Friday, April 27, 2018

Science X Newsletter Friday, Apr 27

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for April 27, 2018:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Separate studies offer evidence of geothermal plant causing Pohang earthquake

X-ray scientists create tiny, super-thin sheets of flowing water that shimmer like soap bubbles

New estimates of Mercury's thin, dense crust

Catching mantle plumes by their magma tails

Prosthetic arms can provide controlled sensory feedback, study finds

Mouse study identifies new target for human accelerated aging syndrome

In multiple myeloma, different types of blood biopsies match up well with bone marrow tests

New framework assesses, optimizes economic value of lithium-ion batteries

Amazon has mitigations so that Alexa does not turn into eavesdropper

Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox observed in many-particle system for the first time

Engineers develop novel method for resolving spin texture of topological surface states using transport measurements

Growing 'dead zone' confirmed by underwater robots in the Gulf of Oman

Music activates regions of the brain spared by Alzheimer's disease

Surprising findings reveal desert ants orient to the geomagnetic field

New development in contact lenses for red-green color blindness using simple dye

Astronomy & Space news

New estimates of Mercury's thin, dense crust

Mercury is small, fast and close to the sun, making the rocky world challenging to visit. Only one probe has ever orbited the planet and collected enough data to tell scientists about the chemistry and landscape of Mercury's surface. Learning about what is beneath the surface, however, requires careful estimation.

Evolving Asteroid Starships project

A group of students and researchers at Delft University of Technology are designing a starship capable of keeping generations of crew alive as they cross the gulf between stars – and they've turned to ESA for the starship's life support.

Finding galaxies with active nuclei

The nuclei of most galaxies host supermassive black holes with millions or even billions of solar-masses of material. Material in the vicinity of such black holes can accrete onto a torus of dust and gas around the black hole, and when that happens the nuclei radiate powerfully across the full spectrum. These active galactic nuclei (AGN) are among the most dramatic and interesting phenomena in extragalactic astronomy, and puzzling as well. Exactly what turns the accretion on or off is not understood, nor is how the associated processes produce the emission, generate jets of particles, or influence star formation in the galaxy.

ESA and NASA to investigate bringing Martian soil to Earth

ESA and NASA signed a statement of intent today to explore concepts for missions to bring samples of martian soil to Earth.

Astronomers find Earth-like planets capable of hosting water

New studies show that the seven planets orbiting the dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 are made mostly of rock, and some could hold more water than Earth.

Technology news

Prosthetic arms can provide controlled sensory feedback, study finds

Losing an arm doesn't have to mean losing all sense of touch, thanks to prosthetic arms that stimulate nerves with mild electrical feedback.

New framework assesses, optimizes economic value of lithium-ion batteries

Renewable-based power systems that have zero or low carbon emissions require on-demand energy storage like lithium-ion batteries. But, the degradation of these batteries is a major concern operationally and economically.

Amazon has mitigations so that Alexa does not turn into eavesdropper

Amazon has fixed a potential exploit discovered by Checkmarx. The latter's researchers said that Alexa could possibly keep tabs on you even if you were totally unaware that malicious outsiders were turning your Echo into a listening device. The lab sleuths discovered a way to keep Amazon's voice assistant constantly listening.

Use of DNA in serial killer probe sparks privacy concerns

Investigators who used a genealogical website to find the ex-policeman they believe is a shadowy serial killer and rapist who terrified California decades ago call the technique ground-breaking.

Amazon delivers hefty profits, led by web services

Internet colossus Amazon on Thursday reported that its quarterly profit more than doubled on soaring revenue from online commerce and cloud services.

Baidu net profit jumps after video unit spin-off

China search engine giant Baidu on Friday reported net profit nearly tripled in the first quarter after spinning off its video unit as part of a corporate reorientation toward artificial intelligence (AI).

Can fish school cars in how to drive together?

In the not so distant future autonomous vehicles may rule the road. Could the ability of fish to swim together provide insights for engineers to make automated driving safer?

Labor unions face hard road in Silicon Valley

Well paid and in high demand, it would appear that engineers in Silicon Valley have scant reason to join forces in labor unions.

Interview with a robot: AI revolution hits human resources

You have a telephone interview for your dream job, and you're feeling nervous. You make yourself a cup of tea as you wait for the phone to ring, and you count to three before picking up.

Microsoft gets earnings boost from 'cloud'

Microsoft said Thursday profits rose sharply in the past quarter, lifted by gains in its core cloud computing operations for business.

Amazon to raise annual Prime subscription to $119, a 20% increase (Update)

Amazon is raising the annual cost of its Prime subscription service for U.S. customers to $119 per year, up from $99.

AI can help in crime prevention, but we still need a human in charge

Imagine you live in a smart city that knows your face and follows your every move – the places you go, the people you see, and all of the things you do along the way.

How automation will make oil rigs safer

Offshore oil rigs can be extremely dangerous places to work. Over the last few decades, several offshore explosions have led to environmental disasters and the death of workers. Regulations have so far failed to stop fatal accidents from occurring. But with developments in technology, particularly the rise of automation, we're hoping that future accidents can be reduced.

Bright future for solar cell technology

New all-inorganic perovskite solar cells tackle three key challenges in solar cell technology: efficiency, stability, and cost.

Cybersecurity teams that don't interact much perform best

Army scientists recently found that the best, high-performing cybersecurity teams have relatively few interactions with their team-members and team captain. While this result may seem counterintuitive, it is actually consistent with major theoretical perspectives on professional team development.

Improved catalysts could help widespread solar power see the light of day

Engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are shining a light on promising new strategies for storing solar power. The efforts could help overcome one major limitation of energy generation from solar sources—namely, how to keep up with electricity demand when the sun goes down.

How drones could improve crop damage estimates

Farmers and insurance companies may soon get more accurate estimates of weather-related crop damage thanks to a University of Alberta researcher working with existing drone technology.

The hidden data in your fingerprints

Fingerprints have provided key evidence in countless cases of serious crime. But there are still some situations in which it can be difficult or impossible to recover fingerprints and this can cause a headache for forensic investigators. In seeking a solution to this problem, researchers like myself have started to realise that a fingerprint can be used for a lot more than just its unique ridge pattern.

The internet is designed for corporations, not people

Urban spaces are often designed to be subtly hostile to certain uses. Think about, for example, the seat partitions on bus terminal benches that make it harder for the homeless to sleep there or the decorative leaves on railings in front of office buildings and on university campuses that serve to make skateboarding dangerous.

Distracted by technology? Microsoft tries to help

Technology companies whose devices and constantly scrolling online services have driven us to distraction are beginning to acknowledge that their products can be a waste of time. Some of them now say they're trying to help.

Facebook gives parents control on when kids can use app

Facebook is adding a "sleep" mode to its Messenger Kids service to let parents limit when their kids can use it.

Theater subscription service MoviePass tightens plans

MoviePass, a startup that lets customers watch a movie a day at theaters for just $10 a month, is limiting new customers to just four movies a month.

Uber back on the road in Vienna

Uber said Friday it had resumed operations in Vienna, two days after a court ruling took the ride-hailing service off the road following a complaint from a local taxi firm.

'JEDI' calls on Europe to find innovation force

An association of firms and research centres in France and Germany said Friday they intend to spur technological innovation by emulating the US agency used to fund development of defence technologies.

Student Loan processor tells 16,500 borrowers of data breach

A student loan services company has notified 16,500 borrowers that files containing personal data were released to a business that wasn't authorized to receive them.

Genealogy site didn't know it was used to seek serial killer

A genealogy website that investigators used to find the former police officer they believe was one of California's most terrifying serial killers had no idea its services were being used to pursue a suspect who eluded law enforcement for four decades.

Reddit to open Chicago office as part of advertising push

Reddit is opening an office in Chicago, the tech company's first outside the coasts.

Plymouth startup creates One Spot app to streamline work of property managers

Before a client buys a commercial building, Tim Jackson's team of maintenance technicians has to walk the property to check for any potential issues.

How hackers could cause chaos on America's roads and railways

When hackers struck the Colorado Department of Transportation in a ransomware attack in February and again eight days later, they disrupted the agency's operations for weeks.

Maduro says Venezuela to get $1 bn injection from 'bitcoin' sale

Venezuela's government, which is facing a worsening liquidity crisis, is to release $1 billion into the economy obtained through the sale of the petro, its new cryptocurrency, said President Nicolas Maduro.

Airbus profits fall 30 percent, hit by delivery delays

Airbus saw its profits plunge by 30 percent in the first quarter of 2018 due to delays in delivery of its A320neo engines but still plans to supply 800 aircraft this year, the company said Friday.

Sony profits soar nearly seven-fold to $4.5 bn

Sony on Friday reported profits worth $4.5 billion, extending a roaring recovery supported by better sales almost across the board, including with box office blockbusters like its Jumanji reboot.

Honda net profit surges 70% on US tax cuts, brisk sales

Honda Motor on Friday said its annual net profit grew more than 70 percent thanks to strong growth in sales of its cars and motorcycles, as well as US corporate tax cuts.

Scientists teach neural network to identify a writer's gender

A team of researchers from the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, the National Research Center Kurchatov Institute and the Voronezh State University has developed a new learning algorithm that allows a neural network to identify a writer's gender by the written text on a computer with up to 80 percent accuracy.

Stretchable smart sensor a promising alternative to painful blood tests

Researchers have created a flexible, wireless sensor worn on the skin which monitors the pH of the wearer's sweat in real time. Developed in the course of the EU-funded project CONTEST, the device is a stepping stone towards eliminating invasive blood tests when monitoring chemical levels in the body.

Artificial intelligence helps soldiers learn many times faster in combat

New technology allows U.S. Soldiers to learn 13 times faster than conventional methods and Army researchers said this may help save lives.

Seven striking facts about the money tech companies are making

Everyone knows the tech industry is rich, but it can be challenging to get your head around just how much money it's minting.

TACC builds seamless software for scientific innovation

Big, impactful science requires a whole technological ecosystem to progress. This includes cutting-edge computing systems, high-capacity storage, high-speed networks, power, cooling... the list goes on and on.

Here's what you can't post on Facebook (no nude buttocks or cannibalism)

Facebook for the first time published its secret rules and guidelines for deciding what its 2.2 billion users can post on the social network.

Medicine & Health news

Mouse study identifies new target for human accelerated aging syndrome

Scientists from the University of Cambridge have identified a potential therapeutic target in the devastating genetic disease Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS), which is characterised by premature ageing.

In multiple myeloma, different types of blood biopsies match up well with bone marrow tests

Bone marrow biopsies are the gold standard for diagnosing and monitoring the progression of multiple myeloma, but these procedures are far too invasive to perform at every patient visit. Scientists from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, however, have shown that two ways to measure multiple myeloma DNA in blood samples provide highly detailed sets of genetic information that agree well not just with each other but with results from bone marrow tests.

Music activates regions of the brain spared by Alzheimer's disease

Ever get chills listening to a particularly moving piece of music? You can thank the salience network of the brain for that emotional joint. Surprisingly, this region also remains an island of remembrance that is spared from the ravages of Alzheimer's disease. Researchers at the University of Utah Health are looking to this region of the brain to develop music-based treatments to help alleviate anxiety in patients with dementia. Their research will appear in the April online issue of The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease.

Want to remember your dreams? Try taking vitamin B6

New research from the University of Adelaide has found that taking vitamin B6 could help people to recall their dreams.

Brain cells record their activity in gene expression, new study finds

From burning your palm on a hot pan handle to memorizing the name of a new acquaintance, "anytime you experience something, your neurons are active," says Kelsey Tyssowski, a graduate student in genetics at Harvard Medical School.

Size matters when fighting cancer, study finds

Doctors could be a step closer to finding the most effective way to treat cancer with a double whammy of a virus combined with boosting the natural immune system, according to a pioneering study by researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and The Ohio State University.

Too liberal use of oxygen increases risk of death in acutely ill adult patients

McMaster University researchers have found there is such a thing as too much oxygen for acutely ill adults.

Taxing sweet snacks may bring greater health benefits than taxing sugar-sweetened drinks

Taxing sweet snacks could lead to broader reductions in the amount of sugar purchased than similar increases in the price of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), according to new research published in BMJ Open.

Multiple sclerosis drug could reduce painful side effects of common cancer treatment

Researchers from the Saint Louis University School of Medicine have discovered why many multiple myeloma patients experience severe pain when treated with the anticancer drug bortezomib. The study, which will be published April 27 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, suggests that a drug already approved to treat multiple sclerosis could mitigate this effect, allowing myeloma patients to successfully complete their treatment and relieving the pain of myeloma survivors.

Scientists identify a potential treatment for hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia

A research collaboration has led to a new potential treatment for hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) or Rendu-Osler syndrome, a rare disease that affects blood vessels and was previously untreatable. The study, published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.

Hemoglobin A1c levels not tied to wound outcomes

(HealthDay)—There does not appear to be a clinically meaningful association between baseline or prospective hemoglobin A1c (A1C) and wound healing in patients with diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs), according to a study published online April 16 in Diabetes Care.

Inadequate functional health literacy mars post-op recovery

(HealthDay)—For patients undergoing day surgery, inadequate functional health literacy (FHL) is associated with poorer postoperative recovery and lower health-related quality of life, according to a study published online April 25 in JAMA Surgery.

Low-dose hyaluronidase can remove hyaluronic acid fillers

(HealthDay)—Very low doses of hyaluronidase can remove hyaluronic acid filler nodules, but more rapid resolution is seen with slightly higher doses, according to a study published online April 25 in JAMA Dermatology.

New methods for genetics analyses and diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease

The two most common types of inflammatory bowel disease are ulcerous colitis and Crohn's disease. These are diagnosed via endoscopy and gut biopsy. The diagnosis is often difficult, and the wrong diagnosis may have severe consequences for patients, because the treatments and medications are different between the two diseases.

Neonicotinoids may alter estrogen production in humans

Neonicotinoids are currently the most widely used pesticides in the world, and frequently make headlines because of their harmful effects on honeybees and other insect pollinators. Now, a study published in the prestigious journal Environmental Health Perspectives, indicates they may also have an impact on human health by disrupting our hormonal systems. This study by INRS professor Thomas Sanderson indicates that more work must be done on the potential endocrine-disrupting effects of neonicotinoids.

Stomach pain should be seen as a warning sign of meningococcal meningitis

Patients with meningococcal infections generally develop symptoms including a high temperature, vomiting and a stiff neck. But they might also just have a bad stomach ache. It can be so severe that they are sometimes wrongly diagnosed with appendicitis. Teams from the Institut Pasteur and the Department of Pediatrics at Bicêtre Hospital (AP-HP) decided to investigate the question. And the results speak for themselves: Ten percent of patients infected by the meningococcal strain currently on the rise in Europe suffer from abdominal pain. This atypical form of the disease is becoming increasingly common and needs to be understood by physicians. The findings are published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Researchers assassinate disease-causing bacteria with virus cocktail

New research from the Department of Food Science (FOOD) at the University of Copenhagen suggests that in the not-too-distant future, it might be possible to drink a cocktail of selective viruses (bacteriophages) that travel directly into the gut and kill the disease-causing bacteria without the use of antibiotics, and without harming the beneficial commensal intestinal bacteria.

Zika virus eliminates advanced human tumor in central nervous system of rodents

A Brazilian study published April 26 in the journal Cancer Research shows for the first time in vivo that Zika virus can be used as a tool to treat aggressive human central nervous system (CNS) tumors.

Research reveals uncaptured genetic diversity within the South African population of Botswana

In one of the first data-driven, population-based genomic studies among African populations, an international team of researchers, co-led by researchers from Baylor College of Medicine, have found significant diversity in the genetic makeup of a population from the southern region of the African continent. The study appears in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Another mosquito species may carry Zika

Another mosquito may carry the zika virus, but more research is needed to confirm the early lab tests, University of Florida scientists say. UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers detected zika in the saliva of southern house mosquitoes collected in Florida.

Suicidal thoughts follow bad night's sleep in people with depression

A study by University of Manchester researchers has shown for the first time that a bad night's sleep is associated with suicidal thoughts the next day in people with depression.

Spoonful of sugar helps infection detection

More than 500,000 devices such as prosthetic valves, pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators are implanted into cardiac patients every year in the United States. While providing clear benefits, these procedures carry a risk of bacterial infection.

Molecular biomedical expert discusses the sensation of itch

Santosh Mishra is an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences. He studies the neurological pathways involved in itch, in order to help us understand why and how we feel this sensation. He was recently involved in an international research collaboration aimed at identifying the process by which itch sensations are transmitted to the brain. Mishra agreed to sit down with the Abstract to talk a little about the basics of itching and this latest research project.

Researchers call for more resources to combat opioid epidemic

More funding is needed to address the opioid epidemic that is projected to cost the U.S. economy $200 billion by 2020, says a University of Michigan researcher.

Formerly incarcerated black men with family in jail or prison are more likely to be obese

Black men who have been incarcerated and have a close relative in jail or prison are three times more likely to be obese than other black men, according to new research from a sociologist at Rice University.

Researchers count the costs of sick days

A report released today sheds light on the enormous impact of injury and illness in Australia's working population.

Researchers get to grips with a herpesvirus

Human herpesvirus 6 infects most people all over the world. It is usually well controlled by the body, but it can cause diseases in immunocompromised individuals. As reported in PLOS Pathogens, scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München, member in the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), have now identified virus structures that can be attacked by killer T cells – a possible approach for new therapies.

Money can't buy happiness, but poverty harms mental health

People often say that money can't buy happiness; however a new collection of scientific studies published this week (Friday 27 April 2018) highlights how living in poverty can significantly harm people's mental health.

Experimental drug extends survival in progeria

A report from a clinical trial for a drug to treat the rapid-aging disorder progeria, published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association, offers hope for families with the ultra-rare genetic condition.

Is a malaria-free Bangladesh possible?

After their recent trip to Bangladesh, and in honor of World Malaria Day, Kasturi Haldar, Editor-in-Chief of PLOS Pathogens, along with Bernard Nahlen, Director of the Eck Institute for Global Health at University of Notre Dame, comment on the challenges to sustaining advances in malaria control and elimination with particular focus on Bangladesh to secure key national and global milestones.

Controlling diabetes apart from blood sugar levels

When you have diabetes, there's a lot of emphasis on controlling your blood sugar levels. And just as important, you and the health-care team caring for you should pay attention to cardiovascular, kidney and visual health.

Pilot study shows simple dietary changes can lead to modest weight loss

Attention to simple dietary changes can lead to weight loss without counting calories, according to a new study from obesity and nutrition researchers at UMass Medical School. In the study, researchers examined feasibility and acceptability among obese adults of a nonrestrictive diet focused on increasing dietary fiber and lean protein for weight loss. Published online by the journal Nutrition on April 25, the study found that increasing lean protein and fiber intake was well-tolerated by patients, improved their overall nutritional profiles and even led to modest weight loss without paying attention to limiting how much food they ate.

Why that cigarette, chocolate bar, or new handbag feels so good—how pleasure affects our brain

Every day we make a range of choices in the pursuit of pleasure: we do things that make us feel good or work in a specific job because it's rewarding or pays well. These experiences help shape our perspectives on life and define our personality.

Why free preschool makes the most sense for families

The Ontario Liberals recently announced a plan to offer free child care for preschoolers —from the age of 2.5 years until they start kindergarten —to every family that wants it by 2020.

How injuries change our brain and how we can help it recover

Injury to the adult brain is all too common. A brain injury will often show up on brain scans as a well-defined area of damage. But often the changes to the brain extend far beyond the visible injury.

New insight into the thinking of anti-vaccination activists

Anti-vaccination activists demonstrate similar beliefs around being persecuted as conspiracy theorists and their networks are immune to outside influences, new research has found.

Seniors stick to fitness routines when they work out together

Older adults are more likely to stick with a group exercise program if they can do it with people their own age, a new University of British Columbia study has found.

Why cancer cells go to sleep—the mystery of cancer dormancy

Cancer has always been thought of as something that grows rapidly and uncontrollably, but this view may be wrong. New evidence suggests that cancer alternatively uses the "accelerator" and the "brake" in order to survive.

More cases of cancer can be discovered early at a health centre

Considerably more cases of suspected cancer can today be identified early within primary care. Partly based on symptoms but also statistics on the patients' visits to health centres, indicates research from Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Protein responsible for leukemia's aggressiveness identified

Researchers have identified a protein critical for the aggressiveness of T-cell leukemia, a subtype of leukemia that afflicts children and adults.

Glioma subtypes determine how the dangerous tumors spread, evade anti-angiogenic treatment

A multi-institutional research team has identified a new mechanism by which the dangerous brain tumors called gliomas develop resistance to anti-angiogenic treatment. The team's report, published online in Cancer Cell, describes finding how different molecular subtypes of glioma cells use different strategies to spread through the brain and how anti-angiogenic treatment selects for a treatment-resistant cellular subtype.

Researchers map the potential spread of yellow fever virus to cities around the world

The deadly yellow fever virus has the potential to spread into cities around the world where it previously hasn't been seen, according to a new study led by St. Michael's Hospital.

86 million workdays lost to migraine in the UK every year

The equivalent of 86 million workdays are lost to migraine each year and close to £1 billion is spent on healthcare costs associated with the condition. It affects more than 23 per cent of adults with almost 200,000 attacks happening in the UK every day - making migraine the most common neurological reason for accident and emergency attendance.

Tainted lettuce in US sickens 98 (Update)

An outbreak of E. coli bacteria in romaine lettuce has almost doubled in size over the past week, sickening 98 people in 22 states, US health officials said on Friday.

Long-acting reversible contraceptives good for teens

(HealthDay)—Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) are suitable for use by adolescents, according to a Committee Opinion published in the May issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

High risk of death after major diabetes-related amputations

(HealthDay)—There is a high risk of postoperative mortality among patients undergoing lower-limb amputation, according to a study published online April 5 in Diabetes Care.

Therapy dogs like Katie are good medicine after stroke

When Scott Vande Zande had a serious stroke 15 years ago, his beloved golden retriever Hollie was key to his recovery.

With 'super gonorrhea' a threat, many still getting wrong antibiotics

(HealthDay)—When an unnamed British man recently contracted a form of "super gonorrhea" resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat it, the news spiked concern in doctors and microbiologists worldwide.

Posting your vacation online may make you forget it

(HealthDay)—Over the past decade, smartphones and social media have blanketed the planet like a technological tsunami.

Potentially inappropriate meds use prevalent in cancer patients

(HealthDay)—Potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) use is relatively prevalent among patients with breast or colorectal cancer, though it is not associated with most adverse outcomes, according to a study published online April 24 in Cancer.

Previous stroke tied to higher risks in aortic valve replacement

(HealthDay)—For patients undergoing surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR), previous stroke is a risk factor for recurrent ischemic stroke and major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), according to a study published online April 25 in JAMA Cardiology.

Sickle cell trait not linked to stroke in African-Americans

(HealthDay)—For African-Americans, sickle cell trait (SCT) seems not to be associated with the incidence of ischemic stroke, according to a meta-analysis published online April 23 in JAMA Neurology.

ALS by physician may improve traumatic arrest outcomes

(HealthDay)—For patients with traumatic out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), pre-hospital advanced life support (ALS) provided by a physician is associated with increased likelihood of one-month survival, according to a study published online April 25 in JAMA Surgery.

Get fit to cut your diabetes risk during pregnancy

(HealthDay)—If she's fit, a woman is less likely to develop diabetes during pregnancy, a new study contends.

Parents may help prep kids for healthier, less violent relationships

Warm, nurturing parents may pass along strategies for building and maintaining positive relationships to their kids, setting them up for healthier, less-violent romantic relationships as young adults, according to researchers.

Drug test spurs frank talk between hypertension patients and doctors

There's an irony at the heart of the treatment of high blood pressure. The malady itself often has no symptoms, yet the medicines to treat it—and to prevent a stroke or heart attack later—can make people feel crummy.

What we know and don't know about memory loss after surgery

Two years ago, Dr. Daniel Cole's 85-year-old father had heart bypass surgery. He hasn't been quite the same since.

Medical marijuana's 'catch-22': Fed limits on research hinder patients' relief

By the time Ann Marie Owen turned to marijuana to treat her pain, she was struggling to walk and talk. She also hallucinated.

Decoding your baby's DNA: It can be done. But should it be?

Maverick Coltrin entered the world a seemingly healthy 8-pound boy. But within a week, he was having seizures that doctors could neither explain nor control. They warned that he would probably die within a few months.

This engineered painkiller works like an opioid but isn't addictive in animal tests

Sometimes forgotten in the spiraling U.S. crisis of opiate abuse is a clinical fact about narcotic pain medications: addiction is basically an unwanted side effect of drugs that are highly effective at blunting pain.

A biochemical process in plants is imitated to curb the reproduction of colon cancer tumor cells

A University of Cordoba research team has developed a tool to erase molecular tags that silence genes involved in tumor growth. Plants have provided a new avenue in curbing tumor growth. The results were obtained by the University of Cordoba BIO301 Epigenetics and DNA Repair research team.

Alcohol adverts may be in breach of advertising code, study finds

A study of young drinkers' responses to alcohol advertising has found that not only are current advertisements highly appealing to young people, they appear to use actors who are perceived as being under the age of 25 – in direct contravention of the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code.

Team leads study on peer recovery coaches for opioid use disorder

Boston Medical Center (BMC)'s Grayken Center for Addiction is leading a study on the impact of peer recovery coaches on patients with substance use disorder (SUD), including focusing on providing support to patients and helping them achieve sustained recovery.

Platelet-rich plasma for cosmetic facial procedures—promising results, but evidence has limitations

Most studies evaluating platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection for facial rejuvenation and other cosmetic procedures have reported positive results, according to a critical review in the May issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Online reviews of plastic surgeons—study looks at differences between happy and unhappy patients

Good cosmetic results are an important factor—but not the only factor—differentiating positive versus negative reviews for plastic surgeons on Google, Yelp, and other online review sites, according to a special topic paper in the May issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Cycle smartly

(HealthDay)—Bicycling outdoors can feel more like fun than the high-quality aerobic activity it is. And while you may be tempted to dust off your old two-wheeler, you might want to consider a new one.

First results announced for the AVIATOR 2 international multicenter registry

Results of the AVIATOR 2 international registry are being presented as late-breaking clinical science at the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) 2018 Scientific Sessions. The AVIATOR 2 is a multicenter prospective observational study of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in 11 international sites. The use of a novel smartphone-based survey was used to capture physician and patient perspectives regarding antithrombotic therapies (ATT) after PCI.

Contemporary update to PROGRESS-CTO International Registry shows successful outcomes

A significant update to the PROGRESS-CTO (PROspective Global Registry for the Study of Chronic Total Occlusion Intervention) International Registry was presented today as late-breaking clinical science at Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) Scientific Sessions 2018. The study includes results of Chronic Total Occlusion Percutaneous Intervention (CTO PCI) for more than 3,000 patients across 20 centers in the United States, Europe, and Russia. The new data from the PROGRESS-CTO registry are representative of contemporary practice and outcomes.

First ever risk tool predicts readmission rates for patients after undergoing TAVR

A new study looked at the effectiveness of novel risk tool to predict 30-day readmission rates in patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). This first ever tool calculates a score to help clinicians and medical professionals predict risk of 30-day readmission for TAVR patients and can be easily incorporated in patient electronic medical records (EMR). The study was presented today at the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) 2018 Scientific Sessions.

Hearing screening for public safety professionals—new method for 'fitness for duty' assessments

Hearing is an important part of fitness-for-duty assessments of police officers and other public safety professionals - but standard hearing tests don't give a true picture of whether these professionals can hear and communicate in the specific "noise environments" where they must work. A new approach to hearing assessment in public safety officers—which has been adopted by five government agencies in the United States and Canada—is presented in an article in Ear and Hearing.

Tenacious invasive tick survived winter in N.J. Experts are worried

The East Asian longhorned tick, previously unknown in the United States, is likely now an unwanted permanent resident of New Jersey that concerns federal, state and local officials.

Biology news

Surprising findings reveal desert ants orient to the geomagnetic field

Desert ants (Cataglyphis) spend the first weeks of their lives exclusively in the nest. For around four weeks, they nurse the queen and the brood, dig tunnels, build chambers or tidy up. At some point, they leave the nest to start their outdoor career, working as foragers until death.

World's oldest spider discovered in Australian outback

Australian researchers have discovered what is thought to be the world's oldest recorded spider, unlocking key information about the mysterious eight-legged creature.

City fish evolve different body forms than country fish

A North Carolina State University study examining the effects of urbanization on the evolution of fish body shape produced both expected and surprising results: One fish species became more sleek in response to urbanization, while another species became deeper bodied in urban areas.

How DNA led to the elusive 'Golden State Killer'

Detectives in California used DNA left at crime scenes, combined with genetic information from a relative who joined an online genealogy service, to catch an alleged rapist and murderer who eluded authorities for four decades.

EU to ban bee-killing pesticides

EU countries voted on Friday for a near-total ban on insecticides blamed for killing off bee populations, in what campaigners called a "beacon of hope" for the winged insects.

Identifying the use of tinder fungi among neolithic communities at la Draga

Inhabitants of the Neolithic community at La Draga (Banyoles, Girona) used fungi to light or transport fires 7,300 years ago. The discovery represents one of the oldest examples of the technological use of fungi documented to date, and is the result of several archaeological interventions at the site, which also yielded an exceptional collection of fungi, unique in all of prehistoric Europe.

Scientists explain the survivability of viruses

An employee of Belozersky Research Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology (RI PCB), MSU, together with a Russian colleague, analyzed ways of increasing the survivability of RNA-containing viruses as well as the mechanisms that help them get rid of adverse mutations. The study was published in Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews journal.

Cas3: a biological fishing rod and a shredder rolled into one

CRISPR-Cas9 has made gene editing a lot easier, and will eventually contribute to elimination of hereditary diseases from our DNA. But despite the fact that researchers use CRISPR-Cas9 and similar bacterial immune systems as molecular tools, they still don't know how they work. For instance, an unanswered question about Cas3 is how it cuts DNA. Does it pull a DNA strand toward itself, or does it grab onto a strand and walk over it while cutting? Researchers at Delft University of Technology have now found the answer: Cas3 pulls DNA in like a fisherman reeling in his line.

Researcher to send cotton into space to improve its growth on Earth

Jeans are thirsty. The fibers making up their denim come from water-guzzling cotton plants, and plant scientists are on the hunt for ways to make this vital fiber more sustainable.

Cave ecologist sheds light on subterranean species

As a cave ecologist, Dr. Matthew Niemiller is a frequent visitor to the dark, damp caves of the Southeastern U.S., where he chases millipedes, beetles, and other diminutive creatures through tight spaces. Hours spent breathing cool, heavy air and wading through chilly underground water are necessary for him to gather enough material for further analysis. After he removes his helmet and muddy boots, however, Dr. Niemiller dons a crisp white lab coat to analyze his collected samples using cutting-edge technology in starkly different surroundings.

Introduced species overlooked in biodiversity reporting

Nature is intimately connected with human well-being of current and future generations – which is why an array of reports track the state of biodiversity and predict the impact of our way of life on its evolution. These reports are based on several indicators that only take indigenous – i.e. "original" – species into account for each region. Yet today modern environments are made up of indigenous and introduced species. The introductions are either deliberate – as is the case, for example, with agricultural crops – or accidental, as was the case with the Asian hornet or the box tree moth. Although these introduced species play important roles, they are ignored by specialists, a fact that partly distorts the international nature reports. The study by the University of Geneva (UNIGE), published in the journal PLOS Biology, recommends that the positive and negative contributions made by these species should be included so that the public has an accurate view over the surrounding nature and its evolution.

It's funny to name species after celebrities, but there's a serious side too

Microleo attenboroughi. Scaptia beyonceae. Crikey steveirwini. These are the scientific names of just a few of the nearly 25,000 species of plants, animals, fungi and micro-organisms discovered and named in Australia in the past decade.

New research lends insight into the spread of invasive species

Some invasive species depend on one another to spread, according to new research from Michigan State University scientists.

Caribbean collaboration offers hope for a vanishing island iguana

When someone says Caribbean, I am sure most people think idyllic beaches, sunshine and relaxation. When I hear the word, I think remarkable wildlife and lush habitats teeming with a delightful array of animals and plants.

How intestinal cells renew themselves

The intestine must be able to renew itself to recover from environmental insults like bacterial infections. This renewal is made possible by a small number of intestinal stem cells which divide and produce daughter cells throughout their lives. The daughter cells differentiate into highly specialised gut cell types. Researchers at Heidelberg University have studied these processes in the fruit fly and gained new insights into the role of centromeric proteins that largely regulate cell division. The studies reveal that these proteins also play an important part in cell differentiation and tissue renewal.

Why cereal crops are better

Cereal crops are much more drought-tolerant than other plants. Researchers from Würzburg have now found out why that is so. Their insight could help breed crops that are more resistant to drought.

Startup targets salmonella with tech

If Arjun Ganesan had been accepted to Stanford University, Connecticut would have missed out on a technology company that has grown to 23 workers so far, with ambitious plans.

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