Monday, October 7, 2019

Science X Newsletter Monday, Oct 7

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for October 7, 2019:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

A superconducting switch for interfacing superconductors and semiconductors

Trio win medicine Nobel for work on how cells adapt to oxygen

Speech recognition using artificial neural networks and artificial bee colony optimization

Using velocity-induced acoustic oscillations as a standard ruler at cosmic dawn

China is on track to meet its ultra-low emissions goals for 2020, study finds

A new mathematical approach to understanding zeolites

PSR J0453+1559 may be a neutron star–white dwarf binary, study suggests

New capsule can orally deliver drugs that usually have to be injected

Complex energies, quantum symmetries

Rare 'Lazarus superconductivity' observed in promising, rediscovered material

Brain tunes itself to criticality, maximizing information processing

Early humans evolved in ecosystems unlike any found today

Archaea hold clues to ancient ocean temperatures

Voltage gated calcium channels 'read' electric patterns in embryos to create cartilage and bone

Ancient Maya canals and fields show early and extensive impacts on tropical forests

Astronomy & Space news

PSR J0453+1559 may be a neutron star–white dwarf binary, study suggests

Astronomers have investigated a compact binary radio pulsar system known as PSR J0453+1559, with the aim of shedding more light on its mysterious nature. The new study, published September 26 on, challenges previous assumptions, suggesting that system contains a white dwarf companion.

Curiosity rover finds an ancient oasis on Mars

If you could travel back in time 3.5 billion years, what would Mars look like? The picture is evolving among scientists working with NASA's Curiosity rover.

NASA's Mars 2020 rover tests descent-stage separation

In this picture from Sept. 28, 2019, engineers and technicians working on the assembly and testing of the Mars 2020 spacecraft look on as a crane lifts the rocket-powered descent stage away from the rover. They've just completed a successful separation test at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Not long ago, the center of the Milky Way exploded

A titanic, expanding beam of energy sprang from close to the supermassive black hole in the centre of the Milky Way just 3.5 million years ago, sending a cone-shaped burst of radiation through both poles of the Galaxy and out into deep space.

Astronauts replace old batteries in 1st of 5 spacewalks

Astronauts hustled through the first of five spacewalks to replace old batteries at the International Space Station on Sunday.

Extreme solar storms may be more frequent than previously thought

Researchers propose in a new study why an extreme solar storm in 1859 was so damaging to Earth's magnetic field. They compared the storm with other extreme storms in history, suggesting this storm is not likely unique.

Was Venus once warm and wet? New study of lava flow suggests not

A new study of the Ovda Fluctus lava flow on Venus indicates that it is made of basaltic lava. This discovery weakens the notion that Venus might once have been Earth-like with an ancient ocean of liquid water.

Saturn surpasses Kupiter after the discovery of 20 new moons—and you can help name them

Move over Jupiter; Saturn is the new moon king.

Scientists observe year-long plateaus in decline of Type Ia supernova light curves

Scientists at the Center for Astrophysics, Harvard & Smithsonian have announced the discovery that, contrary to previously accepted knowledge, Type Ia supernovae experience light curve decline plateaus, and lengthy ones at that, lasting up to a year.

Successful ocean-monitoring satellite mission ends

The Jason-2/Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM), the third in a U.S.-European series of satellite missions designed to measure sea surface height, successfully ended its science mission on Oct. 1. NASA and its mission partners made the decision to end the mission after detecting deterioration in the spacecraft's power system.

Image: Hubble finds Medusa in the sky

The galaxy pictured in this Hubble image has an especially evocative name: the Medusa merger.

New shine for Sunrise's telescope

The Sunrise mission is an adventure: Carried by a giant helium balloon, the unmanned observatory peers at the Sun from an altitude of more than 35 kilometers; several days of flight are followed by a parachute landing. Twice already, the delicate main mirror of Sunrise's telescope has survived this daring expedition undamaged. "But such a flight does not leave the mirror completely unscathed," explains Sunrise project manager Dr. Andreas Lagg from MPS. The quality of the outer layer of reflective aluminum is impaired; it must be renewed before every additional flight.

Artemis, meet ARTEMIS: Pursuing Sun science at the moon

By 2024, NASA will land astronauts, including the first woman and next man, on the Moon as part of the Artemis lunar exploration program. This won't be the first time NASA takes the name Artemis to the Moon though. Two robotic spacecraft orbiting the Moon today were initially known as ARTEMIS—short for Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of the Moon's Interaction with the Sun. Since 2011, these spacecraft have been sending scientists valuable information about the lunar environment, and laying groundwork critical to returning humans to the Moon.

Astronomers find cyanide gas in interstellar object 2I/Borisov

When the mysterious object known as 'Oumuamua passed Earth in October of 2017, astronomers rejoiced. In addition to being the first interstellar object detected in our solar system, its arrival opened our eyes to how often such events take place. Since asteroids and comets are believed to be material left over from the formation of a planetary system, it also presented an opportunity to study extrasolar systems.

Technology news

A superconducting switch for interfacing superconductors and semiconductors

Many existing techniques for developing quantum and neuromorphic computing tools are based on the use of superconductors, substances that become superconducting at low temperatures. In the same architectures, semiconductors, substances with a partial conductivity, are usually used to achieve top-level control. To work more efficiently, therefore, quantum and neuromorphic systems would require a low-power superconductor/semiconductor interface that has not yet been developed.

Speech recognition using artificial neural networks and artificial bee colony optimization

Over the past decade or so, advances in machine learning have paved the way for the development of increasingly advanced speech recognition tools. By analyzing audio files of human speech, these tools can learn to identify words and phrases in different languages, converting them into a machine-readable format.

China is on track to meet its ultra-low emissions goals for 2020, study finds

Polluting emissions from Chinese thermal power plants declined significantly between 2014 and 2017, according to research involving UCL.

At Fukushima plant, a million-tonne headache: radioactive water

In the grounds of the ravaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant sits a million-tonne headache for the plant's operators and Japan's government: tank after tank of water contaminated with radioactive elements.

Predicting terror activity before it happens

Data scientists have developed an early-warning model that can successfully predict how lethal a terror organization will become in the future based on only its first 10 attacks.

One-dimensional objects morph into new dimensions

A line is the shortest distance between two points, but "A-line," a 4-D printing system developed at Carnegie Mellon University, takes a more circuitous route. One-dimensional, "line"-shaped plastic structures produced with the A-line system can bend, fold and twist themselves into predetermined shapes when triggered by heat.

Groundbreaking method detects defective computer chips

Guaranteeing that computer chips, that can consist of billions of interconnected transistors, are manufactured without defects is a challenge. But how to determine if a chip is compromised?

Soft robot programmed to move like an inchworm

Engineering researchers from the University of Toronto have created a miniature robot that can crawl with inchworm-like motion. The underlying technology could one day transform industries from aviation to smart wearables.

Report: Alabama hospitals pay hackers in ransomware attack

An Alabama hospital system that quit accepting new patients after a ransomware attack said Saturday it had gotten a key to unlock its computer systems.

US researchers on front line of battle against Chinese theft

As the U.S. warned allies around the world that Chinese tech giant Huawei was a security threat, the FBI was making the same point quietly to a Midwestern university.

Additively manufactured titanium alloy parts

Aerospace manufacturers, industries, and government agencies like the design freedom and convenience afforded from additive manufacturing—a process similar to 3-D printing. But do these parts have the same properties, especially strength, as those made using the more conventional subtractive method—turned on a lathe from a solid stock? A recent study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign conducted stress tests to find out.

Novel AI chip design platform to give the semiconductor industry a boost in productivity and quality

A*STAR researchers have developed an AI chip design platform that has the potential to transform the multibillion-dollar global integrated circuit (IC) design industry by accelerating design optimisation, reducing IC design turnaround time, and improving productivity significantly by twofold.

Military drills for robots

Army researchers tested ground robots performing military-style exercises, much like Soldier counterparts, at a robotics testing site in Pennsylvania recently as part of a 10-year research project designed to push the research boundaries in robotics and autonomy.

Small businesses increasingly a target for cybercriminals

While small and mid-sized businesses are increasingly targets for cybercriminals, companies are struggling to devote enough resources to protect their technology from attack.

The government doesn't want Facebook to encrypt your messages: Here's why

The U.S. Justice Department doesn't want Facebook to encrypt messages on WhatsApp and its other messaging services, without giving law enforcement "backdoor" access to such conversations. The goal is to stop child pornographers, terrorists and foreign adversaries looking to disrupt U.S. institutions.

Porn, politics are key targets in 'deepfakes': study

So-called "deepfake" videos are proliferating online, with most of them pornographic but with some politically motivated ones as well, security researchers said Monday.

Consumer Reports: Hidden cable TV fees may cost you $450 extra annually

If you've ever wondered how your $100 cable bill grows to new heights, Consumer Reports has the answer. Add-on fees, usually disguised from the public, add $450 to your cable bill every year, the product testing and consumer research company says in a report out Thursday.

This new tool for developers can help preserve app users' privacy

When you open a newly-installed app on your phone and it says to you, "This app would like to use your location data," what do you do? Depending on the app, you might be thinking, Why does it need my location? Wouldn't it be great if it just told you why?

How bike sharing in Seattle rose from the ashes of Pronto's failure

In October 2014, Seattle launched Pronto, a docked bike-share program. But Pronto had problems shifting into a higher gear, and the city ended the program in 2017, making Seattle one of the few cities in the world to shut down a modern public bike sharing system.

Goodbye, iTunes: Once-revolutionary app gone in Mac update

It's time to bid farewell to iTunes, the once-revolutionary program that made online music sales mainstream and effectively blunted the impact of piracy.

GM strike negotiations take 'turn for the worse': union

Negotiations to resolve a three-week-old strike at General Motors for better pay, benefits and job security have taken "a turn for the worse," a top negotiator with the United Autoworkers Union said Sunday.

Security in a heartbeat

A thumbprint to unlock a door. An eye scan to unlatch a vault. Both were once ideas of the future that may become things of the past if current research is successful.

Medicine & Health news

Trio win medicine Nobel for work on how cells adapt to oxygen

Three researchers from the United States and Britain on Monday shared the Nobel Medicine Prize for research into how human cells sense and adapt to changing oxygen levels, opening up new strategies to fight such diseases as cancer and anaemia.

New capsule can orally deliver drugs that usually have to be injected

Many drugs, especially those made of proteins, cannot be taken orally because they are broken down in the gastrointestinal tract before they can take effect. One example is insulin, which patients with diabetes have to inject daily or even more frequently.

Brain tunes itself to criticality, maximizing information processing

Researchers long wondered how the billions of independent neurons in the brain come together to reliably build a biological machine that easily beats the most advanced computers. All of those tiny interactions appear to be tied to something that guarantees an impressive computational capacity.

Deafness-causing protein deficiency makes brain rewire itself, research suggests

The brains of people with congenital deafness may be rewiring themselves in ways that affect how those people learn, suggesting a need to develop new teaching techniques tailored toward those who have never been able to hear.

Gene therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy safely preserves muscle function

A gene therapy being developed at Penn Medicine to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) successfully and safely stopped the severe muscle deterioration associated with the rare, genetic disease in both small and large animal models, according to a first-of-its-kind study from Penn Medicine researchers. The findings, published online today in Nature Medicine, puts the field within closer reach of a safe and effective gene therapy that uses a "substitute" protein without triggering immune responses known to hinder other therapeutic approaches.

Secrets of lung cancer spread found in patients' blood and biopsies

Early signs that a patient's lung cancer may spread and become untreatable can be picked up in samples of their blood and tumour, according to a trio of papers published in Nature Medicine today.

Treatment for 'low T' could someday come from a single skin cell, research shows

USC researchers have successfully grown human, testosterone-producing cells in the lab, paving the way to someday treat low testosterone with personalized replacement cells.

New test for thyroid cancer could prevent unnecessary surgery

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and Baylor College of Medicine have developed a new preoperative test for thyroid cancer that is faster and about two-thirds more accurate than the diagnostic tests doctors use today. Although more validation will be necessary before it can be used clinically, the new metabolic thyroid test shows promise for preventing thousands of unnecessary thyroid removals each year, such as the partial removal UT Austin grad student Amanda Helms had due to an inconclusive test.

E-cigarette smoke caused lung cancer in mice

Exposure to electronic-cigarette (E-cig) smoke caused mice to develop lung cancer, a new study finds.

Biliopancreatic diversion improves insulin sensitivity, but some concerns remain

As obesity rates climb, so do the number of people receiving weight-loss surgery. One of the most frequently performed weight-loss procedures in the world—Roux-en-Y gastric bypass—is effective, but another procedure rarely performed in the U.S. is more effective at eliminating type 2 diabetes in patients with obesity. A new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis explains why.

From sleeping cell to assassin—how immune cells work

Scientists at the University of Dundee have carried out one of the most comprehensive studies into how immune cells sense and respond to their environment to fight infection and destroy tumours.

Large genome-wide association study illuminates genetic risk factors for gout

Researchers, using a method called genome-wide association study, have illuminated the genetic underpinnings of high serum urate, the blood condition that brings on gout. The study, co-led by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, will inform efforts to develop screening tests for gout risk as well as potential new treatments.

Navigating 'Neuralville': Virtual town helps map brain functions

Psychologists at Emory University have found that the human brain uses three distinct systems to perceive our environment—one for recognizing a place, another for navigating through that place and a third for navigating from one place to another.

Researchers discover critical process for how breast cancer spreads in bones

Once breast cancer spreads to bone, treatment becomes nearly impossible. Breast cancer cells can lie dormant in the bone, often undetectable and able to escape typical treatments. Unfortunately, these dormant cells can awaken at any time to generate tumors. All of this combined makes it difficult to understand how the cells proliferate and how to stop them from doing so.

New evolution-busting drug overcomes resistance in aggressive breast cancers

A new type of drug that blocks one of cancer's key evolutionary escape routes from chemotherapy could be used to treat aggressive breast cancers, a new study has shown.

Number of depressed over 65s unchanged but antidepressant use soars

The proportion of people aged over 65 on antidepressants has more than doubled in two decades—according to new research led by the University of East Anglia.

Long-term study data shows DBS is effective treatment for most severe form of depression

A study published online on Friday, October 4, in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that deep brain stimulation (DBS) of an area in the brain called the subcallosal cingulate (SCC) provides a robust antidepressant effect that is sustained over a long period of time in patients with treatment-resistant depression—the most severely depressed patients who have not responded to other treatments.

Treating pulmonary embolism: How safe and effective are new devices?

Pulmonary embolism (PE), a blood clot lodged in one of the pulmonary arteries in the lungs, is the third leading cause of cardiovascular-related death in the United States. While most patients are treated with anticoagulants (commonly known as blood thinners), the use of novel interventional devices that remove or dissolve clots in the lungs has significantly increased in recent years. Yet, there is little data—particularly, as it pertains to the treatment of patients with "intermediate-risk PE"—that suggests these approaches are more safe and effective than the use of anticoagulation alone, according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) that was led by Penn Medicine.

US state upholds e-cigarette ban amid vaping deaths

The US state of Massachusetts upheld a ban on e-cigarettes Friday amid a spate of deaths and injuries linked to vaping across the country.

Clampdown on vaping could send users back toward cigarettes

Only two years ago, electronic cigarettes were viewed as a small industry with big potential to improve public health by offering a path to steer millions of smokers away from deadly cigarettes.

Computer kidney sheds light on proper hydration

A new computer kidney developed at the University of Waterloo could tell researchers more about the impacts of medicines taken by people who don't drink enough water.

A Canadian essential medicines list must be evidence-based

An essential medicines list in Canada should be evidence-based and independent of conflicting interests, found a study of decision-makers and policy-makers that is published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

OTC medications commonly used in cases of attempted suicide by self-poisoning in youth

A new study from Nationwide Children's Hospital and the Central Ohio Poison Center found rates of suicide attempts by self-poisoning among youth and adolescents are higher in rural communities, higher during the academic school year and involve common medications found in many households.

Study provides insights on treatment and prognosis of male breast cancer

A recent analysis reveals that treatment of male breast cancer has evolved over the years. In addition, certain patient-, tumor-, and treatment-related factors are linked with better survival. The findings are published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

Cancer patients who exercise have less heart damage from chemotherapy

Patients with cancer should receive a tailored exercise prescription to protect their heart, reports a paper published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Nobel season opens with Medicine Prize

The announcement of the Nobel Medicine Prize on Monday opens an unusual 2019 Nobel season in which two literature laureates will be crowned after a scandal postponed last year's award, amid speculation Greta Thunberg could nab the prestigious Peace Prize.

Crohn's disease study identifies genetic variant with potential to personalize treatment

The largest study ever to look at why an expensive and commonly used group of drugs fails some patients with Crohn's disease has identified a genetic marker which could individualise drug treatment.

Medicare overpayments for graduate medical education could total $1.28 billion annually

If Medicare capped funds for Graduate Medical Education (GME) at the rate of $150,000 per resident, the move would free up more than $1 billion a year, according to a study published today in JAMA Internal Medicine. Medicare could use the savings to address the doctor shortages by specialty and in certain parts of the country, the authors say.

Distributing essential medicines for free resulted in a 44% increase in adherence

A new study out of St. Michael's Hospital's MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions found that distributing essential medicines at no charge to patients resulted in a 44 per cent increase in people taking their medications.

Research on US child firearm injuries lags far behind studies of other causes of death

Firearm injuries kill 2,500 American children each year, and send another 12,000 to the emergency department. But a new study finds that the nation spends far less on studying what led to these injuries, and what might prevent and treat them, than it spends on other, less-common causes of death in children between the ages of 1 and 18 years.

More behavioral health care linked to small drop in gun-related suicides, study finds

An increase in behavioral health providers is associated with a slight decrease in gun-related suicides, but the difference is small and points to a need to tackle gun violence in other ways, according to the authors of a new study.

Recent winners of the Nobel Medicine Prize

Here is a list of the winners of the Nobel Medicine Prize in the past 10 years following the announcement of the 2019 award on Monday:

Is 5G bad for your health? It's complicated, say researchers

The fifth generation of mobile internet is fast approaching.

Studying for exams? Here's how to make your memory work for you

Have you ever thought about how your brain works when you study? Knowing this may improve your ability to retain and recall information.

Antipsychotics linked to accumulation of hospital days in persons with Alzheimer's disease

People with Alzheimer's disease who used antipsychotic drugs had a higher number of accumulated hospital days than people with Alzheimer's disease who did not use antipsychotics, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland. The results were published in the Journal of American Medical Directors Association. During a two-year follow-up, persons who initiated antipsychotic drugs accumulated approximately eleven more hospital days per person-year.

Young adults of South Asian descent face higher risk of prediabetes, diabetes: study

Compared to long-term residents, immigrants to Canada have a 40 percent higher risk of developing prediabetes, which is an early predictor of an individual's likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes and associated illnesses, like heart disease.

Health disparities, strong social support among state's LGBTQ community

LGBTQ individuals in Washington state have higher rates of disability and poorer mental health than their heterosexual counterparts, according to a study released Oct. 4 by the University of Washington.

Online data mining adds to the picture of vaping-related lung disease

Severe lung disease related to vaping has been surging across the U.S., with the eighth death confirmed last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A brief report in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that online data-mining tools can supplement traditional public health surveillance and help officials stay ahead of this sudden epidemic.

Research uncovers new sex-specific factor in CV disease

A common receptor may serve differentiated roles related to aging-associated cardiovascular disease (CV) in males and females. Jennifer DuPont, Ph.D., will present the findings of this first-of-its-kind study today at the American Physiological Society (APS) Aldosterone and ENaC in Health and Disease: The Kidney and Beyond Conference in Estes Park, Colo.

Blocking a hormone's action in immune cells may reduce heart disease risk

Blocking the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR)—a protein that helps maintain normal levels of salt and water in the body—in immune cells may help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by improving blood vessel health. 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.

6 things every woman should know about heart health

Heart disease is the nation's leading killer of women. But paying attention to risk factors and living a healthy lifestyle can help keep heart disease at bay.

Common denominator that triggers asthma in favorable environments

In recent decades, asthma has become a major public health problem. The exponential increase in asthma cases in industrialized countries over the past 50 years is due to major changes in the environment. Among these environmental factors: excessive hygiene, ambient air pollution and respiratory viral infections. Until now, the mechanism by which these particular factors induce the development of asthma was unknown.

Scientists have identified the presence of cancer-suppressing cells in pancreatic cancer

A research team led by Nagoya University has revealed that cells containing a protein called Meflin have a role in restraining the progression of pancreatic cancer, a type of cancer that is hard to treat with traditional anti-cancer drugs. The team has also shown that cancer progression can be limited by artificially increasing the amount of this protein in the cells. These findings could lead to the development of new therapies against pancreatic cancer. This study was published online in Cancer Research on Aug 22, 2019.

The app that is improving therapy for stroke survivors

A mobile phone app is improving care for stroke survivors and helping health staff make evidence-based decisions 'on-the-go' to speed up recovery—according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

Team uses organoid technology and single-cell RNA sequencing to study bladder cancer

Investigation of biological mechanisms in urothelial tissue, one of the three types of tissue that make up the urinary system, has always been very limited due to the lack of technologies that allow working with stable and long-term populations of the cells that compose it. As a consequence, the mechanisms underlying diseases such as bladder cancer or cystitis remain poorly understood.

Researchers discover a new defensive mechanism against bacterial wound infections

Wound inflammation that results in impaired wound healing can have serious consequences for patients. Researchers from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin have discovered a new defensive mechanism that enables skin to actively kill bacteria. Central to this mechanism is a cellular messenger molecule known as interleukin 6, whose mode of action may be used in the future to prevent wound infections. Results from this research have been published in PNAS.

UNAIDS HIV targets will be missed among gay men in Africa, study suggests

Despite improvements in HIV testing among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Africa, many are missing out on HIV treatment.

Hepatitis C virus infection rates up for women giving birth

(HealthDay)—Among women giving birth, the rates of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection increased more than 400 percent from 2000 to 2015, with rates much higher among those with opioid use disorder, according to research published in the Oct. 4 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Medicaid pays 75 percent of what Medicare pays for spine surgeries

(HealthDay)—There are large disparities between Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement rates for eight spine procedures, according to a study published online Sept. 26 in Spine.

PCI, CABG for left main CAD have similar five-year outcomes

(HealthDay)—Five-year rates of a composite outcome of death, stroke, and myocardial infarction are similar for patients with left main coronary artery disease following either percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), according to a study published online Sept. 28 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research was published to coincide with Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics 2019, the annual meeting of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, held from Sept. 25 to 29 in San Francisco.

Diabetes advances poised to help manage blood sugar after meals

Mealtimes can become a difficult experience for individuals with diabetes. After a meal, blood sugar levels may soar as the food digests or unexpectedly plummet if an insulin dose was more than the meal required.

Large, long-term study suggests link between eating mushrooms and a lower risk of prostate cancer

Results from the first long-term cohort study of more than 36,000 Japanese men over decades suggest an association between eating mushrooms and a lower risk of prostate cancer.

Atopic dermatitis: How allergens get on our nerves

Dry skin, pain, and itching... Atopic dermatitis affects the everyday lives of nearly 20% of children, and up to 5% of adults. The condition can have a significant impact on the quality of life of these patients.

Icaros: Flight simulator home trainer

Epidemiological studies show significant correlations between periods spent sitting and the prevalence of chronic diseases. This also applies to children and adolescents. One of the major obstacles to people taking up physical exercise is a lack of motivation. The solution could be Icaros: a flight simulator with exergaming technology that promises the user an element of fun while at the same time keeping fit.

Young infants with fever may be more likely to develop infections

Infants with a high fever may be at increased risk for infections, according to research from Penn State College of Medicine.

CTE risk, severity increases with years playing American football

The risk and severity of developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) increases with the number of years playing American football according to a new study that appears online in Annals of Neurology. These findings reaffirm the relationship between playing tackle football and CTE, and for the first time quantify the strength of that relationship.

Back sleeping in late pregnancy linked to lower birth weight

(HealthDay)—Back sleeping in late pregnancy is independently associated with lower birth weight, according to a study published online Oct. 2 in JAMA Network Open.

Data suggest viral etiology for pediatric acute flaccid myelitis

(HealthDay)—Surveillance data for acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) suggests a viral etiology, according to a study published online Oct. 7 in Pediatrics.

Financial incentives have short-term effect on BP control

(HealthDay)—A patient-centered behavioral economics intervention only yields short-term benefits for blood pressure (BP) control in a highly disadvantaged population, according to a study published online Sept. 12 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

What are the risks of pain relief alternatives to opioids?

(HealthDay)—With so much attention focused on the dangers of opioid painkillers, it's easy to forget that even "safe" over-the-counter products carry some dangers.

Can being an immigrant be hazardous to your health?

In recent years, health care experts have warmed to the idea that lots of seemingly non-medical factors – income, housing, education – can significantly affect a person's health.

Cause of paralyzing illness in kids remains elusive

(HealthDay)—There is still no clear cause for a mysterious paralytic condition that has been striking U.S. children over the past five years, government health officials report.

Team discovers surprise contributor to multiple sclerosis

Cells that scientists have largely ignored when studying multiple sclerosis are actually key contributors to MS development, new research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine shows. The discovery suggests new avenues for devising treatments and is a vital step toward finding a cure.

US firearm death rate rose sharply in recent years across most states and demographic groups

The rate at which Americans died from firearm injuries increased sharply starting in 2015, a new study shows. The change occurred to varying degrees across different states, types of firearm death such as homicide and suicide, and demographics.

New study is 'chilling commentary' on future of antibiotics

The health care market is failing to support new antibiotics used to treat some of the world's most dangerous, drug-resistant "superbugs," according to a new analysis by University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine infectious disease scientists.

Black and ethnic minority people face inequality in diabetes treatment

Black and ethnic minority people are not as likely to be prescribed newer medication for Type 2 diabetes and they experience less adequate monitoring of their condition compared to their white peers, new collaborative research from the University of Surrey and Eli Lilly and Company Limited finds.

Coordinated care model leads to decreases in unscheduled, preventable hospitalizations

Oregon Medicaid enrollees are less likely to make unscheduled trips to the hospital following the implementation of the state's accountable-care model, new research by Oregon State University shows.

Traffic experts, parents don't always see eye to eye on safe cycling routes for children

Parents often disagree with transportation experts over what streets are safe for children to ride bikes, a Rutgers-led study finds.

Community responders more likely to seek help during overdose when naloxone does not work

Calling emergency services is an integral part of overdose response training. This step may be even more important in the setting of rapidly-progressing overdoses from fentanyl. New research from Boston Medical Center's Grayken Center for Addiction found, however, that community members responding to an overdose with naloxone are more likely to seek emergency help when naloxone does not work or takes more time to work. Published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, the results show several factors associated with calling emergency services when helping someone with naloxone.

Four studies report on key issues in preventing gun violence

Three research studies by the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program (VPRP) provide new data and report on current strategies and future efforts that can further reduce firearm-related injury and death. A fourth study, accepted for publication and expected to post online the week of Oct. 7 in the journal Injury Prevention, identifies five distinct types of firearm owners.

Why it's dangerous for Tanzania to withhold information about Ebola fears

In the past few weeks there have been unofficial reports that some people in Tanzania, including one in Dar es Salaam, had died of what was suspected to be Ebola virus disease. As we know, there is an ongoing outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in which thousands have died.

Pairing new medications could offer hope to heart disease patients

Cardiologist Bertram Pitt, MD, sees promise in combining two new classes of medication into a treatment regimen for patients with cardiovascular disease. Pitt will discuss the advantages of this treatment plan in his clinical plenary lecture at the American Physiological Society (APS) Aldosterone and ENaC in Health and Disease: The Kidney and Beyond Conference in Estes Park, Colo.

New online platform to improve the autonomy of patients with Alzherimer's disease

An international team of researchers has developed a new online platform that improves the autonomy and self-reliance of people who suffer from Alzheimer's disease in its initial stages

How to make your own healthful sauerkraut

(HealthDay)—Pickled foods are still on trend and so are do-it-yourself recipes since homemade fermented foods taste much better than store-bought versions.

You've got questions about Medicare's 2020 fall enrollment period. We've got answers.

Medicare's fall open enrollment, which runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, is an opportunity to review your benefits and make changes in time for 2020.

Mississippi defends 15-week abortion ban in appeals court

A federal court that rejected Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban should have let the state present evidence about whether a fetus experiences pain, an attorney for the state argued Monday.

Biology news

Voltage gated calcium channels 'read' electric patterns in embryos to create cartilage and bone

Scientists at Allen Discovery Center at Tufts University and Harvard Medical School have revealed how, in the case of limb formation, the electrical patterns formed within an embryo initiate a cascade of molecular changes that culminate in the development of cartilage and bone. The study, published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), helps answer a central question in developmental biology: "How do immature cells in the developing embryo differentiate and organize into a body?"

Genome-edited bull passes on hornless trait to calves

For the past two years, researchers at the University of California, Davis, have been studying six offspring of a dairy bull, genome-edited to prevent it from growing horns. This technology has been proposed as an alternative to dehorning, a common management practice performed to protect other cattle and human handlers from injuries.

Big data reveals extraordinary unity underlying life's diversity

From microscopic algae to elephants, life has devised countless ways to thrive in every environment on the planet. But while biologists have tended to focus on the many varied forms that species have evolved, the age of Big Data offers an unprecedented view of some surprisingly common features shared by all creatures great and small.

A timekeeper for siesta

Circadian clocks must be flexible and they must be able to adapt to varying environmental conditions. Otherwise, it would be impossible for living beings to change their patterns of activity when the days get shorter again as is happening now. After all, Drosophila, also known as the common fruit fly, no longer needs a long siesta in autumn to protect itself from excessive heat and predators as in the middle of summer. At the same time, the fly must shift its evening activity peak a few hours forward if it doesn't want to end up buzzing around in the dark.

Unlocking the genetic secrets of the malaria parasite

A new method to control the timing of gene deletion in the malaria parasite has been developed by researchers at the Crick, which could lead to better vaccines.

ClpX-ClpP protein complex could be starting point for new antibiotics

Antibiotics are still the most important weapon for combating bacterial infections. But medical science is running out of ammunition because of more and more frequently occurring resistances. Scientists from the Technical University of Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology have now elucidated the structure of the proteolytic complex ClpX-ClpP. This is a key to the development of innovative antibiotics that target the degradation process of defective proteins in bacteria.

Novel compound interrupts malaria parasite's lifecycle

An international group of researchers has proven that a molecule called TCMDC-135051 can selectively inhibit a protein that is essential to the lifecycle of Plasmodium falciparum, one of the parasites that causes malaria.

The cholera bacterium can steal up to 150 genes in one go

EPFL scientists have discovered that predatory bacteria like the cholera pathogen can steal up to 150 genes in one go from their neighbors. The study sheds light on one of the most fundamental mechanisms of horizontal gene transfer.

Proximity to paths and roads is a burden for white-tailed sea eagles

The white-tailed sea eagle is known for reacting sensitively to disturbances. However, research into which factors have which effects on the animals and how these impacts influence breeding success has so far only just begun. A research team led by Dr. Oliver Krone from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) has now measured concentrations of the hormone corticosterone and its metabolic products in white-tailed sea eagles in northern Germany and correlated these values with potential causes of "stress". They found that the levels of corticosterone in the birds' urine are higher the closer a breeding pair's nest is to paths or roads. From this, the scientists derive implications for the management and protection of white-tailed sea eagles, in particular for protection zones around the nests. The study was published in the journal General and Comparative Endocrinology.

A symbiotic boost for greenhouse tomato plants

Use of saline water to irrigate crops would bolster food security for many arid countries; however, this has not been possible due to the detrimental effects of salt on plants. Now, researchers at KAUST, along with scientists in Egypt, have shown that saline irrigation of tomato is possible with the help of a beneficial desert root fungus. This represents a new key technology for countries lacking water resources.

This microbe is spreading antibiotic resistance to other bacteria

Antibiotic resistance is spreading fast all over the world. When infectious bacteria mutate in a certain way and then multiply, they can become resistant to even the most powerful drugs. But research has revealed a worrying alternative way that antibiotic resistance can spread: an organism that passes on its resistance on to other living bacteria.

Should my cat be vegan? Why alternative diet trends can be dangerous for your pet

Millions of people embrace new diet and nutrition trends every day, but experts from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine urge people not to assume what works for them will also work for their pets.

Gene-edited livestock carry huge promise but major pitfalls

If American researchers have successfully employed new gene-editing techniques to develop hornless dairy cattle and piglets born castrated—a seeming boon to farmers and ranchers—they are still struggling to move these animals from stable to table.

For gene-edited livestock, regulation is in its infancy

Genetically modified salmon are, in principle, the only animal in the world with artificially altered DNA to have made their way onto humanity's plate—if only, for the moment, in Canada.

Park service looks to solve mystery deaths of Isle Royale wolves

One year into its effort to reestablish the wolf population on Isle Royale, the National Park Service and its partners have a problem: The new wolves keep dying and nobody knows why.

Florida python program nabs 900th snake, including new record

There is more than one python-hunting army in Florida, but the one run by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission just hit another milestone including the largest python the group has ever captured.

Early breeding season for some Arctic seabirds due global warming

The breeding season of some seabirds in Arctic regions takes place earlier as a result of the temperature rise caused by climate change, according to a science article with Francisco Ramírez, from the Faculty of Biology and the Biodiversity Research Institute (IRBio) of the University of Barcelona—as one of the main authors.

Dog owners often inaccurately measure out kibble, study finds

A cup might seem like the most obvious way to measure out dry dog food, but new University of Guelph research finds that when it comes to getting portions right, dog owners often get it wrong.

Was early stick insect evolution triggered by birds and mammals?

Stick and leaf insects are a diverse and strikingly bizarre group of insects with a world-wide distribution, which are more common in tropical and subtropical areas. They are famous for their impressively large body size, compared to other insects, and their remarkable ability to camouflage themselves as twigs, leaves or bark in order to hide from potential predators. A team of international researchers led by the University of Göttingen has now generated the first phylogenomic tree of these insects. The results have been published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.

How plants react to fungi

Plants are under constant pressure from fungi and other microorganisms. The air is full of fungal spores, which attach themselves to plant leaves and germinate, especially in warm and humid weather. Some fungi remain on the surface of the leaves. Others, such as downy mildew, penetrate the plants and proliferate, extracting important nutrients. These fungi can cause great damage in agriculture.

Fruit bats 'vitally important' to Guam's forests

Seed dispersal on Guam, a crucial process for regenerating and diversifying the island's forests that has significantly declined with the diminishing bird population, is still being carried out by the few remaining Mariana fruit bats, or fanihi, a University of Guam graduate student confirmed in a research project.

Governments must provide fundamental rights to certain animals: scientist

Legal proceedings conducted on behalf of apes and animals who are starved for the purpose of an ecological project. What position do animals actually have in the rule of law? And what changes need to be made? Ph.D. candidate Janneke Vink defends her dissertation on 10 October.

Nodulation connected to higher resistance against powdery mildew in legumes

Scientists have long known that nodulation is important to plant health. Nodulation occurs when nodules, which form on the roots of plants (primarily legumes), form a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria that deliver nutrients to the plant. This process is a key part of sustainable agriculture and makes legumes an important source of protein for much of the world. However, recent research from RWTH Aachen University shows that nodulation might positively impact the plant's microbiome in other ways.

Madrid to clip wings of noisy parakeets

Faced with a soaring population of noisy parakeets affecting the environment city authorities in Madrid said Monday they have decided to take steps to cut their numbers.

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