Thursday, July 19, 2018

Science X Newsletter Thursday, Jul 19

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for July 19, 2018:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Electron microscope detector achieves record resolution

Researchers move closer to completely optical artificial neural network

Paralyzed mice with spinal cord injury made to walk again

Complete fly brain imaged at nanoscale resolution

Newly discovered armored dinosaur from Utah reveals intriguing family history

First fossilized snake embryo ever discovered rewrites history of ancient snakes

From cradle to grave: Model identifies factors that shaped evolution

A better way to control a swarm of drones

Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

Younger children tend to make more informed decisions

Shooting stars on demand: Japan start-up plans 2020 meteor shower

Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production and survival of myelin-forming cells

'Good cholesterol' may not always be good

Scientists lack vital knowledge on rapid Arctic climate change

Puzzling results explained—a multiband approach to Coulomb drag and indirect excitons

Astronomy & Space news

Shooting stars on demand: Japan start-up plans 2020 meteor shower

A Japanese start-up developing "shooting stars on demand" says it will be ready to deliver the world's first artificial meteor shower in a spectacular show over Hiroshima in early 2020.

Ultra-bright early galaxies may be less common than we think

Ultra-bright galaxies in the early universe may be less common than initially thought, new research conducted using the Hubble Space Telescope has found.

Traveling to the sun: Why won't Parker Solar Probe melt?

This summer, NASA's Parker Solar Probe will launch to travel closer to the Sun, deeper into the solar atmosphere, than any mission before it. If Earth was at one end of a yard-stick and the Sun on the other, Parker Solar Probe will make it to within four inches of the solar surface.

Image: Moon, Mars, station

This image was taken by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst from the International Space Station on 30 June 2018 when the Moon and Mars were at its closest so far during his six-month Horizons mission.

NASA debuts online toolkit to promote commercial use of satellite data

While NASA's policy of free and open remote-sensing data has long benefited the scientific community, other government agencies and nonprofit organizations, it has significant untapped potential for commercialization. NASA's Technology Transfer program has created an online resource to promote commercial use of this data and the software tools needed to work with it.

Orion parachutes chalk up another test success in Arizona

The parachute system for Orion, America's spacecraft that will carry humans to deep space, deployed as planned after being dropped from an altitude of 6.6 miles on July 12, at the U.S. Army Proving Ground in Yuma, Arizona. Data from the successful seventh drop in a series of eight qualification tests will help NASA engineers certify Orion's parachutes for missions with astronauts.

Guide to Mars Opposition 2018

Have you checked out Mars this season? Mars reaches opposition on July 27th at 5:00 Universal Time (UT) shining at magnitude -2.8 and appearing 24.3" across—nearly as large as it can appear, and the largest since the historic opposition of 2003. We won't have an opposition this favorable again until September 15th, 2035.

Technology news

A better way to control a swarm of drones

A team of researchers from Hungary, Norway and the Netherlands has found a way to better control a large swarm of drones—give them more autonomy. In their paper published in the journal Science Robotics, the group describes their approach and how well it has worked in real drone swarms.

Liquid-metal, high-voltage flow battery

A new combination of materials developed by Stanford researchers may aid in developing a rechargeable battery able to store the large amounts of renewable power created through wind or solar sources. With further development, the new technology could deliver energy to the electric grid quickly, cost effectively and at normal ambient temperatures.

Eagle-eyed algorithm outdoes human experts

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

EU fines Google a record $5 billion over mobile practices

European regulators came down hard on another U.S. tech giant Wednesday, fining Google a record $5 billion for forcing cellphone makers that use the company's Android operating system to install Google search and browser apps.

Facebook cracks down on bogus posts inciting violence

Facebook on Wednesday built on its campaign to prevent the platform from being used to spread dangerous misinformation, saying it will remove bogus posts likely to spark violence.

Clouds lift for SAP as it raises full-year forecasts

German software firm SAP raised its revenue forecasts for the full year Thursday, after sales of its cloud computing products and its bottom line swelled in the second quarter.

Start-up behind self-driving robots raises $114M

San Diego's Brain Corp, the maker of self-driving technology used in supermarket floor cleaning robots, said that it has raised $114 million in a third round of venture capital funding led by SoftBank Vision Fund.

Which new emojis are coming?

Let's face it, when it comes to holidays, some days are more important than others.

Amazon estimated to sell $3.5 billion during Prime Day sale, even after outage

Why did Amazon's site and app go down in the first hour of Prime Day? Amazon's not saying, but the outage shows that online shopping is not yet an infallible replacement for brick and mortar.

How to protect yourself from 'spear phishing' hacking technique

As sophisticated as the scheme was by Russian intelligence agents to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, they used a simple hacking technique, among others, to infiltrate the email accounts of Democratic operatives, according to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's latest indictment. And that technique—known as "spear phishing—remains a threat not just to campaign officials but to employees and consumers.

Concentrated solar power will help China cut costs of climate action, study finds

Solar thermal energy turns out to be the key to China meeting its climate commitments. A new study investigates the best combination of renewables for providing the lowest cost to power system operators in two of China's provinces best suited to scale up renewable energy.

World-first program to stop hacking by supercomputers

IT experts at Monash University have devised the world's leading post-quantum secure privacy-preserving algorithm – so powerful it can thwart attacks from supercomputers of the future.

Wave energy converters are not geared toward the increase in energy over the last century

The UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country has been exploring how ocean energy has evolved in Ireland during the 20th century to determine how the converters would need to be adapted

Robots working as a group are able to determine the optimal order of their tasks

Could robots soon help rescue crews save the survivors of a natural disaster? Such a mission would require that the robots be able to determine, on their own, which tasks to perform and in what order to perform them; for instance, there is no use attempting to pull a victim out of rubble if the rubble has not yet been cleared. Currently, engineers are responsible for programming the sequence of actions. But this could soon change!

Speed up solving complex problems—be lazy and only work crucial tasks

A new improvement to a programming technique called 'lazy grounding' could solve hard-set and complex issues in freight logistics, routing and power grids by drastically reducing computation times.

Research shows four in five experts cited in online news are men

Who gets to speak? Who do we listen to? And whose opinions do we respect? These questions are always important, but even more so now, as the UK faces an uncertain future, and political leaders need to make some tough decisions. So it's disappointing to learn that female voices continue to be marginalised in the nation's news coverage. Women's expertise is going untapped and unheard at a critical time.

EU ruling against Google opens 'opportunity,' rival says

European regulators' latest swipe at the dominance of U.S. tech giant Google could open new opportunities for rivals in search and web browsers—that is, if cellphone manufacturers decide to make the most of the opening.

Zuckerberg at center of Holocaust denial controversy (Update)

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has found himself at the center of a fresh row after saying the social network should not prohibit posts which deny the Holocaust.

High-altitude balloons to deliver internet access in Kenya

A Google-affiliated company has chosen Kenya as the home of its first announced commercial deal for delivering internet access to hard-to-reach areas using high-altitude balloons.

Hyperloop project goes to China

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies said Thursday it will team up with a southwestern Chinese city to build a new 10-kilometre (six-mile) test track for its high speed hyperloop transportation system.

France closes in on phone ban in schools starting in September

French lawmakers have secured a deal on a bill that would outlaw the use of mobiles phones in schools starting in September, one of Emmanuel Macron's pledges during last year's presidential campaign.

Didi, SoftBank set up taxi-hailing joint venture in Japan

Chinese mobile service giant Didi Chuxing and Tokyo-based SoftBank Corp. have set up a joint venture for taxi-hailing in Japan.

Engineers develop world's most efficient semiconductor for thermal management

Working to address "hotspots" in computer chips that degrade their performance, UCLA engineers have developed a new semiconductor material, defect-free boron arsenide, that is more effective at drawing and dissipating waste heat than any other known semiconductor or metal materials.

Comcast drops Fox bid, paving way for sale to Disney

Comcast is dropping its bid for Fox's entertainment businesses, paving the way for Disney to boost its upcoming streaming service by buying the studios behind "The Simpsons" and X-Men.

AI-equipped robots develop situational awareness in Earth's most uncertain environment

Waves, winds, currents, wakes from passing boats and eddies swirling around structures make water one of the most complex environments for experienced boat captains, let alone robots. Now, researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology are developing algorithms that teach robots to adapt to the constantly changing dynamics of the sea in order to address one of our nation's greatest concerns: protecting and preserving our aging water-rooted infrastructure, such as piers, pipelines, bridges and dams.

New malicious email detection method outperforms 60 antivirus engines

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) Malware Lab researchers have developed a new method to detect unknown, malicious emails that is more accurate than the most popular antivirus software products. Email messages are widely used by attackers to deliver dangerous content to a victim, such as attachments or links to malicious websites.

Belgian airspace closed over computer glitch

Belgium on Thursday closed its airspace following a computer glitch linked to problems downloading data related to flight plans, said Belgocontrol, the company tasked with controlling the country's skies.

Researchers to extend service life of nuclear reactors and improve their safety

Cooperating with students from the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Russia), scientists from the Kurchatov Institute (Russia) have used new technology to extend the service life of the VVER-440 reactor up to 45 years, saving the cost of dismantling the old vessels. The results of the research were published in the Journal of Nuclear Materials.

Will hydrogen-powered cars gradually become mainstream in Europe?

An EU initiative will deploy hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles in three European capitals as taxis, private-hire and police cars. The move will accelerate their commercialisation and help realise emissions-free transport.

Airbus fetes first flight of its new 'whale in the sky'

European aerospace giant Airbus conducted Thursday the first test flight of the giant new Beluga XL, an even bigger version of the company's workhorse transport plane which has been in service since the mid 1990s.

New instruments push boundaries for precise measurements in jet engines, gas turbines

A Purdue University-affiliated startup is developing instruments to precisely measure pressure, temperature and other analytics inside the harsh environments of rocket engines and gas turbines.

Facebook in fresh controversy over Holocaust denial

Facebook found itself embroiled anew in controversy Thursday after chief executive Mark Zuckerberg argued the leading social network should not filter out posts denying the Holocaust.

French automaker PSA confirms plans to re-enter US market by 2026

French automaker PSA confirmed Thursday its plan for a gradual return to the US market even if Washington follows through on a threat to impose tariffs of up to 25 percent on auto imports.

Disney Animation to premiere first VR short at SIGGRAPH 2018

Walt Disney Animation Studios will debut its first ever virtual reality short film at SIGGRAPH 2018, and the hope is viewers will walk away feeling connected to the characters as equally as they will with the VR technology involved in making the film.

3-D technology to be tested for carry-on bags at JFK Airport

Travelers at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York will soon experience a test of more advanced, three-dimensional imaging to screen carry-on bags.

With Comcast out, how Disney's empire will look with Fox

The Mouse House is getting close to catching the Fox.

Medicine & Health news

Paralyzed mice with spinal cord injury made to walk again

Most people with spinal cord injury are paralyzed from the injury site down, even when the cord isn't completely severed. Why don't the spared portions of the spinal cord keep working? Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital now provide insight into why these nerve pathways remain quiet. They also show that a small-molecule compound, given systemically, can revive these circuits in paralyzed mice, restoring their ability to walk.

Younger children tend to make more informed decisions

A new study from the University of Waterloo has found that in some ways, the older you get the worse your decision making becomes.

Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production and survival of myelin-forming cells

The nervous system is a complex organ that relies on a variety of biological players to ensure daily function of the human body. Myelin—a membrane produced by specialized glial cells—plays a critical role in protecting the fibers that help carry messages throughout the body. In the central nervous system (CNS), glial cells known as oligodendrocytes are responsible for producing myelin. Now, a paper published today in Nature Communications explains how researchers at the Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC) at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York have uncovered the role of a protein known as "PRMT5" in the production of myelin and, ultimately, proper development and function of the CNS.

'Good cholesterol' may not always be good

Postmenopausal factors may have an impact on the heart-protective qualities of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) - also known as 'good cholesterol' - according to a study led by researchers in the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

Researchers are one step closer to developing eye drops to treat age-related macular degeneration

Scientists at the University of Birmingham are one step closer to developing an eye drop that could revolutionise treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Enzyme identified as possible novel drug target for sickle cell disease, Thalassemia

Medical researchers have identified a key signaling protein that regulates hemoglobin production in red blood cells, offering a possible target for a future innovative drug to treat sickle cell disease (SCD). Experiments in cultured human cells reveal that blocking the protein reduces the characteristic sickling that distorts the shape of red blood cells and gives the disease its name.

Neural inflammation plays critical role in stress-induced depression

A group of Japanese researchers has discovered that neural inflammation caused by the innate immune system plays an unexpectedly important role in stress-induced depression. This insight could potentially lead to the development of new antidepressants targeting innate immune molecules. The findings were published on July 20 (Japan Standard Time) in the online edition of Neuron.

Finding well-being through an aerial, as opposed to ground-level, view of time

Do today and yesterday and tomorrow loom large in your thinking, with the more distant past and future barely visible on the horizon? That's not unusual in today's time-pressed world—and it seems a recipe for angst.

Perfectionism in young children may indicate OCD risk

Studying young children, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that kids who possess tendencies toward perfectionism and excessive self-control are twice as likely as other children to develop obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) by the time they reach their teens.

Mice given metabolite succinate found to lose weight by turning up the heat

A team of researchers with members from institutions across the U.S. and Canada has found that giving the metabolite succinate to mice fed a high-fat diet prevented obesity. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group explains how they came to study the metabolite and why it helped prevent obesity in mice. Sheng Hui and Joshua Rabinowitz with Princeton University offer a News & Views piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue. They also discuss the possibility of giving the metabolite to humans as a possible treatment for obesity.

Deadly Rift Valley fever: New insight, and hope for the future

Health control measures alone could be ineffective in the long term fight against the deadly Rift Valley fever which affects both humans and animals, a new study in the journal PNAS reports.

Discovery of kidney cancer driver could lead to new treatment strategy

University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center scientists have uncovered a potential therapeutic target for kidney cancers that have a common genetic change. Scientists have known this genetic change can lead to an overabundance of blood vessels, which help feed nutrients to the tumors. Their latest finding shows a potential new cancer-driving pathway.

Alcohol-related cirrhosis deaths skyrocket in young adults

Deaths from cirrhosis rose in all but one state between 1999-2016, with increases seen most often among young adults, a new study shows.

Sharp rise in requests for knee and hip surgery being turned down

Nearly 1,700 requests rejected last year, a 45% increase from 2016-17, reveals an investigation by The BMJ.

Using adrenaline in cardiac arrests results in less than 1 percent more people leaving hospital alive

A clinical trial of the use of adrenaline in cardiac arrests has found that its use results in less than 1% more people leaving hospital alive—but almost doubles the risk of severe brain damage for survivors of cardiac arrest. The research raises important questions about the future use of adrenaline in such cases and will necessitate debate amongst healthcare professionals, patients and the public.

Depression-induced inflammation during pregnancy may impact newborns

The physiological impacts of depression on pregnant mothers may affect babies while in the womb and lead to changes in the behaviour and biology of newborns, finds new King's College London research.

Use of nicotine during pregnancy may increase risk of sudden infant death syndrome

Nicotine exposure during pregnancy, whether from smoking cigarettes, or nicotine patches and e-cigarettes, increases risk of sudden infant death syndrome—sometimes known as "cot death—according to new research published in the Journal of Physiology.

Caffeine affects food intake at breakfast, but its effect is limited and transient

A new study featured in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that after drinking a small amount of caffeine, participants consumed 10 percent less at a breakfast buffet provided by researchers, but this effect did not persist throughout the day and had no impact on participants' perceptions of their appetites. Based on these findings, the investigators have concluded that caffeine is not effective as an appetite suppressant and weight-loss aid.

Food for thought: How the brain reacts to food may be linked to overeating

The reason why some people find it so hard to resist finishing an entire bag of chips or bowl of candy may lie with how their brain responds to food rewards, leaving them more vulnerable to overeating.

Study shows link between teens' copious amounts of screen time and ADHD

What with all the swiping, scrolling, snap-chatting, surfing and streaming that consume the adolescent mind, an American parent might well watch his or her teen and wonder whether any sustained thought is even possible.

Liver cancer death rates rise 43 percent, CDC reports

Liver cancer death rates jumped 43 percent, according to a report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Allergies: Mugwort pollen as main source of airborne endotoxins

A wide range of airborne substances can cause respiratory problems for asthma sufferers. These include bacteria and their components, which can trigger inflammation. How they become airborne has not been fully explained up to now. A science team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Helmholtz Zentrum M√ľnchen (HMGU) has shown that pollen from the mugwort plant is the main vector for bacteria and that this combination renders the pollen more potent in susceptible people. This, however, is not the case in certain Alpine regions such as Davos.

Molecular culprits of protein aggregation in ALS and FTLD

The mutated and aggregated protein FUS is implicated in two neurodegenerative diseases: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). Using a newly developed fruit fly model, researchers led by prof. Ludo Van Den Bosch (VIB-KU Leuven) have focused on the protein structure of FUS to gain more insight into how it causes neuronal toxicity and disease.

Researchers identify RNA molecules that regulate action of male hormone in prostate cancer

In most cases of prostate cancer, tumor cell growth is stimulated by the action of male hormones, or androgens, such as testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). For this to happen, these hormones have to bind to androgen receptors, proteins located mostly in the cytoplasm of prostate cells. When hormone and receptor bind, they migrate to the cell nucleus, where they either activate or inhibit a number of genes to create a gene expression pattern that favors tumor proliferation.

Overcoming resistance to a standard chemotherapy drug

Despite being studied for decades, the chemotherapy drug cisplatin is revealing new aspects of how it works. Researchers at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University have identified an enzyme responsible for making tumors and cancer cell lines resistant to cisplatin, along with an experimental drug that targets that enzyme.

Complementary medicine for cancer can decrease survival

People who received complementary therapy for curable cancers were more likely to refuse at least one component of their conventional cancer treatment, and were more likely to die as a result, according to researchers from Yale Cancer Center and the Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy and Effectiveness Research Center (COPPER) at Yale School of Medicine. The findings were reported today online in JAMA Oncology.

Australia led global push to tackle PCOS—the principal cause of infertility in women

Australian led global guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of the primary cause of infertility in women will be published simultaneously in three international journals, supported by a suite of health professional and patient resources to improve health outcomes for women with PCOS.

Low/no calorie soft drinks linked to improved outcomes in advanced colon cancer patients

Drinking artificially-sweetened beverages is associated with a significantly lower risk of colon cancer recurrence and cancer death, a team of investigators led by a Yale Cancer Center scientist has found. The study was published today in the journal PLOS ONE.

Why does making new egg cells require so much cell death?

A highly detailed study of how the roundworm C. elegans forms oocytes suggests that the egg-making process leads to the formation and subsequent destruction of cells with an extra nucleus, but that some cellular materials are recycled into new eggs. James Priess of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and colleagues, report these findings in a new study published July 19th, 2018 in PLOS Genetics.

Yeast species used in food industry causes disease in humans

A major cause of drug-resistant clinical yeast infections is the same species previously regarded as non-pathogenic and commonly used in the biotechnology and food industries. The study, published on July 19th in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens, was led by Alexander Douglass of University College Dublin in Ireland.

Framework to help integrate social sciences into neglected tropical disease interventions

It has long been argued that social science perspectives have a great deal to offer the world of global public health. A new paper, published this week in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, lays out an accessible and actionable socio-anthropological framework for understanding the effectiveness factors of neglected tropical disease (NTD) interventions.

Nutrient supplement bar improves lung function in asthmatic adolescents

A small pilot clinical trial published in The FASEB Journal shows that targeted nutrient therapy can improve lung function in obese individuals with asthma without requiring weight loss. Specifically, the study demonstrated that eating two CHORI-Bars (patent-pending supplement bars designed to fill nutritional gaps in poor diets) daily for eight weeks improved lung function in obese adolescents with a form of asthma that is resistant to usual treatments. With a sample size of 56 participants, these findings are provocative and point to the need for larger trials.

New treatment in the works for disfiguring skin disease vitiligo

In many parts of the world there is great shame and stigma tied to vitiligo, an autoimmune disease of the skin that causes disfiguring white spots, which can appear anywhere on the body. In some societies, individuals with vitiligo, and even their family members, are shunned and excluded from arranged marriages. The rejection is so crippling that one person suffering from the disease even requested an amputation of his forearm affected by vitiligo because he could marry with only one arm, but could not with vitiligo.

New technology can keep an eye on babies' movements in the womb

A new system for monitoring fetal movements in the womb, developed by Imperial researchers, could make keeping an eye on high-risk pregnancies easier.

How maternal diet could change the infant gut microbiome

UNSW Sydney researchers presenting at the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Conference in Sydney this week highlighted evidence that suggest changes to a mother's microbiome, or gut health, brought on by obesity or a high fat diet during pregnancy can be transferred to the microbiome of her offspring.

Four in five lung cancers preventable through healthy lifestyle

New research from UNSW Sydney reveals the burden of lung cancer in Australia that can be prevented by adopting healthy lifestyle behaviours, such as quitting smoking, boosting fruit intake and being physically active.

New guidelines to diagnose, manage rare endocrine disorders

International guidelines have been published for the first time to help doctors around the globe diagnose and manage patients with a very rare set of endocrine diseases known as pseudohypoparathyroidism and its related disorders, including Albright hereditary osteodystrophy (AHO).

Decriminalizing pot doesn't lead to increased use by young people

As a handful of states have legalized marijuana for recreational use, some others have taken less dramatic steps toward decriminalizing pot by reducing the legal penalties associated with marijuana possession. In the latter, for example, possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use is considered a civil or local infraction—similar to simple traffic violations—rather than a state crime.

Does osteopathy work?

Every year, Australian osteopaths provide around 3.9 million clinical consultations.

Boys should be given HPV jab, says vaccine committee

It's nearly a decade since the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine was first introduced in the UK to help protect against the virus that causes most cases of cervical cancer. But until now, it has only been routinely offered to girls.

Overuse of antibiotics not what the doctor ordered

With increased use of antibiotics worldwide linked to growing antibiotic resistance, a world-first study co-authored by a QUT researcher has highlighted the growing impact of non-prescription supply of antibiotics in community pharmacies, and the urgent need for better enforcement of laws.

Using an electronic device counteracts benefits of taking a break in nature, researchers find

Being in nature helps restore your brain's ability to focus attention on a task. But if you are checking social media on your phone or answering emails on your laptop – even if you are doing so while surrounded by trees – your brain is not getting the benefits that nature offers.

Mum's sleep matters—the effect of sleep on an unborn baby

How much sleep mothers get when they are pregnant can impact on the health of their growing baby, according to a new scoping study conducted by the University of South Australia.

How gift cards initiate children into the world of 'credit'

Western children have more toys, games and possessions than ever before. And Australia has one of the highest rates of average spending per child on toys. Faced with a glut of children's toys at home, more and more parents are presenting gift cards in lieu of presents.

What you need to know about CBD oil

There's plenty of anecdotal evidence that Cannabidiol (CBD) oil – a concentrated oily extract made from cannabis – can help treat a variety of ailments. It's said to help with everything from epileptic seizures to opioid addiction, PTSD to arthritis.

US health care companies begin exploring blockchain technologies

The sprawling U.S. health care industry has trouble managing patient information: Every doctor, medical office, hospital, pharmacy, therapist and insurance company needs different pieces of data to properly care for patients. These records are scattered all over on each business's computers – and some no doubt in filing cabinets too. They're not all kept up to date with current information, as a person's prescriptions change or new X-rays are taken, and they're not easily shared from one provider to another.

Reeling from the news? Train your brain to feel better with these 4 techniques

Americans have been barraged in the past couple of weeks by a series of major news events – some of them unsettling. President Trump's trip to Europe left many unsettled, anxious or jittery about the future of the decades-old U.S. relations with Europe, and a summit with Russia's President Vladimir Putin left many uneasy when Trump did not forcefully back the findings of American intelligence agencies.

Uruguay marks a year of pot pharmacies - "it's like selling aspirin"

Enrique Curbelo is delighted. Selling cannabis has allowed the affable 76-year-old to keep his privately owned pharmacy in Montevideo open in a market dominated by big chains.

Analytical tool predicts genes that can cause disease by producing altered proteins

Predicting genes that can cause disease due to the production of truncated or altered proteins that take on a new or different function, rather than those that lose their function, is now possible thanks to an international team of researchers, including researchers from Baylor College of Medicine, that has developed a new analytical tool to effectively and efficiently predict such candidate genes.

High fruit and vegetable consumption may reduce risk of breast cancer, especially aggressive tumors

Women who eat a high amount of fruits and vegetables each day may have a lower risk of breast cancer, especially of aggressive tumors, than those who eat fewer fruits and vegetables, according to a new study led by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. In their findings, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, and yellow and orange vegetables, had a particularly significant association with lower breast cancer risk.

App, brief intervention may be lifesaver for suicidal teens

A troubled teenager is hospitalized with suicidal thoughts. The patient is diagnosed, medicated, and counseled by a team of experts.

Careful patient selection is the key to achieving the best results for vaginal mesh surgery

The high number of reported complications from transvaginal repairs for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) using vaginal mesh have led to a significant decline in its use, despite its initial promise. Following a six-year analysis of California records of pelvic organ prolapse repairs, investigators reporting in the Journal of Urology conclude that use of vaginal mesh may be appropriate in specific cases provided the risk of surgical complications is carefully weighed against the risk of repeat surgery for recurrent prolapse.

Wait, just a second, is your doctor listening?

On average, patients get about 11 seconds to explain the reasons for their visit before they are interrupted by their doctors. Also, only one in three doctors provides their patients with adequate opportunity to describe their situation. The pressure to rush consultations affects specialists more than primary care doctors says Naykky Singh Ospina of the University of Florida, Gainesville and the Mayo Clinic in the US. She led research that investigated the clinical encounters between doctors and their patients, how the conversation between them starts, and whether patients are able to set the agenda. The study is in the Journal of General Internal Medicine which is the official journal of the Society of General Internal Medicine and is published by Springer.

Anesthesia, surgery linked to decline in memory and thinking

In adults over 70, exposure to general anesthesia and surgery is associated with a subtle decline in memory and thinking skills, according to new Mayo Clinic research. The study analyzed nearly 2,000 participants in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging and found that exposure to anesthesia after age 70 was linked to long-term changes in brain function. The results appear in the British Journal of Anaesthesia.

Study: ADHD drugs do not improve cognition in healthy college students

Contrary to popular belief across college campuses, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications may fail to improve cognition in healthy students and actually can impair functioning, according to a study by researchers at the University of Rhode Island and Brown University.

Researchers uncover methods to quantify the yips and golfer's cramp

Almost every golfer knows the feeling. Minutes after a picture-perfect drive down the fairway, a cascade of inexplicable missed putts leads to a disappointing triple bogey.

Understanding the neuroscience of binge drinking

A new study from researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center found that binge drinking impairs working memory in the adolescent brain. The study, in mice, explains why teenagers who binge drink are 15 times more likely to become alcoholics during adulthood.

Analysis of prostate tumors reveals clues to cancer's aggressiveness

Using genetic sequencing, scientists have revealed the complete DNA makeup of more than 100 aggressive prostate tumors, pinpointing important genetic errors these deadly tumors have in common. The study lays the foundation for finding new ways to treat prostate cancer, particularly for the most aggressive forms of the disease.

Sunscreen reduces melanoma risk by 40 per cent in young people

A world-first study led by University of Sydney has found that Australians aged 18-40 years who were regular users of sunscreen in childhood reduced their risk of developing melanoma by 40 percent, compared to those who rarely used sunscreen.

Are you prone to feeling guilty? Then you're probably more trustworthy, study shows

It turns out your mother was right: guilt is a powerful motivator.

Gene tests can provide health clues—and needless worry

Last year, Katie Burns got a phone call that shows what can happen in medicine when information runs ahead of knowledge.

Poll: If DNA shows health risks, most want to know

Would you want to know if you harbor a gene linked to Alzheimer's or another incurable disease? A new poll finds most Americans would.

These pills could be next US drug epidemic, public health officials say

The growing use of anti-anxiety pills reminds some doctors of the early days of the opioid crisis.

Study finds Medicaid expansion boosts employment

Individuals with disabilities are significantly more likely to be employed in states that have expanded Medicaid coverage as part of the Affordable Care Act, new research from the University of Kansas has found. Similarly, individuals who report not working because of a disability have significantly declined in expansion states, while neither trend happened in states that chose not to expand Medicaid.

US opioid prescribing rates by congressional district

Congressional districts with the highest opioid prescribing rates are predominantly concentrated in the southeastern U.S., with other hotspots in Appalachia and the rural west, according to a new study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The study, the first to focus on opioid prescribing rates at the congressional district level, could help policy makers at the federal and state level better target intervention and prevention strategies.

Diabetes increases the risk of cancer, with a higher risk in women

Diabetes is a risk factor for all-site cancer for both men and women, but the increased risk is higher in women than in men, according to a new article in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes).

Broken bones among older people increase risk of death for up to 10 years

Broken bones among older people increase their risk of death for up to 10 years, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Supplement may ease the pain of sickle cell disease

(HealthDay)—An FDA-approved supplement reduces episodes of severe pain in people with sickle cell disease, a new clinical trial shows.

Longest study yet finds adult kids of lesbian moms are doing fine

(HealthDay)—Young adults raised by lesbian moms show the same mental well-being as those who grew up with heterosexual parents, a new study suggests.

Seven strategies can help practices manage staff time off

(HealthDay)—Several strategies can be implemented to help address management of staff time off, allowing mutual respect for the employee and employer requests, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

Overall cancer mortality rates decreasing for men and women

(HealthDay)—Cancer incidence rates have decreased among men but remained stable among women, while cancer death rates are decreasing for both men and women, according to a report published in the July 1 issue of Cancer.

Affected by the valsartan heart drug recall? here's what to do

(HealthDay)—After the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced last week that certain brands of blood pressure medicines contained a carcinogen and were being recalled, many patients may wonder what's next for their cardiovascular care.

More U.S. teens shunning drugs, alcohol

(HealthDay)—Over the last four decades, more American teenagers have decided to say no to drugs and alcohol, a new report shows.

Stroke survivor's tattoo gets people talking

Scars are a natural sign of healing, but not every physical trauma leaves a visible reminder. The only outward sign that 27-year-old Skylar Doerwaldt is a stroke survivor is of her choosing: a tattoo on her left forearm.

Patients care about the clothes doctors wear

(HealthDay)—Patients do in fact care what doctors wear, according to a study recently published in BMJ Open.

Both high and low uric acid levels tied to higher mortality

(HealthDay)—Both high and low uric acid levels are associated with an increased risk of dying, according to a study published in the July issue of Arthritis & Rheumatology.

Link for asbestos-free talcum powder, cancer not clear

(HealthDay)—Talcum powder, made from talc, which contains asbestos is considered carcinogenic to humans, while the carcinogenicity of talc without asbestos is unclear, according to the American Cancer Society.

Variations in practice patterns seen in patients treated for COPD

(HealthDay)—There are significant variations in practice patterns and resource utilization in patients treated by teaching staff for acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD), compared to non-teaching staff, according to a study published in the June issue of the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice.

Hand-holding, stress ball don't cut anxiety in skin CA removal

(HealthDay)—Hand-holding and squeezing a stress ball do not provide anxiety reduction among patients during excisional removal of non-melanoma skin cancer, according to a study published online July 18 in JAMA Dermatology.

Social Impact Bonds have a role but are no panacea for public service reform

Led by the Policy Innovation Research Unit at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine with RAND Europe, and funded by the NIHR Policy Research Programme of the Department of Health and Social Care, the findings show that policymakers should focus on the components within SIBs that show promise in developing outcome-based contracting, such as personalised support to clients, and greater flexibility and innovation in service delivery, while avoiding the notion that SIB offer the only way forward for such contracting.

Disparities in cancer mortality rates among minority subpopulations in NY

Analysis of cancer death data from 2008-2014 in New York state revealed high cancer mortality rates among U.S.-born blacks and Puerto Ricans and relatively low cancer mortality rates among Hispanic South Americans and Asians.

Gene regulator may contribute to protein pileup in exfoliation glaucoma

In exfoliation glaucoma, a protein dandruff clogs the outflow pathway for the fluid in our eyes.

Stay sun safe for your DNA

Important parts of our DNA don't get easily repaired after being exposed to sunlight, cancer scientists at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have shown.

Few skaters in New York City skateboard parks wear helmets or protective gear, study finds

With the growing popularity of skateboarding, injury rates due to falls are climbing dramatically. Yet few riders in New York City skateboard parks are taking precautions. Only 10 percent wear a helmet and an even lower number (8 percent) wear an elbow/knee pad or wrist guard. Even in skateboard parks where helmets are required, more than 80 percent still don't wear a helmet.

Medical device company settles US case over false claims

A New York-based medical device company will pay the U.S. government $12.5 million to resolve allegations that it had health care providers submit false claims to federal programs.

Coffee shop serves hope to people recovering from addiction

A Pennsylvania town's newest coffee shop is offering people recovering from opioid addiction a fresh start, one steaming cup of java at a time.

Study reveals long-term effectiveness of therapy for common cause of kidney failure

New research provides support for the long-term efficacy of a drug used to treat in patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), a common cause of kidney failure. The findings appear in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).

Selecting a personal trainer

(HealthDay)—A personal trainer can design an exercise program to meet your fitness goals, keep you motivated and adapt your training as you progress.

Salmonella outbreak linked to hy-vee spring pasta salad

(HealthDay)—A Salmonella outbreak that's sickened 21 people in five states has been linked to Hy-Vee Spring Pasta Salad. Five people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

Non-invasive tests to provide quicker diagnosis of endometriosis

Non-surgical ways of detecting endometriosis, such as blood tests, could reduce the time taken for a diagnosis, and researchers hope it will have a significant impact on the quality of life of women who live with the complex and painful condition.

Biology news

Complete fly brain imaged at nanoscale resolution

Two high-speed electron microscopes. 7,062 brain slices. 21 million images.

From cradle to grave: Model identifies factors that shaped evolution

Understanding the many factors that have played into shaping the biodiversity within Earth's ecosystems can be daunting. In a major step to that end, an international team of researchers built a computer simulation that takes into account many of the fundamental factors that drive evolutionary adaptation and extinction.

Viruses cooperate to overcome immune defences of bacteria

Virus particles that infect bacteria can work together to overcome antiviral defences, new research shows.

New insights into plants' conquest of land

The Earth is filled with diverse and remarkable plant forms from the tallest redwoods that pierce forest canopies, to the smallest mosses that blanket the ground underfoot.

In a warming climate, Arctic geese are rushing north

As Arctic temperatures continue to rise, migratory barnacle geese have responded by speeding up their 3,000-kilometer migration in order to reach their destination more quickly with fewer stops along the way, according to new evidence reported in Current Biology on July 19. Unfortunately, the birds' earlier arrival isn't making as much of a difference as one might expect. That's because, when the geese reach their Arctic breeding grounds after an accelerated marathon flight, they must take extra time to refuel their own bodies before laying eggs.

Fruit fly species can learn each other's dialects

Fruit flies from different species can warn each other when parasitic wasps are near. But according to a new study led by Balint Z. Kacsoh of Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, published July 19th in PLOS Genetics, they are more likely to get the message across if the fly species have previously cohabited and learned each other's dialects.

First-ever habitat connectivity report using species data shows positive impact of policies on butterflies

Butterflies are benefitting from environmental action to increase their habitats, scientists have argued following a pioneering government report.

Monkeys benefit from the nut-cracking abilities of chimpanzees and hogs

To investigate the scavenging behaviour first author Bryndan van Pinxteren of the University of Amsterdam analysed all video material from the camera traps by scoring the visiting behaviour of mangabey monkeys, fowl species and squirrels to chimpanzee nut-cracking sites in relation to known nut-cracking events. Furthermore, since mangabeys are infrequently preyed upon by chimpanzees, he investigated whether they perceive an increased predation risk when approaching nut remnants. In total, 190 nut-cracking events were observed in four different areas of Tai National Park, Ivory Coast.

Long-term changes crucial in charting future of ecosystems

Changes in ecosystems that happen over years can often go unnoticed. That is why long-term research is important in restoring and managing the Florida Everglades and other vulnerable ecosystems, according to a new Florida International University study.

How plant breeding technologies could make fruits and vegetables more exciting to eat

Forget vegetables with dull colors and fuzzy skin or fruits that lack of flavor—the produce aisle of the future could offer plant products that are designed for creative cooks and fussy eaters. In a review article published July 19 in the journal Trends in Plant Science, two food researchers describe how new breeding technologies have the potential to enhance the shape, size, color, and health benefits of produce, as well as to inform conventional breeding programs.

Phages work together to suppress CRISPR bacterial immunity

CRISPR, or clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats, are an essential part of bacterial immunity designed to defend against foreign DNA. In bacteria, CRISPR acts just like it does in human cells as a pair of scissors, in their case with the goal of cutting strands of infecting DNA. While researchers have known that CRISPR is found in roughly half of all bacteria in the wild, they did not know much about the molecular battle between CRISPRs and invading viruses or phages.

Most Americans support Endangered Species Act despite increasing efforts to curtail it

Just about any news story about the Endangered Species Act includes a prominent mention of the controversy around the 45-year-old law.

Taking the lead toward witchweed control

A compound that binds to and inhibits a crucial receptor protein offers a new route for controlling a parasitic plant.

The case for introducing rhinos to Australia

Rhinos in Australia might seem like an insane proposition – after all, we've had historically bad luck with introduced species. But on reflection it's not quite as crazy as it sounds.

Long way home as Przewalski's horses fly to Mongolia

Their violent kicks rattle the small army plane flying over Siberia as it transports the four rare horses from Prague to the vast Mongolian steppe where the once near-extinct species is slowly recovering.

Scientists surmount epigenetic barriers to cloning with two-pronged approach

An international group of researchers have raised the viability of mice that were cloned using a method called somatic cell nuclear transfer, by stimulating two epigenetic factors, and by doing this have shown that creating cloned animals more efficiently will require further work in the area of epigenetics. They have also uncovered a key epigenetic mechanism that appears to be a major impediment to the development of the fetus after implantation.

Learning from 'Little Monsters'

Caddisflies, crustaceans, mollusks and flatworms. Those are just a few of the curious creatures known as benthic (bottom-dwelling) invertebrates and commonly found in small streams. Fingernail clams and oligochaetes are part of the menagerie, too.

Bengal cat receives first feline hip replacement surgery performed at Purdue Veterinary Teaching Hospital

As busy as it is beautiful, the Bengal cat is an energetic domestic breed that tends to have a lot in common with its cousins in the wild – high jumping, climbing and even a love for water. So, imagine the pain and disappointment when Fridgey, a 2-year-old Bengal cat, started to have problems with his hips.

Premature baby penguin recovers after parents broke her egg

London Zoo says a premature baby penguin has been nursed back to health after her parents accidentally stepped on her egg and broke it.

Trump aims to end automatic protections for some species

The Trump administration on Thursday proposed ending automatic protections for threatened animal and plant species and limiting habitat safeguards that are meant to shield recovering species from harm.


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