Friday, September 27, 2019

Science X Newsletter Friday, Sep 27

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for September 27, 2019:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Study explores the meaning of humanoid sex robots

Observations of Rydberg exciton polaritons and their condensate in a perovskite cavity

Jumping the gap may make electronics faster

High-speed microscope illuminates biology at the speed of life

Researchers make it possible for ultrasound to reveal gene expression in the body

Teenagers less likely to respond to mothers with controlling tone of voice

Preserving old bones with modern technology

Longest coral reef survey to date reveals major changes in Australia's Great Barrier Reef

Why viruses like Herpes and Zika will need to be reclassified, and its biotech impact

Alibaba crowns its cloud service with powerful AI chip

Oldest galaxy protocluster forms 'queen's court'

Study shows mouse gut biome involved in setting gut circadian rhythm

A laser, a crystal and molecular structures: New tool uses wider light spectrum to identify molecules

Life's building blocks may have formed in interstellar clouds

Using math to blend musical notes seamlessly

Astronomy & Space news

Oldest galaxy protocluster forms 'queen's court'

Using the Subaru, Keck and Gemini Telescopes, an international team of astronomers has discovered a collection of 12 galaxies that existed about 13.0 billion years ago. This is the earliest protocluster ever found. One of the 12 galaxies is a giant object, known as Himiko, which was discovered a decade ago by the Subaru Telescope and named for a mythological queen in ancient Japan. This discovery suggests that large structures such as protoclusters already existed when the universe was only about 800 million years old, 6 percent of its present age.

Life's building blocks may have formed in interstellar clouds

An experiment shows that one of the basic units of life—nucleobases—could have originated within giant gas clouds interspersed between the stars.

Still no trace of missing Indian moon lander: NASA

A NASA satellite orbiting the Moon passed over the site where the Indian probe Vikram should have made touchdown earlier this month, but didn't see the missing lander, the US space agency said.

New frontier for science as astronomers detect gas molecules in comet from another star

An international team of astronomers, including Queen's University Belfast researchers, have made a historic discovery, detecting gas molecules in a comet which has tumbled into our solar system from another star.

Many gas giant exoplanets waiting to be discovered

There is an as-yet-unseen population of Jupiter-like planets orbiting nearby Sun-like stars, awaiting discovery by future missions like NASA's WFIRST space telescope, according to new models of gas giant planet formation by Carnegie's Alan Boss, described in an upcoming publication in The Astrophysical Journal. His models are supported by a new Science paper on the surprising discovery of a gas giant planet orbiting a low-mass star.

Ariane 6's core engine completes qualification tests

Ariane 6, Europe's next-generation launch vehicle, has passed another key development milestone. Its Vulcain 2.1 liquid-fueled engine has now completed its qualification testing, which means combined tests can now begin.

Exoplanet discovery blurs the line between large planets and small stars

The discovery of yet another exoplanet is no longer news. More than 4,000 planets around other stars have now been found since the detection of the first one in 1995. As astronomers long suspected, or at least hoped, it seems that planets are ubiquitous in stellar systems and there are probably more planets than stars in our galaxy.

Non-thermal emission from cosmic rays accelerated in HII regions

Radio observations at metre-centimetre wavelengths shed light on the nature of the emission of HII regions. Usually, this category of objects is dominated by thermal radiation produced by ionised hydrogen, namely protons and electrons. A number of observational studies have revealed the existence of HII regions with a mixture of thermal and non-thermal radiation. The latter represents a clue to the presence of relativistic electrons. However, neither the interstellar cosmic-ray electron flux nor the flux of secondary electrons produced by primary cosmic rays through ionisation processes are high enough to explain the observed flux densities.

Why the sun won't become a black hole

Will the sun become a black hole? No, it's too small for that!

Technology news

Study explores the meaning of humanoid sex robots

In recent years, sex dolls have become increasing sophisticated and realistic in their resemblance to human beings, including mechanized components, and are thus now referred to as humanoid sex robots. Some media outlets have gone as far as to suggest that sex robots and other social robots will eventually become almost indistinguishable from humans.

Alibaba crowns its cloud service with powerful AI chip

Alibaba's first AI chip is in the news. It's a self developed chip, said Reuters, for cloud computing services.

Using math to blend musical notes seamlessly

In music, "portamento" is a term that's been used for hundreds of years, referring to the effect of gliding a note at one pitch into a note of a lower or higher pitch. But only instruments that can continuously vary in pitch—such as the human voice, string instruments, and trombones—can pull off the effect.

Photovoltaic-powered sensors for the 'Internet of Things'

By 2025, experts estimate the number of Internet of Things devices—including sensors that gather real-time data about infrastructure and the environment—could rise to 75 billion worldwide. As it stands, however, those sensors require batteries that must be replaced frequently, which can be problematic for long-term monitoring.

Artificial skin could help rehabilitation and enhance virtual reality

EPFL scientists have developed a soft artificial skin that provides haptic feedback and—thanks to a sophisticated self-sensing mechanism—has the potential to instantaneously adapt to a wearer's movements. Applications for the new technology range from medical rehabilitation to virtual reality. Artificial skin could help rehabilitation and enhance virtual reality.

Million-mile battery unveiled by ground-breaking research

Elon Musk promised—and Jeff Dahn delivered. With the publishing of a ground-breaking paper in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES), Dahn announced to the world that Tesla may soon have a battery that makes their robot taxis and long-haul electric trucks viable.

Hard landing for SoftBank? WeWork woes raise questions

SoftBank Group CEO Masayoshi Son is no stranger to controversy, but a meltdown at WeWork has sparked pointed questions about whether his enormous investments and futuristic pronouncements are more style than substance.

Facebook hides 'likes' in Australia trial to ease anxiety

Facebook has begun hiding the number of "likes" for posts in Australia, it said Friday, a trial designed to ease social pressure that could be rolled out worldwide.

Code War: Myanmar's final digital battle ends

Accessing everything from Wikipedia to Google Maps in Myanmar is about to get a lot easier when it finally adopts the universal code underpinning phone and online communication next week.

Volkswagen faces first mass diesel lawsuit on home turf

Car behemoth Volkswagen will face a German court Monday, as hundreds of thousands of owners of manipulated diesel cars demand compensation four years after the country's largest post-war industrial scandal erupted.

DoorDash breach exposes data of nearly 5 mn users

On-demand restaurant meal delivery service DoorDash on Thursday said a breach of its system exposed nearly five million customers, eateries and "Dashers" to a data breach.

Research shows people are overconfident about identifying phishing emails

People may not be as cyber-savvy as they believe they are when it comes to identifying email phishing scams, according to Missouri S&T researchers. But employers may benefit from teaching employees how to spot phishing by regularly sending them fake phishing emails.

CrocSpotter app uses AI for detection

CrocSpotter AI is the latest algorithm developed by the University of Technology Sydney and industry partner Westpac Little Ripper. Ultra-low latency streaming is achieved via the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud, and this reduction in delivery of vital information could mean the difference between life and death for search and rescue unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Engineers build drones to test hypersonic tech

Sandia National Laboratories is developing autonomy and artificial intelligence for flight systems soaring at more than 3,800 mph. The technologies to get there will initially be tested on drones that shuffle around at about 5 mph.

Israel seeks to feed growing global appetite for food-tech

Ilan Samish dips a crisp in ketchup, takes a sip of soda and samples a spoonful of yogurt—the latter three sweetened with a protein he has developed.

Germany shuts down illegal data center in former NATO bunker

German investigators said Friday they have shut down a data processing center installed in a former NATO bunker that hosted sites dealing in drugs and other illegal activities. Seven people were arrested.

Traditional banks are struggling to stave off the fintech revolution

Traditional banks are haunted by financial technology—fintech—firms. Challengers such as mobile-first banks Chime in the US, Monzo in the UK and Germany's N26 have been around for a number of years now, but big global and regional banks are still struggling to deal with the competition. While fintechs experience a goldrush of investment—US$111 billion in 2018, up from US$51 billion in 2017—banking CEOs find themselves under increasing pressure from shareholders alarmed at the slow rate of change taking place.

Fast 5G networks aim to expand the reach of cellular beyond smartphones

Fast 5G wireless networks have barely gotten out of the gate globally, but already about 2 million 5G smartphones have been sold in South Korea.

Researchers testing method to build temperature, heat-flux sensors for hypersonic vehicles

Harsh environmental conditions—such as surface temperatures reaching thousands of degrees Fahrenheit—make it challenging to accurately measure temperatures and heat flux on hypersonic flight systems.

Apple streaming service films could debut in theaters: report

Apple is making cinema alliances that would allow theater debuts for films created for its online streaming service set to launch in November, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Cameroon's Silicon Mountain tech startups struggle with insurgency

Hi-tech promoters had big dreams for Silicon Mountain in Cameroon, where a broad plateau was seen as perfect for startup ventures, but their hopes have been shattered by a separatist struggle.

VW 'dieselgate' fraud: Timeline of a scandal

As Volkswagen faces the wrath of car owners in a mass "dieselgate" lawsuit on its home turf, here's a look at how the emissions cheating was uncovered and the fallout for the auto giant:

Advocates fault Facebook over misleading posts by politicos

Some civil rights groups agree Facebook has made progress in addressing their concerns, but advocates are still criticizing the tech giant's reiteration that it won't remove newsworthy posts from elected officials, even if they're misleading or break the site's rules against things like racist speech.

Fortnite's move to bots: How will it impact human players?

In a recent move, Fortnite makers announced they are adding in computer-controlled characters in order to level the playing field amongst opponents. Up until now, the game has always paired gamers with other real gamers all over the world.

French airline shuts down after court rejects bids

A French commercial court on Friday ordered the shutdown of Aigle Azur, putting the 1,150 employees of the country's second-biggest airline out of work after last-minute takeover offers failed to pass muster.

Fiat Chrysler to pay $40 mn fine for misleading sales figures

Fiat Chrysler will pay a $40 million fine for "falsely reporting" US car sales from 2012 to 2016, US regulators said Friday.

General Motors strike approaches third week

Representatives from General Motors and the United Auto Workers are expected to negotiate through the weekend as the two sides aim to avoid a third week of striking.

Medicine & Health news

Researchers make it possible for ultrasound to reveal gene expression in the body

Some of the most important tools in the toolbox of modern cell biologists are special chunks of DNA that act like spies, reporting on the cell's function. The markers, known as reporter genes, allow researchers to get a sense for what cells are doing by watching genetic programs embedded in their DNA turn on and off.

Teenagers less likely to respond to mothers with controlling tone of voice

Teenagers are less likely to cooperate and put effort into their mother's requests when they are said in a controlling tone of voice, researchers have found.

Freezing silk gets cool result in quest for cardiac patch

How do you use silk to help repair a damaged heart? With a 3-D printer, dry ice, a silicon mold and a copper plate, as UNSW biomedical engineers have demonstrated.

 A model for brain activity during brain stimulation therapy

Brain stimulation, where targeted electrical impulses are directly applied to a patient's brain, is already an effective therapy for depression, epilepsy, Parkinson's and other neurological disorders, but many more applications are on the horizon. Clinicians and researchers believe the technique could be used to restore or improve memory and motor function after an injury, for example, but progress is hampered by how difficult it is to predict how the entire brain will respond to stimulation at a given region.

Immunologists identify T cell homing beacons for lungs

Scientists have identified a pair of molecules critical for T cells, part of the immune system, to travel to and populate the lungs. A potential application could be strengthening vaccines against respiratory pathogens such as influenza.

Harmful metals found in vapors from tank-style electronic cigarettes

A team of scientists at the University of California, Riverside, has found the concentration of metals in electronic cigarette aerosols—or vapor—has increased since tank-style electronic cigarettes were introduced in 2013.

Study finds age hinders cancer development

A new study, published in Aging Cell, has found that human ageing processes may hinder cancer development.

Your energy-efficient washing machine could be harboring pathogens

For the first time ever, investigators have identified a washing machine as a reservoir of multidrug-resistant pathogens. The pathogens, a single clone of Klebsiella oxytoca, were transmitted repeatedly to newborns in a neonatal intensive care unit at a German children's hospital. The transmission was stopped only when the washing machine was removed from the hospital. The research is published this week in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

New calculator will help clinicians diagnose diabetes more accurately

A new calculator developed by the University of Exeter will help clinicians classify whether a patient has type 1 or type 2 diabetes, ensuring they get the best treatment and reducing complications.

Using the immune system as a defence against cancer

Research published today in the British Journal of Cancer has found that a naturally occurring molecule and a component of the immune system that can successfully target and kill cancer cells, can also encourage immunity against cancer resurgence.

First large-scale study of universal screening for autism raises questions about accuracy

In the first large, real-world study of universal screening for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in toddlers, researchers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have found that the most widely used and researched screening tool is less accurate than shown in previous studies conducted in research laboratory settings. The new study also revealed significant disparities in detecting early autism symptoms in minority, urban and low-income children. The findings were published online today in the journal Pediatrics.

Air pollution linked to increased risk of infant death and reduced lung function in children

Air pollution is linked to an increased risk of death in babies according to a study of nearly eight million live births, to be presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress on Sunday.

US death toll from vaping-related illness hits 12

Twelve people in the United States have died from vaping-related illness, health officials said on Thursday, reporting 805 cases of lung injury associated with e-cigarette use.

Standing by Ellie: Man's loyalty to dog defies rare illness

It's hard to regard Ellie as a menace.

Morocco makes headway against HIV but stigma remains

In Morocco, the struggle against HIV has been so successful in recent years that campaigners worry about losing funding for combatting the virus, but for people living with the disease it remains a heavy stigma.

Tailoring treatment for preterm infants born with heart defects

The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin is routinely used to treat patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), a persistent opening between the aorta and pulmonary artery that is a common complication in preterm infants. Clinical response and toxicity to indomethacin are highly variable. About one in four infants treated with indomethacin requires subsequent surgical ligation, and adverse effects include kidney and gastrointestinal dysfunction.

Treating C. difficile infections: New purpose for an old drug?

Common in hospitals and nursing homes, Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is a major health threat, particularly for older patients. According to a 2015 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the U.S. the infection claims some 15,000 lives per year. Certain antibiotics, by disrupting normal gut microorganisms (microbiota), create an opening for the infection.

Study shines light on architecture of kidney disease

A study of 280,000 U.S. veterans including 56,000 African Americans has identified in greater detail than ever before the "genetic architecture" of kidney function and chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and their colleagues.

Pregnant women and healthcare professionals perceive pregnancy associated risks differently

Published in the open access journal BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth a new study suggests expectant mothers and healthcare professionals rate the risks that pregnancy and childbirth may pose to mother and child differently,

Abused or neglected children are four times more likely to develop serious mental illness, study finds

A study by the University of Birmingham has shown that children who have experienced child abuse or neglect are four times more likely to develop serious mental illness such as psychoses, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

From parade to pandemic: Museum looks at 1918's deadly flu

On Sept. 28, 1918, in the waning days of World War I, over 200,000 people gathered along Broad Street in Philadelphia for a parade meant to raise funds for the war effort. Among the patriotic throngs cheering for troops and floats was an invisible threat, which would be more dangerous to soldiers and civilians than any foreign enemy: the influenza virus.

Germany reports landmark case of West Nile virus

Authorities are reporting the first known human case of West Nile virus transmitted by mosquitoes in Germany, a development apparently hastened by climate change.

Genomic sequencing confirms breast cancer link between sisters

Two Leicester sisters who had their entire genomes sequenced in the hope of finding answers to their family history of breast cancer have learned they both carry a genetic variant that significantly increases their risk of developing the disease.

Why drug trials are only part of the answer to making sure medicines work

There was a moment when, as a pharmacist, I realized that a lot of people to whom I gave medicine were going to receive little benefit, or even none at all. Healthcare staff make clinical decisions of when to use one medicine or another based upon evidence drawn from clinical trials. Clinical trials give us the data that show the probability that a medicine will have the desired effect—but there is also the chance that it will not.

Why people choose medically assisted death revealed through conversations with nurses

Since Canada legalized Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) in 2016, as of Oct. 31, 2018, more than 6,700 Canadians have chosen medications to end their life.

Researchers examine causes, effects, treatments for alcohol use disorder

New research from Regents' Professor Katie Witkiewitz at The University of New Mexico Department of Psychology and Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Addictions examines alcohol use disorder, the physical and economic toll it takes, and effective treatments that are now available. Witkiewitz and her colleagues, Barbara McCrady (Distinguished Professor of Psychology) and Eric Claus from the Mind Research Network, are also looking for volunteers to participate in a new study.

Why babies' heads smell good: Study suggests importance in facilitating bonding and caregiving behaviors

A team led by Kobe University Professor Mamiko Ozaki (Department of Biology, Graduate School of Science) has become the first to identify the chemical makeup of the odors produced by newborn babies' heads. The results shed more light on the olfactory importance of newborns' heads in mother-baby and kin recognition. They also developed a non-invasive and stress-free method of sampling these odors directory from heads of the babies.

Poor vision: Do drivers always see what is happening on the road?

A recent tragic pile-up on a major highway near Montreal has spurred the Québec government into action —to find the best ways to improve roads and prevent such disasters from happening again.

Study shows nearly half of cancer patients who enter a comprehensive tobacco treatment program quit smoking

In the largest smoking cessation study of cancer patients to date, researchers from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found that comprehensive tobacco treatment can help cancer patients successfully quit and abstain from smoking.

Artificial intelligence could help reduce hospitalizations for GI condition

When patients with ulcers or other conditions that cause bleeding in the stomach or intestines go to the emergency room, they are often admitted to the hospital. But they may not need to be, according to Yale researchers. A new study shows that a form of artificial intelligence could help providers send more of these patients home to be treated outside the hospital.

Salt shakers should carry tobacco-style health warning, say experts

Salt sold in supermarkets and salt shakers in restaurants should be required to carry a front-of-pack, tobacco-style health warning, according to The World Hypertension League and leading international health organizations.

First melanoma test identifies those at low risk of cancer spreading

ITV Tyne Tees presenter, Pam Royle, is one of the first to try a new test developed by Newcastle University which predicts whether her skin cancer is likely to return.

Two new studies evaluate agents for treating ulcerative colitis

In the first clinical trial to evaluate two biologic therapies for moderate to severe ulcerative colitis (UC) head to head, Mount Sinai researchers found vedolizumab to be superior to adalimumab in a variety of measures. In a separate study, the investigators reported that ustekinumab is more effective than placebo as an induction and maintenance therapy for UC. The studies were published today in the The New England Journal of Medicine.

Protein intake in older adults differs dramatically by ethnicity and race

As the population of older adults in the United States continues to grow and becomes more diverse, health concerns increase in parallel. The loss of skeletal muscle mass, strength and function is one such concern and can begin to occur as early as age 40 and accelerates after age 60. A contributing factor to the age-related changes in muscle is insufficient protein intake by older adults who fail to consume adequate protein levels.

Vigorous exercise once or twice a week linked to best outcomes in heart patients

Vigorous physical activity one or two times a week is associated with the lowest death rates in patients with stable coronary artery disease, reports a study published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Neurologist explains why Greta Thunberg is so powerful

Greta Thunberg's speech at the United Nations rattled people around the globe. The 16-year-old accused world leaders of neglecting their duty and foisting the problems created by one generation onto the backs of another—today's youth. Her statement was certainly morally charged.

Want to be more persuasive?

The next time you're trying to drive home a point or make a convincing pitch, adjusting the tone of your voice could help.

Female rugby players achieve peak fitness by varsity level, study suggests

The fitness ceiling for female varsity rugby players is being reached earlier than predicted, according to a University of Alberta study that challenges conventional wisdom suggesting elite athletes maintain an upward fitness trajectory throughout early adulthood and beyond.

Serum IL-35 levels tied to bone loss with rheumatoid arthritis

Serum interleukin (IL)-35 levels are associated with bone loss and may represent a novel therapeutic target for postmenopausal women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a study published online Aug. 26 in Mediators of Inflammation.

Prepare for a disaster with a family safety plan

From Florida hurricanes to California wildfires, these events are reminders of the need to have a family natural disaster plan in place, no matter where you live.

New potential treatment for preeclampsia

For over 20 years, a team of researchers at Lund University has worked on developing a drug against preeclampsia—a serious disorder which annually affects around 9 million pregnant women worldwide and is one of the main causes of death in both mothers and unborn babies.

World Athletics Championships: Study busts myth of the hurdler's start

Runners in the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Qatar will know that, when winning depends on a difference of a few thousandths of a second, getting a good start is crucial. Intuition suggests the way athletes start a race should depend on the event. Hurdlers, for example, need to clear their first barrier after only seven or eight steps, while sprinters are faced with a clear track all the way to the finish line.

Better methods needed for predicting risk of liver disease

While blood samples can reliably identify people with a low risk of developing severe liver disease, better methods are needed in primary care for identifying people in most need of care. These are some of the conclusions of a large registry-based study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in the esteemed journal Gastroenterology.

Why the flu shot cannot give you the flu (and why you should get one now)

Flu vaccination prevents millions of flu-related illnesses and deaths annually, but vaccination rates are low for many reasons.

Providing culturally sensitive pregnancy care to black women

In the U.S., infant mortality and health outcomes during and after pregnancy for black women are poor and, in some areas, dip to levels below that of developing countries. One way to improve the health of black women and their babies is to strengthen the interpersonal relationship and cultural understanding between providers and patients.

Radiation right after surgery might not help prostate cancer patients

(HealthDay)—In the largest investigation of its kind, researchers conclude that subjecting prostate cancer patients to radiation therapy immediately after surgery doesn't give them an advantage in staying cancer-free.

Teens flock to flavored vaping. Mango, strawberry, mint e-cigarettes hide grave health dangers

High schoolers rallying in downtown Los Angeles this week chanted "Fight the flavor" as they showed their support for banning the flavored tobacco products that health experts say are fueling an epidemic of nicotine addiction among youths.

Q&A: Thyroid disorder may not show symptoms until pregnancy

Dear Mayo Clinic: I'm five months pregnant and was just diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I've never had thyroid problems before. Could this diagnosis be connected to my pregnancy? Will the hypothyroidism go away after I have my baby?

Want to reduce suicides? Follow the data to medical offices, motels and even animal shelters

On Kimberly Repp's office wall is a sign in Latin: Hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae. This is a place where the dead delight in helping the living.

Genetic markers linked to the start of symptoms of Parkinson's disease

Researchers from the Institute of Neurosciences of the University of Barcelona (UBNeuro), Hospital Clínic and the August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBAPS) have identified a group of genetic variants related to the starting point of Parkinson's disease. These results, published in the journal Movement Disorders, will enable delimiting the research on new therapeutic targets, and could have implications in the diagnosis of the disease.

Sleep varies by age, geographical location and gender

In an exceptionally extensive worldwide study on sleep, nearly a quarter of a million nights of sleep were measured among sleepers ranging between 16 and 30 years of age.

Common nutrient supplementation may hold the answers to combatting Alzheimer's disease

In a new study, Biodesign researchers reveal that a lifelong dietary regimen of choline holds the potential to prevent Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Ultrasound yields similar cancer detection rates after digital mammography, tomosynthesis

An ahead-of-print article in the December issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR) comparing dense breast ultrasound (US) screening after digital mammography (DM) versus after digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) yielded "no significant difference" in additional cancer detection rate.

Evidence builds that optimism might lengthen your life

(HealthDay)—A sunny outlook on life may do more than make you smile: New research suggests it could also guard against heart attacks, strokes and early death.

DPP4 inhibitors do not up risk of inflammatory bowel disease

(HealthDay)—Short-term use of a dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitor (DPP4i) for the treatment of diabetes does not increase the risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according to a study published online Aug. 30 in Diabetes Care.

Psoriasis tied to high BMI, low meat intake in Japanese study

(HealthDay)—Psoriasis is associated with high body mass index (BMI) and low intake of meat, according to a Japanese study published in the September issue of the Journal of Dermatology.

Recommendations developed for evaluating chronic diarrhea

(HealthDay)—In new American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) clinical practice guidelines, published in the September issue of Gastroenterology, recommendations are presented for laboratory evaluation of chronic watery diarrhea.

Mental health service use up after bariatric surgery

(HealthDay)—There is an increase in mental health service presentations after bariatric surgery, according to a study published online Sept. 25 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Poll finds many young americans think vaping is safe

(HealthDay)—Despite an outbreak of severe lung illnesses and deaths linked to vaping, many young Americans consider e-cigarettes harmless, a new poll shows.

Less bleeding with ticagrelor alone in high-risk patients

(HealthDay)—Ticagrelor alone results in less bleeding than ticagrelor plus aspirin among high-risk patients who have undergone percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and received dual antiplatelet therapy for three months, according to a study published online Sept. 26 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research was published to coincide with Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics 2019, the annual meeting of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, held from Sept. 25 to 29 in San Francisco.

Most vaping-related lung injuries linked to marijuana products: CDC

Many of the hundreds of e-cigarette users who have developed lung problems in recent months, some of them fatal, used black market marijuana products, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

Clinical trial to test potential new therapy for giant cell arteritis

An international, multicenter phase II clinical trial is evaluating the efficacy and safety of mavrilimumab co-administered with a 26-week corticosteroid taper in patients with giant cell arteritis (GCA). The study is sponsored by Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), in New York City, is one of the centers participating in the research.

New studies question whether novel anti-cancer drugs are worth their extra cost

Many new anti-cancer medicines add little value for patients compared to standard treatment and are rarely worth the extra cost, according to results of two studies investigating links between clinical benefit and pricing in Europe and the USA, reported at the ESMO Congress 2019.

McDonald's to test veggie burger in Canada

Fast food giant McDonald's is dipping another foot into the world of plant-based "meat," announcing plans on Thursday to test a vegetarian burger in Canada.

Report: No-deal Brexit could leave UK with medical shortages

Britain's government watchdog says there's still a "significant amount" of work to do to make sure the country has an adequate supply of licensed drugs in case of a no-deal Brexit.

The toll dental disease can take

In 2007, a 12-year-old boy from Maryland died after an infection from an untreated dental abscess spread to his brain. His mother, homeless and dependent on Medicaid, had been unable to find a dentist to treat her children's decaying teeth.

Men can be spared radiotherapy after surgery

Men with prostate cancer can be spared radiotherapy after surgery, according to late breaking results from a study led by The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.

Men with prostate cancer can be spared radiotherapy after surgery

Men with prostate cancer can be spared radiotherapy after surgery, according to late breaking results of the RADICALS-RT trial presented at the ESMO Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. The study answers a longstanding question about whether the benefits of radiotherapy after surgery outweigh the side-effects.

Healthy Men: Surprising and alarming statistics on causes of death in American males

Earlier this month, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) Brief that outlines the latest data on causes of death in the United States. In particular, the Brief highlights a number of important health disparities between American males and females. Three of its findings were especially alarming:

Quinn on Nutrition: Secrets of the Mediterranean diet

What is the secret of the Mediterranean diet, considered by nutrition experts to be one of the healthiest in the world? I'm still wondering about that after our recent trip to Italy.

Mylan in $30 mn US settlement over EpiPen probe disclosures

Mylan will pay $30 million to settle US charges it misled investors about probes of EpiPen payments under a federal health program, a US securities regulator announced Friday.

Military sees frustrating trend as suicides spike

Military suicides have surged to a record high among active duty troops, continuing a deadly trend that Pentagon officials say is frustrating and they are struggling to counter.

Michigan will spray in fight against deadly mosquito virus

Michigan will conduct aerial spraying for the first time since 1980 to combat a rare mosquito-borne virus that has killed three people and been recorded across the southern half of the state.

Washington issues flavored vaping ban, joining other states

Washington on Friday joined several other states in banning the sale of flavored vaping products amid concern over the mysterious lung illness that has sickened hundreds of people and killed about a dozen across the country.

Biology news

Why viruses like Herpes and Zika will need to be reclassified, and its biotech impact

New research reveals that the way viruses were perceived in terms of their architecture will need to be retooled, because they are actually structured in many more patterns than previously understood. The findings could have significant impact on how they are classified, our understanding of how they form, evolve and infect hosts, and strategies to identify ways to design vaccines to target them.

Study shows mouse gut biome involved in setting gut circadian rhythm

A team of researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center has found that microbes in the small intestines of mice are involved in setting the pace for the gut circadian rhythm. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their study of histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) in mice and what they learned from it. Faraz Bishehsari and Ali Keshavarzian with Rush University Medical Center have published a Perspective piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue.

Study suggests gut bacteria helped shape mammalian evolution

The call to evolve could be coming from inside the house mouse.

Older male sparrows seem to father more chicks by getting more sperm to the egg

Researchers are a step closer to solving the puzzle of why older male sparrows are more successful at mating and producing chicks.

Are humans preventing flies from eavesdropping?

Today's world is filled with background noise, whether it be from a roaring river or a well-trafficked highway. Elevated noise levels from both human-made and natural sources may interfere with animals' listening ability and alter how they interact with other animals. A group of researchers at California Polytechnic State University investigated how background sounds affect a parasitoid fly's eavesdropping capabilities.

The showy everlasting daisy is endangered, but a primary school is helping out

Western Australia boasts seemingly endless fields of pink, white and yellow everlasting daisies. But while there might seem to be an infinite number, one species in particular is actually endangered. The showy everlasting (or Schoenia filifolia subsp. subulifolia) once grew in the Mid West of WA. Now it is found in just a few spots around the tiny inland town of Mingenew.

Value of Ireland's insect pollinators greatly underestimated

A newly published report claims that both the market and non-market values of pollinators in Ireland are currently greatly underestimated.

Borneo pygmy elephant found dead in Malaysia

A pygmy elephant has been found dead in a river on the Malaysian part of Borneo island, an official said Friday, the latest of the endangered creatures to perish.

Study gets to root of rice's resilience to floods

Climate change is increasing both the severity and frequency of extreme weather events, including floods. That's a problem for many farmers, since rice is the only major food crop that's resilient to flooding. A new study, published in Science, however, identified genetic clues to this resilience that may help scientists improve the prospects for other crops.

For this ocean dweller, ability to respond to warming waters is about location

It's common knowledge that, through the process of natural selection, organisms adapt to their environments. But what happens when there are no barriers to gene flow and organisms are free-floating between extremely variable environmental conditions?

A 2-kilometer freshwater journey to food security: Zambian farmers benefit from tree preservation

While some communities in Central Province of Zambia are resorting to cutting down trees as an alternative source of energy, a group of young farmers in Serenje District of the same province has vowed to keep trees around river streams blossoming.

Report: 58% of Europe's native trees face extinction threat

An international conservation group is warning that more than half of the European tree species that exist nowhere else in the world are threatened with extinction.

More than 100 dolphins die on island beach off West Africa

Authorities in the Cape Verde islands off West Africa are waiting for experts from Spain to help determine why more than 100 dolphins died on a local beach.

Santa Barbara Zoo's elderly elephant Little Mac euthanized

Little Mac, a 48-year-old Asian elephant that was a fixture at the Santa Barbara Zoo for nearly all her life, was euthanized this week after a sharp decline in health, officials said.

Landscape patterns matter

The size, shape, and arrangement of fields, forests, wetlands, and human populations, and the ways these and other features interact and change across landscapes, have a multitude of implications for resource sustainability, ecosystem health, habitat connectivity, and other societal values. To fully understand the effects of these landscape patterns, we first need to know how to measure them.


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