Friday, October 11, 2019

Science X Newsletter Friday, Oct 11

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for October 11, 2019:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Deadly 'two-faced' protein drives cancer growth, cripples T-cell avengers

The structure of master growth regulator

These new soft actuators could make soft robots less bulky

Shaping nanoparticles for improved quantum information technology

'Electroadhesive' stamp picks up and puts down microscopic structures

New research integrates borophene and graphene into 2-D heterostructures

Combination of techniques could improve security for IoT devices

Physicists look to navigational 'rhumb lines' to study polymer's unique spindle structure

Engineers solve 50-year-old puzzle in signal processing

NASA and SpaceX hope for manned mission to ISS in early 2020

Artificial meat is now made in space, coming to a supermarket near you

A reliable clock for your microbiome

New genetic link found for some forms of SIDS

Jumping genes can cause rare developmental disorders in children

Unlocking a 140-year-old secret in physics

Astronomy & Space news

NASA and SpaceX hope for manned mission to ISS in early 2020

SpaceX could launch US astronauts to the International Space Station as early as next year if tests on the company's long-delayed Crew Dragon capsule prove conclusive, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Thursday.

First man to conduct spacewalk, Alexei Leonov, dies

Alexei Leonov, a legendary Soviet cosmonaut who was the first man to perform a spacewalk in 1965, died in Moscow on Friday aged 85 after a long illness.

Violent flaring revealed at the heart of a black hole system

An international team of astronomers, led by the University of Southampton, have used state-of-the-art cameras to create a high frame-rate movie of a growing black hole system at a level of detail never seen before. In the process they uncovered new clues to understanding the immediate surroundings of these enigmatic objects. The scientists publish their work in a new paper in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

NASA administrator explains Twitter spat with SpaceX

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Thursday that a recent Twitter statement critical of SpaceX was a signal to all the space agency's contractors about realistic development timelines.

NASA launches satellite to explore where air meets space

NASA launched a satellite on Thursday night to explore the mysterious, dynamic region where air meets space.

Summit supercomputer simulates how humans will 'brake' during Mars landing

The type of vehicle that will carry people to the Red Planet is shaping up to be "like a two-story house you're trying to land on another planet. The heat shield on the front of the vehicle is just over 16 meters in diameter, and the vehicle itself, during landing, weighs tens of metric tons. It's huge," said Ashley Korzun, a research aerospace engineer at NASA's Langley Research Center.

NASA conducting spacewalk as world's 1st spacewalker dies

Astronauts replaced more oversized batteries outside the International Space Station on Friday, as news broke of the death of the world's first spacewalker.

Astrophysicists use artificial intelligence to determine exoplanets sizes

Using a machine learning technique, a team of Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço researchers constrained the radius of an exoplanet with known mass.

Clock ticks as SpaceX builds craft for NASA

Two weeks ago, the head of NASA seemed sick of waiting for SpaceX and Boeing Co. to finish developing the capsules that are supposed to carry U.S. astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

NRL launches space weather instrument on NASA satellite

A U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) instrument aboard NASA's Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) satellite will deliver unprecedented information to help scientists investigate how both terrestrial and solar weather impact the ionosphere, the ionized region of Earth's upper atmosphere. ICON launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, Oct. 10.

Technology news

These new soft actuators could make soft robots less bulky

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a way to build soft robots that are compact, portable and multifunctional. The advance was made possible by creating soft, tubular actuators whose movements are electrically controlled, making them easy to integrate with small electronic components.

'Electroadhesive' stamp picks up and puts down microscopic structures

If you were to pry open your smartphone, you would see an array of electronic chips and components laid out across a circuit board, like a miniature city. Each component might contain even smaller "chiplets," some no wider than a human hair. These elements are often assembled with robotic grippers designed to pick up the components and place them down in precise configurations.

Combination of techniques could improve security for IoT devices

A multi-pronged data analysis approach that can strengthen the security of Internet of Things (IoT) devices—such as smart TVs, home video cameras and baby monitors—against current risks and threats has created by a team of Penn State World Campus students pursuing master of professional studies degrees in information sciences.

Engineers solve 50-year-old puzzle in signal processing

Something called the fast Fourier transform is running on your cell phone right now. The FFT, as it is known, is a signal-processing algorithm that you use more than you realize. It is, according to the title of one research paper, "an algorithm the whole family can use."

Mobile phone signals provide occupancy numbers for buildings

Buildings currently consume about 40 percent of all the electricity used in the United States, most of them located in urban areas that are growing rapidly. Because electricity generation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the country, making urban buildings more energy efficient could help mitigate global climate change.

Chrome descriptions of images will clue in blind and low vision users

You can get image descriptions on Chrome. This is a real boost for blind and low-vision users, so that they can know what is on display.

Three challenges to wind energy potential

Wind energy researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are among a team of authors inviting the scientific community to address three challenges that will drive the innovation needed for wind to become one of the world's primary sources of low-cost electricity generation.

Apple chief defends pulling app used by Hong Kong protestors

Apple chief Tim Cook on Thursday defended the decision to pull an app used by protesters in Hong Kong to track police, according to a leaked email to employees obtained by a tech news site.

Tesla comes when called, but can fray nerves

Roddie Hasan loves his Tesla, but after a fright using a feature that lets him summon the car as he might a dog, he says he will be walking to get it.

CEO of German business software group SAP steps down

Bill McDermott, the American chief executive of massive German business software maker SAP, will quit after a decade in charge, the company said in a surprise statement Friday.

Aviation experts blast FAA over 737 MAX redesign approval: report

US aviation regulators came in for heavy criticism on Friday over lapses in certifying the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, which has been grounded following two crashes that killed 346 people.

How fake news spreads like a real virus

When it comes to real fake news, the kind of disinformation that Russia deployed during the 2016 elections, "going viral" isn't just a metaphor.

Hospitals resume accepting patients after malware attack

An Alabama hospital chain that quit accepting new patients after a malware attack crippled computer systems said it has resumed normal operations after paying a ransom demand.

Expanding the use of AI through the Internet of Things

If you have a smart phone with facial recognition, you may have wondered: How does your device learn to recognize your face as opposed to, say, your spouse's face?

Uber takes stake in online grocery group Cornershop

Uber said Friday it agreed to take a majority stake in Cornershop, an online grocery provider in Chile, Mexico, and which recently expanded to Peru and Canada.

Amazon calls for government regulation of facial recognition tech

Amazon is endorsing the idea of government regulation of facial recognition technology, as part of a wide-ranging statement of its principles on a range of social and political issues.

Daimler asked to recall hundreds of thousands of diesel vehicles

Germany's federal transport authority KBA has ordered Daimler to recall hundreds of thousands of diesel vehicles for breaking emissions rules, the auto giant said Friday.

WeWork founder Adam Neumann removed from Forbes' billionaire list

Forbes on Thursday lopped more than $3 billion from its estimated net worth of WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann as the company faced skepticism regarding its future.

James Murdoch takes stake in Vice Media: report

James Murdoch, one of the sons of mogul Rupert Murdoch, has taken a minority stake in the fast-growing millennial-focused Vice Media, the Financial Times reported Thursday.

Indonesia's Lion air set to list shares

Indonesia's Lion Air is set to launch an initial public offering, according to a company spokesman, in a listing that could reportedly raise up to $1.0-billion—one of the country's biggest-ever share sales.

Renault board meets to turn page on Ghosn era

The board of Renault met on Friday to replace the chief executive as the French carmaker tries to move on definitively from the era of disgraced former CEO Carlos Ghosn.

Renault ousts CEO Bollore, hoping to close out Ghosn era

French automaker Renault sacked its chief executive Thierry Bollore Friday, the latest turbulence to rock the company since his predecessor Carlos Ghosn was arrested on financial misconduct charges last year.

Profits dip at India's Infosys

India's second-largest IT outsourcing firm Infosys on Friday reported a 2.2-percent dip in quarterly net profits, hit by slowing demand for its software services in Western markets.

United Airlines pushes MAX flights back to 2020

United Airlines on Friday again pushed back the timeframe for resuming service on the Boeing 737 MAX, which still needs to be recertified by regulators after two deadly crashes.

Deal struck to save London red bus maker: owner

A deal has been brokered to save the manufacturers of London's iconic red double decker buses from liquidation, the firm's owner said Friday.

WeWork to close its New York elementary school next year

WeWork says it will close its elementary school in New York next year, as the office-sharing company grapples with a cash crunch following its botched attempt to sell its stock on Wall Street.

Medicine & Health news

Deadly 'two-faced' protein drives cancer growth, cripples T-cell avengers

Scientists have deciphered a key strategy of cancer cells that allows them to outfox the immune system and enhance the odds of their survival by employing a deadly "two-faced protein" that is reminiscent of a two-faced figure in ancient Roman mythology.

New genetic link found for some forms of SIDS

A genetic link has now been found for some instances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS. The new UW Medicine research study is the first to make an explainable link tracking the mechanism between a genetic anomaly and some forms of the devastating syndrome, which claims the lives of more than 3,000 infants a year.

Jumping genes can cause rare developmental disorders in children

The largest study of its kind into childhood developmental disorders has discovered that jumping genes cause genetic changes in some patients with undiagnosed neurodevelopmental diseases. The research from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and its collaborators in the NHS Regional Genetics services enabled genetic diagnoses for three children with previously undiagnosed rare developmental diseases who were enrolled in the Deciphering Developmental Disorders project. These diagnoses will help the families access support and understand the disease risks for any future children.

Study targets 'fingerprint' of human consciousness

Western researchers have moved a step closer to identifying a 'brain fingerprint' for consciousness—a discovery that will unlock further understanding into why some patients, presumed to be vegetative, are still aware of the world them.

Medicines to help smokers quit only fight half the battle

More than 90 percent of smokers who try to quit fail. The reason may be hiding in their brains.

Sleep and synaptic rhythms

Chronobiologists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich, Germany, show in two articles in the journal Science how critical the sleep-wake cycle is for protein and phosphorylation dynamics in synapses to ultimately regulate its activity.

Migratory dendritic cells found to activate TGF-β prior to conditioning naïve CD8+ Ts

A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in the U.S. and one in the U.K. has found that migratory dendritic cells (DCs) activate TGF-β prior to conditioning naïve CD8+ T cells, allowing for transformation to TRM cells that take up residence in the skin. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their study of such cells and how they are preconditioned before moving to the epidermis. Donna Farber with Columbia University Irving Medical Center has published a Perspective piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue.

Slower walkers have older brains and bodies at 45

The walking speed of 45-year-olds, particularly their fastest walking speed without running, can be used as a marker of their aging brains and bodies.

Drug reverses signs of liver disease in people living with HIV

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health and their colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston report that the injectable hormone tesamorelin reduces liver fat and prevents liver fibrosis (scarring) in people living with HIV. The study was conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the National Cancer Institute, both parts of NIH. The findings were published online today in The Lancet HIV.

Powerful new genomics method can be used to reveal the causes of rare genetic diseases

A team led by a scientist at Scripps Research has invented a new genomics technique for tracking down the causes of rare genetic diseases.

Overcoming the blood-brain-barrier: Delivering therapeutics to the brain

For the first time, scientists have identified a simple way to effectively transport medication into the brain—which could lead to improved treatments for neurological and neurodegenerative diseases.

Sox9 reshapes the biliary tree in Alagille syndrome

Alagille syndrome is a rare pediatric genetic disorder that can affect the liver, heart, kidneys, blood vessels, skeleton and other tissues. One major characteristic of this condition is abnormalities in the ducts that carry bile, a yellowish liquid that helps to digest fats, from the liver to the gallbladder and the small intestine. The number of bile ducts is severely decreased in Alagille syndrome patients, which diminishes the normal flow of bile, a condition called cholestasis. As a result, bile builds up in the liver, causing scarring that prevents the liver from working properly to perform its metabolic functions and to eliminate waste from the bloodstream.

Coffee bean extracts alleviate inflammation, insulin resistance in mouse cells

When coffee beans are processed and roasted the husk and silverskin of the bean are removed and unused, and often are left behind in fields by coffee producers.

CF patients experience improved lung health with lumacaftor-ivacaftor but with caveats

In adolescent and adult patients with cystic fibrosis taking lumacaftor-ivacaftor (ORKAMBI), the combination drug appears to improve lung function and body weight and reduce the need for intravenous antibiotic treatment, according to a French study published online in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Beyond the 'replication crisis,' does research face an 'inference crisis'?

For the past decade, social scientists have been unpacking a "replication crisis" that has revealed how findings of an alarming number of scientific studies are difficult or impossible to repeat. Efforts are underway to improve the reliability of findings, but cognitive psychology researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst say that not enough attention has been paid to the validity of theoretical inferences made from research findings.

When studying immune cells, environment matters

For years, scientists have used cells grown in petri dishes to study the metabolic processes that fuel the immune system. But a new report in Immunity suggests looking outside the dish and into living organisms gives a drastically different view of the way immune cells process and use energy.

Researcher uses sweat monitors to predict behavioral issues in adolescents severely affected with autism

When people become stressed, their bodies can respond by sweating. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri are monitoring how much adolescents severely affected by autism sweat in order to better understand when behavioral issues, such as aggression, are likely to occur.

Taking RTKI drugs during radiotherapy may not aid survival, worsens side effects

Taking certain cancer-fighting drugs while undergoing radiation therapy may not increase survival for patients, but may, instead, increase side effects, according to a team of researchers. The drugs, however, may be beneficial for patients who are not undergoing radiation therapy.

Team publishes study on enhancements that mediate maturation of heart stem cells

Scientists from the Masonic Medical Research Institute (MMRI), in collaboration with Nanion Technologies,  recently published a study in Biochemical Pharmacology addressing the deficiencies in potassium (K+) currents in human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs). 

A new regulator of B cell development

Interleukin-33 (IL-33) drives inflammatory responses in allergic and nonallergic disease. Epithelial cells in the lungs, gastrointestinal tract and elsewhere release IL-33, which activates the ST2 receptor on immune cell targets.

AI maps routes to heart disease

A new study in the Journal of Biomedical Informatics uses machine learning on unlabeled electronic health record (EHR) data to shed light on the emergence of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Brain scans may provide clues to suicide risk

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Utah Health have identified brain circuitry differences that might be associated with suicidal behavior in individuals with mood disorders. The study, published in Psychological Medicine, provides a promising lead toward tools that can predict which individuals are at the highest risk for suicide.

Could helmetless tackling training reduce football head injuries?

With football season well underway, there already have been instances of helmet-to-helmet hits, concussions and yet another round of conversations about strategies to reduce head impact exposure in players.

It's easy to get us walking more if we have somewhere to walk to near our home and work

We know walking more and increasing our levels of exercise are good for our health.

Abnormal neuronal activities caused by myelin impairment have possible link to learning deficits

The neural circuit basis for motor learning tasks when myelination is impaired has been illuminated for the first time by an international collaboration of university research teams. They also succeeded in compensating for the impaired motor learning process by pairing appropriate actions with brain photo-simulation to promote synchronization of neuronal activities. This could contribute to future treatments for neurological and psychiatric diseases in which white matter function is impaired.

Should I eat red meat? Confusing studies diminish trust in nutrition science

Another diet study, another controversy and the public is left wondering what to make of it. This time it's a series of studies in the Annals of Internal Medicine by an international group of researchers concluding people need not reduce their consumption of red and processed meat.

Study finds WeChat program helps recovery of heart disease patients

Patients recovering from life-threatening coronary heart disease who received rehabilitation through WeChat experienced a better recovery than those having standard care, new Curtin University-led research has found.

Can Eliud Kipchoge run a sub-two-hour marathon? It all comes down to 15 extraordinary seconds

"Where were you on October 12, 2019?"

Simple test predicts older heart attack patients' independence, function

A study just published in JAMA Internal Medicine finds that hospitals can administer a simple walking test to evaluate the likelihood of functional decline in older adults following a heart attack. Researchers say the nationwide study could have important implications for how patient care following heart attacks is managed, improving independence in older adults.

Study finds city convenience stores increased healthy food options, improving access in low-income areas

Many lower-income and racially diverse communities in the U.S. lack easy access to healthy foods from large grocery stores. Instead, residents must often shop in small convenience stores, which tend to stock only limited quantities and varieties of nutritious foods. In 2015, Minneapolis became the first city in the U.S. to require food stores—such as food-gas marts and convenience stores—to stock certain types and quantities of healthy foods.

Deciphering the early stages of Parkinson's disease is a matter of time

One of the biggest difficulties in treating Parkinson's disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, is the understanding of when it starts. Now, a study published in Communications Biology by researchers at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the University of Virginia School of Medicine, USA, may help to clarify that puzzle. For the first time, scientists observed how variants of the Parkinson's disease-associated protein alpha-synuclein change over time and were able to identify the initial stages of protein aggregates linked to early onset of familial cases of the disease.

Overweight before age 40 increases cancer risk

In an international study, lead by the University of Bergen, the researchers wanted to find out how adult overweight (BMI over 25) and obesity (BMI over 30) increase the risk of different types of cancer.

How the power of art can help scientists like me understand the experience of schizophrenia

People with schizophrenia can experience psychosis, a condition in which they perceive the world very differently to those around them. They may see or hear things that others cannot or hold beliefs that others find bizarre. These experiences can be distressing for those experiencing them, as well as for their families and friends. Current treatments are inadequate: they do not work for all and can lead to unpleasant side effects. But attempts to improve this are hampered by our limited understanding of schizophrenia's biological basis.

Alcohol taxes cut since 2013 and thousands may have died as a result—new research

Alcohol taxes are a controversial subject. Almost every country in the world has some form of taxation on alcohol but there is huge variation in the way that countries tax alcohol and the levels at which they set these taxes. The World Health Organisation recommends alcohol pricing as one of the most effective ways to reduce the harms associated with alcohol. Several European countries have brought in bold policies to tackle this harm, including the introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing in Scotland. In spite of rising levels of alcohol-related harm, however, England has yet to follow Scotland's lead.

Expert second opinion improves reliability of melanoma diagnoses

Getting a reliable diagnosis of melanoma can be a significant challenge for pathologists. The diagnosis relies on a pathologist's visual assessment of biopsy material on microscopic slides, which can often be subjective. Of all pathology fields, analyzing biopsies for skin lesions and cancers has one of the highest rates of diagnostic errors, which can affect millions of people each year.

Womb cancer stats reveal treatment variation across England

Cancer doctors have a set of treatment guidelines to refer to, which ensure they give their patients the best care. These guidelines are put together by experts and are shaped by research.

Under time pressure, people tell us what we want to hear

When asked to answer questions quickly and impulsively, people tend to respond with a socially desirable answer rather than an honest one, a set of experiments shows.

New test diagnoses Lyme disease within 15 minutes

Some 300,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with Lyme disease every year. Caused by Borrelia burgdorferi and transmitted by the bite of infected Ixodes ticks, the disease if left untreated can cause serious neurologic, cardiac, and/or rheumatologic complications.

Cuts in alcohol duty linked to 2000 more alcohol-related deaths in England

Government cuts to alcohol taxes have had dramatic consequences for public health, including nearly 2000 more alcohol-related deaths in England since 2012, according to new research from the University of Sheffield's School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR).

Rare sleep disorder common among veterans with PTSD

Military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder or concussion suffer from a thrashing form of sleep behavior at a rate that is far higher than the general population, according to a new study by researchers at the VA Portland Health Care System and Oregon Health & Science University. The finding was published online this week in the journal Sleep.

Around half a million men who have sex with men in the EU need PrEP but cannot access it

This estimate on the "PrEP gap" in Europe was published in a paper in Eurosurveillance today stating that 500 000 men who have sex with men in the European Union currently cannot access HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), despite being very likely to use it. The paper is based on findings from European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control monitoring and the European Men-Who-Have-Sex-With-Men Internet Study (EMIS-2017).

CDC: Seasonal influenza viruses circulating in southern hemisphere

(HealthDay)—Seasonal influenza viruses are circulating widely in the Southern Hemisphere, but influenza activity is currently low in the United States, according to research published in the Oct. 11 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Predictors of work disability ID'd in multiple sclerosis patients

(HealthDay)—Physical disability, depressive symptoms, and reduced information processing affect work-related disability and vocational status among patients with multiple sclerosis, according to a study published in the November issue of Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.

SGLT2 inhibitors protect against kidney disease in T2DM

(HealthDay)—A class of diabetes drugs, called sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors, protect against kidney disease in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a review published online Sept. 5 in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Close to 1,300 cases of vaping-linked illness now identified

(HealthDay)—The number of Americans sickened with a severe lung injury tied to vaping just keeps rising, U.S. health officials said Thursday.

Farm-to-table movement goes to school

(HealthDay)—There's a healthy new twist in the farm-to-table movement: Getting farm-fresh food to school lunchrooms and even having students grow their own crops as part of learning.

The surprising benefits of weight training

(HealthDay)—The most common misconception about weight training is that it adds bulky muscle mass, a fear of some women. While elite male lifters can—and want to—get very developed, for most people the result is simply well-toned muscles.

Cancer patients often need this one basic thing to participate in clinical trials

When Paul Bagga was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer that soon spread to his brain, the nonsmoker was devastated and terrified.

Quinn on Nutrition: An apple a day

Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away? I hope so, because my trees are groaning with hundreds of these beauties this year.

Shorter people more likely to develop diabetes, study suggests

A poor diet and lack of exercise can lead to diabetes. But your height could also be a factor, according to a new report.

Type 2 diabetes and obesity could be treated by new, less invasive procedure

New research from King's College London published in EBioMedicine, has found that a newly tested medical device, called Sleeveballoon, mimics the effects of traditional bariatric surgery in rodents and produces impressive results on body weight, fatty liver and diabetes control.

Blood test raises hopes of tackling 'silent killer'

It is the 'silent killer' that claimed the life of Albert Einstein and affects 1% of men over the age of 65, but researchers at the University of Dundee believe they may be able to reduce the number of fatalities caused by abdominal aortic aneurysms.

Study questions 'cross-transfer' benefits of special exercise technique

A paper recently published by researchers from the Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute (OMNI) at the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine questions the effectiveness of a patented exercise system for relieving lower back pain.

Adipogenic progenitors keep muscle stem cells young

In adult skeletal muscle, loss of myofiber integrity caused by mechanical injuries or diseases are repaired by resident muscle stem cells, called satellite cells, which promptly exit from quiescence after disruption of muscle architecture to expand, differentiate and drive tissue regeneration.

Drugs for better long-term treatment of poorly controlled asthma discovered

The waning effectiveness of drugs over time continues to be a major challenge in treating diseases, including asthma.

Imaging tumor stiffness could help enhance treatment for breast and pancreatic cancer

Using a non-invasive imaging technique that measures the stiffness of tissues gives crucial new information about cancer architecture and could aid the delivery of treatment to the most challenging tumours, new research shows.

In-office gene therapy for wet age-related macular degeneration is coming

Gene therapy is showing promise for one of the most common causes of blindness. Data presented today shows that six patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) have, so far, gone at least six months without the need for continued injections to control a disease that typically requires treatment every four to six weeks. Researchers say the hope is that gene therapy will free patients from nearly monthly eye injections by offering a potential "one-and-done" treatment. It's not just about convenience; a more consistent treatment may also help people keep more of their vision. The research will be presented today at AAO 2019, the 123rd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Public reporting on aortic valve surgeries has decreased access, study finds

Public reporting on aortic valve replacement outcomes has resulted in fewer valve surgeries for people with endocarditis, a new study has found. The researchers looked at national data from people with injection drug use and non-injection drug use-associated endocarditis and found that these patients were 30 percent less likely to receive valve surgery two years after outcomes data become public than before.

Lung cancer screening guidelines do not detect disease among first responders

Chicago—National lung cancer screening guidelines are inadequate to diagnose patients who contract lung cancer from occupational exposure, including first responders, according to a study reported today at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer's North America Conference on Lung Cancer in Chicago.

Barriers to timely access to pediatric hearing aids identified

(HealthDay)—Public insurance, race/ethnicity, and primary language may be barriers to accessing pediatric hearing aids, according to a study published online Oct. 10 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Poor glycemic control may up risk for stroke, death in T2DM

(HealthDay)—Poor glycemic control is associated with increased risks for stroke and death among patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online Oct. 1 in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

Effects on quality of life mixed for therapy of multiple myeloma

(HealthDay)—Most dimensions of quality of life (QoL) are impaired in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma, and treatment may have mixed effects on QoL, according to a study published online Sept. 26 in Leukemia & Lymphoma.

In Canada, 40% of people did not visit a family doctor after being released from prison

About 60 percent of people who were in Ontario's prison system were seen by a family doctor in the two years after being released from prison compared to 85 percent of people in the general population, according to a new study publishing on October 11 in Canadian Family Physician.

First application of genetically modified, live-cell, pig skin to a human wound

Burn specialists at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) announced today they have successfully used live-cell, genetically engineered pig skin (xenograft) for the temporary closure of a burn wound. Through an FDA-cleared phase one clinical trial led by surgeon Jeremy Goverman, MD, of the MGH Sumner Redstone Burn Service, this procedure marks the first-time pig tissue derived from an animal with gene edits has been transplanted directly onto a human wound.

Opioid Rx dosages drop 22% in Penn Medicine's NJ practices following changes to state law

The total amount of opioids dispensed per new opioid prescription decreased by 22 percent in Penn Medicine outpatient practices in New Jersey after the state passed a law limiting prescriptions to a five-day supply for new opioid prescriptions. Penn Medicine implemented an electronic health record (EMR) alert, or "nudge," to notify clinicians if that limit had been reached. The study, published online today in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, is one of the first evaluations of a state law's impact on prescribing outcomes, and is the first report of an EMR being used to make compliance with prescribing limits easier. Importantly, after the prescribing limit and alert went into effect there was no evidence to suggest pain control worsened.

Patients back in hospital after 'EVALI' vaping illness

Some patients who have been discharged from hospital after recovering from lung injury associated with vaping have had to be readmitted, US officials said Friday as they named the mysterious illness that has killed 26.

Skin cancer above the neck more likely to spread, research shows

New results from a descriptive, 6-month clinical study suggest that malignant melanoma (MM) that develops on the neck has a higher chance of spreading beyond the skin compared with MM that develops below the neck. However, even though significantly more of these study patients had below neck MM tumors at an advanced disease stage, none of them were found to have distant metastases, in which MM spreads to other distant parts of the body. Furthermore, only one of these below neck MM patients was diagnosed with positive lymph nodes. The study findings were presented today at the 28th EADV Congress in Madrid, Spain.

WHO anti-cholera vaccination campaign begins in Sudan

The World Health Organization has launched a vaccination campaign in two southeastern provinces in Sudan to contain a cholera outbreak following flash floods that swept the country in late August.

Widely used blood pressure drugs might put heart at risk

Drugs based on a molecule called dihydropyridine are commonly prescribed by doctors to treat high blood pressure and angina, a chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart. However, there's a chance that these same drugs increase the risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Because the heart stops pumping blood to the heart and other vital organs during an SCA, failure to receive timely treatment can be lethal.

7 signs of a toxic relationship

Feel like you could be in a toxic relationship with a friend or significant other? A toxic relationship can start out perfectly healthy, but over time, unhealthy habits may start to surface, changing the dynamic of the relationship. For some couples, this can take months or even years, but for others, these signs can be evident in the early stages of dating and friendships. Even the strongest people can find themselves in toxic relationships and moving on is not always easy.

New research highlights vast undertreatments in psoriasis

A striking proportion of psoriasis patients remain untreated with an average diagnosis time of five years, a new study has found.

Eczema in young children leads to 3 in 4 depressed parents, research shows

Family members and caregivers of children with Atopic Dermatitis, the most common form of eczema, have been found to suffer mild severity anxiety and depression, new research presented today at the 28th EADV Congress has found.

Encyclopedic tumor analysis for guiding treatment of advanced, broadly refractory cancers

RESILIENT was a single arm, open label, phase II/III study to test if label agnostic therapy regimens guided by Encyclopedic Tumor Analysis can offer meaningful clinical benefit for patients with relapsed refractory metastatic malignancies.

Conclusions from a behavioral aging study on male and female F2 hybrid mice on age-related behavior

Due to strain-specific behavioral idiosyncrasies, inbred mouse strains are suboptimal research models for behavioral aging studies.

Researcher briefs FDA on need for patient identity management

Patient identity management is a gaping hole in the American electronic healthcare system, one that needs to be addressed to improve the quality of real-world data according to Regenstrief Institute research scientist Shaun Grannis, M.D. He was one of several experts participating in a recent conference in Washington, D.C. to inform the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) use of real-world data and evidence to support its regulatory decisions.

Ruling leaves Ohio ban on Down syndrome abortions on hold

A federal appeals court on Friday upheld a judge's decision to put on hold an Ohio law prohibiting doctors from performing abortions based on a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome.

California to require abortion medication at public colleges

California will become the first state in the nation to require public universities to offer abortion medication at campus health centers starting in 2023 under legislation signed Friday by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Biology news

The structure of master growth regulator

A team of Whitehead Institute scientists has for the first time revealed the molecular structure of a critical growth regulator bound to its partner proteins, creating a fine-grained view of how they interact to sense nutrient levels and control cell growth. Their findings, described in the October 10th online issue of Science, help answer longstanding questions about how the mTORC1 kinase, and its anchoring complex, Rag-Ragulator, work at a molecular level. Using cryo-electron microscopy, the researchers uncover key structures, including a large coiled region and a small, flexible claw. These discoveries help explain the biology of mTORC1 and also lay the foundation for a new generation of drugs that are more precisely tailored to its distinct molecular makeup.

Artificial meat is now made in space, coming to a supermarket near you

Creating meat from cells is no longer the realm of science fiction: a Russian cosmonaut did it aboard the International Space Station, and it is just a matter of time before these products arrive in supermarkets.

A reliable clock for your microbiome

For all the attention the human microbiome has been getting over the last few years, one aspect of such research rarely makes headlines: the difficulty of observing how it changes over time in response to various stimuli. The most common analysis method is extracting bacteria from fecal samples and then sequencing their genomes, but this approach, while minimally invasive, loses crucial information about where and when bacterial changes occur in the gut, providing scientists with an incomplete picture of the dynamics of the microbiome.

Saving heather will help to save our wild bees

A new study published today in the journal Current Biology from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Royal Holloway, University of London, has discovered that a natural nectar chemical in Calluna heather called callunene can act as a medicine to protect bumblebees from a harmful parasite. The parasite, Crithidia bombi, is common among wild bumblebees and can be transmitted between bumblebees on flowers or within the nest.

National Audubon report claims two-thirds of North American birds at risk due to climate change

A team of researchers working for the National Audubon Society has found evidence that suggests approximately two-thirds of North American breeding birds are at risk of extinction from climate change over the next century. The group has published the results of their analysis in Conservation Science and Practice.

Family of crop viruses revealed at high resolution for the first time

For the first-time we can take a molecular-level look at one of the world's deadliest crop killers.

Better protection sought for Thailand's helmeted hornbill

Time is running out for Thailand's dwindling population of helmeted hornbills thanks to poaching of the exotic birds for the ivory-like casques atop their big red and yellow beaks.

Climate change is causing tropical moths to shrink in size

Researchers have discovered the first evidence of tropical insects shrinking in size in their bid to survive rising temperatures.

Artificial intelligence helps rangers protect endangered wildlife

At the turn of the 20th century, more than 100,000 wild tigers roamed across Southeast Asia. Today, fewer than 4,000 remain, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

Fairy-wrens change breeding habits to cope with climate change

Warmer temperatures linked to climate change are having a big impact on the breeding habits of one of Australia's most recognisable bird species, according to researchers at The Australian National University (ANU).

Bees can learn higher numbers than we thought – if we train them the right way

Bees are pretty good at maths—as far as insects go, at least. We already know, for example, that they can count up to four and even understand the concept of zero.

A virus is attacking koalas' genes—but their DNA is fighting back

A virus that infects koalas is steadily integrating itself into their DNA, ensuring that it is passed down from generation to generation. But the koala genome is defending itself, revealing that DNA has its own immune system to shut down invaders.

These animal species are dear to us, but can we protect them?

Animal species that are dear to us in the Netherlands often spend a large part or all of their lifecycle in other parts of the world. But their habitats worldwide are under increasing pressure, are often inadequately protected and much poorer than the global average. "If we truly care about these animals, we must pay more attention to East Africa, and Central and South Asia," says Alexander van Oudenhoven, who co-authored a recent publication on this topic.

How barnacle geese adjust their migratory habits in the face of climate change

The climate is changing at an unprecedented rate, and so are the environments of many plant and animal species. Populations die out in places that become intolerable, and thrive in other places that have become more benign.

Bacteria contradict Darwin: Survival of the friendliest

New microbial research at the University of Copenhagen suggests that 'survival of the friendliest' outweighs 'survival of the fittest' for groups of bacteria. Bacteria make space for one another and sacrifice properties if it benefits the bacterial community as a whole. The discovery is a major step towards understanding complex bacteria interactions and the development of new treatment models for a wide range of human diseases and new green technologies.

New tool enables Nova Scotia lobster fishery to address impacts of climate change

U.S. and Canadian researchers have developed a tool that incorporates projected changes in ocean climate onto a geographic fishery management area. Now fishermen, resource managers, and policy-makers can use it to plan for the future sustainability of the lobster fishery in Nova Scotia and Canadian waters of the Gulf of Maine.

Unlocking cedar's hidden potential against pests

Trained as an entomologist, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) chemist Fred Eller still has a soft place in his heart for insect-related research. When he noticed ants climbing up the pole of his backyard hummingbird feeder to steal sugar water from birds, he didn't like it.

The impact of human-caused noise pollution on birds

Anthropogenic noise pollution (ANP) is a globally invasive phenomenon impacting natural systems, but most research has occurred at local scales with few species. Researchers in this study investigated continental-scale breeding season associations with ANP for 322 bird species to test whether local-scale predictions related to breeding habitat, migratory behavior, body mass, and vocal traits are consistent at broad spatial extents for an extensive group of North American bird species in the continental United States.

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