Thursday, October 3, 2019

Science X Newsletter Thursday, Oct 3

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for October 3, 2019:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

A model to determine the impact of DDoS attacks using Twitter data

Producing dissipative coupling in hybrid quantum systems

Engineered viruses could fight drug resistance

Researchers raise the temperature for exciton condensation

Printed electronics open way for electrified tattoos and personalized biosensors

Implanted memories teach birds a song

Researchers outline policy approaches to transform fire management

Scientists discover interaction between good and bad fungi that drives forest biodiversity

Infrared-glowing nanoparticle gives researchers a view inside a living mouse's brain

Extraplanar diffuse ionized gas in NGC 5775 studied in detail

This is how a 'fuzzy' universe may have looked

A filament fit for space—silk is proven to thrive in outer space temperatures

Machine learning predicts behavior of biological circuits

Fathers-to-be should avoid alcohol six months before conception

A second display treat arrives for Android

Astronomy & Space news

Extraplanar diffuse ionized gas in NGC 5775 studied in detail

Astronomers have conducted a dynamical study of extraplanar diffuse ionized gas layer in the nearby, star-forming, edge-on disk galaxy NGC 5775. The research, published September 25 on, provides crucial information about the properties of this layer, which could help astronomers better understand star-forming processes in galaxies.

Japan spacecraft releases rover to asteroid in last mission

Japan's space agency says its Hayabusa2 spacecraft has released a small rover that will land on the surface of an asteroid as part its final mission before heading back to Earth.

What moons in other stellar systems reveal about planets like Neptune and Jupiter

What is the difference between a planet-satellite system as we have with the Earth and moon, versus a binary planet—two planets orbiting each other in a cosmic do-si-do?

NASA's Juno prepares to jump Jupiter's shadow

NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter has successfully executed a 10.5-hour propulsive maneuver—extraordinarily long by mission standards. The goal of the burn, as its known, will keep the solar-powered spacecraft out of what would have been a mission-ending shadow cast by Jupiter on the spacecraft during its next close flyby of the planet on Nov. 3, 2019.

Massive filaments fuel the growth of galaxies and supermassive black holes

An international group of scientists led by the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research has used observations from the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) at the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile and the Suprime-Cam at the Subaru telescope to make detailed observations of the filaments of gas connecting galaxies in a large, distant proto-cluster in the early universe.

Team uses deep learning to monitor the sun's ultraviolet emission

A NASA Frontier Development Lab (FDL) team has shown that by using deep learning, it is possible to virtually monitor the Sun's extreme ultraviolet (EUV) irradiance, which is a key driver of space weather. The Sun is vital for survival, but solar flares, which typically occur a few times a year, have the potential to cause severe disruptions in space and on Earth. These disruptions can impact spacecraft, satellites and even systems here on Earth, including GPS navigation, radio communications and the power grid. Deep learning can help get more value out of our current ability to monitor the Sun by providing virtual instruments to supplement physical devices. This research will be published in Science Advances on October 2, 2019 ("A deep learning virtual instrument for monitoring solar extreme ultraviolet spectral irradiance").

NASA's push to save the Mars InSight lander's heat probe

NASA's InSight lander, which is on a mission to explore the deep interior of Mars, positioned its robotic arm this past weekend to assist the spacecraft's self-hammering heat probe. Known as "the mole," the probe has been unable to dig more than about 14 inches (35 centimeters) since it began burying itself into the ground on Feb. 28, 2019.

First Arab on ISS returns to Earth (Update)

A three-man crew including an Emirati who became the first Arab to reach the International Space Station returned to Earth safely on Thursday and were in good shape, the Russian space agency Roscosmos said.

'Tumors in Space' project studies cancer risk of cosmic radiation

Can weightlessness stop cancer from growing? One of the nine research projects that has been given the go-ahead for the new China Space Station scheduled for 2022 is designed to answer this exact question.

Nearly a decade in the making, exoplanet-hunting instrument installed in Hawaii

A top a dormant volcano in Hawaii, an extremely delicate instrument—designed to help scientists find distant worlds—is scattered across the floor in hundreds of pieces.

Space can solve our looming resource crisis—but the space industry itself must be sustainable

Australia's space industry is set to grow into a multibillion-dollar sector that could provide tens of thousands of jobs and help replenish the dwindling stocks of precious resources on Earth. But to make sure they don't flame out prematurely, space companies need to learn some key lessons about sustainability.

Exoplanet orbits its star every 18 hours

In the past decade, thousands of planets have been discovered beyond our solar system. These planets have provided astronomers with the opportunity to study planetary systems that defy our preconcieved notions. This includes particularly massive gas giants that are many times the size of Jupiter (aka "super-Jupiters"). And then there are those that orbit particularly close to their suns, otherwise known as "hot Jupiters."

Down to Earth: Astronauts safely return after space mission

An American, a Russian and the first person from the United Arab Emirates to fly into space landed safely on Thursday after a six-hour flight from the International Space Station.

Technology news

A model to determine the impact of DDoS attacks using Twitter data

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which are designed to prevent legitimate users from accessing specific network systems, have become increasingly common over the past decade or so. These attacks make services such as Facebook, Reddit and online banking sites extremely slow or impossible to use by exhausting network or server resources (e.g., bandwidth, CPU and memory).

Machine learning predicts behavior of biological circuits

Biomedical engineers at Duke University have devised a machine learning approach to modeling the interactions between complex variables in engineered bacteria that would otherwise be too cumbersome to predict. Their algorithms are generalizable to many kinds of biological systems.

A second display treat arrives for Android

Duet Display has been brought to Android. Duet is the company behind the app Duet Display, which has attracted fans for the way it provides a second display. Duet is an app—developed by a team of former Apple engineers—that lets you turn your phone, tablet, or Chromebook into a secondary display for your Windows or Mac computer.

New technique stretches out MRI scans of placentas so they can be more accurately analyzed

The placenta is one of the most vital organs when a woman is pregnant. If it's not working correctly, the consequences can be dire: Children may experience stunted growth and neurological disorders, and their mothers are at increased risk of blood conditions like preeclampsia, which can impair kidney and liver function.

System helps smart devices find their position

A new system developed by researchers at MIT and elsewhere helps networks of smart devices cooperate to find their positions in environments where GPS usually fails.

House panel taps startup for Facebook files

A U.S. congressional committee has requested a trove of internal Facebook documents that the company's critics say will demonstrate how the social media giant unfairly leveraged its market dominance to crush or absorb competitors.

Composition for video gaming draws on tradition and tech

The product of hundreds of years of musical and storytelling tradition married to computer technology, video game music has gone from a technological curio to something vitally creative. Next week in Melbourne, some of the nation's best video game composers will gather at the APRA AMCOS High Score conference to discuss the state of the industry.

Researchers develop deep-learning technique to ID at-risk anatomy in CT scans

Radiation therapy is one of the most widely used cancer treatments, but a drawback of the procedure is that it can cause collateral damage to healthy tissue in proximity to cancerous growths. Identifying organs at risk via CT scans is a difficult and labor-intensive process, but UCI computer scientists and researchers from other institutions have developed an automated technique to perform this function using a deep-learning algorithm. Their work was published recently in Nature Machine Intelligence.

Airbnb adds getaways in tune with the animal kingdom

Airbnb on Thursday began offering "Animal Experiences"—promising harmony with nature, from lazing with alpacas to helping dogs struggling to survive in the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

AI bias: How tech determines if you land job, get a loan or end up in jail

Businesses across almost every industry deploy artificial intelligence to make jobs simpler for staff and tasks easier for consumers.

Solar power could stop the Belt and Road Initiative from unleashing huge carbon emissions

China has invested US$90 billion in the countries involved in its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) since 2013. The BRI involves developing infrastructure in 126 partner countries to boost trade within a region stretching from Indonesia to Western Europe via the Middle East and East Africa, inspired by the historical Silk Road.

Addictive de-vices: How we can unplug from this 21st century epidemic

We spend our days looking at them, talking to them, and touching them.

How to make online recommendations work better

Researchers from Erasmus University published a new paper in the Journal of Marketing that explores online recommendations and their effectiveness, providing marketers with tools to maximize this important engagement tool.

Google using dubious tactics to target people with 'darker skin' in facial recognition project: sources

Tech giant Google wants your face—especially if you've got "darker skin."

Facebook launches 'Threads' app woven into Instagram

Facebook on Thursday launched Threads, an image-centric messaging app designed to weave tight circles of Instagram friends together, while ramping up its challenge to rival Snapchat.

Google to commit to White House job training initiative

Google is committing to a White House initiative designed to get private companies to expand job training for American workers.

Tesla shares fall after 3Q deliveries miss estimates

Tesla reported lower-than-expected third quarter auto deliveries Wednesday, pushing shares lower in after-hours trading.

Vice Media to buy women's focused rival Refinery29

Vice Media said Wednesday it was acquiring rival Refinery29, an online outlet that targets young female readers, claiming the deal creates "the world's largest digital media business."

Malaysia threatens ride-hailing firm Grab with $21 million fine

Malaysia's competition watchdog on Thursday threatened to hit Grab with a $21 million fine for practices that allegedly reduce competition, the latest problem for the ride-hailing giant.

EU court: Facebook can be forced to remove content worldwide

The European Union's highest court ruled Thursday that individual member countries can force Facebook to remove what they regard as unlawful material from the social network all over the world—a decision experts say could hinder free speech online and put a heavy burden on tech companies.

Turkey fines Facebook for breach of data protection laws

Turkey's data protection authority says it has imposed a 1.6 million Turkish lira ($280,000) fine on Facebook for contravening the country's data laws.

American auto companies take top slots on 2019 Kogod Made in America Auto Index

American auto companies continued the trend of manufacturing the bulk of their vehicles in the country with General Motors leading the pack, according to the 2019 Kogod Made in America Auto Index, released by American University.

Medicine & Health news

Fathers-to-be should avoid alcohol six months before conception

Aspiring parents should both avoid drinking alcohol prior to conception to protect against congenital heart defects, according to research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Special sensory cells in the gums protect against periodontitis

Newly discovered chemical-sensing cells in the gums protect the mouth by standing guard against infections that damage soft tissue and destroy the bone that supports the teeth, report researchers from the Monell Chemical Senses Center in an animal study published this week in Nature Communications. With the help of bitter taste receptors that also detect byproducts from harmful bacteria, these special gum cells trigger the immune system to control the amount and type of bacteria in the mouth and could one day lead to personalized dental treatments against gum disease.

Genetics researchers find new neurodevelopmental syndrome

Researchers have identified a gene mutation that causes developmental delay, intellectual disability, behavioral abnormalities and musculoskeletal problems in children. The newly diagnosed condition, called NKAP-related syndrome, arises from mutations in the NKAP gene, which plays a key role in human development.

Researchers discover potential drug to treat heart attacks

A potential drug to treat heart attacks and to prevent heart failure—for which no cure currently exists—may result from pioneering research by a University of Guelph professor.

Key to learning and forgetting identified in sleeping brain

Distinct patterns of electrical activity in the sleeping brain may influence whether we remember or forget what we learned the previous day, according to a new study by UC San Francisco researchers. The scientists were able to influence how well rats learned a new skill by tweaking these brainwaves while animals slept, suggesting potential future applications in boosting human memory or forgetting traumatic experiences, the researchers say.

Stem cell studies offer hope for childhood neurological condition

Two new studies by an international team of researchers report progress in using stem cells to develop new therapies for Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD), a rare genetic condition affecting boys that can be fatal before 10 years of age.

Mounting brain organoid research reignites ethical debate

As research involving the transplantation of human "mini-brains"—known as brain organoids—into animals to study disease continues to expand, so do the ethical debates around the practice. One concern is the possibility, however minute, that the grafted organoids may one day induce a level of consciousness in host animals, as models evolve to resemble the human brain more closely.

Researchers make visible how AIDS pathogens multiply in the body

In order to treat diseases, researchers must understand how they arise. A European research team led by Prof. Christian Eggeling from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT), and the University of Oxford has now used high-resolution imaging to make visible to the millisecond how the HI virus spreads between living cells and which molecules it requires for this purpose. Using super-resolution STED fluorescence microscopy, the researchers provide direct proof for the first time that the AIDS pathogen creates a certain lipid environment for replication. "We have thus created a method for investigating how this multiplication can potentially be prevented," says Eggeling. The research team published the results in the journal Science Advances on October 2, 2019.

Study finds gut microbes adapt quickly to changes in food preparation

How we prepare food matters to us, surprisingly deeply, it turns out.

New drug helps combat metabolic syndrome

A new drug developed at Yale reduces a host of abnormalities associated with metabolic syndrome, an obesity-born condition that afflicts one of three adults in the United States, researchers report Oct. 2 in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

App can detect 'white eye' in children's photos to spot possible problems

A team of researchers from Baylor University, with assistance from staff at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has developed and tested a smartphone app that is able to detect "white eye" in children by analyzing stored photographs. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes how the app was developed and tested, and how well it works.

Researchers discover a new way that telomerase acts to keep cancer cells multiplying

Faster cancer treatments may be possible thanks to research from Children's Medical Research Institute (CMRI).

Immune cell identity crisis: What makes a liver macrophage a liver macrophage?

Every tissue in the human body has an immune cell in it called a macrophage. Macrophages play important roles in the immune system's initial response to bacteria, viruses and wounds. But beyond that, each tissue macrophage also has specialized functions, tuned to the needs of that particular tissue.

Why the language-ready brain is so complex

In a review article published in Science, Peter Hagoort, professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at Radboud University and director of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, argues for a new model of language, involving the interaction of multiple brain networks. This model is much more complex than the classical neurobiological model of language, which was largely based on single-word processing.

Experts advise against routine bowel cancer testing for all over 50s

Routine testing for bowel cancer should not be recommended for everyone aged 50-79 years because, for those at very low risk, the benefit is small and uncertain and there are potential harms, say a panel of international experts in The BMJ today.

Environmental cost of formula milk should be a matter of global concern

"The production of unnecessary infant and toddler formulas exacerbates environmental damage and should be a matter of increasing global concern," argue experts in The BMJ today.

Tooth loss associated with higher risk of heart disease

Adults who have lost teeth due to nontraumatic reasons may have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease according to a presentation at the American College of Cardiology Middle East Conference 2019 together with the 10th Emirates Cardiac Society Congress. The conference is Oct. 3-5 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

High fiber diet associated with reduced CV risk in hypertension, type 2 diabetes patients

Patients with hypertension and Type 2 diabetes who consume a high fiber diet had improvement in their blood pressure, cholesterol and fasting glucose, according to a study presented at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Middle East Conference 2019 together with the 10th Emirates Cardiac Society Congress. The conference is Oct. 3-5 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

In Russia, declines in alcohol consumption and mortality have gone hand in hand

Since the early 2000s, Russia has seen significant declines in overall alcohol consumption, and a new review shows that there has been a parallel, steep decline in the country's mortality rates as well.

Aspirin may prevent air pollution harms

A new study is the first to report evidence that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin may lessen the adverse effects of air pollution exposure on lung function. The team of researchers from the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, Harvard Chan School of Public Health, Boston University School of Medicine published their findings in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Toxin promotes cattle-to-cattle transmission of deadly Escherichia coli strains

Shiga toxin subtype 2a (Stx2a) may play a key role in promoting the colonization and transmission of life-threatening Escherichia coli strains in cattle, according to a study published October 3 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Tom McNeilly of the Moredun Research Institute, David Gally of the University of Edinburgh, and colleagues. As these bacteria evolve ways to increase the activity of Shiga toxins, they may become more of a threat to human health.

Drinking more sugary beverages of any type may increase type 2 diabetes risk

People who increase their consumption of sugary beverages—whether they contain added or naturally occurring sugar—may face moderately higher risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Drinking more sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), like soft drinks, as well as 100% fruit juices, were associated with higher type 2 diabetes risk.

Kidney function may affect risks associated with prescription opioids

Receiving prescriptions of opioids was linked with higher risks of death and hospitalization compared with receiving other pain medications, and the risk of death was especially high in individuals with lower kidney function. The findings appear in an upcoming issue of CJASN.

More accurate diagnosis for rare ovarian cancer type

UNSW medical researchers have shown how a biomarker could help doctors more accurately diagnose one of the rarest types of ovarian cancer.

How a Minecraft world has built a safe online playground for autistic kids

For autistic children, online social interactions can be just as fraught as those in the offline world. The community at Autcraft, which is built around a customised version of the popular game Minecraft, has set out to create a safe virtual playground.

Increased risk for skin cancer with increased solarium use

There are only few studies investigating the association between solarium use and risk of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in the skin. A new study from the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences at the University of Oslo, published in JAMA Dermatology, shows a clear association between number of solarium sessions and SCC development.

Psychotic experiences are quite common even among people who don't have a mental health condition

Have you ever seen or heard something that turned out not to exist? Or have you ever thought something was happening that no one else noticed—perhaps thinking you were being followed, or that something was trying to communicate with you? If so, you may have had a psychotic experience.

Different views on vaginal birth after previous cesarean section

There is considerable variations in different countries´ health care systems and professionals in the views on vaginal birth after previous cesarean section (VBAC), according to a European study. However, women's´ views are more similar in the different countries.

Research into state drug pricing laws finds no improvement in transparency

Less than 5 percent of state drug pricing laws passed between 2015 and 2018 will provide new information about pricing within the pharmaceutical distribution system. The rest of the laws passed either do not focus on transparency at all, or mandate reporting of information that is already publicly available.

Exploring the role of insulin in heart disease among men

Men have shorter life expectancy than women, in part due to the higher rates of heart disease among men. To address this disparity, heart disease is now being considered with the well-established evolutionary biology theory that suggests that the intrinsic drive to achieve reproductive success can sometimes occur at the expense of longevity.

The vegans are coming! What's fueling the interest in plant-based eating?

Between the rise of plant-based sausages and veggie burgers that "bleed", vegan protesters at supermarkets, and Disney adding hundreds of vegan items to its theme park menus, veganism is in the news. Not to mention the woman trying to sue her neighbors for their meat-grilling ways. For a group once perceived as placid and potentially anemic, vegans have sure been making a lot of noise.

Researcher develops mobile rehab tool to help patients manage their concussion recovery

Individuals suffering from a concussion who lack the resources, time or knowledge to handle their condition expertly will soon have access to a low-cost path to recovery.

Cancer incidence and most common types vary among American Indians and Alaska natives

The nation's American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) population faces higher risk of many cancers than white Americans, with considerable variation among regional groups, according to results published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Poor mental and physical health in pregnancy linked to infant sleep problems

Severe and persistent infant sleep problems in the first year are linked to poor maternal mental and physical health during pregnancy, a new study by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute has found.

An 'unprecedented' rise in infant mortality in England linked to poverty

A new study, published in BMJ Open, links a rise in infant mortality in England to poverty.

Seafood consumption during pregnancy may improve attention capacity in children

A team of scientists from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) has studied the relationship between the consumption of various types of seafood during pregnancy and attention capacity in children at eight years of age. The results, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, show that eating a seafood-rich diet during early pregnancy is associated with better attention outcomes in children.

Heart failure and the obesity paradox

While obesity significantly increases your chances of developing heart failure, for those with established heart failure it may confer a survival benefit compared with normal weight or underweight individuals, a new paper by researchers from the University of Adelaide reports.

Running the numbers on high blood pressure

High blood pressure is a risk factor for many serious health threats, such as heart attack and stroke.

Urinary catheters not needed for joint replacement surgery

Patients undergoing joint replacement under epidural anesthesia have no increased risk for postoperative adverse genitourinary (GU) complications by skipping preoperative indwelling urinary catheters, according to a study published in the October issue of the Journal of Arthroplasty.

'Dietary' vulnerability found in cancer cells with mutated spliceosomes

A research team from the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center reports it has discovered a metabolic vulnerability in multiple types of cancer cells that bear a common genetic mutation affecting cellular machines called spliceosomes. In test tube and mouse experiments, the researchers learned that the resulting spliceosome malfunction cripples the cells' chemical process for generating the amino acid serine, making the cancer cells dependent on external (dietary) sources of the amino acid. When mice were fed a serine-restricted diet, their tumors (myeloid sarcomas, the solid tumor version of acute myeloid leukemia) shrank, suggesting that a similar dietary intervention might be helpful for patients bearing the mutation, the researchers say. Among foods high in serine are soybeans, nuts, eggs, lentils, meat and shellfish.

Anticipating performance can hinder memory

Anticipating your own performance at work or school may hinder your ability to remember what happened before your presentation, a study from the University of Waterloo has found.

Yes, we still need to cut down on red and processed meat

Judging by some media headlines this week, you'd be forgiven for thinking researchers, clinicians and the Australian Dietary Guidelines have it all wrong when it comes to eating red and processed meat:

Should you keep eating red meat? Controversial study says well-known health risks are just bad science

Should you stop eating red meat for health reasons?

Gut bacteria work in teams, new study finds—here's why that's important for your health

Our digestive tract hosts trillions of microbes, mainly bacteria, that help us digest food, make vitamins, strengthen the immune system, protect against germs, and produce molecules that affect many aspects of our health. Studying the microbial composition of the gut used to be extremely complicated. To identify them, they had to be cultured in the lab. And many could not even be grown there.

One-two punch knocks cancer cells out

A classic boxing move, the "one-two punch," could also be effective against cancer: a left jab knocks cancer cells senseless, quickly followed by a right hook that knocks them out altogether. Researchers at the Netherlands Cancer Institute have shown that cancer cells are vulnerable to this kind of approach. "This is a beautiful, universal principle, that could be used for all forms of cancer." On October 2nd, the researchers publish their results in Nature.

Australian trial halves number of tuberculosis cases

Annual community-wide screening for tuberculosis almost halves the number of cases of the deadly disease, a four-year study by Australian and Vietnamese researchers has found.

Severe morning sickness associated with higher risk of autism

Children whose mothers had hyperemesis gravidarum—a severe form of a morning sickness—during pregnancy were 53% more likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, according to Kaiser Permanente research published in the American Journal of Perinatology.

High lead levels during pregnancy linked to child obesity, study suggests

Children born to women who have high blood levels of lead are more likely be overweight or obese, compared to those whose mothers have low levels of lead in their blood, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health and Health Resources and Services Administration. The study was conducted by Xiaobin Wang, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, and colleagues. It appears in JAMA Network Open.

A new strategy to alleviate sadness: Bring the emotion to life

Impulsive shopping can be a costly vice for people who are eager to escape emotional pain, but researchers have now discovered a strategy for increasing self-control in spite of negative feelings.

Targeting regulator of mitochondrial cell death delivers anticancer activity

A novel anticancer molecule created by researchers at The Wistar Institute showed therapeutic activity in preclinical models of various cancer types. This cell-permeable peptidomimetic was designed to disrupt a newly identified protein complex involving mitochondrial fission factor (MFF) and the voltage-dependent anion channel-1 (VDAC1), which regulates mitochondrial cell death. These results appeared online in the journal Cancer Research.

Response rate to albumin-bound paclitaxel + gemcitabine + cisplatin among patients with advanced pancreatic cancer

Adding a drug that targets a molecular vulnerability in pancreatic cancer could provide substantial benefit to patients, according to a clinical trial study by the HonorHealth Research Institute and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), an affiliate of City of Hope, in conjunction with the Pancreatic Cancer Research Team and Cancer Research And Biostatistics.

Researchers develop innovative treatment for familial adenomatous polyposis

Researchers from Tel Aviv University and Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov Hospital) have developed an innovative drug treatment for familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), a rare, inherited condition that affects adolescents and young adults and often leads to colorectal cancer.

Careful monitoring of children following cardiac surgery may improve long-term outcomes

In a medical records study covering thousands of children, a U.S.-Canadian team led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine concludes that while surgery to correct congenital heart disease (CHD) within 10 years after birth may restore young hearts to healthy function, it also may be associated with an increased risk of death and kidney failure within a few months or years after surgery.

Study: Ibrutinib linked to high blood pressure and other heart problems

Over half of people prescribed the targeted blood cancer-fighting drug ibrutinib developed new or worsened high blood pressure within six months of starting the medication, according to a new study published online today in Blood. The analysis is also the first to tie ibrutinib-related hypertension to a heightened risk of heart problems, particularly atrial fibrillation. Moreover, the association of ibrutinib with cardiovascular complications remained regardless of the prescribed dose.

Heart-transplant rules meant to save more children haven't worked as hoped, study finds

A national rule meant to increase the number of heart transplants for the sickest children has not resulted in improved survival, a new study has found.

Scientists predict the areas of the brain to stimulate transitions between different brain states

A fundamental question in neuroscience is how to force the transition from one brain state to another, for example, from sleep to wakefulness, or in the face of brain pathologies, such as psychiatric diseases and impaired consciousness. As Gustavo Deco and Josephine Cruzat point out: "it is feasible to force the transition from one brain state to another by means of external stimulation, but first it is essential to have a quantitative characterization of the real dynamics of a brain state."

Pesticides likely caused 'Havana syndrome' that affected Cuba-based diplomats: study

A new interdisciplinary study on the "Havana Syndrome" led by Dr. Alon Friedman M.D. of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Israel and Dalhousie University Brain Repair Center in Nova Scotia, Canada, points to overexposure to pesticides as a likely cause for neurological symptoms among Canadian diplomats residing in Havana, Cuba in 2016. This is the first study of its kind focused on Canadian diplomats.

Twin births in US now going down, at lowest level in decade

Fewer U.S. families are seeing double, according to a government report that finds a drop in new twins.

The diabetes pandemic and the promise of connected care

Digital diabetes management systems ("connected diabetes care") have the potential to become part of a new diabetes care model, augmenting the traditional practice of diabetes care by providing continuous and on-demand assistance that aligns with the 24/7 demands of diabetes as a chronic disease. While using modern technology, these connected systems can be seen as an extension of the team-based approach to diabetes care that was begun more than 100 years ago by Dr. Elliott P. Joslin. However, the actual awareness of these connected systems remains low.

Experts call for coordinated action to avert a brain disease crisis

Experts are calling for a public health campaign aimed at promoting a 'brain-healthy lifestyle' to reduce the risk of developing neurodegenerative brain diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

Official says dengue outbreak in Pakistan among worst-ever

A top Pakistani health official says authorities are battling one of the worst-ever dengue fever outbreaks in the country, including the capital Islamabad as hospitals continued to receive scores of patients, putting strain on emergency services.

Virtual reality may help foster learning and collaboration across health professions

A virtual world may be a feasible learning platform for bringing together students from different healthcare professions and enhancing their understanding of collaborative patient care and knowledge of other health professions, according to a pilot study led by researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine and published online in the Journal of Interprofessional Care.

Poor health more likely to be associated with shorter sleep in older Irish population

Trinity College Dublin researchers have shown that some Irish adults are not 'getting a good night's sleep' resulting in an increased risk of negative health outcomes. The first findings on sleep duration in the older Irish population are published by The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS).

Tension around autonomy increases family conflict at end of life

Conflict within families can be stressful and confusing, and it can lead to feelings of sadness. It also is incredibly common and in many cases, a necessary part of family dynamics. New research from the University of Missouri highlights how caregivers can better manage family conflict as they deal with the approaching death of a loved one.

Parkinson's disease is also present in the blood

The behaviour of immune cells in the blood is so different in patients with Parkinson's disease that it advocates for a new type of supplementary medicine, which can regulate the immune system and thus inhibit the deterioration of the brain.

Ligelizumab safely, effectively treats hives

(HealthDay)—Ligelizumab appears to be a safe and effective treatment option for chronic spontaneous urticaria, according to a study published in the Oct. 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

PTSD symptoms tied to higher risk for ovarian cancer

(HealthDay)—Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms are associated with an increased risk for ovarian cancer, especially among premenopausal women, according to a study published online Sept. 5 in Cancer Research.

Growing—and aging—Hispanic population at risk for dementia

The Hispanic population over 65 will nearly quadruple in the next 40 years, eventually representing nearly 1 in 5 older Americans. And growing alongside the population will be the daunting challenge of age-related dementia.

Understanding Bernie Sanders' heart treatment

Sen. Bernie Sanders had no reported history of heart disease and had been keeping up an active presidential campaign schedule. But during an event Tuesday evening in Las Vegas, he experienced chest discomfort, his campaign said. Tests showed a blocked artery, and he had two stents implanted.

Organic chicken less likely to harbor a dangerous 'superbug'

(HealthDay)— In a finding that suggests organic is best, a new study indicates that chickens raised without antibiotics may have fewer types of antibiotic-resistant salmonella than animals raised at factory farms.

Smart insole can double as lifesaving technology for diabetic patients

Stevens Institute of Technology has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Bonbouton, giving the cutting-edge health and technology company the right to use and further develop a graphene sensing system that detects early signs of foot ulcers before they form so people living with diabetes can access preventative healthcare and confidently manage their health.

Incidence of pediatric, adolescent and young adult head and neck melanoma is up 51 percent

Head and neck melanoma among pediatric, adolescent and young adult populations in the United States and Canada increased by 51.1% from 1995 to 2014, per research from Saint Louis University.

New test assists physicians with quicker treatment decisions for sepsis

A new test to determine whether antibiotics will be effective against certain bacterial infections is helping physicians make faster and better prescription treatment choices.

Patients say ask before using medical records for research

With electronic medical records creating an ideal source of data to inform quality care and new discovery, a key question emerges: How much say should patients have in how their data is used?

Researchers study link between low birth weight and cardiovascular risk

Low birth weight is linked not only to poor health outcomes at birth but also to chronic health conditions later in life.

What we know about the US vaping illness outbreak

U.S. health officials continue to look for patterns in the hundreds of serious lung injuries reported in people who use e-cigarettes and other vaping devices.

US vaping illnesses top 1,000, death count is up to 18

The outbreak of U.S. vaping-related illnesses has surpassed 1,000 cases.

University Hospitals completes first Evolut™ PRO+ case in the world

Physicians at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center completed the first procedure in the world using Medtronic's new Evolut PRO+ TAVR System.

Healthcare challenges faced by transgender people of color

Transgender people who are also racial and ethnic minorities have a difficult time finding a healthcare setting where all aspects of their identity are welcome, understood and addressed. In a new study published in the October issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, a research team from the University of Chicago Medicine shows how they are giving voice to these patients and their healthcare concerns.

How to talk to your teenagers about drugs

The UK has seen a sharp increase in teenage drug use in the last few years: the NHS reports that 37% of 15-year-olds have used drugs, and that deaths resulting from drug use are at their highest since records began in 1993. Meanwhile, thousands of children are being drawn into drug dealing through "county lines": gangs using them to transport drugs and cash from the capital to regional towns.

Congo distributes 3 million mosquito nets in anti-malaria campaign

The Republic of Congo on Thursday launched a campaign to distribute anti-malaria bed nets to more than 90 percent of the nation's households.

Consumer watchdog agency probes Juul and 5 more vaping firms

Federal consumer watchdogs have ordered Juul and five other vaping companies to hand over information about how they market e-cigarettes, the government's latest move targeting the industry.

Biology news

Engineered viruses could fight drug resistance

In the battle against antibiotic resistance, many scientists have been trying to deploy naturally occurring viruses called bacteriophages that can infect and kill bacteria.

Implanted memories teach birds a song

A father holds up his newborn, their faces only inches apart, and slowly repeats the syllables "da" and "dee." After months of hearing these sounds, the baby begins to babble and gradually "da da da" is refined to the word "Daddy."

Scientists discover interaction between good and bad fungi that drives forest biodiversity

Scientists have long understood that forest biodiversity is driven in part by something called rare-species advantage—that is, an individual tree has a better chance of survival if there are only a few other trees of the same species around. As a result, when the number of trees of any given species rises, survival rates among individual trees of that species drop. Scientists agree that rare-species advantage promotes forest diversity by preventing any one tree species from dominating the forest, but the mechanisms underlying rare-species advantage have been hard to identify.

Bumble bee workers sleep less while caring for young

All animals, including insects, need their sleep. Or do they? That's the question researchers reporting October 3 in the journal Current Biology are exploring in sleep studies of a surprising group of subjects: brood-tending bumble bee workers. Their studies show that worker bees tending pupae sleep much less than other bees do, even when caring for offspring that aren't their own.

New study discovers the three-dimensional structure of the genome replication machine

Mount Sinai researchers have discovered how the enzyme DNA polymerase delta works to duplicate the genome that cells hand down from one generation to the next. In a study published in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, the team also reported how certain mutations can modulate the activity of this enzyme, leading to cancers and other diseases.

Ant-plant partnerships may play unexpected role in ant evolution

Partnerships between ant and plant species appear to arise from—but not drive—rapid diversification of ants into new species. Katrina Kaur of the University of Toronto, Canada, and colleagues present these findings in PLOS Computational Biology.

First video of viruses assembling released

For the first time, researchers have captured images of the formation of individual viruses, offering a real-time view into the kinetics of viral assembly. The research provides new insights into how to fight viruses and engineer self-assembling particles.

Study: Mosquitoes carried across the Sahel by wind, possibly spreading malaria

An international team of researchers has found evidence showing that the type of mosquito that carries malaria parasites can be carried hundreds of kilometers by the wind. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes their study of windborne mosquitoes in the Sahel and what they found. Nora Besansky with the University of Notre Dame has published a News & Views piece in the same journal article outlining the work by the team—she also gives a brief overview of other known insect flight migrations.

Breakthrough in sex-chromosome regulation

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have uncovered a chromosome-wide mechanism that keeps the gene expression of sex chromosomes in balance in our cells. The findings shed light on molecular reasons for early miscarriage and could be important for the emerging field of regenerative medicine. The study is published in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology.

How the Texas puma saved the Florida panther

Scientists have pieced together the first complete picture of the Florida panther genome—work that could serve to protect that endangered population and other endangered species going forward.

Protein associated with many diseases fully visualized for first time

For the first time, researchers have observed at the molecular level how a protein associated with numerous health problems works.

Imprinting on mothers may drive new species formation in poison dart frogs

The old saying that people marry their parents may be true for poison dart frogs, and it may even lead to the formation of new species, according to a new study in Nature based on work at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI).

Plants alert neighbors to threats using common 'language'

New research from Cornell University shows that plants can communicate with each other when they come under attack from pests.

World wildlife trade affects one in five species, says report

More than 5,500 species of birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles are bought and sold on the worldwide animal market, a volume that is around 50 percent higher than earlier estimates, a study published in Science said Thursday.

A tool to understand how ecosystems are responding to a changing climate

As climate change accelerates, recording shifts in plant flowering times is critical to understanding how changes in climate will impact ecosystem interactions. Currently, when researchers reconstruct historical flowering times using dried herbarium specimens, they estimate first or peak flowering time using the day of the year (DOY) of plant collection as a proxy. Because herbarium specimens are collected at many different stages of flowering and fruiting (called "phenological" stages), this practice of using the day of collection creates shaky data that limits our ability to estimate how ecosystems will respond to a shifting climate.

Bacteria-infected Brazilian mosquitoes pack a punch in dengue fight

Dengue-resistant mosquitoes breed in a Rio de Janeiro laboratory, producing offspring infected with bacteria packing a punch in the fight against the deadly virus, which is exploding across Brazil this year.

Killer Japanese fungus found in Australia

One of the world's deadliest fungi has been discovered in Australia's far north for the first time—thousands of miles from its native habitat in the mountains of Japan and Korea.

Cause of rare but deadly neurological disease identified

A deadly neurological disease that primarily affects infant boys is caused by increased sensitivity to iron in the brain, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, the University of California-San Francisco and the University of Cambridge.

How the influenza virus achieves efficient viral RNA replication

New insights on how subunits of the influenza virus polymerase co-evolve to ensure efficient viral RNA replication are provided by a study published October 3 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Nadia Naffakh of the Institut Pasteur, and colleagues. As the authors note, the findings could lead to novel strategies for antiviral drug development.

Study finds large potential range for invasive spotted lanternfly

As the invasive spotted lanternfly wreaks havoc in the mid-Atlantic United States, scientists and a range of tree and fruit growers around the world are concerned about where the pest could show up next. A new habitat-modeling study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture may not put those minds at ease, as findings show large swaths of the United States and beyond are likely to be vulnerable should the spotted lanternfly continue to spread.

Confronting colony collapse

Honey bee colony collapse has devastating consequences for the environment, the global economy, and food security worldwide. The culprits behind some of the destruction—parasitic Varroa mites—are just a couple of millimeters in size, and they infiltrate colonies and infect bees with viruses. Yet surprisingly little is known about the mite's biology.

ACT's new animal sentience law recognises an animal's psychological pain and pleasure

After a chimpanzee named Flint recently lost his mother, renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall wrote: "The last short journey he made, pausing to rest every few feet, was to the very place where Flo's body had lain. There he stayed for several hours, sometimes staring and staring into the water. He struggled on a little further, then curled up—and never moved again."

How did the extinction of saber-toothed cats impact other mammals?

When saber-toothed cats and mammoths roamed North America, they dominated their environments. After they went extinct during the end of the last ice age, their absence fundamentally altered interactions between smaller surviving animals in the ecosystem, according to a new paper co-authored by W. Andrew Barr, assistant professor of anthropology in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.

New fluorescence method reveals signatures of individual microbes

When viewed with specialized microscopes, microbial cells show an individual fluorescence pattern, or signature, that depends on the mixture of biomolecules contained within the cells. That complex mixture, with its telltale signature, in turn depends on the type of microbe and its physiological state, such as whether it is growing or what it is consuming as a food source.

Scientists discover a new mechanism for the transfer of maternal genetic material

Researchers at the Centro Nacional de Investigadores Cardiovasculares (CNIC) have established the dynamics of the transfer of mitochondrial DNA from mothers to their offspring. The study is published today in Cell Metabolism.

New method to purify cell types to high purity

Researchers from the group of Alexander van Oudenaarden at the Hubrecht Institute (KNAW) have developed GateID, a new method that can purify a cell type of interest from a tissue without the use of antibodies or a genetic reporter. GateID allows researchers to isolate a variety of cell types, such as stem cells, in order to study them in more detail. The researchers have published their results in the scientific journal Cell on the 3rd of October.

The solution to hidden hunger in many developing countries lies just offshore

Globally, about two billion people suffer from "hidden hunger"—a chronic deficiency of vitamins and minerals. The health effects of this form of malnutrition can be severe, especially for children. They include increased risk of poor cognitive development, impaired growth and early death. Ironically, our latest research found that many coastal countries where hidden hunger is rife, have plenty of nutritious fish just off their coast. Yet these fish are not reaching those who need them the most.

Golden Ratio observed in human skulls

The Golden Ratio, described by Leonardo da Vinci and Luca Pacioli as the "Divine Proportion," is an infinite number often found in nature, art and mathematics. It's a pattern in pinecones, seashells, galaxies and hurricanes.

New England power line corridors harbor rare bees and other wild things

To many people, power line corridors are eyesores that alter wild lands and landscapes, even if they are necessary sites for transmission lines that deliver electricity.

Northern fur seals multiply on steaming Alaska volcano

Alaska's northern fur seal population for three decades has been classified as depleted, but the marine mammals are showing up in growing numbers at an unlikely location—a tiny island that forms the tip of an active undersea volcano.

Complete genome of devastating soybean pathogen assembled

An international research collaboration has successfully assembled the complete genome sequence of the pathogen that causes the devastating disease Asian soybean rust.

Researchers find northern forests have lost crucial cold, snowy conditions

As the popular saying goes, "winter is coming," but is it? Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have found clear signs of a decline in frost days, snow covered days and other indicators of winter that could have lasting impacts on ecosystems, water supplies, the economy, tourism and human health.

Living a long chimpanzee life

We humans may consider a long-lived life to be anywhere from 60 to 100 years, depending on where we live. But what about chimpanzees, one of our closest living relatives?

Daddy daycare: Why some songbirds care for the wrong kids

Interspecific feeding—when an adult of one species feeds the young of another—is rare among songbirds, and scientists could only speculate on why it occurs, but now, Penn State researchers have new insight into this behavior.

Thai marine biologist pleads for dugong conservation plan

A top marine biologist has urged Thailand's government to speed up conservation plans for the dugong, an imperiled sea mammal, after their death toll for the year in Thai waters has already climbed to a record 21.

Realization of new image-based structure analysis method for 3-D structural analysis of biology

In basic biology, medical sciences and pharmaceutical sciences, structural analyses of membrane proteins are important, and single-particle analysis by cryoEM is now very powerful method. Japanese researchers have developed the image-based structure analysis (IBSA) method, an improved method of single-particle analysis that enables structural analysis in a lipid membrane. This development has made it possible to analyze the structures of membrane proteins in vivo.

East Timor says swine fever outbreak kills hundreds of hogs

East Timor on Thursday confirmed that hundreds of hogs have died in an outbreak of African swine fever, after the disease has killed pigs from China to Slovakia, pushing up pork prices worldwide.

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