Monday, May 28, 2018

Science X Newsletter Monday, May 28

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for May 28, 2018:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Research into fish schooling energy dynamics could boost autonomous swarming drones

Spanish astronomer discovers new binary star of EW type

Traffic light tech will be tested in UK, allows cars to leverage signal change

Astronaut and moonwalker Alan Bean dies at 86

Peruvian scientists use DNA to trace origins of Inca emperors

Australia company keen on fabrics made from microbial cellulose derived from coconut waste

Sweeping gene survey reveals new facets of evolution

Cell chat: Attacking disease by learning the language of cells

Translating instruments, styles, genres at Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research

New research finds tall and older Amazonian forests more resistant to droughts

Landmark international study examines reef's ability to recover from abrupt environmental change over millennia

Genome's dark matter offers clues to major challenge in prostate cancer

Genes, environment and schizophrenia—new study finds the placenta is the missing link

Study identifies processes in the gut that drive fat build-up around the waist

Most popular vitamin and mineral supplements provide no health benefit, study finds

Astronomy & Space news

Spanish astronomer discovers new binary star of EW type

Spanish astronomer Salvador Barquin has detected a new binary star system in the Draco constellation. The newly found system, registered by the discoverer in the International Variable Star Index (VSX), is an EW-type eclipsing binary. The finding is reported in a paper published May 16 on

Astronaut and moonwalker Alan Bean dies at 86

Former Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean, who was the fourth man to walk on the moon and later turned to painting to chronicle the moon landings on canvas, has died. He was 86.

Broccoli in space—how probiotics could help grow veggies in microgravity

Astronauts at the International Space Station are spending more time away from Earth, but they still need their daily serving of vegetables. In the quest to find a viable way for crew to grow their own veggies while orbiting—and possibly one day on the moon or Mars—student researchers are sending broccoli seeds coated with a healthy dose of probiotics to space.

Simulations for Mars Insight mission

On 5 May, the NASA "InSight"-lander set off on its journey to Mars. This is the first mission dedicated to investigate the internal structure of the red planet and to answer some key questions such as: Why have Earth and Mars developed so differently although their original structure and chemical composition seem so similar? How large, thick and dense are the core, mantle and crust? What is their structure? The scientists are hoping to gain fundamental insights into the general formation of rocky planets such as Mars, Earth, Mercury and Venus. 

Image: Hubble's galaxy cluster cornucopia

At first glance, this image is dominated by the vibrant glow of the swirling spiral to the lower left of the frame. However, this galaxy is far from the most interesting spectacle here—behind it sits a galaxy cluster.

Johns Hopkins engineers helping NASA restore links to long-lost 'zombie' satellite

When aerospace engineers launch a satellite, they don't expect it to last forever. So when the NASA orbiter known as IMAGE disappeared from view after five years in orbit, few were alarmed.

Southern California suppliers learn to adjust to slowdown in satellite orders

SpaceX on Tuesday blasted six small commercial satellites to low-Earth orbit. It was the company's 10th launch this year—but the payload itself may be a sign of what's to come.

How America will launch more rockets, and faster

In the 1960s, a rocket launch was big news all over the world. Sixty years later, it's still a big deal. Sure, SpaceX has leaped forward with reusable vehicles, but the ability to make space travel a reliable, everyday event is still a way off.

Microsatellite swarms could paint clearer picture of our planet

Tiny, low-cost satellites that can work together to boost their output and a technology that reduces the loss of satellite data are two of the latest innovations to hit the Earth observation market – and the results promise to reveal a more detailed image of our planet.

Technology news

Research into fish schooling energy dynamics could boost autonomous swarming drones

Researchers who want to realize autonomous swarming drones have studied the collective behavior of flocking birds and swarming insects, but a new study by a group of researchers at ETH Zurich has modeled the schooling behavior of fish. Using deep reinforcement learning, the group studied how fish draw energy from water flow and turbulence created by their own swimming schoolmates, gaining insights that could lead to low-energy, collective autonomous drone swarms. And yes, though there are many cool practical applications for the private sector and industry, militaries worldwide are interested in building fleets of autonomous swarming drones. And yes, it is creepy.

Traffic light tech will be tested in UK, allows cars to leverage signal change

What would you say about smart traffic lights that always turn green? Recipe for disaster? A reader comment on another site took issue with a headline suggesting lights would always turn green, saying, "Obviously the lights won't 'always' turn green. If they turned green for both traffic streams at the same time there would be chaos."

Australia company keen on fabrics made from microbial cellulose derived from coconut waste

The earliest days of health foods in a big supermarket consisted of looking for a special sign "natural or health" foods and then walking down one narrow aisle, out of a dozen more, to get low-sugar, low-fat groceries usually free of additives and boasting of natural grains, juices and pesticide-free produce. What if you will be walking into clothing malls of the future and ask the shop manager where to find the "health" racks of clothes made of bamboo, and hemp?

Translating instruments, styles, genres at Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research

Is Facebook pumping up the volume on what AI can mean to the future of music? You can decide after having a look at what Facebook AI Research scientists have been up to. A number of sites including The Next Web have reported that they unveiled a neural network capable of translating music from one style, genre, and set of instruments to another.

Study shows face recognition experts perform better with AI as partner

Experts at recognizing faces often play a crucial role in criminal cases. A photo from a security camera can mean prison or freedom for a defendant—and testimony from highly trained forensic face examiners informs the jury whether that image actually depicts the accused. Just how good are facial recognition experts? Would artificial intelligence help?

Fed-up Spanish cities are bursting Airbnb's bubble

Spain may be one of the world's top tourist destinations, but many people in its biggest cities have grown exasperated with Airbnb-style rentals.

All-electric battery-powered ferry to turn sea travel green

A novel fully electrified car and passenger ferry will help efforts to decarbonise maritime transport. It will also overcome limitations in distances for such boats by targeting medium-range connections.

Selfies—why we love (and hate) them

At some point, when I was writing my new book, 'Selfies, why we love (and hate) them,' I walked around the Katrinebjerg halls at Aarhus University, Denmark, and asked people if they'd play a word association game with me.

Germany gives Daimler deadline to submit fix for diesel vans

German authorities are giving automaker Daimler until mid-June to submit a plan for how it will fix diesel-powered vans that don't meet emissions requirements.

Amazon's Alexa won't pass on recordings if you don't set up call features

It was every Amazon Echo owner's nightmare. Alexa, the connected speaker, really, truly, was listening in on your conservations, and behind your back, passed on the recording of a private chit-chat to someone on your Echo contact list.

Apple is giving $50 refunds if you paid to replace your iPhone battery last year

Apple is refunding $50 to iPhone owners who paid for an out-of-warranty battery replacement for iPhone 6 or newer devices last year.

Spotify vs. Apple Music vs. YouTube Music: Which is best for your hard-earned cash?

There are millions of songs available on demand for $10 a month or so from Spotify, Apple Music and rivals, and they're all competing aggressively for your ears and dollars.

Amazon's finance ambitions are said to draw attention from Fed

U.S. banks are keeping a watchful eye on the ambitions of Inc. and other technology giants to break into the world of finance. So is the Federal Reserve.

Google village in downtown San Jose would connect local neighborhoods, company vows

Google's proposed transit-oriented village would be a catalyst to connect people and nature with an array of experiences, a grand plan that would integrate the game-changing project with numerous adjacent neighborhoods, according to a presentation by the company Wednesday night.

Snap Inc. launches accelerator program to invest in media start-ups

Snap Inc. will dole out $150,000 investments to various media start-ups this fall as part of an accelerator program it announced Wednesday called Yellow.

Wi-Fi in the road? Kansas City tech start-up is wiring pavement for safety—and fun

Self-driving cars have captured the limelight when it comes to how you'll get around in the future, but one Kansas City technology start-up is looking at the road itself.

Insider Q&A: Mozilla exec says to demand better internet

The manifesto Mitchell Baker wrote for the free software community Mozilla declared the internet to be a global public resource and privacy a fundamental right that "must not be treated as optional."

Egypt's top court orders temporary suspension of YouTube

An Egyptian court has ordered the suspension for one month of video-sharing website, YouTube, and others sharing a video found to be insulting the Muslim Prophet Mohammed.

Britain's supply of electric cars at risk from Brexit: think-tank

Britain risks a shortage of electric cars after Brexit as carmakers will lose an incentive to sell low-emission vehicles there, a Brussels-based think-tank warned.

Solar Impulse 'Efficient Solution' label for profitable start-ups to boost clean energy investment

The pioneering solar flight foundation Solar Impulse has launched an 'Efficient Solution' label for clean energy start-ups and innovations that can demonstrate their profitability, in a bid to boost investment in the sector.

Akron Zoo turns to a 3-D printer to create its own bands to microchip its birds

The task seemed simple enough.

HQ2 sweepstakes: Amazon's business much more than e-commerce

There's the part of Amazon that sells and ships books, shoes, electronics, toys and even groceries.

Air Baltic orders 30 Bombardier C Series jetliners

Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier announced Monday a firm order for 30 C Series jetliners from Latvian carrier Air Baltic, for US$2.9 billion.

Amazon, Starbucks pledge $25,000 each to campaign for referendum on Seattle head tax

Amazon and Starbucks are among companies that have promised to cut large checks to a campaign collecting signatures for a referendum on Seattle's head tax.

'We want to show who they are': How age-enhanced photos of missing children are created

It happens everyday on Facebook, Instagram and in real life—that moment when you see someone you haven't seen in years. Maybe they've gone gray or gained a few pounds, but there's no doubt you're looking at that friend from high school or the cousin who moved away when you were both 10 years old. You see the boy you once rode bikes with in the face of the man or the girl who taught you how to French-braid your hair in the eyes of the woman.

Russia asks Apple to help block Telegram

Russia's communications watchdog said Monday it had requested Apple help it block the popular messaging app Telegram which has been banned in the country for refusing to give the security services access to private conversations.

Ryanair threatened by summer strike

Unions representing Ryanair cabin crew based in Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Italy said Monday they would go on strike this summer unless the low-cost airline accepts their demands by a June 30 deadline.

Medicine & Health news

Genome's dark matter offers clues to major challenge in prostate cancer

The dark matter of the human genome may shed light on how the hormone androgen impacts prostate cancer.

Genes, environment and schizophrenia—new study finds the placenta is the missing link

Hiding in plain sight, new research shines a spotlight on the placenta's critical role in the nature versus nurture debate and how it confers risk for schizophrenia and likely other neurodevelopmental disorders including ADHD, autism, and Tourette syndrome. This new scientific frontier, with far-reaching implications for maternal and child health, creates the possibility that scientists can more accurately predict who is at risk of mental illness, and develop strategies to prevent or lessen their occurrence by increasing the resiliency and health of the placenta.

Study identifies processes in the gut that drive fat build-up around the waist

Research by scientists at King's College London into the role the gut plays in processing and distributing fat could pave the way for the development of personalised treatments for obesity and other chronic diseases within the next decade. The research is published in Nature Genetics.

Most popular vitamin and mineral supplements provide no health benefit, study finds

The most commonly consumed vitamin and mineral supplements provide no consistent health benefit or harm, suggests a new study led by researchers at St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto.

Virologists call for worldwide effort to eradicate HTLV-1 virus

A pair of noted virologists has sent a letter to the director of the World Health Organization calling for a stronger effort to eradicate HTLV-1—a retrovirus that, among other things, is a cause of adult leukemia. In their letter, Fabiola Martin, with The University of Queensland and Robert Gallo with the University of Maryland School of Medicine, suggest that it is time the world community paid more attention to the virus and the harm it is doing. The letter was signed by 58 other virologists. Kai Kupferschmidt a contributing correspondent for Science Health offers a commentary on the letter in the journal Science and explains why they wrote it.

Exercise helps treat addiction by altering brain's dopamine system

New research by the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions has identified a key mechanism in how aerobic exercise can help impact the brain in ways that may support treatment—and even prevention strategies—for addiction.

Google search data shows weight loss searches have increased over time while those on obesity have decreased

New research on Google trends data presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity in Vienna, Austria (23-26 May) shows that over time, searches using the terms weight loss have increased, while those using the word obesity have decreased, potentially suggesting a normalisation of obesity in society. The study is by Dr. Aditya S. Pawar from the Mayo Clinic Department of Nephrology and Hypertension, Rochester, MN, USA, and colleagues.

Study shows star-shaped bread popular with children and could encourage more healthy eating

New research on different colours and shapes of bread, presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity in Vienna, Austria (23-26 May), shows that star-shaped bread is particularly popular with young children and could help them make healthy food choices. The study is by Dr. Marlies Wallner and Bianca Fuchs-Neuhold, Health Perception Lab, Institute of Dietetics and Nutrition, FH JOANNEUM University of Applied Sciences, Bad Gleichenberg, Austria, and colleagues.

Study finds that chewing gum while walking affects both physical and physiological functions

New research presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Vienna, Austria (23-26) May shows chewing gum while walking increases heart rate and energy expenditure. The study was conducted by Dr. Yuka Hamada and colleagues at Waseda University, Graduate School of Sport Sciences, Saitama, Tokyo, Japan.

Triggers of acute heart failure vary globally

Triggers of acute heart failure vary globally, according to late breaking results from the REPORT-HF registry presented today at Heart Failure 2018 and the World Congress on Acute Heart Failure, a European Society of Cardiology congress.

Study finds that weight loss after obesity surgery can rapidly restore testosterone production in morbidly obese men

New research presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Vienna, Austria (23-26) May shows that weight reduction following a sleeve gastrectomy (obesity surgery), which reduces the size of the stomach, can rapidly reverse obesity-related hypogonadism in morbidly obese men, restoring normal levels of testosterone and sex drive. The study was conducted by Prof Marco Rossato and colleagues at the University of Padova, Italy.

Increase in Tx candidates with 2017 hypertension guidelines

(HealthDay)—The 2017 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association hypertension guideline is associated with an increase in the proportion of adults recommended for antihypertensive treatment compared with the 2014 guideline, according to a study published online May 23 in JAMA Cardiology.

CDC IDs outbreak trends tied to treated recreational water

(HealthDay)—Outbreaks associated with treated recreational water with confirmed infectious etiology are usually caused by Cryptosporidium, Legionella, or Pseudomonas, according to research published in the May 18 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

ICU mortality similar for patients with hematologic CA ± chemo

(HealthDay)—Short-term mortality is similar among patients with hematologic cancer who receive chemotherapy while in the intensive care unit (ICU) versus those who do not, according to a study published online May 4 in Cancer.

Are yawns really contagious?

(HealthDay)—We've all "caught" yawning from other people, but why that happens is unclear, according to a psychologist who has researched the behavior.

Exercising with video games improves quality of life in patients with heart failure

Playing video games that involve physical exertion (known as exergaming) improves quality of life in patients with heart failure, according to late breaking results from the HF-Wii study presented today at Heart Failure 2018 and the World Congress on Acute Heart Failure, a European Society of Cardiology congress.

Childhood cancer survivors have higher risk of deadly heart disease in pregnancy

Girls who survive cancer have a higher risk of developing a deadly heart disease when pregnant later in life, according to a study presented today at Heart Failure 2018 and the World Congress on Acute Heart Failure, a European Society of Cardiology congress.

Heart failure patients with a higher protein intake live longer

Heart failure patients who consume more protein live longer, according to research presented today at Heart Failure 2018 and the World Congress on Acute Heart Failure, a European Society of Cardiology congress.

Nipah claims another victim in India, death toll now 13

Another patient has died in India from the Nipah virus, taking the number of fatalities from an outbreak of the rare disease to 13, authorities said Sunday.

Paramedic-run health sessions in low-income apartments reduced number of 911 calls, improved health

A community-based health promotion program developed by McMaster University that was offered by paramedics in low-income apartment buildings significantly reduced the number of 911 calls and improved quality of life for seniors, found a randomized controlled trial published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

No link between HPV vaccination and risk of autoimmune disorders—study

A new study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) found no increased risk of autoimmune disorders in girls who received quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV4) vaccination, adding to the body of evidence for the safety of the vaccine.

San Francisco mulls ban on flavored vaping liquids, menthols

A major tobacco company is pumping millions of dollars into a campaign to persuade San Francisco voters to reject a ban on selling flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, certain chewing tobaccos and vaping liquids with flavors like cotton candy, mango and cool cucumber.

Sex hormone levels may affect heart disease risk in post-menopausal women

In post-menopausal women, having a higher blood level of a male hormone (testosterone) and a higher ratio of the male-type to-female type (estrogen) of hormones is associated with a higher risk of heart disease later in life, according to research published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

To scan or not to scan: research shows how to personalize lung cancer screening decisions

For smokers and former smokers, the threat of lung cancer always lurks in the shadows.

Defects in DNA damage repair can drive treatment resistance in estrogen receptor positive breast cancers

DNA is the warehouse of genetic information in each living cell, and its integrity and stability are essential to life. This stability and integrity is maintained by DNA damage repair machinery. In a study published in Clinical Cancer Research, a research team at Baylor College of Medicine found that defects in selective DNA damage repair pathways can drive endocrine treatment resistance in a subset of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer patients.

Genetic variations in DNA could help improve efficacy of clinical trials

The evolution of medicine relies heavily on the results of clinical trials, which while essential, are extremely costly and carry the potential of unintended adverse consequences. Now researchers from the University of Bristol have devised a new DNA-based method that could better predict whether clinical trials will be effective, potentially saving millions of pounds and ultimately improving the lives of patients.

Weeding out childhood leukaemia – fighting cancer with nature

New research, led by cancer biologists from the University of Bristol, has shown that bone marrow cells can protect cancer cells from a plant derived anti-cancer agent called Parthenolide.

Nipah: Could a little-known virus become the next global pandemic?

A little-known virus discovered 20 years ago could become the next global pandemic.

New clues may help improve speech for people with ALS

New clues may help improve speech for people with dysarthria, a type of speech disorder commonly found in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Biochemist, physicist team to see antibacterial TCS deform mitochondria

Grocery shopping can be an illuminating chore for a toxicologist.

Study reveals gaps in follow-up care after concussion

Being discharged from a hospital trauma center after receiving treatment for a traumatic brain injury (TBI) does not necessarily mean that a patient has fully recovered. TBI can lead to long-lasting physical and cognitive symptoms, but a new study in JAMA Network Open suggests that many patients may not be receiving follow-up care.

Taking the embarrassment out of health problems

We humans seem to have a nearly universal need to avoid embarrassment. It could be something as simple as mispronouncing a word or tripping as you walk along a crowded sidewalk. No matter the blunder, our response is instinctive: Hide, hope no one noticed and move on.

A paradigm shift in heart failure treatment?

A small, preliminary study could trigger a paradigm shift in the treatment of heart failure. The late-breaking research is published today in Circulation and presented at Heart Failure 2018 and the World Congress on Acute Heart Failure, a European Society of Cardiology congress. The study suggests that heart failure may be caused by inappropriate fluid shifts in some patients rather than an excess of fluid.

Socioeconomic differences in prehospital stroke treatment

New research indicates that emergency responses to stroke before the patient has reached the hospital differ, depending on the patients' socioeconomic status. For groups of patients with less education and lower income, more time passes before the diagnosis is made, which can affect the efficacy of health care interventions.

How attitudes to drug-resistant TB changed

The informal settlement of Khayelitsha in Cape Town is the latest site of a multi country trial that aims to transform the treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB).

Study puts 'gluten-free' claims to the test

A first of its kind study led by Institute researchers has detected potentially harmful levels of gluten in foods sold and served as 'gluten-free' across Melbourne.

The electric whispers of the ghostly knifefish

Knifefish do it at night. With electricity. These nocturnal freshwater fish from Central and South America use tiny electrical signals to navigate, communicate and procreate. Using an electrode grid they developed themselves, Tübingen neurobiologists Professor Jan Benda and Dr. Jörg Henninger listened in on the shy brown ghost knifefish (Apteronotus rostratus) in its natural habitat, a stream in the Panamanian jungle. The research team led by Benda and Henninger, along with their colleagues from Berlin's Humboldt University, are the first to document the brown ghost knifefish's mating behavior at home and over a long period of time. Up until now, the fish were almost exclusively investigated in laboratory tanks. The study has been published in the latest issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

Infant mortality rates higher in areas with more Christian fundamentalists, study finds

The odds of an infant dying before their first birthday are higher in counties with greater proportions of conservative Protestants, especially fundamentalists, than in counties with more mainline Protestants and Catholics, according to a new Portland State University study.

New method for finding disease-susceptibility genes

A new study has resulted in a novel statistical algorithm capable of identifying potential disease genes in a more accurate and cost-effective way. This algorithm is a possible approach for the identification of candidate disease genes, as it works effectively with less genomic data and takes only a minute or two to get results.

Clinical trial enrollment favors men

Clinical trial enrolment favours men, according to a study presented today at Heart Failure 2018 and the World Congress on Acute Heart Failure, a European Society of Cardiology congress. The study found that fewer women meet eligibility criteria for trials of heart failure medication.

Some great 50-calorie food choices

(HealthDay)—Tired of munching on carrot and celery sticks to stay on the diet track when your stomach starts growling?

Mayo mindfulness: Grow happiness through focus and practice

Many people wait around for happiness to find them, when in reality it's sometimes only a positive thought away. Being happy can be a choice you make. There are many small techniques you can try to create a happier and more enjoyable life.

Weight-loss surgery associated with reduced risk of melanoma, researchers say

In addition to rapid and lasting weight loss and a passel of other health benefits, bariatric surgery has now been linked to a 61 percent reduction in the risk of developing malignant melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer most closely associated with excessive sun exposure.

Can simulating evolution on a computer explain our enormous brains?

Compared to the rest of the animal kingdom, the human brain is way out of whack.

Chicago-area hospitals aim to boost transplants with 'lung in a box'

Emphysema crept up on Bob Falat, gradually robbing him of his ability to breathe.

New 'unified theory' of childhood leukemia raises possibility of preventing the disease

Kids who develop acute lymphoblastic leukemia may be the victims of a triple-whammy stroke of bad luck, according to a provocative new theory from a respected British cancer researcher.

Researchers tally the physical and financial costs of opioid painkillers' side effects

The opioid crisis has shown us that prescription painkillers and their illicit counterparts can wreak havoc in American communities. Now researchers have quantified the damage they can do inside hospitals when administered to patients following surgeries and other invasive medical procedures.

New app offers no-wait doctors' appointments—but it'll cost you $3,000

A California company has developed an app that could give Long Island clients a "fast pass" in doctors' waiting rooms, while a Manhattan firm plans to provide members with no-wait emergency room service on the East End this summer.

Lack of insurance exposes blind spots in vision care

Every day, a school bus drops off as many as 45 children at a community eye clinic on Chicago's South Side. Many of them are referred to the clinic after failing vision screenings at their public schools.

Why people around the world trip over their tongues sometimes

(HealthDay)—Can't quite spit out the right, uh, word at times? A new study helps explain why.

By 2035 over 4 million adults will be morbidly obese across England, Wales, and Scotland

Across England, Wales, and Scotland, morbid obesity (BMI of 40kg/m² or over) rates in adults are expected to soar over the next 17 years, with the number of morbidly obese adults likely to exceed 4 million by 2035—more than double the 1.9 million in 2015, according to new research being presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Vienna, Austria (23-26 May).

'Quiet revolution' leads to abortion rights win in Ireland

In the end, it wasn't even close.

Homeless populations at high risk to develop cardiovascular disease

Among homeless individuals cardiovascular disease remains one of the major causes of death due to challenges in predicting initial risk, limited access to health care and difficulties in long-term management, according to a review published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Bioethicists suggest ethical considerations for forensic use of genetic data

Despite the popularity of online genealogy services, it is unclear whether users understand that their genetic information is available for forensic purposes. Bioethicists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggest a framework for ethical discussions about how and when genealogy data should be used for crime-solving. Their paper is published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

ACP calls for policies that better support women and their families and improve health outcomes

A new position paper from the American College of Physicians (ACP) examines the unique challenges women face within the U.S. health care system and calls for policies to better support them. The paper addresses a wide range of issues, such as support for paid family and medical leave, recommendations on policies to reduce domestic violence, sexual abuse and harassment, and participation in clinical trials. The paper also addresses access to coverage, including coverage for medically necessary reproductive services, and opposition to policies that would create barriers to their access to reproductive health services.

What parents should know about talking to middle-schoolers, others about Indiana school shooting

A Purdue University child development expert can talk about what parents and caregivers should know when talking about the middle school shooting that is so close to home.

Portugal considers allowing euthanasia, assisted suicide

After legalizing abortion and same-sex marriage in recent times, Portuguese lawmakers will decide Tuesday on another issue that has brought a confrontation between faith and politics in this predominantly Catholic country: whether to allow euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide.

France had a million fewer smokers in 2017: ministry

France had a million fewer daily smokers in 2017 over 2016, the health ministry said Monday, thanking the dissuasive power of higher tobacco taxes.

Ebola vaccinations begin in Congo's northwest town of Bikoro

Officials began vaccinating health workers and others on Monday in Bikoro, where Congo's current Ebola outbreak was first declared at the beginning of May.

Biology news

Sweeping gene survey reveals new facets of evolution

Who would have suspected that a handheld genetic test used to unmask sushi bars pawning off tilapia for tuna could deliver deep insights into evolution, including how new species emerge?

Mongooses remember and reward helpful friends

Dwarf mongooses remember previous cooperative acts by their groupmates and reward them later, according to new work by University of Bristol researchers, published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Virus genes from city pond rescue bacteria

A key question in evolutionary biology is how new functions arise. New research at Uppsala University, Sweden, shows that bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria) can contribute to new functions by revealing hidden potential in their bacterial hosts.

Baby panda born in Malaysia zoo makes public debut

A baby panda born in a Malaysian zoo five months ago made her public debut Saturday.

Massive beach clean-up for Hong Kong sea turtles

More than two thousand volunteers hit the beach on an outlying island of Hong Kong for a mass rubbish clean up Sunday as environment campaigners warned plastic is killing sea turtles and other wildlife.

New Zealand to kill 150,000 cows to end bacterial disease

New Zealand plans to slaughter about 150,000 cows as it tries to eradicate a strain of disease-causing bacteria from the national herd.

Stick insects expand territory after being eaten by birds

It's commonly assumed that when insects are eaten by birds, they and their unborn young have no chance of survival. However, a team of Japanese researchers hypothesized that the eggs within insect bodies can pass through birds undigested. They tested this hypothesis with stick insects, known for their hard eggs, and found that some eggs are excreted unharmed and successfully hatch. Stick insects cannot travel very far by themselves, so being eaten by birds could even contribute to expanding their habitat.

Cassowary leaping high caught on film for first time

By hiding in camouflaged tents for months in the dense rainforest, UNSW Ph.D. student and film-maker Dan Hunter has captured fascinating footage of Australia's "dino-bird" – the elusive flightless cassowary.

Discovery of long chain non-coding RNAs activating sex determination genes

The messenger RNA (mRNA) that conveys genetic information has a region that can be translated into protein (translated region). A noncoding area (ncRNA), which has no translated region (TR), has not been thought to be important; however, recent studies revealed that ncRNAs are transcribed from thousands of loci in genomes.

Genetic mutation identified as culprit in rare infectious disease

At some point in life, most of us will contract Tropheryma whipplei without even knowing it. For one in a million infected people, however, this bacterium will make itself blatantly known by causing Whipple's disease, an intestinal inflammatory disorder that causes diarrhea, pain, and weight loss.

Molecular biologists compared human and yeast FACT

A protein complex called facilitates chromatin transcription (FACT) plays a role in DNA packing within a nucleus, as well as in oncogenesis. A team of scientists from MSU, working in cooperation with foreign colleagues, have reported similarities between the work of this complex in humans and yeast. This discovery led to the prediction that a new protein assists the FACT complex in humans. An article about the study was published in Journal of Biological Chemistry.

A rare great ape, a 130-foot-tall tree and an extinct marsupial lion make the Top 10 New Species list for 2018

The highest branches of a Brazilian forest. The permanent darkness of a cave in China. The deepest place on Earth.

New study investigates dolphin liberation in Korea

An international team of researchers affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has carried out a scientific investigation on dolphin liberation in South Korea.

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