Monday, January 14, 2019

Science X Newsletter Monday, Jan 14

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for January 14, 2019:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Nanostructures get better at harvesting sunlight for solar steam generation

Double star system flips planet-forming disk into pole position

Scientists coax proteins to form synthetic structures with method that mimics nature

Differences in genes' geographic origin influence mitochondrial function

Large study identifies numerous genes associated with risk tolerance and risky behaviors

ZIP code or genetic code?

Antarctic ice sheet could suffer a one-two climate punch

Study finds the circuits that may help you keep your cool

Marine bacterium sheds light on control of toxic metals

Honey bee parasites feed on fatty organs, not blood

Antarctica losing six times more ice mass annually now than 40 years ago

Cilia beat to an unexpected rhythm in male reproductive tract, study in mice reveals

Supernova SN 2018byg triggered by a helium-shell double detonation, study finds

Researchers gain control over soft-molecule synthesis

Researchers catalog defects that give 2-D materials amazing properties

Astronomy & Space news

Double star system flips planet-forming disk into pole position

New research led by an astronomer at the University of Warwick has found the first confirmed example of a double star system that has flipped its surrounding disc to a position that leaps over the orbital plane of those stars. The international team of astronomers used the Atacama Large Millimeter/sub-millimeter Array (ALMA) to obtain high-resolution images of the Asteroid belt-sized disc.

Supernova SN 2018byg triggered by a helium-shell double detonation, study finds

Astronomers have recently conducted photometric and spectroscopic observations of SN 2018byg, a peculiar Type Ia supernova. Results of these observations, presented in a paper published January 3 on the arXiv pre-print server, suggest that this cosmic explosion was caused by double detonation of a massive helium shell.

The orderly chaos of black holes

During the formation of a black hole, a bright burst of very energetic light in the form of gamma rays is produced, these events are called gamma ray bursts. The physics behind this phenomenon includes many of the least understood fields within physics today: general gravity, extreme temperatures and acceleration of particles far beyond the energy of the most powerful particle accelerators on Earth.

Total lunar eclipse on Jan 20-21 will be last until 2022

People in North and South America, a large part of Europe and Africa may get a glimpse of a total lunar eclipse overnight from January 20 to 21, the last such event until 2022.

Team discovers new way supermassive black holes are 'fed'

Supermassive black holes weigh millions to billions times more than our sun and lie at the center of most galaxies. A supermassive black hole several million times the mass of the sun is situated in the heart of our very own Milky Way.

Control of Russian radio telescope satellite lost

Russia's space agency says its specialists are attempting to fix problems that have blocked control of an orbiting radio telescope.

Russian attempt to control orbiting radio telescope fails

Russia's space agency says another attempt by its specialists to establish contact with an orbiting radio telescope has failed.

China says it exchanged data with NASA on far side of moon

China's space agency says it worked with NASA to collect data from the far side of the moon.

Iran to launch two satellites in 'coming days'

Iran's president said Monday the Islamic republic plans to launch two domestically made satellites into orbit in the "coming days" to gather information on the country's environment, state TV reported.

China envisions moon base after far-side success

China will seek to establish an international lunar base one day, possibly using 3D printing technology to build facilities, the Chinese space agency said Monday, weeks after landing a rover on the moon's far side.

One day our sun will solidify into a giant crystal orb

Our sun and billions of stars just like it are headed for a strange, cold destiny.

Space subjects that will get the world's attention in 2019 and beyond

The first few days of 2019 brought remarkable news from outer space. On January 1 NASA's New Horizons space probe made the most distant planetary flyby ever, and captured images of a small object 4 billion miles away from earth. The following day, China landed its Chang'e 4 rover, named Jade Rabbit 2, on the far side of the moon – another first.

Seeing Titan with infrared eyes

Saturn's moon Titan is enveloped in a thick atmosphere, but through the infrared eyes of the international Cassini mission, the moon's myriad surface features are revealed in this exquisite global mosaic.

Russia loses control of only space telescope

Russia has lost control of its only space radio telescope but officials are working to re-establish communication, the country's beleaguered space agency said Monday.

Technology news

Next-level autonomous shopping carts are even smarter

As the year gets under way a lot of talk encircles the word autonomous and it is not confined to the big Ds of driving and drones. Add an R for retail and you have a growing concept of autonomous shopping.

Lexar lifts flash memory storage card to 1TB level

"Terabyte hard drives were only for, like, space stations," said Senior Editor for Geek.com, Jordan Minor, recalling when he was kid and thought that "a terabyte was such a huge, incalculable amount of space that surely no one person would ever need that much storage."

Engineers develop robotic greeter to welcome new arrivals

A team of researchers at Media Innovation Lab at the IDC Herzliya, Israel, collaborating with a team from Cornell University, has developed a new type of robot with very limited abilities. Its only purpose is to greet people when it detects their presence. But the robot has no eyes, arms or anything else resembling a person, animal or even other robots. Instead, it has just a single pea-size sphere that it uses to greet people as they enter its view.

Where is George? Ask this software to look at the crowd

George is a zebrafish. Along with Tom and 98 other mates, George swims freely in a laboratory tank at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown (CCU), in Lisbon, Portugal. A camera records from above a video of all the animals' comings and goings.

Calls for Huawei boycott get mixed response in Europe

Europe is giving US-led calls for a boycott of Huawei 5G telecoms equipment a mixed reception, with some governments untroubled by spy suspicions against the Chinese giant, but others backing a ban.

Detroit auto show, and industry, prepare for transition

The auto industry gathered Sunday in Detroit, on the eve of the last winter edition of North America's premiere auto show, as carmakers grapple with a contracting market and uncertainty in the year ahead.

Detroit show has SUVs, horsepower, but electric cars are few

Automakers have promised to start selling hordes of electric cars in the next few years, but only two will be unveiled at the big Detroit auto show that kicks off this week—and those aren't even ready for production.

Research on metamaterials transforms satellite communications

Groundbreaking innovations on antenna technology, based on a collaboration between Lockheed Martin Space and Penn State, are now under consideration for use in the next generation of GPS satellite payloads.

WhatsApp wants researchers to tackle its fake news problem – here's our idea

Last February, Cadbury Chocolate fell victim to a hoax. The image below went viral in an Indonesian WhatsApp group called "Viral Media Johor", and later in a Nigerian group.

Roll-up screens and 8K resolution: What the future of television looks like

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) wrapped-up in Las Vegas last week. The annual event gives enthusiasts a taste of the latest gadgets and devices on the horizon of consumer technology.

Change your phone settings so Apple, Google can't track your movements

Technology companies have been pummeled by revelations about how poorly they protect their customers' personal information, including an in-depth New York Times report detailing the ability of smartphone apps to track users' locations. Some companies, most notably Apple, have begun promoting the fact that they sell products and services that safeguard consumer privacy.

SUVs, trucks and sports cars take center stage at Detroit auto show

SUVs, trucks and sports cars took center stage Monday as a subdued Detroit auto show kicked off with fewer carmakers and more uncertainty.

Ford and Cadillac SUVs, Toyota sports car star at auto show

SUVs and a big pickup truck will get top billing at Detroit's auto show this year, but there are some surprise sports cars and electric vehicles on the agenda.

AI-controlled checks to boost security and speed up traffic at EU borders

Traffic across the EU's external borders is on the rise, as is the threat posed by illegal immigration. As over 700 million people enter the EU each year, this puts considerable pressure on border agencies that must adhere to strict security protocols while at the same time ensuring the smooth flow of traffic into the EU. Increased international trade and more sophisticated criminal activity make border checks even more challenging. Therefore, authorities need to provide a fast and efficient border clearance process while also safeguarding the safety and security of checkpoints.

AI can help retailers understand the consumer

Consumer brands and retailers often struggle to fully understand ever-changing customer needs. That is why you mostly find XL sizes in your favorite fashion store and no M sizes. That is why you have to spend hours looking for the style you saw on Instagram and still not find it. That is why the cost of dead inventory to fashion retailers in the US alone is an estimated to be a whopping USD 50 billion. And that is part of the reason why the US generated 16 million tons of textile waste in 2014.

USA Today publisher targeted for buyout

The publisher of USA Today has received a $1.36 billion buyout bid from a media group with a history of taking over struggling newspapers and slashing jobs.

Volkswagen to build electric vehicles at Tennessee plant

German automaker Volkswagen said Monday its factory in Tennessee will be the focus of an $800 million investment in the company's manufacturing of electric vehicles in North America, a sign of a growing push into the electric car market by European companies.

NBCUniversal jumps into the streaming fray

NBCUniversal will launch an ad-supported streaming service in 2020, free for anyone who pays for a cable service.

Medicine & Health news

Large study identifies numerous genes associated with risk tolerance and risky behaviors

An international group of scientists has identified 124 genetic variants associated with a person's willingness to take risks, as reported in a study published today in Nature Genetics.

ZIP code or genetic code?

When it comes to disease and health, which is more powerful—zip code or genetic code?

Study finds the circuits that may help you keep your cool

The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best. A new study by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory might help to explain how the brain strikes that balance.

Scientists connect dots between colitis and colon cancer

Lingering inflammation in the colon is a known risk factor for colorectal cancer and now scientists report one way it resets the stage to enable this common and often deadly cancer.

The human brain works backwards to retrieve memories

When we remember a past event, the human brain reconstructs that experience in reverse order, according to a new study at the University of Birmingham.

Suicide risk more than quadruples for people with cancer

People with cancer are more than four times more likely to commit suicide than people without cancer, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

Breast cancer cells in mice tricked into turning into fat cells

As cancer cells respond to cues in their microenvironment, they can enter a highly plastic state in which they are susceptible to transdifferentiation into a different type of cell. Researchers at the University of Basel in Switzerland exploited this critical phase, known as an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), to coax breast cancer cells in mice to turn into harmless fat cells. The proof-of-concept study appears January 14 in the journal Cancer Cell.

Long-acting contraceptive designed to be self-administered via microneedle patch

A new long-acting contraceptive designed to be self-administered by women may provide a new family planning option, particularly in developing nations where access to healthcare can be limited, a recent study suggests. The contraceptive would be delivered using microneedle skin patch technology originally developed for the painless administration of vaccines.

Recalling happy memories during adolescence can reduce risk of depression

Recalling positive events and experiences can help young people build resilience against depression in later life, suggests new research from the University of Cambridge.

Life-threatening lung disease averted in experimental models

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a fatal condition that leaves lung tissue permanently scarred and leads to the decline and eventual failure of the respiratory system. For those diagnosed with the disease, treatment options are limited and the prognosis is poor.

3-D printed implant promotes nerve cell growth to treat spinal cord injury

For the first time, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Institute of Engineering in Medicine have used rapid 3-D printing technologies to create a spinal cord, then successfully implanted that scaffolding, loaded with neural stem cells, into sites of severe spinal cord injury in rats.

Drug hobbles deadly liver cancer by stifling protein production

In laboratory experiments, UC San Francisco researchers successfully beat back the growth of aggressive liver cancers using a surprising new approach. Traditionally, targeted cancer therapies aim to disable proteins borne of cancer-driving genes. Instead, the UCSF scientists prevented these proteins, including those that shield tumors from the immune system, from being built in the first place.

Intestinal bacteria from healthy infants prevent food allergy

New research shows that healthy infants have intestinal bacteria that prevent the development of food allergies.

Blood-brain barrier breakdown an early driver of dementia, study says

Leaky capillaries in the brain portend early onset of Alzheimer's disease as they signal cognitive impairment before hallmark toxic proteins amyloid and tau appear, new USC research shows.

When the body's in overdrive, this liver hormone puts the brakes on metabolism

Researchers at the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute have identified a hormone produced by the liver that tells the body to downshift its metabolism when it's expending a lot of energy.

Team finds how error and reward signals are organized within the cerebral cortex

Psychiatrists diagnose people with schizophrenia, ADHD, bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses by spending time with them, looking for the particular behavior symptoms of each. What follows can be a hit-or-miss series of medications and dosages until disruptive behaviors go away.

Researchers discover common markers of tumor hypoxia across 19 cancer types

Unlike healthy tissues, tumours thrive in low-oxygen environments, often acquiring the ability to resist treatment and spread to other sites in the body. Despite being a well-known cause of therapy resistance and metastasis, the impact of low oxygen, known as hypoxia, on tumour cells is poorly understood. As reported today in Nature Genetics, researchers have discovered molecular hallmarks of hypoxia in the first-ever pan-cancer analysis of low oxygen in human tumours, with a special focus on prostate cancer.

Teen brain volume changes with small amount of cannabis use, study finds

At a time when several states are moving to legalize recreational use of marijuana, new research shows that concerns about the drug's impact on teens may be warranted. The study, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, shows that even a small amount of cannabis use by teenagers is linked to differences in their brains.

Molecular mechanisms of cancer transmissibility in Tasmanian devils

Tumors usually grow exclusively from where their cell of origin derives. In humans, apart from some rare cases like the accidental transmission through a cut during surgery, there are no reports of contagious cancer cells. A multitude of molecular safety measures of the immune system are responsible for rejecting and destroying such foreign tissue.

Technology use explains at most 0.4 percent of adolescent wellbeing, new study finds

Researchers at the University of Oxford have performed the most definitive study to date on the relationship between technology use and adolescent mental health, examining data from over 300,000 teenagers and parents in the UK and USA. At most, only 0.4% of adolescent wellbeing is related to screen use—which only slightly surpasses the negative effect of regularly eating potatoes. The findings were published today in Nature Human Behaviour.

More accurate leukemia diagnosis expected as researchers refine leukemia classification

Like cartographers completing a map, investigators have identified multiple new subtypes of the most common childhood cancer—research that will likely improve the diagnosis and treatment of high-risk patients. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists led the study, which appears as an advance online publication today in the journal Nature Genetics.

Emergency/urgent hospitalizations linked to accelerated cognitive decline in older adults

Emergency and urgent hospitalizations are associated with an increased rate of cognitive decline in older adults, report researchers at Rush University Medical Center. Results of their study, published in the Jan. 11, 2019, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, shows that hospitalization may be a more of a major risk factor for long-term cognitive decline in older adults than previously recognized.

Make cancer prevention a priority in 2019

(HealthDay)—If one of your resolutions for 2019 is to improve your health, reducing your risk of cancer should be part of that goal, a cancer expert says.

Look to your aunts, uncles and parents for clues to your longevity

(HealthDay)—Your chances of inheriting genes linked to longevity are highest if you come from a family with many long-lived members, researchers say.

Drug overdose death rate increasing among middle-aged women

(HealthDay)—From 1999 to 2017, the drug overdose death rate increased 260 percent among women aged 30 to 64 years, according to research published in the Jan. 11 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

In breast-cancer prevention, race matters

African-American women at high risk of breast cancer are less likely than white women to pursue potentially life-saving preventive care, and racial disparities in health care and elsewhere are to blame, new research suggests.

Paper proposes new way to understand how the neocortex works

Scientists at Numenta propose a major new theory about how the human brain works. While neuroscientists have amassed an enormous amount of detailed factual knowledge about the brain, there remains no unifying theory as to what intelligence is and how the brain produces it. In their paper, "A Framework for Intelligence and Cortical Function Based on Grid Cells in the Neocortex," Numenta researchers describe a broad framework for understanding what the neocortex does and how it works. The paper appears in the journal Frontiers in Neural Circuits.

Invest in a single national electronic health record for primary care to benefit Canadians

Canada should invest in a single national electronic health record for primary care to improve the health of Canadians, argues an editorial in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Complication rates and costs of invasive lung cancer diagnostic tests may be higher than anticipated

Complication rates following invasive diagnostic procedures for lung abnormalities were twice as high in the community setting compared to those reported in lung cancer screening trials, and associated downstream costs ranged from $6,320 to $56,845 on average, according to a new study from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Sleeping less than six hours a night may increase cardiovascular risk

People who sleep less than six hours a night may be at increased risk of cardiovascular disease compared with those who sleep between seven and eight hours, suggests a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Poor quality sleep increases the risk of atherosclerosis—plaque buildup in the arteries throughout the body— according to the study.

Physical activity, any type or amount, cuts health risk from sitting

A new study of around 8,000 middle-aged and older adults found that swapping a half-hour of sitting around with physical activity of any intensity or duration cut the risk of early death by as much as 35 percent. The findings highlight the importance of movement—regardless of its intensity or amount of time spent moving—for better health.

Readiness for first sex is about more than age for many young Britons

A substantial proportion of young Britons are not ready for their first sexual activity- whatever their age-and lose their virginity "under circumstances that are incompatible with positive sexual health," reveals research published online in BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health.

Study tunes into musician concerns with hearing loss

Findings from a Western-led study into the biggest concerns faced by musicians with hearing loss should strike a chord with educators and conductors and result in new ways to lead ensembles, researchers explained.

Sedentary lifestyle cancels out heart benefits of having a normal weight for adults, study finds

Starting to slip with your New Year's resolution to exercise more? A new University of Florida study may provide some motivation.

Why does malaria recur? How pieces of the puzzle are slowly being filled in

Some people suffer from repeated attacks of malaria. These can occur weeks to months or longer after contracting the disease. The phenomenon is only too familiar to those who were bitten by mosquitoes carrying the type of malaria-causing organism known as Plasmodium vivax. Whereas the malaria agent in Africa is primarily Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax is the most widespread of the more than half a dozen malaria parasite species that infect humans globally.

Can eating chicken feathers build muscle?

New research from Massey University's School of Sport, Exercise and Nutrition suggests chicken feathers could have potential as a protein supplement for people wanting to build or maintain lean body mass.

Treatments for preeclampsia

Researchers at ETH Zurich have used trials with mice to shed light on signalling pathways that lead to thickened and less elastic blood vessels. They have developed a treatment approach for pregnant women with previously untreatable preeclampsia.

Reducing out of pocket health costs associated with better population health: study

Reducing user charges is associated with improved health outcomes in low and middle-income countries, new research has found.

Flu season: What you need to know to stay healthy

Each year, particularly during the winter months, millions of Americans are infected with influenza. The flu causes symptoms such as fever, coughing, body aches and fatigue, and, in some cases, can lead to serious complications and even death.

Connection of children to nature brings less distress, hyperactivity and behavioral problems

The city lifestyle has been criticised as a key reason that children are disconnected from nature. This has led to an unhealthy lifestyle in regard to active play and eating habits. Even worse, many young children do not feel well psychologically—they are often stressed and depressed. Sixteen percent of preschoolers in Hong Kong and up to 22 percent in China show signs of mental health problems.

Maryland regulators: Is medical marijuana effective for treating opioid addiction? Answer: It's complicated

As opioid overdose deaths continued to mount in Maryland last year, state lawmakers asked medical marijuana regulators to determine whether cannabis could be effective at treating addiction to heroin, fentanyl and oxycodone.

Want to be happier? Try getting to know yourself

The unexamined life is not worth living, wrote the Greek philosopher Socrates. He was reflecting on the expression "Know Thyself" – an aphorism inscribed on the temple of Apollo at Delphi and one of the ultimate achievements in ancient Greece.

The (decreasingly) rough-and-tumble world of childhood

Young children generally get more physically aggressive between the ages of 1½ and 3½, but that usually diminishes as they get older and go to school, a new Université de Montréal study shows.

GPs prescribe more opioids for pain in poor Northern areas, study reveals

English patients living in poorer areas are likely to be prescribed more opioids by their GPs, according to a study led by University of Manchester and University of Nottingham researchers.

A single protein could be the key to treating hydrocephalus

The brain and spinal cord are bathed in a clear liquid, of which humans produce about a half-liter daily via a small structure located deep within the brain.

Want to breastfeed? These five things will make it easier

More than 90 percent of Australian women start breastfeeding soon after the birth of their baby, but only 15 percent are exclusively breastfeeding at six months, despite national and international recommendations.

DNA sequencing can help fight epidemics—but there are privacy risks

The Democratic Republic of Congo is battling an Ebola outbreak. As is the case with any disease caused by pathogenic viruses – like Zika or influenza – Ebola spreads dangerously and unpredictably. This makes tracking the movement of viruses around the world a major challenge.

Researchers address a primary cause of treatment failure for pancreatic cancer

As the second leading cause of death worldwide, cancer is a focal point in both clinical research and health care fields, but not all cancers are created equal. While some cancers are now much less deadly due to recent medical advances, other aggressive cancers remain highly resistant to currently available therapies.

How we used computers to figure out drugs that can beat drug-resistant TB

Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the leading causes of death from infectious diseases. Globally, it accounts for around 1.3 million deaths and 10.4 million people develop the disease every year.

Unraveling the mysteries of multiple sclerosis

Leiden chemists discovered a new mechanism which might explain how multiple sclerosis shifts to a more severe form. Their findings contribute to unraveling the mysterious course of the disease. They have published their findings in the journal Biochemistry.

Mutual appreciation key to saving marriage after a stroke, study shows

Laurel Sproule knew something in her 18-year marriage was changing when she came into the kitchen and found her husband Fred just standing there.

Study shows vitamin D supplements are of no benefit to the over 70s

There is little benefit for those over 70 taking higher dose vitamin D supplements to improve their bone strength and reduce the risk of falls, new research has revealed.

Unraveling the genetic causes of skin cancer

Skin cancer is on the rise in the United States. Squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common form of cancer in the U.S., has the highest mortality rate of all non-melanoma skin cancers. In roughly two to five percent of patients, the disease will metastasize and spread throughout the body, making it difficult to treat.

Acute flaccid myelitis: What is the polio-like illness paralyzing U.S. children?

I experienced déjà vu when I took care of a child with acute flaccid myelitis in 2014, one of the first cases of its kind at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles in many years.

New report reveals stark north-south divide in painkiller prescribing in England

A new report has revealed that patients in the north of the country are being prescribed almost four times more opioids to relieve pain than those in the south.

Demi Lovato's overdose causes surge in media, but few mentions of lifesaving hotline

Demi Lovato's drug overdose and Anthony Bourdain's suicide resulted in unequal news coverage of national help hotlines, finds a new study published Jan. 14 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Vaccines: not just for kids

(HealthDay)—If you have children, you know how important it is to keep up with their immunization schedule.

Baby steps head off a fussy eater

(HealthDay)—Getting kids to try new foods can become a daily showdown. One promising approach: expose babies early on to varied tastes and textures.

Gay dads and their kids still face social shaming

(HealthDay)—Two-thirds of gay fathers have felt the pain of social stigma, and they have encountered that stigma most often in religious settings, a new survey shows.

Parents often unaware of kids' suicidal thoughts

(HealthDay)—When children are having suicidal thoughts, their parents may often be in the dark, a new study shows.

Pain and substance abuse interact in a vicious cycle

Pain and substance use interact in a vicious cycle that can ultimately worsen and maintain both chronic pain and addiction, according to a research team including faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Chance of depression in new doctors depends on where they train

Nearly 20,000 future doctors will graduate from U.S. medical school this spring, and embark on the residency training that launches their careers. Right now, they're choosing which hospitals and health systems they'd most like to train at.

Military spouses face higher perinatal depression risk

Women whose partners are away on military deployment are at greater risk of developing mental illness during the perinatal period, according to a review paper published in the Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps.

Clinical trial testing fecal microbiota transplant for recurrent diarrheal disease begins

A research consortium recently began enrolling patients in a clinical trial examining whether fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) by enema—putting stool from a healthy donor in the colon of a recipient—is safe and can prevent recurrent Clostridium difficile-associated disease (CDAD), a potentially life-threatening diarrheal illness. Investigators aim to enroll 162 volunteer participants 18 years or older who have had two or more episodes of CDAD within the previous six months.

WSU smart home tests first elder care robot

A robot created by Washington State University scientists could help elderly people with dementia and other limitations live independently in their own homes.

Virtual video visits may improve patient convenience without sacrificing quality of care

A team of researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) reports in the American Journal of Managed Care that virtual video visits, one form of telehealth visit used at the hospital, can successfully replace office visits for many patients without compromising the quality of care and communication. Virtual video visits are personal video chat communications between a health professional and patient using a computer or tablet via a secure application.

Diving deeper into developmental dyslexia

Men with dyslexia have altered structural connections between the thalamus and auditory cortex on the left side of the brain, new research published in JNeurosci reveals. The study extends similar observations of the dyslexic visual system and highlights the importance of early sensory processing for reading proficiency.

Memory of last meal influences when, how much rats eat next

Researchers have identified cells in the brains of male rats that appear to control future food intake by preserving memories of past meals. The study, published in eNeuro, lends support to the idea of boosting meal memories as a strategy for managing overeating.

Young-onset diabetes linked to higher risk of hospitalization for mental illness before age 40

Young-onset diabetes, which is defined as onset before age 40, is associated with a higher risk of being hospitalized for mental illness compared with those who develop diabetes later in life. Those with young-onset diabetes also faced increased hospitalizations for any reason across their lifetime. Findings from a population-based cohort study are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Q&A: Even the young and healthy benefit from the flu vaccine

Dear Mayo Clinic: I am 28 and healthy. I have never gotten a flu shot and have never had the flu. Do I really need a flu vaccination? My employer is recommending it for everyone, but I am hesitant. I have heard some people get sick from the actual vaccination.

Hallucination care and collaboration

While some hallucinations happen in mental health contexts, they can also happen under fairly normal circumstances. In fact, there is a window of time—typically when we are drifting in and out of sleep—when anybody is susceptible to having one, according to Adam Pierce, a PhD student in the Department of Psychology at the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

Menopause discrimination is a real thing – this is how employers can help

For many women, going through the menopause can be a difficult time. It typically occurs for women between 45-55 years-old and lasts four to eight years. Most women experience some symptoms – the severity and duration of which can vary from woman to woman. The most common symptoms include hot flushes, headaches, problems with memory or concentration and mood changes.

Sexual minorities more likely to suffer severe substance use disorders

Researchers know that lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals are more likely than heterosexuals to use alcohol, tobacco or other drugs, but until now they didn't know to what degree.

House Dems announce sweeping investigation of drug pricing

House Democrats announced a sweeping investigation Monday of the pharmaceutical industry's pricing practices, jockeying for the upper hand with the Trump administration on an issue that concerns Americans across the political spectrum.

Biology news

Differences in genes' geographic origin influence mitochondrial function

Differences in the geographic origin of genes may affect the function of human mitochondria—energy-generating organelles inside of cells—according to a new study. Mitochondria have their own genome, separate from the nuclear genome contained in the nucleus of the cell, and both genomes harbor genes integral to energy production by mitochondria. The study explores whether these "mito-nuclear" interactions, which are fine-tuned by natural selection over deep evolutionary time, could be altered when genes of different geographic origins are brought together within a genome. The study, which appears online January 14, 2019 in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, could have implications for public health and for medical procedures that replace mitochondria in human cells.

Honey bee parasites feed on fatty organs, not blood

Honey bee colonies around the world are at risk from a variety of threats, including pesticides, diseases, poor nutrition and habitat loss. Recent research suggests that one threat stands well above the others: a parasitic mite, Varroa destructor, which specializes in attacking honey bees.

Cilia beat to an unexpected rhythm in male reproductive tract, study in mice reveals

Waves of undulating cilia drive several processes essential to life. They clear debris and mucus from the respiratory tract, move spinal fluid through the brain and transport embryos from the ovaries to the uterus for implantation. According to a new study in mice, however, cilia perform somewhat differently in the male reproductive tract.

Gene-editing tool CRISPR repurposed to develop better antibiotics

A University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher and his collaborators at the University of California, San Francisco have repurposed the gene-editing tool CRISPR to study which genes are targeted by particular antibiotics, providing clues on how to improve existing antibiotics or develop new ones.

DNA of wolf declared extinct in wild lives on in Texas pack

Researchers say a pack of wild canines found frolicking near the beaches of the Texas Gulf Coast carries a substantial amount of red wolf genes, a surprising discovery because the animal was declared extinct in the wild nearly 40 years ago.

Cities could play a key role in pollinator conservation

Given the pressures that pollinators face in agricultural land, cities could play an important role in conserving pollinators, according to a new study. The research, carried out by scientists at the Universities of Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds and Reading in collaboration with Cardiff University and the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), has revealed that gardens and allotments are good for pollinators, and lavender and borage are important garden plants that pollinators use as food sources.

Using genomic data, researchers unlock history of North African date palm

Genome analysis reveals that North African date palms are a hybrid between cultivated date palms from the Middle East and a different, wild species of palm that grows on the island of Crete and in small areas of Southern Turkey. These findings, the result of research at NYU Abu Dhabi's Center for Genomics and Systems Biology (NYUAD CGSB), shed new light on the evolutionary history of one of the earliest domesticated tree crops in the world, which remains a major fruit crop in North Africa and the Middle East.

Central Texas salamanders, including newly identified species, at risk of extinction

Biologists at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered three new species of groundwater salamander in Central Texas, including one living west of Austin that they say is critically endangered. They also determined that an already known salamander species near Georgetown is much more endangered than previously thought.

Scientists identify how plants sense temperature

When it gets hot outside, humans and animals have the luxury of seeking shelter in the shade or cool, air-conditioned buildings. But plants are stuck.

UK must stay vigilant for bluetongue after 2007 'lucky escape'

A set of fortunate circumstances may have prevented the UK from being harder hit by bluetongue in the past but the threat of future outbreaks is only set to increase, new research reveals.

Herpes viruses and tumors evolved to learn how to manipulate the same ancient RNA

Herpes viral infections use the ancient genetic material found in the human genome to proliferate, mimicking the same process tumors have been found to manipulate, Mount Sinai researchers have shown for the first time. These observations provide further insight about how herpes viruses can manipulate the immune system in ways that may drive neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, according to the study, published in Nature Communications in January.

Wild insects 'get old' before they die

Short-lived wild insects "get old—losing some of their physical abilities—before they die, new research shows.

Step forward in understanding human feet

Scientists have made a step forward in understanding the evolution of human feet.

DNA tool allows you to trace your ancient ancestry

Scientists at the University of Sheffield studying ancient DNA have created a tool allowing them to more accurately identify ancient Eurasian populations, which can be used to test an individual's similarity to ancient people who once roamed the earth.

Let's prepare now so farming insects as food is environmentally friendly, say scientists

As whole-roasted crickets gain traction as a protein-rich snack and restaurants experiment with mealworms on the menu, there's still "an overwhelming lack of knowledge" concerning the ecological sustainability of the emerging, multi-million-dollar insects-as-food industry, say researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. In an opinion article published January 14 in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution, they explore unanswered questions around insect rearing, safety, and environmental impacts but overall are optimistic that suppliers will rise to the challenge.

A new mechanism helps explain differences between eukaryotic and bacterial proteomes

Why do distinct species have different proteins? Is there a key that allows eukaryotic cells to produce proteins involved in multicellularity that are mostly absent in prokaryotes? These are some of the questions addressed by the team of ICREA researcher Lluís Ribas, group leader of the Gene Translation lab at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona). Their work has led to the discovery of a mechanism that allows eukaryotic cells to synthesize proteins that bacteria find hard to produce.

New method knocks out yeast genes with single-point precision

How do you make yeast work harder? Not to make bread, but in processes that yield chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Industries currently use a yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. They'd like it to work better. The answer is in manipulating the yeast's genetic code. To get at that code, researchers developed a method that turns off targeted genes in the yeast, introducing mutations. The team's approach deletes specific points in the DNA sequence. They study how each deletion affects the yeast. Does a deletion cause the yeast to stop working in certain chemicals? Does a deletion make the yeast grow more slowly? The team's approach lets them study each gene, as well as in combination with other genes. With this approach, scientists can construct libraries of mutants for use in discovering how each gene works.

Flock party for rare bird

Hundreds of hard-core birders from across the nation have been flocking to South Los Angeles this week, hoping to catch a glimpse of a rare avian that wandered in from Siberia and inexplicably chose to hunker down within a hedge just south of the 10 Freeway.

Discovery casts doubt on cell surface organization models

Like planets, the body's cell surfaces look smooth from a distance, but contoured closer up. An article published in Communications Biology describes previously unknown implications of the way data from cell surfaces are normally interpreted; i.e. as if they lacked topographic features.

Tomato plant aroma to protect crops

Tomato plants emit an aroma in order to ward off bacterial attacks. This volatile compound is hexenyl butyrate (HB), and according to testing by researchers at the Institute for Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology, it has great potential for protecting crops from infections, drought, etc. The finding has been published in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science.

Investigating why oak trees are dying is helping scientists understand how infectious diseases work

British oak trees are under threat from a disease known as Acute Oak Decline. Mainly affecting mature trees, it can kill them within four to five years of symptoms appearing. However, while researchers like myself have been looking into what causes it, and trying to find a way to prevent it, our work has been hindered in part by the fact that we have to follow a set of scientific rules known as Koch's postulates.

New mathematical model to save endangered species

What does the blue whale have in common with the Bengal tiger and the green turtle? They share the risk of extinction and are classified as endangered species. There are multiple reasons for species to die out, and climate change is among the main reasons.

New orca calf seen among Puget Sound's critically endangered killer whales

A new calf has been born to the critically endangered southern resident killer whales, researchers confirmed.

Stem cells regulate their fate by altering their stiffness

In adults, mesenchymal stems cells (MSCs) are primarily found in bone marrow and they play a vital role in repair of damaged organs. The transformation of a single MSC into complex tissue like cartilage and bone starts with its association with other MSCs in order to form microscopic clusters via a process termed as condensation. While it is known that this condensation step is important for skeletal development the exact role it plays in formation of bone and cartilage is not understood. A team led by Prof. Dr. Prasad Shastri and Dr. Melika Sarem of the Institute for Macromolecular Chemistry at the University of Freiburg present evidence for autonomous control of chondrogenesis in MSCs. These findings are published in the journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy.

Researchers identify long-sought activator of sigma receptors in human cells, marking important advance in cell biology

Cells communicate through complex mechanisms that typically involve receptors and ligands that bind to them. Endogenous ligands, produced by the body, have been identified for the vast majority of cellular receptors, helping explain receptor existence and function. But in the case of sigma-1 receptors, which interact with a diverse array of psychoactive drugs, an endogenous ligand has remained elusive. Now, researchers at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM), in collaboration with scientists at the University of Cambridge, show that choline, an essential nutrient that functions in metabolism, is an endogenous activator of sigma-1 receptors, marking an important advance in cell biology.

Putting cells under pressure

As cells divide to form tissues and organs in multicell organisms, they move to where they belong, informed by a series of cues that scientists have yet to observe or fully understand.

California sea lions killed to protect migrating fish

Authorities in the western US state of Oregon have euthanized four sea lions in the last month as part of a program to protect salmon runs and steelhead trout that are at risk of going extinct.

Panda celebrates first birthday in Malaysian zoo with ice cake

A giant panda born in a Malaysian zoo celebrated her first birthday Monday with a cake made of ice in front of adoring visitors.

What happens after you take injured wildlife to the vet?

Australia's wildlife is unique and endearing, with many species found nowhere else in the world. Unfortunately, it isn't rare to encounter sick or injured wildlife around your home or by the side of the road. My research, recently published in the Australian Veterinary Journal, estimates between 177,580 and 355,160 injured wild animals are brought into NSW veterinary clinics alone every year.

Introducing PROSPERA: A new sweet basil hybrid resistant to Downy Mildew

In recent years an epidemic of Downy Mildew (DM) has caused severe damage to sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) crops all over the world. The cause of the epidemic is a leaf fungus called Peronospora belbahrii. Symptoms of infected plants include deformed leaves, chlorotic lesions on leaves and dark spores on the lower leaf surface.


This email is a free service of Science X Network
You received this email because you subscribed to our list.
If you do not wish to receive such emails in the future, please unsubscribe here.
You are subscribed as jmabs1@gmail.com. You may manage your subscription options from your Science X profile

ga

No comments: