Friday, August 31, 2018

Science X Newsletter Friday, Aug 31

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for August 31, 2018:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

A new way to remove ice buildup without power or chemicals

Machine learning enables physics-inspired metrics for analyzing art

'Molecular hopper' small enough to move single DNA strands

Networked UAV Defense Swarms to defend against malicious drones

The swing doctors: Physicist cracks code on material that works as both conductor, insulator

A master switch controls aggressive breast cancer

Water worlds could support life: Analysis challenges idea that life requires 'Earth clone'

Microsoft patch awaited for zero-day vulnerability

A telephone for your microbiome

Printing with sound: Researchers use acoustic forces to print droplets that couldn't be printed before

Chemists show that the 18-electron principle is not limited to transition metals

Team reveals that human genome could contain up to 20 percent fewer genes

Discovery of long-lived macrophages in the intestine

Cracking the problem of mass produced molecular junctions

Study links aortic stiffness with lower cerebral blood flow

Astronomy & Space news

Water worlds could support life: Analysis challenges idea that life requires 'Earth clone'

The conditions for life surviving on planets entirely covered in water are more fluid than previously thought, opening up the possibility that water worlds could be habitable, according to a new paper from the University of Chicago and Pennsylvania State University.

Mars dust storm clears, raising hope for stalled NASA rover

One of the biggest Martian dust storms on record is clearing up after nearly three months, raising hope that NASA's stranded, solar-powered robotic vehicle, Opportunity, will soon come back to life.

Game-changing resolution—whose name on the laws of physics for an expanding universe?

Astronomers are engaged in a lively debate over plans to rename one of the laws of physics.

Martian skies clearing over Opportunity rover

A planet-encircling dust storm on Mars, which was first detected May 30 and halted operations for the Opportunity rover, continues to abate.

BepiColombo science orbiters stacked together

The two science orbiters of the joint ESA-JAXA BepiColombo mission are connected in their launch configuration and the European science orbiter and transport module have been given the go-ahead to be loaded with propellants.

Russia: Space station air pressure restored after leak

Russia's space agency says air pressure on the International Space Station has been restored to proper levels after a leak was repaired.

International Astronomical Union agrees on a new reference frame for directions in space

In the future, when spacecrafts are sent to other planets or when the rotation of planet Earth is studied, a new reference frame will be used. On 30 August, at the General Meeting of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in Vienna, the new international celestial reference frame ICRF3 was adopted, allowing for more precise directional specifications in space. It is based on the accurate measurement of over 4000 extragalactic radio sources. TU Wien (Vienna) played an important role in the international consortium, which was in charge of providing the new realization.

Technology news

Machine learning enables physics-inspired metrics for analyzing art

An international research collaborative reports that a systematized AI analysis of artwork produced over the last millenium yields revealing information about historical evolutionary artistic trends. Additionally, the results map well to canonical concepts about styles and periods of art history.

Networked UAV Defense Swarms to defend against malicious drones

A team of researchers at the University of Luxembourg have developed a new feasible and efficient defense system for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Their system, outlined in a paper pre-published on arXiv, consists of a defense UAV swarm that can self-organize its defense formation when it detects an intruder, chasing the malicious UAV as a networked swarm.

Microsoft patch awaited for zero-day vulnerability

A Windows zero-day bug has made the news. By zero-day, it means that a vulnerability has been exposed but it is not yet patched.

Printing with sound: Researchers use acoustic forces to print droplets that couldn't be printed before

Harvard University researchers have developed a new printing method that uses sound waves to generate droplets from liquids with an unprecedented range of composition and viscosity. This technique could finally enable the manufacturing of many new biopharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and food and expand the possibilities of optical and conductive materials.

Voice assistants tool up in hope of a bright future

Some two years after stepping into the spotlight, voice assistants are learning new languages and connecting to ever-more devices around the home—but mass adoption and widespread ease with the new technology remain some way off.

Lab unveils the world's first rollable touch-screen tablet, inspired by ancient scrolls

A Queen's University research team has taken a page from history, rolled it up and created the MagicScroll – a rollable touch-screen tablet designed to capture the seamless flexible screen real estate of ancient scrolls in a modern-day device. Led by bendable-screen pioneer Dr. Roel Vertegaal, this new technology is set to push the boundaries of flexible device technology into brand new territory.

Game over? China to rein in online games in latest industry setback

China will restrict the number of video games and take steps to curb playing time by minors to address growing rates of childhood visual impairment as the government steps up its crackdown on the world's biggest online gaming market.

Robotel: Japan hotel staffed by robot dinosaurs

The reception at the Henn na Hotel east of Tokyo is eerily quiet until customers approach the robot dinosaurs manning the front desk. Their sensors detect the motion and they bellow "Welcome."

Introducing high-performance non-fullerene organic solar cells

Organic solar cells (OSCs) has driven their efficiencies to above 10 percent to reach a viable level for commercialization. However, the increase in the photoactive layer thickness has resulted in lower efficiency levels, which therefore brings much complex manufacturing process.

Natural gas engine can reduce smog from heavy-duty trucks

The University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) and Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced the results of a new study on ultra-low emission natural gas heavy-duty engines, showing a new 11.9-liter engine achieved California's lowest smog-forming emissions standard, and maintained those emissions during all types of driving.

Breakthrough research finds hyperspectral imaging can characterize building material strengths

Professor Debra Laefer from NYU's Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), in collaboration with Professor Aoife Gowen and Zohreh Zahiri from the University College Dublin, recently demonstrated for the first time the ability to use hyperspectral imaging to characterize differing strengths within a single type of construction material. With proper post-processing of the data, hyperspectral imaging can automatically and reliably detect weak from strong hardened concrete and normally fired bricks. All of this is done without any destructive testing or direct contact with the materials. The concrete results were just published in Construction and Building Materials.

When AI meets your shopping experience it knows what you buy – and what you ought to buy

Whether you do your shopping online or in store, your retail experience is the latest battleground for the artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning revolution.

Google News serves conservatives and liberals similar results, but favors mainstream media

Google News does not deliver different news to users based on their position on the political spectrum, despite accusations from conservative commentators and even President Donald Trump. Rather than contributing to the sort of "echo chamber" problem that critics fear have plagued Facebook and other social media networks, our research has found that Google News algorithms recommended virtually identical news sources to both liberals and conservatives. That's an important point to keep in mind when evaluating accusations that Google News is biased.

Emergencies at the big game? New technology may help police find those situations quicker

Medical emergencies for fans during athletic events can quickly turn into life-or-death situations. That's why as another Boilermaker football season gets underway, Purdue University researchers are using technology to help police monitor emergency and public safety information on game day.

California legislators advance bill to set strongest net neutrality protections in U.S.

California lawmakers advanced an ambitious proposal Thursday to prevent broadband providers from hindering or manipulating access to the internet, bringing the state closer to enacting the strongest net neutrality protections in the country.

Beijing's massive new airport 'on time' for 2019 launch

Amid farmlands on the outskirts of Beijing, a massive construction site rising above the horizon bustles with activity as 8,000 workers build a new mega airport.

Vodafone seals merger to become India's biggest telecoms group

The Indian offshoot of Britain's Vodafone on Friday completed a merger with Idea Cellular to become the country's biggest mobile phone company with more than 400 million customers.

Shipbuilders replace stealthy US destroyer's 15-ton turbine

Shipbuilder Bath Iron Works has replaced one of the massive turbines on the future USS Michael Monsoor, and the stealthy destroyer is scheduled to depart for San Diego in November.

London's new train line delayed for nearly a year

London's new train line, which was set to open through the city centre in December, has been put back for nearly a year, the mammoth Crossrail project announced Friday.

Eight aero concept innovations point the way to 75% CO2 emissions reduction by 2050

The EU's 2050 vision for aviation is to make Europe a world leader in sustainable aviation products and services while meeting the needs of its citizens and society. To this end, it has set an extremely challenging goal: to reduce aircraft energy consumption and CO2 emissions per passenger kilometre by 75 % by the year 2050.

Leading the way in 3-D concrete printing

The transformative technology of 3-D printing is shaking up many sectors of industry, but it's nothing compared to the disruption coming to construction.

LinkedIn says it's working to combat Chinese spy accounts

LinkedIn says it's working to combat Chinese espionage activity targeting users of the online career network.

Medicine & Health news

A master switch controls aggressive breast cancer

A team at the Salk Institute has identified a master switch that appears to control the dynamic behavior of tumor cells that makes some aggressive cancers so difficult to treat. The gene Sox10 directly controls the growth and invasion of a significant fraction of hard-to-treat triple-negative breast cancers.

Team reveals that human genome could contain up to 20 percent fewer genes

A new study led by the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) reveals that up to 20 percent of genes classified as coding (those that produce the proteins that are the building blocks of all living things) may not be coding after all because they have characteristics that are typical of non-coding or pseudogenes (obsolete coding genes). The consequent reduction in the size of the human genome could have important effects in biomedicine, since the number of genes that produce proteins and their identification is of vital importance for the investigation of multiple diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Discovery of long-lived macrophages in the intestine

Macrophages are specialised immune cells that destroy bacteria and other harmful organisms. Scientists at KU Leuven, Belgium, have come to the surprising conclusion that some macrophages in the intestines of mice can survive for quite some time. Most importantly, these long-lived macrophages are vital for the survival of the nerve cells of the gastrointestinal tract. This sheds new light on neurodegenerative conditions of the intestine, but also of the brain.

Study links aortic stiffness with lower cerebral blood flow

Greater aortic stiffness is related to lower cerebral blood flow, especially among individuals with increased genetic predisposition to Alzheimer's disease, according to research from Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Optogenetic profiling used to identify alterations in Ras signaling dynamics within cancer cells

A team of researchers at the University of California has found that altering the signals that cells use to communicate with one another can cause changes to transcriptional outcomes, possibly resulting in the development of tumors. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes using optogenetics to carry out extracellular signaling to learn more about its impact on cell proliferation. Walter Kolch and Christina Kiel with University Dublin offer a Perspective piece on the work done by the team in California in the same journal issue.

Learning to lie has cognitive benefits, study finds

It's a tenet of Parenting 101 that kids should tell the truth. But a recent study co-authored by the University of Toronto's Kang Lee suggests that learning to lie can confer cognitive benefits.

Liver disease drug could help restore cells damaged by Alzheimer's

A drug which has been used to treat liver disease for decades could help to restore cells damaged by Alzheimer's, a new study from the University of Sheffield has found.

Genetics and pollution drive severity of asthma symptoms

Asthma patients, with a specific genetic profile, exhibit more intense symptoms following exposure to traffic pollution, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health and collaborators. The study appeared online in Scientific Reports.

ADHD rates rising sharply in US kids

(HealthDay)—The number of ADHD diagnoses among children has risen dramatically in the past two decades, going from 6 percent to 10 percent, a new report shows.

Depression strikes nearly one in five young adults with autism: study

(HealthDay)—Depression affects almost 20 percent of young adults with autism, new research shows, a rate that's more than triple that seen in the general population.

Russia: Increases in life expectancy, decreases in child deaths, use of alcohol, tobacco

Life expectancy in Russia between 1994 and 2016 increased by more than 7 years, while rates of death among children under age 5 decreased nearly 60%, according to the most extensive health study on the nation ever conducted.

New program boosts use of HIV medications in injection-drug users

A relatively simple effort to provide counseling and connect injection-drug users with resources could prove powerful against the spread of HIV in a notoriously hard-to-reach population, new research suggests.

New guideline aids in diagnosing idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

A new international guideline has been developed to help physicians diagnosis idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a rare and often fatal lung disease whose cause is unknown.

Stroke doubles dementia risk, concludes large-scale study

People who have had a stroke are around twice as likely to develop dementia, according to the largest study of its kind ever conducted.

HPTN 074 demonstrates significant benefits among people living with HIV who inject drugs

Investigators from the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) today announced The Lancet has published key results from HPTN 074. At 52 weeks from enrollment, participants in the intervention arm nearly doubled their antiretroviral therapy usage, viral suppression and medication-assisted treatment usage compared to the standard of care arm. Mortality was also reduced by more than half with the intervention. The HPTN 074 study assessed an integrated intervention combining psychosocial counseling and supported referrals for antiretroviral therapy at any CD4 cell count and substance use treatment for people living with HIV who inject drugs compared to the locally available standard of care. The primary objectives of the study included estimating incidence in the standard of care arm while assessing the uptake of an integrated HIV prevention intervention.

African armed conflict kills more children indirectly than in actual fighting, study finds

More children die from the indirect impact of armed conflicts in Africa than by weapons used in those conflicts, according to a new study led by Stanford University researchers.

Number of very elderly needing round-the-clock care set to double by 2035 in England

The number of adults aged 85 years and older needing round-the-clock care will almost double to 446,000 in England over the next 20 years, whilst the overall numbers of over-65s requiring 24-hour care will rise by more than third to over 1 million in 2035, according a new modelling study published in The Lancet Public Health.

Cryptosporidiosis worsened in mice on probiotics

In an unexpected research finding infections with the intestinal parasite, Cryptosporidium parvum, worsened in mice that had been given a probiotic. The research was published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Using telemedicine to increase life expectancy

Telemedical interventional management reduces hospitalisations and prolongs the life of patients with heart failure. Researchers from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin have shown that these findings apply equally to patients in rural and in metropolitan settings. Results from this research have been published in The Lancet.

Researchers discover a novel role of protein in important pathways that lead to cancer malignancy

Japanese researchers have revealed for the first time that a specific protein plays a critical role in the development and metastasis of highly aggressive prostate and breast cancer cells.

Novel therapeutic strategy for blood vessel related disorders, such as cancer and retinopathy

A multi-disciplinary team of scientists, led by prof. Peter Carmeliet (VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology) has made several breakthrough discoveries concerning the metabolism of the individual building blocks of blood vessels—the so-called endothelial cells. They identified three key proteins that determine how blood vessels grow and behave, and that may become new therapeutic targets in blood vessel related disorders, such as life-threatening cancers and blinding eye diseases. The findings have been published in Nature and Cell Metabolism.

Genetically encoded sensor tracks changes in oxygen levels with very high sensitivity

Based on a protein from E. coli, scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed a fluorescent protein sensor able to provide real-time information on dynamic changes in oxygen levels with very high sensitivity. As the oxygen level is a major determinant of cellular function, the idea behind this sensor may revolutionize our ability to detect cellular changes of critical importance, such as in tumors and following stroke and heart attack.

In test with rats, cannabidiol showed sustained effects against depression for seven days

Commercial antidepressants typically take two to four weeks to have a significant effect on a depressed patient. They are also ineffective in approximately 40 percent of cases. Finding new, fast-acting drugs for depression with longer-lasting effects is the goal of research conducted by Brazilian scientists in São Paulo State in collaboration with Danish colleagues.

You are never too old for the Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet contributes to long life for elderly people. This is the conclusion of a study by the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention of the I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed, in Molise, Italy, published in the British Journal of Nutrition. Researchers analyzed the relationship between the traditional Mediterranean diet and mortality in a sample of more than 5,000 people over 65 years of age participating in the Moli-sani Study and followed up for eight years.

Using light to fight GVHD

Extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) is used to treat chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD)—a complication of bone marrow or stem cell transplant that occurs when donor cells attack the recipient. How ECP works is unclear, and standardized treatment guidelines have not been established.

Researchers report mechanisms governing body temperature regulation

Researchers from Kanazawa University report in the Journal of Neuroscience on a microdialysis study on mice to determine mechanisms underlying the inflammatory response in the brain associated with fever. Their findings might be used to develop new strategies for treatment.

Team isolates antibodies that neutralize GI bug norovirus

Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center have isolated the first human monoclonal antibodies that can neutralize norovirus, the leading cause of acute gastrointestinal illness in the world.

Eating less is healthy thanks to gut bacteria

Mice with a lower calorie intake live longer and are both healthier and leaner. A team of researchers funded by the SNSF may have found the reason for this positive effect: much of it is down to gut microbial communities and how they affect the immune system. The researchers also found compounds that mimic caloric restriction and may transform obesity treatments.

Matcha green tea kills cancer stem cells in tests

Matcha, the green tea packed with antioxidants, is often hailed as containing properties which prevent disease. Scientists in Salford, UK have shed a ray of light on the claim by testing it on cancer stem cells – with surprising results.

How tiny metal beads could make chemotherapy more effective for brain tumours

Treatments for brain tumours aren't good enough. Only around 1 in 7 people will survive their disease for a decade or longer. And those in this small but fortunate fraction may also be left with lifelong reminders of their cancer in the form of side effects from their treatment.

Who wins when a prescription copay exceeds the drug price? Not the patient

Prescription drug copayments often exceed the retail cost of a drug, a recent USC study reveals. This means that technically an overpayment occurs, and someone—not the patient—keeps the excess payment.

Similar changes in the brains of patients with ADHD and emotional instability

In both ADHD and emotional instability disorders (e.g. borderline and antisocial personality disorder, as well as conduct disorder in children), the brain exhibits similar changes in overlapping areas, meaning that the two types of conditions should be seen as related and attention should be paid to both during diagnosis. This is according to a new study published in Molecular Psychiatry. The results can lead to a broader treatment for both conditions.

Parkinson's disease: An endogenous protein might become a candidate for drug development

Researchers have modified the protein Nurr1 so that it can enter cells from the outside. Nurr1 deficiency may be one of the causes of Parkinson's disease. Even though Nurr1 has been discussed as a potential target for the treatment of Parkinson's disease, it is unusable in its normal form, as it cannot penetrate cells. A team from Ruhr-Universität Bochum and the US-American National Institutes of Health (NIH) deployed a bacterial import signal in order to deliver Nurr1 into cells. The researchers also demonstrated that the modified protein may have a positive effect on the survival of dopamine-producing nerve cells. They describe their results in the journal Molecular Neurobiology from 18 August 2018.

Prostate problems also associated with sleep disorders and depression

Men who suffer from urological problems such as erectile dysfunction, urinary tract and bladder problems or infertility issues often also suffer from depression and sleep disorders. Physicians should therefore be aware of these risks so that they can refer their patients to relevant specialists and provide comprehensive and timely care of male patients. This is according to Arman Walia of the University of California Irvine in the US, in a study in the Springer Nature-branded IJIR: Your Sexual Medicine Journal.

In the fight against Ebola in the Congo, pregnant women must not be forgotten

The latest outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo was declared on Aug. 1, with more than 100 confirmed and probable cases in eastern provinces. According to Congo's health ministry, more than 70 people have died. International health organizations have called for swift action to avoid the severity of the 2013-16 Ebola outbreak in West Africa that killed more than 11,000 people.

Children's well-being goes hand in hand with their dads' mental health

We know from new research that children whose mothers are depressed may respond differently to stress, have altered immunity and be at greater risk of psychological disorders. This work adds to the body of research showing children can be affected in negative and long-term ways by their mothers' mental ill-health.

Comparing predictors of how cochlear recipients will hear speech

Researchers from the University of Sydney and Cochlear Limited in world-first study that could lead to more accurate predictions of how those with cochlear implants understand speech, allowing for tailoring to individual hearing loss.

Decomposing tears in order to detect dry eye disease

By measuring proteins in tears, ophthalmologists can more easily diagnose dry eyes (dry eye disease). Peter Raus, a Belgian ophthalmologist and Ph.D. student at the Institute of Biology Leiden, developed a new method for protein determination in tear fluid. The technique is also promising for the early diagnosis of diseases such as diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases and even cardiac decompensation. Ph.D. defence 4 September.

Epidemic of poor mental health among low-paid workers

Being lower on the pecking order at work is associated with having serious psychiatric problems, our latest research shows. We found that abusive managers negatively affect the emotional and psychological well-being of those beneath them, and that they make workers feel more paranoid and hyper-vigilant at work.

Research digs up the fat-fighting power of clays

Investigating how clay materials can improve drug delivery, UniSA researcher and Ph.D. candidate, Tahnee Dening serendipitously discovered that the clay materials she was using had a unique ability to "soak up" fat droplets in the gut.

Understanding how visual information guides behavior

To understand more about how we respond to what we see around us, a team of scientists at NERF has zoomed in on the organization of neurons in the superior colliculus, a midbrain structure that mediates orientation responses to visual cues. They found that neurons with similar selectivity are clustered together and that there is a sharp transition in neuronal selectivity along the border where sensory information from both eyes meets.

It's 2018. Do you know where your medical records are?

Can you imagine a future where the question "Did you bring a copy of your test results?" becomes entirely unnecessary?

Open-source AI tool for studying movement across behaviors and species

Understanding the brain, in part, means understanding how behavior is created.

Regulatory and effector B cells control scleroderma

Systemic sclerosis (SSc, also known as scleroderma), a connective tissue disorder of autoimmune etiology, is characterized by excessive fibrosis in the skin and various internal organs. More than 90 percent of SSc patients carry autoantibodies such as anti-DNA topoisomerase I, anti-centromere, and anti-RNA polymerase antibodies. In addition, B cell activating factor (BAFF) is present at elevated levels in patients with SSc and correlates with disease severity. Thus, B cells are considered to play a pathogenic role in SSc.

Positional sleep therapy during pregnancy may promote maternal and fetal health

A new study suggests that an intervention to reduce supine sleep in late pregnancy may promote maternal and fetal health.

Researchers compare chemotherapy regimens for best outcomes in invasive bladder cancer

Patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer have been shown to benefit from chemotherapy prior to surgical removal of the bladder. But which type of chemotherapy leads to the best outcomes in terms of complete response rates or cancer control? Moffitt Cancer Center researchers examined data from more than 800 surgical patients with advanced bladder cancer. The results, published online by JAMA Oncology, show higher likelihoods of complete response or down-staging associated with a chemotherapeutic combination called ddMVAC.

Taming those high-calorie temptations

(HealthDay)—It's the dieter's tug-of-war: the need to lose weight versus the urge to eat high-calorie foods.

Vascular risk factors for brain calcification in seniors identified

(HealthDay)—Diabetes and smoking are vascular risk factors associated with hippocampal calcification in older patients with memory issues, according to a study published in the September issue of Radiology.

Drinking water turned off in all Detroit's public schools

(HealthDay)—Due to elevated levels of lead or copper in drinking water at some schools, drinking water is being turned off in all of Detroit's public schools.

China withholding H7N9 bird flu virus samples from U.S.

(HealthDay)—Chinese officials have not sent lab samples of H7N9 bird flu virus to their U.S. counterparts despite repeated requests and an international agreement.

Allergists warn that chigger bites may cause allergic reaction to red meat

Chiggers, redbugs, harvest mites—whatever you call them, they are pesky little bugs whose bites cause really itchy rashes, usually around the ankles and waistline.

Tempus, Groupon co-founder Eric Lefkofsky's cancer-fighting startup, raises another $110 million

Chicago-based cancer-fighting data startup Tempus is now valued at $2 billion.

Death from touching fentanyl? A myth, says Trump administration training video

The Trump administration on Thursday released a safety training video for emergency responders that aims to dispel myths about the risks of minor exposure to fentanyl, the powerful synthetic opioid.

Investigators reveal how nearby cells shield tumor cells from targeted therapy

The maintenance workers of the vascular system, pericyte cells envelop the surface of blood vessels, supporting their stability, growth and survival. Given that blood vessel growth is one necessary component in tumor development and progression, researchers have lately been investigating the stem cell-like pericytes' role in cancer.

Investigators find that bile acids reduce cocaine reward

Bile acids—gut compounds that aid in the digestion of dietary fats—reduce the desire for cocaine, according to a new study by researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Even the fittest middle-aged athletes can't outrun cardiovascular risk factors

Middle-aged adults are exercising more and living longer, but new research from the University of British Columbia suggests that even the fittest among them are not immune to cardiovascular disease—and they often don't have any symptoms.

Better communication can enhance US chemical exposure incident response, new evaluation says

First responders to major chemical exposure incidents in the United States can improve treatment protocols for at-risk casualties with better communication strategies, according to new analysis in Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Managing multiple health conditions

In the United States, four out of five older adults have multiple chronic health conditions. Many of these people rely on the active support of a family caregiver to help manage their conditions.

FDA warns of dangers of liquid nitrogen in food, drinks

(HealthDay)—You risk serious injury if you consume or handle food and drink products where liquid nitrogen is added just before consumption, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Friday.

An allergy to red meat may be tied to heart disease

(HealthDay)—An allergen in red meat may be tied to heart disease, according to a study published in the July issue of Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

14.6 percent of U.S. adults used marijuana in past year

(HealthDay)—Overall, 14.6 percent of U.S. adults report marijuana use in the past year, according to a research letter published online Aug. 28 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Excess cardiac risk varies with age of onset of T1DM

(HealthDay)—Excess cardiovascular risk varies with age at diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, according to a study published online Aug. 27 in The Lancet.

Medicaid expansion ups access to family planning services

(HealthDay)—One-third of women of reproductive age report better ability to access birth control and family planning services with Medicaid expansion coverage, according to a study published online Aug. 31 in JAMA Network Open.

Mindfulness training acceptable among surgical interns

(HealthDay)—Formal mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) appears to be both feasible and acceptable to surgical interns, according to a pilot study published online Aug. 29 in JAMA Surgery.

Preemptive analgesia may cut post-op pain in anorectal surgery

(HealthDay)—Preemptive pain medication is safe and reduces pain in the early postoperative period for patients undergoing anorectal surgery, according to a study published in the July issue of Diseases of the Colon & Rectum.

Pediatric revisits, admissions for UTI similar with oral or IV meds

(HealthDay)—Very young children with urinary tract infections (UTIs) who receive parenteral antibiotics before emergency department discharge do not have lower rates of revisits leading to admission than children receiving oral antibiotics, according to a study published online Aug. 21 in Pediatrics.

Yemen faces new surge in cholera cases: UN

Yemen faces a possible third wave of a cholera epidemic, the UN warned Thursday, following a jump in the number of suspected cases over recent weeks.

New genetic marker could help diagnose aggressive prostate cancer

Scientists have discovered a link between certain genetic mutations, the aggressiveness of prostate cancer, risk of developing the disease and poorer survival rates of patients. The gene, called ANO7, could play a vital role in improving diagnosis of prostate cancer patients. There are over 50,000 new cases and 11,000 deaths from prostate cancer each year in the U.K.

Exploring the extracellular matrix to uncover hidden drivers of ovarian cancer

To clump together and form living tissue, cells secrete molecules that create structure. But that structure isn't always healthy, and understanding how it goes bad could reveal more about the way cancer develops.

Mammography screening also confers benefits on participants with interval cancer

Participants in the German mammography screening program (MSP) who have invasive breast cancer—including interval cancers—can, on the whole, undergo more sparing surgical treatment compared with non-participants. This is demonstrated by a study in the current issue of the Deutsches Ärzteblatt International. The tumor characteristics and prognostic markers of breast cancers detected in MSP participants at screening, in the interval following negative screening, as well as in non-participants were compared.

Concussion screenings before the first fall whistle

High school sports are gearing up for the fall season, and, with that, comes the risk of concussions. If a child gets a concussion, removing him or her from play is a key part of treatment and recovery. Mayo Clinic experts have developed a screening program that involves testing brain function skills, such as memory, reaction time and recall before the sports season begins. Then, if concussions happen, retesting can determine when it's safe for athletes to return to the game.

Q&A: Pain management during colonoscopy

Dear Mayo Clinic: I just turned 50, and my health care provider recommends that I get a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer. I want to have the test done, but as a recovering addict, I don't want pain medication. Is this possible, or would the pain be too much? What are my other options?

Too much sitting—Nurses' role in educating patients to reduce health risks of prolonged sedentary time

Sitting for too many hours per day, or sitting for long periods without a break, is now known to increase a wide range of health risks, even if one engages in recommended amounts of physical activity. The health risks of prolonged sedentary time - and nurses' role in reducing those risks—are discussed in an integrative literature review and update in the September issue of the American Journal of Nursing.

Patient satisfaction with plastic surgery—it's the surgeon, not the practice

Patient satisfaction after plastic surgery is most affected by surgeon-related factors, such as taking the time to answer questions and including patients in the decision-making process, reports a study in the September issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

UN: 'Substantial risks' remain in Congo's Ebola outbreak

The World Health Organization says "substantial risks" remain in the ongoing Ebola outbreak in northeastern Congo, noting that while control measures appear to be working, health officials are still unable to track exactly where the deadly virus is spreading.

Biology news

A telephone for your microbiome

More than 1,000 species of bacteria have been identified in the human gut, and understanding this incredibly diverse "microbiome" that can greatly impact health and disease is a hot topic in scientific research. Because bacteria are routinely genetically engineered in science labs, there is great excitement about the possibility of tweaking the genes of our intestinal interlopers so that they can do more than just help digest our food (e.g., record information about the state of the gut in real-time, report the presence of disease, etc.). However, little is known about how all those different strains communicate with each other, and whether it is even possible to create the kinds of signaling pathways that would allow information to be passed between them.

Winter wheat breeding increases yield potential

It's been a good year for winter wheat in South Dakota.

US judge blocks grizzly bear hunt near Yellowstone Park

A US judge on Thursday blocked the opening of grizzly bear hunts that were set to take place this weekend around Yellowstone National Park for the first time in 40 years.

Heritability explains fast-learning chicks

Both genetic and environmental factors explain cognitive traits, shows a new study carried out on red junglefowl. Researchers at Linköping University in Sweden have shown that the ability of fowl to cope with difficult learning tasks is heritable, while their optimism can be explained by environmental factors.

Energetic gene switch

Histones are proteins that regulate the unwinding of DNA in the cell nucleus and the expression of genes based on chemical modifications or "marks" that are placed on their tails. Understanding how the histone "code" regulates gene expression is important for understanding disease.

NOAA declares seal die-off as 'unusual mortality event'

The federal government is declaring the deaths of hundreds of seals off the New England coast this summer to be an "unusual mortality event."

Dead dolphins, diseased seals wash up on US shores

Over the past two months, dozens of dead dolphins have washed ashore in Florida and hundreds of diseased seals have died in the northeastern United States, officials said Friday.

Principles of using of vibro-acoustic markers and communicational signals in the process of bees' lives

How do the bees use this system of vibro-acoustical signals? Understanding now, how marker and communicational vibro-acoustic signals are arranged, and what, in principle, they serve, let's consider their application in the daily life of beehives.

Are vulnerable lions eating endangered zebras?

Are Laikipia's recovering lions turning to endangered Grevy's zebras (Equus grevyi) for their next meal?

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