Monday, August 5, 2019

Science X Newsletter Monday, Aug 5

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for August 5, 2019:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Power generation achieved by a self-assembled biofuel cell

Lessons of conventional imaging let scientists see around corners

Scientists create artificial catalysts inspired by living enzymes

Researchers embrace imperfection to improve biomolecule transport

In the future, this electricity-free tech could help cool buildings in metropolitan areas

Corkscrew photons may leave behind a spontaneous twist

Four new 'hot Jupiters' discovered

Unique electrical properties in quantum materials can be controlled using light

Maya more warlike than previously thought

Blinking eye-on-a-chip used for disease modeling and drug testing

Missing link in algal photosynthesis found, offers opportunity to improve crop yields

Gut throws cells overboard when chemical insults build up

ID theft stings, but it's hard to pin on specific data hacks

Privacy missteps cast cloud over digital assistants

Military researchers see non-lethal role for talking lasers

Astronomy & Space news

Four new 'hot Jupiters' discovered

Astronomers report the detection of four new "hot Jupiter" exoplanets as part of the WASP-south survey. The newfound alien worlds received designations: WASP-178b, WASP-184b, WASP-185b and WASP-192b. The discovery is detailed in a paper published July 26 on

Looking for warm dark matter

In the last century, astronomers studying the motions of galaxies and the character of the cosmic microwave background radiation came to realize that most of the matter in the universe was not visible. About 84% of the matter in the cosmos is dark, emitting neither light nor any other known kind of radiation. Hence it is called dark matter. One of its other primary qualities is that it only interacts with other matter via gravity: it carries no electromagnetic charge, for example. Dark matter is also "dark" because it is mysterious: it is not composed of atoms or their usual constituents like electrons and protons. Particle physicists have imagined new kinds of matter, consistent with the known laws of the universe, but so far none has been detected or its existence confirmed. The Large Hadron Collider's discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012 prompted a burst of optimism that dark matter particles would soon be discovered, but so far none has been seen and previously promising classes of particles now seem to be long-shots.

Team uses AI to detect fast radio bursts

A Swinburne Ph.D. student has built an automated system that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to revolutionise our ability to detect and capture fast radio bursts (FRBs) in real-time.

A new lens for life-searching space telescopes

The University of Arizona Richard F. Caris Mirror Laboratory is a world leader in the production of the world's largest telescope mirrors. In fact, it is currently fabricating mirrors for the largest and most advanced earth-based telescope: The Giant Magellan Telescope.

New voyage to the universe from DESHIMA

Researchers in Japan and the Netherlands jointly developed an originative radio receiver DESHIMA (Deep Spectroscopic High-redshift Mapper) and successfully obtained the first spectra and images with it. Combining the ability to detect a wide frequency range of cosmic radio waves and to disperse them into different frequencies, DESHIMA demonstrated its unique power to efficiently measure the distances to the remotest objects as well as to map the distributions of various molecules in nearby cosmic clouds.

Magnetic plasma pulses excited by UK-size swirls in the solar atmosphere

An international team of scientists led by the University of Sheffield have discovered previously undetected observational evidence of frequent energetic wave pulses the size of the UK, transporting energy from the solar surface to the higher solar atmosphere.

Asteroid's surprise close approach illustrates need for more eyes on the sky

On 25 July, an asteroid the size of a football field flew by Earth, coming within 65 000 km of our planet's surface during its closest approach—about one fifth of the distance to the Moon.

Return to the moon? 3D printing with moondust could be the key to future lunar living

The entire Apollo 11 mission to the moon took just eight days. If we ever want to build permanent bases on the moon, or perhaps even Mars or beyond, then future astronauts will have to spend many more days, months and maybe even years in space without a constant lifeline to Earth. The question is how would they get hold of everything they needed. Using rockets to send all the equipment and supplies for building and maintaining long-term settlements on the moon would be hugely expensive.

Earthlings living on Mars? It's 'a possibility in our lifetime,' scientists discover

Inspired by science fiction and a strange phenomenon on the Martian surface, researchers have discovered a way that Earth life could survive on the red planet.

A sphere of colour

This image shows a snippet of the Sun up close, revealing a golden surface marked by a number of dark, blotchy sunspots, curving filaments, and lighter patches known as 'plages' – brighter regions often found near sunspots. The width of the image would cover roughly a third of the diameter of the solar disc.

Giant telescope backers to seek permit for alternative site

The director of a Spanish research center says the international consortium that wants to build a giant telescope on Hawaii's tallest peak despite protests from Native Hawaiians has decided to seek a building permit for an alternative site in the Canary Islands.

A new UK astronomy instrument is set for Mexico

A new instrument to help astronomers understand how stars are born is bound for the Large Millimetre Telescope (LMT) in Mexico.

Technology news

In the future, this electricity-free tech could help cool buildings in metropolitan areas

Engineers have designed a new system that can help cool buildings in crowded metropolitan areas without consuming electricity, an important innovation at a time when cities are working to adapt to climate change.

ID theft stings, but it's hard to pin on specific data hacks

Equifax 2017. Marriott 2018. Capital One 2019.

Privacy missteps cast cloud over digital assistants

A series of privacy missteps in recent months has raised fresh concerns over the future of voice-controlled digital assistants, a growing market seen by some as the next frontier in computing.

Military researchers see non-lethal role for talking lasers

Say what? Laser plasma balls that can talk? The Pentagon? How, and for what? The answer is that instead of beaming a flashing light or shouting over a loudspeaker to keep people away from sensitive areas, new technology is being developed that could allow troops to fire a laser that can form a "plasma ball" that talks to the potential intruders.

Frenchman achieves 'dream' of first hoverboard Channel crossing

A French daredevil who spent years developing a jet-powered hoverboard zoomed across the English Channel on Sunday, fulfilling his quest after pulling off a tricky refuelling manoeuvre that had cut short his first attempt 10 days ago.

Google Maps for tissues

Modern light microscopic techniques provide extremely detailed insights into organs, but the terabytes of data they produce are usually nearly impossible to process. New software, developed by a team led by MDC scientist Dr. Stephan Preibisch and now presented in Nature Methods, is helping researchers make sense of these reams of data.

Two AI-led inventions poke at future of patent law

A University of Surrey-based team have filed the first patent applications for inventions created by a machine. Applications were made to the US, EU and UK patent offices; they are for a machine using artificial intelligence as the inventor of two ideas for a beverage container and a flashing light.

Researchers create first-ever personalised sound projector with $12 webcam

A University of Sussex research team have demonstrated the first sound projector that can track a moving individual and deliver an acoustic message as they move, to a high-profile tech and media conference in LA.

Nissan, Renault eye restructuring for Fiat merger: report

Nissan and Renault are considering changes to their partnership in order to reinvigorate merger negotiations with US-Italian automaker Fiat Chrysler, US media reported on Friday.

As iPhone sales sputter, Apple moves toward reinvention, again

With its latest financial results, Apple is showing it can move beyond the iPhone with gadgets and services that can help the California tech giant weather the slumping smartphone market.

Is Boeing too big to fail?

The grounding of the 737 MAX for more than four months after two deadly accidents has tarnished Boeing's reputation, but it still has the confidence of US policymakers.

Behind the MAX crisis: Lax regulator, top-down company culture

Even before the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes claimed 346 lives, Boeing flight tests had revealed problems similar to those encountered by pilots on the ill-fated 737 MAX flights.

For Airbus, capitalizing on Boeing's woes is challenging

With its main rival hobbled by the worldwide grounding of a top-selling jet, Europe's Airbus could seem poised to emerge as the undisputed global aerospace leader.

US seniors fulfill dreams, fight depression with virtual reality

Nidia Silva had never realized her dream of swimming with dolphins until a Miami NGO gave her a pair of virtual reality glasses as part of an experimental treatment for depression and isolation in senior citizens.

Think your metadata is only visible to national security agencies? Think again

It was bound to happen, and it did. Poorly crafted legislation – designed to allow national security agencies to collect information with the aim of protecting Australians from terrorists—is now reportedly being exploited by a range of different government agencies for other purposes.

Nuclear becomes latest round in energy wars

The government has formally reopened the highly contentious debate on nuclear power by referring the issue to a parliamentary committee, with it to report by the end of the year.

Sporadic outages at 8chan and a new host after mass shooting

The online message board 8chan suffered sporadic outages Monday after its cybersecurity provider cut it off for what it called a "cesspool of hate" following mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.

A breath of fresh information to help diagnosis

Human breath carries a breadth of information, and KAUST research scientist Osama Amin has partnered with KAUST's Mohamed-Slim Alouini and Basem Shihada and colleagues Maryam Khliad and Said Ahmed at Information Technology University, Pakistan, to harness that information.

Why investigative reporting in the digital age is waving, not drowning

You don't need to look far to find doom and gloom stories about traditional media in the digital age. Yet linking media hardship to a view that investigative journalism is dying is a misconception.

Samsung dongle leak suggests the smartphone maker is killing the headphone jack

Headphone jacks on new smartphones are a dying breed—first, Apple's got rid of the 3.5mm portals on iPhones and other flagship phone makers like Google, Sony, Motorola and Huawei followed suit, with the exception of a few models.

A novel robotic jellyfish able to perform 3-D jet propulsion and maneuvers

As a source of inspiration, aquatic creatures such as fish, cetaceans, and jellyfish could inspire innovative designs to improve the ways that manmade systems operate in and interact with aquatic environments. Jellyfishes in nature propel themselves through their surroundings by radially expanding and contracting their bell-shaped bodies to push water behind them, which is called jet propulsion.

Researchers develop a rapid, low-cost method to 3-D print microfluidic devices

Microfluidics is the manipulation and study of sub-microscopic liters of fluids. Technologies that utilise microfluidics are found in many multidisciplinary fields ranging from engineering to biology. Experiments can be performed on a device roughly of the size of a dollar coin, reducing the amount of reagents used, wastes produced, and the overall costs. Experiments can be conducted precisely at microscale levels, offering reduced reaction times and improved control over the reaction conditions.

After El Paso killings, renewed focus on online hate forums

Efforts to take down the 8chan website where a racist "manifesto" was posted shortly before the El Paso shooting highlight the legal and ethical difficulties in curbing online hate speech that foments violence.

Energy Department wants to build nuclear test 'fast' reactor

A new nuclear test reactor is needed as part of an effort to revamp the nation's fading nuclear power industry by developing safer fuel and power plants, the U.S. Department of Energy said Monday.

Israel unveils prototype 'tanks of the future'

Israel unveiled options Sunday for its "combat vehicle of the future"—a tank with large touchscreens, 360-degree vision and, in one prototype, a video game-style controller.

Fiat Chrysler open to fresh merger talks with Renault: report

The chief of Fiat Chrysler remains open to the possibility of resuming merger talks with France's Renault, months after talks between the two automakers aimed at forging an industry powerhouse broke down, according to an interview published Monday.

Agile untethered fully soft robots in liquid

Soft robots have gained much attention in the past several years for their unique characteristics compared to traditional rigid robots. However, unlike the Baymax in the film "Big Hero 6," state-of-the-art soft robot is just a prototype in labs, usually tethered, which means it requires an electrical wire or pneumatic tubing for powering. To exploit the full potential of soft robots, untethered design is preferred. Existing approaches to equip the soft robots with untethered design usually involve high energy-density powering sources, which leads to integration problems, otherwise the robot will be bulk and clumsy for carry low energy-density power sources.

'Majestic' WWII Spitfire takes off on round-the-world flight

An original Spitfire plane took off from Britain on Monday on an unprecedented attempt to fly the iconic World War II fighter around the globe.

Vital infrastructures in the Netherlands vulnerable to hackers

Don't treat vital infrastructures in the same way one would protect a shop network, for instance, but bind them to a secure circuit that hackers cannot breach. This is one of the central recommendations in a comprehensive report entitled "Online Discoverability and Vulnerabilities of ICS/SCADA Devices in the Netherlands," based on research carried out by the University of Twente on behalf of the Scientific Research and Documentation Centre (WODC) of the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security.

Explainer: What is the online forum 8chan?

An anonymous online forum called 8chan has drawn attention in the wake of mass shootings in Texas and Ohio because violent U.S. extremists have used it to share tips and encourage one another. The site suffered sporadic outages Monday after its cybersecurity provider cut off support for what it called a "cesspool of hate."

Newspaper chain GateHouse buying Gannett, USA Today owner

Two of the country's largest newspaper companies have agreed to combine in the latest media deal driven by the industry's struggles with a decline in printed editions.

Medicine & Health news

Blinking eye-on-a-chip used for disease modeling and drug testing

People who spend eight or more hours a day staring at a computer screen may notice their eyes becoming tired or dry, and, if those conditions are severe enough, they may eventually develop dry eye disease (DED). DED is a common disease with shockingly few FDA-approved drug options, partially because of the difficulties of modeling the complex pathophysiology in human eyes. Enter the blinking eye-on-a-chip: an artificial human eye replica constructed in the laboratory of Penn Engineering researchers.

Gut throws cells overboard when chemical insults build up

A team of Duke researchers has discovered that cells lining the gut of zebrafish—and probably humans too—have a remarkable defense mechanism when faced with certain kinds of toxins: they hit the eject button.

Deciphering pancreatic cancer's invade and evade tactics

Two known gene mutations induce pathways that enhance pancreatic cancer's ability to invade tissues and evade the immune system. Researchers report the molecular details of this process, providing insights into druggable targets for immunotherapies.

Researchers find proteins that might restore damaged sound-detecting cells in the ear

Using genetic tools in mice, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine say they have identified a pair of proteins that precisely control when sound-detecting cells, known as hair cells, are born in the mammalian inner ear. The proteins, described in a report published June 12 in eLife, may hold a key to future therapies to restore hearing in people with irreversible deafness.

How do clots become firm in the presence of blood flow? A new engineered tissue model has answers

Blood clotting is one of the most critical, protective processes in human physiology. When something goes wrong with clotting, either because there is too much clotting, leading to a stroke, or not enough, leading to internal bleeding, the outcome can be catastrophic.

Is it safe to use an electric fan for cooling? Public health guidance on fans not evidence-based

The safety and effectiveness of electric fans in heatwaves depend on the climate and basing public health advice on common weather metrics could be misleading, according to a new study from the University of Sydney.

Study shows why a common form of immunotherapy fails, and suggests solution

New research has uncovered a mechanism thought to explain why some cancers don't respond to a widely used form of immunotherapy called "checkpoint inhibitors" or anti-PD-1. In addition, the scientists say they have found a way to fix the problem, paving a way to expand the number of patients who may benefit from the treatment.

Scientists can now manipulate brain cells using smartphone

A team of scientists in Korea and the United States have invented a device that can control neural circuits using a tiny brain implant controlled by a smartphone.

Researchers discover blocking key mineral uptake could prevent gonorrhea infection

Blocking the ability of the bacterial pathogen that causes gonorrhea to uptake the mineral zinc can stop infection by this widespread sexually transmitted infection, according to a study by the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University.

Five things to know about fentanyl, America's deadliest drug

President Donald Trump has repeatedly hit out at China for failing to curb the export of illegal fentanyl to the United States.

DR Congo tests 12 more patients for Ebola

Twelve people were ordered to undergo testing for possible Ebola infection in Goma in DR Congo on Saturday, only days after three patients in the densely populated city tested positive for the disease, the country's presidency said.

Choose your running shoes carefully

(HealthDay)—If you're a runner, the wrong running shoe could sideline you, a foot expert says.

U.S. Air Force orders day off training to focus on suicide epidemic

(HealthDay)—The U.S. Air Force has ordered a day off from training to focus on a suicide epidemic in its ranks.

Whole body vibration shakes up microbiome, reduces inflammation in diabetes

In the face of diabetes, a common condition in which glucose and levels of destructive inflammation soar, whole body vibration appears to improve how well our body uses glucose as an energy source and adjust our microbiome and immune cells to deter inflammation, investigators report.

Transgender women case study shows sperm production is possible but not certain

Scientists at Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI), collaborating with clinicians at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital and UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh report two cases in which young transgender women attempted to recover their fertility after starting and stopping gender-affirming medications.

MSI detection via liquid biopsy shows high concordance with results from tissue samples

Bottom Line: Incorporation of pan-cancer microsatellite instability (MSI) detection into the 74-gene panel Guardant360 liquid biopsy assay showed high concordance with matched tissue samples in nearly 1,000 patients.

Long-term declines in heart disease and stroke deaths are stalling, research finds

Heart disease and stroke mortality rates have almost stopped declining in many high-income countries, including Australia, and are even increasing in some countries, according to new research.

Cigarettes with pro-environment marketing perceived as less harmful, study finds

Few people would consider a handgun with a sustainably harvested wood stock any less lethal than one with a steel stock. The same logic doesn't seem to apply to cigarettes—the leading preventable cause of death globally and in the United States. A new Stanford study finds that people perceive cigarettes with pro-environment marketing on the packaging as less harmful not only to the environment but also to the health of smokers and people around them.

New app tests how mood affects cognitive performance

Researchers from UNSW and UCL are hoping that a newly launched app that tracks an individual's moods and emotions could lead to better management of mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Family influence key in spread of opioid use

Introducing an opioid painkiller into a home can double the chances someone else living in the home seeks out the addictive drugs on his or her own, according to a new paper from two UC Berkeley researchers.

Larger blood transfusions could halve deaths of children with severe anaemia

Giving larger volumes of blood transfusions to children with severe anaemia in sub-Saharan Africa could halve the number of deaths.

Professional coaching alleviates burnout symptoms in physicians

Medical doctors in the United States are twice as likely to experience symptoms of burnout as other workers, which can compromise quality of care and place patients at risk. In a study in JAMA Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic researchers suggest a new approach to fighting burnout: external professional coaching.

This new discovery could allow dentists to regenerate the roots of teeth

To figure out how the body changes over time, researchers are increasingly looking to understand epigenetics, the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself. This scientific endeavor extends to teeth as well.

Better apps might improve health, study finds

Ever wondered why after a while you got tired of using that weight loss or meditation app on your phone? For Max Birk, a University of Saskatchewan recent Ph.D. graduate, the answer could be that you need a customizable avatar that represents you—the user.

The Medical Minute: Take steps to slow Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia. It slowly kills brain cells and is the fifth-leading cause of death for Americans age 65 and older.

Plant-based alternatives won't replace meat anytime soon, say experts

Despite the increasing popularity of plant-based protein alternatives like Beyond Meat hamburgers, a new U of A study suggests that changing attitudes about meat consumption in many western nations is a slow and complicated process.

Researchers study new method of assessing severity of children's brain injuries

A team of international scientists, including Melbourne researchers, has found blood samples can help gauge the severity of children's brain injuries, indicating which children will recover and which will need ongoing support.

Warning to adults: Children notice everything

Adults are really good at paying attention only to what you tell them to—but children don't ignore anything.

Perception disorders may throw those affected off balance

Many patients with functional dizziness look back on a long odyssey to numerous doctors, because no organic causes could be found. Now for the first time, an experiment at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has identified possible causes of the disorder: problems with the processing of sensory-motor signals in the brain that resemble those associated with dizziness due to organic causes.

Multiple genes affect risk of asthma, hay fever and eczema

In a new study from SciLifeLab at Uppsala University, researchers have found a total of 141 regions (genes) in our genetic material that largely explain the genetic risk underlying asthma, hay fever and eczema. As many as 41 of the genes identified have not previously been linked to an elevated risk for these diseases. The results are published in the scientific journal Human Molecular Genetics.

Study: Parking lots present high risk of injury, death in children due to lack of attention

Children can be seen running across parking lots without adult supervision every day, and the consequences can be fatal.

Study investigates potential new treatments for pancreatic cancer

Curtin University researchers have discovered a potential new treatment for an aggressive form of pancreatic cancer, which may have the potential to increase the survival of patients resistant to currently available cancer chemotherapeutic drugs.

Apartment life for families means living at close quarters, but often feeling isolated too

Newer high-rise developments in Australia's inner-city areas are increasingly home to parents raising young children. In the 2016 Census, family households represented nearly half of apartment residents. Close to one in ten children aged 0-4 live in apartments in Australia.

'Stressors' in middle age linked to cognitive decline in older women

A new analysis of data on more than 900 Baltimore adults by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers has linked stressful life experiences among middle-aged women—but not men—to greater memory decline in later life.

3-D miniature livers lead the way to patient-specific drug discovery

The human liver is a vital organ involved in multiple functions. Because susceptibility to liver diseases is highly variable among patients, researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) have engineered a model liver system that can be personalized for disease modeling and drug discovery.

Daily aspirin reduces bowel cancer risk in people with Lynch syndrome

Taking a daily aspirin for more than two years could reduce the risk of bowel cancer in people with Lynch syndrome, according to new draft guidance from National Institute for health and Care Excellence (NICE).

New test is first in US to help detect new STD threat

It is hard to get much of a reputation if nobody knows you're around, and that has definitely been the case for mycoplasma genitalium, the tiny bacteria estimated to be more prevalent than the bug that causes gonorrhea but is almost completely off the public's radar.

If you smoke pot, your anesthesiologist needs to know

When Colorado legalized marijuana, it became a pioneer in creating new policies to deal with the drug.

The talk seniors need to have with doctors before surgery

The decision seemed straightforward. Bob McHenry's heart was failing, and doctors recommended two high-risk surgeries to restore blood flow. Without the procedures, McHenry, 82, would die.

Climate change will raise Florida's risks of brain-eating amoeba and flesh-eating bacteria

When it's blisteringly hot outside, splashing in the ocean, a lake or even a swimming pool is a popular way to beat the heat. But as global temperatures rise, scientists say, so do your chances of catching a nasty—or even deadly—bug.

Delays in heart failure diagnosis for chronically ill people leads to much worse outcomes

More people are being diagnosed in hospital with heart failure than in the community because vital heart failure symptoms are being missed. A major Leicester Diabetes Centre study, which has looked at data collected across a 20-year period, has found that over 70 percent of people are not being diagnosed with major heart problems until they become so unwell that they need to be admitted to hospital. In addition, it was also discovered that hospitalisation rates, following a heart failure diagnosis, have increased by 30 percent over the last two decade

Spacer protects healthy organs from radiation exposure during particle therapy

Kobe University and Alfresa Pharma Corporation have developed a novel medical device with a non-woven fabric style made of bioabsorbable material.

Rutgers-developed model for ICU pharmacists addresses common dilemma for hospitals

A new team-based model for intensive care unit (ICU) pharmacists, developed by Rutgers and RWJBarnabas Health System, resolves a common dilemma for hospitals and improves care for critically ill patients.

Patterns of substance use and co-use by adolescents

Using in-depth interviews with 13 adolescents (16-19 years of age) who used alcohol and marijuana, this study examines the role that social and physical contexts play in adolescent decision-making about simultaneous use of alcohol and marijuana.

Study: Sleep is essential for business leaders seeking next successful venture

Jeff Bezos and Arianna Huffington came up with brilliant ideas that turned into companies that are now household names—Amazon and HuffPost. The secret ingredient for coming up with these ideas may be something we can all tap into—a good night's sleep.

Study explains how some older brains decline before people realize it

Some older adults without noticeable cognitive problems have a harder time than younger people in separating irrelevant information from what they need to know at a given time, and a new Johns Hopkins University study could explain why.

Mankai duckweed plant found to offer health benefits

Mankai, a new high-protein aquatic plant strain of duckweed, has significant potential as a superfood and provides glycemic control after carbohydrate consumption, a team of researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) has determined.

Uganda begins trial of Ebola vaccine: health officials

Uganda said Monday it had started a trial of an experimental Ebola vaccine that may be used in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, where an outbreak has killed more than 1,800 people.

Study explores dose ranges for efpeglenatide in early T2DM

(HealthDay)—Efpeglenatide once weekly leads to dose-dependent reductions in glucose and body weight in patients with early type 2 diabetes, according to a phase 2 study published online July 18 in Diabetes Care.

Guidance issued for research use of cardiac MRI after MI

(HealthDay)—In a scientific expert panel consensus document, published in the July 16 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, recommendations are presented for how cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging after myocardial infarction (MI) is used in clinical research.

Drug approved to treat tenosynovial giant cell tumor

(HealthDay)—Turalio (pexidartinib) capsules have been approved to treat adults with symptomatic tenosynovial giant cell tumor (TGCT), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced.

Common prostate cancer treatment may increase risk of fatal heart condition

Many men with prostate cancer rely on common testosterone-blocking drugs as a part of their treatment. But those so-called antiandrogens also might put them at risk for a deadly heart condition, according to new research.

After pot legalized, Colorado's teens moved from smoking to edibles, 'dabbing'

(HealthDay)—Colorado legalized recreational marijuana use in 2014, and a new study shows that the state's teens have since started to move away from smoking pot to other forms of consumption.

Overweight, obesity may up early mortality risk in pediatric ALL

(HealthDay)—For Mexican children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), overweight and obesity are predictors of early mortality, according to a study published online July 18 in BMC Cancer.

Toddler leaves hospital for first time thanks to novel approach to treatment

Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is the most common illness that develops in babies born premature with underdeveloped lungs. A chronic disease that may present long-term breathing problems and can be fatal, there is no cure for BPD. However, new data released in 2017 shows a ventilation protocol developed at Nationwide Children's Hospital, coupled with the treatment of the whole child, are improving survival rates to 99%. The national average of for the survival rate of infants born with severe BPD is 80%.

Ultrasound guidance improves first-attempt IV success in IV access in children

Children's veins are small and sometimes difficult to access during necessary medical treatment. When caregivers used ultrasound to guide placement of intravenous (IV) lines in children with presumed difficult access, they had higher success rates on their first attempt. Researchers from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) report that this technique reduces the number of needle sticks in their young patients.

Shrinking brain tumours and opening the door for targeted cancer therapies

A new drug, known as IP1867B, could be used for future treatments of brain tumours.

Opioid use recovery requires persistence, range of services

Successful recovery from opioid use disorder appears to be even more challenging than recovery from alcohol use disorder, and individuals with opioid use problems may require more intensive medical, psychological and social support services over a longer period of time, results of the first national study of opioid problem resolution suggest.

Young teens of color more likely to avoid peers with mental illness

Students identifying as black or Latino are more likely to say they would socially distance themselves from peers with a mental illness, a key indicator of mental illness stigma, according to research published by the American Psychological Association. The findings reinforce how stigma may prevent teens who face prejudice and discrimination from seeking help for a mental health problem when they need it.

Researchers use Amazon reviews and AI to predict product recalls

An AI named BERT identified recalled foods from Amazon customer reviews with 74-percent accuracy, then found thousands of potentially unsafe but unrecalled products.

No racial disparities in quality-of-care for CABG outcomes for those insured by TRICARE

Many studies have documented disparities in cardiovascular care for minorities, specifically African Americans compared to white patients. Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is a common procedure in the United States, and the outcomes and post-surgical care for African Americans tend to be worse. Investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital examined whether patients insured through TRICARE—a universal insurance and equal-access system that covers more than 9 million active-duty members, veterans and their families—experienced these disparities. The team found no racial disparities in quality-of-care outcomes, providing insights about the potential impacts of universal insurance and an equal-access health care system. The findings are published in Health Affairs.

'Fat suit' role play may help uncover medical student prejudices against obesity

Getting patients to wear an obesity simulation suit, popularly known as a 'fat suit', may prove a useful teaching aid and help to uncover medical student prejudice against obesity, suggests a proof of concept study published in the online journal BMJ Open.

New Zealand government plans to ease abortion restrictions

New Zealand's government announced Monday that it plans changes to the country's abortion laws that would treat the procedure as a health issue rather than a crime.

Australia cancer sufferer first to use new assisted dying law

A 61-year-old cancer patient has become the first person in over two decades to die under controversial assisted dying laws in Australia, a charity said.

CBD risks and the chance to rein in supplements

With medical and recreational marijuana being legalized in states across the country, cannabis and related products are hitting an eager market, but often without scientific studies to back up product claims.

To understand how people think, look to their actions, not their words

Actions not only speak louder than words, they also happen first and faster, Stanford psychologist Barbara Tversky says. Catching a falling cup, rolling one's eyes at a bad joke—responses like these happen before people find the words to describe their actions and emotions.

Using algorithms to track down cancer

Modern medicine is looking for markers that provide early warning of complex diseases. In its quest to discover these "biomarkers," the ETH spinoff Scailyte has developed software capable of analysing millions of single cells very efficiently.

Flu vaccine reduces risk of dying for elderly intensive care patients

It appears that an influenza vaccine does not just work when it comes to influenza. A new study shows that elderly people who have been admitted to an intensive care units have less risk of dying and of suffering a blood clot or bleeding in the brain if they have been vaccinated. And this is despite the fact that they are typically older, have more chronic diseases and take more medicine then those who have not been vaccinated.

Nordic researchers: A quarter of the world's population at risk of developing tuberculosis

A new study from Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus University, Denmark, has shown that probably 1 in 4 people in the world carry the tuberculosis bacterium in the body. The disease tuberculosis is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which affects more than 10 million people every year, and kills up to 2 million, making it the most deadly of the infectious diseases.

4 tips for a healthier home

Simple steps can help you protect your home from health dangers big and small.

4 personal items you probably should replace today

Is your toothbrush more than four months old? And how about your contact lens case? These and other everyday essentials need regular replacing, no matter how comfortable you are with them.

How deep space travel could affect the brain

Exposure to chronic, low dose radiation—the conditions present in deep space—causes neural and behavioral impairments in mice, researchers report in eNeuro. These results highlight the pressing need to develop safety measures to protect the brain from radiation during deep space missions as astronauts prepare to travel to Mars.

Brain reorganization predicts language production

The right hemisphere of the brain can take over language functions when the left hemisphere is damaged early in development, according to research in four-year-old children published in eNeuro. These findings offer insight into typical language development in children and the flexibility of the brain in response to injury.

Machine learning classifies word type based on brain activity

Pairing machine learning with neuroimaging can determine whether a person heard a real or made up word based on their brain activity, according to a new study published in eNeuro. These results lay the groundwork for investigating language processing in the brain and developing an imaging-based tool to assess language impairments.

Monaco to decriminalise abortion, but no legalisation

Monaco said Monday that it would move in the coming months to stop making abortion a crime for women, but stopped short of full legalisation since doctors would still be prohibited from carrying out the procedure.

Biology news

TV crews capture first evidence of leopard seals sharing food

Drone footage captured by crews filming the Netflix series Our Planet—narrated by Sir David Attenborough—has shown never-before seen behaviour of two leopard seals sharing food.

Recursive language and modern imagination were acquired simultaneously 70,000 years ago

A genetic mutation that slowed down the development of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in two or more children may have triggered a cascade of events leading to acquisition of recursive language and modern imagination 70,000 years ago.

It would take 50 million years to recover New Zealand's lost bird species

Half of New Zealand's birds have gone extinct since humans arrived on the islands. Many more are threatened. Now, researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on August 5 estimate that it would take approximately 50 million years to recover the number of bird species lost since humans first colonized New Zealand.

New knowledge in history: Evaluating seven decades of ex situ seed regeneration

The Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) in Gatersleben has been promoting the transition of gene banks into bio-digital resource centres—the aim is the preparation and collation of the phenotypic and genetic information for all stored accessions. As an important step for the further development of the Federal Ex situ Gene Bank, which is being hosted by the IPK in Gatersleben, researchers have been evaluating the historical data which has been accrued by the gene bank over the last 70 years. Not only is the resulting published data an important new resource for researchers and plant breeders, the publications also provide blueprint strategies for the preparation of correlated datasets from which other gene banks and research facilities will be able to draw.

Researcher observes the unexpected: nut-eating gorillas

Despite their large body size, gorillas are known to have a vegetarian diet consisting almost exclusively of leafy vegetation and fruit. Their teeth are large and high-crested when compared to other great apes, which is usually seen as an adaptation to spending a large amount of time chewing tough fibrous plant material. In contrast, their teeth are not well adapted to eating hard objects, such as nuts encased in a woody shell, because the high crests on their molar teeth would be at risk of damage.

Caterpillars of the peppered moth perceive color through their skin

It is difficult to distinguish caterpillars of the peppered moth from a twig. The caterpillars not only mimic the form but also the color of a twig. In a new study, researchers of Liverpool University in the UK and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Germany demonstrate that the caterpillars can sense the twig's color with their skin. Caterpillars that were blindfolded changed the color of their bodies to match their background. When given the choice of which background to rest on, the blindfolded caterpillars still moved to the background that they resembled. The researchers also found that genes that are required for vision were expressed not only in the eyes of the caterpillars but also in their skin. The study is published in Communications Biology.

Hepatitis B: Unusual virus discovered in shrews

The discovery of an unusual hepatitis B virus from shrews offers new opportunities of better understanding the chronic progression of the disease. International research teams were able to demonstrate that an important protein which is essential for the development of a chronic course of infection is not present in this virus. DZIF scientists at the Charite—Universitaetsmedizin Berlin and the University of Giessen are leading the research.

Evidence found of evolution influencing number of neurons that sense certain odors

An international team of researchers has found evidence of evolution influencing the number of neurons that sense certain odors in mammals. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes their genetic study of the mucosa involved in the sense of smell in several mammals and what they found.

Experiments suggest macaques are capable of making decisions based on inference

A team of researchers at Columbia University has carried out experiments with macaques and in so doing has found evidence that suggests they are capable of inference-based thinking. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes the experiments they carried out and what they learned from them.

Quantum dots capture speciation in sandplain fynbos on the West Coast of South Africa

Using quantum dots as a tool to trace the pollen of the long-tubed iris, Lapeirousia anceps, evolutionary ecologists from Stellenbosch University have succeeded in capturing a snapshot of a plant in the process of speciation.

Symphony of genes

One of the most exciting discoveries in genome research was that the last common ancestor of all multicellular animals—which lived about 600 million years ago—already possessed an extremely complex genome. Many of the ancestral genes can still be found in modern day species (e.g., human). However, it has long been unclear whether the arrangement of these genes in the genome also had a certain function. In a recent study in Nature Ecology and Evolution, biologists led by Oleg Simakov and Ulrich Technau show that not only individual genes but also these gene arrangements in the genome have played a key role in the course of animal evolution.

No 'Guardian of the Galaxy': trapped US raccoon goes viral

He may lack the poise of "Guardians of the Galaxy" superhero Rocket Raccoon but this fur-tive little adventurer is becoming an internet star in his own right after coming off worse in an encounter with a storm grate.

Whales die in new mysterious Iceland stranding

Some 20 pilot whales have died stranded in mysterious circumstances on the south-western coast of Iceland, emergency services said Saturday, only two weeks after a similarly unexplained mass stranding had already killed dozens of the long-finned cetaceans.

Back to the wild: how 'ungardening' took root in America

Retired union organizer Anna Burger lives by a busy road just a minute's walk from a metro station in the US capital Washington, but every morning she wakes up to a birdsong symphony.

Pets in America now get human treatment

Eleven-year-old Bess waits patiently to be immersed in water just a little cooler than her body temperature.

In French mountains, bear attacks leave shepherds skittish

As day breaks over the Pyrenees mountains, hundreds of sheep scuttle up a valley, the clanging of their neck bells echoing around the hills that fringe the French-Spanish border.

An ambitious plan to stop the rise of superbugs

Antibiotic resistance is here to stay, but that doesn't mean we can't do anything to stop it.

Rye is healthy, thanks to an interplay of microbes

Eating rye comes with a variety of health benefits. A new study from the University of Eastern Finland now shows that both lactic acid bacteria and gut bacteria contribute to the health benefits of rye. Published in Microbiome, the study used a metabolomics approach to analyse metabolites found in food and the human body.

Koala-detecting dogs sniff out flaws in Australia's threatened species protection

In a country like Australia—a wealthy, economically and politically stable nation with multiple environmental laws and comparatively effective governance—the public could be forgiven for assuming that environmental laws are effective in protecting threatened species.

This is the healthiest part of the apple, according to study

Love munching on apples? You could be missing out on the best part of the fruit, according to a new report.

Dry feed for superfood producers

Given that they generate hardly any greenhouse gases, are undemanding, nutritious and fast growing, insects have generated a lot of hype in recent years. They are touted as the superfood of the future—cheap suppliers of protein that can even decompose all kinds of residual products.

Restoring forests means less fuel for wildfire and more storage for carbon

When wildfires burn up forests, they don't just damage the trees. They destroy a key part of the global carbon cycle. Restoring those trees as quickly as possible could tip the scale in favor of mitigating severe climate change.

Long-lasting effects of ironwork on mammal distributions over the last millennium

Awareness is growing among scientists about the significance of pre-modern anthropogenic impacts prior to the Industrial Revolution on present-day patterns of biodiversity. In particular, pre-modern energy-intensive industries, such as ironwork, of the sort depicted in the 1997 anime film Princess Mononoke directed by Hayao Miyazaki, were major drivers of ecosystem alteration and have had long-lasting impacts on the distributions of many species. However, the phenomenon remains insufficiently studied and the empirical evidence is quite limited.

A transparent squid with glowing internal organs recorded by deep-sea explorers

A team of ocean explorers captured images last week of a surreal transparent squid with glowing internal organs in the Gulf of Alaska, as part of a study backed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Targeting DNA sequencing for plant biodiversity research

Third-generation sequencing (TGS) technologies like the portable MinION sequencer promise to revolutionize biology, but getting there will require tweaking techniques. Particularly, the low output delivered by TGS sequencers means that targeted sequencing approaches will have to be developed to assure proper sequencing coverage of regions of interest. In research presented in a recent issue of Applications in Plant Sciences, Dr. Thomas Couvreur and colleagues developed a new protocol to capture and sequence longer segments of plastome DNA in plants.

Eye imaging technology provides opportunities in biotechnology

In her doctoral dissertation, M.Sc. Sanna Haavisto, researched the flow properties of aqueous microcellulose suspensions. Optical coherence tomography, an imaging technology commonly used in medical imaging of eye, was applied in a novel way in her study. The measurement methods developed in the doctoral thesis can also be utilized in developing the material properties of microfibrillated celluloses, e.g in textile innovations.

Where do great white sharks show up most?

There are two hot spots where great white sharks surface, data from the shark tracking organization OCEARCH shows. The first is the waters off Cape Cod in Massachusetts, scene of the Jaws movies. But the second is in the ocean around North Carolina's Outer Banks, the data shows.

Early detection of European spruce bark beetles with remote sensing

Scientists of the University of Twente discovered that early detection of European spruce bark beetles is possible with remote sensing. For the first time, remote sensing data has been used successfully to show the early infestation (so-called green attack) of European spruce when still effective actions can be taken to prevent the outbreaks and further damage.

Pesticides deliver a one-two punch to honey bees

Adjuvants are chemicals that are commonly added to plant protection products, such as pesticides, to help them spread, adhere to targets, disperse appropriately, or prevent drift, among other things. There was a widespread assumption that these additives would not cause a biological reaction after exposure, but a number of recent studies show that adjuvants can be toxic to ecosystems, and specific to this study, honey bees.

Paradoxical survival: Examining the Parrondo effect across biology

Inspired by the flashing Brownian ratchet, Parrondo's paradox is a counter-intuitive phenomenon in which two losing games, when played in a specific order, can surprisingly end up winning. For example, slot machines are designed to ensure that players lose in the long run. "What the paradox says is that there might be slot machines which are subtly linked in such a way that playing either slot machine independently will lead to financial disaster, but switching in between them will eventually leave the player richer than before," said senior author, Assistant Professor Kang Hao Cheong of the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).

Scientists propose environmentally friendly control practices for harmful tomato disease

Tomato yellow leaf curl disease (TYLCD) caused by tomato yellow leaf curl virus-like viruses is the most destructive disease of tomato, causing severe damage to crops worldwide and resulting in high economic losses. To combat this disease, many farmers opt for intensive application of insecticides. However, this practice is frequently ineffective and has a negative impact on the environment and human health.

New study aims to help protect the world's trees and forests from harmful pests and diseases

CABI's expert scientists in the field of ecosystems management and invasion ecology have presented new guidance on ways to help protect the world's trees and forests from harmful pests and diseases such as the box tree moth and ash dieback.

Scientists to restore rocky intertidal seaweed to boost coastal biodiversity

Somewhat drab and unassuming, the humble rockweed's olive-green or yellowish-brown appearance belies its importance in the rocky intertidal zone.

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