Friday, July 20, 2018

Science X Newsletter Friday, Jul 20

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for July 20, 2018:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Unusual sound waves discovered in quantum liquids

Researchers study gravitational lensing around an extremely dense galaxy cluster

Wearable device measures cortisol in sweat

Parakeet pecking orders and basketball match-ups—Analyzing winners and losers can reveal rank within networks

A phonon laser operating at an exceptional point

New particle formation found to occur in heavily polluted air

Did a rogue star change the makeup of our solar system?

World's fastest man-made spinning object could help study quantum mechanics

Gorilla Glass to have beefed-up protection for phones to survive oh-no drops

Scientists answer long-held questions about relaxor ferroelectrics

A physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

Team suggests a way to protect autonomous grids from potentially crippling GPS spoofing attacks

Drug now in clinical trials for Parkinson's strengthens heart contractions in animals

Greening vacant lots reduces feelings of depression in city dwellers, study finds

Mixed mRNA tails act like a shield to delay its shortening

Astronomy & Space news

Researchers study gravitational lensing around an extremely dense galaxy cluster

Dark matter halos are theoretical bodies inside which galaxies are suspended; the halo's mass dominates the total mass. These halos cannot be observed directly, but astronomers infer their presence by the phenomenon of gravity lensing—the distortion of background objects by strong gravitational sources that act as lenses. Astronomers can even study distant galaxies magnified by the gravitational lensing of closer gravitational objects.

Did a rogue star change the makeup of our solar system?

A team of researchers from the Max-Planck Institute and Queen's University has used new information to test a theory that suggests a rogue star passed close enough to our solar system millions of years ago to change its configuration. The group has written a paper describing their ideas and have posted it on the arXiv preprint server.

'Storm chasers' on Mars searching for dusty secrets

Storm chasing takes luck and patience on Earth—and even more so on Mars.

Where to search for signs of life on Titan

New findings, published in the journal Astrobiology, suggest that large craters are the prime locations in which to find the building blocks of life on Saturn's largest moon, Titan.

NASA prepares to launch Parker Solar Probe, a mission to touch the Sun

Early on an August morning, the sky near Cape Canaveral, Florida, will light up with the launch of Parker Solar Probe. No earlier than Aug. 6, 2018, a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy will thunder to space carrying the car-sized spacecraft, which will study the Sun closer than any human-made object ever has.

Image: Mars dust storm

The high resolution stereo camera on board ESA's Mars Express captured this impressive upwelling front of dust clouds – visible in the right half of the frame – near the north polar ice cap of Mars in April this year.

Image: Technicians ensure James Webb Space Telescope's sunshield survives stresses experienced during liftoff

Technicians ensure James Webb Space Telescope's sunshield survives stresses experienced during liftoff

Northwestern rocket to launch July 22 to explore 'star stuff'

As astronomer Carl Sagan famously said, "We are made of star stuff." So to better understand ourselves, we must look out into the galaxy.

How satellites and other aerial technologies have changed society

Satellites have changed the way we experience the world, by beaming back images from around the globe and letting us explore the planet through online maps and other visuals. Such tools are so familiar today we often take them for granted.

Capturing the shadow of Saturn's moon Titan from right here on Earth

Titan is Saturn's largest moon, and it is more like a planet than a moon in many respects.

Space, not Brexit, is final frontier for Scottish outpost

Never mind Brexit: For a remote peninsula in the Scottish highlands, the buzz is all about hi-tech rocket launchers firing satellites into space.

UK space officials seek nifty name for Mars rover

The U.K. Space Agency is looking for a catchy name for the ExoMars Rover being developed for use in a mission set for 2020.

How to weigh stars with gravitational lensing

Astronomy & Astrophysics publishes the predictions of the passages of foreground stars in front of background stars. A team of astronomers, using ultra-precise measurements from the Gaia satellite, have accurately forecast two passages in the next months. Each event will produce shifts in the background star's position due to the deflection of light by gravity, and will allow the measurement of the mass of the foreground star, which is extremely difficult to determine by other means.

Who owns the moon? A space lawyer answers

Most likely, this is the best-known picture of a flag ever taken: Buzz Aldrin standing next to the first U.S. flag planted on the Moon. For those who knew their world history, it also rang some alarm bells. Only less than a century ago, back on Earth, planting a national flag in another part of the world still amounted to claiming that territory for the fatherland. Did the Stars and Stripes on the moon signify the establishment of an American colony?

One giant sale: Neil Armstrong's collection goes to auction

Admirers of Neil Armstrong and space exploration have a chance to own artifacts and mementos that belonged to the modest man who became a global hero by becoming the first human to walk on the moon.

Technology news

Parakeet pecking orders and basketball match-ups—Analyzing winners and losers can reveal rank within networks

Sometimes, knowing who wins and who loses is more important than how the game is played.

Gorilla Glass to have beefed-up protection for phones to survive oh-no drops

The world's most advanced glass available for smartphones and tablets: that is the way that Corning Gorilla Glass 6 was described by its makers at an event this week.

Team suggests a way to protect autonomous grids from potentially crippling GPS spoofing attacks

Not long ago, getting a virus was about the worst thing computer users could expect in terms of system vulnerability. But in our current age of hyper-connectedness and the emerging Internet of Things, that's no longer the case. With connectivity, a new principle has emerged, one of universal concern to those who work in the area of systems control, like João Hespanha, a professor in the departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering at UC Santa Barbara. That law says, essentially, that the more complex and connected a system is, the more susceptible it is to disruptive cyber-attacks.

Computer scientists find that physicians' "gut feelings" influence how many tests they order for patients

Many technology companies are working on artificial intelligence systems that can analyze medical data to help diagnose or treat health problems. Such systems raise the question of whether this kind of technology can perform as well as a human doctor.

Safe solid-state lithium batteries herald 'paradigm shift' in energy storage

The race to produce safe, powerful and affordable solid-state lithium batteries is accelerating and recent announcements about game-changing research using a solid non-flammable ceramic electrolyte known as garnet has some in the race calling it revolutionary.

Disappearing messages, private phones test open records laws

One app promotes itself as a way to discuss sensitive negotiations and human resources problems without leaving a digital record.

Eagle-eyed machine learning algorithm outdoes human experts

Artificial intelligence is now so smart that silicon brains frequently outthink people.

Big tech firms agree on 'data portability' plan

Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter unveiled plans Friday to make it easier for users to take their personal data and leave one online service for another.

Review: Motorola Moto G6 brings the look of a flagship phone at a quarter of the price

Some people are happy driving a Honda Accord or Kia Soul, while others are willing to pay more to drive a BMW or Mercedes.

Three women are the wits behind Google Assistant's personality

The Google Assistant is on more than a half-billion devices around the world, but parts of its personality come from just three women at the tech giant's offices in Manhattan.

Big data playing bigger role as airlines personalize service

You're settling into your window seat, bound for a summer vacation, when the flight attendant wishes you a happy birthday or commiserates about the lousy weather that delayed the last leg of your trip.

How good is your therapist? This machine will tell you

For people struggling to overcome addiction, good therapy can be hugely beneficial. But bad therapy is worse than no therapy at all.

Carbon components from a 3-D printer

Three ETH alumni have developed a 3-D printer capable of manufacturing components from carbon fiber composites. Their ETH spin-off, 9T Labs, could bring a breakthrough for the manufacturing and utilization of extremely lightweight and strong parts.

WhatsApp curbs India service after lynchings

WhatsApp announced limits on the forwarding of messages by its 200 million Indian users in an effort to stop a spate of horrific lynchings and to assuage government threats of legal action in its biggest market.

Talk Trump may tap strategic oil reserves raises questions

Reports that President Donald Trump could soon tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in a bid to lower gasoline prices have raised concerns the emergency stockpile is being compromised for political purposes.

Israeli army unveils new 'dual-use' tank

The Israeli army on Thursday revealed details of a new tank it was developing, designed more for use in guerrilla warfare conditions.

Kenya to get first deployment of internet balloons from Google parent

The first commercial deployment for Project Loon—the "balloon-powered internet" being developed by Google parent Alphabet—is headed for Kenya, the US tech giant said Thursday.

Microsoft profit climbs as cloud grows

Microsoft on Thursday said its revenue and profit climbed in the recently ended quarter, getting results from its bets on cloud computing services and artificial intelligence.

Singapore says hackers stole 1.5 million health records in record cyberattack

Hackers have stolen health records belonging to 1.5 million Singaporeans, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong who was specifically targeted in the city state's biggest ever data breach, authorities said Friday.

Zuckerberg's Holocaust comment puts Facebook on the spot

Denying the Holocaust happened is probably OK on Facebook. Calling for a mob to kill Jews is not.

What Hollywood gets right and wrong about hacking

Spoiler warnings for Mr. Robot, Arrow and Blackhat

Social media manipulation rising globally, new report warns

The manipulation of public opinion over social media platforms has emerged as a critical threat to public life. Around the world, government agencies and political parties are exploiting social media platforms to spread junk news and disinformation, exercise censorship and control, and undermine trust in media, public institutions and science.

On the 48th floor in Philly, Comcast kicks off startup accelerator with 10 firms

Over the last few days, they flew in from all over—Singapore, Munich, Toronto and Los Angeles—and one walked from University City to be there for Comcast Corp.'s new boost-up program for young tech firms.

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

The thermal runaway issue has been a longstanding obstacle impeding the development of high-energy-density, high-power delivery batteries. These batteries would generate a lot of heat in ultrafast charge/discharge process or hazardous conditions, such as overcharging and short-circuits. To dissipate the heat accumulated in the batteries, physical safety designs such as fused disconnect switches, extinguishing agents, and shutdown current collectors have been employed. However, these approaches only provide one-time protection. There is no provision for these strategies to spontaneously restore the original working condition of batteries once the temperature is cooled down. Therefore, intelligent and active internal safety strategies are required for fabricating smart batteries with dynamic electrochemical performance and self-adaptive response to temperature.

Beets and carrots could lead to stronger and greener buildings

According to engineers, root vegetables aren't only good for the body. Their fibres could also help make concrete mixtures stronger and more eco-friendly.

Nordic telecom operator Telia enters TV business

The Nordic region's largest telecoms operator, Telia, said Friday it has agreed to buy the broadcasting and streaming operations of Swedish publishing company Bonnier AB to gain a foothold in the television and entertainment business.

Protecting the Intellectual Property of AI with Watermarking

If we can protect videos, audio and photos with digital watermarking, why not AI models?

US Senate Republicans drop bid to block Trump's ZTE deal

US Senate Republicans on Friday dropped their effort to reimpose tough sanctions on Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE, a move Democrats lambasted as capitulating to President Donald Trump and his negotiating strategy with Beijing.

Medicine & Health news

Drug now in clinical trials for Parkinson's strengthens heart contractions in animals

A drug currently in clinical trials for treating symptoms of Parkinson's disease may someday have value for treating heart failure, according to results of early animal studies by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers.

Greening vacant lots reduces feelings of depression in city dwellers, study finds

Greening vacant urban land significantly reduces feelings of depression and improves overall mental health for the surrounding residents, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine and the School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania and other institutions show in a new randomized, controlled study published in JAMA Network Open. The findings have implications for cities across the United States, where 15 percent of land is deemed "vacant" and often blighted or filled with trash and overgrown vegetation.

Breakthrough could impact cancer, ageing and heart disease

A team of Sydney scientists has made a groundbreaking discovery in telomere biology, with implications for conditions ranging from cancer to ageing and heart disease. The research project was led by Dr. Tony Cesare, Head of the Genome Integrity Unit at Children's Medical Research Institute (CMRI) at Westmead, in collaboration with scientists from CMRI as well as UNSW Sydney's Katharina Gaus.

Scientists reverse aging-associated skin wrinkles and hair loss in a mouse model

Wrinkled skin and hair loss are hallmarks of aging. What if they could be reversed?

Study compares athlete and truck driver, identical twins

When it comes to being fit, are genes or lifestyle—nature or nurture—more important? Researchers at San Francisco State University, CSU Fullerton and Cal Poly, Pomona removed the nature part of the equation by studying a pair of identical 52-year-old twins who had taken radically different fitness paths over three decades. "One of the twins became a truck driver and one started running," said Assistant Professor of Kinesiology Jimmy Bagley. The runner became an Ironman triathlete and track coach while the other remained relatively sedentary over the last 30 years. The study results, just published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, demonstrate the impact exercise can have on health over time.

Fewer injuries in girls' soccer and basketball when high schools have athletic trainers

Availability of a full-time certified athletic trainer in high school reduces overall and recurrent injury rates in girls who play on the soccer or basketball team, according to a study published in Injury Epidemiology. Schools with athletic trainers were also better at identifying athletes with concussion. This is the first study to compare injury rates in schools that have an athletic trainer with those that do not.

Diabetes during pregnancy may increase baby's heart disease risk

Gestational diabetes may increase the risk of blood vessel dysfunction and heart disease in offspring by altering a smooth muscle protein responsible for blood vessel network formation. Understanding of the protein's function in fetal cells may improve early detection of disease in children. The study is published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology—Cell Physiology.

Response to HIV/AIDS epidemic at risk of 'dangerous complacency' as urgent change in approach is needed

The Commission will be launched at the AIDS 2018 conference between 6.30-8.30pm Amsterdam time on Thursday 26th July in Hall 10.

Frailty may be more deadly in younger heart patients, study finds

Traditionally, frailty is thought to be a syndrome of the elderly—one which comes as a natural and inevitable side-effect of aging, gradually transforming strong, healthy bodies into weaker, more delicate frames over time. For clinicians, frailty is a concept which has long posed formidable challenges in perioperative medicine. For patients, frailty turns even the most routine operative procedures into complicated life or death undertakings.

New study shows video games can improve health in children with obesity

A new study from LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center showed for the first time that video games, in combination with fitness coaching and a step tracker, helped overweight children lose weight, lower their blood pressure and cholesterol and increase their physical activity.

Wearable heart monitor catches undiagnosed atrial fibrillation, study finds

A wearable heart monitor increases the detection of atrial fibrillation—a heartbeat irregularity that raises the risk of stroke and death—in a study led by the La Jolla-based Scripps Translational Science Institute.

Aggressive immune cells aggravate Parkinson's disease

Parkinson's disease, formerly referred to as "shaking palsy," is one of the most common disorders affecting movement and the nervous system. Medical researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have reported a possible cause of the disease in the immune system. The scientists have published their research findings in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

Mobile phone radiation may affect memory performance in adolescents

Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields may have adverse effects on the development of memory performance of specific brain regions exposed during mobile phone use. These are the findings of a study involving nearly 700 adolescents in Switzerland. The investigation, led by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), will be published on Thursday, July 19, 2018 in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Cold fronts may increase stroke mortality

A study performed by Brazilian researchers and published in the International Journal of Biometeorology showed that falling temperatures may be accompanied by rising numbers of deaths from stroke, especially among people over 65. The authors also found that in the case of older people, the incidence of stroke associated with colder weather was higher among women.

Most com­mon shoulder op­er­a­tion is no more be­ne­fi­cial than placebo sur­gery

In a landmark study published this week in the BMJ, Finnish researchers showed that one of the most common surgical procedures in the Western world is probably unnecessary. Keyhole surgeries of the shoulder are useless for patients with shoulder impingement, the most common diagnosis in patients with shoulder pain.

More racial diversity among physicians would lead to better health among black men

African-American doctors could help reduce cardiovascular mortality among black men by 19 percent—if there was more racial diversity among physicians, according to a new study led by Stanford Health Policy's Marcella Alsan.

Lying in a foreign language is easier

It is not easy to tell when someone is lying. This is even more difficult when potential liars speak in a language other than their native tongue. Psychologists of the University of Würzburg investigated why that is so.

Cancer patients' conversation topics reflect well-being, study finds

The psychological impacts of cancer can be devastating.

Is glucosamine actually good for joints?

Pharmaceutical companies have been promoting glucosamine supplements as a treatment for osteoarthritis for many years. Taking glucosamine for osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of complementary medicine in western societies.

Despite opioid epidemic, public support for needle exchange programs, safe injection sites remains low in U.S.

The study, published in the June issue of Preventive Medicine, is the first to poll a large, nationwide, representative sample of Americans about their views on:

Help for those struggling with hair loss

Dermatologist Crystal Aguh studies lifestyle factors affecting hair loss in ethnic populations—an area where most dermatologists fear to tread. She speculates that's because dermatologists, the vast majority of whom were never exposed to the topic in medical school, are often "nervous on how to approach treatment."

Restricting who gets an organ transplant

Almost 95,000 people in the United States are waiting for a life-saving kidney transplant. But thousands of other Americans aren't on the list simply because they are not perceived as having enough support from family and friends, one of the national criteria for determining who gets an organ transplant of any kind.

Treating dementia with the healing waves of sound

Ultrasound waves applied to the whole brain improve cognitive dysfunction in mice with conditions simulating vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease. The research, conducted by scientists at Tohoku University in Japan, suggests that this type of therapy may also benefit humans.

Could rotating multiple therapists better treat PTSD patients?

New research by Agnes van Minnen of Radboud University questions the importance and concept of the need for a dedicated therapist in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Patients and therapists were equally positive when rating treatment given by multiple therapists. The research will be published in the European Journal of Psychotraumatology on 17 July.

Do neckties actually reduce blood supply to the brain?

News reports about a study from Germany may provide the ultimate excuse for men to dress more casually for work, finding neckties reduce blood supply to the brain.

Trauma patients can indirectly affect the physical health of social workers

Exposure to traumatized client populations can have an indirect negative influence on the physical health of clinical social workers through secondary traumatic stress, Georgia State Distinguished University Professor Brian Bride revealed in a study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The roles of RNA-RNA interactions

Chronic regeneration of damaged endothelial cells at sites of disturbed blood flow in the vasculature promotes the development of atherosclerosis. Now an LMU team has further elucidated the role of a short RNA molecule in atherogenesis.

Daily low-dose aspirin may be weapon against ovarian cancer

(HealthDay)— One low-dose aspirin a day could help women avoid ovarian cancer or boost their survival should it develop, two new studies suggest.

Salmonella outbreak in 26 states linked to raw turkey products

(HealthDay)—A Salmonella outbreak that has sickened 90 people in 26 states has been linked to a variety of raw turkey products, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

Same-day appointment system implemented in health network

(HealthDay)—A same-day appointment system can feasibly be introduced, according to the experiences of one health network presented in an article published in Managed Healthcare Executive.

Atopic dermatitis places heavy burden on patients

(HealthDay)—Atopic dermatitis (AD) dramatically impacts the quality of life of patients, according to a study published online July 16 in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Characteristics of severe hypoglycemia identified in T2DM

(HealthDay)—For patients with type 2 diabetes, characteristics of those with severe hypoglycemia include having a prior diagnosis of non-severe hypoglycemia and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)

Money matters: Couples who regularly talk about money are happier

(HealthDay)—Money can't buy you love, but it can come between you and your spouse if you don't have open conversations about it.

'Dangerous complacency' looms over world AIDS meeting

Thousands of experts and activists descend on Amsterdam Monday to bolster the battle against AIDS amid warnings that "dangerous complacency" may cause a resurgence of the epidemic that has already killed 35 million people.

New study questions use of talking therapy as a treatment for schizophrenia

The findings of the first meta-analysis examining the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for psychosis (CBTp) on improving the quality of life and functioning and reducing distress of people diagnosed with schizophrenia have, today, been published in the peer-reviewed journal BMC Psychology.

Trampolines should be banned except for gymnastics, says injury prevention expert

Based on the high rates of injury on trampolines in Alberta every summer, the University of Alberta's Injury Prevention Centre would like to see the devices banned except for gymnastic training.

Why cancer patients won't find a cure in drinking human milk they get online

In 1995, scientists at Lund University in Sweden made a serendipitous discovery while looking for new antibiotics. They found that by altering a protein in human milk, producing a complex they called HAMLET (Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made LEthal to Tumour cells), they could destroy some cancer cells, leaving healthy cells unharmed.

People love to hate on do-gooders, especially at work

Sometimes, it doesn't pay to be a do-gooder, according to a new University of Guelph study.

Former inmates at high risk for opioid overdose following prison release

A recent study in North Carolina found that in the first two weeks after being released from prison, former inmates were 40 times more likely to die of an opioid overdose than someone in the general population.

Secondhand smoke causing thousands of still births in developing countries

The study reveals that more than 40% of all pregnant women in Pakistan are exposed to secondhand smoke—causing approximately 17,000 still births in a year.

Home demolitions may create new problem: Lead-tainted dust

The nation's largest home-demolition program, which has torn down more than 14,000 vacant houses across Detroit, may have inadvertently created a new problem by spreading lead-contaminated dust through some of the city's many hollowed-out neighborhoods.

A peek into the interplay between sleep and wakefulness

Sleep is an autonomic process and is not always under our direct, voluntary control. Awake or asleep, we are basically under the regulation of two biological processes: sleep homeostasis, commonly known as 'sleep pressure', and the circadian rhythm, otherwise known as the 'body clock'. These two processes work in harmony to promote good consolidated sleep at night.

Novel insights on 'leaky' gut

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by chronic inflammation of the small and the large intestine. IBD patients experience bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain and have an increased risk of developing colon cancer.

Naloxone remains controversial to some, but here's why it shouldn't be

The overdose-reversing drug naloxone saves thousands of lives each year and is more widely available today than ever. So why do overdose deaths across the U.S. continue to rise?

Bayer to stop sales of birth control device tied to injuries

The maker of a permanent contraceptive implant subject to thousands of injury reports and repeated safety restrictions by regulators said Friday that it will stop selling the device in the U.S., the only country where it remains available.

Supplemental oxygen eliminates morning blood pressure rise in sleep apnea patients

Supplemental oxygen eliminates the rise in morning blood pressure experienced by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients who stop using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), the standard treatment for OSA, according to new research published online in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

3 reasons you need a 3-D mammogram

For many women over 40, a yearly screening mammogram to check for breast cancer is a fact of life—along with the anxiety of waiting for the results. But what if you could get a test that offered better cancer detection, fewer false positives and more peace of mind?

Four World Cup gold medals—and a baby

Marit Bjørgen was the most successful cross-country skier in the world when she "dropped a bomb" (in her own words) in June 2015 and reported that she was pregnant. But pregnancy didn't stop the then 35-year-old world-class athlete from training, both before her son was born and after.

The cause of prostate cancer progression to the incurable stage has likely been uncovered

Researchers at the University of Oulu in Finland have discovered novel genes and mechanisms that can explain how a genomic variant in a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs11672691 influences prostate cancer aggressiveness. Their findings also suggest ways to improve risk stratification and clinical treatment for advanced prostate cancer. The study is published in the journal Cell.

South Africa is starting to accept public breastfeeding. But change is slow

A well-known South African family restaurant chain has grabbed headlines with a new breastfeeding policy that allows patrons to breastfeed freely in their venues.

Shape memory foam embolization system deployed in Europe now cleared for U.S. markets

Shape Memory Medical recently announced FDA clearance for U.S. marketing of their IMPEDE Embolization Plug, a technology funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) and created to block irregular blood vessels.

Pregnant pause for thought

Pregnancy by all accounts can be an uncomfortable business with its ups and downs and periodic problems. Indian researchers list morning sickness, backache, bladder and bowel problems, changes in skin and hair, cramps, swelling, the emergence of varicose veins, fatigues, headache, and indigestion as some of the issues.

SPIE journal announces public access to largest multi-lesion medical imaging dataset

A paper published today in the Journal of Medical Imaging - "DeepLesion: Automated mining of large-scale lesion annotations and universal lesion detection with deep learning,—announced the open availability of the largest CT lesion-image database accessible to the public. Such data are the foundations for the training sets of machine-learning algorithms; until now, large-scale annotated radiological image datasets, essential for the development of deep learning approaches, have not been publicly available.

Biology news

Mixed mRNA tails act like a shield to delay its shortening

Cells curb the amount of specific proteins at any desired time via the control of mRNA degradation. As mRNA nucleotides tail plays a role in this process, biologists at the Center for RNA Research, within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS, South Korea), have identified how mixed tails made of different nucleotides protect mRNA from degradation for longer. Published in Science, these findings could lend new insights to the understanding of gene regulation in healthy and diseased states.

Study finds key to plant growth control mechanism

A Purdue University study has mapped a complex series of pathways that control the shape of plant cells. The findings are an important step toward customizing how plants grow to suit particular agronomic needs and improving the quality of the cotton grown in the United States.

LC10 – the neuron that tracks fruit flies

Many animals rely on vision to detect, locate, and track moving objects. Male Drosophila fruit flies primarily use visual cues to stay close to a female and to direct their courtship song towards her. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried and the Janelia Research Campus (USA) now described the nerve cells, which allow the detection and tracking of a moving female. The results suggest that these LC10 cells constitute an essential pathway to relay visual information that is necessary for efficient courtship in fruit flies.

Putting bacteria to work

The idea of bacteria as diverse, complex perceptive entities that can hunt prey in packs, remember past experiences and interact with the moods and perceptions of their human hosts sounds like the plot of some low-budget science fiction movie. But these are exactly some of the traits that scientists attribute to "bacterial cognition," which treats the microscopic creatures as something like information processing systems.

CRISPR-based tool maps gene function in human cells

UC San Francisco scientists have used a high-throughput CRISPR-based technique to rapidly map the functions of nearly 500 genes in human cells, many of them never before studied in detail.

Dingoes may provide clues to understanding how Australia evolved

Researchers from The University of Western Australia and the Australian National University have uncovered new evidence that suggests dingoes arrived in Australia between 3,348 and 3,081 years ago, more recently than previously thought.

How California's sea stars are evolving past a devastating pandemic

In 2012, environmental systems graduate student Lauren Schiebelhut was collecting DNA from ochre sea stars living along the Northern California coast—part of an effort to study genetic diversity in various marine species that serve as indicators of habitat health. She had no idea that just one year later, most of the sea stars would be dead.

Houseplants could one day monitor home health

In a perspective published in the July 20 issue of Science, Neal Stewart and his University of Tennessee coauthors explore the future of houseplants as aesthetically pleasing and functional sirens of home health.

How plants use carbon affects their response to climate change

Under warmer conditions, plants can take up more carbon dioxide by using carbon more efficiently for growth, shows a new study.

$1M award for Salk scientist Janelle Ayres, who befriends our microbial enemies

Janelle Ayres, a rising star at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, has collected her second honor in a month—one which brings $1 million to fund her microbial research.

Shark data greatly expanded North America's biggest marine protected area

North America's biggest marine protected area—Mexico's Revillagigedo National Park—may have been nearly seven times smaller if not for shark-tracking data collected by researchers and alumni from the University of California, Davis.

Scientists explore new experimental model systems to advance biology

Tremendous advancement of basic biological knowledge has come from genetically manipulating model organisms to test mechanistic hypotheses. But the selection of traditional model organisms available offers a limited view of biological diversity, meaning that they cannot be used to investigate a broad swath of novel and important processes. Now an international team of scientists including Jackie Collier, Ph.D., an Associate Professor in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) at Stony Brook University, is investigating how to genetically manipulate a variety of marine protists –unicellular microscopic organisms that are not classified as a plant, animal or fungus – to develop new experimental models that may help to advance scientific understanding in oceanography and other areas of the biological sciences.

How virtual worlds can recreate the geographic history of life

The Amazon and the adjacent Andean slopes in South America host an astonishing richness of plants and animals. These species have been sources of food, shelter and medicine since the arrival of humans and a target of scientific curiosity since the days of the earliest European naturalist explorers.

The heat is on – and that's great news for rare Siamese crocodiles

As temperatures soar to record levels across much of the world, many people are complaining that it's hot enough to fry an egg outdoors. Thirty-degree heat may be too much for some, but for others it's just the ticket. Crocodile conservationists in Cambodia have been assiduously checking their own thermometers for the past few weeks, to ensure that it's hot enough to hatch an egg indoors – several clutches of eggs, to be precise. And their devotion as surrogate parents has just reaped spectacular rewards in the shape of 65 Siamese crocodile hatchlings.

US proposes roll back of endangered species protections

The US administration of President Donald Trump on Thursday proposed sweeping changes to the 45-year-old Endangered Species Act which would roll back protections for threatened animals, sparking alarm by environmentalists.

Researchers say sea pickles are adapting to the Pacific Northwest

Tubular colonial jellies known as pyrosomes that arrived in 2014 along North America's Pacific Northwest Coast appear to be adapting to cooler water and may become permanent residents.

Pathogens attack plants like hackers, so my lab thinks about crop protection like cybersecurity

Plants feed us. Without them we're goners. Through thousands of years of genetic modification by selective breeding, humans have developed the crops that keep us alive. We have large kernels of grains, plump fruits and nutritious, toxin-free vegetables. These forms would never be found in nature, but were bred by people to keep us healthy and happy.

New training platform for big data analysis

Studies indicate that more than 95 percent of researchers in the life sciences are already working with big data or plan to do so—but more than 65 percent state that they only have minimal knowledge of bioinformatics and statistics. "Many are currently lacking training and instruction in this area—that's the real bottleneck that is making broader use of data science methods difficult," says bioinformatician Dr. Björn Grüning of the University of Freiburg. He is coordinating the Galaxy Europe project, which aims to remedy this with interactive, community-based and freely-available online tutorials on data analysis in the life sciences. The participating researchers have presented their project in the journal Cell Systems.

The influence of plant photosynthetic indices on the effectiveness of PRI use

To achieve success in agriculture, large expenditures are required for irrigation, fertilizing, pest control, etc. However, these costs are not always justified, since plants growing in different parts of the field can differ significantly in terms of water and fertilizer availability, in terms of the intensity of the abiotic stress factors, in the degree of damage caused by diseases and pests, etc.

New findings on intercellular communication

Led by Benoit Vanhollebeke, WELBIO investigator at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), the Laboratory of Neurovascular Signaling has solved an important enigma of cell signaling related to Wnt signaling specificity.

Support for the Endangered Species Act remains high as Trump administration and Congress try to gut it

The Endangered Species Act, or "the Act," is arguably the most important law in the United States for conserving biodiversity and arresting the extinction of species.

Why malaria parasites are faster than human immune cells

Elementary cytoskeleton protein is different in parasites and represents a starting point for a possible new therapy against malaria infections. Researchers from the Heidelberg University Hospital, the Centre for Molecular Biology at the University of Heidelberg (ZMBH), and the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) have published these findings in the journal PLOS Biology.

Where the wild—and dangerous—dogs roam

When Yang Yu, VG16, arrived in the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in southern Qinghai, China, the first thing she noticed was the dogs. Huge and black with thick ruffs of fur like lions' manes, Tibetan mastiffs were everywhere. Many were leashed, lying in people's yards to guard their houses. But plenty weren't: Yu saw them sleeping in the streets, begging scraps from monks at monasteries, and, in one case, dozing under a prayer wheel.

HRW urges Brazilian lawmakers to reject new pesticide law

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Friday called on Brazilian lawmakers to reject a proposed law to relax regulations on the use of pesticides as it published a report blaming powerful landowners for the poisoning of rural residents.

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