Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Science X Newsletter Wednesday, Sep 4

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for September 4, 2019:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

A method to introduce emotion recognition in gaming

Ancient animal species: Fossils dating back 550 million years among first animal trails

Solutions to urban heat differ between tropical and drier climes

PALFA survey reveals eight new millisecond pulsars

Study shows rate of extreme inbreeding in the U.K. and possible health impacts of it

Planetary collisions can drop the internal pressures in planets

Tropical sea snake uses its head to 'breathe'

In the largest study of its kind, no evidence that testosterone reduces cognitive empathy

Scientists shed new light on demise of two extinct New Zealand songbirds

Receptor protein in brain promotes resilience to stress

FAK protein linked to chemotherapy resistance in ovarian cancer

Electronic glove offers 'humanlike' features for prosthetic hand users

Remora-inspired suction disk mimics fish's adhesion ability, offers evolutionary insight

A concrete advantage for space explorers

Young adults exposed to incarceration as children prone to depression

Astronomy & Space news

PALFA survey reveals eight new millisecond pulsars

An international team of astronomers has reported the discovery of eight new millisecond pulsars in the PALFA (Pulsar Arecibo L-band Feed Array) survey. All of the newly detected pulsars were found to have orbiting companions. The finding is detailed in a paper published August 26 on

Planetary collisions can drop the internal pressures in planets

A new study from Caltech shows that giant impacts can dramatically lower the internal pressure of planets, a finding that could significantly change the current model of planetary formation.

A concrete advantage for space explorers

When humans go to the Moon or Mars to stay, they will need to construct safe places in which to live and work. The most widely used building material on Earth, concrete, may be the answer. It is strong and durable enough to provide protection from cosmic radiation and meteorites and it may be possible to make it using materials available on these celestial bodies.

Measuring stellar oscillations with Kepler

The Kepler satellite is famous for its discovery of thousands of exoplanets by continuously and meticulously measuring the brightnesses of over half-a-million stars for the signatures of transiting exoplanets. Less well known are the revolutionary consequences of its monitoring program for stellar astrophysics, in particular for the study of stellar oscillations. Our own star, the sun, has been known since the 1960's to exhibit oscillations, which are analogous to a bell's ringing, as pressure waves generated by its rotation and internal structure circulate around its surface. The oscillations can be analyzed to reveal details of a star's internal structures. Red giant stars, which are in a phase of stellar evolution after normal hydrogen burning is completed and have swelled in diameter, have been of particular interest because the oscillations in their surfaces are slower and of larger amplitude than in smaller stars, and hence easier to measure. Before the advent of space telescopes, however, even such measurements on red giants succeeded on only a few objects. The Kepler and Corot missions have since measured oscillations in thousands of red giant stars.

Space dragons: Researchers observe energy consumption in quasars

Quasars are the universe's brightest beacons; shining with magnitudes more luminosity than entire galaxies and the stars they contain. In the center of this light, at the heart of a quasar, researchers think, is an all-consuming black hole.

Chemical element potassium detected in an exoplanet atmosphere

A team of astronomers led by AIP Ph.D. student Engin Keles detected the chemical element potassium in the atmosphere of an exoplanet, for the first time with overwhelming significance and applying high-resolution spectroscopy. The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona was used to study the atmosphere on the Jupiter-like exoplanet HD189733b.

Mercury's ancient magnetic field likely evolved over time

Mercury's ancient magnetic poles were far from the location of its poles today, implying its magnetic field, like Earth's, changed over time, a new study says.

Image: Subsea scouting with NEEMO NXT

That is not the ESA Kids mascot Paxi's ship on the right. Nor is that a vintage diving suit on the left. It is lunar exploration with an aquatic twist.

Technology news

A method to introduce emotion recognition in gaming

Virtual Reality (VR) is opening up exciting new frontiers in the development of video games, paving the way for increasingly realistic, interactive and immersive gaming experiences. VR consoles, in fact, allow gamers to feel like they are almost inside the game, overcoming limitations associated with display resolution and latency issues.

Electronic glove offers 'humanlike' features for prosthetic hand users

People with hand amputations experience difficult daily life challenges, often leading to lifelong use of a prosthetic hands and services.

Artificial intelligence used to recognize primate faces in the wild

Scientists at the University of Oxford have developed new artificial intelligence software to recognise and track the faces of individual chimpanzees in the wild. The new software will allow researchers and wildlife conservationists to significantly cut back on time and resources spent analysing video footage, according to the new paper published today in Science Advances.

New technology allows software components to be isolated from each other with little computation

Safeguarding passwords, credit card numbers or cryptographic keys in computer programs will require less computational work in the future. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems in Kaiserslautern and Saarbrücken have come up with a new technology called ERIM to isolate software components from each other. This allows sensitive data to be protected from hackers when the data is processed by online services, for example. The new method has three to five times less computational overhead than the previous best isolation technology, making it more practical for online services to use the technology. This was reason enough for USENIX, a US-American computing systems association, and Facebook to award their 2019 Internet Defense Prize to the researchers.

Facial recognition becomes opt-in feature at Facebook

Facebook on Tuesday said facial recognition technology applied to photos at the social network will be an opt-in feature.

Chinese shoppers adopt facial payments in cashless drive

No cash, no cards, no wallet, and no smartphones: China's shoppers are increasingly purchasing goods with just a turn of their heads as the country embraces facial payment technology.

Twitter CEO hack highlights dangers of 'SIM swap' fraud

Even with considerable security precautions in place, Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey became the victim of an embarrassing compromise when attackers took control of his account on the platform by hijacking his phone number.

Boeing not able to respond to regulators on MAX at August meeting

Boeing was not able to respond to regulator questions on modifications made to the 737 MAX flight control system at an August meeting with international officials, sources said Tuesday.

US plans for fake social media run afoul of Facebook rules

Facebook said Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security would be violating the company's rules if agents create fake profiles to monitor the social media of foreigners seeking to enter the country.

Telegram secretly plans 'Gram' cryptocurrency

Working in secrecy for a year, the Telegram messaging service has a plan: to beat Facebook in the race to launch a cryptocurrency with its new project "Gram".

Machine learning can help us predict landslides caused by climate change

Christoph Mertz, the principal project scientist at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute, started taking pictures of the hills overlooking Pittsburgh's West End on his smartphone.

Study finds big benefits in embracing vehicle safety tech

Alerting drivers to potential threats through "driver-assist" warning systems has been shown to reduce the odds of a crash. Using cameras or radar, each tool detects potentially dangerous anomalies, such as drifting from a lane, and alerts drivers to the threat.

Researcher studies power consumption of cloud infrastructures

In his doctoral dissertation at Umeå University, Jakub Krzywda has developed models and algorithms to control tradeoffs between the power consumption of cloud infrastructures and performance of hosted applications to enable safe and efficient operation under a limited power budget.

YouTube to pay $170M fine after violating kids' privacy law

Google will pay $170 million to settle allegations its YouTube video service collected personal data on children without their parents' consent.

Activist loses UK court case on police facial recognition

A British court ruled Wednesday that a police force's use of automated facial recognition technology is lawful, dealing a blow to an activist concerned about its implications for privacy.

Researchers warn of 'phishing' texts attacking smartphones

Cybersecurity researchers warned Wednesday of malicious software in text messages pretending to be from telecom carriers, opening a door for hackers to attack Android smartphones.

British farm moo-ves into new tech with 5G collars on cows

On the dairy farm of the future, the cows are going wireless.

Automated text analysis: The next frontier of marketing innovation

Researchers from University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern University, University of Maryland, Columbia University, and Emory University published a new article in the Journal of Marketing that provides an overview of automated textual analysis and describes how it can be harnessed to generate marketing insights.

Protecting companies' systems needs to be ongoing process

Small businesses can take steps to make their computers and websites less vulnerable to cybercriminals, but owners also need to be vigilant about protecting their data.

Social engineering drives cybercrime against businesses

The cybercriminal who steals information or money from a small business is probably a master of deception and manipulation as well as a techno-expert.

Regulator discord could delay the return of Boeing's MAX jets

Nearly six months after its 737 MAX jets were grounded, Boeing is now close to applying to recertify the aircraft, according to sources, but the timeframe for flights to resume remains murky.

Games: RetroArch adds tool for Japanese to English

All the nostalgic gamer ever wanted for Christmas (or birthday or any day of the week) was a good translator.

New Detroit bicycle shop only sells electric bicycles

Jason Hall, cofounder of the massive group bicycle ride known as Slow Roll Detroit, had a flip response the first time someone asked whether he wanted to try their new electric motor-assisted bicycle, called an e-bike.

Probe of Tesla crash points to Autopilot 'overreliance'

A January 2018 crash involving a Tesla and a firetruck was due to driver inattention and the "Autopilot" system design that allows motorists to disengage, federal investigators said Wednesday.

IOS 13: 13 hidden ways Apple's new software can breathe life into your aging iPhone

Apple is hosting its customary September product unveiling for the news media next week signaling the imminent arrival of the newest iPhones. But the latest hardware is only part of the story, and not the biggest part at that if you plan to sit out this next buying cycle and instead focus on what you could to do to add features and breathe new life into your current iPhone.

Explainer: How YouTube is changing what it shows kids

YouTube is changing what it shows kids.

Huawei accuses US of cyberattacks, coercing employees

Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei accused U.S. authorities on Wednesday of attempting to break into its information systems and of trying to coerce its employees to gather information on the company.

Japan briefs diplomats on Fukushima nuclear water concerns

Japan tried to reassure foreign diplomats Wednesday about safety at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant amid concerns about massive amounts of treated but radioactive water stored in tanks.

Spermcount? There's an app for that

Research published in the International Journal of Social and Humanistic Computing discusses the potential for a smartphone application that can be used in conjunction with a microscope attachment that might allow a physician to assess a man's fertility much more quickly than is usually possible. The system might even be used by the man himself given sufficient information and guidance. The counting technique segregates live sperm from background noise on the basis of the constant movement, motility of active sperm in a sample.

New methods for optimization of vibration shock protection systems proposed

Nowadays the words "uncertainty" and "multicriteria" characterize in the best way the relevance and complexity of modern problems of management of a variety of dynamic objects and processes.

States expected to announce antitrust probe of Google next week

More than half of state attorneys general are planning to open an antitrust investigation of Alphabet Inc.'s Google next week, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Medicine & Health news

Study shows rate of extreme inbreeding in the U.K. and possible health impacts of it

A team of researchers has found a way to gauge the rate of extreme inbreeding (EI) in the U.K. and its possible health repercussions. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the group describes their study of data from the U.K. Biobank and what they found.

In the largest study of its kind, no evidence that testosterone reduces cognitive empathy

It's long been known that autism is far more prevalent in males than in females. What hasn't been understood is why.

Receptor protein in brain promotes resilience to stress

Scientists have discovered that a receptor on the surface of brain cells plays a key role in regulating how both animals and people respond to stress. The research suggests that the receptor may represent an important biomarker of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in humans and may offer a new target for future, more effective treatments for stress and anxiety.

FAK protein linked to chemotherapy resistance in ovarian cancer

Although the number of women being diagnosed and dying of ovarian cancer is declining, recurrence, drug resistance and mortality remain high for women with high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma, the most common form of epithelial ovarian cancer. A new study in the journal eLife by University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers links changes in the gene for the protein focal adhesion kinase, or FAK, to the cancer's ability to survive chemotherapy.

Young adults exposed to incarceration as children prone to depression

Young adults with childhood history of both parental incarceration and juvenile justice involvement were nearly three times more likely to have depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) compared to peers without any experience with the criminal justice system, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open. They also were nearly twice as likely to have anxiety compared to young adults without childhood exposure to incarceration.

Researchers move beyond sequencing and create a 3-D genome

Like pirates on a treasure hunt, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have created the first 3-D map of a mouse genome and used it to discover scientific gold. The gold includes insight from machine learning into genomic organization and function during development. The research appears today in the journal Neuron.

Study: no link between 'extreme' personal grooming, STDs

Women who choose to shave or wax their pubic hair might not be raising their risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) after all, according to a new study that found no connection between "extreme" grooming and chlamydia or gonorrhea.

Genetic factors influencing adult obesity take effect in early childhood

Body mass index (BMI) in infants, children and adults is influenced by different genetic factors that change as we age, according to a major new study.

Potential vaccine treats and prevents deadly streptococcal toxic shock

A new vaccine developed by Griffith University Institute for Glycomics researchers has the potential to treat and prevent toxic shock caused by invasive streptococcal disease, which kills more than 160,000 people every year.

News consumers differ widely in their preferences for negative or positive content

Research regularly finds that Americans respond more strongly to negative news content, but a recent study suggests it's a global occurrence.

Major depressive disorder blamed for major diseases

Major depressive disorder—referred to colloquially as the 'black dog' – has been identified as a genetic cause for 20 distinct diseases, providing vital information to help detect and manage high rates of physical illnesses in people diagnosed with depression.

New CAR T-cell therapy for leukemia associated with fewer harmful side effects

A novel CAR T-cell therapy, developed by UCL researchers and designed to target cancer cells more quickly and cause fewer side effects, has shown very promising results for children with previously incurable acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

New insight into motor neuron death mechanisms could be a step toward ALS treatment

Researchers at Oregon State University have made an important advance toward understanding why certain cells in the nervous system are prone to breaking down and dying, which is what happens in patients with ALS and other neurodegenerative disorders.

By comparing needles to mosquitoes, new model offers insights into Hepatitis C solutions

By comparing needles and syringes to disease-carrying mosquitoes, an innovative mathematical model of how the Hepatitis C virus spreads is offering scientists new perspectives on how best to prevent its proliferation.

Protein tangles linked with dementia seen in patients after single head injury

Scientists have visualised for the first time protein 'tangles' associated with dementia in the brains of patients who have suffered a single head injury.

Study maps genetics of early progression in tuberculosis

While the vast majority of the 1.8 billion people infected with the TB bacterium never experience active disease, an estimated 5 to 15 percent do develop full-blown infections—roughly half of them within 18 months of exposure.

Scientists develop possible strategy for cancer drug resistance

Scientists from the National Institutes of Health and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have devised a potential treatment against a common type of leukemia that could have implications for many other types of cancer. The new approach takes aim at a way that cancer cells evade the effects of drugs, a process called adaptive resistance.

Restaurants and cafes are failing to make people with dementia feel welcome, research says

Some restaurants and cafes are failing people with dementia because of loud noise, confusing signs and impatient staff, new research says.

Finding an effective way to reduce pressure ulcers

Expensive high-tech air mattresses are only marginally better at preventing pressure sores and ulcers than a specialist foam mattress, according to the results of a major study.

Cannabis may hold promise to treat PTSD but evidence lags behind use

As growing numbers of people are using cannabis to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a new UCL study reports that prescriptions are not backed up by adequate evidence.

Prescription drug monitoring program mandates

States that require prescribers to register with and use prescription drug monitoring programs in most clinical circumstances saw notably fewer opioid prescriptions and reduced opioid-related hospital use by Medicaid patients compared to states with weak or no drug monitoring program mandates, according to a new study from investigators at Weill Cornell Medicine. The approximate annual reduction of about 12,000 inpatient stays and 39,000 emergency department visits could save an estimated $155 million a year in Medicaid spending.

Novel approach leads to potential sepsis prevention in burn patients

Immediately following severe burns, bacteria reach the wound from different sources, including the patient's skin, gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tracts and health care-related human contact. Within the wound, bacteria multiply, establish an infection and move from the infected burn wound into the bloodstream, causing serious complications like sepsis, multiple-organ failure and death.

Obesity pandemic shifting cancer to younger people

A new study looking at incidence of disease data nationwide from 2000 to 2016 found a shift in obesity-associated cancers (OACs) to younger individuals. Typically, these cancers are diagnosed at higher rates among people older than 65. The most notable findings pertain to increases in these OACs among non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic women and men for whom certain cancers increased by 200-400%.

Lesotho, Africa's medical cannabis pioneer

Vast white greenhouses sit high up on the slopes of Lesotho's Marakabei town, hidden from view.

Heart failure deaths are highest in the poorest US counties

People living in counties with high rates of poverty are more likely to die from heart failure compared to people living in more affluent areas, according to new research published in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association.

Minority students still underrepresented in medical schools

Black, Hispanic, and American Indian students remain underrepresented in medical schools, despite increasing efforts to create a diverse physician workforce, according to a new study by researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Though absolute numbers of historically underrepresented medical students have increased over time, these changes occurred at a rate much slower than their age-matched counterparts in the U.S. population. The findings were published today in JAMA Network Open.

New insights on brain connections that are disrupted in patients with coma

Millions of people worldwide suffer from traumatic brain injury each year, and in some severe cases, injured individuals arrive at the hospital in a coma. New research led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) sheds light on which connections between brain regions may be severed in such cases. The findings are published in the September 4, 2019, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Why do some people stop breathing after seizures?

Could a chemical produced by the brain that regulates mood, sleep and breathing also be protective in people with epilepsy? New research has found that higher levels of serotonin in the blood after a seizure are linked to a lower incidence of seizure-related breathing problems called apneas, when a person temporarily stops breathing. The study is published in the September 4, 2019, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

E-cigarettes disrupt lung function and raise risk of infection

A study led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine raises health concerns about the use of electronic cigarettes. Published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the work shows that chronic exposure to e-cigarette vapors disrupts normal lung function in mice and also reduces the ability of immune cells residing in the lungs to respond to viral infection. These alterations were observed with vapors without nicotine, warranting deeper investigations on the effects the allegedly safe-to-use solvents in e-cigarettes have on people.

A tech intervention to tame tuberculosis

For tuberculosis patients, complying with a full course of treatment can be daunting and difficult. But a new experiment conducted by MIT researchers in Kenya, in collaboration with the digital health company Keheala, shows that a digital program used on mobile phones helps patients successfully finish their treatments.

Healthiest lifestyle linked to 75% reduction in diabetes risk, reduced risk of CD, death in those already with diabetes

People with the healthiest lifestyle have a 75% lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those with the least healthy lifestyle, according to a new study in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes). Amongst those individuals with type 2 diabetes, a healthy lifestyle is also associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and a lower risk of death from all causes, including CVD and cancer.

Many older adults aren't fully prepared for emergency situations, poll finds

Most people over age 50 say they're ready for natural disasters and emergency situations, but a new national poll shows that many haven't taken key steps to protect their health and well-being in case of severe weather, long-term power outages or other situations.

The brain processes words placed on the right side of a screen more quickly

When reading words on a screen, the human brain comprehends words placed on the right side of the screen faster. The total amount of presented information on the screen also affects the speed and accuracy of the brain's ability to process words. These are the findings of HSE University researchers Elena Gorbunova and Maria Falikman presented in an article that was published in the journal, Advances in Cognitive Psychology.

Epigenetics offers puzzling twists and turns, but also possible cancer treatments

In 1944, people in The Netherlands entered into what would become known as the Hongerwinter, or hunger winter, a famine created in retribution by the Nazis for resistance activities in the German-occupied nation near the end of World War II.

Videos, music on tablets boost moods of dementia patients and caregivers

Dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, often afflicts patients with negative moods: confusion, anger, sadness or apathy. Negative emotions also affect caregivers, who are often family members with little formal training to cope with the stress of caring for a loved one.

Study reaches multidisciplinary consensus on imaging for kidney stones

Each year, over 2 million people visit U.S. emergency departments for suspected renal colic, which typically causes intense flank or abdominal pain due to kidney stones blocking the urinary track.

Not all lung nodules are cancerous, but follow-up care is important

Kentucky has the highest rate of lung cancer in the country, and is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. It claims more lives each year than breast, prostate and colorectal cancers combined. With early detection, lung cancer is very treatable, and lung cancer screenings throughout the state have helped detect lung cancer at an early stage before symptoms develop.

Kids and poor sleep: A habit that's breakable

Children enter the world hardwired with plenty of quirks and traits, but no one is born a "bad sleeper." In fact, sleep troubles are a habit kids pick up—and one that parents often unknowingly reinforce.

Researchers find new cancer gene drivers

Scientists have long searched for "driver" genes that fuel the progression of cancer, but existing technology has had a hard time separating mutations that are true drivers from others that are simply "passengers," not directly involved in spread of tumors. However, a team of Yale researchers has developed a model that marries biophysics, advanced gene sequencing technology, and statistics to identify at least 200 new genes which may drive cancer progression, they report Sept. 2 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Heart health tips for Hurricane Dorian

With Hurricane Dorian forecast to impact the Florida, Georgia and North and South Carolina coastal areas this week, the American Heart Association, the world's leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease and stroke, is sharing helpful information for those dealing with the storm.

Rapid diagnosis protocol for chest pain does not improve outcomes

Discharge of patients with suspected acute coronary syndromes under a 0- and 1-hour high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT) protocol is safe, according to late breaking results from the RAPID-TnT trial presented in a Hot Line Session today at ESC Congress 2019 together with the World Congress of Cardiology and published in Circulation.The trial also found that better strategies are needed to optimise outcomes in patients newly diagnosed with modest troponin elevations.

Genotyping improves choice of antithrombotic regimen after coronary stenting

Genotype-guided oral P2Y12 inhibition reduces bleeding without raising clotting risk in heart attack patients undergoing stent implantation, according to late breaking results from the POPular Genetics trial presented in a Hot Line Session today at ESC Congress 2019 together with the World Congress of Cardiology and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Two blood-clotting disorders with different causes interact synergistically

Two rare but potentially deadly blood-clotting diseases, namely thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, or TTP, and hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, show similar pathologies—a multitude of painful blockages in small blood vessels that cause varying degrees of organ injury throughout the body. However, the two disorders have distinctbiological mechanisms.

Women are risking their lives by not taking part in bowel screening tests according to new research

Women are risking their lives by not taking part in bowel screening tests according to new research.

The tumor microenvironment

Cancer researchers are setting their sights on a new kind of cancer treatment that targets the tumor's surrounding environment, called the tumor microenvironment, in contrast to targeting the tumor directly.

Narcissists less likely to use critical thinking processes for making sound decisions

Narcissists are less likely to use critical thinking processes that are important for solving problems and making sound decisions, new research from the University of Waterloo shows.

Emoji buttons gauge emergency department sentiments in real time

Simple button terminals—featuring "emoji" reflecting a range of emotions and sentiments—stationed around emergency departments (EDs) are effective in monitoring doctor and patient sentiments in real time, a Penn Medicine study found. Traditionally, surveys are mailed or sent electronically to evaluate patient experiences, but response rates can be low and those that respond do so well after the visit. Using touch terminals could help inform immediate adjustments in the ED that would not just better serve patients but also the clinicians treating them. The findings of this trial were published Sept. 4 in Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Stop calling it a choice: Biological factors drive homosexuality

Across cultures, 2% to 10% of people report having same-sex relations. In the U.S., 1% to 2.2% of women and men, respectively, identify as gay. Despite these numbers, many people still consider homosexual behavior to be an anomalous choice. However, biologists have documented homosexual behavior in more than 450 species, arguing that same-sex behavior is not an unnatural choice, and may in fact play a vital role within populations.

Little evidence PFAS exposure harms health

Per- and poly-fluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) are persistent organic pollutants found most commonly in firefighting foam.

Six things to know about cancer: From suicidal cells to hair loss from chemotherapy

News of the discovery of herbal cancer treatments has always piqued people's interest. Recently, the media in Indonesia extensively reported claims of a cancer cure made from a plant native to Borneo and the use of soursop leaves as a form of alternative treatment.

How social media altered the good parenting ideal

Social media has altered perceptions of what good parenting is and may play a role in the reduction in the amount of time kids spend just playing, according to a University of Alberta study.

New testosterone nasal spray offers patients an alternative

A newly patented, testosterone-containing nasal spray developed by a psychology professor at The University of Texas at Austin could provide those suffering from testosterone deficiency and other ailments, such as anxiety disorders, with easily modulated, fast-acting results.

Protective effect of diabetes drugs against kidney failure

A new meta-analysis published in Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology today has found that SGLT2 inhibitors can reduce the risk of dialysis, transplantation, or death due to kidney disease in people with type 2 diabetes.

Researchers investigate challenges of testing children's blood

A new Murdoch Children's Research Institute study has highlighted the challenges of consistently diagnosing child blood samples and sourcing healthy samples for research. Published in Clinical Chemistry, the research paper, "Pediatric reference intervals across 5 analyzers," used the blood samples of 616 healthy children and found that results from different laboratories were not always uniform.

Benefits of cognitive behavioural therapy for IBS continue 2 years after treatment

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder affecting 10 to 20 percent of people. Abdominal pain, bloating and altered bowel habit significantly affect patient's quality of life and can force them to take days off work.

Overweight and obesity levels dipping in Alberta preschoolers, but severe obesity unchanged

The number of overweight and obese preschool-aged children is on the decline in Alberta, but severe obesity remains virtually unchanged, according to a new study.

Popping your neck is likely a low risk for stroke

The Washington Post recently reported the story of Josh Hader, a 28-year-old who stretched and popped his neck, tore an artery and nearly lost his life from a major stroke. And earlier this year, the Daily Mail reported the story of Natalie Kunicki, a 23-year-old paramedic who stretched her neck and suffered a similar fate.

Artificial intelligence in medicine raises legal and ethical concerns

The use of artificial intelligence in medicine is generating great excitement and hope for treatment advances.

Michigan moves to be 1st state to ban flavored e-cigarettes

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer moved Wednesday to make her state the first to ban flavored electronic cigarettes, accusing companies of using candy flavors and deceptive advertising to "hook children on nicotine."

USPSTF advises meds to reduce risk for primary breast cancer

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that clinicians offer risk-reducing medications to women at increased risk for breast cancer and at low risk for adverse medication effects. These recommendations form the basis of a final recommendation statement published in the Sept. 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Easy neck stretches for tension relief

It can happen when you're stuck in traffic, or hunched over for hours at your desk, or even sitting in the stands watching your child's lacrosse game—that painful twinge in the back of your neck.

Informal approach key to tackling drinking in pregnancy

Health professionals should adopt a "conversational approach" and focus on building trust when discussing alcohol consumption with pregnant women, midwives have told researchers.

Efforts to minimize painkillers after surgery appear to be working

The opioid epidemic has been wreaking misery and death across the nation for years. In 2017 alone, opioid overdoses killed more than 47,000 people – 10,000 more deaths than were caused by traffic accidents that year.

Emergency department openings and closures impact resources for heart attack patients

A new study has found that hospital emergency room closures can adversely affect health outcomes for heart attack patients at neighboring hospitals that are near or at full capacity. Conversely, when a new emergency department opens, health outcomes for patients at those so-called "bystander" hospitals improve.

New study confirms the long-term benefits of a low-fat diet

A team led by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has identified several women's health benefits from a low-fat diet. The findings, published in the September issue of the Journal of Nutrition, found a low-fat diet commensurate with an increase in fruit, vegetable and grain servings reduced death following breast cancer, slowed diabetes progression and prevented coronary heart disease.

Researchers discover a new mechanism that could counteract obesity

Obesity rates worldwide have nearly tripled since 1975. Now, new research from the University of Minnesota Medical School has discovered, in rodents, critical mutations in molecules implicated in obesity, which may help inform the development of new anti-obesity therapies.

Vast majority of dementia patients don't receive specialty diagnosis and care, study finds

In the first large study to examine the diagnosis of dementia in older Americans over time, researchers found the vast majority never meet with a dementia specialist and are instead overwhelmingly diagnosed and cared for by non-specialists.

Study finds women at greater risk of depression, anxiety after hysterectomy

Hysterectomy is associated with an increased risk of long-term mental health issues, especially depression and anxiety, according to a cohort study by Mayo Clinic researchers involving nearly 2,100 women.

New peanut allergy treatment shows effectiveness and safety

People allergic to peanuts may have a new way to protect themselves from severe allergic reactions to accidental peanut exposure. It's called sublingual immunotherapy—or SLIT—and it involves putting a miniscule amount of liquefied peanut protein under the tongue, where it is absorbed immediately into the blood stream to desensitize the immune system to larger amounts of peanut protein.

A molecule that regulates the development of cancer in a variety of human tumors

Sonia Guil, leader of the Regulatory and Chromatin RNA group of Josep Carreras Leukemia Research Institute, and Lourdes Farré of ProCURE (Idibell) have discovered an intermediate molecule expressed from a region of the non-coding genome that is key to the development and differentiation of cells, and for the expansion of tumor cells.

Scientist recommends ways to improve electronic health records

In an editorial in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Regenstrief Institute research scientist Michael Weiner, MD, MPH highlights shortcomings of electronic health records (EHRs) in living up to their full potential, and suggests ways to use EHRs to work more efficiently and ultimately more effectively for patients.

How natural genetic differences can affect heart health

The biggest risks for cardiovascular disease are smoking and poor diet. However, different people are more susceptible to heart disease based on very slight differences in their genes, called variants. While there have been many studies that have linked variants to cardiovascular traits, it's unclear whether these variants have functional consequences, like altered gene or protein expression. In a new study from the Cardeza Foundation for Hematologic Research at Thomas Jefferson University, researchers have discovered two slight gene variations that may modulate the behavior of platelet cells, and subsequently affect the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Medical marijuana laws impact use among sexual minorities differently than heterosexuals

Bisexual women had higher rates of past-year and daily marijuana use compared to heterosexual women, according to a study just published at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Gay/lesbian women were also more likely to report daily marijuana use and past year medical marijuana use than heterosexual women. While previous research has explored the association between state-level medical marijuana laws (MMLs) and marijuana use (MU) and MU disorder (MUD) among the general U.S. population, this is the first to explore this relationship for lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) individuals, including gender differences. The findings are online in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Exercise physiologists aid early mobilization in ICU patients

(HealthDay)—Exercise physiologists can provide safe and effective early mobilization in intensive care units (ICUs), according to a study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Critical Care.

Drinking soft drinks tied to higher risk for early death

(HealthDay)—Greater consumption of soft drinks, both sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened, is associated with a higher risk for all-cause mortality, according to a European study published online Sept. 3 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Cesarean section quality initiative cuts opioid use

(HealthDay)—The enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) program, a quality improvement initiative that made changes to preoperative and postoperative processes, leads to reductions in opioid use without increased pain and with faster recovery, according to a study published in the September issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Do NFL players' hearts take a hit from football?

Tim Tyrrell talks about football like a man who loved every minute of his six years in the NFL. He relishes stories of the devastating hits he leveled. He's proud of the way he could get knocked out, shake it off and get right back into the game. He loved the "ridiculous" intensity of two-a-day practices, the steak-and-egg breakfasts before games, and more.

U.S. opioid prescription rate is 7 times that of Sweden

(HealthDay)—Amid an epidemic of opioid painkiller addiction, Americans are still being overprescribed narcotic painkillers compared to many other countries, researchers report.

Study confirms protein as potential cause of most common type of pancreatic cancer

Researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have confirmed a protein as an oncogene responsible for the most common and lethal form of pancreatic cancer known as pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). The team's findings, which validated ubiquitin specific protease 21 (UPS21) as a frequently amplified gene and a potential druggable target, appear in the Sept. 5 online issue of Genes & Development.

Poor oral health linked to cognitive decline, perceived stress, studies find

Oral health is an essential part of psychological well-being and overall health in older adults. Poor oral health is associated with decreased quality of life, depression, hypertension, and cognitive decline. Two Rutgers studies, co-authored by Darina Petrovsky, Bei Wu, and Weiyu Mao, and published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, explored the relationship between poor oral health and cognitive decline and the effects of perceived stress and social support on dry mouth among older Chinese Americans.

THC may be to blame in Minnesota's severe respiratory illnesses linked to vaping

State and federal health investigators are focusing on illicit THC compounds as they search for the cause of a rash of vaping-related respiratory illnesses that struck teens and young adults this summer.

UCSD's cancer vaccine trial shows range of results at the one-year mark

In April, one of the cancerous tumors in Carlos Gil's spine grew so large that it cracked his C-7 vertebra, causing so much pain that the father of four was forced to sleep in his downstairs guest bedroom, biting a pillow so that his kids wouldn't hear him screaming through the night.

Progress in understanding Alzheimer's disease genetics, hope remains for drugs in testing

What is happening with Alzheimer's disease research and treatment? We heard from Maria Carrillo, chief science officer of the nationwide Alzheimer's Association, during a recent visit to San Diego. Here are some questions and answers from the interview, edited for space and clarity.

Kids in neighbourhoods with larger households less likely to be killed in house fires

There is safety in numbers. That's one of the key findings of a study published today in CMAJ Open that found a child's risk of death or injury in a residential fire was greatly reduced in neighbourhoods with larger than average households.

New guideline clarifies role of radiation therapy in pancreatic cancer treatment

A new clinical guideline from the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) provides recommendations on the use of radiation therapy to treat patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, including when radiation treatments are appropriate, as well as the optimal dosing, timing and fractionation for these treatments. The guideline, which also outlines strategies to prevent and mitigate common side effects of pancreatic radiation therapy, is published online in Practical Radiation Oncology, the clinical practice journal of ASTRO.

New mathematical model can improve radiation therapy of brain tumours

Researchers have developed a new model to optimize radiation therapy and significantly increase the number of tumour cells killed during treatment.

UM physical therapy professor authors new guideline on treating runner's knee

University of Montana Assistant Professor Richard Willy is the lead author on a paper that offers new guidelines for treating patellofemoral pain, often known as "runner's knee."

Kidney patients will be prevented from EU travel under no-deal Brexit

Kidney patients could be prevented from traveling to European Union countries in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to a new report.

Drug designed to treat metastatic pancreatic cancer may help extend life

A drug developed by researchers at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University that targets enzymes involved in the development of pancreatic cancer cells is showing promise for improved treatment of metastatic pancreatic cancer. The drug, called CPI-613 (known as Devimistat), is being combined with the standard chemotherapy regimen (FOLFIRINOX) to treat pancreatic cancer. The Stony Brook Cancer Center has opened a clinical trial with this drug combination to treat patients with metastatic disease.

Once scarce, neonatal intensive care proliferates

Once in short supply, neonatal intensive care units (NICU) are indispensable life savers for critically ill newborns, typically born premature with very low birth weight. But a new Dartmouth report finds that, following a robust national expansion of NICUs over the last two decades, nearly half of all newborns admitted to U.S. NICUs are of normal birth weight.

Georgetown tobacco control expert outlines motivations of Altria-Juul deal

The pending deal for Altria to purchase 35% of Juul Labs should serve as a "wake-up call" for the careful monitoring of competition in the nicotine delivery market, and for evaluating how regulations and policies impact cigarette and non-cigarette firms selling alternative nicotine delivery products, says a Georgetown University professor. Juul Labs, the largest US seller of vaping products, would merge with Altria, seller of Marlboro cigarettes and a leading seller of smokeless tobacco.

Publication highlights care challenges of dementia-related psychosis

It is estimated that over 2 million Americans with dementia experience delusions (false beliefs) and hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that others do not see or hear). This group of symptoms, known as dementia-related psychosis, may cause significant distress to individuals and their families. Although common, the condition frequently goes undetected in people who may be struggling with other complex behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.

So you think you can survive a heart attack? Nigel Lythgoe tells his story

Reality TV brought fame and fortune to Nigel Lythgoe. So, it's no surprise he can spin entertaining tales about the real-life drama he experienced with his heart.

Freeze, can, pickle, dry? Ways to preserve summer produce

In the last warm weeks of summer, it's hard to imagine that today's tomatoes, corn, peaches and other late-summer bounty will soon be just memories.

Biology news

Tropical sea snake uses its head to 'breathe'

Humans use a snorkel and fish have gills. Now researchers have found a sea snake which uses a complex system of blood vessels in its head to draw in extra oxygen when it dives and swims underwater.

Scientists shed new light on demise of two extinct New Zealand songbirds

They may not have been seen for the past 50 and 110 years, but an international study into their extinction has provided answers to how the world lost New Zealand's South Island kokako and huia.

The argument for sexual selection in bacteria

The evolutionary pressure to pass on DNA can produce behavior that otherwise makes no sense in a struggle to survive. Rams bash heads in fights over females; peacocks grow elaborate tail feathers that attract mates and predators alike. Sexual selection can sometimes explain phenomena that natural selection alone cannot. But could bacteria exhibit sexual selection? In an Opinion article published September 4 in the journal Trends in Microbiology, researchers at the University of Exeter argue that some bacteria might.

Squirrels listen in to birds' conversations as signal of safety

when they feel safe to communicate the absence of danger or share their location. This "chatter" from multiple bird species could therefore be a useful cue to other creatures that there is no imminent threat.

New viruses discovered in endangered wild Pacific salmon populations

Three new viruses—including one from a group of viruses never before shown to infect fish—have been discovered in endangered Chinook and sockeye salmon populations.

Humpback whales change their tune

New research led by the University of St Andrews reveals that humpback whales can learn new songs while navigating a shared migratory route.

Study details how Tibetan dog got oxygen boost

For millennia, the massive Tibetan mastiff has laid literal claim to the label "top dog."

Transport proteins provide key to improve infant formula

Sugar compounds in breast milk play a crucial role in the development of a healthy gut bacterial community and contribute to the maturation of the immune system in infants. In a new study professors from DTU and Kyoto University, Japan, have established a framework to identify and describe the function of key transport proteins that mediate the uptake of nutrients from the mother's breastmilk to an important group of bacteria in the child's intestines.

The kombucha culture

In today's health-conscious community, kombucha is all the rave. Its appeal comes from its accessibility and alleged health benefits, which range from introducing probiotics to killing deleterious bacteria in the human body.

Super shrimp could increase yield and prevent disease

Single-sex prawns could help alleviate poverty, reduce disease and protect the environment, according to researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) who have developed a monosex prawn that may make this winning trifecta possible.

Evidence suggests birds use eye proteins and magnetite-based receptors to navigate

A pair of researchers from Goethe-Universität Frankfurt and Max von Laue-Straße 13 report that research by others has shown that there are two main physical attributes birds use to navigate. In their paper published in Journal of the Royal Society Interface, two researchers outline the current state of the study of navigation in birds and what they found.

Researchers make key finding related to pre-mRNA splicing

A new study led by scientists from the University of Colorado School of Medicine offers insight into the mechanism of a key cellular process.

Deer browsing is not stopping the densification of Eastern forests

Selective browsing by white-tailed deer has been blamed by many for changing the character and composition of forest understories in the eastern U.S.; however, its impact on the forest canopy was previously unknown.

Genetic engineering and human-animal hybrids: How China is leading a global split in controversial research

If you want to conduct groundbreaking but contentious biological research, go to China. Last year, Chinese scientist He Jiankui announced he had created the world's first gene-edited human babies, shocking the world at a time when such practice is illegal in most leading scientific nations. More recently, US-based researcher Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte revealed he had produced the world's first human-monkey hybrid embryo in China to avoid legal issues in his adopted country.

Invasive Japanese barberry drives down invertebrate richness and abundance

Since its first introduction to the U.S. from Asia in the late 1800s, Japanese barberry has become one of the most dominant and widespread woody plants in Northeastern forests. Its allelopathic properties, shade tolerance, and resistance to deer browsing allow it to turn forest understories into near-monocultures of the invasive plant at the expense of native shrubs and regenerating trees. Yet, little remains known about the effects of Japanese barberry on native wildlife and forest ecosystem function. A new study from Washington State University (Pullman, WA) and Great Hollow Nature Preserve and Ecological Research Center (New Fairfield, CT) has shown that forest patches that have been heavily invaded by Japanese barberry have a significantly lower abundance and species richness of leaf-litter and foliage-dwelling invertebrates than areas of the same forest that are relatively free of Japanese barberry, which could trigger cascading impacts up the food web to numerous other species.

Researchers develop a tool for rapid breakdown of cellular proteins

Cellular functions depend on the functionality of proteins, and these functions are disturbed in diseases. A core aim of cell biological research is to determine the functions of individual proteins and how their disturbances result in disease.

Opening the hatch to heal the break

LMU researchers have determined the structure of a key enzyme complex that is involved in DNA repair, and traced the cycle of conformational changes that it undergoes while performing its biochemical function.

3 ways insecticides can be counterproductive in agriculture

Pesticides are not new and are definitely not a human invention. Plants and other microorganisms have used chemicals to defend themselves from other organisms for hundred thousands of years.

Oxytocin linked to growth in seal pups

Scientists at the University of St Andrews have, for the first time, shown that grey seal pups with naturally high oxytocin levels gain more mass before weaning, without increasing the amount they are fed.

Germany to ban glyphosate to protect insects, biodiversity

Germany said Wednesday it would phase out the controversial weed killer glyphosate because it wipes out insect populations crucial for ecosystems and pollination of food crops.

New model predicts Painted Lady butterfly migrations based on breeding sites data

Based on climatic data from 36 years, and the location of 646 breeding sites in 30 countries, the model reveals for the first time where the species might overwinter after their trip to tropical Africa.

Arbovirus manipulation of plant immune systems to favor disease spread

Arthropod-transmitted viruses, known as arboviruses, can cause pandemic diseases in humans, animals, and crops. The Zika virus and cassava geminivirus are two such arboviruses. These pathogens often alter host characteristics to directly or indirectly influence arthropod vector behaviors or host-herbivore interactions, thus facilitating disease transmission.

Panda twins doing well, gaining weight, says Berlin zoo

A Berlin zoo that announced the first ever birth of two giant panda cubs in Germany this week says the twins are doing well thanks to the skillful help of a Chinese keeper.

Livestock disease risk tied to herd management style

A new study provides an updated picture of the prevalence of the sheep and goat plague virus (PPRV), a widespread and often fatal disease that threatens 80 percent of the world's sheep and goats, in northern Tanzania.

Why transporters really matter for cell factories

In a new study published in PNAS, scientists from The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability (DTU Biosustain) explored how different cell membrane transporters impact the production of dicarboxylic acids.

80% cut in antibiotics entering Thames is needed to avoid surge in superbugs

The amount of antibiotics entering the River Thames would need to be cut by as much as 80 per cent to avoid the development and spread of antibiotic-resistant 'superbugs', a new study has shown.

Female gorillas detect and avoid sick groups

Gorillas are social animals, living in groups that females will migrate to join, becoming members of harems.

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