Friday, October 4, 2019

Science X Newsletter Friday, Oct 4

Dear Reader ,

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

Spotlight Stories Headlines

A social robot to enhance children's handwriting skills

Molecular hydrogen becomes semimetallic at pressures above 350 GPa

Research shows the 'magic range' of twisted bilayer graphene is larger than previously expected

Were hot, humid summers the key to life's origins?

New metasurface design can control optical fields in three dimensions

Astronomers observe how two suns collect matter in a binary system

A new way to corrosion-proof thin atomic sheets

3-D printing technique accelerates nanoscale fabrication 1000-fold

Next-generation single-photon source for quantum information science

How much are you polluting your office air just by existing?

Dealing a therapeutic counterblow to traumatic brain injury

Identifying a gene for canine night blindness

Paralysed man walks again with brain-controlled exoskeleton

Scientists create brain-mimicking environment to grow 3-D tissue models of brain tumors

Scientists find timekeepers of gut's immune system

Astronomy & Space news

Astronomers observe how two suns collect matter in a binary system

Stars are born in the midst of large clouds of gas and dust. Local densifications first form "embryos," which then collect matter and grow. But how exactly does this accretion process work? And what happens when two stars form in a disk of matter? High-resolution images of a young stellar binary system for the first time reveal a complex network of accretion filaments nurturing two protostars at the center of the circumbinary disk. With these observations, an international team of astronomers led by the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics was able to identify a two-level accretion process, circumbinary disk to circumstellar disk to stars, constraining the conditions leading to the formation and evolution of binary star systems.

A dusty lab in the sky

Joe Nuth loves dust. Among astronomers, that puts him in a minority.

Scientists start mapping the hidden web that scaffolds the universe

After counting all the normal, luminous matter in the obvious places of the universe—galaxies, clusters of galaxies and the intergalactic medium—about half of it is still missing. So not only is 85% of the matter in the universe made up of an unknown, invisible substance dubbed "dark matter," we can't even find all the small amount of normal matter that should be there.

The mass inflow and outflow rates of the Milky Way

According to the most widely accepted cosmological models, the first galaxies began to form between 13 and 14 billion years ago. Over the course of the next billion years, the cosmic structures now observed first emerged. These include things like galaxy clusters, superclusters and filaments, but also galactic features like globular clusters, galactic bulges, and supermassive black holes (SMBHs).

Sun science has a bright future on the moon

There are many reasons NASA is pursuing the Artemis mission to land astronauts on the moon by 2024: It's a crucial way to study the moon itself and to pave a safe path to Mars. But it's also a great place to learn more about protecting Earth, which is just one part of the larger Sun-Earth system.

NASA sets 1st all-female spacewalk after spring suit flap

The first all-female spacewalk is back on, six months after a flap over spacesuits led to an embarrassing cancellation.

The role of a cavity in the hypernova ejecta of a gamma-ray burst

Since 2018, a new style of research has been introduced in gamma-ray-burst (GRB) studies: It does not describe the prompt radiation phase observed by the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory and the NASA Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope by a time-integrated spectral analysis. Such analyses are typically applied to long GRBs and obtain a band spectrum with various fitting parameters. This procedure, as recognized by David Band, does not permit a taxonomy of GRBs.

Technology news

A social robot to enhance children's handwriting skills

Researchers at CHILI Lab (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) in Switzerland and GAIPS Lab (University of Lisbon) in Portugal have recently developed an autonomous system designed to assist children in improving their handwriting skills. The system they created, presented in a paper published in Springer's International Journal of Social Robotics, entails the use of a social robot in one-to-one learning sessions with children.

Two major security vulnerabilities found in PDF files

A combined team of researchers from Ruhr-University Bochum and Munster University has found two major security vulnerabilities in PDF files. They have documented their findings with a web-in-security blogspot posting.

US, allies push Facebook for access to encrypted messages

The United States, Britain and Australia have called on Facebook to give authorities the ability to circumvent encryption used in its messaging services—a measure opposed by the social media giant.

Vietnamese roll out Transformers-inspired robot with green message

There is more than meets the eye to the towering robot resembling a character from the "Transformers" movie franchise—it speaks Vietnamese and is made from spare motorbike parts.

Samsung ends smartphone phone production in China

Samsung Electronics said Friday it has ended the production of smartphones in its last factory in China.

How artificial intelligence is supercharging materials science

Machine learning and artificial intelligence are increasingly being used in materials science research. For example, MIT associate professor of materials science and engineering Juejun "JJ" Hu developed an algorithm that enhances the performance of a chip-based spectrometer, and Atlantic Richfield Associate Professor of Energy Studies Elsa A. Olivetti built an artificial-intelligence system that scours through scientific papers to deduce materials science "recipes."

NASA takes delivery of first all-electric experimental aircraft

The first all-electric configuration of NASA's X-57 Maxwell now is at the agency's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California.

Driving into old age

Worldwide the number of drivers over the age of 65 is increasing rapidly. As such, there is an urgency in the need to design vehicles that are ergonomically suited to this demographic to accommodate physical ailments and limitations that are usually not seen in younger people.

Hacker seeking bitcoin ransom hits Spanish city's computer sytem

A hacker has taken over the computer system of the southern Spanish city of Jerez de la Frontera and is demanding a ransom paid in bitcoin to unlock it, local officials said Friday.

Cryptocurrencies can help create 'parallel society': hackers

A hackers' congress in Prague on Friday hailed the new cryptocurrencies as a tool to break free from the constraints of modern life and move towards a freer "parallel society".

Smash hit video game Fortnite designed to be addictive: lawsuit

The makers of online video gaming sensation Fortnite were accused Friday of designing it to be addictive, in a Canadian class action lawsuit likening playing to taking cocaine.

TikTok turns its back on political ads

Youth-friendly TikTok on Friday said it won't allow political ads because they would clash with the "light-hearted" feeling at the social network where people share playful video snippets.

PayPal abandons Facebook-backed Libra cryptocurrency group

Pioneering digital payments firm PayPal on Friday said it will no longer be part of an alliance intended to oversee the Facebook-backed Libra cryptocurrency, which has come under attack by regulators.

Netflix cooperating with Italy tax evasion probe

Netflix on Thursday said it was cooperating with a probe into whether it evaded taxes in Italy, even though it has no office or employees in that country.

French court orders closure of XL Airways

A French court on Friday ordered the closure of long haul low cost airline XL Airways after it declared insolvency, the second carrier in France within a month to be wound up.

Commentary: Facebook just gave up the fight against fake news

Up is down. Left is right. Cats are dogs. President Trump is a very stable genius. Trump is Lucifer incarnate.

EU opens probe into Boeing tie-ups with Brazil's Embraer

The EU said Friday it had opened an "in-depth investigation" into plans by US aviation giant Boeing to form joint ventures with the world's number three planemaker, Brazil's Embraer, citing competition concerns.

Google can't escape copyright laws: France's Macron

Google cannot escape French law obliging the US online giant to pay royalties to media outlets for displaying their articles, pictures and videos in search results, French President Emmanuel Macron said Friday.

Alabama medical center says hack exposed patient records

An Alabama medical center says the protected health information of more than 19,000 patients has been exposed through a computer hacking attack.

Medicine & Health news

Dealing a therapeutic counterblow to traumatic brain injury

A blow to the head or powerful shock wave on the battlefield can cause immediate, significant damage to a person's skull and the tissue beneath it. But the trauma does not stop there. The impact sets off a chemical reaction in the brain that ravages neurons and the networks that supply them with nutrients and oxygen.

Identifying a gene for canine night blindness

Creating an effective gene therapy for inherited diseases requires three key steps. First, scientists must identify and characterize the disease. Second, they must find the gene responsible. And finally, they must find a way to correct the impairment.

Paralysed man walks again with brain-controlled exoskeleton

A French man paralysed in a night club accident can walk again thanks to a brain-controlled exoskeleton in what scientists said Wednesday was a breakthrough providing hope to tetraplegics seeking to regain movement.

Scientists create brain-mimicking environment to grow 3-D tissue models of brain tumors

A team of Tufts University-led researchers has developed three-dimensional (3-D) human tissue culture models of pediatric and adult brain cancers in a brain-mimicking microenvironment, a significant advancement for the study of brain tumor biology and pharmacological response. The study was published today in Nature Communications.

Scientists find timekeepers of gut's immune system

As people go through their daily and nightly routines, their digestive tracts follow a routine, too: digesting food and absorbing nutrients during waking hours, and replenishing worn-out cells during sleep. Shift work and jet lag can knock sleep schedules and digestive rhythms out of whack. Such disruptions have been linked to increased risk of intestinal infections, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer, among others.

Study pinpoints Alzheimer's plaque emergence early and deep in the brain

Long before symptoms like memory loss even emerge, the underlying pathology of Alzheimer's disease, such as an accumulation of amyloid protein plaques, is well underway in the brain. A longtime goal of the field has been to understand where it starts so that future interventions could begin there. A new study by MIT neuroscientists at The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory could help those efforts by pinpointing the regions with the earliest emergence of amyloid in the brain of a prominent mouse model of the disease. Notably, the study also shows that the degree of amyloid accumulation in one of those same regions of the human brain correlates strongly with the progression of the disease.

Team discovers one more piece to the autism puzzle

Mutations in a subunit of a receptor that binds the major inhibitory neurotransmitter GABAA in the brain have been linked, through a common mechanism, to epilepsy, autism and intellectual disability, researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and colleagues report.

Accurate lymphoma prognosis from a simple blood test

After a patient is diagnosed with lymphoma—an often-treatable type of cancer that attacks the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, bone marrow and more—the natural next steps are determining the patient's survival outlook and deciding the best course of treatment.

Targeting a rogue T cell prevents and reverses multiple sclerosis in mice

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease affecting both adults and children. It's driven by "helper" T cells, white blood cells that mount an inflammatory attack on the brain and spinal cord, degrading the protective myelin sheath that covers nerve fibers. But there are many different kinds of T helper cells, and up until now, no one knew which ones were the bad actors.

Promising steps towards hope for a treatment for schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a severe mental health condition that causes significant disability, and affects 1 in 100 people. Patients with schizophrenia commonly experience negative symptoms, which include lack of motivation, social isolation and inability to experience pleasurable feeling. The current antipsychotics minimally improve these negative symptoms, and there are no currently licensed treatments. In addition, it is estimated that total service costs for schizophrenia in England alone will be £6.5 billion by 2026. In view of this, there is considerable interest in identifying potential treatment targets for these symptoms. However, the nature of the changes in brain chemistry that contribute to these negative symptoms is unknown.

New study sheds light on effectiveness of cholesterol medication in individuals

A study by a team of Victoria University of Wellington scientists spotlights the role of gene networks in how people respond to one of the world's most prescribed medications.

Aggressive breast cancers store large amounts of energy, which enables it to spread: study

Cancer cells—especially the more aggressive ones—seem to have an ability to change. It's how they evade treatment and spread throughout the body.

Edible sensor helps TB patients take their meds: study

An ingestible sensor that allows doctors to remotely monitor tuberculosis patients' intake of medication has the potential to save millions of lives and revolutionise treatment for the world's most deadly infectious disease, researchers said Friday.

Long-term mental health benefits of gender-affirming surgery for transgender individuals

For transgender individuals, gender-affirming surgery can lead to long-term mental health benefits, according to new research published online today in the American Journal of Psychiatry. The study found that among transgender individuals with gender incongruence, undergoing gender-affirming surgery was significantly associated with a decrease in mental health treatment over time.

Some ICU admissions may be preventable, saving money and improving care

Many admissions to the intensive care unit may be preventable, potentially decreasing health care costs and improving care, according to new research published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Placenta pathology may clarify racial disparities in preemie health outcomes

African-American infants are twice as likely to die in the first year of life than white infants, for reasons that are complex and not well understood. Results from a recent study suggest that specific abnormalities in the placenta from African-American preterm births may hold clues to the physical mechanisms behind racial disparities in preemie health outcomes.

Pioneering study suggests that an exoskeleton for tetraplegia could be feasible

A four-limb robotic system controlled by brain signals helped a tetraplegic man to move his arms and walk using a ceiling-mounted harness for balance. While the early results are promising, the authors note that the system is a long way from clinical application and will require improvements before it becomes widely available.

How effective is body cooling in patients that experience cardiac arrest?

While body temperature cooling is not a new treatment tactic for patients who experience cardiac arrest, a new clinical trial hopes to better understand the optimal amount of time for targeted temperature management.

Death toll from vaping-linked illness now at 19 in US

The death toll in the United States from illnesses linked to e-cigarette use has risen to at least 19, health authorities say, as more than 1,000 others have suffered lung injuries probably linked to vaping.

Scientists ID new targets to treat fibrosis—a feature of many chronic diseases

When it comes to repairing injured tissue, specialized cells in the body known as fibroblasts are called into action. Fibroblasts give rise to healing cells called myofibroblasts, which generally is good in the short term—but bad when myofibroblast activation gets out of hand. In new work, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM) researchers show how fibroblast activation and myofibroblast formation occurs, providing clues as to how to target fibrosis—which impacts several chronic diseases. Kickstarting the process are stress-induced changes in mitochondrial calcium uptake.

Tanning salons cluster in gay neighborhoods in large US cities, study finds

Neighborhoods with high proportions of gay and bisexual men are twice as likely to have an indoor tanning salon than neighborhoods with fewer sexual minority men, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Restrictive housing is associated with increased risk of death after release from prison

A new study led by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has found that being held in restrictive housing (i.e., solitary confinement) is associated with an increased risk of death after a person is released from prison.

E-cigarettes: five things to know

E-cigarettes have become hugely popular in the past decade but a rash of vaping-linked deaths and illnesses in the United States is feeding caution about a product, already banned in some places.

Researchers show 20 mph zones effective in reducing road casualties

A review of published evidence by Queen's University Belfast has found 20mph zones to be effective in reducing the number and severity of traffic collisions and casualties.

Fish in early childhood reduces risk of disease

It doesn't take that much fish for young children to reap big health benefits. Even eating fish just once a week yields good results.

Cancer cells can reuse apparent 'dead end metabolites'

Researchers at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University have discovered that an apparent "dead end metabolite" has a previously unknown function regulating cell growth. The finding could guide efforts to target cancer cells' warped metabolism with selective drugs.

A breath test for opioids

A test to detect opioid drugs in exhaled breath has been developed by engineers and physicians at the University of California, Davis. A breath test could be useful in caring for chronic pain patients as well as for checking for illegal drug use.

Early menopause predictor of heart disease

Women who reach menopause before the age of 50 have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, according to researchers from The University of Queensland.

A step toward understanding gastric cancer

Helicobacter pylori infects approximately half of the world's population and is the strongest known risk factor for developing gastric cancer. Gastric cancer is the third most lethal cancer worldwide.

Study: Personalized decision support affects intensive care

A new randomized trial examines the effect of automated clinical decision support on team evaluation of pediatric inpatients at high risk for acute kidney injury (AKI).

America's crack epidemic examined in new book

When David Farber lived in Philadelphia, he met a crack dealer who sold the drug to a mostly homeless clientele outside the professor's apartment.

Burden of knee osteoarthritis costs predicted to almost double to $370 million

Public health measures to reduce obesity rates would help slow the rising burden of costs associated with knee osteoarthritis, projected to almost double to $370 million by 2038.

How social connectedness affects health

Many Americans do not realize that what takes place in the formal healthcare system only affects 15 percent of the outcomes for an individual and their family. The other 85 percent is attributed to our social determinants of health, or SDOH, which include the social and economic barriers that people experience such as housing issues, food insecurity, transportation and mobility challenges, and access to economic opportunities.

Anger-prone children may benefit most from maternal sensitivity, study finds

Momentary increases in mothers' sensitivity to their toddlers' cues and emotional needs may boost young children's focused attention on tasks and positive engagement with their mother while lowering the children's expressions of negative emotions, a new study found.

Psychologist: Why posting video is a lousy response to your toddler's meltdown

n July, Romper, a digital publication for parents, published an article titled "10 Hilarious Captions for When Your Toddler Is Having a Meltdown, Because You Need To Laugh."

Analysis of HIV-1B in Indonesia illuminates transmission dynamics of the virus

Research into the molecular phylogeny (evolutionary history) of the HIV-1B virus in Indonesia has succeeded in illuminating the transmission period and routes for three clades (main branches of the virus). This includes a clade thought to be unique to Indonesia, as well as clades that spread from Thailand, Europe and America in the 1970s and 1980s.

The business of IVF: How human eggs went from simple cells to a valuable commodity

I think they collected […] maybe, six eggs. I think we got four embryos out of that […] One was transferred and three were frozen. So, the fresh cycle didn't work. Tried a frozen one, didn't work. Went to try the third frozen and they told me that one didn't survive unfreezing, so then we had one left and that didn't work, so we had no embryos left. So we did a fresh egg cycle again, and they got even less this time […] So I was thinking this is all going to be wasting time. But […] I think they fertilized four eggs, and then there was only one viable one, which is my baby.

Short-term probiotics regimen may help treat gout, kidney disease

New research suggests that an individualized probiotic therapy regimen may improve symptoms of gout, gout-related kidney disease and other signs of metabolic syndrome. The study will be presented today at the American Physiological Society (APS) Aldosterone and ENaC in Health and Disease: The Kidney and Beyond Conference in Estes Park, Colo.

Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities 'invisible' in national data

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are often "invisible" in national population surveys that collect only the minimum data for disability, according to researchers at The Ohio State University College of Medicine who are looking into the lack of data.

Eating mussels three times a week boosts omega-3 levels

Eating mussels three times per week may bring about significant health benefits—such as reduced risk of cardiac arrest—thanks to their omega-3 fatty acid properties.

Scientist designs 'express courier service' for immune cells

Immunotherapy is a promising cancer treatment that uses genetically modified immune cells to fight cancer. It can be used as a primary treatment or in combination with other treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy to slow down or stop the growth of cancer cells and prevent them from spreading to other parts of the body.

The relationship between lifetime drinking and non-fatal acute myocardial infarction

New research from the Prevention Research Center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation suggests that the impact of alcohol consumption on coronary heart disease may be underestimated.

People eat more when dining with friends and family, study finds

People eat more with friends and family than when dining alone—a possible throwback to our early ancestors' approach to survival, according to a new study. This phenomenon is known as "social facilitation."

New study suggests that the UK general public rank sight, hearing and balance as top three senses

Which of our senses is most important to us? We may intuitively understand that certain senses like sight or hearing are particularly valuable in our day-to-day lives. However there is limited scientific evidence regarding the public's attitudes to our different senses. Researchers at City, University of London, have now put this question to the test.

Conflicts and duplications when applying more than one clinical practice guideline to a patient

Researchers in WMG at the University of Warwick have developed a new method that could solve the problem of how to automate support of managing the complexities of care when applying multiple clinical practice guidelines, to patients with more than one medical issue.

Investigators focus on rogue vape brand as illness spreads

It's a widely known vape cartridge in the marijuana economy, but it's not a licensed brand. And it's got the kind of market buzz no legitimate company would want.

Factors predict low BMD in pediatric blood cancer survivors

Low bone mineral density (BMD) is common in childhood leukemia and lymphoma survivors, according to a study published online Sept. 19 in Cancer.

United States will keep measles elimination status

Despite recent outbreaks among unvaccinated people, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expects the United States will maintain its measles elimination status.

Can your eating habits keep Alzheimer's at bay?

When you hear the word diet, you might think only of weight loss. But a lifestyle diet can bring even greater benefits.

If you're multilingual, you may be able avoid dementia, study suggests

Want to maintain a good memory? Learning multiple languages could help, according to a recent report.

US measles cases exceed 1,200 but elimination status maintained

More than 1,200 people have been sickened with measles this year, the highest number since 1992, US health authorities said Friday, though the infectious childhood disease officially remains "eliminated" after the worst-hit region contained its outbreak.

Microbiome provides new clues to determining development of colon cancer

A mutant protein found in humans with colon cancer blocks a pathway that regulates proliferation and expansion of cells, increasing amounts of bacterial species associated with the development of colon cancer. These findings, showcasing the connection between bacteria in the microbiome and colon cancer, were published by a team of researchers from the George Washington University (GW) in the journal Gastroenterology.

The 'Goldilocks' principle for curing brain cancer

In the story of Goldilocks, a little girl tastes three different bowls of porridge to find which is not too hot, not too cold, but just the right temperature. In a study published in Advanced Therapeutics, University of Minnesota Medical School researchers report on a "Goldilocks" balance which holds the key to awakening the body's immune response to fight off brain cancer.

Impact of exosomal HIV-1 Tat expression on the human cellular proteome

The cover for issue 54 of Oncotarget features Figure 2, "Comparative proteomic profiling of the peptides/proteins identified from 293T, IL16lamp2b and mExo-Tat samples," by Lu, et al.

Study shows reduced Illinois Medicaid spending in pediatric population, limited savings from care coordination

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago are reporting in JAMA Network Open that Medicaid expenditures for children and young adults have decreased in Illinois. However, a care coordination demonstration project did not further reduce the cost of care for kids participating in the program within its first year.

Household bleach inactivates chronic wasting disease prions

A 5-minute soak in a 40% solution of household bleach decontaminated stainless steel wires coated with chronic wasting disease (CWD) prions, according to a new study by National Institutes of Health scientists. The scientists used the wires to model knives and saws that hunters and meat processors use when handling deer, elk and moose—all of which are susceptible to CWD. The research was conducted at Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) in Hamilton, Mont. RML is a component of the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The findings are published in the open-access journal PLOS One.

Survey: many U.S. adults not planning to get flu vaccine

(HealthDay)—Many U.S. adults, including some at the highest risk for the flu and pneumonia, do not plan to get preventive vaccines, according to a survey conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago on behalf of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

Older adults need more help navigating health care system

(HealthDay)—More than half of older nonretired adults need help understanding their health insurance benefits, according to a survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Anthem Inc. and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a).

In-home visits may be key to reversing childhood obesity

Behavioral medicine experts at Rush University Medical Center are going straight to patients' homes to see if they can find solutions to address childhood obesity.

Supreme Court to hear abortion regulation case

The Supreme Court agreed Friday to plunge into the abortion debate in the midst of the 2020 presidential campaign, taking on a Louisiana case that could reveal how willing the more conservative court is to chip away at abortion rights.

New insights into the genomic landscape of meningiomas identified FGFR3 in a subset of patients with favorable prognoses

The identification of oncogenic mutations has provided further insights into the tumorigenesis of meningioma and the possibility of targeted therapy.

American Journal of Roentgenology finds no consensus on handling outside imaging studies

According to an ahead-of-print article published in the January issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR), there is no consensus among academic radiologists regarding how to handle second-opinion consultations on outside studies (OSS).

Inhibition of histone deacetylase 2 reduces MDM2 expression and reduces tumor growth in dedifferentiated liposarcoma

The cover for issue 55 of Oncotarget features Figure 3, "Romidepsin exhibits anti-tumor effect in xenograft model of DDLPS," by Seligson, et al.

Michigan reports its first suspected vaping-related death

Michigan's heath department has announced the state's first death associated with an outbreak of vaping-related lung illnesses.

Biology news

Large-scale mapping of protein networks behind tumor growth in the lungs

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have used highly sophisticated molecular analyses to identify key proteins in the signaling pathways that cancers use to spread in the body. The study could help in personalizing cancer treatment and developing new drugs.

Scientists uncover genetic similarities among species that use sound to navigate

Evolutionary adaptations like echolocation that are shared by unrelated species arose in part due to identical, independently acquired genetic changes, according to a new Stanford study of whole genome sequences.

Artificial gut aims to expose the elusive microbiome

The microbiome is a collection of trillions of bacteria that reside in and on our bodies. Each person's microbiome is unique—just like a fingerprint—and researchers are finding more and more ways in which it impacts our health and daily lives. One example involves an apparent link between the brain and the bacteria in the gut. This brain-gut "axis" is believed to influence conditions such as Parkinson's disease, depression, and irritable bowel syndrome. However, many studies into the brain-gut axis have stalled because of one central problem: the lack of an adequate testable model of the gut.

New NMR approach for studying droplet-shaped cell content

Researchers in Utrecht have found a new way to observe membraneless compartments at an unprecedented level of resolution. The existence of these so-called biomolecular condensates in the cell contradicts every textbook on the subject. This is the first time that they have been observed in the test tube with a high degree of precision. The researchers and their colleagues in Germany will publish their findings in Nature Communications on 4 October 2019.

Scientists find way to quantify how well cutting-edge microscopy technique works

In 2017, Salk scientists reported that tilting a frozen protein sample as it sat under an electron microscope was an effective approach to acquiring better information about its structure and helping researchers understand a host of diseases ranging from HIV to cancer. Now, they have developed a mathematical framework that underlies some of those initial observations.

Do nature documentaries make a difference?

Nature documentaries raise species awareness and promote pro-conservation behaviours, but don't lead to donations to conservation charities, a new Irish study has revealed.

Researchers unlock potential to use CRISPR to alter the microbiome

Researchers at Western University have developed a new way to deliver the DNA-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 into microorganisms in the lab, providing a way to efficiently launch a targeted attack on specific bacteria.

Climate change pushes Italy beekeepers to the brink

Unusual weather driven by climate change is wreaking havoc on bee populations, including in northern Italy where the pollinating insects crucial to food production are struggling to survive.

'Incredibly rare' monkey born at Australian zoo

One of the world's rarest monkeys has been born at an Australian zoo.

In northwest Spain, conservation efforts pay off as bears thrive

Daylight is only just breaking over Spain's Cantabrian Mountains and already a dozen enthusiasts are up and about in the hope of spotting a brown bear.

A catalog of DNA replication proteins

Maintenance of genome integrity—and prevention of diseases such as cancer—requires complete and faithful replication of the genome every cell division cycle.

Climate change comes at a cost for iconic pāua

The pāua, New Zealand's most famous shellfish, lauded globally for its iconic multi-colored shell, is under threat with climate change, new research reveals.

New king cricket species discovery in Costa Rica

A group of four Texas A&M Department of Entomology undergraduate students took their knowledge from the classroom and put it to use in discovering a new species of king cricket during a recent study abroad trip to Costa Rica.

Triggering morel fruiting

Morels are economically, culturally, and ecologically important fungi, widely prized as a culinary delicacy, but also because they influence geochemical cycling in forest ecosystems. By deciphering the fruiting-related decomposition mechanisms of morel with multi-omic approaches, the results revealed a striking capability of morel mycelium to acquire carbon from lignocellulosic-abundant matters such as plant litter and to incorporate the assimilated carbon into the soil, reducing the amount of CO2 emissions from decaying leaves and woods into the atmosphere, while increasing the organic matter and fertility of the soil.

New research into Tasmanian Aboriginal history will help care for the land

American farmer and poet Wendell Berry said of the first Europeans in North America that they came with vision, but not with sight. They came with vision of former places but not the sight to see what was before them. Instead of adapting their vision to suit the place, they changed the landscape to fit their vision.

Anesthetizing fish may affect research outcomes

Fish use colorful patterns to signal to each other, including advertising for mates and warding off rivals. Studying these colors, especially in small and squirmy species, sometimes entails anesthetizing and photographing the fish to obtain color measurements from digital images.

Yellow cedar trees denied for US threatened species listing

A federal agency has rejected an iconic Alaska tree for listing as a threatened species due to climate warming.

Black year for European beekeepers

This year has been a black one for many European beekeepers, particularly in France and Italy, where unpredictable weather has produced what are being termed the worst honey harvests ever.

MSU economist's research on colony collapse disorder published in national journal

The work of a Montana State University professor examining the economic impacts of colony collapse disorder among commercial honeybees was published in the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists last month.

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