Thursday, August 22, 2019

Science X Newsletter Thursday, Aug 22

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for August 22, 2019:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Testing a connected eco-driving system in field trials with heavy-duty trucks

Ultrahigh thermal isolation across heterogeneously layered two-dimensional materials

Study links certain metabolites to stem cell function in the intestine

Materials scientists build a synthetic system with compartments like real cells

High-precision technique stores cellular 'memory' in DNA

Maximum mass of lightest neutrino revealed using astronomical big data

Map of malaria behavior set to revolutionize research

Experiments illuminate key component of plants' immune systems

Lasers enable engineers to weld ceramics, no furnace required

Astronomers investigate radio burst emission from the magnetar XTE J1810−197

Biomaterials smarten up with CRISPR

Storms on Jupiter are disturbing the planet's colorful belts

New images from asteroid probe offer clues on planet formation

Physical activity at any intensity linked to lower risk of early death

Fish oil supplements have no effect on type 2 diabetes

Astronomy & Space news

Astronomers investigate radio burst emission from the magnetar XTE J1810−197

Using Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT), astronomers have observed the magnetar XTE J1810−197 after its recent radio outburst to investigate its emission. Results of the study, presented in a paper published August 12, offer more insights into the nature of this magnetar.

Storms on Jupiter are disturbing the planet's colorful belts

Storm clouds rooted deep in Jupiter's atmosphere are affecting the planet's white zones and colorful belts, creating disturbances in their flow and even changing their color.

New images from asteroid probe offer clues on planet formation

Photographs snapped by a shoebox-sized probe that explored the near-Earth asteroid Ryugu have offered new clues about its composition, insights that will help scientists understand the formation of our solar system.

Russia sends its first humanoid robot Fedor into space

Russia on Thursday launched an unmanned rocket carrying a life-size humanoid robot that will spend 10 days learning to assist astronauts on the International Space Station.

Salt deposits on Mars hold clues to sources of ancient water

For centuries, miners have burrowed into the earth in search of salt—laid down in thick layers from ancient oceans long since evaporated. When scientists saw huge deposits of salt on Mars, they immediately wondered whether it meant Mars too once had giant oceans. Yet it's remained unclear what those deposits meant about the Red Planet's climate.

Jupiter mission takes first images of destination from Earth

As part of preparations for the launch of ESA's Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, its navigation camera has been given a unique test: imaging its destination from Earth.

Where are new stars born? NASA's Webb Telescope will investigate

When it comes to making new stars, the party is almost over in the present-day universe. In fact, it's been nearly over for billions of years. Our Milky Way continues to form the equivalent of one Sun every year. But in the past, that rate was up to 100 times greater. So if we really want to understand how stars like our Sun formed in the universe, we need to look billions of years into the past.

Study shows some exoplanets may have greater variety of life than exists on Earth

A new study indicates that some exoplanets may have better conditions for life to thrive than Earth itself has. "This is a surprising conclusion," said lead researcher Dr. Stephanie Olson, "it shows us that conditions on some exoplanets with favourable ocean circulation patterns could be better suited to support life that is more abundant or more active than life on Earth."

India has it right: nations either aim for the moon or get left behind in the space economy

India's Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft has settled into lunar orbit, ahead of its scheduled moon landing on September 7. If it succeeds India will join a very select club, now comprising the former Soviet Union, the United States and China.

Earth is an exoplanet to aliens: This is what they'd see

The study of exoplanets has matured considerably in the last 10 years. During this time, the majority of the over 4000 exoplanets currently known were discovered. It was also during this time that the process has started to shift from the discovery to characterization. What's more, next-generation instruments will allow for studies that will reveal a great deal about the surfaces and atmospheres of exoplanets.

Last of its kind rocket puts GPS satellite in orbit

A rocket that's the last of its kind delivered the newest, most powerful GPS satellite to orbit for the Air Force on Thursday.

Technology news

Testing a connected eco-driving system in field trials with heavy-duty trucks

Currently, 90 percent of fuel used for transportation is petroleum-based, making it one of the key contributors to air pollution worldwide. Recent technological advances, however, are finally enabling the development of new tools to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with transportation.

Lasers enable engineers to weld ceramics, no furnace required

Smartphones that don't scratch or shatter. Metal-free pacemakers. Electronics for space and other harsh environments. These could all be made possible thanks to a new ceramic welding technology developed by a team of engineers at the University of California San Diego and the University of California Riverside.

Life-like robots soon to be reality

Life-like robots that can make decisions, adapt to their environment and learn, are one step closer thanks to a University of Bristol team who has demonstrated a new way of embedding computation into soft robotic materials. This new advance, published in Science Robotics, could create new robotic possibilities to environmental monitoring, pollution clean-up, drug delivery, prosthetic devices, wearable biosensing and self-healing composites.

Intel: Hot Chips event details AI-strength processors

Tech watchers this week got an earful of impressive AI accelerator work at Intel, namely revelations at the Hot Chips 2019 event, where Intel presented details of its Nervana neural network processors, (1) NNP-T for training and (2) NNP-I for inference.

Artificial muscles bloom, dance, and wave

Wearing a flower brooch that blooms before your eyes sounds like magic. KAIST researchers have made it real with robotic muscles.

AI system optimally allocates workloads across thousands of servers to cut costs, save energy

A novel system developed by MIT researchers automatically "learns" how to schedule data-processing operations across thousands of servers—a task traditionally reserved for imprecise, human-designed algorithms. Doing so could help today's power-hungry data centers run far more efficiently.

Deep learning enables scientists to identify cancer cells in blood in milliseconds

Researchers at UCLA and NantWorks have developed an artificial intelligence-powered device that detects cancer cells in a few milliseconds—hundreds of times faster than previous methods. With that speed, the invention could make it possible to extract cancer cells from blood immediately after they are detected, which could in turn help prevent the disease from spreading in the body.

Amazon, Microsoft, 'putting world at risk of killer AI': report

Amazon, Microsoft and Intel are among leading tech companies putting the world at risk through killer robot development, according to a report that surveyed major players from the sector about their stance on lethal autonomous weapons.

What does Facebook's plan to hire journalists mean for media industry?

Facebook's plan to hire professional journalists instead of relying solely on algorithms to deliver news is a positive step but is unlikely to shake up an embattled media industry, analysts say.

Qantas to test 'ultra long-haul' Sydney to NY, London flights

Qantas on Thursday said it will run "ultra long-haul" test flights in the coming months from New York and London to Sydney in order to assess the health of pilots and passengers, as it eyes commercial services on the marathon routes.

Do pricier, faster internet plans improve streaming video quality?

Over three-quarters of today's internet traffic comes from streaming video, a number that is only projected to rise over time. To meet this demand, internet service providers offer consumers faster data speeds at premium prices, with gigabit-per-second tiers available in some areas.

Too-cheap-to-notice water is coming to an end, and water utilities must warn consumers

Most consumers know the cost of a gallon of gasoline. Many customers can read their electric utility bills and understand how power was expended during the billing period. But ask them how much it costs to take a shower or flush a gallon of water, and they don't know.

10 reasons you should be worried about facial recognition technology

Facial recognition technology is spreading fast. Already widespread in China, software that identifies people by comparing images of their faces against a database of records is now being adopted across much of the rest of the world. It's common among police forces but has also been used at airports, railway stations and shopping centers.

A smart electric scooter to improve urban mobility

Startups racing to deploy rentable electric scooters around the world seem to be following Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's famous motto for disruption: Move fast and break things. Unfortunately for those startups, the things that break most often are their scooters.

The future of continuously rechargable batteries

University of Canterbury (UC) Associate Professor Aaron Marshall thinks so and is developing redox flow batteries as a viable energy storage system that will never wear.

How to have an all-renewable electric grid

The main solution to climate change is well known—stop burning fossil fuels. How to do this is more complicated, but as a scholar who does energy modeling, I and others see the outlines of a post-fossil-fuel future: We make electricity with renewable sources and electrify almost everything.

Leather wallets, loose change pose danger for new Apple Card

Apple tried to make the new Apple-branded credit card attractive, copying the heft and sleekness of higher-end cards like the Chase Sapphire. But cardholders are discovering that with such a design, they'll have to give it special care.

Sorry, readers. Your Bluetooth device is a security risk

We hate to be the purveyor of bad news, but if you're using Bluetooth with your digital devices—and you know you are—you could be vulnerable to security risks.

A how-to guide for small businesses navigating 'the cloud'

Imagine a small business develops vehicle parts for a large automotive manufacturer located hundreds of miles away. For efficiency, both businesses utilize "the cloud" to transmit the large amounts of design data—such as automobile part specifications—back and forth and develop solutions during the manufacturing process. While the large company might employ people with technical expertise to understand and handle the cloud, the small business might not have the resources to do so. A team of University of Missouri researchers is providing solutions to solve that problem.

Qantas Airways profits lower after oil prices rise

Qantas Airways posted a 6.5-percent fall in annual net profit Thursday, attributing the slide in earnings to higher oil prices and a weaker Australian dollar.

Trump takes aim at automakers that ignored his emissions proposal

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday attacked automakers who ignored his advances and instead reached an agreement with California on future stricter emissions standards.

Additive manufacturing promising with AF-9628, a high-strength, low cost steel

Parts additively manufactured with AF-9628, an Air Force steel, are about 20 percent stronger than conventional AM alloys, in terms of ultimate tensile strength, according to research conducted by Capt. Erin Hager, an Air Force Research Laboratory employee and recent graduate of the Air Force Institute of Technology's Aerospace Engineering Program.

Carbon-neutral fuels from air and green power

Several challenges associated with the energy transition can be managed by coupling the sectors of electric power and mobility. Green power could be stored in the long term, fuels of high energy density could be used in a carbon-neutral way. Sector coupling has now been demonstrated by the partners of the P2X Kopernikus project on the premises of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). The first liters of fuel were produced from air-captured carbon dioxide and green power. For the first time, a container-based test facility integrating all four chemical process steps needed was used to implement a continuous process with maximum carbon dioxide utilization and very high energy efficiency.

Don't ban new technologies – experiment with them carefully

For many years, Facebook's internal slogan was "move fast and break things." And that's what the company did—along with most other Silicon Valley startups and the venture capitalists who fund them. Their general attitude is one of asking for forgiveness after the fact, rather than for permission in advance. Though this can allow for some bad behavior, it's probably the right attitude, philosophically speaking.

Ryanair planes take to skies despite European strikes

Ryanair flew an almost full service on Thursday, the Irish no-frills airline said despite strikes by pilots and cabin crew based in Britain and Portugal triggered by pay disputes.

Thank millennials for this: smaller restaurants in your future

Alex Canter was born in the kitchen, at his parents' iconic Los Angeles deli, Canter's, where he did everything from wait tables and bartend, to help the family navigate its way into online sales.

Austria telecoms provider accepts cryptocurrency

Austria's leading telecoms provider A1 sid Thursday that it was letting customers pay in cryptocurrency under a pilot project to test the popularity of virtual payments.

Major carriers, state AGs will work to combat robocalls

Major phone companies have pledged to do more to fight robocalls plaguing Americans, the country's state attorneys general say.

Medicine & Health news

Study links certain metabolites to stem cell function in the intestine

MIT biologists have discovered an unexpected effect of a ketogenic, or fat-rich, diet: They showed that high levels of ketone bodies, molecules produced by the breakdown of fat, help the intestine to maintain a large pool of adult stem cells, which are crucial for keeping the intestinal lining healthy.

Physical activity at any intensity linked to lower risk of early death

A multi-national team of researchers, including authors from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), have produced clear evidence that higher levels of physical activity—regardless of intensity—are associated with a lower risk of early death in middle aged and older people.

Fish oil supplements have no effect on type 2 diabetes

Omega-3 fats have little or no effect on risk of Type 2 diabetes according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

Rapamycin may reduce accumulation of a toxic β-thalassemia protein

Rapamycin, a drug widely used to protect organ transplant patients, eased symptoms of β-thalassemia in mice and showed promise for treatment of humans with the inherited disorder, researchers reported. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital investigators led the study, which appears online today in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Scorpion toxin that targets 'wasabi receptor' may help solve mystery of chronic pain

Researchers at UC San Francisco and the University of Queensland have discovered a scorpion toxin that targets the "wasabi receptor," a chemical-sensing protein found in nerve cells that's responsible for the sinus-jolting sting of wasabi and the flood of tears associated with chopping onions. Because the toxin triggers a pain response through a previously unknown mechanism, scientists think it can be used as a tool for studying chronic pain and inflammation, and may eventually lead to the development of new kinds of non-opioid pain relievers.

Discovery of 'hidden' outbreak hints that Zika virus can spread silently

Just when international fears of contracting Zika began to fade in 2017, an undetected outbreak was peaking in Cuba—a mere 300 miles off the coast of Miami. A team of scientists at Scripps Research, working in concert with several other organizations, uncovered the hidden outbreak by overlaying air-travel patterns with genomic sequencing of virus samples from infected travelers. The discovery is featured on the cover of the Aug. 22 issue of Cell.

Memory T cells shelter in bone marrow, boosting immunity in mice with restricted diets

Even when taking in fewer calories and nutrients, humans and other mammals usually remain protected against infectious diseases they have already encountered. This may be because memory T cells, which are located throughout the body and required to maintain immune responses to infectious agents, according to scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. Their study in mice, published online today in Cell, also found that animals undergoing dietary restriction were better protected against tumors and bacterial infections than animals with unrestricted diets.

Mechanical forces impact immune response in the lungs

When the body is fending off an infection, there are changes in temperature, pH balance, and metabolism. Yale researchers wondered if yet other factors might come into play, and in a recent study, confirmed that mechanical forces also influence the immune response.

Gene linked to a rare neurological disorder regulates key enzyme in Alzheimer's

A gene that can become mutated and cause a rare balance disorder also regulates the behavior of an enzyme that increases the risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD), according to a new study by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) to be published in the journal Cell on August 22, 2019. This discovery may help to identify new targets for experimental medications designed to delay or stop the onset of AD.

Researchers discover that fasting reduces inflammation and improves chronic inflammatory diseases

Fasting regimens have gained public and scientific interest in recent years, but fasting shouldn't be dismissed as a fad. In a study published in Cell, Mount Sinai researchers found that fasting reduces inflammation and improves chronic inflammatory diseases without affecting the immune system's response to acute infections.

Here's how early humans evaded immunodeficiency viruses

For hundreds of thousands of years, monkeys and apes have been plagued by simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), which still devastates primate groups in Africa.

New method classifies brain cells based on electrical signals

For decades, neuroscientists have relied on a technique for reading out electrical "spikes" of brain activity in live, behaving subjects that tells them very little about the types of cells they are monitoring. In a new study, researchers at the University of Tuebingen and MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory demonstrate a way to increase their insight by distinguishing four distinct classes of cells from that spiking information.

Researchers use single-cell sequencing to get a better look at human embryo implantation

A team of researchers affiliated with multiple institutions in China has used single-cell sequencing to learn more about the human embryo during implantation in the uterus. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes sequencing thousands of human embryo cells from before, during and after implantation, and what they learned from it.

Scratching the surface of how your brain senses an itch

Light touch plays a critical role in everyday tasks, such as picking up a glass or playing a musical instrument. The sensation is also an essential part of the body's protective defense system, alerting us to objects in our environment that could cause us to fall or injure ourselves. In addition, it is part of the detection system that has evolved to protect us from biting insects, such as those that cause malaria and Lyme disease, by eliciting a feeling of an itch when an insect lands on your skin.

Brain finds order amidst chaos

How does the brain find order amidst a sea of noise and chaos? Researchers at the EPFL Blue Brain Project have found the answer by using advanced simulation techniques to investigate the way neurons talk to each other. In a paper published in Nature Communications, they found that by working as a team, cortical neurons can respond even to weak input against the backdrop of noise and chaos, allowing the brain to find order.

Treating inflammation with inflammation

Scientists at the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science (KRCBS) have uncovered a new potential approach to treat multiple types of autoimmune disease including arthritis in lab models.

Malaria control success in Africa at risk from spread of multi-drug resistance

In the first continent-wide genomic study of malaria parasites in Africa, scientists have uncovered the genetic features of Plasmodium falciparum parasites that inhabit different regions of the continent, including the genetic factors that confer resistance to anti-malarial drugs. This sheds new light on the way that drug resistance is emerging in different locations and moving by various routes across Africa, putting previous success in controlling malaria at risk.

Computer model could help test new sickle cell drugs

A team of Brown University researchers has developed a new computer model that simulates the way red blood cells become misshapen by sickle cell disease. The model, described in a paper published in Science Advances, could be useful in the preclinical evaluation of drugs aimed at preventing the sickling process.

How our genes and environment influence BMI and height

Environmental conditions influence our body mass index (BMI) by increasing or decreasing the effect of inherited genetic variations, University of Queensland researchers have discovered.

NHS trusts act on staff pensions to stave off winter workforce crisis

Research carried out by The BMJ has found evidence that some trusts are taking action to tackle the NHS pensions crisis ahead of the government's proposed national solution because of concerns about the impact on their workforce.

Listening to the 'patient voice' can drive improvements in hospital care for patients undergoing heart surgery

Patient-reported experiences have potential for driving improvements in the quality of hospital care, according to a new study in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, published by Elsevier. Investigators report on an analysis of the Canadian Patient Experience Survey responses obtained from cardiac patients in Alberta, which revealed areas that are highly rated by patients, but also reported findings around areas that could be the subject of future patient-centered quality improvements.

CBD products, hemp oil may be helpful but more research is needed, review says

Cannabidiol (CBD) oils and products have become increasingly popular with consumers as ways to find relief from aches and pains, anxiety, sleep disturbances and other chronic issues. But are these products safe, and are they helpful?

Carriers of Alzheimer's genetic marker have greater difficulty harnessing past knowledge

Adults carrying a gene associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer's disease had a harder time accessing recently acquired knowledge, even though they didn't show any symptoms of memory problems, according to findings published in a joint Baycrest-University of Oxford study.

Enzyme that helps protect us from stress linked to liver cancer growth

An enzyme induced by stress to help reduce production of damaging free radicals is also used by liver cancer to regulate two major cell proliferation pathways that enable the cancer to thrive, scientists report.

Researchers discover cause of asthmatic lung spasms

Researchers at Rutgers and other institutions have discovered how muscle contraction (bronchospasm) in the airway, which cause breathing difficulty in people with asthma, occur by creating a microdevice that mimics the behavior of the human airways.

High-intensity step training boosts stroke survivors' walking skills

High-intensity step training that mimics real-world conditions may better improve walking ability in stroke survivors compared to traditional, low-impact training, according to new research published in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke.

Scientists show how vaping induces reactions in lungs that can lead to disease

Vaping is widely assumed to be safer than cigarette smoking, but scientists at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine have uncovered evidence suggesting that vaping promotes the same cellular responses found in smokers who suffer with emphysema.

Low grip strength linked to impaired cognition, memory loss in older Americans

For older Americans, poor handgrip may be a sign of impaired cognition and memory, a new study suggests.

Liver disease: New intelligent testing could save thousands of lives

Since the 1970s, liver disease in the UK has increased by more than 400%, particularly in people under 65—in marked contrast to all other major causes of death which have been decreasing in younger age groups. This epidemic has been driven by alcohol, obesity and hepatitis C.

Vape at your own risk, expert says

On the heels of media reports of dozens of injuries suffered by people who vape, the University of Virginia's Blue Ridge Poison Center issued a statement Wednesday cautioning that vaping is a suspected cause of lung injury.

Full-fat milk is OK if you're healthy, but reduced-fat dairy is still best if you're not

The Heart Foundation now recommends full-fat milk, cheese and yogurt or reduced-fat options as part of its updated dietary advice released yesterday.

First-person memories stay sharper longer, research suggests

Our ability to edit our memories allows us to grow and change how we perceive ourselves and our experiences, says U of A psychology researcher.

Psychiatric illnesses are common in adults and children with kidney failure

New research indicates that psychiatric illnesses are common in children and adults with kidney failure, and hospitalizations for such illnesses are associated with a higher risk of early death in adults. The findings, which appear in an upcoming issue of CJASN, suggest that clinicians who care for hospitalized patients with kidney failure should be aware of and prepared to manage psychiatric disorders.

Revealing the molecular engine that drives pancreatic cancer provides ways to turn it off

Researchers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center have decoded a chain of molecules that are critical for the growth and survival of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC)—the most common and also the most lethal form of pancreatic cancer.

Dietary zinc protects against Streptococcus pneumoniae infection

Researchers have uncovered a crucial link between dietary zinc intake and protection against Streptococcus pneumoniae, the primary bacterial cause of pneumonia.

Heavy drinking and HIV don't mix

Heavy alcohol consumption (three drinks or more/day for women and four drinks or more/day for men) is linked to alterations in immune function among people with HIV.

Genes tell the story of how the Asian tiger mosquito spread

Over the last 40 years, the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, has invaded every continent thanks to the transportation of its eggs via human trade and transportation. Researchers reporting in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases have now used the genomes of the mosquitos to track the history of the invasion and expansion of the species through Albania, Italy, and Greece

Preventing tumor metastasis

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute, together with colleagues from the pharmaceutical company F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, have taken an important step toward the development of an agent against the metastasis of certain cancers. Using the Swiss Light Source, they deciphered the structure of a receptor that plays a crucial role in the migration of cancer cells. This makes it possible to identify agents that could prevent the spread of certain cancer cells via the body's lymphatic system. The researchers have now published their results in the journal Cell.

Scans for lung-cancer screening could detect other smoking-related diseases

Lung cancer screening has been widely endorsed by the U.S. medical community as an effective way to save lives by detecting lung cancer at earlier, more treatable stages. A new study by researchers at National Jewish Health indicates that the low-dose CT scans used in lung cancer screening can also provide valuable information to detect smoking-related heart disease, osteoporosis and emphysema. Early detection of those diseases could lead to interventions that improve health and reduce harm from those diseases.

The new gene therapy that could help save sight

A new gene therapy being developed at The Australian National University (ANU) will help people at risk of dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and could potentially save millions of people from going blind.

Meth and heart disease correlation not fully understood

Although frequently overshadowed by the opioid epidemic, surging methamphetamine use nationally and around the world has fueled a chilling crisis of its own, according to a new report.

Eye-tracking tests may be key to predicting who will develop Alzheimer's disease, study finds

New research has found that it may be possible to predict if people with mild memory and thinking impairments will go onto develop Alzheimer's disease using eye-tracking technology.

Working parents' mental health improves when young children are in nursery school

Working parents have better mental health when their young children are looked after part-time in nursery schools or other formal childcare, rather than just by relatives, research says.

Smartphone app makes parents more attuned to their babies' needs, research shows

University of York researchers have designed an app to help new parents become more 'tuned in' to what their babies are thinking and feeling.

Fatigue in Parkinson's disease is associated with lower diastolic blood pressure

Fatigue is a common debilitating symptom in Parkinson's disease (PD). A novel research study has found that fatigue symptoms in PD are associated with small but persistent reductions in diastolic blood pressure (DBP) throughout the day, report scientists in the Journal of Parkinson's Disease.

Fitness trackers and eating disorders – is there a link?

Fitness and health tracking devices are becoming increasingly popular and a huge variety of wearable tech and apps now exist. Indeed, many smartphones and smart watches now come primed and ready to track our activity, sleep and nutrition.

Researchers find combined therapy for RA may help speed remission

Researchers at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and RTI International (RTI), a nonprofit research institute, recently found that patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may see less disease activity and higher remission rates after biologic therapy plus methotrexate (MTX) rather than either treatment alone.

Smartphones could transform patient care, finds study

Remote monitoring using smartphone apps could transform the medical care of patients with long-term health conditions, according to new research led by University of Manchester scientists.

Another way dogs help the military—aeromedical patient evacuations

They're physically and emotionally wounded—most likely suffering from post-traumatic stress. Members of the United States military who serve abroad often return to the U.S. to treat their injuries and must be transported by aeromedical evacuation between medical facilities. Those who undergo these types of evacuations are in states of both chronic and acute stress.

Health care workers unprepared for magnitude of climate change

An epidemic of chronic kidney disease that has killed tens of thousands of agricultural workers worldwide, is just one of many ailments poised to strike as a result of climate change, according to researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

Anxiety, depression linked to more opioid use after surgery

Surgeons wielding their life-saving scalpels, laparoscopic tools, or other implements to repair or remove what ails their patients understand all too well that pain is an unavoidable part of the healing process. Yet the current opioid crisis has made the standard prescribing practices for these highly effective analgesics fraught with risk.

Comparison of three similar frontline breast cancer drugs reveals important differences

Every year, more than 250,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast cancer. When detected early, patients with the most common form—which tests positive for hormone receptors (HR+) and negative for the HER2 receptor—usually respond well to treatment. But for those in advanced stages, few treatment options existed until the recent emergence of a new class of drugs known as CDK4/6 inhibitors.

Lower levels of dietary vitamins and antioxidants are linked to frailty in older adults

Researchers from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) at Trinity College Dublin have shown in the largest study to date that lower levels of specific dietary vitamins and antioxidants are associated with frailty.

Researchers develop model to personalize radiation treatment

A personalized approach to cancer treatment has become more common over the last several decades, with numerous targeted drugs approved to treat particular tumor types with specific mutations or patterns. However, this same personalized strategy has not translated to radiation therapy, and a one-size-fits-all approach for most patients is still common practice. Moffitt Cancer Center researchers hope to change this mindset for radiation treatment with the development of a genomically-based model that can optimize and personalize a radiation dose to match an individual patient's needs.

Super-powered immune cells

The phase 1 clinical trial will test the feasibility and safety of CAR-T cells—genetically modified white blood cells harvested from a patient's own blood with the unique ability to directly attack and kill cancers—to treat advanced solid tumours including small cell lung cancer, sarcomas and triple negative breast cancer

Australian men on top when it comes to life expectancy

Australian men are now living longer than any other group of males in the world, according to new research from The Australian National University (ANU).

Truckies more obese than most: Study

More than 200,000 people are employed as truck drivers in Australia and while their role in transporting goods across our wide brown land is critical, they are among the nation's most unhealthy.

Researchers find genetic links to child obesity across diverse ethnic groups

An international team of researchers who analyzed data across multiple ethnicities has produced the largest genetic study to date associated with common childhood obesity. The Early Growth Genetics (EGG) Consortium discovered a robust new signal, fine-mapped previously reported genetic variants, and added to evidence that genetic influences on obesity operate across the lifespan.

Study identifies an Achilles heel of many types of cancer

A Ludwig Cancer Research study has uncovered a novel vulnerability in tumors that are driven by a common cancer gene known as MYC. Such cancers, it found, are highly dependent on the cell's machinery for making fats and other lipids.

Odds of developing C. diff increased in older cancer patients

(HealthDay)—Older adults with cancer have increased odds of developing Clostridiodes difficile infection (CDI), according to a study published in the September issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Serelaxin does not lower CV death in acute heart failure

(HealthDay)—An infusion of serelaxin does not result in a lower incidence of death from cardiovascular causes or worsening of heart failure among patients hospitalized for acute heart failure, according to a study published in the Aug. 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

How to protect your baby against eczema

(HealthDay)—Using a rich moisturizer, even an inexpensive one like petroleum jelly, is one part of keeping eczema under control. Now researchers have found that this skin care step can keep many newborns at risk for the condition from developing it.

Why diet sodas aren't the answer for your sugary drink cravings

(HealthDay)—The health risks of sugary drinks, from juice to soda, are well known. They can lead to overweight and diabetes, stroke and other problems in the brain, including poorer memory and smaller brain volume.

Cases of lung injury tied to vaping keep rising

(HealthDay News)—Chance Ammirata was a vaper for almost two years. But three weeks ago, the 18-year-old began to have trouble breathing.

Prescription size predicts persistent opioid use after cardiothoracic surgery

(HealthDay)—Prescription size is associated with increased new persistent opioid use among patients after cardiothoracic surgery, according to a study published online Aug. 22 in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

Type 2 diabetes risk up with inflammatory bowel disease

(HealthDay)—Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have increased risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online Aug. 5 in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Many providers fail to discuss sun-safe behaviors with patients

(HealthDay)—Less than half of health care providers discuss sun-safe behaviors with patients, according to a study published in the September issue of Preventive Medicine.

Home remedies: How to treat, and prevent, swimmer's itch

Swimmer's itch is an itchy rash that can occur after swimming or wading outdoors. Also known as cercarial dermatitis, swimmer's itch is most common in freshwater lakes and ponds, but it occasionally occurs in salt water.

Ginkgo biloba may aid in treating type 2 diabetes

The extract of the leaves of Ginkgo biloba, a popular dietary supplement, may offer some therapeutic benefits in fighting Type 2 diabetes, according to a study co-authored by a researcher at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine.

Researchers discover how the sun damages our skin

Researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York have discovered the mechanism through which ultraviolet radiation, given off by the sun, damages our skin.

196,000 youth lose health insurance coverage in past three years; yet upsides remain

The national implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014 was associated with gains in health insurance coverage for youth, but some of those gains have reversed during the past three years, according to findings published this month in Academic Pediatrics from researchers at the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University.

US TB rates in young people are declining but disparities persist

Tuberculosis (TB) cases among children and adolescents in the USA have almost halved within a ten-year period, yet stark differences exist in the incidence rates between different ethnic, racial, and geographical communities, according to an observational study using national TB surveillance and census data from 2007-2017, published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

Spain posts international health alert for listeria outbreak

Spain has issued international health alerts in light of a widening outbreak of listeria from pork meat that has affected 150 people and killed one person.

Newborn babies sought for trial to reduce risk of developing allergies

More than 750 Melbourne newborn babies are needed for a trial to test if it is possible to prevent the risk of developing childhood eczema and food allergies by applying a barrier skin cream, which researchers hope will stop allergic irritants penetrating infant skin.

Don't wait to follow up on eye doctor recommendations

Regular vision screenings are part of all well-child checks at Penn State Health—but sometimes, caring for a child's eyes requires additional steps.

Genetic testing and family tree research are revealing painful family secrets, research says

Genealogical research and genetic testing are revealing skeletons in family closets and causing rifts among members, a new study shows.

Do you think about your child's back and head safety while preparing for the school year?

Many parents are probably thinking about their child's school attire, lunch needs and doctor visits in preparation for the upcoming school year.

Training teams for timely NICU evacuation

In late August 2011, a magnitude 5.8 earthquake—the strongest east of the Mississippi since 1944—shook Washington, D.C., with such force that it cracked the Washington Monument and damaged the National Cathedral.

Scientists use skin's microbiome to develop health index for children with eczema

Microbiomes aren't just for understanding and modulating gut health—skin, our largest organ, hosts a vibrant and complex microbiome that can provide health insights. An international research team has developed an index to better understand skin health across human populations.

Germany bolsters iodine supply in case of nuclear incident

German authorities are increasing their stockpile of iodine tablets as a precaution for the possibility of a nuclear incident.

Rheumatology and spondylitis organizations release updated treatment guideline for AxSpA

Today, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), in partnership with the Spondylitis Association of America (SAA) and the Spondyloarthritis Research and Treatment Network (SPARTAN), released the 2019 Update of the Recommendations for the Treatment of Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) and Nonradiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA). The guideline includes 86 recommendations that provide updated and new guidance for the management of patients with AS and nr-axSpA in the areas of pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatment options; AS-related comorbidities; and disease activity assessment, imaging, and screening.

Biology news

High-precision technique stores cellular 'memory' in DNA

Using a technique that can precisely edit DNA bases, MIT researchers have created a way to store complex "memories" in the DNA of living cells, including human cells.

Map of malaria behavior set to revolutionize research

The first detailed map of individual malaria parasite behaviour across each stage of its complicated life cycle has been created by scientists. Researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and their collaborators used advanced single-cell technology to isolate individual parasites and measure their gene activity. The result is the Malaria Cell Atlas, which gives the highest resolution view of malaria parasite gene expression to date and monitors how individual parasites change as they develop in both the mosquito and human host.

Experiments illuminate key component of plants' immune systems

Plants, like humans and animals, have over millions of years evolved complex immune systems that fend off invading pathogens. But unlike many animals, plants lack adaptive immunity conferred by antibodies. This means each plant cell must defend itself against all potential pathogens—a daunting task.

There are way more species of horseshoe bats than scientists thought

Horseshoe bats are bizarre-looking animals with giant ears and elaborate flaps of skin on their noses that they use like satellite dishes. There are about a hundred different species of horseshoe bats—and that number is only going to grow. By studying the DNA of horseshoe bat specimens in museum collections, scientists have discovered that there are probably a dozen new species of horseshoe bat that haven't been officially described yet.

Research team reveals molecular program that controls cells' capacity for division

Cells in the body proliferate at different rates. Some divide constantly and throughout life, like the ones that line the gut. Others divide only rarely, sometimes resting for several years in a non-dividing state. Now, a study led by scientists at MIT's Whitehead Institute sheds light on the molecular mechanisms that help control this cellular hibernation, termed quiescence, revealing how cells can purposefully choose to retain the capacity to divide. The team's findings, which appeared online Aug. 15 in the journal Developmental Cell, hold significance for understanding not just cell division and cell state, but also the dynamics of the cellular machinery that supports these processes, including a group of proteins at a critical structure called the centromere that ensure that chromosomes are properly inherited every time a cell divides.

A single gene determines whether a fly has a good sense of sight or a good sense of smell

Trade-offs in the sizes of visual and olfactory organs are a common feature of animal evolution, but the underlying genetic and developmental mechanisms have not been clear. A study publishing August 22 in the journal Developmental Cell reveals that a single DNA variant that affects the timing of sensory organ development in fruit flies could explain the size trade-off between eyes and antennae, potentially providing a quick route to behavioral changes and adaptation.

The Paleozoic diet: Why animals eat what they eat

In what is likely the first study to look at how dietary preferences evolved across the animal kingdom, UA researchers looked at more than a million species, going back 800 million years. The team reports several unexpected discoveries, including that the first animal likely was a carnivore and that humans, along with other omnivores, belong to a rare breed.

Researchers reveal plant defense toolkit and insights for fighting crop diseases

At an unprecedented scale, researchers have now cataloged the array of surveillance tools that plants use to detect disease-causing microbes across an entire species. Representing a major advance for plant biology, the findings have important implications for the management of dangerous crop diseases which represent significant threats to food security.

Shocking rate of plant extinctions in South Africa

Over the past 300 years, 79 plants have been confirmed extinct from three of the world's biodiversity hotspots located in South Africa—the Cape Floristic Region, the Succulent Karoo, and the Maputuland-Pondoland-Albany corridor.

Cell suicide could hold key for brain health and food security

Research into the self-destruction of cells in humans and plants could lead to treatments for neurodegenerative brain diseases and the development of disease-resistant plants.

Scientists successfully innoculate, grow crops in salt-damaged soil

A group of researchers may have found a way to reverse falling crop yields caused by increasingly salty farmlands throughout the world.

What's killing sea otters? Scientists pinpoint parasite strain

Many wild southern sea otters in California are infected with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, yet the infection is fatal for only a fraction of sea otters, which has long puzzled the scientific community. A study from the University of California, Davis, identifies the parasite's specific strains that are killing southern sea otters, tracing them back to a bobcat and feral domestic cats from nearby watersheds.

Pacific fishermen report best king salmon season in years

Trolling off the California coast, Sarah Bates leans over the side of her boat and pulls out a long, silvery fish prized by anglers and seafood lovers: wild king salmon.

Conflicting consequences of climate change for Arctic nesting geese

Life over the last half-century has been pretty good for populations of Svalbard barnacle geese. A hunting ban implemented in the 1950s in their overwintering area in Scotland has led to explosive population growth, from roughly 2800 birds in 1960 to more than 40,000 birds today.

Eight species of fungus cause root rot in South Dakota corn

An invisible enemy is attacking South Dakota corn.

Greenhouse uses predatory insects for pest control

The William & Mary greenhouse has started a new program to limit the use of chemicals by relying on predatory insects for pest control. It's the biological equivalent of fighting fire with fire ⁠— and so far it's working.

Indigenous hunters are protecting animals, land and waterways

Canada aims to conserve 17 percent of its land and fresh water by the end of 2020. This noble objective will help protect water, air, food and biodiversity and improve the health of humans.

New tool mines scientific texts for fusion protein facts

A new computational tool called ProtFus screens scientific literature to validate predictions about the activity of fusion proteins—proteins encoded by the joining of two genes that previously encoded two separate proteins. Somnath Tagore in the Frenkel-Morgenstern Lab at Bar-Ilan University, Israel, and colleagues present ProtFus in PLOS Computational Biology.

Adaptation to life inside cattle may be driving E. coli to develop harmful features

A large-scale study of the genetic differences and similarities among E. coli bacteria from cattle and humans indicates that features causing food poisoning in humans may continuously be emerging in bacteria from cattle as a means to better adapt to their environment.

Bacterial sex drives evolution of microbes to conquer and colonize the gut

Bacterial sex drives evolution of microbes to conquer and colonize the gut. This discovery constitutes a paradigm shift and opens the possibility to design phage-targeted therapies capable of dealing with the aftermath of infection and antibiotic usage, as well as antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Wildlife meeting backs more protection for giraffes

Wildlife-supporting countries on Thursday backed regulating international trade in giraffes in a bid to offer more protection to the gentle giants, feared to be facing a "silent extinction".

Tracing the evolution of vision in fruit flies

The function of the visual photopigment rhodopsin and its action in the retina to facilitate vision is well understood. However, there remain questions about other biological functions of this family of proteins (opsins) and this has ramifications for our understanding of several evolutionary pathways. Now, an international research team led by the University of Göttingen has shown there are other functions of opsin outside vision and this provides insights into how the eye evolved. Their research was published in Current Biology.

How red-eared invaders are hurting California's native turtles

In the summer of 2011, visitors to the University of California, Davis, Arboretum may have witnessed an unusual site: small teams of students wielding large nets, leaping into the arboretum's waterway to snag basking turtles.

French Guiana grapples with Asian craving for fish bladder

For years, Asian demand for a dried fish bladder prized as a culinary delicacy—and purported aphrodisiac—has been a boon to French Guiana's fishing industry, but officials are racing to rein in the market over fears the species will soon be endangered.

French mayor due in court after banning pesticide use near homes

A mayor in northwest France is to appear in court on Thursday after banning the use of pesticides near homes in his village in a case that is seen as emblematic of rising opposition to chemical pollution in rural areas.

Positive steps for Asian elephants facing skinning threat

The Asian elephant is the forgotten elephant.

Hundreds of Pyrenees livestock farmers protest predator bears

Hundreds of Spanish livestock farmers staged a protest Thursday in the Pyrenees town of Ainsa against the re-introduction of brown bears to the mountain region saying the predators are a menace to their flocks.

San Francisco Zoo brings red-legged frogs back to Yosemite

A healthy population of red-legged frogs is hopping in Yosemite National Park, helped by a reintroduction program with the San Francisco Zoo.


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