Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Science X Newsletter Tuesday, Jun 26

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for June 26, 2018:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

New pulsar discovered during a search for a companion to a low-mass white dwarf

Researchers find more genes associated with intelligence and neuroticism

AI recreates chemistry's periodic table of elements

Genes linking Alzheimer's and Down syndrome discovered

US flight crew have higher cancer rates than general population

Engineers create new design for ultra-thin capacitive sensors

Scientists take a journey into the lungs of mice infected with influenza

'Smart' prosthetic ankle takes fear out of rough terrain, stairs

Dota 2 challenging bots turn hard to beat after being taught cooperative mode

Chemotherapy-induced diarrhea traced to immune cells

Unraveling role of tumor suppressor in gene expression and ovarian tumorigenesis

Most accurate picture of Zika yet creates potential for therapeutics

Baboons shed light on antimicrobial resistance

The placenta slows embryo growth so an injured limb can play catch-up

More post-acute care isn't always better, study finds

Astronomy & Space news

New pulsar discovered during a search for a companion to a low-mass white dwarf

An international team of astronomers has serendipitously detected a new pulsar during a search for neutron star companions to low-mass white dwarfs conducted with the use of the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in Green Bank, West Virginia. The discovery is reported in a paper published June 15 on arXiv.org.

A galactic test to clarify the existence of dark matter

Researchers at the University of Bonn and the University of California at Irvine used sophisticated computer simulations to devise a test that could answer a burning question in astrophysics: does dark matter actually exist? Or does Newton's gravitational law need to be modified? The new study, now published in the Physical Review Letters, shows that the answer is hidden in the motion of the stars within small satellite galaxies swirling around the Milky Way.

NASA asks: Will we know life when we see it?

In the last decade, we have discovered thousands of planets outside our solar system and have learned that rocky, temperate worlds are numerous in our galaxy. The next step will involve asking even bigger questions. Could some of these planets host life? And if so, will we be able to recognize life elsewhere if we see it?

Earth's first mission to a binary asteroid, for planetary defence

Planning for humankind's first mission to a binary asteroid system has entered its next engineering phase. ESA's proposed Hera mission would also be Europe's contribution to an ambitious planetary defence experiment.

Planet formation starts before star reaches maturity

A European team of astronomers has discovered that dust particles around a star already coagulate before the star is fully grown. Dust particle growth is the first step in the formation of planets. The researchers from the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark publish their findings in Nature Astronomy.

Physicists set limits on size of neutron stars

How large is a neutron star? Previous estimates varied from eight to 16 kilometres. Astrophysicists at the Goethe University Frankfurt and the FIAS have now succeeded in determining the size of neutron stars to within 1.5 kilometres by using an elaborate statistical approach supported by data from the measurement of gravitational waves. The researchers' report appears in the current issue of Physical Review Letters.

Image: Crew Dragon hardware put to the test

SpaceX's Crew Dragon is at NASA's Plum Brook Station in Ohio, to undergo testing in the In-Space Propulsion Facility—the world's only facility capable of testing full-scale upper-stage launch vehicles and rocket engines under simulated high-altitude conditions.

​Donald Trump's space force—the dangerous militarisation of outer space

In a recent speech, President Donald Trump announced a new policy for the American space programme. It is time, he argued, for America to create a "Space Force". As ever, the policy announcement was full of glittering ideas but short on detail, largely unspecific and even inaccurate. What we do know is that this would be a new and separate military command, "equal" to the American Airforce. But like much of Trumpian vision, superlative expressions shroud reality and do great injustice to the serious issues at stake.

How to find signs of life in space

Astrophysicists of the University of Bern, Switzerland, contributed to a series of NASA papers that lay out strategies to search for signs of life beyond our solar system. They assume that the detection of atmospheric signatures of a few potentially habitable planets may possibly come before 2030.

Technology news

Engineers create new design for ultra-thin capacitive sensors

As part of ongoing acoustic research at Binghamton University, State University at New York Distinguished Professor Ron Miles has created a workable sensor with the least possible resistance to motion. The thin and flexible sensor is ideal for sensing sounds because it can move with the airflow made by even the softest noises and addresses issues with accelerometers, microphones and many other similar sensors.

'Smart' prosthetic ankle takes fear out of rough terrain, stairs

It's virtually impossible to know Mike Sasser's left leg is a prosthetic one—after a decade of practice, he moves surely and swiftly through his busy days as a consultant and father.

Dota 2 challenging bots turn hard to beat after being taught cooperative mode

Oh boy. Another computer game where a crushing victory can be claimed by AI. In short, the OpenAI team, of five neural networks, aka OpenAI Five, won amateur human teams at Dota 2.

New Facebook AI application can unblink your eyes in a photo

Two researchers at Facebook, Brian Dolhansky and Cristian Canton Ferrer, have posted a paper on the social network giant's site detailing a new AI application they are working on. The goal of the app, they report, is to open eyes that appear closed in a photograph.

Amazon's controversial facial recognition program dropped by city of Orlando

The city of Orlando's police department has ended its test of a facial recognition program created by Amazon that has come under fire from privacy advocates. But other law enforcement organizations say they continue to use it to solve crimes.

Do you really know what your kid's doing on that device?

The 7th grader looks desperate as she approaches. She's just been to a cybersecurity talk at her school, where she raised her hand when asked if she has a social media account - Snapchat, in her case.

Engineers develop capabilities for more secure blockchain applications

Vanderbilt engineers have successfully developed and validated the feasibility of blockchain-based technologies for secure, confidential sharing of patient medical records in a case study that demonstrates how blockchain could solve a huge healthcare challenge.

Searching for diversity in Silicon Valley tech firms – and finding some

Silicon Valley technology firms have had serious problems with demographic diversity, including accusations of hostile climates toward women and minority employees. A new analysis of company-level employment data I helped conduct finds, however, that some firms seem to have figured out how to create more diverse workplaces.

Working with nature can help us build greener cities instead of urban slums

As Australian cities grow and transform, we need to ensure we are not building the slums of the future by making buildings so tall and tight they turn our streets into stark canyons. Sydney's Wolli Creek, where buildings dominate and tower over a transport hub, is an example of where this is happening. It is now considered one of the city's densest areas.

Study reveals misuse of archive services by fringe communities on the web

In a large-scale analysis, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Cyprus University of Technology and University College London reveal fringe communities within Reddit and 4chan push the use of URLs from archive services to avoid censorship and undercut advertising revenue of new sources with contrasting ideologies.

Machine learning will redesign, not replace, work

The conversation around artificial intelligence and automation seems dominated by either doomsayers who fear robots will supplant all humans in the workforce, or optimists who think there's nothing new under the sun. But MIT Sloan professor Erik Brynjolfsson and his colleagues say that debate needs to take a different tone.

Bitcoin price manipulation puts trust in cryptocurrencies at risk

Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have grown in popularity in large part because they can be bought and sold without a government or other third party overseeing everything. But there's a flipside: Unlike in markets for other assets such as stocks or bonds, it makes it much harder to uncover price manipulation and fraud.

IBM's debating computer—an AI expert's verdict

The competition got underway when the computer's female voice, a mix of Amazon's Alexa and Stephen Hawking's communicator, spoke to its human opponent: "Hello Noa. We meet again."

Uber wins back license in London—but is put on probation

A London court gave ride-hailing firm Uber a shorter than usual license to keep operating in the capital, accepting Tuesday the firm's claim that it has changed its aggressive corporate tactics and is now a more responsible corporate citizen.

Amazon accidentally leaks Prime Day sale date

Amazon's fourth annual Prime Day will be held in July, but the company has yet to reveal exactly when it will be held. Or has it?

California lawmakers advance last-minute data privacy bill

California state senators advanced a last-minute internet privacy bill Tuesday ahead of a deadline while acknowledging it would need changes if it becomes law.

Engineer to combine math, machine learning and signal processing to lay groundwork for high-resolution microscope

Like our eyes, microscopes are limited in what they can see because of their resolution, or their ability to see detail. The detail, or information, from the object is there, but some of it gets lost as the light reflecting off of the object moves through the air.

UK car sector investment collapses on Brexit impact: industry data

Investment in Britain's automotive sector collapsed by almost half in the first six months of the year, impacted by Brexit uncertainty, industry data showed Tuesday.

Russian space experiments lead to a new 3-D bioprinting technique

Thanks to magnetic levitation research in conditions of microgravity, scientists have developed a new technology for 3-D printing of biological tissues. In the future, this technology will help to create radiation-sensitive biological constructs and repair damaged tissues and human organs. The results are published in Biofabrication.

A new way to improve automated systems

Researchers from Zhejiang University in China have developed a new way to boost the performance of automated systems such as energy plants, airplanes and electronics. The researchers published their method in the July issue of IEEE/CAA Journal of Automatica Sinica (JAS), a joint publication of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the Chinese Association of Automation (CAA).

The discrepancy between mathematical proofs, algorithms, and their implementations in control systems

Engineers work in quantifiable realism—an object exists and can be measured. Sometimes, though, the certainty of the object and how it will behave wavers. Researchers from the Automatic Control and System Dynamics Laboratory at the Technische Universität Chemnitz in Germany are starting to close the gap between reality and mathematical uncertainty.

Electronic wool to take wearable tech from the catwalk to your wardrobe

Engineers are threading circuitry into clothes to create comfortable devices that could make electronic fashion the future of the textiles industry.

Technological changes undermine necessity of air traffic management (ATM) monopolies

Air traffic management services traditionally have been national monopolies, partly because of the high infrastructure costs. The historically national character of ATM has led to the inefficient situation whereby Europe now has many separate services.

Collaborative aerial robotic workers

With the innovative aerial robotic team developed by the EU-funded AEROWORKS project, users can safely inspect infrastructure and perform maintenance tasks using autonomous drones.

How tech companies are successfully disrupting terrorist social media activity

In June 2017, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft announced the formation of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT). The aim of this industry-led initiative is to disrupt the terrorist exploitation of its services. Recently, GIFCT members hailed the achievements of its first year of operations. But, while this progress must be acknowledged, significant challenges remain.

How mobile phones are changing the lives of Bangladeshi women

If you happen to find a 4000-year-old clay tablet with cuneiform script, show it to Larry Stillman. He can read Akkadian, having studied ancient Mesopotamian languages at the Hebrew University, and also at Harvard, where he won a scholarship. "I was clever at that time in that area," he says.

London court to rule on whether Uber should keep operating

A London court is set to rule on whether ride-hailing firm Uber should be allowed to keep driving on the streets of London.

General Electric breaks off health care to focus on power, aviation

Once-dominant industrial giant General Electric announced Tuesday it will shed its healthcare and oil field services businesses to concentrate on power, aviation and wind turbines in the latest attempt to shore up the struggling company.

Apple CEO Tim Cook explains why he spoke out about immigration

Apple CEO Tim Cook elaborated on earlier remarks critical of the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, noting many Apple employees likely went through a similar situation experienced by families trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

Norway to sell remaining SAS airline stake

Norway said Tuesday it would sell its remaining stake of close to 10 percent in Scandinavian airline SAS, also co-owned by Sweden and Denmark.

Medicine & Health news

Researchers find more genes associated with intelligence and neuroticism

A single team of researchers from around the globe conducting two different studies has found more genes related to human intelligence and more that are associated with neuroticism. They have published separate papers outlining their work and findings in the journal Nature Genetics.

Genes linking Alzheimer's and Down syndrome discovered

Scientists are a step closer to understanding which genes are responsible for early onset Alzheimer's disease in people with Down syndrome, thanks to a new study led by researchers at the Francis Crick Institute and UCL along with an international group of collaborators.

US flight crew have higher cancer rates than general population

Flight crew have higher rates of specific cancers than the general population, according to a study in the open access journal Environmental Health involving 5,366 US flight attendants. Some of this increased cancer incidence may be related to the number of years flight attendants spend in their jobs (job tenure).

Chemotherapy-induced diarrhea traced to immune cells

Some 50 to 80 percent of cancer patients taking powerful chemotherapy drugs develop diarrhea, which can be severe and in some cases life-threatening. Their problems occur when contractions in the smooth muscle lining the gastrointestinal (GI) tract go haywire as food is digested. The same issues can occur in people with irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.

Unraveling role of tumor suppressor in gene expression and ovarian tumorigenesis

The tumor suppressor protein ARID1A controls global transcription in ovarian epithelial cells, according to new research conducted at The Wistar Institute, which provided mechanistic insight into tumorigenesis mediated by ARID1A loss in ovarian cancer. Study results were published online in Cell Reports.

The placenta slows embryo growth so an injured limb can play catch-up

Maintaining equal growth rates in opposing limbs is crucial for animals to achieve a symmetrical adult form; what happens if something goes wrong with one limb during development? According to a study publishing June 26 in the open access journal PLOS Biology by Alberto Roselló-Díez, Alexandra Joyner, and colleagues of the Sloan Kettering Institute in New York, mice can stimulate local growth while suppressing overall growth, thereby allowing damaged tissues to catch-up with other tissues, and making sure that bones in opposite limbs lengthen together when one is injured.

More post-acute care isn't always better, study finds

A new study comparing the health outcomes of more than 300,000 Medicare patients who completed rehabilitation therapy after hospitalization for hip fractures found that more care may not translate to better long-term health.

Study solves mystery of genetic-test results for patient with suspected heart condition

Although DNA testing is becoming increasingly quick, cheap and easy to perform, the results are sometimes ambiguous: Gene mutations called "variants of uncertain significance" can create uncertainty about a patient's risk for a disease.

Serotonin speeds learning

An international team from the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown (CCU), in Portugal, and the University College London (UCL) in the U.K. has uncovered a previously unknown effect of serotonin on learning. Their results are published in the June 26 2018 edition of the journal Nature Communications.

Discovery of a major technical error will improve epigenetics research

An error in one of the most widely used methods in epigenetics, DIP-seq, can cause misleading results, researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, have shown. This may have major significance in the research field, where Big Data and advanced methods of DNA analysis are used to study vast amounts of epigenetic data. The error can be corrected in previously collected DIP-seq data, which may lead to new discoveries from previous studies of human epigenetics. The results have been published in the journal Nature Methods.

Drug treatment has profound effect on cerebral malaria in mice

A potentially new way of treating cerebral malaria has been discovered by scientists at the Universities of Manchester and Glasgow, in a study using mice.

New genes associated with breast cancer risk

Only a small percentage of breast cancer cases can be linked to heredity, and many of the genes with ties to the disease are unknown.

New insight into how autism might develop in human brain

In a study published in Stem Cell Reports, a McGill team of scientists led by Dr. Carl Ernst, researcher at the Douglas Hospital Research Centre, revealed a molecular mechanism that may play a role in the development of autism.

Myth that persistent musculoskeletal pain with no obvious cause can be cured

It's a myth that most persistent musculoskeletal pain with no obvious cause can be cured, argue experts in an editorial published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Antidepressants may increase risk of death by 20 percent for those with progressive lung disease

Antidepressant use in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with a 20 per cent increase in likelihood of death and a 15 per cent increase in likelihood of hospitalization due to related symptoms, finds a new study led by researchers at St. Michael's Hospital.

New study links poor sleep quality to atrial fibrillation

Poor sleep quality appears to be an important risk factor for atrial fibrillation, report scientists in the first study of its kind to demonstrate a relationship between poor sleep quality independent of sleep apnea and a higher risk of atrial fibrillation (AF). Their findings are published in HeartRhythm.

Majority of teenagers need food safety education

A new study from the University of Waterloo highlights a low level of awareness among youth around the proper precautions they need to take when it comes to handling food.

Researchers find kids sneak smoking substitute into school

A tobacco replacement to help grownups quit smoking has landed in the hands of children sucking on nicotine vapors to potentially harmful outcomes, new USC research shows.

Bad behavior to significant other in tough times has more impact than positive gestures

Refraining from bad behavior toward a significant other during stressful life events is more important than showing positive behavior, according to a Baylor University study.

Polio returns to Papua New Guinea after 18 years: WHO

An outbreak of polio has been confirmed in Papua New Guinea, the World Health Organization and the government said, with the virus detected in a child 18 years after the Pacific nation was declared free of the disease.

Why the eye could be the window to brain degeneration such as Alzheimer's disease

Researchers from Queen's University Belfast have shown for the first time that the eye could be a surrogate for brain degeneration like Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Researchers discover promising treatment for genetic form of autism spectrum disorder

It may soon be possible to reverse a genetic form of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by using drugs initially developed to treat cancer.

AMA: docs declare drug shortages public health emergency

(HealthDay)—At the annual meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA), physicians adopted policy declaring drug shortages an urgent public health crisis.

Direct-acting antivirals effective for hepatitis C in seniors

(HealthDay)—For older patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV), direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy is effective, according to a study published online May 25 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Research team defines possible anti-aging intervention

New research from a team at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine demonstrates that the Na/K-ATPase oxidant amplification loop (NAKL) is intimately involved in the aging process and may serve as a target for anti-aging interventions. The researchers were also able to successfully demonstrate the therapeutic potential of pNaKtide, a synthetic peptide, in improving impaired physiological functions and disease development.

Study shows leadless pacemaker patients experience less complications

Patients receiving leadless pacemakers experience overall fewer short-term and mid-term complications than those receiving traditional transvenous pacemakers, a Cleveland Clinic-led research study found. The study was published today in the journal Heart Rhythm.

Novel micropacemaker takes new approach to faulty heart rhythms

Investigators at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and the University of Southern California have demonstrated the feasibility of implanting a micropacemaker system in the pericardial sac surrounding the heart—a breakthrough that may open up new cardiac pacing options for children and adults.

Wearable defibrillators may be an alternative to surgically implanted device for children with certain heart rhythm diso

Wearable cardioverter defibrillators—vest-like devices that deliver electric shocks to interrupt a dangerous heart rhythm—may be a safe and effective alternative to surgically implanted devices in children with ventricular heart rhythm disorders that put them at risk for sudden cardiac death, according to new research published in Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, an American Heart Association journal.

High-strength MRI may pose risk to people with amalgam dental fillings

Exposure to ultra-high-strength MRI may release toxic mercury from amalgam fillings in teeth, according to a new study appearing online in the journal Radiology. The effect was not seen, however, in the lower strength, more commonly used 1.5-Tesla (T) MRI.

New study confirms higher cancer rate in women with dense breast tissue

Researchers using automated breast density measurements have found that women with mammographically dense breast tissue have higher recall and biopsy rates and increased odds of screen-detected and interval breast cancer, according to a large new study from Norway published online in the journal Radiology. The study supports automated measurements as a future standard to ensure objective breast density classification for breast cancer screening, the researchers said.

Fight-or-flight response triggers white blood cells, increases heart attack risk in diabetics

Stress hormones can save lives, or take them. Released during an emergency or in pressure situations, stress hormones can gang up with white blood cells to fight infections or lead to heart attacks.

Social awkwardness scuppers standing meetings

Standing during meetings could help keep office workers healthy, but new research from King's College London and Brunel University London suggests it's hard to resist keeping our seats when standing up breaks social rules.

Trial from Niger finds village-wide prophylactic antibiotics contained spread of meningitis

Distribution of single doses of the oral antibiotic ciprofloxacin to residents of rural villages in the African meningitis belt reduced the number of meningitis cases during a 2017 meningitis epidemic, according to a new study in PLOS Medicine by Matthew Coldiron and colleagues from Epicentre and Médecins Sans Frontières in France, Switzerland and Niger.

Trade challenges from wealthy countries may impede noncommunicable disease prevention in LMICs

National regulations aimed at preventing noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in smaller, low- or middle-income countries may be influenced by challenges made through the World Trade Organization (WTO) by wealthier countries, according to a study publishing this week in PLOS Medicine.

Physical exercise improves life quality of elderly in care homes

The number of people over 65 currently accounts for 22 percent of the total population in the Basque Autonomous Community; predictions indicate that this percentage will rise to 30 percent by 2030. It is therefore important to promote healthy aging. Regular exercise may reverse age-related physical deterioration and frailty, a very common syndrome among the elderly that entails a higher risk of falls, hospital admissions, dependence and even death. Frailty syndrome is more widespread among people living in residential care homes.

T-cell leukaemia: Cancer cells take advantage of 'survival protein'

The overproduction of the BCL-2 protein is due to a defect in the ribosome, the protein factory of the cell. This defect is found in 10% of the pediatric patients with T-cell leukaemia.

Exposure to air pollution during pregnancy does not appear to increase symptoms of ADHD

Exposure to air pollution during pregnancy may not be associated with an increased risk of attention-deficit and hyperactivity symptoms in children aged 3 to 10 years. This was the conclusion of a new study led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a centre supported by the "la Caixa" Banking Foundation. The study included data on nearly 30,000 children from seven European countries.

Fluorescent molecules reveal how cancer cells are inhibited

A team of researchers at Lund University in Sweden has developed a fluorescent variant of a molecule that inhibits cancer stem cells. Capturing images of the molecule entering a cell has enabled the researchers, using cell-biological methods, to describe how and where the molecule counteracts the cancer stem cells.

Scientists reveal novel drug-target to destroy dormant cancer cells

Research spearhead by first author Isabel Puig, Post-Doctoral Fellow of the Vall d´Hebron Institute of Oncology's (VHIO) Stem Cells & Cancer Group, directed by Principal Investigator Héctor G. Palmer, has culminated in the discovery of a biomarker to identify dormant tumor cells (DTC), also known as slow-cycling cancer cells (SCCC), that, in their dormant state, go undetected by current treatments that have mostly been designed to target rapidly dividing tumor cells.

Mindfulness helps injured athletes improve pain tolerance and awareness

A new study of injured athletes carried out by the University of Kent found they can benefit from using mindfulness as part of the sport rehabilitation process to improve their pain tolerance and awareness.

Expert discusses the impact and potential of cancer prevention

Great progress has already been made in reducing the cancer death toll through prevention, according to a new article in the June 25 issue of Genes and Development by MIT Professor Emerita Nancy Hopkins and colleagues from the Broad Institute, Fox Chase Cancer Center, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and Oxford University. The potential for further reduction is great for two reasons, these researchers say: If these approaches can be more widely applied, in principle about half of current U.S. cancer deaths could be prevented over the next two to three decades; and new discoveries about how cancer develops could help scientists develop even better prevention and screening methods. MIT News spoke with Hopkins, the Amgen Inc. Professor of Biology Emerita, about why this is an exciting time for cancer research.

The latest blood pressure guidelines—what they mean for you

,Updated blood pressure guidelines from the American Heart Association mean that many more Americans, notably older people, are now diagnosed with high blood pressure, or hypertension. This may sound like bad news, but the new guidelines highlight some important lessons we cardiologists and heart health researchers have learned from the latest blood pressure studies. Specifically, we have learned that damage from high blood pressure starts at much lower blood pressures than previously thought and that it is more important than ever to start paying attention to your blood pressure before it starts causing problems.

Oil supplement can help control 'good' fat in babies

Researchers have uncovered a supplement that can control the production of brown 'good' fat in babies—a discovery that will help understand and tackle issues related to obesity and metabolism in later life.

Women know what they want, men get pickier with age

Women under 40 seeking a partner online are more particular than men, especially when it comes to education, according to a QUT study into the online dating behaviour of more than 41,000 Australians.

Researchers make FAST work of antibiotic resistance

Researchers from The University of Western Australia have showcased exciting results from a screening test to detect antibiotic resistance and to ensure the right antibiotics can be prescribed quicker.

Fortnite gamers are motivated, not addicted

The World Health Organisation officially classifies gaming addiction as a disorder. The recent classification sought to address the growing use of digital technologies where people turn to electronic devices at the expense of other things such as work (or school), friendships and socialising. But evidence to support the idea that players are addicted to video games is lacking.

High-intensity training: why adjusting recovery periods could boost your fitness

From World Cup footballers to amateur enthusiasts, high-intensity interval training has become a staple of fitness regimes worldwide. It is about exercising for short, intense periods, interspersed with brief intervals for recovery.

Why do some people with autism have restricted interests and repetitive movements?

As a society, we've come a long way in our understanding of the challenges people with autism face with social communication. But there is a large gap in our understanding of another cluster of behaviours that form part of an autism diagnosis: restrictive and repetitive behaviours and interests (RRBs).

Tending to heart health may keep dementia at bay

There's no definitive evidence about what can prevent Alzheimer's disease. But experts believe healthy behaviors that are good for your overall health can slow or delay some forms of dementia.

Research finds counting your drinks reduces alcohol consumption

The most effective way for Australians to reduce their alcohol consumption is counting their drinks, new research led by Curtin University has found.

Researchers discover insights into amyloids associated with Alzheimer's and type 2 diabetes

A Virginia Tech research team has discovered insights into the stabilizing forces of amyloid fibrils that are associated with Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes.

Peas could provide cheap and effective iron supplement

Iron contained within peas could be processed to provide more effective dietary supplements, according to a new study by scientists at the University of East Anglia.

Engineered 'starter key' for brain tumor offers new model for drug testing

Researchers at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have applied a new way to trigger the brain tumor medulloblastoma in neural cells that will lead to the ability to test a promising class of anti-tumor drugs. The technology they used, called CRISPR/dCas9 activation, is the equivalent of using a key to start a car, while previous approaches to producing tumors were more like bypassing the key to hot-wire the vehicle.

Human stem cell research shows new genetic pathway controls the heart beat

New research into human heart development has shed light on the way heart muscle cells contract.

New study finds toddler 'talk time' is a case of follow the leader

Dr Laura Conway, from the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI), is studying how children aged four years and under learn language, with a focus on the one in five children who are slow to talk.

The psychological impact of early life stress and parental separation

In recent months, more than 2,000 migrant children have been separated from their families at the United States/Mexico border. Questions about the policy, including how it affects the children's well-being, has led to a suspension of the practice.

Narcissistic adolescents may perform better at school

A researcher at Queen's University Belfast suggests that the growing rate of narcissism in society could be linked with school achievement.

Anger overlooked as feature of postnatal mood disorders: study

Women in the postpartum period should be screened for anger in addition to depression and anxiety, new research from the University of British Columbia suggests.

Poliovirus therapy for recurrent glioblastoma has three year survival rate of 21 percent

A genetically modified poliovirus therapy developed at Duke Cancer Institute shows significantly improved long-term survival for patients with recurrent glioblastoma, with a three-year survival rate of 21 percent in a phase 1 clinical trial.

Treating pain in children can teach us about treating pain in adults

The U.S. government declared a national public health emergency in October 2017 to address the opioid addiction crisis. More than six months later, the country is still in the throes of the crisis, with no sight in end.

Walking a dog won't make your child fitter, but it can give them a healthier start

Dogs have been domesticated for more than 10,000 years. But it is only in the last 30 years of contemporary, convenience society that man's best friend has taken on a new role – helping convert couch potatoes into active folk.

Flu's response to new drug explored

The new influenza drug Xofluza, developed by the Japanese pharmaceutical company Shionogi, was approved for clinical use in Japan in February 2018. Scientists from EMBL Grenoble have now investigated the drug's mode of action in detail, and uncovered possible mechanisms by which viral resistance to it could emerge. Scientific Reports published the results of this collaboration between EMBL and Shionogi scientists 25 June.

Prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment could improve with AI

Researchers in Sweden have shown how data-driven AI could contribute to a better understanding of how prostate cancer develops, and even improve clinical diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

Hospital suspends trial of paramedics administering ketamine

Hennepin Healthcare is suspending a clinical trial of the sedative ketamine in emergency situations following criticism that its hospital, Hennepin County Medical Center, enrolled patients in the study without their knowledge.

Tragic death of six month old baby highlights need for policy overhaul regarding vitamin D supplementation

UK vitamin D supplementation policy needs to change to protect the health and lives of babies, pregnant women and dark skinned individuals, say University of Birmingham researchers as they today highlighted the death of a baby and serious ill health of two others due to a vitamin D deficiency.

Abortion complications as common in clinics as 'surgery centers'

More than a dozen US states have laws that require abortion clinics to meet hospital surgical standards, but a study published Tuesday found these standards unnecessary, expensive, and no safer than office settings.

Five ways to keep that lost weight gone for good

(HealthDay)—Losing weight and keeping it off comes down to making permanent changes in the way you eat. Although many eating habits are formed in childhood, it's never too late to improve. But you'll need to reinforce them until they become second nature.

'Heat zapping' kidney tumors may help some patients avoid surgery

(HealthDay)—When kidney cancer strikes, surgical removal of the organ is often the standard course of action.

Artificial pancreas helps hospitalized type 2 diabetics

(HealthDay)—Using an artificial pancreas can help hospitalized patients with type 2 diabetes maintain good blood sugar control, a new study suggests.

When one drug fails, a new door opens for cancer treatment

A new class of cancer drugs—called CDK4/6 inhibitors—recently approved to treat breast cancer can stunt the cancer's growth and replication. It is also being explored for a number of other cancers. Unfortunately, patients often develop resistance to the therapy, and the cause of that resistance has been difficult to pin down. Researchers at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health recently discovered the key resistance mechanism in prostate cancer and identified a molecular inhibitor that could help fight the disease when resistance develops.

Food insecurity has greater impact on disadvantaged children

In 2016, 12.9 million children lived in food-insecure households. These children represent a vulnerable population since their developing brains can suffer long-term negative consequences from undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies. A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that among these vulnerable children, food insecurity had a greater impact on behavior problems in young children of single mothers living in urban neighborhoods.

How family physicians are paid is linked to their rate of referral to specialists

Researchers at Western University, University of Ottawa and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) show that family physicians who switched from a blended fee-for-service payment scheme to a blended capitation model (a fixed rate per patient per year) increased their referrals to specialists by more than five per cent.

Study finds significant proportion of older adults are deficient in vitamin B12 and folate

A new study by researchers from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, has shown for the first time that a substantial number of adults over 50 are at risk of deficiency in vitamin B12 and folate (the natural vitamin linked to the dietary supplement, folic acid).

New studies illustrate need for rigorous review of infection preventionist staffing models across healthcare systems

Severe gaps in staffing and outdated coverage benchmarks point to the critical need for evaluating and updating standards for infection preventionist (IP) staffing levels, according to two new studies that explored infection prevention and control resourcing across a variety of healthcare settings. The studies were published in the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC), the journal of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

There is more going on in myotonic dystrophy type 1 than just alternative splicing

Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is the most common adult-onset muscular dystrophy that affects multiple organ systems. People with this condition develop progressive muscle wasting and weakness in their lower legs, hands, neck and face. Their muscles feel stiff and tight, causing them to be slow to relax certain muscles and therefore have difficulty releasing the hand from a handshake or a doorknob. In addition, people with this condition may have fatigue, muscle pain, difficulty swallowing, cataracts, irregularities in their heartbeat and respiratory complications. In his laboratory at Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Thomas A. Cooper is leading the way to better understand this rare but devastating condition.

Inflammation discovery opens window to better rehabilitation possibilities

Inflammation plays a key role in improving the ability to relearn motor skills lost as a result of spinal cord injuries, such as grasping objects, new University of Alberta research shows.

Giant hogweed can burn skin and eyes, and it's spreading

(HealthDay)—Giant hogweed is much like a Dr. Seuss nightmare—a towering, invasive plant with toxic sap that burns the skin and eyes upon contact.

Many parents say sports can be too dangerous for kids

(HealthDay)—More than half of American parents say they've considered keeping their children out of sports over concerns about injuries, a new survey finds.

Insulin glargine 300 safe, effective in seniors with T2DM

(HealthDay)—For older adults, insulin glargine 300 units/mL (Gla-300) is safe and as effective as Gla-100, with a similarly low or lower risk of symptomatic hypoglycemia, according to a study published online June 12 in Diabetes Care.

In cancer patients, PTSD may increase symptom burden

(HealthDay)—Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms among hospitalized patients with cancer are associated with a greater psychological and physical symptom burden as well as a decreased risk of hospital readmissions, according to a study published online June 15 in Cancer.

Thinner retinal nerve fiber layer tied to worse cognitive function

(HealthDay)—For individuals without neurodegenerative disease, a thinner retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) is associated with worse cognitive function and increased likelihood of future cognitive decline, according to a study published online June 25 in the JAMA Neurology.

Early preterm birth linked to increased ADHD symptoms

(HealthDay)—Early preterm birth is associated with a higher level of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in preschool children after accounting for unmeasured genetic and environmental factors, according to a study published online June 25 in JAMA Pediatrics.

This type of care can sharply reduce medical costs, so why aren't doctors ordering it?

Doctors can improve the quality of life for their seriously ill patients while also reducing the patients' medical expenses if they make use of one particular care model, so why aren't they using it?

In women, even mild sleep problems may raise blood pressure

It is well known that chronic sleep deprivation can affect cardiovascular health. But according to a new study from Columbia University Irving Medical Center, even mild sleep problems, such as having trouble falling asleep, can raise blood pressure in women.

Immune cells that create and sustain chronic inflammatory bowel disease identified

In preclinical experiments, Laurie Harrington, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have discovered a subset of immune cells that create and sustain chronic inflammatory bowel disease. These cells could become potential therapeutic targets to ameliorate or cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

Bicycle-related injuries send 25 children to emergency departments every hour

A new study conducted by researchers in the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital investigated bicycle-related injuries among children treated in hospital emergency departments in the United States and found that despite a decrease in the rate of injuries over the 10-year study period, there were still more than 2.2 million injuries. The study, published online in Accident Analysis & Prevention, found that from January 2006 through December 2015, more than 2.2 million children age 5-17 years were treated in US hospital emergency departments for bicycle-related injuries. This averages 608 cases per day or 25 every hour.

Scientists explore how high blood pressure hurts cognition

The squeeze high blood pressure puts on fragile blood vessels in the brain appears to disrupt a normal, protective process that balances the blood flowing to our brains with the activity of our resting neurons.

Mosquito-borne disease containment strategy depends on precise response

The arrival of travelers infected by mosquito-borne pathogens, coming from endemic regions can trigger sustained autochthonous transmission of diseases such as Zika, dengue, and chikungunya in Europe. As specific treatments and vaccines are often unavailable, in most cases, the containment of potential outbreaks mainly relies on the interruption of the transmission chain via the reduction of mosquito density.

Authentication of patients in medicine via online systems should be discussed ethically

With the increase in data volume and dissemination of ICT, online systems are being applied to medical research/treatment with high expectations, not only in the exchange of research data, but also various modes of communication, including the informed consent process. It is anticipated that individuals will proactively participate in research by their own volition, forming partnerships between researchers and participants.

Researchers report biomedical applications of cuttlefish bone

A group of researchers of Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) has developed several innovative applications of cuttlebone, natural biologically active material possessing bone and wound healing properties. The products include natural bone implants, suppositories for treatment of haemorrhoids and wound gels. By removing protein from the cuttlebone, KTU researchers have reduced the risk of side effects, such as allergic reaction of potential users.

Usutu, an African virus under surveillance in Europe

"This is a virus transmitted by mosquitoes that circulates between birds. It can attack the nervous system of certain birds, such as blackbirds, and cause significant mortality. It was first observed in southern Africa, in Swaziland, in 1959," says Serafin Gutierrez, a virology researcher with CIRAD"S ASTRE research unit. The virus, called Usutu, belongs to the genus Flavivirus, which includes dengue, yellow fever, Zika, Japanese encephalitis and West Nile fever. These last two diseases have been studied by CIRAD for several years: they are zoonotic arboviruses, in other words animal virus diseases that can be transmitted to humans via insect bites, in this case of Usutu by mosquitoes of the genus Culex.

Signs of risky alcohol use often missed in Manitobans, study finds

Manitobans who drink alcohol to excess are much heavier users of the health-care system and have far more contact with social services and the justice system than those who don't over-imbibe, a new study by the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy (MCHP) at the University of Manitoba shows.

Diagnosis of Alzheimer's becoming more common, but less severe

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting nearly six million Americans. Aside from the incredible toll it takes on patients and their families, the estimated total cost of care is over $400 billion. As the baby boomer generation continues to age, this economic, physical, and emotional burden is only expected to increase. In the fight against Alzheimer's, it's crucial that policymakers, researchers, scientists, and physicians are armed with forecasts based on accurate assessments of this disease.

New regulatory axis revealed for the cancer relevant matrix metalloprotease MMP14

Membrane-associated metalloprotease, MMP14, plays a significant role in different cancer tissues – for instance in breast cancer and melanoma patients high MMP14 levels increase the risk to develop metastasis. The study, conducted at the University of Helsinki, revealed that Prox1 negatively regulates MMP14 protein levels by suppressing transcription of the MMP14 gene.

Eggshell membrane waste beneficial for wound healing

EU research has brought the benefits of eggshell membrane (ESM) protection from the chick to 'hard-to-heal' open wounds.

Aging LGBT seniors a major public health issue

LGBT people of all ages have experienced health inequalities, but researchers have begun to delve into the consequences of a lifetime of that inequity – and what happens to their health as they grow older.

Early treatment of advanced prostate cancer with radioligand therapy prolongs life

Research presented at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) demonstrates for the first time the benefit of providing earlier lutetium-177 (177Lu) prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) radioligand therapy to patients with metastatic prostate cancer. Until now, this therapy has only been used in patients with end-stage disease.

Fluciclovine PET/CT locates recurrent prostate cancer and advises management

The addition of fluorine-18 (18F)-fluciclovine positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) to the diagnostic work-up of patients with biochemical recurrence of prostate cancer locates previously undetected lesions and changes treatment management for the majority of patients, according to a clinical trial report presented at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI).

Biology news

Scientists take a journey into the lungs of mice infected with influenza

In the 1966 novel, Fantastic Voyage, written by biochemist and author Isaac Asimov, a crew of people become miniaturized in order to travel through the body of a scientist and save him from a blood clot in his brain.

Baboons shed light on antimicrobial resistance

Antibiotic resistance is an ancient feature of gut microbial communities and sharing habitat with humans has had an important impact on the structure and function of gut microbiota of non-human primates, according to a study involving wild and captive baboons. The study, published in the journal mSystems, is one of the first to provide a glimpse of the pre-antibiotic resistome of primates.

New mechanism for the plant hormone auxin discovered

Auxin is a hormone that is essential for the development of plants as it controls a wide range of processes from shaping the embryo in the seed to branching of the growing plant. Previously, it was believed that auxin's main signaling mechanism operated in the cell nucleus and acted only by regulating gene transcription. Now, scientists led by Jiří Friml at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have demonstrated that another mechanism exists, and that cells in the roots must be able to respond to auxin immediately. This mechanism enables rapid adaption of root growth direction.

Striking differences in brain morphology between wild and domestic rabbits

The most characteristic feature of domestic animals is tame behaviour. An international team of scientists has now used high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study how domestication affects brain morphology in domestic rabbits. The results show that domestication has a profound effect on brain morphology in particular regions of the brain involved in fear processing, the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex. The study is published in PNAS.

A new toxin in Cholera bacteria discovered

The bacterium Vibrio cholerae was discovered more than 150 years ago, but remains one of the main causes of infectious disease globally, especially in low-income nations where it is endemic, and outbreaks of cholera disease can lead to major epidemics.

Scientists discover a new mechanism that prevents the proliferation of cancer cells

Canadian researchers have discovered a new and direct molecular mechanism to stop cancer cells from proliferating. In the prestigious journal Nature Cell Biology, scientists from Université de Montréal show that a disruption of a fine balance in the composition of ribosomes (huge molecules that translate the genetic code into proteins) results in a shutdown of cancer cell proliferation, triggering a process called senescence.

Researchers establish new tool to study Cryptosporidium in healthy tissues

Washington State University researchers have developed a new approach for studying Cryptosporidium, a waterborne gastrointestinal parasite now recognized as one of the leading causes of potentially life-threatening diarrheal disease in young children worldwide.

New oceanographic insight pinpoints marine 'hotspots of risk'

Increased computing power has given fisheries researchers new tools to identify "hotspots of risk," where ocean fronts and eddies bring together masses of fish, fishermen and predators, raising the risk of entangling non-target fish and protected species such marine mammals, sea turtles and sharks.

A Fox code for the face

In the developing face, how do stem cells know whether to become cartilage, bones or teeth? To begin to answer this question, scientists from the USC Stem Cell laboratory of Gage Crump tested the role of a key family of genes, called "Forkhead-domain transcription factors," or Fox. Their findings appear in the journal Development.

More woodland management needed to help save dormice

Managing woodlands to a greater extent could help stop the decline of Britain's dormice, new research suggests.

Researchers report success culturing Treponema pallidum, which causes syphilis

The spiral-shaped bacterium that causes syphilis was so dependent on its human host that, until now and despite a century of work, it couldn't be cultured in a lab dish. That impasse may be resolved.

The Australian 'gloomy octopus' leads a murky wave of climate change invasions

Gloomy octopuses used to blend in. They were just another cephalopod, drab-gray and medium-bodied, living in the ocean off east-central Australia. Until, a few decades ago, the octopuses started to spread.

What four populations of fruit flies can tell us about evolution

This past spring break, Associate Professor of Biology Stephanie Rollmann and her lab travelled to the picturesque Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, an International Biosphere Reserve in Ajo, AZ. They were in search of rotting cacti—or, perhaps more accurately, the population of Drosophila mojavensis that feed and breed on said organ pipe cactus.

Hormonal control of appetite in ants identified

Ants and humans have a lot in common at the level of genes and proteins: Numerous studies have shown that ants also possess the genetic basis of a hormone system based on the neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin, which, for instance, contribute to the formation of social bonds and the regulation of the water homeostasis in humans. An Austrian research team led by Christian Gruber from the Institute of Pharmacology at MedUni Vienna has now elucidated the function of this signalling system in ants. The scientists demonstrate that the oxytocin-vasopressin hormone system regulates foraging, locomotor activity and metabolism in ants.

Helping plants remove natural toxins could boost crop yields by 47 percent

Can you imagine the entire population of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, the United Kingdom and France going hungry?

Disease afflicting frogs becoming deadlier

A disease-inducing fungus in amphibians worldwide could become deadlier as different genetic variations emerge, according to research led by The University of Alabama.

Super-rare giant sponge discovered in seahorse hotspot

A seahorse survey conducted by Fauna & Flora international (FFI) and its partners in Cambodia's first dedicated marine protected area has served up a spectacular surprise in the shape of a super-sized – and incredibly rare – sponge, the first official record for the country.

Five facts that show we know too little about fungi, and their harmful effects on human health

Fungi are ubiquitous in nature. No one really knows how many species of fungi there are – one estimate is between 2.2m and 3.8m – and of those species only 120,000 have been documented. Fungi and moulds encompass a dizzying range of physical forms and attributes, living in both temperate environments and in extremes of hot, cold, or in the depths of the ocean.

Why it's time to curb widespread use of neonicotinoid pesticides

Planting season for corn and soybeans across the U.S. corn belt is drawing to a close. As they plant, farmers are participating in what is likely to be one of the largest deployments of insecticides in United States history.

What nipple size means for evolutionary biology

Nipple size varies markedly from woman to woman, whereas male nipples are more uniform. This finding goes against a common assumption of evolutionary biology, say Ashleigh Kelly and her colleagues from the University of Queensland in Australia in a study published in Springer's journal Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology.

Timings and behaviour influence worm's response to force

How worms respond to signals such as taps or touches depends on details of the signal, including whether it increases or decreases, and on what the animal is doing at the time, says Andrew Leifer and his team of researchers at Princeton University, US. Their new paper is published in eLife.

Research opens doors to expanded DNA studies

Dr. Wonmuk Hwang, associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University, is researching the mechanics of DNA, the blueprint of the human body.

Killer immune cells that halt malaria could hold key to new vaccines

Scientists have revealed that immune cells called natural killer (NK) cells may play a key role in ridding the body of malaria-infected blood cells, a study in eLife reports.

Green miner—new plant species mines metal

A plant that takes metal from the ground all by itself: a natural way to mine or to clean the soil. Ph.D. student Roderick Bouman (Hortus Botanicus Leiden) described a new plant species from Sabah, Borneo, which can be used to extract nickel. In an open access article in Botanical studies, he and the other authors present the new species: Phyllanthus rufuschaneyi.

Robotic greenhouse operates autonomously in the Arctic

Researchers from Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) are implementing a large-scale interdisciplinary project to develop an innovative autonomous greenhouse. The project will incorporate multiple technologies including phytotrons, ceramic emitters, spectroscopic techniques, automated control systems, and others.

Journal of Hymenoptera Research links Crocodile Dundee, Toblerone, Game of Thrones and Alien

A myriad of species and genera new to science, including economically important wasps drawing immediate attention because of their amusing names and remarkable physical characters, in addition to work set to lay the foundations for future taxonomic and conservation research, together comprise the latest 64th issue of Journal of Hymenoptera Research (JHR).

Lynxes in danger

For some years now larger wild animals such as lynxes, wolves, and bears have been spreading out across Europe as existing populations grow and animals are resettled. Yet some populations are still endangered. A research team headed by the Freiburg conservation biologist PD Dr. Marco Heurich and the landscape ecologist PD Dr. Stephanie Kramer-Schadt of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research Berlin concludes that the illegal hunting of lynxes reintroduced into the border areas of Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria is having a major effect on their numbers. Their study, commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund Germany, has been published in the journal Biological Conservation.

Bird's nest could upend major Canada music festival

A bird's nest in an Ottawa park steps from parliament on Tuesday risked derailing preparations for one of Canada's largest urban music festivals.

Captive whales find new home as aquarium shows decline

Two beluga whales performing in a Shanghai aquarium are to be flown to a new sanctuary in Iceland, giving hope to more than 3,000 captive cetaceans as the popularity of marine shows wanes.

Judge: Agency failed to justify Idaho wildlife-killing plans

A federal agency's justifications for killing coyotes and mountain lions and other predators in Idaho to protect livestock and other wildlife such as elk violate environmental laws because they lack a scientific review, a federal court has ruled.

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