Monday, September 23, 2019

Science X Newsletter Monday, Sep 23

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for September 23, 2019:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Theory proposes that LIGO/Virgo black holes originate from a first order phase transition

Unfolding adsorption on metal nanoparticles: Connecting stability with catalysis

Graphene is 3-D as well as 2-D

Astronomers detect an extraordinary calcium-rich transient

New CRISPR class expands genetic engineering toolbox

Researchers resolve how fungi produce compounds with potential pharmaceutical applications

Is theory on earth's climate in the last 15 million years wrong?

New study on sharing shows social norms play a role in decision making

Scientists track frog-killing fungus to help curb its spread

Uncorking champagne creates under-expanded supersonic carbon dioxide freezing jets

Capturing extreme close-ups of cellular gene expression

'Valley states' in this super-thin material could potentially be used for quantum computing

Researchers create first three-photon color-entangled W state

Tiny, biocompatible laser could function inside living tissues

Samsung SSDs open a new chapter with fail-in-place

Astronomy & Space news

Astronomers detect an extraordinary calcium-rich transient

An international team of astronomers has detected a new transient event as part of the ATLAS survey. The newly discovered transient, designated ATLAS19dqr/SN 2019bkc, turns out to be an extraordinary rapidly evolving calcium-rich event. The finding is detailed in a paper published September 12 on

Could Venus have been habitable?

Venus may have been a temperate planet hosting liquid water for 2-3 billion years, until a dramatic transformation starting over 700 million years ago resurfaced around 80% of the planet. A study presented today at the EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting 2019 by Michael Way of The Goddard Institute for Space Science gives a new view of Venus's climatic history and may have implications for the habitability of exoplanets in similar orbits.

Looking for lurkers —a new way to do SETI

The most recently discovered group of rocky bodies nearby Earth are termed co-orbital objects. These may have been an attractive location for extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) to locate a probe to observe Earth throughout our deep past. Co-orbital objects approach Earth very closely every year at distances much shorter than anything except the moon. They have the same orbital period as Earth. These near-Earth objects provide an ideal way to watch our world from a secure natural object. Co-orbitals provide resources an ETI might need: materials, constant solar energy, a firm anchor, concealment.

Hubble takes closer look at not-so-'dead' neighbor

Many of the best-loved galaxies in the cosmos are remarkably large, close, massive, bright, or beautiful, often with an unusual or intriguing structure or history. However, it takes all kinds to make a universe—as demonstrated by this Hubble image of Messier 110.

Solar orbiter cleared to study the sun after extensive spacecraft testing

An Imperial-built instrument will study the sun's magnetic field aboard the Solar Orbiter spacecraft following its launch in early 2020.

New research looks at gamma-ray bursts

Astrophysicists Jon Hakkila of the College of Charleston and Robert Nemiroff of the Michigan Technological University have published research indicating that blasts that create gamma-ray bursts may actually exceed the speed of light in surrounding gas clouds, but do so without violating Einstein's theory of relativity.

Can a new space race connect the world to the internet?

Tech giants and billionaires hope a new, cheaper crop of internet-beaming satellites and balloons can get internet to those who don't have it.

Technology news

Samsung SSDs open a new chapter with fail-in-place

Samsung Electronics has a new series of PCIe 4.0 SSDs that demonstrate technologies to benefit data centers and businesses. The solid state drives (SSDs) use the PCIe 4.0 standard, whereby sequential read and write speeds are improved.

Japan roboticists predict rise of the machines

Set in 2019, cult 80s movie "Blade Runner" envisaged a neon-stained landscape of bionic "replicants" genetically engineered to look just like humans.

Big Blue's Big Leap: Quantum center takes on 53 qubit system

IBM has a fleet of quantum computers. That much is fairly well known since IBM has been actively promoting quantum computing for several years. But IBM's quantum story will get all the more interesting next month, when a 53 qubit computer joins the line, making it the most powerful quantum computer available for use outside IBM.

Here's the kind of data hackers get about you from hospitals

When hospitals are hacked, the public hears about the number of victims—but not what information the cybercriminals stole. New research from Michigan State University and Johns Hopkins University is the first to uncover the specific data leaked through hospital breaches, sounding alarm bells for nearly 170 million people.

Roofing drone nails down shingles

An octocopter capable of attaching asphalt shingles to roofs with a nail gun has been demonstrated at the University of Michigan.

Researchers recreate living 3-D displays

It is safe to say that 3-D displays do not necessarily occur in nature—unless one considers the cephalopod, which includes the squid and octopus, as a living 3-D display which can morph its structure and create complex shapes and textures for camouflage purposes or drag control (see video). Now, a research team from the University of Iowa and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is developing a smart skin inspired by the cephalopod which can be used in 3-D displays, as interfaces for the visually impaired, and to help reduce drag on marine vehicles.

Nanoelectrodes record thousands of connected mammalian neurons from inside

How our brain cells, or neurons, use electrical signals to communicate and coordinate for higher brain function is one of the biggest questions in all of science.

Digital threats multiply ahead of 2020 US elections

It could be a manipulated video embarrassing a candidate. Or a computer voting system locked by ransomware. Or doubts about electronic voting machines with no paper backups.

Thousands of Swiss protest 5G wireless over health fears

Thousands of people protested in the Swiss capital Bern Saturday over the roll-out of a 5G wireless technology across the country, which they fear could damage people's health.

GM electric car push could mean fewer and lower paying jobs

If U.S. consumers ever ditch fuel burners for electric vehicles, then the United Auto Workers union is in trouble.

Indonesia blames 737 MAX design for Lion Air crash: report

Indonesian authorities have cited failures in the Boeing 737 MAX design and oversight as contributing to the 2018 Lion Air plane crash, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

Thomas Cook collapses with 600,000 tourists stranded abroad

British travel firm Thomas Cook collapsed on Monday, leaving hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers stranded and sparking the UK's biggest repatriation since World War II.

Thomas Cook airline Condor keeps flying but seeks govt loan

Condor, the German airline subsidiary of British travel giant Thomas Cook, said Monday it was requesting financial aid from Berlin to help keep it in the air even after its parent company declared bankruptcy.

Australia uses new technology to catch drivers on phones

An Australian state is attempting to persuade people to put down their smartphones while driving by rolling out cameras to prosecute distracted motorists.

AI isn't smart enough yet to save us from fake news: Facebook users (and their bias) are key

The information we encounter online everyday can be misleading, incomplete or fabricated.

Artificial Intelligence has a gender bias problem—just ask Siri

Suggest to Samsung's Virtual Personal Assistant Bixby "Let's talk dirty", and the female voice will respond with a honeyed accent: "I don't want to end up on Santa's naughty list."

Brain-machine interfaces: Villainous gadgets or tools for next-gen superheroes?

For the many superheroes that use high-powered gadgets to save the day, there's an equal number of villains who use technology nefariously. From robots that plug into human brains for fuel in The Matrix to the memory-warping devices seen in Men in Black, Captain Marvel, and Total Recall, technology that can control people's minds is one of the most terrifying examples of technology gone wrong in science fiction and superhero films.

Alexa, are you ready to live in the car, too?

There's a reason a new product announced by Amazon 12 months ago never got released to the public.

If AT&T dumps DirecTV, where does that leave the viewer?

As the question of whether AT&T really is considering breaking up with DirecTV remains without an answer, subscribers probably have their own questions. Namely, what about us?

Samsung's folding phone hits the US

Samsung's folding phone is finally hitting the U.S.

When it comes to robots, reliability may matter more than reasoning

What does it take for a human to trust a robot? That is what Army researchers are uncovering in a new study into how humans and robots work together.

Amazon smart display 'eyes' aid visually impaired

Amazon on Monday added a feature enabling its Echo Show smart screens to recognize household pantry items as part of an effort intended to help the blind and visually impaired.

Google takes on Apple Arcade with mobile game service

Google on Monday unveiled a subscription service for games and apps on Android-powered mobile devices in a direct challenge to Apple Arcade.

Apple will produce new Mac Pro computers in US

Apple said Monday it would keep making its Mac Pro in the United States, after obtaining tariff exemptions for some components in the high-end computers.

Internet rained on vacation of big travel firms

Booking a vacation used to mean selecting a package holiday from the catalogue of a big tour operator, but with the advent of the internet consumers now have more options, a luxury that big travel operators have had difficulty adapting to as the collapse of Thomas Cook shows.

Google will start transcribing audio recordings again

Google is restarting a practice in which human contractors listen to and transcribe some voice commands people give to the company's artificial intelligence system, Assistant. But this time Google is taking steps to make sure people know what they are agreeing to.

Airbus irked by Spain's choice of fighter jet partner

Airbus has sharply criticised Madrid for choosing defence systems specialist Indra to coordinate Spain's participation in a Franco-German project to develop a new-generation fighter jet, in which the aviation giant is deeply involved.

UK travel giant Thomas Cook faces collapse

Thomas Cook's 178-year existence was hanging by a thread on Sunday after the iconic British travel firm struggled to find further private investment and is now relying on an unlikely government bailout.

Suspected drones disrupt Dubai flights

Flights at Dubai's international airport, one of the world's busiest, were briefly disrupted Sunday due to "suspected drone activity," officials said.

Sensing for augmented and virtual reality and for advanced manufacturing

Sensors are everywhere today, from our homes and vehicles to medical devices, smart phones, and other useful tech. More and more, sensors help detect our interactions with the environment around us—and shape our understanding of the world.

US SEC charges Nissan, ex-CEO Ghosn with hiding $140 mn from investors

US securities regulators on Monday charged Japanese automaker Nissan and its former CEO Carlos Ghosn with hiding more than $140 million in Ghosn's expected retirement income from investors.

GM furloughs 1,225 more workers as strike enters 2nd week

General Motors temporarily laid off an additional 1,225 workers in Canada and the United States on Monday as a strike entered its second week.

UK working on technology to tackle violent online videos

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says scientists are working on technology to stop violent attacks from being broadcast live on the internet as part of an international call to curb online extremism.

Medicine & Health news

Scientists identify hormone potentially linked to hypersexual disorder

A new study of men and women with hypersexual disorder has revealed a possible role of the hormone oxytocin, according to results published in the journal Epigenetics. The finding could potentially open the door to treating the disorder by engineering a way to suppress its activity.

Gene regulators work together for oversized impact on schizophrenia risk

Researchers have discovered that gene expression regulators work together to raise an individual's risk of developing schizophrenia. Schizophrenia-like gene expression changes modeled in human neurons matched changes found in patients' brains. The researchers, led by Kristen Brennand, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City, report on their findings in Nature Genetics. The work was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Perturbed genes regulating white blood cells linked to autism genetics and severity

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine say they are getting closer to identifying the mechanisms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and biomarkers that can aid in early diagnosis and predictions of symptom severity.

Saw but forgot—drivers' memory lapses puts motorcyclists at risk

There are an estimated 90 fatalities a year in the UK caused by drivers pulling out into the path of an oncoming motorcycle. New research by psychologists at the University of Nottingham suggests this sort of crash may often be the result of a short-term memory failure rather than the driver not seeing an approaching motorcycle.

AI to bring sharper focus to eye testing

QUT researchers have applied artificial intelligence (AI) deep learning techniques to develop a more accurate and detailed method for analyzing images of the back of the eye to help clinicians better detect and track eye diseases, such as glaucoma and aged-related macular degeneration.

Green tea could hold the key to reducing antibiotic resistance

Scientists at the University of Surrey have discovered that a natural antioxidant commonly found in green tea can help eliminate antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Heart damage from cancer drugs linked to faulty genes

Scientists have unveiled clues into why some cancer patients develop a serious heart condition after chemotherapy.

Study reveals critical role of brain circuits in improving learning and memory

A University of California, Irvine-led team of scientists has discovered how newly identified neural circuits in the brain's hippocampal formation play a critical role in object-location learning and memory.

'Metabolic inhibitor' compound extends survival in mice with MYC-expressing pediatric brain tumors

Versions of an antibiotic drug called DON first isolated from soil bacteria more than 60 years ago have shown promising signs of extending survival in mice models of especially lethal pediatric brain tumors marked by the high expression of a cancer-causing gene known as the MYC oncogene, according to results of two studies from researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

Method discovered to reactivate tumour fighting genes 'silenced' by cancer

Scientists at UCL have developed a method to reactivate 'tumour suppressor' genes, which are switched off by cancer cells—a finding which could lead to new targeted biotherapies for cancer.

Scientists hone in on DNA differences behind immune diseases

Scientists are one step closer to discovering the causes of immune diseases such as asthma, multiple sclerosis and arthritis. Research from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, GSK and Biogen, under the Open Targets initiative, has shown that thousands of differences in DNA between individuals, associated with immune diseases, are linked with the switching-on of a specific subtype of immune cells.

Scientists enlist tiny biomagnets for faster drug discovery

What started as a hallway conversation between colleagues is now an "engine for the discovery of new therapeutic targets in cells" thanks to Medicine by Design, says Shana Kelley, a University Professor in the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto.

Onions and garlic may be recipe for reducing breast cancer risk: study

Onions and garlic are key ingredients in sofrito, a condiment that's a staple of Puerto Rican cuisine. They may also be a recipe for reducing the risk of breast cancer.

Study reveals how fungal biofilm structure impacts lung disease

Findings from an innovative new study led by researchers at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine and published this week in Nature Microbiology reveal that the way in which human fungal pathogens form colonies can significantly impact their ability to cause disease.

Mummy study: Heart disease was bigger issue for human ancestors than initially thought

A new imaging study of the mummified arteries of people who lived thousands of years ago revealed that their arteries were more clogged than originally thought, according to a proof-of-concept study led by a researcher with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). It is in the October print edition of the American Heart Journal.

Today's obesity epidemic may have been caused by childhood sugar intake decades ago

Current obesity rates in adults in the United States could be the result of dietary changes that took place decades ago, according to a new study published by researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Tackling cardiovascular deaths requires urgent action in children

Encouraging activity and improving diet in children is crucial to cut deaths from cardiovascular disease—and is the focus of an innovative school project in São Paulo, Brazil. The first results are presented today at the Brazilian Congress of Cardiology (SBC 2019).

Face transplant recipient's donor face now failing

A woman who was severely burned in a domestic violence attack in Vermont is hoping for a second face transplant after doctors recently discovered tissue damage that likely will lead to the loss of her donor face.

DRC approves use of second experimental Ebola vaccine

The Democratic Republic of Congo will introduce a second Ebola vaccine next month, the World Health Organization said Monday, as a top medical charity accused the UN agency of rationing doses of the main drug to protect against the disease.

How a South Indian script is changing the way science views parasite

Toxoplasma gondii is an insidious little parasite that infects one out of three people on the planet. A unique partnership between an engineer and a scientist produced data that challenged prevailing wisdom about this parasite's behavior and revealed potential targets for treatment.

US pediatric heart transplant waitlist policy change falls short of intended benefits

In March 2016, the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network revised its criteria for prioritizing children awaiting heart transplantation in the U.S. with the intention of reducing the number of deaths on the waitlist, but a new study suggests unintended consequences.

Fat mass index, not BMI, associated with cardiovascular events in people with diabetes

In people with diabetes, fat mass index, not body mass index (BMI), is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular events, according to new research in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

New national guideline sets out best practices for delivering injectable opioid agonist treatment

A new Canadian guideline lays out the optimal strategies for providing injectable opioid agonist treatment with prescription heroin and hydromorphone for people with severe opioid use disorder. The clinical guideline was created for a wide range of health care providers to address an urgent need for evidence-based treatment of opioid use causing overdose and death, and is published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Do the costs of cancer drugs receive enough attention?

A recent analysis from Canada found that information on health-related quality of life is often not collected for investigational cancer drugs or used to calculate the balance of costs and benefits of these drugs when they are submitted for reimbursement, according to findings published early online in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

Study shows MRI can help remove DOUBT when diagnosing minor strokes

A University of Calgary-led international study is highlighting the importance of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in helping to diagnose minor stroke and transient ischemic attacks (TIAs).

Doctors are not using tools to help youths quit smoking

At a time when the rapid growth in electronic cigarette "vaping" among young people threatens to reverse decades of progress in reducing tobacco use, a large study published today in JAMA Pediatrics finds that medical professionals are largely failing to use existing tools to help young people quit smoking.

Discontinuing insulin for older adults with type 2 diabetes

Patients with type 2 diabetes who were in poor health were more likely to continue taking insulin after age 75 than their counterparts in better health, according to Kaiser Permanente research published today in JAMA Internal Medicine. As people with type 2 diabetes age, the risks of insulin use can outweigh its benefits, creating the need for increased provider and patient education.

Empowering cancer patients to shift their mindsets could improve care, researchers argue

A diagnosis of cancer can cause significant emotional burden for patients and their families. The turmoil may persist throughout treatment and even years into survivorship. As a result, depression and anxiety are two to three times more common in cancer patients than the general population. In a perspective paper published September 23 in the journal Trends in Cancer, experts propose that targeting cancer patients' mindsets could have an impact on their health, functioning, and well-being, and they call for more research in this field.

French drugmaker, watchdog on trial over weight loss pill deaths

France's medicines watchdog and pharma firm Servier went on trial on fraud and negligence charges on Monday over the use of a diabetes pill prescribed for weight loss that has been blamed for the deaths of hundreds of people.

Researchers perform thousands of mutations to understand amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating and incurable nervous system disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing loss of muscle control and normally death within a few years of diagnosis. In ALS, as in other neurodegenerative diseases, specific protein aggregates have long been recognized as pathological hallmarks, but it is not clear whether they represent the actual cause of the disease. Indeed, alleviating aggregation has repeatedly failed as a therapeutic strategy for treating neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Study identifies cardiovascular toxicities associated with ibrutinib

After a recent study showed that chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients who received ibrutinib as a frontline treatment had a 7% death rate, a new study offers a clearer picture on the reasons for the deaths.

Children exposed to secondhand smoke at higher risk for atrial fibrillation

Children of parents who smoke had a significantly increased chance of developing atrial fibrillation later in life, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The findings highlight a new association between secondhand smoke exposure and heart rhythm disorder risk.

Chromosomal changes implicated in disease linked to social and economic disadvantage

Chromosomal changes implicated in disease are linked to social and economic disadvantage, finds a study of 473 families, published online in the Journal of Medical Genetics.

Study of the nervous system could have implications for regenerative medicine and cancer

In order for the central nervous system to communicate to the rest of the body, the brain and spinal cord house nerves that send and receive signals via neurons or nerve cells. This communication can take place only because structures known as synapses allow this process to happen.

Through the haze: Smoke-free laws failing to protect bar staff, patrons

Patrons and workers continue to be exposed to hazardous tobacco smoke in bars, restaurants and cafés, despite legislation designed to protect them, researchers have found.

8 precautions anyone can take to avoid a nasty fall

The No. 1 cause of traumatic injury and death in the state of Virginia might surprise you.

Toxoplasma 'cat poo' parasite infects billions: Why is it so hard to study?

What if I told you that there is a good chance you are carrying a parasite that is transmitted through cat poo? Two billion people around the world carry Toxoplasma gondii so there may be more than a 25% chance that it is in your body too.

Children's lies are deceptively complex

Parents are often concerned when they observe their child telling lies.

Computer-based research could pave way for anti-flu drugs of the future

By looking at whether existing medications could be used as a starting point for new anti-flu drugs, researchers at the University of Hertfordshire are helping to pave the way for future treatments against influenza.

In a chatty world, losing your speech can be alienating

Sam is a high school drama teacher—articulate, funny, smart. It's an ordinary day and she isn't feeling great, but pushes through. At morning tea, she spills coffee down her shirt; at lunch she notices a strange sensation in her lips and tongue. Then her speech starts to sound odd, slurred, indistinct.

Tiger snake bite deaths show problems with antivenom dosing

Two recent deaths by tiger snakebites have caused some experts to question recommendations that one vial of any Australian snake antivenom is all that is ever required for treatment of an Australian snake's bite.

New research: Having sex in older age could make you happier and healthier

Sexual activity is an essential part of intimate relationships, though it tends to decline as people get older. But although research shows that frequency of sexual activity can decrease with age, for many older people, sex still remains an important part of their life.

Hormone diets are all the rage, but do they actually work?

When it comes to losing weight and getting healthy, there never seems to be a shortage of diet and fitness crazes claiming to hold the secret to easy, sustainable weight loss. Some of the most recent popular diet crazes include the ketogenic diet (low carbohydrate, high fat), the carnivore diet (only eating meat and other animal products), and intermittent fasting (eating only within a strict timeframe, or on certain days).

The long-term effects of disasters on seniors with diabetes: evidence from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

Older individuals and those with chronic conditions are especially at risk following natural disasters. Researchers at the University of South Florida (USF) investigated the short- and long-term effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on older individuals with diabetes. They found those who lived in areas impacted by the 2005 hurricanes had a 40% higher one-month mortality rate than those who lived in unaffected counties. The increased risk persisted even ten years later, at which point the affected individuals had a 6% higher mortality rate.

Affordable Care Act slashed the uninsured rate among people with diabetes

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provided health insurance for an estimated 1.9 million people with diabetes, according to a newly published study.

Pediatricians can play role in cutting sugary drink intake

Pediatricians have a role to play in encouraging children and adolescents to reduce sugary drink consumption, according to a policy statement recently published in Pediatrics.

Colorectal cancer mortality disparities vary across U.S. cities

There is considerable variability in colorectal cancer (CRC) mortality disparities across urban cities, according to a study presented at the 12th AACR Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, held from Sept. 20 to 23 in San Francisco.

11 percent of cancers detected via emergency visit

About 11 percent of cancers are diagnosed following an emergency department visit, according to a study presented at the 12th AACR Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, held from Sept. 20 to 23 in San Francisco.

Making the most of your baby's first 3 years

Experts agree that the first three years of a baby's life are a unique time of fast development.

'He may need a ventilator': One teen's fight against vaping-linked lung illness

Eddie Sullivan, 17, woke up on a Tuesday and found that his chest hurt every time he took a breath.

Can aspirin help tackle some cancers?

Low-dose aspirin may improve survival odds for patients battling head/neck and lung cancer, two new studies suggest.

'Not just touchy-feely psychobabble': Even infants need mental health care

In and around Chicago's Little Village neighborhood, long-standing causes of friction like gun violence and poverty have for some families combined with newer fears of immigration crackdowns and deportation of loved ones—and mental health professionals hope to address toxic stress that can have long-term effects on the lives of very young children.

Anesthesia, surgery linked to subtle decline in memory and thinking in older adults, study finds

In adults over 70, exposure to general anesthesia and surgery is associated with a subtle decline in memory and thinking skills, according to new Mayo Clinic research. The study analyzed nearly 2,000 participants in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging and found that exposure to anesthesia after age 70 was linked to long-term changes in brain function. The results appear in the British Journal of Anaesthesia.

German court rules hangovers are 'illness'

A German court said in a ruling published Monday that hangovers are an "illness", in a timely judgement days after the annual Oktoberfest beer festival began in Munich.

For young athletes, sport specialization means increased risk of injury

A new study finds that kids who specialize in a chosen sport tend to engage in higher levels of vigorous exercise than their peers and may be more likely to sustain injuries, such as stress fractures, tendinitis and ACL tears.

Better samples, better science: new study explores integrity of research specimens

Effective diagnosis and treatment of disease draws on painstaking research, which often relies on biological samples. The avalanche of studies used to better understand illnesses and design effective therapies cost billions of dollars and potentially affects millions of lives.

'Push-pull' dynamic in brain network is key to stopping seizures

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have discovered that the spreading of seizures through the brain can be suppressed depending on the amount of pressure within the brain, an important discovery that may revolutionize the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy.

Hypertension during pregnancy can increase later risk of heart disease

Research published today in the journal Circulation has found that women with high blood pressure in pregnancy, including conditions such as preeclampsia, have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disorders later in life, including stroke and heart failure.

More aggressive Tx needed for familial hypercholesterolemia

(HealthDay)—Even with care in specialty clinics, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) persists above target levels in more than half of patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), according to a study published in the October issue of Atherosclerosis.

Exercise may slow brain deterioration in Alzheimer disease

(HealthDay)—Exercising may delay brain deterioration in people at high risk for Alzheimer disease, according to a proof-of-concept study published Sept. 17 in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

Higher mortality seen for male breast cancer patients

(HealthDay)—Male breast cancer patients have higher mortality after cancer diagnosis than female patients, according to a study published online Sept. 19 in JAMA Oncology.

Yo-yoing blood pressure could be bad for those with Alzheimer's

Fluctuating blood pressure may be associated with worsening dementia in people with Alzheimer's disease, according to new research.

Youngest in classroom diagnosed more often with ADHD, other problems

(HealthDay)—If a child can't sit still or blurts out random thoughts in kindergarten or first grade, does the child have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? Or is the youngster just not mature enough to sit still yet?

All that screen time won't hurt your kid's grades—maybe

(HealthDay)—Parents can relax a little about how much time their kids spend in front of screens, new research suggests.

No clear link between local food and cancer risk in glassworks areas

There is no clear link between cancer incidence and locally produced food from an area with a history of glass manufacture with contaminated soil, according to a new study from, among others, Linköping University in Sweden. A high consumption of certain local foods seems to be linked to an increased risk of certain cancers, but this probably reflects that the exposure to contaminants was higher in the past.

Older adults with COPD more likely to use synthetic cannabinoids, study finds

A study published today in Drugs & Aging found that older adults in Ontario with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were twice as likely to use prescription synthetic oral cannabinoids compared to older adults without COPD.

Compressing the arm to protect the brain part of NIH study to find better stroke treatment

Successive bouts of compressing then relaxing a limb with a blood pressure-like cuff to prepare the brain to better weather the lack of oxygen that occurs in stroke is one of six approaches being evaluated in the first national, head-on comparison of potential new stroke therapies.

Study casts doubt on effectiveness of named GP scheme

An NHS scheme to give every patient aged 75 and over in England a named GP responsible for their care has failed to deliver hoped-for improvements, according to a study by researchers at the University of Bristol's Centre for Academic Primary Care.

Nonverbal signals can create bias against larger groups

If children are exposed to bias against one person, will they develop a bias against that person's entire group? The answer is yes, according to new research from University of Georgia social psychologist Allison Skinner. The study's results are the first to demonstrate that nonverbal signals can produce new biases that generalize to entire groups and classes of people.

Context may explain why dads are happier and less stressed than moms

Dads are often happier, less stressed and less tired than moms when taking care of kids, and researchers say these differences may come down to how and when childcare activities are split between parents.

Pregnant women with obesity may not require additional calories for healthy pregnancies

The Institute of Medicine's guidelines currently advise all pregnant women to increase calorie intake by 340-450 calories/day during their second and third trimesters, regardless of their body size at conception. Approximately 2/3 of women with obesity at the time of pregnancy will gain more weight than recommended, highlighting a need for evidence-based guidelines to optimize the health of this population and their offspring.

Tanzania not sharing information on suspected Ebola: WHO

The World Health Organization has accused Tanzania of failing to provide information on suspected cases of Ebola in the country, potentially hindering efforts to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

Tennessee abortion clinics hope to defeat waiting period

The former medical director of Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi testified on Monday that Tennessee's 48-hour waiting period for abortions actually delays the procedure by up to a month.

Judge hears arguments in challenge to Georgia abortion law

Opponents of Georgia's restrictive new abortion law told a judge on Monday that it violates Supreme Court precedent and should be blocked, while the state argued the law should be allowed to take effect as planned.

Opioid use disorder in pregnancy: Five things to know

Opioid use is increasing in pregnancy as well as the general population. A "Five things to know about ..." practice article on opioid disuse in pregnancy in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) provides information on how to manage this vulnerable population.

How the brain repurposes unused regions

In adults that are born blind, the "visual" cortex is activated in a similar way during a listening task, according to new research in JNeurosci. The results answer questions about how development can override anatomy to influence brain function.

Free pads to tackle 'period-shame' school skipping in Bangladesh

Girls in rural villages will get free sanitary pads to stop them skipping school during their periods as a result of social taboos around menstruation, a Bangladesh minister said Monday.

Baby brain scans made available online to advance research

The Developing Human Connectome Project (dHCP) has published ground-breaking MR brain scans of over 500 newborn babies, which researchers from all over the world can download and use to study how the human brain develops.

Engineering the meniscus

Damage to the meniscus is common, but there remains an unmet need for improved restorative therapies that can overcome poor healing in the avascular regions. Now, researchers have reported a new method that may help by growing meniscal cells on 3-D electrospun nanofiber scaffolds. Their work is published in Tissue Engineering.

2018 Health of Houston Survey sheds light on residents

A snapshot of health conditions revealing the disparities across 38 neighborhood areas in Harris County has been published in the 2018 Health of Houston Survey by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health.

Task force provides insights and direction on cell-based therapies

A new report highlights the latest advances in cell-based therapies for the treatment of disorders of the musculoskeletal system, such as arthritis and osteoporosis, and it identifies key unanswered questions that should be addressed through ongoing research. The report is published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research and concurrently in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research, and was issued by a joint Task Force of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research and the Orthopaedic Research Society.

Moral distress and moral strength among clinicians in health care systems

Nurse burnout impacts both nurses and patients, and significantly influences the retention of nurses in the healthcare setting, research shows. But could burnout be a symptom of something larger?

Biology news

New CRISPR class expands genetic engineering toolbox

Biomedical engineers at Duke University have used a previously unexplored CRISPR technology to accurately regulate and edit genomes in human cells.

Scientists track frog-killing fungus to help curb its spread

From habitat loss to climate change, amphibians around the world face immense threats to their survival. One emerging and sinister threat is the chytrid fungus, a mysterious pathogen that kills amphibians by disrupting the delicate moisture balance maintained by their skin, and that is decimating frog populations around the world.

Capturing extreme close-ups of cellular gene expression

Scientists studying genetic transcription are gaining new insights into a process that is fundamental to all life. Transcription is the first step in gene expression, the process taking place within all living cells by which the DNA sequence of a gene is copied into RNA, which in turn (most generally speaking) serves as the template for assembling protein molecules, the basic building blocks of life.

Bee biodiversity barometer on Fiji

The biodiversity buzz is alive and well in Fiji, but climate change, noxious weeds and multiple human activities are making possible extinction a counter buzzword.

Cats, like children and dogs, develop attachments to their caregivers, study shows

A new Oregon State University study finds that pet cats form attachments with their human owners that are similar to the bonds formed by children and dogs with their caretakers.

Discovery of sorghum gene that controls bird feeding could help protect crops

A single gene in sorghum controls bird feeding behavior by simultaneously regulating the production of bad-tasting molecules and attractive volatiles, according to a study publishing September 23 in the journal Molecular Plant. This gene, called Tannin1, controls the synthesis of bird-deterring astringent polyphenols called tannins, as well as bird-attracting fatty-acid-derived volatile organic compounds. The authors suggest that the findings could lead to novel control strategies to protect major cereal crops worldwide.

DNA is held together by hydrophobic forces

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have disproved the prevailing theory of how DNA binds itself. It is not, as is generally believed, hydrogen bonds which bind together the two sides of the DNA structure. Instead, water is the key. The discovery opens doors for new understanding in research in medicine and life sciences. The findings are published in PNAS.

Strip steak: Bacterial enzyme removes inflammation-causing meat carbohydrates

Most mammals naturally produce a carbohydrate known as Neu5Gc—humans do not. However, when we eat red meat, animal Neu5Gc is incorporated in our tissues. As the carbohydrate builds up, our immune systems treat Neu5Gc as a foreign invader, generating antibodies against it. That's why red meat-rich diets are associated with chronic inflammation and related diseases, such as colon cancer and atherosclerosis.

Diving birds follow each other when fishing

Diving seabirds watch each other to work out when to dive, new research shows.

Antarctic marine protection treaty offers lessons for global conservation

A landmark multinational agreement protecting Antarctica's Ross Sea offers valuable lessons for similar global conservation pacts in the future, according to a new analysis coauthored by a CU Boulder researcher.

Modern humans: One species, many origins

In a paper published in Nature Ecology and Evolution, a group of researchers argues that our evolutionary past must be understood as the outcome of dynamic changes in connectivity, or gene flow, between early humans scattered across Africa. Viewing past human populations as a succession of discrete branches on an evolutionary tree may be misleading, they said, because it reduces the human story to a series of "splitting times" which may be illusory.

West African camera survey details human pressures on mammals in protected areas

When University of Michigan wildlife ecologist Nyeema Harris started her multiyear camera survey of West African wildlife, she sought to understand interactions between mammals and people in protected areas such as national parks.

Why the lettuce mitochondrial genome is like a chopped salad

The mitochondrion, "the powerhouse of the cell." Somewhere back in the very distant past, something like a bacterium moved into another cell and never left, retaining some of its own DNA. For billions of years, mitochondria have passed from mother to offspring of most eukaryotic organisms, generating energy for the cell and playing roles in metabolism and programmed cell death.

Runaway bear cub returns to the wild in French Pyrenees

A runaway bear cub that tunneled its way out of an enclosure in southern France but was eventually recaptured after a chase through the countryside has been returned to the wild, local authorities said at the weekend.

Your dead palm is a woodpecker home—and that's good

At the very edges of urbanization, Northern Flicker woodpeckers live in dead palm trees raising their young. Their populations are on the decline throughout the state, especially South Florida. But Joshua Diamond was lucky enough to capture a few on film, along with other species of woodpeckers.

Study confirms Monterey Bay Aquarium surrogate-reared sea otters helped restore threatened population

The population of threatened southern sea otters in Elkhorn Slough, an estuary in Central California, has made a significant comeback as a result of Monterey Bay Aquarium's Sea Otter Program. A newly-published study in Oryx—The International Journal of Conservation documents 15 years of research showing how the program helped restore the population in the coastal estuary, with surrogate-reared otters and their descendants accounting for more than 50 percent of observed population growth during that period. The study's findings also demonstrate the potential benefits of reintroducing otters into other California estuaries where otter populations once thrived.

How gliding animals fine-tuned the rules of evolution

A study of gliding animals has challenged the idea that evolutionary innovations—adaptations that bring new abilities and advantages—spur the origin of other new body types and other characteristics in descendant species.

'Edible forests' can fight land clearing and world hunger at the same time

Reducing emissions from deforestation and farming is an urgent global priority if we want to control climate change. However, like many climate change problems, the solution is complicated. Cutting down forests to plant edible crops feeds some of the world's hungriest people.

Microvilli in motion: Live cell imaging to visualize early steps of brush border formation

Microvilli are protrusions on the surface of epithelial cells that are dedicated to mechanosensation in the inner ear, and chemosensation and solute uptake in the lungs, gut, intestine and urinary tract. Epithelial cells assemble dense arrays of microvilli called "brush borders" that protect against infections and injury.

In­sects, algae still far from be­ing favorite foods in Eu­rope

Algae and insects are rich sources of protein for humans and livestock alike. Getting them on restaurant menus and into animal diet formulations still requires a lot of work—but it's worth the effort.

Eat your heart out: Native water rats have worked out how to safely eat cane toads

Australia's water rats, or Rakali, are one of Australia's beautiful but lesser-known native rodents. And these intelligent, semi-aquatic rats have revealed another talent: they are one of the only Australian mammals to safely eat toxic cane toads.

More cases of mysterious disease found in dogs in Norway

Norwegian authorities have recorded six new cases of a mysterious and potentially fatal canine disease that has now affected at least 173 dogs across the country, killing 43 of them.

Possums bounce back from Devils on Maria Island

The recent introduction of healthy Tasmanian Devils to Maria Island was initially bad news for the local possum population, a species blissfully ignorant of the predator's existence.

Turning up the heat for weed control

Weeds are thieves. They steal nutrients, sunlight and water from our food crops. In the case of sugarcane, yield refers to the amount of biomass and the sucrose concentration of the cane, which ultimately determines the amount of sugar produced. Two weedy culprits, namely itchgrass and divine nightshade, reduce cane biomass and sucrose yield.

Climate change created today's large crocodiles

What does the term crocodylian bring to mind? A big reptile with a chomping jaw?

Victoria's threatened species lose out to logging

Victoria's conservation reserves are failing to protect threatened species such as the Leadbeater's possum and the Greater Glider with the best areas for survival instead allocated to logging, new research from The Australian National University (ANU) warns.

Bald eagles have found themselves a new home: Suburbia

For much of the spring, a constant flow of people arrived at a dirt pullout on a mountain road a few miles above Azusa, each craving a glimpse of 10-pound celebrities with 7-foot wingspans and the charisma that politicians can only dream of.

For World Rhino Day, UMass Amherst and Australia's Perth Zoo team create 3-D rhino model

The Digital Life team at the University of Massachusetts Amherst led by evolutionary biologist Duncan Irschick and other colleagues released the world's first accurate, publicly available three-dimensional (3-D) model of the rare Southern white rhino in collaboration with Perth Zoo in Australia.

Antibody testing reveals dogs can suffer from same autoimmune encephalitis as humans

Researchers from North Carolina State University have found that dogs can suffer from the same type of autoimmune encephalitis that people do. The finding could lead to better screening methods for diagnosis and possibly more effective treatments for canine encephalitis.

Researcher urges use of microbes for space colonization

With the recent celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo program's first landing of humans on the moon, the eyes and hopes of the world turn skyward again.

New report deepens understanding of wind-wildlife interactions

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) announces the publication of a new report, "Impacts to Wildlife of Wind Energy Siting and Operation in the United States," in ESA's Issues in Ecology publication.

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