Friday, November 30, 2018

Science X Newsletter Friday, Nov 30

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for November 30, 2018:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Fog robotics: A new approach to achieve efficient and fluent human-robot interaction

A new light on significantly faster computer memory devices

Cracking open a cold one with the flies

Light triggers gold in unexpected way

The Wizard of Oz most 'influential' film of all time according to network science

How the devil ray got its horns

Grasp, connect, help: Amazon unveils service for tapping key medical information

Researchers discover surface of 'ultra-smooth' nanomaterial steeper than Austrian Alps

Eating out, breathing in

Bringing MOFs into the industrial light

Virtual reality could serve as powerful environmental education tool

'Sudoku' X-ray uncovers movements within opaque materials

Babies kicking in the womb are creating a map of their bodies

Newly discovered supernova may rewrite exploding star origin theories

New research could fine-tune the gene scissors CRISPR

Astronomy & Space news

Newly discovered supernova may rewrite exploding star origin theories

A supernova discovered by an international group of astronomers has provided an unprecedented look at the first moments of a violent stellar explosion. The team, led by the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) Institute for Astronomy's (IfA) Ben Shappee and Carnegie Observatories' Tom Holoien, found a mysterious signature in the light from the explosion's first hours. Their findings are published in a trio of papers in the Astrophysical Journal.

Black hole 'donuts' are actually 'fountains'

Based on computer simulations and new observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), researchers have found that the rings of gas surrounding active supermassive black holes are not simple donut shapes. Instead, gas expelled from the center interacts with infalling gas to create a dynamic circulation pattern, similar to a water fountain in a city park.

Study witnesses first moments of star dying in finest detail

An international research team including The Australian National University (ANU) has used the Kepler space telescope in coordination with ground-based telescopes to witness the first moments of a star dying in unprecedented detail.

To image leaky atmosphere, NASA rocket team heads north

On a frigid morning in early December, a team of NASA rocket scientists will huddle in the control room in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, a remote archipelago off the northern coast of Norway. Here at the world's northernmost rocket range, operated by Norway's Andøya Space Center, the clock may read 8 a.m., but the Sun won't be up—by that time, it won't have peeked over the horizon in more than a month.

New study reveals common table salt may have been crucial for the origins of life

One of the most fundamental unexplained questions in modern science is how life began. Scientists generally believe that simple molecules present in early planetary environments were converted to more complex ones that could have helped jumpstart life by the input of energy from the environment. Scientists consider the early Earth was suffused with many kinds of energy, from the high temperatures produced by volcanoes to the ultraviolet radiation beamed down by the sun.

Magnetic fields found in a jet from a baby star

An international research team led by Chin-Fei Lee in the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA) has made a breakthrough observation with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), confirming the presence of magnetic fields in a jet from a protostar. Jets are believed to play an important role in star formation, enabling the protostar to accrete mass from an accretion disk by removing angular momentum from the disk. It is highly supersonic and collimated, and predicted in theory to be launched and collimated by magnetic fields. The finding supports the theoretical prediction and confirms the role of the jet in star formation.

Probe killers in deep space

In the cold reaches of deep space, something is making us kill our probes.

First high-resolution look at the quiet Sun with ALMA at 3 mm

Observations of the radio continuum at millimeter (mm) wavelengths provide a unique chromospheric diagnostic. The quiet sun mm-wavelength emission mechanism is free-free and electrons are almost always in local thermodynamic equilibrium (e.g. Shibasaki et al. 2011 and Wedemeyer et al. 2016). The availability of mm-wavelength solar observations with ALMA can advance our knowledge on the chromosphere because of the instrument's unique spatial resolution and sensitivity. In a previous study, the researchers used ALMA full-disk (FD) commissioning data to study the quiet sun under low resolution. However, publications of results from ALMA high-resolution quiet sun observations are rare. The results have recently performed the analysis of such observations; results are reported in Nindos et al. (2018).

Fabrication of powerful telescope begins

Fabrication of the Cerro Chajnantor Atacama Telescope-prime (CCAT-p), a powerful telescope capable of mapping the sky at submillimeter and millimeter wavelengths, has now begun, marking a major milestone in the project.

Lift off for pioneering nanosats

The first 'Pioneer' mission lifted off early this morning from Sriharikota, India, with the two inventive little nanosatellites now circling the Earth, ready for action.

A study of almost 2600 IAU members shows that astronomers have a remarkable drive for public engagement

Because of the ubiquitous nature of its questions and the stunning insights into the nature of the Universe, astronomy has often been thought of as appealing and the natural science with the most far-reaching popularisation efforts. A recently published study of the outreach activities of IAU members, Bustling public communication by astronomers around the world driven by personal and contextual factors, has shown that professional astronomers may be engaging with the public more than scientists in any other field.

NASA chief says Elon Musk won't be smoking joints publicly again

NASA chief Jim Bridenstine elaborated this week on the reasons why the US space agency launched a safety review of SpaceX and Boeing, which are building spaceships for astronauts, including their workplace culture and drug-free policies.

Technology news

Fog robotics: A new approach to achieve efficient and fluent human-robot interaction

Researchers at the Innovation and Enterprise Research Laboratory (The Magic Lab) of the University of Technology Sydney have proposed a new robotics architecture called fog robotics (FR). Their approach, outlined in a paper pre-published on arXiv, leverages the strengths of fog computing, a decentralized computing structure in which resources and data are placed between their source and the cloud.

Grasp, connect, help: Amazon unveils service for tapping key medical information

As the year draws to a close, Amazon is making more noise in the medical sector with software that lends meaning to seas of unharnessed medical data. This should not come as a surprise for those following Amazon's interest in leveraging its talents focused on artificial intelligence and even cloud technology.

Marriott security breach exposed data of up to 500M guests (Update)

A security breach inside the Marriott hotel empire compromised the information of as many as 500 million guests worldwide, exposing their credit card numbers, passport numbers and birth dates for as long as four years, the company said Friday.

China's Weibo eyes global expansion, foreign-language products

Chinese social media giant Weibo is making a push into foreign markets and is considering launching new products in different languages, a senior executive told AFP, brushing off concerns over censorship and credibility.

ECB launches real-time payments in challenge to tech giants

The European Central Bank will on Friday unveil the first pan-eurozone instant payment service, hoping to become a dominant player in a field crowded by US and Asian tech giants.

How facial recognition technology aids police

Police officers' ability to recognise and locate individuals with a history of committing crime is vital to their work. In fact, it is so important that officers believe possessing it is fundamental to the craft of effective street policing, crime prevention and investigation. However, with the total police workforce falling by almost 20 percent since 2010 and recorded crime rising, police forces are turning to new technological solutions to help enhance their capability and capacity to monitor and track individuals about whom they have concerns.

Helping computers to see 3-D structures

If you can recognize structures around you while walking down a city street, you have your eyes to thank. Humans can automatically perceive 3-D structure in the world by identifying lines, shapes, symmetries and the patterns and relationships between them in things like buildings, sidewalks and everyday objects. But can a computer be taught to do the same?

Researchers bring Jedi powers to life with Force Push

Fans of the Star Wars franchise will have to wait more than a year from now to get their fix of Jedi-laden telekinetic spectacles on the big screen. The as-of-yet-to-be-titled Episode IX, the last installment of the space saga as was envisioned in 1977, won't be released until December 2019.

Why battery-powered vehicles stack up better than hydrogen

Low energy efficiency is already a major problem for petrol and diesel vehicles. Typically, only 20% of the overall well-to-wheel energy is actually used to power these vehicles. The other 80% is lost through oil extraction, refinement, transport, evaporation, and engine heat. This low energy efficiency is the primary reason why fossil fuel vehicles are emissions-intensive, and relatively expensive to run.

A multiscreen experience of motorcycle racing

A new prototype allows motor sport fans to personalise their TV viewing experience with synchronised content on their mobile devices.

Elon Musk's Boring Company nixes one L.A. tunnel, moves onto next project

Elon Musk's Boring Company is dropping one of its Los Angeles underground tunnel plans after some residents' concerns.

Google Fi mobile phone service now works with iPhone and more Android devices—with limits

Fi meet iPhone. iPhone meet Fi.

Apple says iPhone XR is 'best-selling' iPhone, as it promotes RED model to help fight AIDS

The iPhone XR has been the "best-selling iPhone each and every day since it became available for sale" on Oct. 26, Apple vice president of product marketing Greg Joswiak said Wednesday.

Alexa can now connect to Big Mouth Billy Bass, along with twerking Christmas toys

Remember Big Mouth Billy Bass? That strange wall-mounted fish from the '90s that sings "Take Me to the River?"

Amazon wants to get Alexa into your car

The floor of the sprawling Los Angeles Auto Show is filled with fancy vehicles showing off their ultra-flashy, state-of-the-art infotainment systems, with giant screens that drivers really shouldn't be looking at while driving.

Apple Music comes to Amazon's Alexa devices

Apple Music is coming to Amazon's Alexa-powered speakers, in a rare move by the iPhone maker to broaden its service offerings to users of rival devices.

Robots in the field: farms embracing autonomous technology

Faced with seesawing commodity prices and the pressure to be more efficient and environmentally friendly, farmer Jamie Butler is trying out a new worker on his 450-acre farm in England's Hampshire countryside.

So you stayed at a Starwood hotel: Tips on data breach

If you stayed at one of Marriott's Starwood hotels in recent years, hackers might have information on your address, credit card and even your passport. Some of this can be used for identity theft, as hackers create bank and other accounts under your name.

Virtual training for aircraft carrier flight deck crews

One of the most dangerous environments in the United States Navy is the deck of an aircraft carrier. Catapult systems that can remove limbs, furious engines, whipping propellers and high winds create a hectic environment.

Honeywell expected to announce HQ move to North Carolina

Industrial conglomerate Honeywell International Inc. is expected to announce that it is moving its headquarters from New Jersey to Charlotte, North Carolina, a source familiar with the deal said Thursday.

Japan prosecutors seek to extend Ghosn detention

Tokyo prosecutors were expected Friday to request an extension to Carlos Ghosn's detention over allegations of financial misconduct against the former Nissan chief that have shaken the auto industry.

Facebook says COO Sandberg asked for info on Soros

Facebook on Thursday said that chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg asked staff to look into whether billionaire critic George Soros had a financial interest in tarnishing the social network.

A novel solver for approximate marginal map inference

There is a deep connection between planning and inference, and over the last decade, multiple researchers have introduced explicit reductions showing how stochastic planning can be solved using probabilistic inference with applications in robotics, scheduling, and environmental problems. However, heuristic methods and search are still the best-performing approaches for planning in large combinatorial state and action spaces. My co-authors and I take a new approach in our paper, "From Stochastic Planning to Marginal MAP" (authors: Hao Cui, Radu Marinescu, Roni Khardon), at the 2018 Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS) by showing how ideas from planning can be used for inference.

World's first video game music and sound research journal

The world's first academic journal devoted to the presentation of peer-reviewed, high-quality research into video game music and sound, is to be hosted by the Department of Creative Digital Technologies at the University of Chichester, based at the Tech Park on its Bognor Regis campus.

ESA's 25 years of telecom: Today's challenges and opportunities

As ESA's umbrella programme for telecom, ARTES, celebrates its 25th year, we will be examining why it was set up, how it and the European satcom environment have evolved, the opportunities and challenges that both face today, and what the future holds.

Latest Facebook controversy puts heat on number two Sandberg

Facebook's number two executive Sheryl Sandberg, long seen as the "adult" at the youthfully-managed firm, has found herself the center of controversy over her role in pushing back at a growing chorus of criticism of the social media giant.

The Marriott breach compared with past security breakdowns

Marriott's revelation that as many as 500 million guests may have been affected by a data breach at Starwood hotels, which it bought two years ago, ranks among the largest hacks ever. It is not clear if some of those included in the final tally are individuals who were counted during every stay.

Medicine & Health news

Babies kicking in the womb are creating a map of their bodies

The kicks a mother feels from her unborn child may allow the baby to 'map' their own body and enable them to eventually explore their surroundings, suggests new research led by UCL in collaboration with UCLH.

Cell growth rate and gene expression shed light on why some tumor cells survive treatment

By studying both the physical and genomic features of cancer cells, MIT researchers have come up with a new way to investigate why some cancer cells survive drug treatment while others succumb.

Study suggests physical changes to the brain due to learning happen differently than thought

A team of researchers from the University of Tübingen and the Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, both in Germany, has found evidence that suggests new-learning plasticity of the brain occurs faster than has been previously thought—and in different ways. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their study of the brain using a less well-known kind of MRI. Yaniv Assaf from Tel Aviv University has written a Perspective piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue.

Researchers use optimized single-cell multi-omics sequencing to better understand colon cancer tumor heterogeneity

A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in China has found that using optimized single-cell multi-omics sequencing better reveals colon cancer tumor heterogeneity. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their unique approach to understanding colorectal cancer progression.

Focus on resistance to HIV offers insight into how to fight the virus

Of the 40 million people around the world infected with HIV, less than one per cent have immune systems strong enough to suppress the virus for extended periods of time. These special immune systems are known as "elite controllers." But how do they actually fight HIV? Canadian scientists think they've found an important clue.

Researchers alleviate schizophrenia symptoms in new mouse models

Despite extensive research efforts, schizophrenia remains one of the least understood brain disorders. One promising area of research is in receptors on the surfaces of brain cells that help sense growth factors. But there's been a problem: in previous schizophrenia studies, researchers have genetically manipulated brain cell receptors in very young mice. Schizophrenia usually affects adults.

Scientists identify cellular gene signatures for heart muscle regeneration

Repairing heart muscle damaged by a heart attack or other cardiovascular diseases is one of the "holy grails" for cardiovascular scientists. The ability to repair heart muscle—especially by using a person's own cells—would be a significant advance that could enhance quality of life for the millions of people who suffer from a heart attack or have a chronic heart condition.

Bigger brains are smarter, but not by much

The English idiom "highbrow," derived from a physical description of a skull barely able to contain the brain inside of it, comes from a long-held belief in the existence of a link between brain size and intelligence.

First UK estimates of children who could have conditions caused by drinking in pregnancy

Up to 17 per cent of children could have symptoms consistent with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) according to new research published today in Preventive Medicine.

Breathlessness treatments do reduce patient distress

Breathlessness is a common symptom in advanced disease and can lead to panic and anxiety for patients and their family. It can trouble people even when resting or performing light activities around the home. With our aging population and increasing multi-morbidity, the number of people affected by breathlessness worldwide is set to rise.

Fear that uproar over gene-edited babies could block science

Scientists working on the frontiers of medicine fear the uproar over the reported births of gene-edited babies in China could jeopardize promising research into how to alter heredity to fend off a variety of disorders.

Rates of chronic kidney disease, deaths outpace other diseases

Advances in treating cancer, heart disease and other major health conditions in recent decades have extended life spans for millions of people.

Why patients lie to their doctors

When your doctor asks how often you exercise, do you give her an honest answer? How about when she asks what you've been eating lately? If you've ever stretched the truth, you're not alone.

Ambulance response times are worse for low-income people

A nationwide study of more than 63,000 cases of cardiac arrest found that ambulances on average took nearly four minutes longer to handle calls from low-income areas than high-income communities.

Blood factories closer to reality

Blood cells grown in large vats from a starter stock of stem cells could one day supplement or even replace blood taken from human donors. However, existing protocols for making red blood cells (RBCs) in the lab can't be easily scaled up to produce the volumes needed to meet demand.

Influenza A deliberately enhances levels of the human p53 protein to reduce anti-viral gene and protein expression

Genome editing technology is helping A*STAR scientists unravel how the Influenza A virus (IAV) exploits human anti-viral responses.

Mouse studies have revealed more about the mechanisms behind cancer drugs in trials

A protein crucial for cell division may help to explain why certain cancer therapies are more effective in some patients than others. Genetically altered regulation of this protein has helped A*STAR researchers better understand the mechanisms underpinning new cancer therapies that target the same regulatory process.

Detecting signs of neurodegeneration earlier and more accurately

Signs of neurodegenerative diseases, appearing years before the emergence of clinical manifestations, can be detected during the examination of medical samples by means of fluorescence microscopy by using new sensitive and selective dyes that bind to specific amyloid structures. The new dye, proposed by the Polish-American group of scientists, is a step toward personalized neuromedical treatment of the future. These avenues of detection are being opened thanks to the achievements of a Polish-American team, which includes scientists from the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IPC PAS) in Warsaw, Wroclaw University of Technology, the University of Michigan and the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Reducing unnecessary medication for hepatitis B patients

Not all chronic hepatitis B (HBV) patients require lifelong treatment; but the risks of blindly withdrawing treatment can be severe. However, there's little consensus on which patients can be safely discontinued from treatment, highlighting a clear need for a reliable biomarker of post-treatment HBV suppression. Working towards this goal, a team led by A*STAR and Duke-NUS researcher, Antonio Bertoletti, discovered that patients able to discontinue therapy without relapse share the trait of increased HBV-specific immune T cell response.

Population mapping helps measure access to surgery in Africa

Research examining pressure on surgical units in sub-Saharan African countries estimates nearly 300 million people have a need for surgery in the region, placing a heavy burden on hospitals.

Trends in hospital deaths reported

In many countries, the proportion of people dying in hospital has been decreasing for years. Until now, this was thought to apply to all age groups. A new study now draws attention to disturbing exceptions.

New research identifies two genes linked to serious congenital heart condition

Scientists at the University of Manchester have this week published research, funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) which shows, for the first time, possible genetic causes of a serious congenital heart condition, Tetralogy of Fallot (ToF).

Scientists develop system to rapidly and accurately detect tumor margins during breast cancer surgery

Scientists from the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research (CPR), Osaka University, and collaborators have developed a new rapid and inexpensive way to accurately detect the margins between cancer and non-cancerous tissue during breast surgery. Their system is noteworthy in that it can detect the morphology of the cells, differentiating between cells that are more or less dangerous.

Study sheds light on alcohol misuse among never-deployed reservists

U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard soldiers who experience greater feelings of guilt and other negative emotions about never having been deployed are more likely to misuse alcohol, according to new research from the University at Buffalo.

Small changes to cafeteria design can get kids to eat healthier, new assessment tool finds

While a growing body of research suggests that small changes to a school environment can help reduce childhood obesity and improve nutrition, 80 percent of school-aged children still fall short of national dietary guidelines for fruit and vegetable intake.

Switch for the regeneration of nerve cell insulation

An international research team has discovered a mechanism that regulates the regeneration of the insulating layer of neurites. This insulation coating, also referred to as the myelin sheath, is crucial for rapid signal transmission among cells. Damages to the myelin sheath, such as are caused by multiple sclerosis, can considerably inhibit the function of the nervous system. In the journal Glia, the team headed by Dr. Annika Ulc, Dr. Simon van Leeuwen and Professor Andreas Faissner from Ruhr-Universität Bochum describes their findings together with colleagues from Edinburgh, Münster and Hanover. The article was published online on 18 November 2018.

Fewer than 5 in 100 Australian and NZ interventional cardiologists are women

A new study has highlighted a critical gender gap in interventional cardiology, the medical field specialising in treating blocked arteries in heart disease.

Pain common and increasing in prevalence in New Zealand

Pain is an extremely common condition and increasing in prevalence in New Zealand, University of Otago researchers say.

Older people can come to believe their own lies

What happens when older adults lie?

Targeted cancer drug made available for some NHS liver cancer patients

A targeted cancer drug will now be available for some adults with advanced liver cancer on the NHS.

I'll believe it when I meme it

Memes can be used to spread prejudiced messages and are more likely to be believed if they are paired with a lot of likes from like-minded people, researchers at The Australian National University (ANU) have found.

New hope for fish allergy sufferers

Fish allergy is one of the most dangerous food allergies, as it is often associated with potentially life-threatening symptoms such as anaphylactic shock. People who are allergic to fish are not only exposed to risk through eating fish but also by accidentally inhaling fish fumes in markets or restaurants or through skin contact – especially in countries with a marine coastline, where fishing is important to the economy. However, there is now new hope for sufferers: an international research team has discovered that the parvalbumin protein that usually triggers the allergy is much less allergenic in cartilaginous fish than in bony fish.

What you need to know about HIV/AIDS today

More than 60,000 Canadians and 37 million people worldwide are living with HIV. In the early days of HIV and AIDS, there was enormous fear and discrimination —to the extent that in British Columbia politicians debated quarantining individuals with HIV.

First-ever study of spectator injuries at sporting events

Injuries are part of the game. That is a common refrain in sports, usually referring to the athletes. But sometimes, it is the spectators who get hurt.

Researchers invent medical device for early intervention of congestive heart failure

A research team from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) has invented a smart handheld medical device that could enable early intervention for patients with congestive heart failure.

Association of area deprivation and regional disparities in the treatment of T1 diabetes

Treatment of the autoimmune disease type 1 diabetes in Germany depends on where the patients live in. In socio-economically weaker regions, insulin pumps and long-acting insulin analogs are used less frequently. Here, the patients have higher blood glucose levels (HbA1c) and a higher prevalence of overweight. However, the rate of severe hypoglycemia events is lower. This is the result of a study carried out by a team of researchers at the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) in Düsseldorf, Neuherberg and Ulm. The results have now been published in the journal Diabetes Care.

Liquid biopsy can assess therapeutic response of pediatric brain tumors

(HealthDay)—A liquid biopsy using blood or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) can effectively quantify changes in mutation levels among pediatric patients being treated for diffuse midline gliomas (DMGs), according to a study recently published in Clinical Cancer Research.

Monitoring movement reflects efficacy of mandibular splint

(HealthDay)—For individuals with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) treated with an optimally titrated mandibular advancement splint, normalization of the respiratory effort index derived from vertical mandibular movements (MM-REI) reflects the efficacy of the appliance, according to a study published online Nov. 6 in Chest.

Persistent back pain linked to earlier mortality in older women

(HealthDay)—Frequent persistent back pain is associated with increased mortality in older women, according to a study recently published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Age-related vaginal symptoms tied to worse quality of life

(HealthDay)—Severe vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA) symptoms are associated with worse quality of life in postmenopausal women, according to a study published online Nov. 12 in Menopause.

Higher-volume hospitals have better laryngectomy outcomes

(HealthDay)—Laryngectomy outcomes appear to be associated with hospital volume for such cases, according to a study published online Nov. 21 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

US urged to send Ebola experts in as Congo outbreak worsens

Global health experts are urging the Trump administration to allow U.S. government disease specialists—"some of the world's most experienced"—to return to northeastern Congo to help fight the second-largest Ebola outbreak in history.

Carb cycling: An exercise in weight loss

(HealthDay)—Trying to choose between a high-carb and a low-carb diet? There's a third option that might suit you even better.

California man unveils new smile after most advanced face transplant surgery ever

After struggling with depression since adolescence, California native Cameron Underwood spent a June 2016 day drinking, placed a shotgun under his chin and pulled the trigger.

New center aims for pancreatic cancer prevention

Pancreatic cancer often causes no symptoms until it has spread to other organs, leading to a very low survival rate after diagnosis.

FDA approves firdapse for rare autoimmune disorder

(HealthDay)—Firdapse (amifampridine) tablets have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for adults with Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS).

Certain SGLT2 inhibitors, GLP-1 RAs for T2DM also cut CV risk

(HealthDay)—Certain sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) demonstrate significant cardiovascular (CV) benefit and should be used for reducing CV risk in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), according to a report of the American College of Cardiology Task Force on Expert Consensus Decision Pathways published online Nov. 26 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Towards a treatment for gluten intolerance

Celiac disease is a severe autoimmune disorder of the intestine. It occurs when people develop sensitivity to gluten, a substance found in wheat, rye, and barley. An international research team from Italy and France has now uncovered a new molecular player in the development of gluten intolerance. Their discovery, published in the EMBO Journal, suggests potential targets for the development of therapeutic approaches for the disease.

Falls are more likely when you've had a bad night sleep

Disturbances during sleep decreases capability to control posture and balance according to researchers from the Department of Engineering and Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick who have an article published today in Scientific Reports.

Is being a night owl bad for your health?

Night owls may have a higher risk of suffering from heart disease and type 2 diabetes than early risers.

Age and sex affect infant brain structure

Infant brain development is still poorly understood. Thus, research on the topic is vital as developing brains are sensitive to early environmental factors. Recognising this, the FinnBrain imaging study conducted in Turku explores brain structure in newborns.

Immunotherapy drug made available for some NHS patients with advanced skin cancer after surgery

An immunotherapy drug will be made available to some patients with advanced melanoma skin cancer on the NHS in England.

Worried you are dating a psychopath? Signs to look for, according to science

It may sound like a scene straight out of a horror movie, but statistically, you are not that unlikely to end up on a date with a psychopath. It is estimated that about 1 in 100 people are psychopaths – similar to the number of people who are teachers.

Altered microbiome after caesarean section impacts baby's immune system

Together with colleagues from Sweden and Luxembourg, scientists from the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) of the University of Luxembourg have observed that, during a natural vaginal birth, specific bacteria from the mother's gut are passed on to the baby and stimulate the baby's immune responses. This transmission is impacted in children born by caesarean section. "This may explain why, epidemiologically speaking, caesarean-born children suffer more frequently from chronic, immune system-linked diseases compared to babies born vaginally," says the head of the study Associate Prof. Paul Wilmes. His team has now published its results in the open access journal Nature Communications.

Enlarged heart linked to a higher risk of dementia

Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), also known as an enlarged heart, is associated with a nearly two times higher risk of dementia according to a recent University of Minnesota School of Public Health study published in the American Heart Journal.

AIDS treatment has progressed, but without a vaccine, suffering still abounds

I mentioned to a friend, a gay man nearing 60, that World AIDS Day, which has been observed on Dec. 1 since 1988, was almost upon us. He had no idea that World AIDS Day still exists.

Immune checkpoints could be key to treating autoimmune disease myasthenia gravis

Quite literally meaning "grave muscle weakness," myasthenia gravis is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes serious weakening of skeletal muscles responsible for movements such as ocular motion, eye-opening, swallowing, and breathing. Although symptoms can be controlled, there is currently no cure for this potentially debilitating disease.

Light pollution may cause insomnia in older adults

A new study is the first population-based investigation to report a significant association between artificial, outdoor light exposure at night and insomnia, as indicated by older adults' use of hypnotic drugs.

Many cases of polio-like illness in kids may be misdiagnosed

(HealthDay)—There's a good chance that some cases of the mysterious polio-like illness seen recently in U.S. children may have been misdiagnosed, a new study reports.

Vaporized pot means a higher high

(HealthDay)—A smokeless method of vaporizing and then inhaling pot packs a much more powerful punch than simply smoking weed, researchers say.

Use energy drinks when cramming for exams? Your heart may pay a price

Final exams – and the ensuing all-night study sessions they cause – are looming large for many students across the country. But reaching for energy drinks to perk up those drooping eyelids and boost study performance could do more harm than good.

Results of pediatric genomic epilepsy tests often reclassified

(HealthDay)—The interpretation of genomic epilepsy tests has evolved rapidly in the last five years, and genetic variants identified in pediatric patients are often reclassified, according to research published online Nov. 5 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Several risk factors more strongly linked to MI in women

(HealthDay)—The incidence of myocardial infarction (MI) is higher in men than women, but several risk factors are more strongly linked to MI in women, according to a study published online Nov. 7 in The BMJ.

Burnout, satisfaction vary with age, sex among neurologists

(HealthDay)—Burnout, career satisfaction, and well-being vary by age and sex among neurologists, according to a study published online Nov. 15 in Neurology.

Higher cardiovascular risk seen with psoriatic arthritis

(HealthDay)—Cardiovascular risk should be carefully evaluated in patients with psoriatic arthritis, according to a study published online Nov. 5 in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

For teen girls, depression may predict subsequent alcohol use

(HealthDay)—For adolescent girls, depression, but not anxiety, predicts future alcohol use, according to a study published online Nov. 25 in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

African-American mothers rate boys higher for ADHD

African-American children often are reported by parents and teachers to display behaviors of ADHD at a higher rate than children from other racial and ethnic groups. For the first time, researchers have found that African-American mothers in a study rated boys as displaying more frequent ADHD symptoms than Caucasian mothers did, regardless of child race. The findings mean that racial differences found in prior studies may be more due to maternal race than child race, said researcher George DuPaul of Lehigh University.

Many diseases increase the risks of hip fracture surgery

Parkinson's disease, osteoarthritis, rheumatic diseases, alcoholism and mental health disorders increase the risk of surgical complications after a hip fracture surgery, a new Finnish study analysing nationwide registers finds. 4.6 percent of all hip surgery patients and 10 percent of total hip replacement surgery patients experienced surgical complications within three months following their surgery.

Can a smart app encourage HIV-self testing in Canada?

HIV self-testing strategies have been recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) since 2016, as they empower people to find out HIV their status at their convenience. Home-based testing kits have yet to be approved for sale in Canada. However, a team from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and collaborators from Clinique Médicale l'Actuel, in Montreal, evaluated an unsupervised HIV self-testing program via a smartphone and tablet application called HIVSmart!, among an at-risk population (men who have sex with men). The findings of their study—a Canada-first—have been published online this week in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

Mischievous responders taint LGBQ health estimates in national survey

Many research studies have reported on the elevated health risk and deviance of youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning (LGBQ). But a new study using national data suggests that many of those estimates may be overstated and that LGBQ youth risk and deviance is not as different from heterosexual youth as many studies claim.

Bloomberg announces $50 million to fight opioid epidemic

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's charity has announced a $50 million donation to help fight the nation's opioid epidemic.

New knowledge of pubertal growth

In monitoring and prediction of children's growth, the spurt in puberty is often considered too variable to be predictable. However, new findings and methods enable a better picture of how children and adolescents grow, especially during puberty.

Study shows rising rates of hospitalization in the homeless

Hospitalization rates among homeless adults have increased sharply in recent years, with a very different set of causes from those in non-homeless individuals, reports a study in the January issue of Medical Care.

UN: Polio remains global emergency, eradication at risk

The World Health Organization says the ongoing attempt to eradicate polio remains a global emergency amid an increase in cases for the first time in years and a worrying number of outbreaks sparked by the vaccine.

Experts present new recommendations on 'overlapping' type of leukemia

Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) is a rare disease with overlapping features of two categories of bone marrow and blood cell disorders that poses challenges in clinical management. Joint recommendations on diagnosis and treatment of CMML from two European specialty societies were published today in HemaSphere, the official journal of the European Hematology Association (EHA).

Romania shuts hospital after babies diagnosed with superbug

Romanian health authorities on Friday temporarily closed a maternity hospital in the capital after 13 babies born there recently were diagnosed with a drug-resistant superbug.

Biology news

Cracking open a cold one with the flies

Crack open a beer outside and it is a safe bet that you will soon be defending it from a few unwelcome drinking buddies. Fruit flies have a knack for appearing whenever someone opens up a can of beer or a bottle of wine, but how do they do it? In a study spanning six years and thousands of experiments, Caltech scientists discovered that fruit flies are attracted to carbon dioxide (CO2), a gas associated with their favorite foods—and some of our favorite beverages. The research overturns earlier scientific consensus that flies avoid CO2.

How the devil ray got its horns

If you ever find yourself staring down a manta ray, you'll probably notice two things right away: the massive, flapping fins that produce the shark cousin's 20-foot wingspan and the two fleshy growths curling out of its head that give it the nickname "devil ray." A new San Francisco State University study shows that these two very different features have the same origin—a discovery that reflects an important lesson for understanding the diversity of life.

New research could fine-tune the gene scissors CRISPR

The introduction of the gene editing tool CRISPR in 2007 was a revolution in medical science and cell biology. But even though the potential is great, the launch of CRISPR has been followed by debate about ethical issues and the technology's degree of accuracy and side effects.

Fruit flies can transmit their sexual preferences culturally

Researchers from the CNRS and Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier (UT3) report that fruit flies possess the cognitive capacity to culturally transmit their sexual preferences across generations. The study, published on November 30, 2018 in Science, provides the first experimental toolbox for studying the existence of animal cultures, thereby opening up an entire field of research.

Mammal-like milk provisioning and parental care discovered in jumping spider

Lactation is the production and secretion of milk for the young and is a mammalian attribute. However, there have been several examples of milk provisioning in non-mammals. In a study published in the journal Science on November 30, researchers at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences report milk provisioning in Toxeus magnus (Araneae: Salticidae), a jumping spider that mimics ants.

Study looks at ecological traps to minimize human risk of mosquito-borne pathogens

Ecological traps have the potential to effectively control pest species and inhibit the spread of infectious diseases, according to a University of Maine researcher.

Study discovers over 6,000 antibiotic resistance genes in the bacteria that inhabit the human gut

A study carried out in collaboration with the University of Birmingham has used an innovative approach to identify thousands of antibiotic resistance genes found in bacteria that inhabit the human gut.

New Zealand whale strandings 'linked to ocean warming'

More than 50 beached pilot whales perished in New Zealand Friday, the latest in a spate of mass strandings this week that experts have linked to rising ocean temperatures.

A machine learning approach helps sort and label cell clusters in multiple dimensions

The sorting and automated labelling of cell clusters may be boosted by an algorithm developed by A*STAR researchers. The algorithm facilitates data analysis from a technique, known as cytometry, that effectively sorts and labels cells for use in research.

Warty hammer orchids are sexual deceivers

Orchids are famed for their beautiful and alluring flowers – and the great lengths to which people will go to experience them in the wild. Among Australian orchids, evocative names such as The Butterfly Orchid, The Queen of Sheeba, and Cleopatra's Needles conjure up images of rare and beautiful flowers.

Researchers grow functional network of blood vessels at centimeter scale for the first time

When someone has a deadly disease or sustains a life-threatening injury, a transplant or graft of new tissue may be the best—or only—treatment option. Transplanted organs, skin grafts and other parts need blood vessels to bring oxygen-rich blood their way, but for tissue engineers and regenerative medicine experts, making a functional blood vessel network within large tissues in the laboratory has long been a major challenge.

Yes, Knickers the steer is really, really big. But he's far short of true genetic freak status

The story of Knickers the giant steer has gone viral on social media over the past week. Admittedly, the pictures show him towering over a herd of young Wagyu steers, with Wagyu being one of the smaller cattle breeds, which even enhances his size.

Paradise regained? Sharks return to Thai bay popularised by 'The Beach'

Thai conservationists have welcomed footage of reef sharks gliding through the azure waters of Maya Bay as a "positive sign" of recovery six months after the closure of a tourist hot-spot made famous by the movie "The Beach".

Rare woodland wildlife at risk because of 50-year-old tree felling rules

In the UK it is illegal to deliberately kill or injure red squirrels, disturb them while they are using a nest, or destroy their nests. Yet, although the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act provides these protections, there is a legal anomaly in England and Wales – one that can potentially undermine the conservation of the red squirrel, along with every other rare and endangered forest plant or animal species. Although rare woodland species are protected, the habitat they dwell in is generally not.

New research questions fish stocking obligations

Fish stocking as a fisheries compensation method in hydropower operations no longer meets latest legal and scientific requirements, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland. Published in Water International, the study focuses on ecological flows from the viewpoints of law and biology.

Researchers discover for the first time how a specific cell gene affects the transformation of others

An international team of seven institutions from Spain and the US including the University of Valencia has discovered for the first time that the biological activity of the c-MYC gene is necessary for cell reprogramming, the process by which a specialised cell such as a neuron is transformed into a different cell type. According to the results published in Stem Cell Reports, internal cellular activity favoured by the genes of the MYC family may be the cause of any cellular transformation.

Searching an artificial bee colony for real-world results

Honeybees are not only vitally important pollinators of food crops, their hunt for rich food sources has also proved to be an excellent model for optimizing numerical problems. Now, researchers from Kanazawa University and the University of Toyama have used the intelligent behavior of bees to improve optimization performance in real-world problems.

Planting more hedgerows and trees could hold the key to helping UK bees thrive once again, a new study argues

Planting more hedgerows and trees could hold the key to helping UK bees thrive once again, a new study argues.

China AIDS group 'really regrets' role in gene-editing

The head of a Chinese AIDS support group expressed deep regret Friday for helping a scientist recruit participants for a controversial experiment claiming to have created the world's first genetically-edited babies.

Why companies should help pay for the biodiversity that's good for their bottom line

In the "The Lorax," an entrepreneur regrets wiping out all the make-believe truffala trees by chopping them down to maximize his short-term gains. As the Dr. Seuss tale ends, the Once-ler – the man responsible for this environmental tragedy – tells a young child that "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

Hawk native to South America wows crowd in Maine park

A hawk that is native to Central and South America generated a lot of attention from Maine's birding community Friday after appearing in a park, where it brawled with a fellow raptor and dined on a squirrel.

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