Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Science X Newsletter Tuesday, Jan 29

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for January 29, 2019:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Researchers observe inwardly rotating spirals in a nonoscillatory medium

New quantum system could help design better spintronics

China's regulations unsuccessful in curbing methane emissions: study

Surprising electronic disorder in a copper oxide-based ceramic

Ultra-luminous infrared galaxy with strong ionized-gas outflow discovered

Investigating the dynamics of nanoparticle formation from a precursor at atomic resolution

Active galaxies point to new physics of cosmic expansion

iPhone FaceTime bug lets callers eavesdrop

Engineers translate brain signals directly into speech

Windows Lite: Whispers focus on streamlining, ditching and Windows 7-like comfort

Set of genes predicts severity of dengue, study reports

Research sheds light on body clock and links to mental health and disease

Fluid dynamics simulation reveals the underlying physics of liquid jet cleaning

New research framework may help better understand, predict infectious disease risks

Heavy drinking may change DNA, leading to increased craving for alcohol

Astronomy & Space news

Ultra-luminous infrared galaxy with strong ionized-gas outflow discovered

Japanese astronomers report the identification of a new ultra-luminous infrared galaxy (ULIRG) as part of the search for far-infrared-bright but optically faint objects. The newly detected ULIRG, designated AKARI-FIS-V2 J0916248+073034, exhibits a strong ionized gas outflow. A paper detailing the discovery was published January 17 on arXiv.org.

Active galaxies point to new physics of cosmic expansion

Investigating the history of our cosmos with a large sample of distant 'active' galaxies observed by ESA's XMM-Newton, a team of astronomers found there might be more to the early expansion of the universe than predicted by the standard model of cosmology.

MaNGA data release includes detailed maps of thousands of nearby galaxies

The latest data release from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) includes observations revealing the internal structure and composition of nearly 5,000 nearby galaxies observed during the first three years of a program called Mapping Nearby Galaxies at Apache Point Observatory (MaNGA).

Technology news

iPhone FaceTime bug lets callers eavesdrop

A newly discovered FaceTime bug lets people hear and even see those they are reaching out to on iPhones even if the other person hasn't answered their phone.

Engineers translate brain signals directly into speech

In a scientific first, Columbia neuroengineers have created a system that translates thought into intelligible, recognizable speech. By monitoring someone's brain activity, the technology can reconstruct the words a person hears with unprecedented clarity. This breakthrough, which harnesses the power of speech synthesizers and artificial intelligence, could lead to new ways for computers to communicate directly with the brain. It also lays the groundwork for helping people who cannot speak, such as those living with as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or recovering from stroke, regain their ability to communicate with the outside world.

Windows Lite: Whispers focus on streamlining, ditching and Windows 7-like comfort

A Windows Lite OS, really? Expect to see a lot more talk about Lite. If and when we get such a thing, you might also expect positive comments like "simple," "uncluttered," and "good riddance live tiles."

An AI that 'de-biases' algorithms

We've learned in recent years that AI systems can be unfair, which is dangerous, as they're increasingly being used to do everything from predicting crime to determining what news we consume. Last year's study showing the racism of face-recognition algorithms demonstrated a fundamental truth about AI: if you train with biased data, you'll get biased results.

For bruised Apple, a need to go beyond the iPhone

Apple is aiming to show it can do more than just make iPhones in a quarterly update Tuesday for investors who are skeptical over whether the culture-changing company can regain the momentum from its glory days.

Apple to fix FaceTime bug that allows eavesdropping

Apple has disabled a group-chat function in FaceTime after users said a software bug could let callers activate another person's microphone remotely.

EU urges internet firms to intensify fake news fight

The European Union on Tuesday urged US internet giants and advertising firms to intensify the fight against disinformation campaigns before EU elections in May, or risk regulation.

Flying taxis within five years? Not likely

When the American aerospace company Bell Nexus unveiled an air taxi at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this month it breathed new life into conversations about a future where ride sharing happens in the air rather than on the ground.

The end of web neutrality, the end of the Internet?

A December 2017 decision by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), the American agency responsible for regulating the US telecom sector (equivalent of the French ARCEP and the European BEREC), has changed the status of its Internet-service providers. While Europe is protected because of the law on open Internet access, adopted in 2015, the change in the United States provides a good opportunity for reflecting on the neutrality of Internet services.

Tweeting in an emergency

Social media has become a useful tool for the rapid dissemination of information. Writing in the International Journal of Emergency Management, a UK team describes their investigations into whether or not the likes of Twitter can be integrated effectively into emergency management.

New technology gives stronger voice to people, helps companies improve service

Say goodbye to the conventional focus group and its lack of real-time feedback.

Could artificial intelligence improve patient care in the NHS?

The adoption of artificial intelligence in the diagnosis and prognosis of disease could help to extend people's lives whilst providing significant savings for the NHS.

Embedding ethics in computer science curriculum

Barbara Grosz has a fantasy that every time a computer scientist logs on to write an algorithm or build a system, a message will flash across the screen that asks, "Have you thought about the ethical implications of what you're doing?"

Three ways that big data reveals what you really like to watch, read and listen to

Anyone who's watched "Bridget Jones's Diary" knows one of her New Year's resolutions is "Not go out every night but stay in and read books and listen to classical music."

MH370: New underwater sound wave analysis suggests alternative travel route and new impact locations

Motivated by a desire to help find Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which is believed to have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean in March 2014, we proposed a way of working out where objects hit the surface of the ocean using underwater acoustic waves. Unfortunately this didn't lead to finding the plane. However, our research into these waves has moved on since we first proposed the idea in 2017, and we have now been able to identify two locations where the aeroplane could have impacted with the ocean, as well as an alternative route that the plane may have taken.

Millions of people like and share junk news on Facebook

Junk news sites with unknown names such as Trendnieuws and Viraal Vandaag reach millions of Dutch people thanks to their Facebook pages. Messages from those pages are much more often shared and liked than messages from pages from well-known news media such as De Telegraaf, NOS and NU.nl. This is shown by research by Nieuwscheckers and the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS).

Smart, self-powered knee implants could reduce number of knee replacement surgeries

Smart knee implants may soon be a reality thanks to research conducted by a team including faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Expect more requests to subscribe from Apple on iPhones and iPads

Don't look now, but expect a lot more messages from Apple this year to try out new services, analysts say.

Cord cutting? Amazon has more movies, but Netflix has higher-rated films, tech site finds

When you want to watch a movie, which streaming service truly delivers?

Facebook duped kids into spending on games without Mom and Dad knowing, documents reveal

Earlier this decade, Facebook bamboozled kids and parents out of hundreds or even thousands of dollars as the social network attempted to profit from playing such online games "Angry Birds," "PetVille" and "Ninja Saga."

YouTube to curb recommending conspiracy videos

Video network YouTube responded to critics who have long called on the Google company to clean up its recommendation engine, and not offer conspiracy videos in suggested plays.

Tappy the robot is behind part of charges against Huawei

Chinese tech company Huawei went so far as to steal a robot's arm in its bid to get its hands on T-Mobile's trade secrets, the U.S. government alleges.

Japan's ANA to order 30 Boeing, 18 Airbus planes

The operator of Japan's All Nippon Airways said Tuesday it has decided to order a total of 48 aircraft from Boeing and Airbus for deliveries from 2021 through 2025.

Philips underlying 2018 profit higher after lighting sale

Dutch electronics giant Philips said Tuesday its 2018 headline earnings plunged more than 40 percent, reflecting the disposal of its lighting business, but underlying profit rose while sales were steady.

Huawei ban blamed as new Australian mobile network axed

An Australian telecommunications company on Tuesday cancelled plans to create the country's fourth mobile phone network, blaming a recent security-driven ban on China's Huawei.

French authorities reject Ford plant closure plan

French authorities have rejected a plan put forward by US auto-maker Ford to close one of its plants, giving a Franco-Belgian equipment manufacturer more time to improve a buy-out offer.

Intel announces Israel expansion government values at $10 bn

Intel said Tuesday it is expanding its operations in Israel, where government ministers said the US computer chipmaker will invest some 10 billion dollars in a new plant.

Billion-euro SAP restructuring to cost 4,400 jobs

German software giant SAP said Tuesday it would slash 4,400 jobs in a billion-euro restructuring plan after profits stagnated in 2018, while insisting it was on track to grow revenues and earnings this year.

Norwegian to raise 300 mn euros to bolster finances

Struggling low-cost carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle said Tuesday it planned to sell new shares to raise three billion kroner (309 million euros) to meet financial obligations as it restructures and cuts costs.

Huawei: how the telecoms giant is seen around the world

US charges against Chinese telecoms giant Huawei have cranked up tensions between the world's two biggest economies, but the company is already facing obstructions around the world over alleged cyber-security risks.

IBM Research releases 'Diversity in Faces' dataset to advance study of fairness in facial recognition systems

Have you ever been treated unfairly? How did it make you feel? Probably not too good. Most people generally agree that a fairer world is a better world, and our AI researchers couldn't agree more. That's why we are harnessing the power of science to create AI systems that are more fair and accurate.

Research into lithium-oxygen batteries could boost performance of electronics, cars

Sick of having to plug in your phone every night? Help might be on the way.

Some journalists wonder if their profession is tweet-crazy

If Twitter is the town square for journalists, some are ready to step away.

Medicine & Health news

Set of genes predicts severity of dengue, study reports

There's no such thing as a "good" case of dengue fever, but some are worse than others, and it's difficult to determine which patients will make a smooth recovery and which may find their condition life-threatening.

Research sheds light on body clock and links to mental health and disease

A large-scale genomic analysis has revealed some of the inner workings of the body clock, shedding new light on how it links to mental health and disease.

Heavy drinking may change DNA, leading to increased craving for alcohol

Binge and heavy drinking may trigger a long-lasting genetic change, resulting in an even greater craving for alcohol, according to a Rutgers-led study in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Cancer: A mutation that breaks gene interplay in 3-D

Inside cells DNA is tightly wrapped around proteins and packed in a complex, 3-D structure called chromatin. Chromatin not only protects genetic material from damage, but also organizes the entire genome by regulating the expression of genes in three dimensions, unwinding them for presentation to the cell's gene-expression machinery and then winding them back in.

Finding second hits to knock out leukemia

Many new anti-cancer drugs inhibit proteins that are essential for the proliferation of cancer cells. One example is ibrutinib, an innovative therapy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia first approved in 2014. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is caused by uncontrolled growth of cells from the immune system. It is the most common leukemia in the Western world.

Big data provides clues for characterizing immunity in Japanese

Although genes are distributed widely across chromosomes, many genes related to the immune system are clustered together on human chromosome 6 in a segment called the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region. The density of genes there makes it difficult for researchers to characterize them and their effects, but new technologies and large biobanks with data on huge numbers of people have opened the door to deeper insights into this region.

Waist-stature ratio can indicate the risk of cardiovascular disease even in healthy men

Health experts have warned for years that men and women with excess abdominal fat run a greater risk of developing cardiovascular problems. However, individuals with abdominal or central obesity are not the only ones in danger, according to a new study.

Scientists generate, track development of myelin-producing brain cells

Studying human oligodendrocytes, which provide insulation for nerve cells, has been challenging. But a new way of generating stem-cell-derived, three-dimensional brain-cell cultures is paying off.

Identification of a central regulator

A new study by LMU researchers shows that the protein ApoE plays a key role in the pathogenesis of diseases associated with chronic inflammation, and identifies a new target for therapeutic strategies against atherosclerosis and Alzheimer's disease.

How the body fights cancer and intruders

The human body's immune system is like a vast team of special agents. Certain cells called T cells each individually specialize in recognizing a particular intruder, such as the influenza virus or salmonella. Determining a given T cell's target is a critical step in designing personalized treatments for cancers and developing vaccines. Now, a team of Caltech scientists has developed two new methods for rapidly determining T cell targets.

Study suggests people become susceptible to social influence around age 12

An international team of researchers has found evidence that suggests children begin to become susceptible to social influence when they reach age 12. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes experiments they conducted with 155 children between the ages of six and 14 (some of whom were autistic) and what they found.

Non-invasive prenatal sequencing test complements current prenatal screening for genetic diseases

In 2017, Baylor Genetics introduced the first clinical non-invasive prenatal multigene sequencing screen, PreSeek, to the commercial market. The Baylor College of Medicine and Baylor Genetics team that developed the technology has now released initial results of a clinical study evaluating its accuracy and utility. The study appears in Nature Medicine.

New therapeutic targets for kidney fibrosis emerge

Chronic kidney disease is a global health concern, affecting about 10 percent of the world's population—and increasing in prevalence. A final, common pathway in chronic kidney disease is fibrosis. Just as fibrosis—or the formation of fibrous connective tissue—can cause devastating effects in the lung, liver, heart and elsewhere, fibrosis of the kidneys can ultimately lead to end-stage kidney failure. In recent years, investigators have found that after acute kidney injury, the kidneys often fail to completely repair themselves, and kidney cells may get stuck during the cell cycle in a state in which they release profibrotic factors. A new study, published in Science Translational Medicine, builds upon these findings, identifying key factors involved in this cell cycle arrest and illuminating their consequences. Based on these discoveries, the research team, led by investigators at Brigham and Women's Hospital, also identifies a novel intracellular structure and new therapeutic targets for kidney fibrosis.

Brexit could lead to thousands of extra heart disease and stroke deaths

Thousands of extra deaths from heart disease and stroke might become a reality in England over the next decade if Britain presses ahead with Brexit on March 29, reveals research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Hand hygiene compliance among paramedics 'remarkably low'

Paramedics' compliance with hand hygiene standards seems to be "remarkably low," finds an observational study of ambulance staff practice in four countries and published online in Emergency Medicine Journal.

Persistent sore throat could be larynx cancer warning

GPs should consider larynx cancer when patients report a persistent sore throat, particularly when combined with other seemingly low-level symptoms.

Tongue microbiome could help identify patients with early-stage pancreatic cancer

Differences in the abundance of certain bacteria living on the tongue can distinguish patients with early pancreatic cancers from healthy individuals, according to results from a new study published in the Journal of Oral Microbiology.

Do women with breast cancer have a higher risk of atrial fibrillation?

Patients with breast cancer may have an increased incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF), say researchers. A retrospective study in Denmark has found that women with breast cancer have an increased risk of developing AF within three years following their cancer diagnosis compared with other women of the same age. The results are published in HeartRhythm, the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society and the Cardiac Electrophysiology Society.

Women twice as likely to suffer from severe depression after a stroke

New research today published in the European Journal of Neurology has found that women are twice as likely to suffer from severe depression following a stroke than men.

Exploring the connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline

Hearing loss affects tens of millions of Americans and its global prevalence is expected to grow as the world's population ages. A new study led by investigators at Brigham and Women's Hospital adds to a growing body of evidence that hearing loss is associated with higher risk of cognitive decline. These findings suggest that hearing loss may help identify individuals at greater risk of cognitive decline and could provide insights for earlier intervention and prevention.

Major progress against hep C by 2030 is possible, but will need vast improvements in screening, prevention, treatment

A comprehensive package of prevention, screening, and treatment interventions could avert 15.1 million new hepatitis C infections and 1.5 million cirrhosis and liver cancer deaths globally by 2030—equal to an 80% reduction in incidence and a 60% reduction in deaths compared with 2015, according to the first study to model hepatitis C interventions globally published in The Lancet.

Chick-inspired autism test for newborn babies to help early intervention

Giorgio Vallortigara didn't set out to develop software that could detect whether babies have autism. A neuroscience professor at the University of Trento in Italy, his areas of expertise include animal cognition – he's into the brains of honeybees, zebrafish and newly-hatched chicks.

Long-term unemployment linked to increase in neonatal abstinence syndrome

Babies born after being exposed to opioids before birth are more likely to be delivered in regions of the U.S. with high rates of long-term unemployment and lower levels of mental health services, according to a study from researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the RAND Corporation.

Study examines barriers to exercise experienced by dialysis patients

A new study has identified several barriers that make it difficult for dialysis patients to exercise. The study, which appears in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN), also explored the benefits that these patients would like to gain from exercising, if they were able to do so.

What happens when you run on a full stomach?

Every year, thousands of runners take part in an event called the Krispy Kreme Challenge. The challenge consists of running 2.5 miles through downtown Raleigh, from NC State University to a Krispy Kreme store, consuming a dozen donuts, and running back again. This raises some interesting questions.

3-D printing could give you a better pill to swallow

In March 2017, 13-year-old Joseph was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis. He has been undergoing treatment at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool ever since.

Health Check: What causes bloating and gassiness?

Your trousers fit when you put them on in the morning. But come mid-afternoon, they're uncomfortably tight – and you didn't even overdo it at lunchtime. Sound familiar?

Back at school? Here's how to keep kids free of head lice

A new school year, and another battle between bloodsucking parasites and the kids they love to live on.

Screen time predicts delays in child development, says new research

Researchers, doctors, public health officials and parents are all trying to make sense of the impact of screen time on children.

Engineering a cancer-fighting virus

Hokkaido University researchers have engineered a virus that selectively targets and kills cancer cells. The virus, called dl355, has an even stronger anticancer effect than another engineered virus currently used in clinical practice, according to a study published in the journal Oncology Reports.

Transplanting pig hearts into sick babies may be a promising temporary treatment option

Xenotransplantation—transplanting organs from animals into humans—is one step closer to becoming a possibility for infants awaiting human heart transplantation, according to research presented by University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers at the annual Society of Thoracic Surgeons meeting today.

Ultrasound predicts fistula formation for kidney dialysis patients

For more than 20 years, Michael Allon, M.D., and Michelle Robbin, M.D.—along with Carlton Young, M.D., and interventional radiology colleagues in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine divisions of Nephrology and Transplantation, and the Department of Radiology—have collaborated to improve the care of end-stage kidney disease patients who are on hemodialysis.

New stage in the development of corrective mechanisms for ischemia and neurodegenerative diseases

In the last decade, a growing body of experimental data has confirmed that neural networks are the minimal functional unit of the nervous system. It is the neural networks rather than individual neurons (as previously thought) that are responsible for the key functions of the brain: information processing, storage and transmission.

How to create health care centaurs—half doctors and half managers

If hospital doctors around the world often struggle to become the half-professionals and half-managers that modern healthcare organizations need, the main responsibility is not their resistance to change, but the lack of effective support from the organization, according to a study by Marco Sartirana (CERGAS, Bocconi University), Graeme Currie (Warwick Business School), and Mirko Noordegraaf (Utrecht School of Governance), published by the Public Management Review.

Study increases check-ups for smokers at risk of lung cancer by 40 per cent

Researchers at the University of Melbourne, University of Western Australia and their collaborators have found that by helping patients at high risk of lung cancer identify and monitor their symptoms, they are 40 per cent more likely to seek help from their doctor.

Meat beefs up men's sexual motivation, study suggests

Men looking to beef up their love life are drawn to eating meat because they believe it makes them appear more desirable to the opposite sex, according to a new international study.

Serendipitous meeting leads to new insights into Fanconi anemia

A chance exchange between Yale scientists has led to new insight into the causes of Fanconi anemia (FA), a rare but devastating disease of childhood marked by a failure of bone marrow to produce new blood cells.

Heart attack care 'excellent around the clock'

Admission to hospital with a heart attack outside normal working hours does not appear to increase a patient's chance of dying in hospital, according to a study of more than 600,000 patient cases.

Scientists discover an immune clock that controls infections and cardiovascular disease

Researchers at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC) have demonstrated the existence of an immune clock that coordinates the day/night cycles through the activity of a class of leucocytes called neutrophils. Neutrophils are the body's main line of defense, but their action can also damage healthy cells of the cardiovascular system. This newly discovered clock dictates when these cells are activated and when they should be eliminated from the circulating blood.

Bonding with friends—without food

(HealthDay)—Socializing with friends is great for physical and emotional well-being, but if all of your get-togethers are at restaurants or bars, it can be hard to stick to a healthy eating plan.

Newborn babies have inbuilt ability to pick out words, finds study

A research study of newborn babies has revealed that humans are born with the innate skills needed to pick out words from language.

Delays in blood cancer diagnosis could be avoided, study finds

Many patients with lymphoma take longer to be diagnosed than expected, with some thinking these delays could have been avoided, a new report from the University of York has found.

Doctors are prescribing opioids for shorter duration, lower doses in children

As the opioid epidemic continues to plague the United States, physician-researchers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) analyzed prescription patterns in children. They found that both duration of treatment and dose amounts declined between 2013 and 2017, while the rate of prescribing remained the same.

Researchers adopt play-by-play method to understand how counsellors can promote health

Using a page from a coach's playbook, a UBC researcher has come up with a method to analyze behaviour change counselling sessions and determine what makes them work.

Many suffering children in Somaliland need surgery, but most of those needs go unmet

Children in Somaliland suffer a significant burden of health conditions—particularly congenital deformities and wound-related conditions—that could be bettered by surgery, but most of these needs are being unmet, according to a study by Baylor University and Duke University published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers use AI to detect early signs of Alzheimer's

Nearly 50 million people worldwide have Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia. While age is the greatest risk factor for developing the disease, researchers believe most Alzheimer's cases occur as a result of complex interactions among genes and other factors. But those factors and the role they play are not known—yet.

New target for gastric cancer therapies

Cardiff University researchers have uncovered new information about the underlying mechanisms for gastric cancer, providing hope of potential new therapies in the future.

We all want increased choice in elder care – but neoliberal health policies make this difficult

We can all agree that older people should have the choice to stay at home, and be cared for there, if that is what they wish to do. But the push for choice in elder care comes at a time where many governments are disinvesting in home-care public services.

Experts share how our relationships with each other, the world around us and ourselves can make us happy

Depending on who you ask, happiness can be a lot of things.

Sleep, mood affect how 'in control' older adults feel

Psychology researchers have found another reason that sleep, mood and stress are important: they affect the extent to which older adults feel they have control over their lives. The findings can inform efforts to improve an individual's sense of control, which has ramifications for physical, mental and emotional health.

Eight myths about meal-replacement diets debunked

Meal-replacement diets, where some meals are replaced with soups, shakes or bars, have been making a comeback. They first took off during the early days of space travel when the public became obsessed with the idea of a nutritionally complete meal in a single drink or bar. These products remained popular for most of the 70s and 80s, but gradually fell from favour as people began to question the health benefits of these diets.

Stressed out by shutdown chaos? 4 evidence-based tools to help you cope

Despite the short-term relief from the government shutdown, there's a growing feeling that what appears to be political chaos in Washington is rippling across the country.

Scientists explore tick salivary glands as tool to study virus transmission and infection

The salivary glands of some tick species could become important research tools for studying how viruses are transmitted from ticks to mammals, and for developing preventive medical countermeasures. Tick salivary glands usually block transmission, but a new study conducted by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health focuses on the role of salivary glands in spreading flaviviruses from black-legged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) to mammals. The new study, published in the journal mBio, advances the researchers' work published in 2017 that established cultured tick organs as a model for flavivirus infection.

Shifts in sugar consumption in Canada uncovered

Public health researchers and organizations have increasingly warned that high sugar consumption can lead to the development of several metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.

Higher doses of oxytocin do not reduce the use of caesarean sections

Delayed labor increases the risk of a caesarean section, even among women who receive oxytocin for augmentation of labour. The rate of caesarean section among first-time mothers is not reduced if the administered dose is doubled either, according to a dissertation from Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Use of synthetic drug Flakka rare among high school seniors, but most users take numerous drugs

Nearly 1 percent of high school seniors report using Flakka, a highly potent and potentially dangerous synthetic drug, according to a study by researchers at NYU School of Medicine, the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research (CDUHR) at NYU College of Global Public Health, and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

Study identifies biomedical potential of bivalves

Shellfish like oysters and mussels have the potential to revolutionize human health research, according to a new paper in Developmental and Comparative Immunology. The study reveals how using bivalves as model organisms offers numerous promising avenues for medical research—from pharmaceutical development to bone regeneration.

Emerging evidence of an impending Parkinson's disease pandemic identified

For most of human history Parkinson's disease (PD) has been a rare disorder. However, demography and the by-products of industrialization a now contributing to an impending a Parkinson's pandemic, according to experts writing in a supplement to the Journal of Parkinson's Disease. They say that this pandemic can be addressed by the Parkinson's community forming a "PACT" to prevent the disease, advocate for policies and resources aimed at slowing its spread, care for all those affected, and treat with effective and novel therapies.

Investigators study effect of switching insulin medications

In the United States, the drug price for insulin has skyrocketed over the last two decades. While the price has increased for all forms of insulin, newer, "analogue" insulin medications such as glargine and lispro have become especially expensive. This is particularly true for patients with insufficient drug coverage or for Medicare beneficiaries in the Part D coverage gap. In 2015, CareMore Health, an integrated health delivery system and subsidiary of Anthem Inc., piloted an intervention to switch members from analogue to less expensive human insulin. Investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital have analyzed the results of the program, finding that the switch was associated with only a small, population-level increase—0.14 percent—in hemoglobin A1c, a value that falls within expected biological variation. The findings appear in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

With weight loss being a common self-improvement goal does the 'buddy system' approach to weight loss work?

One of the more common self-improvement goals, particularly in the winter months before "beach body" season, is to lose weight. How people attempt to achieve their goals may vary by individual, but one of the more popular approaches is enrollment in a commercial weight loss program that uses a 'buddy system' approach to weight loss.

Lower obesity rates linked with public transportation use, study shows

Public transportation systems provide numerous economic benefits for a community. An added public health bonus provided by such systems may be lower obesity rates.

Study: Faster weight loss no better than slow weight loss for health benefits

Losing weight slowly or quickly won't tip the scale in your favour when it comes to overall health, according to new research. Health researchers at York University found that people who lose weight quickly versus those who lose it slowly don't get any additional health benefits and it's the amount of weight lost overall that can have an impact.

Vegan diets are best for gut hormones and satiety, according to new study

A study published in the journal Nutrients finds that a vegan diet helps to promote beneficial gut hormones that are responsible for regulating blood sugar, satiety, and weight.

New cell model of most common form of Alzheimer's points to molecular causes, drug target

Harvard Medical School geneticists have created a new model-in-a-dish of sporadic Alzheimer's disease, which accounts for more than 90 percent of Alzheimer's cases and tends to strike people without a family history of the disease.

Reports: Limit food industry sway on public health matters

The tweet from a group that finances development in Latin America was direct: Sodas do not offer beauty or joy, just a lot of sugar.

What if you were your own blood donor for surgery?

(HealthDay)—Heart surgery patients may fare better if they have their own blood "recycled" and given back to them during the procedure, a preliminary study suggests.

Layer up during the polar vortex

(HealthDay)— As a giant polar vortex sweeps down over most of the United States, bringing with it temperatures so frigid that frostbite and hypothermia can happen within minutes, doctors have some advice for those who dare to venture outside.

This family walks to honor a young life lost to heart condition

"I'm going to be there—I'm part of Team Glenn!" Lauren Harris told her father, Glenn, in 2017.

Intensive BP treatment does not reduce dementia risk

(HealthDay)—Treating systolic blood pressure (BP) to a goal of less than 120 mm Hg rather than 140 mm Hg does not result in a significant reduction in the risk for probable dementia, according to a study published online Jan. 28 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

MEESSI-acute heart failure risk score validated

(HealthDay)—The Multiple Estimation of risk based on the Emergency department Spanish Score In patients with Acute Heart Failure (MEESSI-AHF) can accurately predict 30-day mortality in patients with AHF, according to a study published online Jan. 29 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Blood conservation safe, effective during heart surgery

(HealthDay)—Blood conservation via intraoperative autologous donation (IAD) is safe and effective in reducing transfusions during cardiac surgery, according to research presented at the annual meeting of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, held from Jan. 27 to 29 in San Diego.

National study compares options for treating fecal incontinence

It is a common health problem that causes uncommon personal discomfort.

Germany to soften ban on 'advertising' abortions

Germany's coalition government agreed in principle Tuesday to soften a Nazi-era law that bars medical doctors from advertising abortion services.

Myocarditis: Overshooting the mark

Researchers of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have shown that a protein called midkine, a member of the class of signaling molecules known as cytokines, is a key driver of inflammation in the heart muscle that can lead to heart failure in patients with myocarditis.

Hit by patent loss, Pfizer delivers disappointing forecast

Pfizer delivered a disappointing financial outlook Tuesday, citing competition from generics and a strong dollar after it fell into the red in last year's fourth quarter.

Water with high iron content is one of the main risk factors for the appearance of black stains on dental plaque

Researchers of the Oral Microbiology Group of the CEU Cardenal Herrera University (Valencia, Spain) have published the results of their study on the main risk factors for the appearance of black-coloured stains on gum-adjacent dental plaque in the journal Scientific Reports. The high content in iron and the high pH of the water that is consumed and saliva are statistically the most significant factors as regards the appearance of these black stains among all those studied by the CEU UCH researchers.

New study analyzes cost effectiveness of smoked cannabis to treat chronic neuropathic pain

Smoked cannabis as an adjunctive second-line therapy to treat chronic peripheral neuropathy can be both effective and cost-effective. The results of a new study simulating its use in one million patients are published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

GOP senator pledges insulin probe as Congress holds hearings

A senior Republican lawmaker said Tuesday he plans to investigate spikes in the price of insulin for people with diabetes as Congress opened hearings on the high cost of prescription drugs.

What is 'stomach flu?'

What many people commonly call "stomach flu" isn't flu at all. If you're tired and have an unsettled tummy, you may have a stomach virus.

Book offers hope to parents of children who self-injure

Parents who discover their children intentionally hurt themselves—by cutting, carving, scratching or burning their skin—often feel guilty and ashamed, assuming they somehow caused their children's emotional distress.

Biology news

New research framework may help better understand, predict infectious disease risks

The 2014-16 Ebola virus epidemic that ravaged Western Africa, killing thousands, was the largest in history. An analysis of the epidemic found that not all individuals played an equal role in spreading the deadly infectious disease—just 3 percent of patients caused more than 60 percent of infections in other people. "Superspreaders" have also been implicated in other outbreaks, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

In simple bacteria, scientists find new evidence of complex immunity

Bacteria have lots of enemies. Among them are rivaling bacteria, viruses, and even DNA—namely, a special type of DNA called a plasmid, which can infect a microbe and hijack its inner resources to replicate. Luckily for them, bacteria have evolved remarkably flexible tactics for fighting off infections.

Study of foot posture shows association between foot type and body size evolution in mammals

A quartet of researchers from the University of Tokyo in Japan and the University of Reading in the U.K. has found an association between the evolution of foot posture and body size in mammals. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Tai Kubo, Manabu Sakamoto, Andrew Meade and Chris Venditti describe their study of foot posture in a large variety of extant mammal species and their subsequent development of a phylogenetic tree.

Do bigger brains equal smarter dogs? New study offers answers

Bigger dogs, with larger brains, perform better on certain measures of intelligence than their smaller canine counterparts, according to a new study led by the University of Arizona.

Why large forest fires may not be a big threat to some endangered animals

A new study in The Condor: Ornithological Applications shows that certain endangered owls may continue to persist and even flourish after large forest fires.

Road proximity may boost songbird nest success in tropics

In the world's temperate regions, proximity to roads usually reduces the reproductive success of birds, thanks to predators that gravitate toward habitat edges. However, the factors affecting bird nest success are much less studied in the tropics—so does this pattern hold true? New research published in The Condor: Ornithological Applications shows that interactions between roads, nesting birds, and their predators may unfold differently in Southeast Asia.

Judge upholds protection for gray wolves in California

A California judge on Monday upheld protection for gray wolves under the state's Endangered Species Act, rejecting a legal challenge from ranchers and farmers who fear the predators will threaten their livestock.

Australian researchers test shark-bite resistant wetsuit

An Australian university is testing new materials designed to lessen the impact of shark bites, researchers said Tuesday, in a project aimed at reducing fatalities and easing the nerves of swimmers.

Study finds spike in deadly heart disease linked to trendy dog diets

University of California, Davis, veterinarians led a team that has found a link between some popular grain-free, legume-rich dog diets and a type of nutritional deficiency and canine heart disease known as taurine-deficient dilated cardiomyopathy. The study was recently published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Novel else-tree classifier seeks to minimize misclassification in biological research studies

Truong Xuan Tran may have started his academic career as an electronic and telecommunication engineering major at the Hanoi University of Science and Technology, but since coming to the U.S., he's decided to follow his passion for computer science instead. In 2012, the Vietnam native earned his master's degree in the field from Arkansas State University, and in 2016, he joined the Department of Computer Science at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) in pursuit of his Ph.D. "My research interests are machine learning and data mining," says Tran.

GPS-GSM technology for the long journey of the Egyptian vulture, an endangered species

The Egyptian vulture is an endangered migratory species usually found in our area between March and September, and which stays in Africa during the rest of the year. However, there is not a lot of information about its transcontinental journeys—whether it stops to eat, where it stops and for how long, and about its mortality, and the number of losses and their causes.

Bees can learn the difference between European and Australian Indigenous art styles in a single afternoon

We've known for a while that honey bees are smart cookies. They have excellent navigation skills, they communicate symbolically through dance, and they're the only insects that have been shown to learn abstract concepts.

Bird immune systems reveal harshness of city life

They may peck greedily at feeding tables—and have it easier than country birds do in the warmer urban winters—but city birds, it turns out, are in turmoil on the inside.

Huge step forward in decoding genomes of small species

For the first time, scientists have read the whole genetic code of one single tiny mosquito. Traditionally, it has been difficult to extract enough DNA from insects and other small organisms to build a high quality genome for a single individual. Scientists from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and Pacific Biosciences worked in partnership to advance technology and lower the starting amount of DNA needed to just 'half a mosquito-worth', producing the first high quality whole genome of a single mosquito.

The birds who seek out Goldilocks fires

As wildfires become more prevalent and more severe, these 'megafires' are not only deadly and destructive, they may also negatively affect wildlife species that depend on habitat that lies in their wake, according to new research published in the Journal of Applied Ecology by UConn researchers working with the Institute for Bird Populations and the U.S. Forest Service.

Why do beaked whales return to a Navy sonar range despite frequent disturbance?

Using data from underwater robots, scientists have discovered that beaked whales prefer to feed within parts of a Navy sonar test range off Southern California that have dense patches of deep-sea squid. A new study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, shows that beaked whales need these prey hotspots to survive, and that similar patches do not exist in nearby "sonar-free" areas.

How to send a finch extinct

An endangered Queensland bird is at risk of extinction because environmental legislation is failing to protect its habitat, according to a University of Queensland-led study.

Research Resource Identifiers improve proper use of cell lines in biomedical studies

Using Research Resource Identifiers (RRIDs) helps reduce the improper use of cell lines in biomedical studies, according to a study published today in eLife.

Researchers examine how anemones help fish fend off foes

When predators hunt for small reef fish in the ocean, many of those small fish do the same thing: they hide in a nearby anemone.

Primatologist's new book examines the strange relationship between good and evil

Richard Wrangham has been studying chimpanzees at the Kibale Chimpanzee Project in Uganda since 1987, when he founded the research center. A student of famed primatologist Jane Goodall, Harvard's Ruth B. Moore Professor of Biological Anthropology has studied primate behavior, ecology, and nutrition for nearly 50 years.

Let's talk about the elephant that wasn't in the room

Encounters with elephants are always memorable. My first meeting with a bull African elephant – face to face across a disconcertingly small and shallow waterhole during a walking safari in Zimbabwe – left me shaking so much that I couldn't even hold my camera steady enough to capture the moment for posterity. But the sound of him squirting the contents of his trunk into his capacious stomach – reminiscent of an industrial hose filling an empty oil tank – will stay with me forever.

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