Monday, February 10, 2020

Science X Newsletter Monday, Feb 10

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for February 10, 2020:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Inverted perovskite solar cells with a power conversion efficiency of 22.3%

New technology could help solve AI's 'memory bottleneck'

Long-term learning requires new nerve insulation

Himalayan glacier shows evidence of start of Industrial Revolution

Scientists show solar system processes control the carbon cycle throughout Earth's history

Molecular oxygen detected in the nearest quasar

Fast radio burst with steady 16-day cycle observed

The human brain's meticulous interface with the bloodstream now on a precision chip

Simulations identify missing link to determine carbon in deep Earth reservoirs

Coronavirus outbreak raises question: Why are bat viruses so deadly?

Distant giant planets form differently than 'failed stars'

Researchers use models and experiments to guide and harness transition waves in multi-stable mechanical structures

UCSC genome browser posts the coronavirus genome

China virus toll hits 722, with first foreign victim

Antarctica appears to have broken a heat record

Astronomy & Space news

Molecular oxygen detected in the nearest quasar

Observations using the IRAM 30 meter telescope and the NOEMA Interferometer have unveiled the presence of molecular oxygen in Markarian 231—the nearest known quasar. The finding, detailed in a paper published on the arXiv preprint server, could be crucial for better understanding the properties of molecular gas in this object.

Fast radio burst with steady 16-day cycle observed

A large team of space scientists working in Canada has found evidence of a fast radio burst with a steady 16-day cycle. The team has published a paper describing their findings on the arXiv preprint server.

Distant giant planets form differently than 'failed stars'

A team of astronomers led by Brendan Bowler of The University of Texas at Austin has probed the formation process of giant exoplanets and brown dwarfs, a class of objects that are more massive than giant planets, but not massive enough to ignite nuclear fusion in their cores to shine like true stars.

All about the laser (and microphone) atop Mars 2020, NASA's next rover

NASA is sending a new laser-toting robot to Mars. But unlike the lasers of science fiction, this one is used for studying mineralogy and chemistry from up to about 20 feet (7 meters) away. It might help scientists find signs of fossilized microbial life on the Red Planet, too.

Solar Orbiter blasts off to capture 1st look at sun's poles

Europe and NASA's Solar Orbiter rocketed into space Sunday night on an unprecedented mission to capture the first pictures of the sun's elusive poles.

The cosmic confusion of the microwave background

Roughly 380,000 years after the Big Bang, about 13.7 billion years ago, matter (mostly hydrogen) cooled enough for neutral atoms to form, and light was able to traverse space freely. That light, the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR), comes to us from every direction in the sky, uniform except for faint ripples and bumps at brightness levels of only a few part in one hundred thousand, the seeds of future structures like galaxies.

Surfing space dust bunnies spawn interplanetary magnetic fields

A 40-year-old enigma about ghostly magnetic fields in interplanetary space may have finally been solved by new data from a constellation of 12 satellites in near-Earth space.

Supercharged light pulverises asteroids, study finds

The majority of stars in the universe will become luminous enough to blast surrounding asteroids into successively smaller fragments using their light alone, according to a University of Warwick astronomer.

ESA's next sun mission will be shadow-casting pair

After Solar Orbiter, ESA's next mission observing the sun will not be one spacecraft but two: the double satellites making up Proba-3 will fly in formation to cast an artificial solar eclipse, opening up the clearest view yet of the sun's faint atmosphere—probing the mysteries of its million degree heat and magnetic eruptions.

Solar Orbiter set to launch in mission to reveal Sun's secrets

The US-European Solar Orbiter probe launches Sunday night from Florida on a voyage to deepen our understanding of the Sun and how it shapes the space weather that impacts technology back on Earth.

Iran satellite launch fails, in blow to space programme

Iran said it "successfully" launched a satellite Sunday but failed to put it into orbit, in a blow to its space programme that the US alleges is a cover for missile development.

Space station delivery from Virginia nixed at last minute

Northrop Grumman delayed a space station delivery from Virginia on Sunday because of trouble with ground equipment.

CHEOPS space telescope takes its first pictures

The tension was high: In front of a large screen at the house near Madrid where members of the Consortium participating in the commissioning of the satellite live, as well as at the other institutes involved in CHEOPS, the team waited for the first images from the space telescope. "The first images that were about to appear on the screen were crucial for us to be able to determine if the telescope's optics had survived the rocket launch in good shape," explains Willy Benz, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Bern and Principal Investigator of the CHEOPS mission. "When the first images of a field of stars appeared on the screen, it was immediately clear to everyone that we did indeed have a working telescope," says Benz happily. Now the remaining question is how well it is working.

Qarman CubeSat: Falling into a fireball

This Wednesday 12 February, ESA's latest mission will enter the vacuum of space, not aboard a rocket but by being released from the International Space Station. The first task of the shoebox-sized Qarman CubeSat is simply to fall. While typical space missions resist orbital decay, Qarman will drift down month by month until it reenters the atmosphere, at which point it will gather a wealth of data on the fiery physics of reentry.

Camera provides view into Sun's polar regions

The Solar Orbiter mission will use a U.S. Naval Research Laboratory-designed and -built heliospheric camera, known as SoloHI, to provide unique perspectives and unprecedented views of the Sun's North and South poles. The spacecraft, a NASA and European Space Agency collaboration, launched aboard an Atlas V rocket at Cape Canaveral, Florida, Feb. 9.

Technology news

Inverted perovskite solar cells with a power conversion efficiency of 22.3%

Photovoltaic (PV) cells, which can generate energy from the sun, could be very useful in tackling the current environmental crisis. Perovskite PV cells, cells made of metal halide perovskite semiconductors, have recently proved to be particularly promising, as researchers have managed to improve their power conversion efficiencies substantially, from 3.8% all the way to 25.2%.

New technology could help solve AI's 'memory bottleneck'

Memory-hungry, power-sapping big data might finally have met its match.

Researchers use models and experiments to guide and harness transition waves in multi-stable mechanical structures

If you've ever opened an umbrella or set up a folding chair, you've used a deployable structure—an object that can transition from a compact state to an expanded one. You've probably noticed that such structures usually require rather complicated locking mechanisms to hold them in place. And, if you've ever tried to open an umbrella in the wind or fold a particularly persnickety folding chair, you know that today's deployable structures aren't always reliable or autonomous.

Information theft via manipulating screen brightness in air-gapped computers

Data can be stolen from an air gapped personal computer just by using variations in screen brightness. Researchers at Ben-Gurion University wrote a paper on it.

Study of free-falling paper shapes could aid the design of bio-inspired robotics

Research into the trajectories of hundreds of free-falling paper shapes can help inform the design of bio-inspired robotics that mimic nature.

DNA-like material could bring even smaller transistors

Computer chips use billions of tiny switches, called transistors, to process information. The more transistors on a chip, the faster the computer.

Motorcycle taxi ban brings Lagos to a halt

Even before a sudden controversial ban on motorcycle taxis and tricycles in Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos, crippling traffic jams were a daily ordeal for its more than 20 million inhabitants.

Unique Illinois privacy law leads to $550M Facebook deal

Adam Pezen, Carlo Licata and Nimesh Patel are among millions of people who have been tagged in Facebook photos at some point in the past decade, sometimes at the suggestion of an automated tagging feature powered by facial recognition technology.

Sony, Amazon, others drop out of big tech show over virus

Two big Japanese companies are the latest to pull out of a major European technology show due to fears over the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

Electric car sales tripled last year. Here's what we can do to keep them growing

A total of 6718 electric vehicles were sold in Australia in 2019. That's three times as many as in 2018, but it's still small beer. More than a million fossil-fueled light vehicles (including SUVs and utes) were sold in the same period.

Tinder's new safety features won't prevent all types of abuse

The dating app Tinder has faced increasing scrutiny over abusive interactions on the service. In November 2019, an Auckland man was convicted of murdering British woman Grace Millane after they met on Tinder. Incidents such as these have brought attention to the potential for serious violence facilitated by dating apps.

Data compliance could be enforced by AI scan of internet for privacy violations

You're trailing bits of personal data—such as credit card numbers, shopping preferences and which news articles you read—as you travel around the internet. Large internet companies make money off this kind of personal information by sharing it with their subsidiaries and third parties. Public concern over online privacy has led to laws designed to control who gets that data and how they can use it.

Deaf and hard-of-hearing people find it more difficult to read hypertext

Young people who are deaf or hard of hearing have much more difficulties with reading than average. It is estimated that about 70% of this group are only semi-literate by adulthood. Behavioral scientist Helen Blom conducted research into the ability of deaf, hard-of-hearing and language-impaired adolescents to read online texts. It turns out that hyperlinks are a stumbling block. Blom, who also works at Kentalis, will defend her Ph.D. thesis at Radboud University on 14 February.

AAAS panel focuses on roadmap to 'radical transformation of the AI research enterprise'

When Dan Lopresti and his colleagues talk about the future of artificial intelligence (AI) during their upcoming panel at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), be prepared to imagine a better world.

Volvo Cars and owner Geely consider merger deal

Swedish automaker Volvo Cars and its owner Chinese automaker Geely Holding said Monday they are considering combining their businesses to create a company that "would accelerate financial and technological synergies between the two companies."

Move aside, GPS: Why people still love their paper maps

Even if everything navigation is pointing in the direction of GPS, you'll never tear some folks away from their paper maps.

What's the best streaming service for you? How cable alternatives compare for cord-cutters

Perhaps you cut the cord from cable or satellite and then came up empty when the Super Bowl was on, trying to find a way to watch the game with your antenna.

Oblique electrostatic inject-deposited titanium oxide film leads efficient perovskite solar cells

The need to efficiently harvest solar energy for a more sustainable future is increasingly becoming accepted across the globe. A new family of solar cells based on perovskites—materials with a particular crystal structure—is now competing with conventional silicon materials to satisfy the demand in this area. Perovskite solar cells (PSCs) are continually being optimized to fulfill their commercial potential, and a team led by researchers from Kanazawa University has now reported a new and simple oblique electrostatic inkjet (OEI) approach to deposit a titanium oxide (TiO2) compact layer on FTO-pattern substrates without the need for a vacuum environment as an electron transport layer (ETL) for enhancing the efficiency of PSCs. The findings are published in Scientific Reports.

Faulty app exposes millions of Israeli voters' data

A security breach in an app used by Israel's ruling conservative party has exposed the personal information of nearly 6.5 million Israelis to hackers, a cybersecurity expert said Monday.

Xerox hikes bid for HP to $36 billion

Xerox said Monday it was raising its offer for computer and printer maker HP to some $36 billion as part of an effort to win over shareholders amid a heightened battle for control of the Silicon Valley firm.

Team develops robot hand capable of handling eggs and cutting paper with scissors

The Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials (President Chunhong Park; hereinafter "KIMM") developed a robot hand capable of handling various objects and tools in daily life, such as holding an egg and cutting paper with a pair of scissors. The hand can be easily mounted on a variety of robot arms, and offers the world's strongest grasping force against its own weight. It is expected that the use of robotic hands will be extended to industrial sites as well as everyday life.

Powering the future: Smallest all-digital circuit opens doors to 5 nm next-gen semiconductor

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Socionext Inc. have designed the world's smallest all-digital phase-locked loop (PLL). PLLs are critical clocking circuits in virtually all digital applications, and reducing their size and improving their performance is a necessary step to enabling the development of next-generation technologies.

'Even Facebook is hackable': Social networking website's Twitter page was compromised

Another day, another hack.

Amazon wants Trump testimony about huge Pentagon contract

Amazon is seeking testimony from US President Donald Trump and other top officials about how the tech giant was shut out of a $10 billion US military cloud computing contract, according to court documents made public on Monday.

Netflix now lets you disable autoplay previews. Here's how to set it up.

Know those previews that automatically play whenever you scroll to a movie or TV show on Netflix? You can now turn those off.

Electric bikes and silent trucks to green goods deliveries

Across Europe's cities, the demand for delivery services is increasing. But these deliveries affect urban life as they add to traffic congestion, noise and pollution and many cities are now trying out alternative modes of transport that could help.

Chinese military stole masses of Americans' data, US says

Four members of the Chinese military have been charged with breaking into the networks of the Equifax credit reporting agency and stealing the personal information of tens of millions of Americans, the Justice Department said Monday, blaming Beijing for one of the largest hacks in history to target consumer data.

Medicine & Health news

Long-term learning requires new nerve insulation

Most memories fade in a matter of days or weeks, while some persist for months, years, or even for life. What allows certain experiences to leave such a long-lasting imprint in our neural circuits? This is an age-old question in neurobiology that has never been resolved, but new evidence is pointing to a surprising new answer.

UCSC genome browser posts the coronavirus genome

Research into the novel Wuhan seafood market pneumonia virus, the deadly "coronavirus" that has forced the Chinese government to quarantine more than 50 million people in the country's dense industrial heartland, will be facilitated by the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute. The Genomics Institute's Genome Browser team has posted the complete biomolecular code of the virus for researchers all over the world to use.

China virus toll hits 722, with first foreign victim

The death toll from China's coronavirus outbreak soared to 722 on Saturday, including the first foreign victim, as Hong Kong imposed a mandatory quarantine on mainland arrivals to block the spread of an epidemic that has caused global panic.

Latest coronavirus study implicates fecal transmission

Diarrhea may be a secondary path of transmission for the novel coronavirus, scientists said Friday following the publication of the latest study reporting patients with abdominal symptoms and loose stool.

Novel coronavirus case numbers 'stabilising': WHO

The number of cases of the deadly novel coronavirus being reported on a daily basis in China is "stabilising", the World Health Organization said on Saturday.

Scientists race to develop vaccine for new coronavirus

Scientists from the United States to Australia are using new technology in an ambitious, multi-million-dollar drive to develop a vaccine in record time to tackle China's coronavirus outbreak.

Review of evidence finds excessive smartphone, social media use may be linked to youth mental health

A new article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) reviews evidence that suggests an association between excessive smartphone and social media use and mental distress and suicidality among adolescents. The authors say this should be among the factors considered by clinicians and researchers who work in the field of youth mental health.

Scientists closer to finding the cell of origin for ovarian cancer

Researchers at the University of Oxford are now closer to finding the cell of origin of ovarian cancer, and their ultimate aim of developing a much needed screening tool for ovarian cancer.

Brain-wave pattern can identify people likely to respond to antidepressant, study finds

A new method of interpreting brain activity could be used in clinics to help determine the best treatment options for depression, according to a Stanford-led trial.

Testosterone levels affect risk of metabolic disease and cancers

Having genetically higher testosterone levels increases the risk of metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes in women, while reducing the risk in men. Higher testosterone levels also increase the risks of breast and endometrial cancers in women, and prostate cancer in men.

Patient-partnered research finds clues about a rare cancer's genetic roots

Working in close partnership with patients, scientists at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Count Me In have identified new causes of a rare cancer of blood vessel walls called angiosarcoma. The research also points to possible therapeutic options for patients with this aggressive disease, who often have a poor prognosis.

Cervical cancer elimination possible within two decades in the US

Scaling up cervical cancer screening coverage in the U.S. to 90% could expedite elimination of the disease and avert more than 1,000 additional cases per year, according to a new study led by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Their modeling study found that this would be the most effective way to speed up elimination, compared to current levels of screening and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination.

New evidence that shows how the brain makes decisions

Today, the internet is a sensory free-for-all: Pop-up ads burst into articles every few paragraphs, stealing the screen with lollipop colors and music, shouting product information from unseen corners. The human body is not so different. Every fingernail, elbow, nostril, and eyebrow is constantly vying for the brain's attention.

Fit to burst: How cancer-exploding viruses are changing the game

You awake in the middle of the night from a nightmare.

Common medication may lower risk of 'broken heart' during bereavement

The increased risk of heart attack or "a broken heart" in early bereavement could be reduced by using common medication in a novel way, according to a world-first study led by the University of Sydney and funded by Heart Research Australia.

Drugs fail to slow decline in inherited Alzheimer's disease

Two experimental drugs failed to prevent or slow mental decline in a study of people who are virtually destined to develop Alzheimer's disease at a relatively young age because they inherited rare gene flaws.

Novel melatonin receptor molecules make possible therapies to adjust biological clock

Like breathing or blinking, behaviors regulated by our circadian rhythms, such as digestion and sleep-wake cycles, go unnoticed by most people. But when circadian rhythms malfunction, the result can be any one of a broad range of serious, chronic disorders, from insomnia and depression to obesity, diabetes and bipolar disorder.

Human gut-in-a-dish model helps define 'leaky gut,' and outline a pathway to treatment

Once a vague scapegoat for a variety of ills, increasing evidence suggests a condition known as "leaky gut"—in which microbes and other molecules seep out of the intestines—may be more common, and more harmful, than previously thought.

Alcoholism in the family affects how your brain switches between active and resting states

You don't have to be a drinker for your brain to be affected by alcoholism. A new study shows that just having a parent with an alcohol use disorder affects how your brain transitions between active and resting states—regardless of your own drinking habits.

Finding a cure for Fido's brain cancer may help us find a cure for ourselves

Cancer research using experimental models—everything from cancer cells in a dish to patient tumors transplanted in mice—has been extremely useful for learning more about the disease and how we might treat it. For some cancers, however, these models have failed to provide sufficient insight for medical progress. Diffuse glioma, the most common malignant brain tumor, is a prominent example, and it continues to have near-universal rates of recurrence and poor patient prognoses.

Initial protective role of nervous system's 'star-shaped cells' in sporadic motor neuron disease uncovered

Support cells in the nervous system help protect motor neurons in the early-stages of sporadic motor neuron disease, according to new research from the Crick and UCL.

What makes a 'good Samaritan' good? That opinion depends on the beneficiary

Your good deed for the day—whether lending a hand to a stranger or giving up your seat on the subway—may prompt others to see you as a good and trustworthy person, but not always. In certain circumstances, it may do just the opposite.

Interactive map shows worldwide spread of coronavirus

As scientists pin down the origin, governments enact prevention measures and labs look for a cure, news about the outbreak of the novel coronavirus often comes down to two questions: where and how many people are infected?

What's in a name? WHO tiptoes around what to call virus

Keen to avoid stigmatising the city of Wuhan, where the outbreak began, or Chinese people, the World Health Organization is treading carefully on naming the new virus.

'We're definitely not prepared': Africa braces for new virus

At a Chinese-run hospital in Zambia, some employees watched as people who recently returned from China showed up with coughs but were not placed in isolation. A doctor tending to those patients has stopped coming to work, and health workers have been ordered not to speak publicly about the new virus that has killed hundreds around the world.

Three more coronavirus cases found on Japan cruise ship

Three more people on a cruise ship off Japan have tested positive for the new coronavirus, bringing the number aboard to 64, the government said Saturday, with passengers facing a two-week quarantine.

Panic buying hits Singapore after virus alert raised

Anxious Singapore shoppers formed long lines at grocery stores Saturday and cleared the shelves of essential items, after the city-state raised its alert level over China's coronavirus outbreak.

China turns to AI, data in fight against virus

A man who had travelled to Wuhan—the central city at the heart of China's coronavirus crisis –- was surprised when police showed up at his door after he returned home, asking to check his temperature.

China scrambles to keep cities in virus lockdown fed

The manager of the Wushang Mart in Wuhan, the locked-down city at the heart of China's virus outbreak, says its shelves are loaded with 50% more vegetables and other food than usual to reassure jittery customers.

Hong Kong starts quarantine for mainland China arrivals

Hong Kong on Saturday began enforcing a mandatory two-week quarantine for anyone arriving from mainland China, a dramatic escalation of its bid to stop the deadly new coronavirus from spreading.

Five Britons test positive for coronavirus in France

Five British nationals including a child have tested positive for the new coronavirus in France, the health minister said Saturday, adding that they had all stayed at the same ski chalet.

Coronavirus: latest developments worldwide

Shortage of masks, cancelled attendances at major trade shows, restricted access to cruise ships... here are the developments from around the world on the coronavirus over the past 24 hours.

Mapping app location data shows how virus spread in China

For weeks after the first reports of a mysterious new virus in Wuhan, millions of people poured out of the central Chinese city, cramming onto buses, trains and planes as the first wave of China's great Lunar New Year migration broke across the nation. Some carried with them the new virus that has since claimed over 8 00 lives and sickened more than 37,000 people.

China virus deaths rise past 800, overtaking SARS toll

The death toll from the novel coronavirus surged past 800 in mainland China on Sunday, overtaking global fatalities in the 2002-03 SARS epidemic, even as the World Health Organization said the outbreak appeared to be stabilising.

Spain, UK report new virus cases as they hunt down carriers

The U.K. confirmed its fourth case of the new virus from China and Spain reported its second case as European authorities pressed Sunday to contain the spread of the coronavirus by hunting down those who came into contact with infected people.

Where did they go? Millions left city before quarantine

For weeks after the first reports of a mysterious new virus in Wuhan, millions of people poured out of the central Chinese city, cramming onto buses, trains and planes as the first wave of China's great Lunar New Year migration broke across the nation. Some carried with them the new virus that has since claimed over 800 lives and sickened more than 37,000 people.

Nine members of Hong Kong family get virus after 'hotpot': officials

Nine members of a Hong Kong family are infected with the new coronavirus after sharing a hotpot meal, officials confirmed late Sunday.

China offers $43bn boost to firms fighting virus

China's central bank said Sunday it will offer a 300 billion yuan ($43 billion) boost next week to help businesses involved in fighting the virus epidemic which has swept China and infected thousands.

Six new coronavirus cases found on Japan cruise ship

Six more people on a cruise ship off Japan are found to have the new coronavirus, the government said Sunday, bringing the number who have tested positive on board to 70.

Single HPV vaccine dose may be effective against cervical cancer: study

New research indicates that a single dose of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is as effective as multiple doses for preventing preinvasive cervical disease, which can later develop into cervical cancer. The findings are published early online in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society (ACS).

Research uncovers new path for melanoma detection and treatment

A new way to spot melanoma cells circulating in the blood has the potential to significantly improve the monitoring of cancer patients and guide future treatment.

Japan cruise ship now has 135 coronavirus infections: government

Another 65 people aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship moored off Japan have been diagnosed with novel coronavirus, the health ministry said Monday, bringing the total number of known infections to 135.

China virus cases rise again, 66 more on ship in Japan

China reported a rise in new virus cases Monday, possibly denting optimism that disease control measures including isolating major cities might be working, while the operator of a cruise ship in Japan reported dozens of new cases.

Virus transforms daily life on Hong Kong's fearful streets

Hunkering down in cramped apartments and raiding supermarket shelves for food and masks, Hong Kongers are fretting about the future as fear of the new coronavirus sweeps one of the world's most densely populated cities.

China stutters back to work as virus deaths rise

Millions of people in China returned to work Monday after an extended holiday aimed at slowing the spread of a coronavirus, with the extra travel deepening contagion concerns as the death toll climbed above 900.

WHO warns overseas virus spread may be 'tip of the iceberg'

The head of the World Health Organization has warned that confirmed cases of coronavirus being transmitted by people who have never travelled to China could be the "tip of the iceberg".

China virus deaths jump to 902: official

The number of deaths from China's new coronavirus epidemic jumped to 902 on Monday after the hardest-hit province of Hubei reported 91 new fatalities.

Scientists link higher maternal blood pressure to placental gene changes

Higher maternal blood pressure in pregnancy is associated with chemical modifications to placental genes, according to a study by researchers from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The changes involve DNA methylation, the binding of compounds known as methyl groups to DNA, which can alter a gene's activity. Exposure to high blood pressure in the womb increases the risk for impaired fetal growth and the risk for cardiovascular disease in adult life. Ultimately, the findings could yield information on the earliest origins of cardiovascular disease and how to prevent it from occurring.

UK calls virus "serious" health threat; will detain people

Britain has declared the new coronavirus that emerged from China a "serious and imminent threat to public health'' and announced new measures Monday to combat the spread of the disease.

EU calls emergency talks on new coronavirus

The European Union will host an extraordinary meeting of health ministers on Thursday, along with a WHO envoy, to discuss the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Patients stick with smartphone activity trackers longer than wearable devices

Doctors who want to track their patients' physical activity might have more luck doing it with smartphones than wearable fitness devices, according to a new Penn Medicine study. The data showed that patients who used smartphones were 32 percent more likely to send in their daily step counts six months after being discharged from the hospital than those who used a wearable fitness tracker. Since smartphones have become near-ubiquitous, these findings—published in JAMA Network Open—signaled to researchers that it is possible to track physical activity on a wider level, which could improve efforts to remotely monitor patient behaviors.

New study sheds fresh light on the genetic mechanisms involved in sepsis

Researchers from the University of Granada (UGR) have generated new data on the genetic mechanisms associated with sepsis, an exaggerated inflammatory response to infection. Sepsis is the No. 1 cause of death in all hospital intensive care units (ICUs) worldwide.

Why people post 'couple photos' as their social media profile pictures

As you scroll through your Facebook news feed, you see it: Your friend has posted a new profile picture. But instead of a picture of just your friend, it's a couple photo—a picture of your friend and their romantic partner.

Combating medical misinformation and disinformation amid coronavirus outbreak

The overwhelming sharing of fake news amid coronavirus outbreak across the globe raised concerns among governments, including in the Southeast Asian region.

The antidote to false information that fuels fear during disease outbreaks

False allegations and rumors about the coronavirus outbreak have been running riot on social media and in some mainstream media. Misinformation is rampant and conspiracy theories have added to the confusion. Examples include reports that the virus can kill a person in seconds, that Ghana has developed a successful vaccine and that HIV drugs have been used as a cure. There has even been a photo showing dozens of coronavirus victims lying dead in the streets of Wuhan in China.

The story of the pharma giant and the African yam

It was a drug produced in Nottingham in the United Kingdom that led us on a journey to South Africa to visit muthi markets, archives, herbariums and nature reserves.

Ibuprofen might make your periods lighter, but it's not a long-term solution

A tweet saying ibuprofen reduces menstrual flow by 50% went viral last month.

Autoinflammatory disease: The rare immune condition with waves of fever

Just over 20 years ago, people from three generations of an American family were referred to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Washington DC with an unknown disease.

Risk of heart disease later in life for premature babies

A new study led by researchers from the Royal Women's Hospital shows that young adults born extremely premature are susceptible to high blood pressure, putting them at higher risk of heart disease in later life.

More outside-the-clinic support and investment needed for Indigenous eye care

Greater investment is needed to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) eye health coordinators, community-based liaison officers, and family members and carers, according to the authors of a systematic review published online today by the Medical Journal of Australia.

Pharmacological migraine prophylaxis shows almost no effect in children

Migraines affect not only adults but also children and adolescents. Researchers from the University of Basel have concluded that in this age group, the preventive pharmacological treatment of migraine is no more effective than placebo in the long term. The results of the review, carried out as part of an international collaboration, have been published in the scientific journal JAMA Pediatrics.

What fuels a 'domino effect' in cancer drug resistance?

KAIST researchers have identified mechanisms that relay prior acquired resistance to the first-line chemotherapy to the second-line targeted therapy, fueling a "domino effect" in cancer drug resistance. Their study featured in the February 7 edition of Science Advances suggests a new strategy for improving the second-line setting of cancer treatment for patients who showed resistance to anti-cancer drugs.

International study opens up new ways to stop the metastasis of melanoma

Research staff of the University of Valencia, the Health Research Institute INCLIVA and the Clinical Hospital of Valencia have participated in a study that opens up new opportunities and ways of studying the development of new cáncer biomarkers by discovering a type of genetic material that prevents cancer cells of the skin from acting at a distance and forming metastases.

Who will lead the global surveillance of antimicrobial resistance via sewage?

For many, wastewater is simply contaminated, bacteria-filled water, but it is actually a valuable research resource. The water contains a wealth of information about e.g., the type of antimicrobial resistant bacteria and disease-causing microorganisms that are present in people in the collection area.

Radiologist workforce becoming increasingly subspecialized

The national radiologist workforce is becoming increasingly subspecialized, according to a study recently published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Baby carriers recalled because infant can fall out

About 14,000 Infantino soft infant and toddler carriers have been recalled because their buckles can break and put children at risk for falling, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says.

Fewer LGBTQ teens plagued by suicidal thoughts, but rates still high

Suicidal behavior is declining among U.S. teenagers who identify as LGBTQ, but the problem remains pervasive.

Women shouldn't get a bill for an IUD, but sometimes they do

After a few months on daily contraceptive pills, Erica M. wanted something more reliable. She wanted an intrauterine device, a form of long-acting reversible contraception that doctors call one of the most effective forms of birth control. (Erica's last name has been withheld due to privacy concerns.)

San Diego scientists to test drug meant to slow Alzheimer's before symptoms appear

Scientists in San Diego are preparing to screen thousands of people globally to find candidates who are well-suited to take an experimental drug that is designed to slow, and possibly stop, the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

Can stress cause hair loss?

The short answer is yes, stress and hair loss can be related.

To increase disposal of leftover opioids, give parents a bag of coffee grounds?

To combat opioid misuse, doctors who prescribe the addictive painkillers for youngsters should give their parents a Ziploc bag loaded with coffee grounds.

Connecting patients: Talking about congenital heart disease

Congenital heart disease (congenital heart defect) is one or more abnormalities in your heart's structure that you're born with. This most common of birth defects can alter the way blood flows through your heart. Defects range from simple, which might cause no problems, to complex, which can cause life-threatening complications.

Tackling the opioid crisis with a warmer touch

In the event of an opioid overdose, quick action from first responders can mean the difference between life and death. But oftentimes, survivors need much more than that first response to recover.

Post-Brexit farming should support more produce to reduce cardiovascular disease deaths

Earmarking more land for growing fruits and vegetables after Brexit could help to reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease.

Tumor vs. immune system: A battle to decide the host's fate

The goal of most cancers is to grow and take over the host's body. The immune system has long been in the crosshairs of cancer researchers, as it plays a central role in defending the human body from foreign invasion. In a new study, researchers from the University of Tsukuba have revealed that tumors that produce a protein called soluble CD155 accumulate in the lungs of mice by disabling the immune system of the animals.

Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy connected to elevated risk of ADHD

According to a study conducted in Finland, the risk of ADHD was 34 percent higher in children whose mother had a vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy than in those children whose mother's vitamin D level was sufficient during the first and second trimesters. The result was adjusted for maternal age, socioeconomic status and psychiatric history. The study was done in collaboration between researchers from the University of Turku, Finland, and Columbia University, New York.

Statins may lower mortality in high-risk prostate cancer patients

Among high-risk prostate cancer patients—those with high PSA and Gleason scores of 8 or more—many will develop a difficult-to-treat disease. Preliminary research suggests that two commonly prescribed medications, cholesterol-lowering statins and the diabetes therapy metformin may have anticancer effects. However, it is unclear which of these two medications—commonly prescribed together—contributes the most and whether they can impact high-risk prostate cancer. New research shows that statins, alone or with metformin, increase survival in men with high-risk prostate cancer.

Study finds innate protein that restricts HIV replication by targeting lipid rafts

The human protein apolipoprotein A-I binding protein (AIBP) inhibits HIV replication by targeting lipid rafts and reducing virus-cell fusion, according to a new study published in the premier American Society for Microbiology journal mBio by researchers from the George Washington University. These results provide the first evidence suggesting that AIBP is an innate immunity factor that restricts HIV replication by modifying lipid rafts on cells targeted by HIV.

Statins: Researchers uncover how cholesterol-lowering drugs cause muscle pain

Patients who take statins in order to lower their blood cholesterol levels often complain about muscle problems, typically muscle pain. But why this occurs is still largely unresolved. In a recent study, the pharmaceutical scientists Professor Alexandra K. Kiemer und Jessica Hoppstädter from Saarland University have identified a potential causal relationship. According to the results of their work, statins cause enhanced production of a protein called 'GILZ' that impairs muscle cell function.

The brain of migraine sufferers is hyper-excitable, new study suggests

Individuals who suffer from migraine headaches appear to have a hyper-excitable visual cortex researchers at the Universities of Birmingham and Lancaster suggest.

New treatment discovered for rare eye disease may prevent blindness

Patients with thyroid eye disease who used the minimally invasive insulin-like growth factor I blocking antibody, teprotumumab, experienced improvement in their symptoms, appearance and quality of life, according to a study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Youth with HIV less likely than adults to achieve viral suppression

Despite similar rates of enrollment into medical care, youth with HIV have much lower rates of viral suppression—reducing HIV to undetectable levels—compared to adults, according to an analysis funded by the National Institutes of Health. Among more than 1,000 youth, most of whom were newly enrolled in care at treatment centers throughout the United States, 12% had attained viral suppression, far lower than the 32% to 63% observed in studies of adults over age 24. The findings suggest that after they enroll in an HIV treatment program, a low proportion of youth adhere to care regimens. The study appears in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

Rifles and shotguns used more often in youth and rural suicides

The researchers say their findings, published Feb. 3 in Injury Epidemiology, suggest that adopting safety measures for rifles or shotguns may prevent suicides, particularly among young people and rural-area residents.

How sequencing virus DNA could open the door to next generation of cancer vaccines

Cervical cancer is one of the only cancers that can be prevented by a vaccine. This is because around 98% of all cervical cancer cases are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which implants DNA in the genome of human cells, causing them to become cancerous.

Increases in minimum wage may not have anticipated positive health effects, study shows

In the decade-long absence of federal action, many states, counties and cities have increased minimum wages to help improve the lives of workers. While political debate over these efforts has long been contentious, scientific research on the health effects of raising the minimum wage is relatively new.

Outpatient palliative care improves Parkinson outcomes

(HealthDay)—Compared with standard care alone, outpatient palliative care is associated with benefits among patients with Parkinson disease and related disorders, according to a study published online Feb. 10 in JAMA Neurology.

Telepsychiatry services expand access to behavioral health care

(HealthDay)—Two studies published online Feb. 5 in Psychiatric Services show the successful use of telepsychiatry services in different settings.

Biologics tied to greater reduction in pediatric psoriasis

(HealthDay)—Biologics seem to be associated with greater reduction in psoriasis severity scores and higher drug survival rates than methotrexate in pediatric patients treated in a real-world setting, according to a study published online Feb. 5 in JAMA Dermatology.

For kids with heart defects, the hospital near mom may matter

Heart problems are often associated with older people. But every year about 1 in 110 children in the United States are born with congenital heart disease, which include a variety of defects ranging from holes in the heart to malformed or missing valves and chambers.

Health officials trace British patient travels in outbreak

A middle-aged businessman from England who vacationed in the Alps has illustrated how the ease of international travel is complicating global efforts to track and contain the new coronavirus that emerged in China.

New study examines ways to improve cancer literacy in young students

A new study led by University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researchers suggests that implementing cancer education curricula in middle and high schools may improve cancer literacy in Kentuckians and ultimately help reduce cancer rates.

Power of older people could save villages

Older people could hold the key to revitalising rural communities, researchers say.

Five things to know about egg freezing

Egg freezing for age-related fertility is becoming more common, and a short article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) provides quick reference points on the topic for primary care providers.

Diabetes more common in First Nations people, especially women, than in other people

Diabetes is more common in First Nations people, especially women, and occurs at younger ages than in other people in Ontario, found a new study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Summary report on small cell lung cancer research points to progress and challenges

In 2017, a group of lung cancer experts posed the question: "Can recent advances in tumor biology that have led to progress treating non-small cell lung cancer translate into improved outcomes for small cell lung cancer?"

Researchers launch study to assess safety of PrEP and dapivirine ring in pregnant women

A woman who is eight-months pregnant is the first participant to be enrolled into a study evaluating the safety and acceptability of two different HIV prevention approaches when used during pregnancy—the monthly dapivirine vaginal ring, which is currently under regulatory review, and a daily antiretroviral (ARV) pill called Truvada, an approach already approved in several countries and commonly referred to as PrEP, short for pre-exposure prophylaxis.

Most men do not regret their choices for prostate cancer surgery

Men with localized prostate cancer are faced with deciding among a range of options for treatment—including a choice between robot-assisted versus conventional prostatectomy. A new follow-up study in The Journal of Urology finds that most patients choosing surgery for prostate cancer don't regret their decisions.

Gastro outbreak forces Caribbean cruise ship to return to US

A Caribbean Princess cruise was cut short following a gastrointestinal outbreak aboard the ship caused it to be denied entry to at least one island before it headed to its home port in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Monday.

More teens coming out as LGBQ, but suicide attempts still high

A new Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) study finds that the proportion of high school students identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning (LGBQ) doubled from 2009 to 2017, while the LGBQ teen rate of attempted suicide went from five times the rate for their straight peers to nearly four times the rate. The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.

Pennsylvania sues Juul over marketing e-cigarettes to teens

The Pennsylvania attorney general's office sued electronic cigarette manufacturer Juul Labs Inc. on Monday over how its products are marketed and sold to teenagers.

Biology news

Coronavirus outbreak raises question: Why are bat viruses so deadly?

It's no coincidence that some of the worst viral disease outbreaks in recent years—SARS, MERS, Ebola, Marburg and likely the newly arrived 2019-nCoV virus—originated in bats.

New research shows that El Nino contributes to insect collapse in the Amazon

Hotter and drier El Niño events are having an alarming effect on biodiversity in the Amazon Rainforest and further add to a disturbing global insect collapse, scientists show.

Acid-loving microbe can improve understanding of past climate

Food and energy availability cause physical changes in acid-loving microorganisms that are used to study Earth's climate history, according to research from Dartmouth College.

'Rule-breaking' plants may be climate change survivors

Plants that break some of the 'rules' of ecology by adapting in unconventional ways may have a higher chance of surviving climate change, according to researchers from the University of Queensland and Trinity College Dublin.

Scientists explain why naked mole-rats' longevity contradicts accepted aging theory

Dr. Chen Hou and his research collaborators have found an answer to the decades-old question of why naked mole-rats with high oxidative damage live 10 times longer than mice of comparative weight.

Bees prioritize their unique waggle dance to find flowers

Researchers at Royal Holloway have developed a method to track bee-to-bee communication in honeybee hives, showing how bees have many means to learn from their nest mates about the best flowers to visit, but it is their unique waggle dance which is prioritised above all else to find the best food sites.

Dolphins gather in female family groups

Social clusters including mothers' groups play an important role in the life of southern Australian bottlenose dolphins, a new study shows.

First artificial enzyme created with two non-biological groups

Scientists at the University of Groningen turned a non-enzymatic protein into a new, artificial enzyme by adding two abiological catalytic components: an unnatural amino acid and a catalytic copper complex. This is the first time that an enzyme has been created using two non-biological components to create an active site. The study demonstrates that such a synergistic combination is a powerful approach to achieving catalysis that is normally outside the realm of artificial enzymes. The study was published in Nature Catalysis on 10 February.

Inner 'clockwork' sets the time for cell division in bacteria

Researchers at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel have discovered a "clockwork" mechanism that controls cell division in bacteria. In two publications, in Nature Communications and PNAS, they report how a small signaling molecule starts the clock, which informs the cell about the right time to reproduce.

New world map of fish genetic diversity

An international research team from ETH Zurich and French universities has studied genetic diversity among fish around the world for the first time. Their research produced a map that will serve as a tool in improving the protection of species and genetic diversity in the future.

Half-a-million insect species face extinction: scientists

Half of the one million animal and plant species on Earth facing extinction are insects, and their disappearance could be catastrophic for humankind, scientists have said in a "warning to humanity".

Mapping the future direction for bioprinting research

The way research in bioprinting will be taken forward has been laid out in a roadmap for the field.

Four rare mountain gorillas 'killed by lightning' in Uganda

Four endangered mountain gorillas, including three adult females, have been killed by an apparent lightning strike in a Ugandan national park, a conservation group has said.

Scientists warn humanity about worldwide insect decline

Insect declines and extinctions are accelerating in many parts of the world. With this comes the disappearance of irreplaceable services to humans, the consequences of which are unpredictable. A group of scientists from around the globe has united to warn humanity of such dangers.

Using the power of pop to change minds over sea turtle meat consumption

Researchers at the University of Oxford and Programa Tatô have developed a catchy way to reach communities on the island of São Tomé, in West Africa.

Powering H. pylori pathogenesis

The bacterium Helicobacter pylori colonizes the stomach in half of the world's population and increases the risk of gastric cancer.

Proper etiquette in the presence of bison

Since the start of the Life Bison Project in 2016, 56 bison have been translocated from Germany and Poland—55 to reintroduction areas and one to the breeding center in Hunedoara. The bison roam freely at two main reintroduction sites in the Țarcu and Poiana Ruscă Mountains of Romania. These areas comprise one of Europe's largest wilderness areas and encompass 4 national parks and 1 natural park, totaling about 300,000 ha where species and the landscape benefit from their protected status.

Study: Adding sewage sludge to soils does not promote antibiotic resistance

Adding sewage sludge on soils does not promote antibiotic resistance, a study from University of Gothenburg shows.

Could illegally trafficked pangolins be the missing link in the coronavirus outbreak?

The deadly coronavirus outbreak, which has killed over 600 people and infected thousands more, may have been transmitted from bats to humans via pangolins, according to new research.

New repair mechanism for DNA breaks

Chromosomal breaks are the most harmful damage for cells. If they are not repaired, they block the duplication and segregation of chromosomes, stop the growth cycle and cause cell death. These breaks appear frequently in tumor cells and are produced spontaneously during the replication of genetic material. To be able to repair this damage in the genetic material, the cell transfers the information from the intact daughter copy to the broken copy, which is known as recombination of sister chromatids.

Observing proteins in their natural environment

Proteins can be responsible for the fact that the active ingredients of drugs are simply released from the target cells. You can watch them do this now.

Lone wolf that traveled 8,700 miles looking for a mate found dead in California

An endangered female gray wolf known as OR-54 didn't live long enough to find a mate, despite making an 8,700-mile meandering journey through three states looking for one.

Global warming and extinction risk

How can fossils predict the consequences of climate change? A German research team from FAU, the Museum of Natural History Berlin and the Alfred Wegener Institute compared data from fossil and marine organisms living today to predict which groups of animals are most at risk from climate change. They published their results in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Reimagining the link between geographic space and species could boost conservation and management efforts

In the latest issue of The American Naturalist, University of Kansas investigator Jorge Soberón offers a new method for ecologists to calculate the correlation between geographic space and the number of species inhabiting that space.

Study examines the impact of oil contaminated water on tubeworms and brittlestars

A new study published by Dauphin Island Sea Lab researchers adds a new layer to understanding how an oil spill could impact marine life.

Chinese date extract improves the immune system of fish

A RUDN University biologist reports that the extract of the fruit of the Chinese date boosts immunity in carp. The addition of date juice to the diet increases the reaction of the immune system of fish to extraneous compounds. The results are published in the journal Fish and Shellfish Immunology.

Bees and crop plants subjects of new 'pollination guide' for Brazil

University of Freiburg publishes a guide on the importance of pollinators for Brazilian farmers.

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: