Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Science X Newsletter Wednesday, Jul 31

Dear Reader ,

Free eBook: Multiphysics Simulation Case Studies

Read how simulation applications enable collaboration in developing new products in this free eBook >>

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for July 31, 2019:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Atomically precise bottom-up synthesis of π-extended [5] triangulene

First pictures of enzyme that drives new class of antibiotics

Finnish people's unique genetic makeup offers clues to disease

Experiments explore the mysteries of 'magic' angle superconductors

New 'don't eat me' signal may provide basis for cancer therapies

Radio halo detected in the galaxy cluster PSZ2 G099.86+58.45

Another step toward creating brain-reading technology

Study reveals new structure of gold at extremes

Clearing up the 'dark side' of artificial leaves

You can't squash this roach-inspired robot

A voracious Cambrian predator, Cambroraster, is a new species from the Burgess Shale

'Love hormone' has stomach-turning effect in starfish

An ancient Egypt-to-Black Sea route? Adventurers to test theory

Vaquita porpoise about to go extinct, researchers warn

Glowing cholesterol helps scientists fight heart disease

Astronomy & Space news

Radio halo detected in the galaxy cluster PSZ2 G099.86+58.45

Using the LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR), astronomers have probed PSZ2 G099.86+58.45, one of the densest cluster of galaxies known to date. The study revealed the presence of a radio halo in this cluster, making it one of the most distant such features ever discovered. The finding is detailed in a paper published July 24 on

New exoplanet is smallest to be precisely measured

Earthlings have long daydreamed about faraway planets, but only recently have scientists been able to identify thousands of new exoplanets—and to learn more and more about what they look like.

Scientists debate the seriousness of problems with the value of the Hubble Constant

Astronomers, astrophysicists and particle physicists gathered recently at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California to discuss the seriousness of differing measurements of the Hubble Constant. They met to talk about a problem that has become a major concern in astrophysics—figuring out how fast the universe is actually expanding.

TESS satellite uncovers 'first nearby super-Earth'

An international team of astronomers led by Cornell's Lisa Kaltenegger has characterized the first potentially habitable world outside of our own solar system.

Space station cell study seeks causes of major diseases

High above the Earth, researchers are conducting a first-of-its-kind study to help patients with Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis on the planet below. The International Space Station experiment is looking for what triggers these diseases by studying how nerve and immune brain cells interact.

Could light and noise from Earth attract attention from outer space?

Since the first use of electric lamps in the 19th century, society hasn't looked back. Homes and streets are lit at all hours so that people can go about their business when they'd once have been asleep. Besides the obvious benefits to societies and the economy, there's growing awareness of the negative impact of artificial light.

Russian spaceship brings 3 tons of supplies to space station

An unmanned Russian spaceship carrying tons of supplies to the International Space Station has docked with the orbiting laboratory.

Black moon event bridges fiction, mythology and science

For those looking up at the sky tonight in North America, you may notice something missing—the moon! That's because July 31 marks a lunar event called the "black moon" which is the second new moon that happens in one calendar month. A new moon is the phase of the moon where it's invisible, with the lit portion of the moon facing away from us.

Cybersecurity test on ISS

A compact experiment aimed at enhancing cybersecurity for future space missions is operational in Europe's Columbus module of the International Space Station, running in part on a Raspberry Pi Zero computer costing just a few euros.

Technology news

Clearing up the 'dark side' of artificial leaves

While artificial leaves hold promise as a way to take carbon dioxide—a potent greenhouse gas—out of the atmosphere, there is a "dark side to artificial leaves that has gone overlooked for more than a decade," according to Meenesh Singh, assistant professor of chemical engineering in the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Engineering.

You can't squash this roach-inspired robot

If the sight of a skittering bug makes you squirm, you may want to look away—a new insect-sized robot created by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, can scurry across the floor at nearly the speed of a darting cockroach.

Sumitomo focuses on power-generating device installed in tire

Tires that recover energy as they roll made numerous headlines this week as tech watchers explored Sumitomo's concept.

Teaching AI to overcome human bias

Are you smarter than a machine learning model? Let's find out. Choose the answer that contradicts the following premise:

Samsung profit slumps more than half as chip market weakens

The world's biggest smartphone and memory chip maker Samsung Electronics on Wednesday reported second-quarter net profits slumping by more than half in the face of a weakening chip market, and as a trade row builds between Seoul and Tokyo.

Apple gets lift from services, offsetting iPhone weakness

Apple on Tuesday delivered stronger-than-expected results in the just-ended quarter as growth from services helped offset weak iPhone sales, sparking a rally in shares of the tech giant.

Former Audi boss joins ex-VW chief in dock over 'dieselgate'

Former Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler could become the first auto boss to stand trial in Germany over the "dieselgate" emissions cheating scandal, four years and tens of billions of euros after parent company Volkswagen first admitted to the scheme.

Algorithms are everywhere, but what will it take for us to trust them?

The role of algorithms in our lives is growing rapidly, from simply suggesting online search results or content in our social media feed, to more critical matters like helping doctors determine our cancer risk.

Controlling air flow will help usher in the next generation of high-speed helicopters

Increasing the forward speed of helicopters has the potential to save lives by expediting access to medical care. The Center for Flow Physics and Control (CeFPaC) and the Center for Mobility with Vertical Lift (MOVE) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are partnering to address this challenge, with the support of grants from the Army Research Office and the Israeli Ministry of Defense.

Third step boosts solar cell performance

A three-component light-harvesting layer boosts performance in an organic solar cell.

Huawei still number two smartphone seller despite US sanctions

Huawei remained the number two global smartphone vendor in the past quarter despite tough US sanctions imposed on the Chinese technology giant, market trackers said Wednesday.

Chameleon-inspired structural color soft robot can interact with environment

A novel structural color soft robot with both color-changing and locomotion capabilities has been developed by a research team led by Dr. Du Xuemin from the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

'Tech capitalism at its finest': JPMorgan picks AI over humans to write ads

JPMorgan Chase, the largest U.S. bank, says New York-based Persado's "artificial intelligence message machine" wrote ads that generated two to five times the response it got from traditional human copywriters.

Data breach exposes personal information of thousands of LAPD officers and applicants

What happens when those who serve and protect are not being protected themselves? Officers at the Los Angeles Police Department found out recently after a data breach of the city's personnel department exposed personal information of about 2,500 officers.

'Crowdworking' provides the humans who train artificial intelligence

Eager to make extra money on the side, Washington, D.C., resident Paula Alves Silva turned to a gig emblematic of the digital age: She recorded sentences read aloud in the comfort of her home to help train artificial intelligence (AI) software.

Centimeter-long snail robot is powered with light

Researchers at the Faculty of Physics at the University of Warsaw, Poland, used liquid crystal elastomer technology to demonstrate a bio-inspired micro-robot capable of mimicking the adhesive locomotion of snails and slugs in natural scale. The 10-millimeter long soft robot harvests energy from a laser beam and can crawl on horizontal surfaces, climb vertical walls and an upside-down glass ceiling.

Deep learning may help the Army make sense of weak, corrupted signals

Scientists at the U.S. Army's corporate research laboratory are developing a new algorithm that could improve image and audio identification for intelligence gathering on the battlefield.

Airbus profits soar as rival Boeing stumbles

European planemaker Airbus on Wednesday posted robust half-year profits on strong demand from airlines for more fuel-efficient jets, in stark contrast to its US archrival Boeing, suffering from the grounding of a flagship plane.

Air France-KLM profits climb in 'challenging' market

Air France-KLM reported a solid increase in profits Wednesday as more people flew on its network, but growth was held back by higher fuel prices that will put more pressure on the group to find ways to hold down costs.

Fearing no-deal Brexit, UK carmakers slam brakes on investment

Britain's carmakers, fearful of a chaotic no-deal Brexit and global economic turmoil, are slamming the brakes on investment, the nation's automotive industry warned on Wednesday.

English Heritage tests video review tech for jousting

Medieval is meeting modern as English Heritage tests video review technology for jousting.

Scientists train robots to make independent decisions in a changing environment

A team of scientists from the School of Engineering of Far Eastern Federal University and institutional collaborators has developed software for industrial AI robots with technical vision to set out and adjust the movement trajectories of their tools in real time without reduced precision.

Australia should learn from global hydrogen focus, report says

Countries around the world are now making rapid advances in hydrogen energy technologies and strategy—and Australia has much to learn from their experience, according to the authors of a new report by the University of Adelaide.

South Korea tests drone delivery in remote regions

Seoul began testing delivery by drone in the country's remote regions Wednesday, with the hope of improving residents' quality of life, the government said.

Fiat Chrysler posts weaker sales, higher net profit

Fiat Chrysler (FCA) has been hit by slowing sales that have afflicted the car industry worldwide, but the Italian-US automaker said Wednesday that it nonetheless managed to boost second-quarter profits.

GE shares gyrate as it reports loss, lifts full-year forecast

General Electric lifted its full-year profit forecast on Wednesday, while warning that US-China trade tensions and the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX remain lingering uncertainties.

At Big Blue, America's first black software engineer blazed a trail but paid a heavy price

In the "Hidden Figures" era, when people of color and women are receiving overdue recognition for their contributions to science and technology, Clyde Ford has a remarkable story to tell.

Networks sue Locast, a service that streams TV for free

The country's biggest TV networks—ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox—have sued Locast, a streaming service that transmits their broadcasts for free, in federal court in New York.

Senators clash with FAA officials over Boeing Max oversight

Members of a Senate subcommittee clashed with Federal Aviation Administration officials Wednesday, contending the agency was too deferential to Boeing in approving the 737 Max airliner.

Rolls Royce faces probe over India deals

Indian investigators have launched a criminal probe into millions of dollars paid by a Rolls Royce energy firm to an intermediary in connection with deals with state-owned firms in the South Asian nation, according to documents seen by AFP.

Medicine & Health news

Finnish people's unique genetic makeup offers clues to disease

A new study harnessed the unique genetic history of the people of Finland to identify variations in DNA that might predispose certain individuals to disease, whether or not they are Finnish themselves. The study was conducted by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, in collaboration with the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of Michigan and other institutions, including several partners in Finland.

New 'don't eat me' signal may provide basis for cancer therapies

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered a new signal that cancers seem to use to evade detection and destruction by the immune system.

Another step toward creating brain-reading technology

A team of researchers at the University of California's Department of Neurological Surgery and the Center for Integrative Neuroscience in San Francisco has taken another step toward the development of a device able to read a person's mind. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the Facebook-funded group describes their work with epilepsy patients and the technology they developed that allowed them to read some human thoughts.

Glowing cholesterol helps scientists fight heart disease

A newly developed technique that shows artery clogging fat-and-protein complexes in live fish gave investigators from Carnegie, Johns Hopkins University, and the Mayo Clinic a glimpse of how to study heart disease in action. Their research, which is currently being used to find new drugs to fight cardiovascular disease, is now published in Nature Communications.

Another trick up the immune system's sleeve: Regrowing blood vessels

Roughly 8.5 million people in the United States suffer from peripheral artery disease (PAD), a narrowing of the arteries in the legs or arms (frequently due to the buildup of fatty plaque) that can cut off blood flow to the limbs, causing tissue death, gangrene, and even amputation. Strategies to combat PAD by delivering compounds that promote angiogenesis (the growth of new blood vessels) to bypass the blocked arteries have been investigated, but have largely failed to improve outcomes. More recently, there has been increasing interest in using the body's immune system to treat ischemia as some immune cells are known to secrete blood-vessel-promoting compounds. However, getting therapeutic immune cells to concentrate and secrete a sufficient amount of the desired compounds where new vessels are needed remains a challenge.

Targeting a blood stem cell subset shows lasting, therapeutically relevant gene editing

In a paper published in the July 31 issue of Science Translational Medicine, researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center used CRISPR-Cas9 to edit long-lived blood stem cells to reverse the clinical symptoms observed with several blood disorders, including sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia.

Drug combo heralds major shift in chronic lymphocytic leukemia treatment

A combination of two drugs keeps patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia disease-free and alive longer than the current standard of care, according to a phase-3 clinical trial of more than 500 participants conducted at Stanford Medicine and multiple other institutions.

Stomach-protecting medicines can trigger allergies

Stomach-protecting drugs are widely used. Now, using quantitative prescribing data from Austria, a study conducted by MedUni Vienna in collaboration with the Austrian Social Insurance Institutions, has shown that stomach-protecting drugs (especially so-called proton pump inhibitors or PPIs) correlate with subsequent prescriptions for anti-allergy medication. Based on virtually the entire population, this now validates the finding of previous epidemiological and experimental studies that stomach-protecting drugs can intensify or even trigger allergies. The risk of an allergic reaction to allergens that requires anti-allergy treatment is doubled or even tripled. The results were recently published in Nature Communications.

DNA-protective protein could help clinicians better target fast-growing cancer cells

The discovery that an essential protein plays a protective role during cell division, could open the door to better targeted treatment of fast-growing cancer cells.

Boosting the anti-inflammatory action of the immune system

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have identified a molecular switch that causes immune cells called macrophages to clean up cellular debris caused by infections instead of contributing to inflammation and tissue injury. Their findings are reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Neurocognitive basis for free will set out for the first time

Do human beings genuinely have free will? Philosophers and theologians have wrestled with this question for centuries and have set out the 'design features' of free will—but how do our brains actually fulfil them?

Researchers identify previously unrecognised abnormalities in how MND affects brain activity

Researchers in the Academic Unit of Neurology at Trinity College Dublin have identified characteristic changes in the patterns of electrical brain wave activity in motor neurone disease (MND). This ground breaking observation will help to develop treatments for the disease that affects over 350 people in Ireland.

Vitamin A linked to lower odds of common skin cancer

Wondering if you can do more than slap on some sunscreen to prevent skin cancer? A new study suggests that getting more vitamin A may help.

Can diet help cancer treatment? Study in mice offers clues

Diet is already a key part of managing diseases like diabetes and hypertension, but new research adds to a growing body of evidence that it could help cancer treatment too.

Uncovering secrets of bone marrow cells and how they differentiate

Bone marrow contains biological factories, which pump out billions of new blood cells daily. The non-blood cells that maintain this production also have the potential to produce bone, fat and cartilage. This output all starts from stem cells that have the ability to differentiate into various types of cells.

UK tick-borne Lyme disease cases may be three times higher than previous estimates

New cases of tick-borne Lyme disease in the UK may be three times higher than previous estimates suggest, and might top 8000 in 2019, based on these figures, concludes research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Children born to older parents tend to have fewer behavior problems

Since 1995, parents in many Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development countries and in the United States have been having their first babies at a later age. Amid this trend in delayed childbearing, a new Dutch study considered the behavior problems of children born to older parents. Specifically, researchers looked at externalizing behaviors (e.g., aggression) and internalizing behaviors (e.g., anxiety, depression) of children born to older parents when the youth were 10 to 12 years old. They found that children of older parents tend to have fewer externalizing behavior problems than children of younger parents. The researchers also found that parents' age was unrelated to children's internalizing behaviors.

Early onset of menstruation associated with higher risk of type 2 diabetes

Diabetes is a global health concern expected to affect 693 million people worldwide by 2045. It's been well documented how diet and exercise influence risk of type 2 diabetes; however, a new study suggests that early menarche also is associated with a higher risk, but body mass index (BMI) may mediate this association. Study results are published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

DR Congo makes new push to fight year-old Ebola epidemic

An Ebola epidemic raging in eastern DR Congo marks its first year on Thursday in a mood of fear mingled with hope that fresh money and a change of leadership will turn the tide.

Increased risk of cardiovascular disease for healthy 75-year-olds who stop taking statins

Statins are known to reduce the risk of further problems in patients of any age who have already suffered heart problems or stroke. However, until now it has not been clear how effective their use is in preventing such events occurring in healthy people aged 75 and over, with no previous history of cardiovascular disease.

PE fitness tests have little positive impact for students

A new study reveals that school fitness tests have little impact on student attitudes to PE—contrary to polarised views on their merits—and for many students, fitness testing during PE may be wasting valuable class time when used in isolation from the curriculum.

Many North American indigenous youth experience symptoms of depression during adolescence

Studies of youth and their experiences with depression have tended not to include Indigenous youth. A new study that analyzed data on the development of depressive symptoms among Indigenous youth in the United States and Canada found that many of the youth had experienced these symptoms during adolescence. The study also identified the risks associated with developing symptoms of depression and how depressive symptoms were associated with alcohol use disorder.

Blood pressure control less likely among those treated in low-income areas

People enrolled in a large clinical hypertension management trial were half as likely to control their blood pressure if they received care at clinics and primary care practices in low-income areas, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Psoriasis therapy linked to reduced coronary inflammation in patients with skin condition

Researchers have found that anti-inflammatory biologic therapies used to treat moderate to severe psoriasis can significantly reduce coronary inflammation in patients with the chronic skin condition. Scientists said the findings are particularly notable because of the use of a novel imaging biomarker, the perivascular fat attenuation index (FAI), that was able to measure the effect of the therapy in reducing the inflammation.

Study identifies human performance deficiencies associated with adverse surgical events

In the surgical setting, the concept "to err is human" could potentially be a matter of life and death. In an effort to identify surgical errors that could be prevented, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine conducted a comprehensive analysis of surgeries that resulted in adverse events over a six-month period and found that more than half were caused by human performance deficiencies. Their report appears today in the journal JAMA Network Open.

Goal-oriented rehab improves recovery in older adults

Goal-oriented, motivational physical and occupational therapy helps older patients recover more fully from broken hips, strokes and other ailments that land them in skilled nursing facilities for rehabilitation, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Neuroimaging essential for Zika cases

Seventy-one of 110 Brazilian infants at the highest risk for experiencing problems due to exposure to the Zika virus in the womb experienced a wide spectrum of brain abnormalities, including calcifications and malformations in cortical development, according to a study published July 31, 2019 in JAMA Network Open.

Both low and high levels of hemoglobin linked to increased risk of dementia

Having either low or high levels of hemoglobin in your blood may be linked to an increased risk of developing dementia years later, according to a study published in the July 31, 2019, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Physician leaders call for action to create a new generation of physician-scientists

In a perspective article appearing in the Aug. 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, a group of prominent physician-scientist leaders, including senior pharmaceutical executives and Nobel laureates, proposes a plan for increasing the number of physicians who conduct research looking for tomorrow's breakthroughs and cures.

Researcher asks, 'is it time for another contraception revolution?'

In an effort to protect the planet and preserve its natural treasures for future generations, another contraception revolution that provides options for populations not currently being served by modern contraception may be the answer according to a Perspective in this week's New England Journal of Medicine.

A paradoxical proinflammatory effect of endocannabinoids in the brain discovered

A new study led by the Neuropharmacology Laboratory (NeuroPhar) at UPF shows that increasing endocannabinoids in the brain may cause inflammation in specific brain areas such as the cerebellum, which is associated with problems of fine motor coordination. The results of the study in mice are contrary to what had been observed to date in other areas of the brain where endocannabinoids play an anti-inflammatory role. The article has been published in Brain Behavior and Immunity.

From urine samples to precision medicine in bladder cancer through 3-D cell culture

A research collaborative led by scientists from institutions in Japan including Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT) has developed a new experimental cancer model for dog bladder cancer. Urine samples were used for a 3-D cell culture method called organoid culture. This method will allow clinicians to determine the proper chemotherapy and to identify new biomarkers of both dog and human bladder cancer in the near future. The results are published in Cancer Science.

'Promising' antibody therapy extends survival in mice with pancreatic cancer

Scientists have found a way to target and knock out a single protein that they have discovered is widely involved in pancreatic cancer cell growth, survival and invasion.

New proof of link between obesity and disease

The University of South Australia's Australian Centre for Precision Health researchers examined links between body mass index (BMI) and more than 925 diseases in 337536 UK volunteers, confirming the link between obesity and conditions such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Expectant mothers can mitigate the impact of marijuana on baby's brain development

A team of researchers led by members of the University of Colorado School of Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus found that choline, an essential micronutrient, can prevent fetal brain developmental problems that can occur when mothers use marijuana while pregnant.

The medical benefits of sauna use are not widely understood

Why do people use sauna? Despite centuries of anecdotal evidence which says the practice is relaxing and healthy, researchers have never actually asked this question. Until now.

High prevalence of deadly bacterial disease found in Puerto Rico

Leptospirosis—a potentially deadly bacterial disease largely spread by rats—is far more prevalent in Puerto Rico than previously thought, a new study led by researchers at the Yale School of Public Health in collaboration with international colleagues finds.

How much of one sport is too much for your budding superstar?

There was a time not long ago when young athletes who were looking to recharge their batteries and gear up for their next season took their training a little easier in the summer.

What the brains of people with excellent general knowledge look like

The brains of people with excellent general knowledge are particularly efficiently wired. This was shown by neuroscientists at Ruhr-Universität Bochum and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin using magnetic resonance imaging. "Although we can precisely measure the general knowledge of people, and this wealth of knowledge is very important for an individual's journey through life, we currently know little about the links between general knowledge and the characteristics of the brain," says Dr. Erhan Genç from the Department of Biopsychology in Bochum. The team describes the results in the European Journal of Personality on 28 July 2019.

OX40-positive follicular helper T cells control rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive autoimmune disease most frequently characterized by pain, swelling, and stiffness in joints. Increased numbers of follicular helper T cells have been observed in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, but the functions of these cells have been unclear.

Subtle abuse affects women during childbirth

Stripping women of dignity and respect during childbirth is not only a violation of human rights. It also affects the health of women and babies. It's time to recognize the urgency of the problem and commit to giving women the care they deserve.

New autism early detection technique analyzes how children scan faces

Imagine that your son Tommy is about to turn two. He is a shy and sweet little boy, but his behaviors can be unpredictable. He throws the worst temper tantrums, sometimes crying and screaming inconsolably for an hour. The smallest changes in routines can throw him off.

One in ten older adults currently binge drinks

More than a tenth of adults age 65 and older currently binge drink, putting them at risk for a range of health problems, according to a study by researchers at NYU School of Medicine and the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research (CDUHR) at NYU College of Global Public Health.

Sunny days may come with a cost

Are you enjoying the summer? Out grilling, swimming and hiking? Beware: those sunny days may come with a cost.

Children in care can recover from adversity with the right adoptive environment, research finds

Research on adoptive family life in Wales has revealed the levels of adversity many children have experienced.

Successful first trial for dizziness monitoring device

A groundbreaking device to help patients with dizziness problems has moved a step forward following a successful research study.

TOR: An enzyme that could hold the secret to longevity and healthy aging

Calorie-restricted diets have been shown to increase the lifespan and healthspan of everything from yeast to monkeys – as long as there is no malnutrition. And while no long-term studies have proven the benefits of calorie restriction on human lifespan, shorter-term studies suggest that it does improve health. Here's how it might work.

How autism-friendly architecture can change autistic children's lives

Imagine wearing a hearing aid on its highest setting and being unable to make any adjustment. You can hear the speech of the person next to you—but, at the same volume, you hear birdsong through an open window, the air conditioning whirring above and the traffic droning outside. The difference in the layers of sound cannot be filtered and a cacophony results. Combine this with some of your senses being crossed or scrambled, rather like a poor telephone connection, and you start to appreciate how some people on the autistic spectrum encounter the world. It is small wonder that productive teaching of an autistic child presents a challenge.

Human torso simulator offers promise for new back brace innovations

Engineers have for the first time created a simulator mimicking the mechanical behavior of the human torso—which could lead to innovations in the design of medical back supports.

A new choice for young women with pre-cancerous cervical disease

A single test for women has been shown to aid in predicting which cases of precancerous cervical disease will become more serious, helping with decisions on whether or not surgery is needed, according to a study led by Queen Mary University of London.

CDC: General fertility rate, teen birth rate decreasing in U.S.

From 2017 to 2018, there were decreases in the U.S. general fertility rate and the teen birth rate, according to a July data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.

Legionnaires' disease outbreak linked to Atlanta hotel

Legionnaires' disease has been diagnosed in 11 people who stayed at the Sheraton Atlanta, and there have been another 55 probable cases, Georgia health officials say.

New opioid prescription rules coming for U.S. employees' health plans

Tighter rules on opioid painkiller prescriptions for U.S. government employees will be implemented in the fall, the Trump Administration says.

Kids and dirt: Get enough to help, but not enough to hurt, a doctor advises

Whenever I am asked what I do for a living, the phrase "I'm an allergist" is almost immediately followed by "So, where are all of these allergies coming from?"

You probably don't need to worry about flesh-eating bacteria

Like humans, many bacteria like to spend time at the beach. The so-called flesh-eating bacteria, Vibrio vulnificus, don't just like the beach; they need it, and rely on seasalt for survival. And as with human beachgoers, the warmer the water, the more of them there are.

Parents' mental illness increases suicide risk in adults with tinnitus, hyperacusis

Patients who suffer from tinnitus, a perceived noise or ringing in the ears, and hyperacusis, extreme sensitivity to noise, could be at heightened risk for thoughts of suicide and self-harm because of their childhood history of parental mental illness.

Psychotherapy should be first-line treatment for depression in young people, trial finds

Young people seeking support for depression should be offered psychotherapy as the first line of treatment, a clinical trial by researchers at Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, has found.

Ketamine isn't an opioid and treats depression in a unique way

Ketamine has gotten a bad rap as an opioid when there's plenty of evidence suggesting it isn't one, Johns Hopkins experts say. They believe this reputation may hamper patients from getting necessary treatment for the kinds of depression that don't respond to typical antidepressants. In a new paper, the researchers clarify the mechanism behind ketamine's mechanism of action in hopes of restoring the therapy's standing among health care professionals and the public.

Researchers uncover the architecture of collagen and elastic fibers constructing the skin

As the largest organ of the human body our skin is astounding. It protects us from infection, endures radiation, senses temperature, and is flexible enough to withstand our everyday activities. What holds this all together is the protein we all know and love: collagen.

AI improves efficiency and accuracy of digital breast tomosynthesis

Artificial intelligence (AI) helps improve the efficiency and accuracy of an advanced imaging technology used to screen for breast cancer, according to a new study published in the journal Radiology: Artificial Intelligence.

Closing the door: Breaking new ground related to a potential anticancer drug target

In order to sustain fast growth, cancer cells need to take up nutrients at a faster rate than healthy cells. The human glutamine transporter ASCT2 allows the amino acid glutamine to enter cells and is upregulated in many types of cancer cells, which need more glutamine. It is a potential target for new anti-cancer drugs. Researchers at the University of Groningen have now elucidated a structure of the human ASCT2 that provides unprecedented insight in the workings of this protein, and may help the development of drugs. The results were published in Nature Communications on July 31, 2019.

Postpartum transfusions on the rise, carry greater risk of adverse events

Women who receive a blood transfusion after giving birth are twice as likely to have an adverse reaction related to the procedure, such as fever, respiratory distress, or hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells), compared with non-pregnant women receiving the same care, according to a new study published today in Blood Advances. Women with preeclampsia, a condition marked by high blood pressure during pregnancy, were found to be at the greatest risk for problems.

Encapsulated Indian medicinal herb shows anti-diabetic properties in mice

Extracts of the herb Withania coagulans, or Paneer dodi, are used in traditional Indian medicine. Although some healers claim that W. coagulans can help treat diabetes, the bitter-tasting plant hasn't been studied extensively by scientists. Now, researchers have found that herbal extracts packaged in polymers derived from natural substances can reduce blood glucose levels in diabetic mice. They report their results in ACS Omega.

Chemical widely used in medical plastic alters heart function in lab tests

Plastic medical devices abound in hospitals. IV bags, catheters and feeding tubes cram every corner.

New twist on old surgical technique helps repair patient's skull base

A Rutgers-led team of surgeons developed a groundbreaking procedure based on a century-old plastic surgery technique, to save the life of a patient who suffered complications following the removal of a cancerous tumor inside his skull.

Vaccinations not a risk factor for multiple sclerosis

Data from over 12,000 multiple sclerosis (MS) patients formed the basis of a study by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) which investigated the population's vaccination behavior in relation to MS. It showed that five years before their diagnosis, MS patients were statistically less likely to receive vaccinations than comparator groups. Consequently, there was no positive correlation between vaccinations and the development of MS.

Novel discovery of links between liver dysfunction and Alzheimer's disease

New research from the Alzheimer's Disease Metabolomics Consortium (ADMC) and Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) has uncovered novel connections between liver dysfunction and Alzheimer's disease (AD), paving a new path toward a systems level view of Alzheimer's relevant for early detection and ultimately for prevention.

Having a partner, health impact postmenopausal sexual activity

(HealthDay)—Having a partner and good physical health are key factors for continuation of sexual activity among postmenopausal women, according to a study published online July 8 in Menopause.

Oral semaglutide reduces HbA1c, weight in patients with T2DM

(HealthDay)—Compared with placebo, oral semaglutide monotherapy is associated with superior and clinically relevant improvements in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and weight loss among patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online July 18 in Diabetes Care.

'Climate Grief': Fears about the planet's future weigh on Americans' mental health

Therapist Andrew Bryant says the landmark United Nations climate report last October brought a new mental health concern to his patients.

Call it Mighty Mouse: Breakthrough leaps Alzheimer's research hurdle

University of California, Irvine researchers have made it possible to learn how key human brain cells respond to Alzheimer's, vaulting a major obstacle in the quest to understand and one day vanquish it. By developing a way for human brain immune cells known as microglia to grow and function in mice, scientists now have an unprecedented view of crucial mechanisms contributing to the disease.

People with autism face special risks dealing with police—virtual reality program could help

Skylar Armstrong, a 17-year-old high schooler from North Philadelphia, has been fielding a lot of attention from police lately.

For children born with HIV, adhering to medication gets harder with age

Children born with HIV in the U.S. were less likely to adhere to their medications as they aged from preadolescence to adolescence and into young adulthood, according to a new study led by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Additionally, the prevalence of detectable viral load—an indication that the virus is not being managed by medications and a factor that's often associated with nonadherence—also increased with age.

Families of children with rare diseases open to advanced care plans with caregiver support

A novel palliative care intervention developed at Children's National Health System for caregivers of children and adolescents with rare diseases has shown preliminary success at helping families talk about potentially challenging medical decisions before a crisis occurs.

US to set up plan allowing prescription meds from Canada

The Trump administration said Wednesday it will set up a system allowing Americans to legally and safely import lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada for the first time, reversing years of opposition from federal health authorities amid a public outcry over high prices for life-sustaining medications.

Video: Ballet could help to build better robots, treat stroke patients

Northeastern professor Dagmar Sternad is studying ballet dancers to understand how to help people regain their balance in old age.

$70 million settlement reached in generic drug delay case

Three drug companies will pay a total of nearly $70 million to California to settle charges of delaying the sale of generic drugs to keep brand-name drug prices high, the state's attorney general said Monday.

Older adults should be regularly screened for heart disease, diabetes risk

Measuring waistline, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood fats, and blood sugar during doctor visits can detect heart disease and diabetes earlier, according to a Clinical Practice Guideline issued today by the Endocrine Society.

DR Congo Ebola epidemic widens on eve of first anniversary (Update)

An epidemic of Ebola in eastern DR Congo sharply widened on Wednesday, the eve of the first anniversary of the outbreak, with the announcement of a death in a major city and the quarantining of 15 people in a province that had previously escaped the disease.

A healthier take on breakfast sandwiches

(HealthDay)—It's a hard habit to break—sinking your teeth into a favorite fast-food breakfast sandwich. But your drive-thru addiction could be making a big dent in daily calorie and fat limits without giving you the nutrients needed to fuel your day.

How to maximize that whole chicken

(HealthDay)—To get the most out of a whole chicken, roasting is the way to go. It's an easy and flavorful way to prepare this protein-rich, lean meat, plus you'll have dinner for two and lunch for the next day.

New staffing model for an integrated specialist team approach to palliative care

The Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians has developed a new staffing model for specialist palliative care teams that can deliver an optimal, integrated palliative care program. The model, based on three key interdependent roles—palliative care physician, palliative care resource nurse, and social workers—is described in detail in a Special Article published in Journal of Palliative Medicine.

Infectious disease A-Z: Will there be a universal flu vaccine?

A better, more effective flu vaccine is a matter of when—not if—says Dr. Gregory Poland, director of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group. The National Institutes of Health is testing an experimental universal flu vaccine with the goal of providing high-efficacy, long-lasting protection against influenza viruses.

Iceland cuts teen drinking with curfews, youth centers

The clock strikes 10 p.m. on a Friday night when the "Parent Patrol" enters a popular playground in suburban Reykjavik. The teens turn down the music and reach for their phones to check the time: It's ticking into curfew.

DR Congo quarantines 15 in South Kivu in widening Ebola fight

Doctors in South Kivu, a province that had previously skirted the Ebola epidemic in eastern DR Congo, have quarantined 15 people over fears of infection by the deadly virus, local authorities said Wednesday.

Transplant researchers seek to fight organ rejection in new trial for kidney patients

While waiting on the transplant list, most patients are extremely sick and fighting just to stay alive.

Aspirin improves liver function after embolization of hepatocellular carcinoma

Aspirin therapy is associated with both improved liver function test results and survival after transarterial embolization (TAE) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), according to an ahead-of-print article published in the September 2019 issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR).

Regret your tattoo? Here's advice on how to get rid of it

Does your tattoo sport your old flame's name? Or the one you got on a whim no longer fits your image?

Biology news

First pictures of enzyme that drives new class of antibiotics

Understanding how antibiotic scaffolds are constructed in nature can help scientists prospect for new classes of antibiotics through DNA sequencing and genome mining. Researchers have used this knowledge to help solve the X-ray crystal structure of the enzyme that makes obafluorin—a broad spectrum antibiotic agent made by a fluorescent strain of soil bacteria. The new work from Washington University in St. Louis and the University at Buffalo is published July 31 in the journal Nature Communications.

'Love hormone' has stomach-turning effect in starfish

A hormone that is released in our brain when we fall in love also makes starfish turn their stomach inside out to feed, according to a new study from Queen Mary University of London.

Vaquita porpoise about to go extinct, researchers warn

The vaquita porpoise, one of the world's most endangered animals, could become extinct within a year if fishing nets continue being used illegally, a university in Scotland warned on Wednesday.

Mapping Oregon coast harbor seal movements using wearable devices

Wearable devices fitted to harbor seals reveal their movements around the Oregon coast, for a population that has been increasing following the implementation of marine reserves and protection acts. The study publishes July 31, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Sheanna Steingass from Oregon State University, USA, and colleagues.

Gibbons' large, long-term territories put them under threat from habitat loss

Wild gibbons living in the peat swamps of southern Borneo require between 20 and 50 hectares of forest territory for each group, making their populations particularly vulnerable to habitat loss, according to a study publishing July 31 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Dr. Susan Cheyne at the Borneo Nature foundation, and colleagues.

Skin in balance: Joint forces of polarity and cell mechanics

The cell polarity protein Par3 controls mechanical changes in the skin and plays an important role in cell division. Malfunction can lead to DNA damages. The balance of the system is of great importance—while too much differentiation leads to loss of stem cells and therefore premature aging, too many cell divisions can be a cause of skin cancer. The new study by a team around Sandra Iden about how polarity regulators control cellular mechanics in the skin has now been published in Nature Communications.

Engineering new signaling networks to produce crops that need less fertilizer

An interdisciplinary research collaboration between the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge has engineered a novel synthetic plant-microbe signaling pathway that could provide the foundation for transferring nitrogen fixation to cereals.

Study reveals unexpected fire role in longleaf pine forests

The longleaf pine forests of the southeastern U.S. depend on frequent fire to maintain their structure and the diversity of plants and animals they support. New research from the University of Georgia has found that fire may be playing another, unexpected role: releasing excessive nitrogen that appears to have accumulated as a legacy of prior land use.

Microbiologists solve the mystery of the compass needle in magnetic bacteria

Bacteria of the species Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense are unicellular organisms that can align their locomotion precisely with the Earth's magnetic field. They owe this ability to tiny magnetite crystals called magnetosomes. In the spiral-shaped bacterial cell, the crystals form a stable, straight chain that acts like a compass needle. Microbiologists at the University of Bayreuth, together with research partners at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried and at LMU Munich, have now discovered that the shape and position of the magnetosome chain are largely determined by the protein MamY. In the journal Nature Microbiology they now present their latest findings.

Researchers make critical cell division discovery

Researchers at the University of Dundee have solved one of the mysteries of cell division, a discovery which may shed light on cancer development and one day help develop new drugs to treat the disease.

Major class of viruses reveals complex origins

Comparing a living cell to a virus is a bit like comparing the Sistine Chapel to a backyard dog house. Lacking the intricate machinery of living cells, viruses represent biology stripped down to an extreme level. They are the true minimalists of the biological world.

New protein-sensing mechanism discovered

In a stunning discovery, molecular biologists from the University of Konstanz and ETH Zurich have been able to demonstrate that the nascent polypeptide-associated complex (NAC) senses newly synthesized proteins upon birth inside the ribosomal tunnel.

Animal friendships 'change with the weather' in the Masai Mara

When it comes to choosing which other species to hang out with, wild animals quite literally change their minds with the weather, a new University of Liverpool study reveals.

The vision of spiderlings is nearly as keen as their parents: study

Baby jumping spiders can hunt prey just like their parents do because they have vision nearly as good.

Warmer winters could lead to longer blue crab season in Chesapeake Bay

Scientists from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science are predicting that warmer winters in the Chesapeake Bay will likely lead to longer and more productive seasons for Maryland's favorite summer crustacean, the blue crab.

Rare photo captures sea lion falling into mouth of whale

In a stunning photo, a wildlife photographer has captured a sea lion falling into the mouth of a humpback whale in what he calls a "once-in-a-lifetime" moment.

How bacteria swim against the flow

It is well known that bacteria can swim against the current, which often causes serious problems—for example, when they spread in water pipes or in medical catheters. To prevent or at least slow down the spread of bacteria contaminating biological or medical ducts, scientists need to know how they swim against the flow. An international research team, including the group of Anke Lindner and Eric Clement at PMMH lab from ESPCI Paris (PSL University), was recently able to answer this question with the help of experiments and mathematical calculations. The results describing all essential aspects of this amazing bacterial behavior have now been published in Nature Communications. These insights could contribute to the design of medical devices that hinder the upstream progress of bacteria.

Storability of vegetable carotene severely affected by oxygen in air

The shelf life of vegetable carotenoids when stored in powdered form is severely affected by oxygen in the storage environment—an effect that has a big impact on the food industry, but that can be dramatically reduced by implementing optimized production processes. This is the clear finding of an elaborate study using the know-how and equipment of EQ BOKU, a facility that provides precision scientific instrumentation and expertise to members of the University of

What are native grasslands, and why do they matter?

Coalition minister Angus Taylor is under scrutiny for possibly intervening in the clearing of grasslands in the southern highlands of New South Wales. Leaving aside the political dimensions, it's worth asking: why do these grasslands matter?

Conservation biologists find new applications for AI tools

Automated cameras and other sensors deployed in the wild are transforming the way biologists monitor natural ecosystems and animal populations. These technologies can collect huge amounts of data, however, and conservation biologists are increasingly turning to the tools of artificial intelligence (AI) to sort through it all.

Climate change alters tree demography in northern forests

The rise in temperature and precipitation levels in summer in northern Japan has negatively affected the growth of conifers and resulted in their gradual decline, according to a 38-year-long study in which mixed forests of conifers and broad-leaved trees were monitored by a team of researchers from Hokkaido University.

Captive lion breeding in South Africa: the case for a total ban

A new report by global NGO, World Animal Protection, provides a damning indictment on the captive predator breeding industry. Big cats are being bred for the use of their bones in traditional Chinese medicine. China is estimated to house about 8 000 tigers in captivity, while South Africa may have as many as 14 000 lions. Nontobeko Mtshali asks Ross Harvey to analyse the issues around captive breeding in South Africa.

Capacity what? The intangible side of conservation

Fauna & Flora International (FFI) believes in partnership—we always have and we always will. In 2018, we partnered with almost 400 organisations, businesses or governmental agencies. We favour this partnership approach because—put simply—it works better for everyone. Each partner brings something unique to the table and contributes in their own way to a common goal.

Black bears adapt to life near humans by burning the midnight oil

Amid reports that human activities are pushing many wild species to the edge of extinction, it's easy to miss the fact that some animal populations are expanding. Across North America, a number of species that were reduced by overhunting and loss of forested habitat in the 1800s are rebounding. This sometimes results in wildlife living near populated areas.

Two rare white rhinos pregnant at Belgian zoo

Two rare southern white rhinos have become pregnant at the same time at a zoo in Belgium, boosting efforts to save the endangered species.

Citizen scientists offer ray of hope

Volunteer snorkelers and scuba divers have been helping capture images of reef manta rays to better protect the threatened species.

Some of Southern California's most iconic and popular beaches have lost most of their biodiversity

To most people, a beach is a beach. You could likely take an image of almost any urban beach in Southern California—the flat, mostly featureless expanse of sand against blue-green water and blue skies—swap it with one of nearly any other urban beach in Southern California, and chances are that only a trained eye would notice the difference. Some of these differences lie just beneath the surface, however, and are actually quite important ecologically.

Poisonous grasses: new study provides reassurance

"Dangerous Pastures: Deadly Grass Puts Horses at Risk"—Such dire warnings on the websites of horse owners and horse lovers may cause people to see their environment in a whole new light. Because what they once considered the epitome of pristine nature, green meadows of grass gently swaying in the wind, is actually home to numerous toxic substances that can be lethal for horses, cattle and sheep.

Traded forest tree seeds pose a great risk of introducing harmful pests

CABI has led an international team of scientists who strongly suggest that the global trade of forest tree seeds is not as safe as previously believed, with insect pests and fungal pathogens posing a great risk to trees and forest ecosystems worldwide.

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 You may manage your subscription options from your Science X profile


No comments: