Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Science X Newsletter Wednesday, Jan 29

Dear Reader ,

Free eBook: Multiphysics Simulation Case Studies >>

Learn how engineers in a variety of industries are using simulation applications for product development in this free eBook. View online or download >>

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for January 29, 2020:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Researchers achieve ultrafast spin-orbit torque switching in ferrimagnetic devices

RoboFly: An insect-sized robot that can fly, walk and drift on water surfaces

Quasi-periodic variability observed in two blazars

Qubits made from strontium and calcium ions can be precisely controlled by technology that already exists

Mystery at Mars pole explained

Not 'brains in a dish': Cerebral organoids flunk comparison to developing nervous system

Bionic jellyfish swim faster and more efficiently

Scientists learn how plants manipulate their soil environment to assure a cheap, steady supply of nutrients

Molecular machine tears toxic protein clumps apart

New insight into how cannabidiol takes effect in the brains of people with psychosis

First release of genetically engineered moth could herald new era of crop protection

Apple patent talk: Sheet of glass computer, finger wearables

Smart single mother bees learn from their neighbors

Scientists find far higher than expected rate of underwater glacial melting

Researchers use brain organoids to study pediatric brain tumors

Astronomy & Space news

Quasi-periodic variability observed in two blazars

An international team of astronomers reports the detection of quasi-periodic variability in optical and gamma-ray light curves of two blazars, namely 3C 66A and B2 1633+38. The discovery could be helpful in advancing our knowledge about such behavior in blazars. The finding is detailed in a paper published January 16 on

Mystery at Mars pole explained

In 1966, two Caltech scientists were ruminating on the implications of the thin carbon dioxide (CO2) Martian atmosphere first revealed by Mariner IV, a NASA fly-by spacecraft built and flown by JPL. They theorized that Mars, with such an atmosphere, could have a long-term stable polar deposit of CO2 ice that, in turn, would control global atmospheric pressure.

Voyager 2 engineers working to restore normal operations

Engineers for NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft are working to return the mission to normal operating conditions after one of the spacecraft's autonomous fault protection routines was triggered. Multiple fault protection routines were programmed into both Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 in order to allow the spacecraft to automatically take actions to protect themselves if potentially harmful circumstances arise. At NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, engineers are still communicating with the spacecraft and receiving telemetry.

Citizen scientists discover a new form of the Northern Lights

Working together with space researchers, Finnish amateur photographers have discovered a new auroral form. Named "dunes" by the hobbyists, the phenomenon is believed to be caused by waves of oxygen atoms glowing due to a stream of particles released from the Sun.

NSF's newest solar telescope produces first images, most detailed images of the sun

Just released first images from the National Science Foundation's Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope reveal unprecedented detail of the sun's surface and preview the world-class products to come from this preeminent 4-meter solar telescope. NSF's Inouye Solar Telescope will enable a new era of solar science and a leap forward in understanding the sun and its impacts on our planet.

NASA shutting down space telescope, infrared eyes to cosmos

NASA is pulling the plug on one of its great observatories—the Spitzer Space Telescope—after 16 years of scanning the universe with infrared eyes.

A cubesat deployed a de-orbiting tether and now it's losing altitude 24 times faster than before

A company called Tethers Unlimited has deployed its de-orbiting tether in a successful test on the Prox-1 satellite. The satellite is one of four that are carrying the device, called the Terminator Tape. Rather than stay in space for years or decades and add to the growing problem of space debris, Prox-1 is using its Terminator Tape to slowly lower its orbit.

Image: Cosmic caller goes out with a bang

On 21 January, a foreign body crashed to Earth causing a cascade of bright light to trail through the sky.

CHEOPS opens its eye to the sky

Since the launch of CHEOPS on 18 December 2019, the project has progressed smoothly and successfully through its planned operations and test activities.

Cover of CHEOPS space telescope open

"Shortly after the launch on December 18, 2019, we tested the communication with the satellite. Then, on January 8, 2020, we started the commissioning, that is, we booted the computer, carried out tests, and started up all the components," explains Willy Benz, professor of astrophysics at the University of Bern and Principal Investigator of the CHEOPS mission. All the tests went outstandingly well, he says. "However, we were now looking forward excitedly and with a bit of nervousness to the next decisive step: the opening of the CHEOPS cover," continues Benz.

Better than reality: NASA scientists tap virtual reality to make a scientific discovery

NASA scientists using virtual reality technology are redefining our understanding about how our galaxy works.

Two defunct satellites speed toward possible collision

Two decommissioned satellites sped towards each other Wednesday at a combined speed of almost 33,000 miles (53,000 kilometers) an hour, raising the risk of a collision that would send thousands of pieces of debris hurtling through space.

Astrophysicists construct approximations for the metric of spherically symmetric black holes

RUDN astrophysicists have proposed a new method for approximate calculation of the parameters of spherically symmetric black holes in the Einstein-Maxwell theory. By comparing the shadow radii of the black holes obtained via this method with exact numerical solutions, astrophysicists have revealed that the approximation they suggested shows a reasonable accuracy in the second order. This means that it is possible to study the black holes themselves and the phenomena in their vicinity, for example, particle motion. The article is published in the journal Physical Review D.

Video: Intense 'Beyond' mission for Luca

Italian ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano will return to Earth 6 February 2020, following his second long-duration mission on the International Space Station (ISS).

Technology news

RoboFly: An insect-sized robot that can fly, walk and drift on water surfaces

Insect-size robots could have numerous useful applications, for instance, aiding search and rescue (SAR) missions, simplifying the inspection of infrastructures and speeding up agricultural processes. Despite the advantages associated with their size, these robots can be very difficult to build, as their fabrication involves assembling several tiny components.

Bionic jellyfish swim faster and more efficiently

Engineers at Caltech and Stanford University have developed a tiny prosthetic that enables jellyfish to swim faster and more efficiently than they normally do, without stressing the animals. The researchers behind the project envision a future in which jellyfish equipped with sensors could be directed to explore and record information about the ocean.

Apple patent talk: Sheet of glass computer, finger wearables

Apple's ideas for future coolth are interesting in light of patent applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Team develops revolutionary reversible 4-D printing

Imagine having your curtains extended or retracted automatically without needing to lift a finger. Reversible 4-D printing technology could make these 'smart curtains' a reality without the use of any sensors or electric devices, and instead rely on the changing levels of heat over the course of the day to change its shape.

Engineers design bionic 'heart' for testing prosthetic valves, other cardiac devices

As the geriatric population is expected to balloon in the coming decade, so too will rates of heart disease in the United States. The demand for prosthetic heart valves and other cardiac devices—a market that is valued at more than $5 billion dollars today—is predicted to rise by almost 13 percent in the next six years.

Deep neural networks are coming to your phone

How does a self-driving car tell a person apart from a traffic cone? How does Spotify choose songs for my "Discover Weekly" playlist? Why is Gmail's spam filter so effective?

Microrobot system regenerates knee cartilage in rabbits

A team of researchers affiliated with multiple institutions in China and one in Korea has developed a micro-robot system that regenerated knee cartilage in rabbits. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes their system and how well it worked.

Researchers develop new bio-inspired wing design for small drones

Researchers from Brown University have designed a new type of wing that could make small fixed-wing drones far more stable and efficient.

Researchers develop first all-optical, stealth encryption technology

BGN Technologies, the technology-transfer company of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), Israel, is introducing the first all-optical "stealth" encryption technology that will be significantly more secure and private for highly sensitive cloud-computing and data center network transmission. The new all-optical encryption innovation will be introduced at the Cybertech Global Tel Aviv conference taking place January 28-30, 2020 in Tel Aviv, Israel.

In snub to US, Britain will allow Huawei in 5G networks

Britain decided Tuesday to let Chinese tech giant Huawei have a limited role supplying new high-speed network equipment to wireless carriers, ignoring the U.S. government's warnings that it would sever intelligence sharing if the company was not banned.

Apple holiday season tops projections as iPhone bounces back

Apple is still reaping huge profits from the iPhone while mining more moneymaking opportunities from the growing popularity of its smartwatch, digital services and wireless earbuds.

Forensic methods for getting data from damaged mobile phones

Criminals sometimes damage their mobile phones in an attempt to destroy evidence. They might smash, shoot, submerge or cook their phones, but forensics experts can often retrieve the evidence anyway. Now, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have tested how well these forensic methods work.

Americans are really creeped out by devices tracking and eavesdropping on them

You've heard it a million times: Americans don't care about our online privacy. Turns out that's not really true.

What you need to know before clicking 'I agree' on that terms of service agreement

We've all done it. We're updating the operating system on our mobile phone or installing an app, and we lazily skim through the privacy policy or we don't bother to read it at all before blindly clicking "I agree."

Soon your Cadillac will change lanes hands-free with upgraded Super Cruise system

General Motors is inching closer to self-driving vehicles with the introduction of a new feature that will enable some Cadillacs to change lanes on their own.

Gannett-backed Scroll launches subscription service for ad-free journalism

Frustrated with online ads?

Leaked report shows United Nations suffered hack

Sophisticated hackers infiltrated U.N. networks in Geneva and Vienna last year in an apparent espionage operation that top officials at the world body kept largely quiet. The hackers' identity and the extent of the data they obtained are not known.

EU announces strict 5G rules, but no Huawei ban

EU countries could ban telecoms operators deemed a security risk from critical parts of 5G infrastructure under guidelines issued Wednesday, amid US pressure to shut out Chinese giant Huawei.

Hybrids lose edge but Edmunds picks 5 still worth buying

Buying a hybrid in 2020 doesn't have the same cutting-edge feel that it used to back in the early 2000s. Today, all the hype surrounds the latest electric cars.

AI could revolutionise DNA evidence – but right now we can't trust the machines

DNA evidence often isn't as watertight as many people think. Sensitive techniques developed over the past 20 years mean that police can now detect minute traces of DNA at a crime scene or on a piece of evidence. But traces from a perpetrator are often mixed with those from many other people that have been transferred to the sample site, for example via a handshake. And this problem has led to people being wrongly convicted.

Ring app shares your personal data with Facebook and others, report finds

Ring, the Inc.-owned maker of high-tech doorbells and home security cameras, markets itself as protection from the world outside users' homes. But its app collects data from users' phones and shares that information with multiple third-party trackers, a report by the Electronic Frontier Foundation revealed this week.

Demand for drone delivery in e-retail is high, ability to meet that demand low

Consumers want what they want, and they want it now. Drone delivery has long been talked about as an option to satisfy consumer delivery demands, but how realistic is it? New research in the INFORMS journal Transportation Science looks at how possible and desirable it is to use drones for delivery for e-retailers considering cost and effectiveness in certain population areas and in certain locations.

News Corp aggregator aims to break free from tech platforms

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. on Wednesday unveiled an online news aggregation service, aiming to break away from the tech platforms that dominate digital media.

Toyota keeping China plants shut through Feb 9 over virus

Japanese automaker Toyota will keep its plants in China closed until at least February 9 over concerns about a new coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 130 people.

Review: AirPods were great, and AirPods Pro are better

Who knew AirPods would become so popular?

Boeing reports first loss since 1997 as MAX costs rise to $18.6 bn

Boeing reported its first annual loss in more than two decades Wednesday as the lengthy grounding of the 737 MAX undercut the company's revenues and exploded costs.

Frankfurt to lose German auto show: organisers

Frankfurt, which has been synonymous with one of the world's biggest auto shows, the IAA, for more than 70 years, has been eliminated from the race to host the next event in 2021, organisers said on Wednesday.

BBC to axe 450 newsroom jobs

The British Broadcasting Corporation on Wednesday said it will axe 450 newsroom jobs as part of plans to adapt "to changing audience needs" and meet its savings target.

Medicine & Health news

Not 'brains in a dish': Cerebral organoids flunk comparison to developing nervous system

Brain organoids—three-dimensional balls of brain-like tissue grown in the lab, often from human stem cells—have been touted for their potential to let scientists study the formation of the brain's complex circuitry in controlled laboratory conditions. The discussion surrounding brain organoids has been effusive, with some scientists suggesting they will make it possible to rapidly develop treatments for devastating brain diseases and others warning that organoids may soon attain some form of consciousness.

New insight into how cannabidiol takes effect in the brains of people with psychosis

Researchers from King's College London have shown that cannabidiol (CBD) alters the brain activity in people with psychosis during memory tasks, making it more similar to the activation seen in people without psychosis during the same tasks.

Researchers use brain organoids to study pediatric brain tumors

Hundreds of miniature brains were grown in the laboratories of the University of Trento to study the genetic mechanisms responsible for medulloblastoma, the most common brain cancer affecting children. The results of a collaborative research effort, coordinated by the University of Trento and carried out with Sapienza University and Ospedale pediatrico Bambino Gesù in Rome and Irccs Neuromed, were published today in Nature Communications.

Scientists discover link between autism and cognitive impairment

Autism can bestow brilliance as well as cognitive difficulty, but how either scenario plays out in the brain is not clear. Now a study by University of Toronto researchers has found that a tiny gene fragment impacts the brain in a way that could explain swathes of autism cases that come with mental disability.

Brain tumors remodel neuronal synapses to promote growth

Scientists at Baylor College of Medicine have found new evidence that glioma, a lethal form of brain cancer, alters the activity of neighboring neurons, accelerating a vicious cycle that drives tumor-associated epilepsy and tumor progression.

Never too late to quit—protective cells could cut risk of lung cancer for ex-smokers

Protective cells in the lungs of ex-smokers could explain why quitting smoking reduces the risk of developing lung cancer, Cancer Research UK-funded researchers have determined.

Sex pheromone named for Jane Austen character alters brain in mouse courtship

The infamously aloof Mr. Darcy had a hard time attracting members of the opposite sex in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. But the same cannot be said for a sex pheromone named for him, called darcin. In a new study, a Columbia University-led team of researchers has now uncovered the process by which this protein takes hold in the brains of female mice, giving cells in the brain's emotion center the power to assess the mouse's sexual readiness and help her select a mate.

Do DIY DNA kits revive a harmful perceived link between genetics and race?

The industry around do-it-yourself DNA kits has exploded, with tens of millions of people sending in samples to learn about their family history. But what consumers might consider a lighthearted glimpse into their backgrounds gave Penn sociologist Wendy Roth pause.

Researchers identify mechanism that triggers a rare type of muscular dystrophy

A study led by the IBB-UAB has identified the molecular mechanism through which a protein carrying genetic mutations associated with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 1G accelerates its tendency to form amyloid fibrils and triggers the appearance of the disease. The research, published in Cell Reports, will pave the way for the study of possible treatments.

General population screening reduces life-threatening diabetic ketoacidosis

JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, today announced new research that found widespread screening for islet autoantibodies reduced the occurrence of life-threatening diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) among children with pre-symptomatic T1D.

Releasing artificially-infected mosquitoes could reduce global dengue cases by 90%

This is the finding of a team of international scientists, led by Imperial College London, and including researchers from the University of California and University of Florida.

Brain networks come online during adolescence to prepare teenagers for adult life

New brain networks come 'online' during adolescence, allowing teenagers to develop more complex adult social skills, but potentially putting them at increased risk of mental illness, according to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Researchers can reprogramme cells to original state for regenerative medicine

Early mammalian development is a highly complex process involving elaborate and highly coordinated biological processes. One such process is zygotic genome activation (ZGA) which occurs following the union of the sperm and egg, marking the beginning of life. The resultant early embryos, termed 'zygotes' are capable of generating the entire organism, a property known as totipotency.

Stem cells, CRISPR and gene sequencing technology are basis of new brain cancer model

Using genetically engineered human pluripotent stem cells, University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers created a new type of cancer model to study in vivo how glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer, develops and changes over time.

Are you 'at risk' of being a habitual tofu eater?

Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences (IMS) in Japan and colleagues at Osaka University have found genetic variations in humans related to specific dietary habits. Published in Nature Human Behaviour, the genome-wide association study found 9 gene locations associated with eating and drinking foods like meat, tofu, cheese, tea, and coffee. Among them, three were also related to having particular diseases such as cancer or diabetes.

Give and take: Cancer chromosomes give the game away

Dr. Pascal Duijf from QUT's School of Biomedical Sciences and IHBI (Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation) said the study, published in Nature Communications today, analysed chromosome arm abnormalities in more than 23,000 human tumours and 1000 cancer cell lines.

Researchers capture first images of oxygen in cancer tumors during radiation therapy

Oxygen in cancer tumors is known to be a major factor that helps radiation therapy be successful. Hypoxia, or starvation of oxygen, in solid tumors is also thought to be an important factor in resistance to therapy. However, it is difficult to monitor tumor oxygenation without invasive sampling of oxygen distributions throughout the tissue, or without averaging across the whole tumor, whereas oxygen is highly heterogenous within a tumor.

Common form of heart failure could be treated with already approved anticancer drug

When it comes to finding new treatments for disease, reinventing the wheel is not always necessary—drugs already in use for other conditions may do the job. And if it turns out that a pre-existing drug works, getting it approved for the treatment of another disease can happen much more quickly than for entirely new drugs never previously tested in people.

After a bone injury, shape-shifting cells rush to the rescue

Conventional thinking is that bone regeneration is left to a small number of mighty cells called skeletal stem cells, which reside within larger groups of bone marrow stromal cells.

Gut reaction: How immunity ramps up against incoming threats

A new study has revealed how the gut's protective mechanisms ramp up significantly with food intake, and at times of the day when mealtimes are anticipated based on regular eating habits.

New study discovers inflammatory molecules controlling capillary loss

Many diseases arise from abnormalities in our capillaries, tiny exquisitely branching blood vessel networks that play a critical role in tissue health. Researchers have learned a lot about the molecular communication underlying capillary formation and growth, but much less is understood about what causes these critical regulators of normal tissue function to collapse and disappear.

Most innovative cancer drugs facing delays in reaching patients

Cancer patients have had to wait longer for innovative new cancer drugs than for more conventional treatments, suggesting the most exciting new therapies have not been successfully fast tracked, a new analysis reports.

UAE confirms 4 cases of new Chinese virus, first in Mideast

The United Arab Emirates on Wednesday confirmed the first cases in the Mideast of the new Chinese virus that causes flu-like symptoms, saying doctors now were treating four members of a Chinese family that had just come from a city at the epicenter of the outbreak.

China shuts down: The measures taken to curb a virus

China has enacted extraordinary measures to contain the spread of a new coronavirus that has killed more than 130 people, infected thousands and reached some 15 countries.

Foreigners airlifted from China virus epicentre, death toll hits 132

Hundreds of Americans and Japanese escaped the quarantined Chinese city at the centre of a coronavirus epidemic aboard charter flights on Wednesday, as the death toll soared to 132 and confirmed infections neared 6,000.

Living longer is important, but those years need to be healthy ones

Data reported in the just published American Heart Association's Heart & Stroke Statistics—2020 Update, show heart disease and stroke deaths continue to decline, but that trend has slowed significantly in recent years. Further discouraging is that more people are living in poor health, beginning at a younger age, as a direct result of risk factors that contribute to these leading causes of death worldwide.

Study: Antioxidant flavonol linked to lower risk of Alzheimer's dementia

People who eat or drink more foods with the antioxidant flavonol, which is found in nearly all fruits and vegetables as well as tea, may be less likely to develop Alzheimer's dementia years later, according to a study published in the January 29, 2020, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Lassa fever deaths in Nigeria rise to 41

The death toll from Lassa fever in Nigeria since the beginning of January has risen to 41 as cases were confirmed in more regions, Nigeria's disease control agency said.

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy: #DRYMESTER the only safe approach

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy leads to poorer cognitive functioning in children, according to the most comprehensive review on the issue to date. The University of Bristol research published today in the International Journal of Epidemiology, reviewed 23 published studies on the topic and found evidence that drinking in pregnancy could also lead to lower birthweight. The findings reinforce the UK Chief Medical Officers' #DRYMESTER guidelines, which is abstaining from alcohol in all trimesters.

Finer particulate matter (PM1) could increase cardiovascular disease risk

In addition to harmful gases such as carbon monoxide, air pollution contains tiny particles that have been linked to health problems, including cardiovascular disease and asthma. Most studies have analyzed the potential health effects of larger-sized particulate matter (PM), such as particles less than 2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5). Now, researchers report in Environmental Science & Technology Letters that particles with diameters less than 1 μm (PM1) are even more strongly correlated with cardiovascular disease.

Siri, help me quit: What does your smart device say when you ask for help with addiction?

Can a smart device help you quit drinking, smoking, vaping or taking opioids?

Abstaining from alcohol during pregnancy the only safe approach

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy leads to poorer cognitive functioning in children, according to the most comprehensive review on the issue to date. The University of Bristol research published today [29 January] in the International Journal of Epidemiology, reviewed 23 published studies on the topic and found evidence that drinking in pregnancy could also lead to lower birthweight. The findings reinforce the UK Chief Medical Officers' #DRYMESTER guidelines, which is abstaining from alcohol in all trimesters.

Intervention shows promise for building social communication in children with multiple disabilities

A recent study by Christine Holyfield, assistant professor of communication disorders at the University of Arkansas, provides new clinical and educational insight into supporting school-age children with multiple disabilities. The study was published in the journal Augmentative and Alternative Communication.

Estimates of preventable hospital deaths are too high, new study shows

Previous estimates of preventable deaths of hospitalized patients may be two to four times too high, a new Yale School of Medicine study suggests.

New guidelines will improve treatment for patients with hyperthyroidism

Radioactive iodine is to be recommended as the frontline treatment for patients with thyroid gland overactivity caused by conditions such as Graves' disease, following an evidence review led by University of Birmingham researchers.

Catholic hospital market share and reproductive care access

Nearly 2 of every 5 women of reproductive age in the U.S. live in counties where Catholic hospitals have a high market share, according to a new analysis led by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Catholic hospitals offer some family planning services, but do not provide certain reproductive health options, including contraception and infertility treatments.

Higher maternal socioeconomics offer little protection against toxic prenatal stress

When pregnant women experience elevated anxiety, stress or depression, these prenatal stressors can alter the structure of the developing fetal brain and disrupt its biochemistry—even if these women have uncomplicated pregnancies and high socioeconomic status, according to Children's National Hospital research published online Jan. 29, 2020, in JAMA Network Open.

Brain organoids reveal glioblastoma origins

Glioblastomas are the most aggressive form of brain cancer—they grow and spread rapidly through the brain and are virtually impossible to eradicate, typically leading to death within one or two years of diagnosis. Scientists are constantly seeking more powerful targeted therapies, but so far without success—in part because glioblastomas are challenging to study in a laboratory setting.

Cycling to work? You may live longer

People who cycle to work have a lower risk of dying, a New Zealand study has found.

Twitter leading to new way of tracking and predicting virus outbreaks

Researchers at Arizona State University are developing a flu-tracking system using Twitter. The scientists published their results in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Missing link in rare inherited skin disease exposed

Hokkaido University scientists are getting closer to understanding how a rare hereditary disease impairs the skin's barrier function, which determines how well the skin is protected.

Possible key to beating colorectal cancer

Serine racemase (SRR) is a multifunctional enzyme that carries out several different reactions in human cells, including the conversion of L-serine into pyruvate. Though already well characterized, a team of researchers led by Osaka University has discovered an important new role for SRR in cancer metabolism, exposing the metabolic pathway as a viable target for novel anti-cancer therapies.

The Paralympic Games fails to increase disabled people's participation in sports

Tokyo's 2020 Paralympics promises to be a sporting spectacle that thrills and excites, showcasing the very best in Paralympic sports. However, looking at the legacy of London 2012 it is unlikely to inspire more people to take part in sports.

Have constipation? Here are 4 treatments

Chronic constipation is incredibly common. Around one in four people worldwide report symptoms, while in Australia and New Zealand, it's around one in seven.

Fear gives the Wuhan coronavirus economic impact

One way to count the cost of the Wuhan coronavirus is by how many people catch it, and then how many die. Another is the direct financial costs of public health measures to treat those infected and contain its spread.

New strategy to stop melanoma spread

Scientists from the Centenary Institute have developed a new therapeutic strategy that could potentially help the fight against advanced-stage melanoma.

Scientists grow and share novel coronavirus

Scientists from the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute) – a joint venture between the University of Melbourne and the Royal Melbourne hospital—have successfully grown the Wuhan coronavirus from a patient sample, which will provide expert international laboratories with crucial information to help combat the virus.

Toddlers' screentime linked to activity levels as five-year-olds

Children aged two to three who spend more than three hours a day viewing screens such as tablets and televisions (TVs) grow up to be less physically active at age 5.5 years, compared to children who used screens for an hour or less each day, a study published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal has found.

New therapeutic target for acute kidney injury identified

Acute kidney injury (AKI) is common and it happens fast. Unlike chronic kidney disease, which often takes years to manifest, patients with AKI experience a rapid deterioration of kidney function over hours or days. Critically ill patients and those undergoing procedures that may affect the kidneys, such as coronary angiography or cardiac surgery, are at heightened risk of AKI. Despite years of investigation, there are no specific therapies to reliably prevent or treat AKI.'s Hospital. A new study led by investigators at Brigham and Women's Hospital, in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Michigan and Rush University, reveals a protein that, when detected at high levels in the blood, predicts which patients are at highest risk of AKI. The study provides supporting evidence from preclinical models that the protein may be a promising target for future therapies or interventions. Results are published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Patient with unusually severe infection reveals a rare type of immune deficiency

It's a type of herpes virus and can turn the nuclei of human cells into kidney-shaped blobs, but it's unlikely that you would have noticed anything when it infected you.

Infants of moms who smoke while pregnant at heightened risk of fracture during first year of life

Infants of mothers who smoke during early pregnancy appear to have a small increased risk of fractures during the first year of life, finds a study from Sweden published by The BMJ today.

Hope for enhanced UTI treatments to minimize bladder pain

Research on UTI pain: Flinders researchers identify link between UTI and bladder pain, caused by the immune system's fight against the infection.

How to head off a caffeinated energy drink habit

Regular consumers of popular caffeinated energy drinks may need help kicking the habit.

Connection between alcohol use and depression could aid treatment

For people with psychiatric disorders, comorbidity—or the presence of two or more disorders in a single patient—is quite common. One of the most common comorbidities is alcohol use disorder and major depressive disorder. In fact, people with alcohol use dependence are almost four times more likely to also have a major depressive disorder.

Source of p53-reactive T cells: Peripheral blood from patients with metastatic solid tumors

T cells targeting p53 hotspot mutations can be harvested from peripheral blood of patients with metastatic solid epithelial cancers, according to results published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Disappearing trick: New strategies to treat chronic pain

Pain is a normal part of life, but persistent pain is oppressive to endure. "It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die," said Roman emperor Julius Caesar, "than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience."

Study shows huge fluctuations in the cost of orthobiologics

The use of orthobiologics is a hot trend in orthopedics, but new research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham shows wide variability in cost for these therapies. The UAB study, published in Sports Health, Oct. 2019, looked at two orthobiologic therapies; platelet-rich plasma injections and stem cell injections, and found dramatic cost variability ranging from a few hundred dollars to as much as $12,000. That is troublesome, say UAB researchers, especially for therapies that are yet to be conclusively proven effective.

Gender gap persists in starting salary for physicians

The gender gap in starting salary for physicians persists, although it is unclear which factors account for this gap, according to a report published online Jan. 22 in Health Affairs.

Eating out: A recipe for poor nutrition, study finds

Whether you're stopping at a casual fast-food place or sitting down to eat in a full-service restaurant, eating out is an easy way to fill up when you're hungry. But those meals may not deliver much nutritional value, a new study suggests.

Study shows new way to treat stroke using an already FDA-approved drug

Stroke is the third leading cause of death and disability in the United States. More than 87 percent are ischemic strokes, caused by obstruction of one or more cerebral arteries. With limited progress in developing treatments, there is a critical need for neuroprotective agents to effectively treat stroke.

Bulletproof superbugs on a deadly march around the globe

Superbugs are on the march around the world, due to antibiotic resistance and the unchecked spread of deadly bacteria, a leading expert warns.

Butt emissions: study finds even extinguished cigarettes give off toxins

Cigarette butts pile up in parks, beaches, streets and bus stops, places where all types of littering are frowned upon. An estimated more than five trillion butts are generated by smokers worldwide each year, and concern about their environmental impact has prompted studies of how they affect water and wildlife habitats. But despite their prevalence, almost no one has studied the airborne emissions coming off these tiny bits of trash.

Health care in America: For one family, a $300,000 debt nightmare

The Maccoux family receive visitors to their beautiful home in a Minneapolis suburb with an infectious warmth that belies the fact their youngest daughter Olivia has had more than 140 brain surgeries, all by the age of 24.

Virus cases in China top SARS as evacuations begin

Countries began evacuating their citizens Wednesday from the Chinese city hardest-hit by a new virus that has now infected more people in China than were sickened in the country by SARS.

Genetics contributes to mental health risks in adoptees

The adoption of children is a fundamental method of building families. However, adoptees may face subsequent adaptive challenges associated with family stress at the time of birth and during the adoption process.

Treating hemophilia with gene therapy

Within the framework of an international study, Lund University and Skåne University Hospital have started treating patients with hemophilia with gene therapy, something that began in January this year. The hope is that the new treatment will significantly simplify everyday life for those with severe hemophilia.

Owners of high-status cars are on a collision course with traffic

Why do BMW and Audi owners often seem to drive like idiots? Is it the car that makes them behave aggressively behind the wheel, or are specific types of people drawn to such cars as well being more likely to break traffic regulations? New research at the University of Helsinki provides some answers.

Hidden by a pleasant scent: The health consequences of flavor in e-cigarettes

Millions of Americans are vaping, and some are getting sick. Since June 2019, 2,711 have been hospitalized and 60 have died due to EVALI (e-cigarette-associated lung injury), the devastating lung disease linked to e-cigarettes.

Redesigning social media platforms to reduce 'FoMO'

Fear of missing out, or FoMO, is commonly described as that anxious feeling you get when you think other people might be having a good time without you. Excessive FoMO is closely related to symptoms of behavioural addiction. It often leads to undesirable behaviour such as the constant checking of social media, even in an inappropriate context, like while driving, and becoming overly preoccupied with reactions to online posts and messages.

Portable device to monitor the blink reflex cleared by Food and Drug Administration

EyeStat (blinktbi, Charleston, SC), a portable, lightweight device for measuring the natural blink reflex, received clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2019.

Scientists have identified the role of chronic inflammation as the cause of accelerated aging

Claudio Franceschi, a world-renowned scientist, professor at the University of Bologna (Italy) and head of the Research Laboratory for Systems Medicine of Healthy Aging at Lobachevsky University, together with other members of an international research team, has described the mechanisms underlying chronic inflammation and identified several risk factors leading to disease. As noted in the paper "Chronic inflammation in the etiology of disease across the life span," published in the journal Nature Medicine, these include infections, physical inactivity, diet, environmental factors, industrial toxicants and psychological stress.

Familial psoriasis may not be tied to obesity

(HealthDay)—Obesity does not necessarily induce or contribute to familial psoriasis, according to a study published online Jan. 17 in the Journal of Dermatology.

Disability, quality of life, mood may affect sleep in IBD patients

(HealthDay)—Sleep quality is associated with mood state, disability, and quality of life among patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according to a study published online Jan. 16 in Scientific Reports.

Suvorexant may improve insomnia with Alzheimer disease

(HealthDay)—Suvorexant improves total sleep time (TST) in patients with probable Alzheimer disease (AD) dementia and insomnia, according to a study published online Jan. 15 in Alzheimer's & Dementia.

Outcomes no worse with short stay after open heart surgery

(HealthDay)—Shorter length of stay (LOS) after elective cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass does not result in worse outcomes or increased readmission rates, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, held from Jan. 25 to 28 in New Orleans.

Quality of life extended with atezolizumab and bevacizumab in liver cancer

(HealthDay)—For patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma, the combination of atezolizumab and bevacizumab is associated with longer time to deterioration of patient-reported quality of life (QOL); and decline in patient-reported QOL is delayed in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) treated with triplet encorafenib, binimetinib, and cetuximab (ENCO+BINI+CETUX) and doublet ENCO+CETUX, according to two studies presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, held from Jan. 23 to 25 in San Francisco.

Could type 2 diabetes be managed with a simple outpatient procedure?

Gregory Ginsberg, a Penn Medicine doctor, is exploring a new frontier in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Single-cell sequencing of CLL therapy: Shared genetic program, patient-specific execution

Researchers at the CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Rare and Undiagnosed Diseases in Vienna, the University Medical Center of Regensburg, and the National Institute of Hematology and Infectious Diseases and the Semmelweis University in Budapest have studied the response to targeted leukemia therapy in unprecedented detail, using single-cell sequencing and epigenetic analysis. The paper published in the journal Nature Communications uncovers a precise molecular program in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who start treatment with the targeted cancer drug ibrutinib. While this program was shared by all patients, the speed of its execution differed widely. These results will help develop personalized strategies for managing CLL as a chronic disease, which is particularly relevant for CLL as a disease of the elderly.

'Take-home' exposures are public health hazard

Workers in many industries inadvertently bring home toxic contaminants, endangering the health of their families. Those at greatest risk are the least likely to benefit from current regulations.

1 in 4 kids who get antibiotics in children's hospitals are prescribed drugs incorrectly

The overuse of antibiotics poses an increasing threat to children who develop—or already have—drug-resistant infections that are difficult or impossible to treat, and can cause extended hospitalization, disability and even death.

Does lung damage speed pancreatic cancer?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD is associated with higher rates of many cancers, including lung, esophagus, colon, bladder and breast cancer. Often a result of many years of smoking, the disease makes it hard to breathe, leaving patients with lower levels of oxygen and higher levels of carbon dioxide in their blood. Low oxygen, called hypoxia, is a known feature of the pancreatic cancer microenvironment and a contributor to tumor aggressiveness and resistance to therapy. However, the impact of high CO2 levels on pancreatic cancer has been considerably less studied.

Processed vs. ultra-processed food, and why it matters to your health

The difference between "processed" and "ultra-processed" foods might sound like an issue best left to linguists or hungry English teachers. But for the sake of your health, it's worth understanding.

A new treatment strategy against MERS

First identified in 2012, the MERS-coronavirus is capable of causing severe and often fatal pneumonia. There are no effective treatments for MERS. Researchers from the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin recently identified a cellular recycling process known as autophagy as a potential target in the fight against MERS. Autophagy-inducing substances—including certain licensed drugs—were shown to be capable of drastically reducing the rate at which the virus replicates. Results from this research have been published in Nature Communications.

A targeted therapy for triple negative breast cancer may lie existing drugs

A newly published study in the journal Cancer Research (appearing in print on February 1) signals a potential treatment breakthrough for patients with triple negative breast cancer—a form of the disease that disproportionately affects and also tends to develop more aggressively in black women. The paper, authored by researchers at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York and Hunter College in collaboration with scientists at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the University of Chicago, details findings about the interaction between two specific proteins during DNA replication that appears to drive growth of malignant cells in patients with triple negative breast cancer. The research team found the presence of mtp53 and PARP proteins in a large majority of patients with triple negative breast cancer. Their work suggests the proteins' association and function, and suppressing their interactions could provide a possible target for stopping tumor growth.

New injection technique may boost spinal cord injury repair efforts

Writing in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine, an international research team, led by physician-scientists at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, describe a new method for delivering neural precursor cells (NSCs) to spinal cord injuries in rats, reducing the risk of further injury and boosting the propagation of potentially reparative cells.

Highly active adults vary their workouts to meet exercise recommendations

Highly active adults engage in a greater variety of physical activities than do less active adults, finds a new study led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing.

Who receives advanced stroke care? It may depend on traffic

When someone has an acute stroke, early access to specialized care is crucial. Whenever possible, experts recommend people receive medical help at a hospital with advanced stroke capability like a comprehensive stroke center (CSC).

Study shows promising new web approach to prevent firearm suicide

Access to firearms and other lethal methods of suicide during periods of risk can make it more likely that a suicide attempt will end in death. Yet many patients with suicidal thoughts or behaviors receive no counseling about this from healthcare providers, and many have questions about options for firearm or medication storage.

Report provides largest clinical and treatment data set from cases of new coronavirus in China

A new analysis, published in The Lancet, includes 99 patients with laboratory-confirmed 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) who were transferred to Jinyintan Hospital, an adult infectious disease hospital admitting the first 2019-nCoV cases from hospitals across Wuhan, between January 1 and January 20, 2020. The study includes the first 41 cases from Wuhan reported in The Lancet last week.

Study finds black and Hispanic patients face more barriers when making doctor appointments

Discrimination may cause black and Hispanic patients to wait longer for a scheduled primary care appointment, according to a new Tulane University study published in JAMA Network Open.

Research team investigates abnormal neuron activity in Rett syndrome

The brain undergoes dramatic change during the first years of life. Its circuits readily rewire as an infant and then child encounters new sights and sounds, taking in the world and learning to understand it. As the child matures and key developmental periods pass, the brain becomes less malleable—but certain experiences create opportunities for parts of the adult brain to rewire and learn again.

UCLA researchers find chronic inflammation contributes to cancer metastasis

The study reveals a detailed epigenetic mechanism for how interleukin-1-beta, a common cytokine that helps fight infections during inflammation, plays a critical role in cancer metastasis. The researchers found that chronic exposure to interleukin-1-beta can promote lung cancer metastasis through inheritable changes of gene expression without altering DNA sequence. Because of these gene alterations, cancer cells can memorize this phenotype—known as epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, an important step during cancer metastasis—to successfully reach distance organs and subsequently colonize.

Researchers studying motivational aspects of mindfulness find quality differs by situation

What makes people more or less mindful from one situation to the next? Researchers have found that mindfulness is not entirely something an individual brings to a situation and rather is partly shaped by the situations they encounter.

2019 novel coronavirus is genetically different to SARS and should be considered a new human-infecting coronavirus

A new genetic analysis of 10 genome sequences of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) from nine patients in Wuhan finds that the virus is most closely related to two bat-derived SARS-like coronaviruses, according to a study published in The Lancet.

Health experts: Human-to-human spread of new virus worrying

World health officials expressed "great concern" Wednesday that a dangerous new virus is starting to spread between people outside of China, a troubling development as China and the world frantically work to contain the outbreak. For a second day, the number of infections grew dramatically.

Five people in France confirmed to have coronavirus

The daughter of a Chinese tourist who is seriously ill in a Paris hospital has become the fifth person in France to be confirmed with the coronavirus, officials said Wednesday.

Using virtual reality to help individuals with autism spectrum disorder

Novel interventions using virtual reality to aid individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) handle common scenarios may include helping youngsters navigate air travel. This example and more are included in a Special Issue on Virtual Reality Interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorder published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.

More airlines halt China flights as virus toll hits 132

Foreign airlines began suspending flights to and from China on Wednesday as global fears mounted over a coronavirus epidemic that has killed 132 people and infected around 6,000.

Researchers create app to help stressed-out caregivers

A group of University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers have developed an app-based pilot project to help relieve stress and offer support to caregivers of people with Alzheimer's or dementia.

Dangerous additives found in illegal pot vaping products

Potentially deadly additives were found in marijuana vape cartridges seized in December raids of illegal shops in Los Angeles, officials reported Monday.

India moves to allow abortions up to 24 weeks

India's on Wednesday approved moves to ease abortion laws, enabling rape survivors and other vulnerable women to terminate pregnancies up to 24 weeks after inception.

UK govt says Wuhan evacuees to be 'isolated for 14 days'

British citizens evacuated from Wuhan, the epicentre of a deadly virus outbreak, will be isolated for two weeks with "all necessary medical attention", Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Wednesday.

Equatorial Guinea quarantines four from China over virus fears

Equatorial Guinea has quarantined four travellers who arrived from Beijing, the government said on Wednesday, in one of the first such measures by an African country since the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

A determinant protein for tumor progression and metastasis in Rhabdomyosarcoma

Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common childhood cancer in the soft tissues, and it mainly originates in the muscles. It represents almost 5% of pediatric tumors, and the survival rate is between 60% and 70%. The work published in Cancer Letters journal focuses on the most aggressive and hard to treat rhabdomyosarcoma, the alveolar type. Metastasis plays an essential role in the disease progression, because it induces a severe decrease in patient survival rate, lower than 30%. Dr. Oscar M. Tirado's group from Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) has observed that these sarcoma cells have an increased level of LOXL2 protein, that is implicated in tumors' metastatic capacity.

Neural effects of acute stress on appetite: A magnetoencephalography study

Stress is prevalent in modern society and can affect human health through its effects on appetite. However, knowledge about the neural mechanisms related to the alteration of the subjective level of appetite caused by acute stress in humans remains limited. We focused on the effects of stress caused by expecting critical personal events such as school examinations and public speaking engagements on appetite and aimed to clarify the neural mechanisms by which acute stress affects appetite in healthy, non-obese males during fasting.

One step closer to tailored treatment of severe rheumatic diseases

When a patient is diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis or spondyloarthritis, prescribing the correct type of medicine is a case of trial and error. It is simply not possible to predict which medication will work for the individual patient, and it is therefore a matter of trying the different treatment options: glucocorticoids, low dose chemotherapeutic drugs or newer biological drugs. Until now!

Express yourself: Dermal fillers restore youthful facial movement, don't just fill wrinkles

According to a new study in the February issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), they also restore a more youthful pattern of facial movement and expressiveness.

New study examines the accuracy of plastic surgery videos on social media

In the era of 'Dr. Google,' social media is a tremendous influence on patients interested in cosmetic surgery, and with more than two billion users—representing almost one-third of the internet—YouTube has emerged as an essential platform for reaching people interested in plastic surgery.

Long life, good health

In a new report published today in Circulation, experts outline national and global goals to help people live healthier for longer. While heart disease and stroke-related deaths continue to decline, the rate at which they're declining has slowed and obesity rates are on the rise.

WHO warns world to 'take action' over China virus

The World Health Organization on Wednesday warned all governments to "take action" over the SARS-like virus spreading from China that has killed 132 people and infected around 6,000 others.

Biology news

Scientists learn how plants manipulate their soil environment to assure a cheap, steady supply of nutrients

The next time you're thinking about whether to cook dinner or order a pizza for delivery, think of this: Plants have been doing pretty much the same thing for eons.

Molecular machine tears toxic protein clumps apart

How do cells disentangle proteins that are clumped together? Researchers from AMOLF in Amsterdam and Heidelberg University now show that the molecular chaperone ClpB can forcibly pull on exposed loops of protein chains, and hence extract them from protein clumps. They have published their results in Nature.

First release of genetically engineered moth could herald new era of crop protection

A newly published study reports a successful, first-ever open-field release of a self-limiting, genetically engineered diamondback moth, stating that it paves the way for an effective and sustainable approach to pest control.

Smart single mother bees learn from their neighbors

Solitary female bees inspect other nests for signs of danger before making decisions on where to build their own, a new London-based study suggests.

Pollination is better in cities than in the countryside

Flowering plants are better pollinated in urban than in rural areas. This has now been demonstrated experimentally by a team of scientists led by the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ). Although the scientists found a greater diversity of flying insects in the countryside, more bees in cities resulted in more pollinated flowers of test plants. By far the most industrious pollinators were bumble bees, most likely benefiting from the abundant habitats available in the city. To promote pollination, the researchers recommend to take the needs of bees into greater account when landscape planning—both in cities and in the countryside. Their results have been published in the journal Nature Communications.

Modified RNA has a direct effect on DNA

An article titled "m6A RNA modification as a new player in R-loop regulation," by the Dynamic Gene Regulation research group led by Arne Klungland at IMB, was published in the January edition of Nature Genetics.

Disease-aggravating mutation found in a mouse model of neonatal mitochondrial disease

The new mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variant drastically speeds up the disease progression in a mouse model of GRACILE syndrome. This discovery provides a new tool for studies of mitochondrial diseases.

Molecular motors direct the fate of stem cells

Scientists at the University of Groningen and the University Medical Center Groningen used molecular motors to manipulate the protein matrix on which bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells are grown. Rotating motors altered the protein structure, which resulted in a bias of the stem cells to differentiate into bone cells (osteoblasts). Without rotation, the stem cells tended to remain multipotent. These results, which could be used in tissue engineering, were published in Science Advances on 29 January.

Understanding how cells defend their genome against invaders

Researchers at the University of Tokyo have uncovered more details about the tiny defenders that ensure fertility by protecting the genomes of specialized cells called germ cells, which produce eggs and sperm. The complex system was studied using an innovative choice of research material and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Spider glue turns moths' defenses against them

If you've ever tried to stick tape to a dusty surface, you know the dilemma most spiders face when trying to catch moths. Moth wings are covered in tiny scales that slough off at a touch, allowing moths to escape dangers such as spider webs. But some spiders have evolved a special glue that instantly soaks under the scales and down to the base of the wing, locking everything together into a solid mass.

Success and failure of ecological management is highly variable

What do we really know about reasons attributed to the success or failure of wildlife management efforts? A new study originating out of UVM suggests a disquieting answer: much less than we think.

Protective protein in the eye lens affects protein oxidation

The lens of the human eye comprises a highly concentrated protein solution, which lends the lens its great refractive power. Protective proteins prevent these proteins from clumping together throughout a lifetime. A team of scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now uncovered the precise structure of the alpha-A-crystallin protein and, in the process, discovered an important additional function.

Research shows airborne microbes link Great Barrier Reef and Australian continent

A team of researchers led by Yale-NUS College Professor of Science (Environmental Studies) Stephen Pointing has discovered a link between two different ecosystems, continental Australia and the Great Barrier Reef, due to airborne microbes that travel from the former to the latter. The finding showed that the health of these two ecosystems are more interconnected than previously believed, hence holistic conservation efforts need to span different ecosystems.

Researchers combine technologies to resolve plant pathogen genomes

With the help of new genomic sequencing and assembly tools, plant scientists can learn more about the function and evolution of highly destructive plant pathogens that refuse to be tamed by fungicides, antibacterial, and antivirals.

One quarter of bacterial pathogens can spread antibiotic resistance directly to peers

Biomedical engineers at Duke University have demonstrated that at least 25 percent of antibiotic-resistant pathogenic bacteria found in clinical settings are capable of spreading their resistance directly to other bacteria. At the same time, the study shows that, despite common beliefs, the use of antibiotics does not significantly affect the rate at which the genes responsible for resistance are swapped between bacteria.

Screening sweet peppers for organic farming

A study conducted out of The University of Georgia delved into the comparative yields of sweet pepper varieties produced under organic farming conditions.

Watching bat coronaviruses with next-generation sequencing

In late 2019, a mysterious coronavirus—now called 2019-nCoV—began making people sick in Wuhan, China. Now the virus has spread to at least four other countries, including the United States, and killed at least nine people.

Identifying factors associated with reports of accidental opioid poisoning in dogs

Dogs that are smaller, younger, non-neutered, or live in U.S. counties with high opioid prescription rates are at higher risk of being the subjects of phone calls about accidental opioid poisoning to a poison control center. Mohammad Howard-Azzeh and colleagues at the University of Guelph, Ontario, present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on January 29, 2020.

Barramundi seek safe refuge after rains

Research to understand the movements of fish in Top End waterways has found that barramundi exhibit very accurate homing behavior, traveling up to 80 km to their "home" billabongs after wet season rains.

How climate change is affecting gardens

According to Dr. Dave Kendal from the University of Tasmania, in the next 50 years, 20-50% of current plant species in botanic gardens and urban landscapes will likely confront temperatures those species have never experienced before.

A host's genes likely influence the spread of antibiotic resistance

In the gastrointestinal tract of host animals, bacteria can exchange the genes responsible for antibiotic resistance (AR) via small, circular chunks of DNA called plasmids. However, the process in this complex environment isn't completely understood, and AR has become a public health menace. Every year, according to the CDC, more than 2.8 million people are diagnosed with infections resistant to antibiotic treatment, and 35,000 people die.

Great Barrier Reef water pollution threatens dolphins

Rare snubfin dolphins in Queensland's Fitzroy River and humpback dolphins in Port Curtis are under threat from exposure to increasing amounts of water contamination.

Tougher start could help captive-bred game birds

Tougher early lives could help captive-bred game birds develop survival skills for adulthood in the wild, new research suggests.

Fungi as food source for plants

The number of plant species that extract organic nutrients from fungi could be much higher than previously assumed. This was discovered by researchers from the University of Bayreuth and the University of Copenhagen through isotope investigations on Paris quadrifolia, otherwise known as Herb Paris or True Lover's Knot. This forest-floor plant, which is widespread in Europe, is regarded in botany as a prototype for plants that have a specific exchange relationship with fungi, which in fact accounts for around 40 percent of all plant species. In the New Phytologist, the scientists report on their surprising results.

Historical impacts of development on coral reef loss in the South China Sea

New research led by The University of Hong Kong, Swire Institute of Marine Science in collaboration with Princeton University and the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry highlights the historical impacts of development on coral reef loss in the South China Sea. The findings were recently published in the journal Global Change Biology.

Researchers develop new approach to more efficiently store and preserve human cells

Researchers from the Division of Engineering at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) have developed a new technique that utilizes filter paper to cryopreserve human cells, offering scientists an efficient alternative to conventional, long-term cryopreservation methods.

Blind as a bat? The genetic basis of echolocation in bats and whales

Clicks, squeaks, chirps, and buzzes...though they may be difficult to distinguish to our ears, such sounds are used by echolocating animals to paint a vivid picture of their surroundings. By generating a sound and then listening to how the sound waves bounce off of objects around them, these animals are able to "see" using sound. While a number of species engage in some form of echolocation, including some birds, shrews, and even humans, the echolocation systems of bats and toothed whales (including dolphins, porpoises, killer whales, and sperm whales) are exquisitely sophisticated.

Speedy recovery: New corn performs better in cold

Nearly everyone on Earth is familiar with corn. Literally.

Drug lord's hippos make their mark on foreign ecosystem

Four hours east of Medellin in northern Colombia's Puerto Triunfo municipality, the sprawling hacienda constructed by infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar of "Narcos" fame has become a tourist attraction. When Escobar's empire crashed, the exotic animals housed at his family's zoo, including rhinos, giraffes and zebras, were safely relocated to new homes... except for the hippopotamuses.

The health of foundation species promotes the stability of the ecosystems that depend on them

Anyone who's read "The Lorax" will recognize that certain species serve as the foundation of their ecosystems. When the truffula trees disappear, so to do the swomee-swans and bar-ba-loots. However, the same is not necessarily true the other way around.

Prescribed burns benefit bees

Freshly burned longleaf pine forests have more than double the total number of bees and bee species than similar forests that have not burned in over 50 years, according to new research from North Carolina State University.

Berlin's panda twins ready for public debut

Two panda cubs born at Berlin Zoo last year charmed local media on Wednesday, a day before their debut in front of the general public.

Showbiz apes find peace through painting in Florida retirement

One of them worked alongside Clint Eastwood, others acted in the remake of sci-fi classic "Planet of the Apes", while yet another was the darling favorite of Michael Jackson.

Diving into Denver's geese controversy

Last summer, nearly 2,000 Canada geese were killed across four of Denver's largest parks. Implemented to mitigate overpopulation, the move stirred great controversy in the city and culminated in a Washington Park protest as well as a signed petition calling for the city to immediately stop killing geese in Denver parks, among other requests.

Scientists create listeriosis-immune mice by turning off gene in myeloid cells

An international research team that includes specialists from ITMO University has conducted a series of experiments with the goal of studying the immune system and identifying the genes and proteins involved in the response to certain harmful bacteria. The scientists found that "turning off" a gene responsible for the production of the protein Beclin 1, or the gene that produces the FIP200 protein, resulted in the test animals becoming nearly completely immune to the infectious disease listeriosis. The results of this research have been published in Nature Microbiology.

Compulsory cat microchipping is great in theory, but the system is flawed

When dog microchipping became a legal requirement in England and Wales in April 2016, calls to extend the law to other pets were rejected. However, compulsory microchipping is now back on the political agenda.

Nitrogen fertilizers finetune composition of individual members of the tomato microbiota

After conducting a field trial at a tomato farm near Ravenna, Italy, a team of plant pathologists and agronomists found that nitrogen fertilizers shape the composition and predicted functions of the plant microbiota. The microbiota refers to the community of microorganisms found in the interface between the soil and the roots of a plant. Similarly to the human digestive tract, the microbiota can help or hinder the plant's nutrition as it is responsible for the uptake of minerals from the soil.

Can chickpea genes save mustard seeds from blight disease?

During visits to fields in Assam, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, India, plant biologists Muthappa Senthil-Kumar and Urooj Fatima found mustard plants infested with Alternaria blight disease. They also noticed that an adjacent field of chickpeas were completely uninfected.

This email is a free service of Science X Network
You received this email because you subscribed to our list.
If you do not wish to receive such emails in the future, please unsubscribe here.
You are subscribed as You may manage your subscription options from your Science X profile


No comments: