

Scholars shed light on 'moving target' of drone regulation in the US

For some, they're a hobby. For other people, they're tools. And for many, they're just a big nuisance. Love 'em or hate 'em, drones—or, unmanned aerial systems—are increasingly a part of life for millions in the U.S. In fact, the Federal Aviation Administration estimates annual sales of drones should hit 7 million by 2020.

HBO plays down threat of hacked internal emails

HBO, which acknowledged Monday that hackers had broken into its systems and stolen "proprietary information," now says the attackers likely haven't breached the network's entire email system.

Internet pricing 101: Why costs are all over the map

There are 95 million American households with fixed - as in, not wireless - internet access, but few of us really understand why we pay what we pay, especially when we hear about a neighbor or relative with a cheaper rate and faster speed.

Don't fall for these financial scams

Beware of the stranger on the phone—it could be a scammer.

Medicine & Health news

Autism may reflect excitation-inhibition imbalance in brain, study finds

A study by Stanford University investigators suggests that key features of autism reflect an imbalance in signaling from excitatory and inhibitory neurons in a portion of the forebrain, and that reversing the imbalance could alleviate some of its hallmark symptoms.

Early gene-editing success holds promise for preventing inherited diseases

Scientists have, for the first time, corrected a disease-causing mutation in early stage human embryos with gene editing. The technique, which uses the CRISPR-Cas9 system, corrected the mutation for a heart condition at the earliest stage of embryonic development so that the defect would not be passed on to future generations.

Study adds to evidence that most prescribed opioid pills go unused

In a review of half a dozen published studies in which patients self-reported use of opioids prescribed to them after surgery, researchers at Johns Hopkins report that a substantial majority of patients used only some or none of the pills, and more than 90 percent failed to dispose of the leftovers in recommended ways.

Fashionable FitBits discourage young teens from exercising, study finds

Wearable activity trackers could be doing more harm than good in encouraging young teenagers to exercise, new research from Brunel University London suggests.

Chemicals in sunscreen found to inhibit multiple sclerosis in mice

(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin has found that applying certain types of sunscreen to mice with a multiple sclerosis-like condition dissipated the symptoms of the condition. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes accidentally discovering the impact of sunscreen on mice and what testing of their results showed.

It's not just what you eat, it's what's eating you

Restricting how much you eat without starving has been shown to robustly extend lifespan in more than 20 species of animals including primates. How this works is still unclear. In a new study published in PLOS Genetics, neuroscientists from Florida Atlantic University show that it's not just what or how much you eat that matters. Smelling food in addition to consuming calories could influence the aging process. And, what's "eating" you or more specifically your cells may provide clues to healthy aging.

'Sherlock' and the case of narrative perception

"Chunking" has been a concept in cognitive psychology since the mid-1950s. It is the means by which individual items or words are grouped together into larger units so that they can be processed or stored as single ideas. But until recently, there was no way to observe this phenomenon in the neural activity of the brain. Now, in the August 2 issue of Neuron, researchers are reporting a way to use fMRI to investigate how the brain segments experiences during perception and how these experiences become long-term memories.

Good cellular neighbors combat incipient cancers

Scientists have spent decades studying the nature of tumor cells, but few have looked to see what was happening in the surrounding tissue.

Comprehensive sequencing program shows promise of precision medicine for advanced cancer

The average metastatic cancer has more genetic mutations than are seen in early stage tumors, a new study finds.

New cancer therapy eliminates toxic delivery vehicles for microRNA

Researchers at Purdue University have discovered a mechanism for delivering tumor-suppressing microRNAs that eliminates the need for toxic delivery vehicles.

Targeting 'Achilles' heel' could supercharge breast cancer treatment

A new class of anti-cancer agents that target cancer cells' 'Achilles' heel' could help to supercharge breast cancer treatment, improving outcomes for some of the most aggressive types of breast cancer.

Ebola detected in semen of survivors two years after infection

Ebola virus RNA can persist in the semen of survivors more than two years after the onset of infection researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have found. The research team, which included investigators from Ohio-based Clinical Research Management and the ELWA Hospital in Liberia also observed the detection of Ebola virus RNA in the semen of men who had previously had a negative test of their semen in some cases.

Scientists gain insight into allergies

Scientists report they've pinpointed which immune system cells trigger allergies.

Study reveals how to reprogram cells in our immune system

When the immune system is imbalanced, either due to overly-active cells or cells that suppress its function, it causes a wide range of diseases, from psoriasis to cancer. By manipulating the function of certain immune cells, called T cells, researchers could help restore the system's balance and create new treatments to target these diseases.

Study examines opioid prescribing and practices in Ohio emergency departments

A survey led by a team of researchers at the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center reports that the majority of Ohio's emergency department (ED) administrators and physicians are in support of the most recent state guidelines for prescribing opioids, but challenges still exist in implementation.

'Antibiotic stewardship teams' must be planned and paid for to halt dangerous infections

There is an urgent need to plan and fund teams of specialist health workers to promote appropriate use of antibiotics, according to an expert commentary in Clinical Microbiology and Infection.

Cancer patients turning up in emergency departments with delirium likely to die earlier

According to a new study published in The Oncologist, patients with advanced cancer who are diagnosed with delirium when turning up in emergency departments are more likely to be admitted to hospital and more likely to die earlier than patients without delirium. This shows the importance of accurately diagnosing delirium in advanced cancer patients, says lead author Ahmed Elsayem at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX, even though delirium can easily be missed in busy emergency departments.

Medical reality catches up to science fiction

(HealthDay)—Average folks may one day be able to use a Star Trek-inspired home medical device to diagnose a dozen different ailments and track five major vital signs, all without needing to draw blood or visit a doctor's office.

Do your pearly whites sometimes cause you pain?

(HealthDay)—Do you feel a sharp pain when you eat or drink something cold or hot? You may have sensitive teeth, a common problem caused by a number of factors.

U.S. doctors still writing too many opioid prescriptions

(HealthDay)—More than one out of three average Americans used a prescription opioid in 2015, despite growing concerns these medicines are promoting widespread addiction and overdose deaths, according to a study published online Aug. 1 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Risk of a fatty heart linked to race, type of weight gain in middle-aged women

A woman's race and where on her body she packs on pounds at midlife could give her doctor valuable clues to her likelihood of having greater volumes of heart fat, a potential risk factor for heart disease, according to new research led by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

Pneumonia or sepsis in adults associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease

Pneumonia or sepsis in adults that results in hospital admission is associated with a six-fold increased risk of cardiovascular disease in the first year, according to research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. Cardiovascular risk was more than doubled in years two and three after the infection and persisted for at least five years.

Exposure to toxins in e-cig vapor varies depending on scenario

E-cigarettes are often perceived to be less harmful than their traditional counterparts, but they could still expose the people who "vape" and those around them to harmful compounds. Researchers now report in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology that heavy use and secondhand emissions could lead to inhaled levels of toxins that exceed set exposure limits. But under typical use, secondhand exposure would have a lower impact on health than second- and third-hand cigarette smoke.

Workplace accident death rate higher for older workers

Older people are dying on the job at a higher rate than workers overall, even as the rate of workplace fatalities decreases, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal statistics.

Preparing for college when you have a chronic condition or disability

Preparing to go off to college can be challenging for anyone, but for some, these preparations are especially important. One Baylor College of Medicine expert explains how those with a chronic illness or disability can best prepare for college.

How infant directed speech shapes your child's development

The way you speak to your baby can tell a very specific story.

"Code blue" equals lower survival for cancer patients

Patients with advanced cancer who suffer cardiac arrest in the hospital have a survival rate of less than 10 percent—half the rate of other patients without cancer, according to a nationwide study led by the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Physicians evaluate new device to test for cervical cancer

When a woman has an abnormal pap smear she usually undergoes colposcopy, the procedure physicians use to closely examine the cervix, vagina and vulva for signs of disease. Typically a metal instrument is used to obtain a small sampling of cells inside the cervix – a procedure that is oftentimes painful for the patient and does not consistently give good results.

Could painkillers be hiding serious arthritis condition from doctors?

Thousands of patients with an inflammatory arthritis condition might be being mis-diagnosed because the pain killers they take hide the problem from doctors.

With clinical trials, people can get new treatments not available to others

For over four years Jessica Donlon, 17, suffered from depression that was so severe, she had difficulty getting out of bed. She gave up cheerleading and softball, spending much of her time sleeping. She tried many kinds of medications and therapies, but her depression was getting worse. "She suffered degrees of not wanting to live, but it was getting stronger and more frequent," says her mom, Theresa Roy.

Caffeine shortens recovery time from general anesthesia

Caffeine helps quickly boost wakefulness following general anesthesia, a new study finds. The stimulant—used daily by more than 90 percent of adults in the U.S.—appears to alter physiological function in two different ways to shorten recovery time. The paper, published ahead of print in the Journal of Neurophysiology, was chosen as an APSselect article for August.

Are your parents to blame for your psychological problems?

Psychologist Sigmund Freud famously proposed that our personal development is pretty much determined by events in our early childhood. While many of his ideas are now outdated, some modern psychological theories also suggest that childhood experiences play an important role in shaping our lives.

How do dads fit in? Engaging fathers in family-centered early intervention services for children

Early intervention services for children with disabilities or developmental delays are focused on being family centered and are ideally conducted in the home setting. Even so, fathers—custodial or noncustodial—are often left out of the process.

A protein involved in Alzheimer's disease may also be implicated in cognitive abilities in children

Rare mutations in the amyloid precursor protein (APP) have previously been shown to be strongly associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Common genetic variants in this protein may also be linked to intelligence (IQ) in children, according to recent research performed at the University of Bergen, Norway.

Why kids need risk, fear and excitement in play

"Be careful!" "Not so high!" "Stop that!"

Opinion: Why we should be worried about gene-carrier screening

The ability to cheaply and quickly sequence entire genomes is changing the way diseases are identified and treated. But it is also likely to change the way we make some of the most important and personal decisions of our lives: how, and with whom, we have children.

Multimorbidity could cause a healthcare crisis—here's what we can do about it

Multimorbidity is one of the biggest challenges facing healthcare. In recent years, a succession of research studies have shown that people with multiple health problems are more likely to have a worse quality of life, worse mental health and reduced life expectancy. The more health problems someone has, the more drugs they are likely to be prescribed and the more frequently they are likely to consult a GP or be admitted to hospital.

Helping dementia carers make sense of their experiences

A powerful new animation produced by Cardiff University and narrated by Sir Tony Robinson has laid bare the communication difficulties facing people with dementia, in a bid to help carers better understand and support people with the condition.

Link confirmed between obesity and better outcomes following heart procedures

Research undertaken at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) has confirmed a link between elevated body mass index (BMI) and patients having better survival outcomes following percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI).

Drug-related deaths are at their highest level in 25 years – here's why

According to new data from the UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS), last year saw the highest number of drug-related deaths since records began in 1993. Over half of these deaths involved an opiate such as heroin. Those aged 40-49 made up the largest group dying as a result of drug poisoning. Compared to the general population, this group are dying decades before they should.

Molecular link between post-traumatic stress disorder and Alzheimer's disease

There is increasing evidence that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) increases the risk of developing dementia later in life. Researchers at the University Medical Center Göttingen, Germany, now shed light on the molecular mechanism that links the two disorders. The research is published today in the EMBO Journal.

If a brain can be caught lying, should we admit that evidence to court? Here's what legal experts think

A man is charged with stealing a very distinctive blue diamond. The man claims never to have seen the diamond before. An expert is called to testify whether the brain responses exhibited by this man indicate he has seen the diamond before. The question is – should this information be used in court?

Fighting dehydration with wearables and big data

Dehydration is one of the most common causes of death among young children in the developing world – particularly during the hot summer months. ETH Professor Walter Karlen and his team of researchers have developed an inexpensive mobile device that could be used by laypeople to more effectively treat dehydration.

Doctors develop pioneering nose drop to help fight meningitis

Doctors in Southampton have pioneered the development of a nose drop containing a type of 'friendly' bacteria that could help prevent meningitis and other infections.

Clinicians' intuitions about when terminally ill patients will die are often inaccurate

A simple method, routinely used by clinicians to help identify patients who may be approaching their last year of life, is frequently inaccurate, according to a new study led by UCL researchers and funded by Marie Curie.

Gamblers more likely to have suffered childhood traumas, research shows

Men with problem and pathological gambling addictions are more likely to have suffered childhood traumas including physical abuse or witnessing violence in the home, according to new research.

Food fight: Children's temperaments help predict dinnertime struggles

Most toddlers go through bouts of picky eating, but infants with more inhibited personalities are more likely to turn up their nose at new foods, according to researchers.

Engineers harness the power of 3-D printing to help train surgeons, shorten surgery times

A team of engineers and pediatric orthopedic surgeons are using 3D printing to help train surgeons and shorten surgeries for the most common hip disorder found in children ages 9 to 16. In a recent study, researchers showed that allowing surgeons to prep on a 3D-printed model of the patient's hip joint cut by about 25 percent the amount of time needed for surgery when compared to a control group.

Scientists uncover the role of spindle matrix proteins in NSC reactivation

A multicentre research team led by Duke-NUS Medical School (Duke-NUS)'s Neuroscience and Behavioural Disorders Programme has uncovered that spindle matrix proteins can play an intrinsic role in regulating neural stem cell (NSC) reactivation and proliferation. This discovery is an early important step towards opening up avenues for further research that could lead to potential stem cell-based therapies for neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders such as microcephaly and Alzheimer's disease.

Know the signs of concussion

(HealthDay)—Concussions have been in the news a lot because of health problems experienced by football players, but you don't have to be a professional athlete to suffer this injury.

Fla. officials confirm year's first case of sexually transmitted Zika

Florida health officials have confirmed a case of sexually transmitted Zika in Pinellas County, a first for the state in 2017.

Clinical trial fails to disclose risk of death, repeat heart attacks, advocacy group says

A clinical trial testing blood transfusion therapies for heart attack patients may place participants in danger of death or a repeat heart attack without fully disclosing those risks, a Washington, D.C.-based consumer advocacy group said Tuesday in a letter asking federal health officials to immediately suspend enrollment in the study, which is recruiting patients at dozens of hospitals, including Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach.

Wash. students create innovative devices to solve vexing medical problems

Last year, there was a national outcry after the price skyrocketed for a medical-injection device that counteracts the life-threatening symptoms of a severe allergic reaction.

Hypertensive women may benefit most from drugs that directly block the action of the hormone aldoste

When women are hypertensive their physicians should consider measuring their level of aldosterone, a hormone that at high levels damages the cardiovascular system, scientists say.

Three Klebsiella species cause life-threatening infections and share drug resistance genes

A team of US researchers has discovered that three different species of Klebsiella bacteria can cause life-threatening infections in hospital patients and that all three share genes that confer resistance to the most commonly used antibiotics. The study, published this week in mSphere, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, improves physicians' understanding of Klebsiella infections and could point toward better ways to fight multi-drug resistant strains of these bacteria.

Collaboration between pet owners and researchers helps children and dogs with rare epilepsy

The research, published in PLOS ONE, has identified the progression of Lafora disease, a devastating form of epilepsy which affects up to 50 young children worldwide. Lafora's disease also affects dogs and the examination of affected canines will help develop effective treatment which can be used to treat children with the illness.

ONC201 may inhibit cancer stem cell self-renewals by altering their gene expression

ONC201 may inhibit cancer stem cell self-renewals by altering their gene expression, according to a study published August 2, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Varun Vijay Prabhu from Oncoceutics, Inc., USA and colleagues.

Less than half of stroke patients nationwide are prescribed recommended cholesterol-lowering medication

Nationwide, less than half of stroke patients discharged from the hospital received a prescription for cholesterol-lowering medications called statins, and the likelihood of a prescription varied by patients' geographic location, sex, age and race, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Quitting statins after stroke may raise risk of another stroke

Stroke patients who stopped taking statin drugs three to six months after a first ischemic stroke, the type caused by narrowed arteries, had a higher risk of a having another stroke within a year, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

New method may help predict risk of bleeding after stroke

A new scoring method may help predict who is at high risk of serious bleeding after a stroke, according to a study published in the August 2, 2017, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Targeted radiotherapy limits side effects of breast cancer treatment

Breast cancer patients who have radiotherapy targeted at the original tumour site experience fewer side effects five years after treatment than those who have whole breast radiotherapy, and their cancer is just as unlikely to return, according to trial results published in The Lancet today.

Pros and cons: Free dental care in exchange for community service

The majority of low-income Michigan residents and dentists who participated in a program that provided free dental care in exchange for volunteer work said they liked it, and most patients felt their oral health had improved.

Use it or lose it

An Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich study reveals that sound-evoked activity of neurons in the auditory system of the mouse increases the thickness of their myelin sheaths - and enhances the speed of signal transmission - both during development and in the adult brain.

Bone loss after denosumab, only partial protection with zoledronate

Denosumab is a monoclonal antibody which acts as a potent anti-resorptive agent and is now widely used in the treatment of osteoporosis.

Similar defects ID'd for T2DM, chronic pancreatitis and diabetes

(HealthDay)—Patients with type 2 diabetes and those with diabetes secondary to chronic pancreatitis have similarly impaired α-cell responses to oral glucose ingestion and hypoglycemia, according to a study published online July 27 in Diabetes Care.

Canagliflozin delays increase in certain CV biomarkers in T2DM

(HealthDay)—For patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), treatment with canagliflozin delays the increase in serum N-terminal pro-B type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and high-sensitivity troponin I (hsTnI) compared with placebo, according to a study published in the Aug. 8 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

ABP 501, adalimumab biosimilar, safe and effective, for psoriasis

(HealthDay)—The biosimilar ABP 501 has similar clinical efficacy and safety to adalimumab for the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, according to a study published online July 28 in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Inappropriate med use high in cognitively impaired seniors

(HealthDay)—Many nursing home residents with cognitive impairment or dementia have potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) use, with PIM use more likely among frail individuals, according to a study published online July 28 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Review: Levetiracetam best monotherapy for partial seizures

(HealthDay)—Levetiracetam performs better than carbamazepine and lamotrigine for individuals with partial seizures, according to a review and meta-analysis published online June 29 in the Cochrane Library.

Downregulation of miR-126 augments DNA damage response

(HealthDay)—For cigarette smokers and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), downregulation of microRNA-126 (miR-126) augments DNA damage response (DDR), according to a letter to the editor published online July 28 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Mechanisms ID'd for curcumin resensitization of cancer cells

(HealthDay)—Curcumin can resensitize chemoresistant pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cells through inhibition of the polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2)-PVT1-c-Myc axis, according to a study published online July 17 in Carcinogenesis.

TXNIP blocks autophagic flux, causes alpha-synuclein accumulation

(HealthDay)—Thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) blocks autophagic flux and induces expression of α-synuclein accumulation via inhibition of ATP13A2, according to a study published online July 29 in CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics.

Like a cut-and-paste tool, gene editing transforms research

Gene editing is getting fresh attention thanks to a successful lab experiment with human embryos. But for all the angst over possibly altering reproduction years from now, this technology already is used by scientists every day in fields ranging from agriculture to drug development.

Imbruvica approval expanded to include graft versus host disease

(HealthDay)—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday expanded approval for the anti-cancer drug Imbruvica (ibrutinib) to include adults with chronic graft versus host disease (cGVHD).

Vascular risk factors and Alzheimer's disease—a new therapeutic opportunity?

Currently, no possibility exists to reliably quantify the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD) onset in the general population and in subjects with mild cognitive impairment. Metabolic and genetic factors involved in increasing the probability of developing dementia have already been identified. Some vascular risk factors, as hypertension, dyslipidaemia, diabetes or smoking can cause a derangement in extra or intracranial vessels architecture, which can be responsible for an early aging of the brain. However, reliable tools for early identification of subjects at greater risk of evolution from mild cognitive impairment to AD are not available.

Q&A with food safety expert on why U.S. poultry is banned in the E.U.

With Brexit on the horizon, the UK is now looking for ways to open up trade with countries outside the EU. A trade deal with the US is one of the most significant options politicians are exploring and an agreement that would increase imports and exports of food and drink could be an important component of this. This has raised the possibility of the UK accepting US food standards, and a prominent example of this is the use of chlorine to wash chicken carcasses, which is currently banned in the EU.

Bangladesh separates conjoined twins in rare surgery

Ten-month-old Bangladeshi siamese twins were recovering in hospital Wednesday after what surgeons hailed as the country's "groundbreaking" first successful separation operation on conjoined siblings.

Does coffee help you live longer?

Can drinking coffee help you live longer? Two studies report that it may be true.

How to get long-term care at home without busting the bank

The vast majority of older adults receive long-term care at home, not in nursing homes. But few people plan for this expense.

Biology news

Pregnancy loss and the evolution of sex are linked by cellular line dance

After Dan Levitis and his wife lost two pregnancies, before having their three children, he was drawn to investigate why pregnancy loss is so common, and whether other living beings face the same struggle his family did.

New research reveals ecosystem cascades affecting salmon

Interpreting relationships between species and their environments is crucial to inform ecosystem-based management (EBM), a priority for NOAA Fisheries. EBM recognizes the diverse interactions within an ecosystem—including human impacts—so NOAA Fisheries can consider resource tradeoffs that help protect and sustain productive ecosystems and the services they provide.

Evolutionary biologists identify non-genetic source of species variability

An unspoken frustration for evolutionary biologists over the past 100 years, says Craig Albertson at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is that genetics can only account for a small percentage of variation in the physical traits of organisms. Now he reports experimental results on how another factor, a "bizarre behavior" that is part of early cichlid fish larvae's developmental environment, influences later variation in their craniofacial bones.

Bird echolocation inspires new engineering

All animals use a combination of senses to survive. But where the majority typically rely on one or two especially sensitive sensory systems, the oilbird excels by apparently having keen senses all-around.

Trigger for weapons of bacterial warfare uncovered

Researchers have been able to switch on and study the mechanism some bacteria use to inject toxins into their rivals.

Microscopic body snatchers infest our oceans

New research from Swansea University academics has found that our oceans are full of microscopic 'bodysnatchers' that have a significant impact on the ocean's food-web.

Anthrax: A hidden threat to wildlife in the tropics

Anthrax, a disease so far not associated with tropical rain forests, is common in the Ivory Coast's Taï National Park and is posing a serious threat to wildlife there. The bacterium could soon even cause the extinction of local chimpanzee populations. This is revealed in a study by scientists from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, the University of Glasgow, and the Ivorian National Animal Health Institute.

Trapdoor spiders crossed Indian Ocean to get to Australia

An Australian trapdoor spider, which usually moves no further than a couple of metres from where it was hatched, must have travelled to Australia over the Indian Ocean from South Africa, University of Adelaide research has shown.

Marriage of microscopy techniques reveals 3-D structure of critical protein complex

Researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research have solved the three-dimensional structure of a complex that is essential for the correct sorting of chromosomes into eggs and sperm during reproductive cell division or meiosis.

Opinion: Human genome editing—we should all have a say

Shoukhrat Mitalipov, a reproductive biologist at Oregon Health and Science University, is nothing if not a pioneer. In 2007, his team published proof-of-principle research in primates showing it was possible to derive stem cells from cloned primate embryos. In 2013, his team was the first to create human embryonic stem cells by cloning. Now, in 2017, his team is reported to have safely and effectively modified human embryos using the gene editing technique CRISPR.

Dingoes reshape the landscape

A comparison of conditions in the outback on either side of Australia's dingo fence has revealed that extermination of predators affects not only the abundance of other animals and plants, but also reduces the quality of the soil. The UNSW study indicates greater control of kangaroo numbers is needed across a third of the Australian continent where dingoes are rare, to reduce damage on ecosystems.

River areas overrun by invasive plants

Rivers are high-speed corridors for the spread of invasive exotic plants. Increasingly, these plants are pushing out native species and making floods more likely. A study conducted by Deltares, Utrecht University, Radboud University and the German Institute for Flood Plain Ecology has shown that exotic varieties like the Japanese knotweed and the Himalayan balsam grow faster and form denser vegetation in European flood plains than the native vegetation. The phenomenon is also seen Dutch river areas.

Climate change could put rare bat species at greater risk

An endangered bat species with a UK population of less than 1,000 could be further threatened by the effects of global warming, according to a new study led by the University of Southampton.

China welcomes world's first panda born to wild and captive parents

China has welcomed the world's first giant panda cub born to a mixed pair of captive and wild parents, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Historical wildlife trends reliable for predicting species at risk

Some of the methods used to predict at risk species are trend-based - an indicator of what happens gradually over time - while others are trait based, which uses signs of climate change in the current environment.

Scientists propose a new method for improving the assessment of changes in biodiversity

Assessing the state of an ecosystem solely on the basis of short-term changes in the number of different species it contains can lead to false conclusions. This is the conclusion reached by an international team including researchers of the Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity (HIFMB) at the University of Oldenburg and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv). In order to assess ecosystems in a way that is meaningful for nature conservation, experts should instead focus on analysing the turnover of species within a system. The researchers reached this conclusion using a mathematical model and environmental data analysis. The new method can be applied effectively using data already available from environmental monitoring programmes. The study is published online in the Journal of Applied Ecology.

Marine biologists study the diets of dolphin species to understand the animals' foraging habits

The health of dolphin populations worldwide depends on sustained access to robust food sources.

Tree-of-heaven's prolific seed production adds to its invasive potential

Tree-of-heaven—or Ailanthus—is an invasive triple threat, according to a team of plant pathologists. The species produces seeds early in its lifespan, tends to make millions of viable seeds during its life, and continues to produce seeds for decades and, in some cases, for more than a century.

Malaysia seizes rare animal parts worth almost $1 mn

Malaysia has seized elephant tusks and pangolin scales from Africa worth almost a million dollars, an official said Wednesday, highlighting the country's role as a hub for smuggling rare animal parts.

Vet med experts help solve a grizzly dental problem

Knute, a grizzly bear at the B.C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops, was not a happy bear. Pain from a damaged and infected canine tooth was keeping him up at night.

Collections at the California Academy of Sciences aid researchers in revising a mammal branch on tree of life

One small mammal is experiencing a triumphant return to its long-ago spot on the tree of life. Scientists have elevated a subspecies of giant sengi, or elephant-shrew, to full species status. Aided by genetic information gathered from the California Academy of Sciences' vast mammal collection, Academy researchers collaborated with colleagues from the University of Alaska Museum (UAM), the Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania, and the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago (FMNH) to explore the evolutionary relationships among giant sengis. In the process, the team discovered that a white-tailed subspecies of giant sengi from the Congo Basin and western Uganda was genetically distinct enough to return it to full species status, as originally designated upon its discovery in the late nineteenth century. Rhynchocyon cirnei stuhlmanni (now R. stuhlmanni) follows three new sengi species discoveries from the last decade. The team's revision of species relationships among giant sengis appears this summer in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.

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