Monday, February 3, 2020

Science X Newsletter Monday, Feb 3

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for February 3, 2020:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Enhancing high-nickel layered oxide cathodes for lithium-ion batteries

Shape-morphing living composites

Heisenberg limit gets a meaningful update

New electrode design may lead to more powerful batteries

Exposing a virus's hiding place reveals new potential vaccine

Tumbleweeds or fibrils: Tau proteins need to choose

Closely spaced hydrogen atoms could facilitate superconductivity in ambient conditions

Observations detect distortion of magnetic fields in the protostellar core Barnard 335

How and when spines changed in mammalian evolution

Researchers create 'intelligent' interaction between light and material

New quantum switch turns metals into insulators

Making high-temperature superconductivity disappear to understand its origin

The one ring—to track your finger's location

Hot pots helped ancient Siberian hunters survive the Ice Age

How your clothes become microfibre pollution in the sea

Astronomy & Space news

Observations detect distortion of magnetic fields in the protostellar core Barnard 335

Using the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), Japanese astronomers have investigated the magnetic field structure of the protostellar core Barnard 335. The new observations suggest that the magnetic field of Barnard 335 is distorted, which could have implications for our understanding of the nature of this object. The finding is detailed in a paper published January 22 on

Driving massive galaxy outflows with supermassive blackholes

Active galactic nuclei (AGN) are supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies that are accreting material onto their hot circumnuclear disks, releasing the energy in bursts of radiation or as particle jets moving at close to the speed of light. These energetic outbursts in turn drive outflows of ionized, neutral, and molecular gas that can extend over thousands of light-years and move at speeds of hundreds of kilometers per second. The gas flows can be launched directly from the hot accretion disc, though radiation pressure on the dust that is mixed in with the gas, by hot thermal winds, or other mechanisms that generate hot bubbles of gas. By driving the gas out of the galaxy, an active nucleus restricts the fuel available for further star formation and slows down the galaxy's growth. The mechanism is also self-limiting, since it ultimately suppresses gas accreting onto the black hole. Astronomers tracking the rate of star formation across cosmic time believe this process, called quenching, is responsible for the dramatic decline in star formation since the peak of star-formation activity about ten billion years ago.

How many stars eventually collide as black holes? The universe has a budget for that

Since the breakthrough in gravitational wave astronomy back in 2015, scientists have been able to detect more than a dozen pairs of closely located black holes—known as binary black holes—by their collisions into each other due to gravity. However, scientists still debate how many of these black holes are born from stars, and how they are able to get close enough for a collision within the lifetime of our universe.

Team identifies low-energy solar particles from beyond Earth near the Sun

Using data from NASA's Parker Solar Probe (PSP), a team led by Southwest Research Institute identified low-energy particles lurking near the Sun that likely originated from solar wind interactions well beyond Earth orbit. PSP is venturing closer to the Sun than any previous probe, carrying hardware SwRI helped develop. Scientists are probing the enigmatic features of the Sun to answer many questions, including how to protect space travelers and technology from the radiation associated with solar events.

Iran to launch observation satellite in 'coming days'

Iran is preparing to launch a new scientific observation satellite in the "coming days", the head of the country's national space agency told AFP on Saturday.

One step closer to prospecting the moon

The first European device to land on the moon this decade will be a drill and sample analysis package, and the teams behind it are one step closer to flight as part of Russia's Luna-27 mission.

Researchers find clues to how hazardous space radiation begins

Scientists at the University of New Hampshire have unlocked one of the mysteries of how particles from flares on the sun accumulate at early stages in the energization of hazardous radiation that is harmful to astronauts, satellites and electronic equipment in space. Using data obtained by NASA's Parker Solar Probe (PSP), researchers observed one of the largest events so far during the mission. These observations show how plasma that is released after a solar flare—a sudden flash of increased brightness—can accelerate and pile up energetic particles generating dangerous radiation conditions.

Technology news

Enhancing high-nickel layered oxide cathodes for lithium-ion batteries

Lithium-based batteries are used to power most existing electric vehicles, yet the amount of time they can keep a vehicle going before they need to be recharged is still somewhat limited. In the future, high-nickel layered oxide cathode materials could help to increase the driving range of electric vehicles, enabling the development of cheaper and better performing lithium-ion batteries.

The one ring—to track your finger's location

Smart technology keeps getting smaller. There are smartphones, smartwatches and now, smart rings, devices that allow someone to use simple finger gestures to control other technology.

Brainy item-picking robots show up for warehouse duty

At a warehouse on the outskirts of Berlin recently, a new addition to the warehouse, a robot, drew press attention.

OpenSK research platform cheered as boost for adoption of security keys

An implementation for security keys was in the news recently. The spotlight was on OpenSK.

Cloning musical heritage in the key of 3-D

When Mina Jang played the same melodious tune on two different flutes behind a screen, she said the examiners grading her couldn't tell the difference.

Researchers work on project to develop cleaner-burning, renewable fuels

Biofuels offer potential benefits as renewable fuels with cleaner emissions, but with thousands of types of biofuels to choose from, it makes it hard for the energy sector to focus on just a few for further development.

Using AI for drug discovery shows speed but draws discussions

A drug molecule developed though machine learning? An announcement has been made that a phase I clinical study of DSP-1181, that was created using Artificial Intelligence (AI), has been initiated in Japan.

'Wristwatch' monitors body chemistry to boost athletic performance, prevent injury

Engineering researchers have developed a device the size of a wristwatch that can monitor an individual's body chemistry to help improve athletic performance and identify potential health problems. The device can be used for everything from detecting dehydration to tracking athletic recovery, with applications ranging from military training to competitive sports.

Apple temporarily closes stores in China amid virus outbreak

Apple is temporarily closing its 42 stores in mainland China, one of its largest markets, as a new virus spreads rapidly and the death toll there rose to 259 on Saturday.

Google to raise ad fees to cover Austrian tax: source

American tech giant Google will ramp up charges to its advertisers to cover the costs of a new Austrian tax, a source close to the company said on Saturday.

China outbreak forces Hyundai to suspend flagship SUV production

Hyundai Motor, South Korea's largest automaker, suspended the domestic production of its flagship sport utility vehicle this weekend as a result of a supply disruption caused by the deadly virus outbreak in China.

FCC: At least 1 phone company broke law by sharing location

At least one U.S. phone company likely broke the law by sharing data that can pinpoint the location of smartphone users, the Federal Communications Commission said Friday.

Uber suspends 240 users accounts over possible virus contact

Uber has suspended the accounts of 240 users in Mexico who may have been in contact with drivers that ferried a person suspected of having the deadly coronavirus.

Huawei 5G troubles to test Nordic competitors' bandwidth

Tougher UK and EU rules restricting 5G network supplier Huawei should be a golden opportunity for competitors Nokia and Ericsson, but the companies may struggle to meet the increased demand, analysts warned.

Panasonic April-December operating profit hit by China sales

Panasonic said on Monday its operating profit for the April-December period dropped 18 percent on lower sales in China but it left its full-year forecast intact despite the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

What if half of Switzerland's rooftops produced electricity?

Researchers at EPFL are assessing Switzerland's solar power potential. Their results show that photovoltaic panels could be installed on more than half of the country's 9.6 million rooftops. The resulting power would meet more than 40 percent of Swiss electricity demand.

New deep learning model can accurately identify sleep stages

A new deep learning model developed by researchers at the University of Eastern Finland can identify sleep stages as accurately as an experienced physician. This opens up new avenues for the diagnostics and treatment of sleep disorders, including obstructive sleep apnea.

Using a scientific approach to assess the value of travel time

Do you feel that you spend half your day on crowded trains, trams or buses to and from work? Losing your patience while stuck in traffic, or do you feel fortunate that you can cycle to work, burn some calories and reduce your carbon footprint? To what extent do you value travel time? The EU-funded MoTiV project is seeking answers to help commuters track, understand and evaluate their travel decisions and enable the development of more efficient mobility systems.

Smart water heating could help in South Africa's energy crisis

South Africa's energy crisis has many dimensions, from political and economic to technical and environmental. Recently, the country's power utility, Eskom, has been generating only about 60% of its capacity and has had to restrict usage to prevent a regional blackout.

You weren't the only one who streamed more videos in 2019—the whole world did

If you had a feeling you binged more streaming video last year, you likely did—and you had a lot of company.

Teaching tomorrow's automobiles to hear

Modern cars already feature a range of sophisticated systems such as remote-controlled parking, automatic lane-departure warning and drowsiness recognition. In the future, self-driving cars will also have auditory capabilities. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT in Oldenburg, Germany, have now developed a prototype system capable of recognizing external noises such as sirens.

A new test for internal diesel injector deposits

Southwest Research Institute has created a new test that significantly reduces the time and fuel needed to evaluate the formation of internal deposits on diesel engine fuel injectors. The test utilizes a custom-built injector rig. Any deposits formed in the injector are measured with a variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometer (VASE), which is a tool typically used by computer engineers to examine layers in microchips.

Disappointing growth hits Google parent Alphabet shares

Google parent Alphabet on Monday reported rising profits in the final three months of last year amid growth in digital advertising and cloud computing, but shares took a hit on disappointing revenue growth.

TCL set to end deal making BlackBerry smartphones

Chinese electronics group TCL will stop producing BlackBerry-branded smartphones this year, the companies said Monday, leaving it unclear whether that will be the end of the line for the once-dominant handsets.

Confidence in automated systems

When it comes to cars that drive themselves, most people are still hesitant. There are similar reservations with respect to onboard sensors gathering data on a driver's current state of health. As part of the SECREDAS project, a research consortium including the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE is investigating the safety, security and privacy of these systems. The aim is to boost confidence in such technology.

Safe and effective shipboard firefighting

"Fire on board!" This is a grave danger for any ship, but especially so when a ship is ostensibly safely docked in harbor—where "normal" firefighters are on duty and have to cope with the special challenges on board a ship. Since 2005, 44 potentially disastrous incidents have occurred in German ports alone, including 15 fires and 13 spills of hazardous materials. EFAS, a joint project coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics FKIE, is aimed at significantly improving firefighters' safety and effectiveness through optimum equipment and technological innovations.

Drone sighting disrupts air traffic at Madrid airport

Madrid's international airport was closed for over one hour on Monday due to the reported sighting of drones, authorities in Spain said.

YouTube: No 'deepfakes' or 'birther' videos in 2020 election

Better late than never, YouTube is making clear there will be no "birtherism" on its platform during this year's U.S. presidential election. Nevermind that the conspiracy theory around former President Barack Obama's citizenship emerged in 2008 and has not been a widespread issue since he last ran for president in 2012.

FTC sues to block Harry's sale to Schick owner Edgewell

Federal antitrust regulators say a proposed merger that would combine old-school shaving company Schick with upstart Harry's would end up costing consumers some skin.

Medicine & Health news

Tunes for training: High-tempo music may make exercise easier and more beneficial

With the start of the new year, gyms are at their busiest and many people are trying to establish a workout routine to improve their health. Getting an edge by making exercise easier and more effective could be the difference between success and guiltily returning to the warm embrace of the couch. What if doing something as simple as listening to a particular type of music could give you that edge?

Assessing 'stickiness' of tumor cells could improve cancer prognosis

A team of researchers led by the University of California San Diego has created a device that measures how "sticky" cancer cells are, which could improve prognostic evaluation of patient tumors. The device is built with a microfluidic chamber that sorts cells by their physical ability to adhere to their environment.

Sound of music: How melodic alarms could reduce morning grogginess

Beep beep beep or Beach Boys? The sounds you wake up to could be affecting how groggy and clumsy you are in the morning, according to new research.

Eating red meat and processed meat hikes heart disease, death risk: study

Drop the steak knife. After a controversial study last fall recommending that it was not necessary for people to change their diet in terms of red meat and processed meat, a large, carefully analyzed new study links red and processed meat consumption with slightly higher risk of heart disease and death, according to a new study from Northwestern Medicine and Cornell University.

Novel compound is promising drug candidate for Alzheimer's disease

A newly identified compound is a promising candidate for inhibiting the production of amyloids, the abnormal proteins that form toxic clumps, called fibrils, inside the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease. As published today in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Chemical Communications, the compound—known as "C1"—uses a novel mechanism to efficiently prevent the enzyme gamma-secretase from producing amyloids.

Zika vaccine induces potent Zika and dengue cross-neutralizing antibodies

A new study led by scientists at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research has shown for the first time that a single dose of an experimental Zika vaccine in a dengue-experienced individual can boost pre-existing flavivirus immunity and elicit protective cross-neutralizing antibody responses against both Zika and dengue viruses. Findings were published today in Nature Medicine.

HIV antibody therapy is associated with enhanced immune responses in infected individuals

Most people living with HIV control the virus thanks to antiretroviral therapy (ART). Although this medication is highly effective, the presence of latent viral reservoirs in their bodies means they require lifelong therapy. Studies have demonstrated that immunotherapy combining two anti-HIV antibodies can also suppress HIV, similar to ART. Now an international team of researchers from the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM), the Rockefeller University (United States) and the University of Cologne (Germany) has shown that the use of these antibodies during ART interruption has an effect on the immune system of HIV-infected individuals.

Tailor-made vaccines could almost halve rates of serious bacterial disease

New research has found that rates of disease caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae could be substantially reduced by changing our approach to vaccination. Researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Simon Fraser University in Canada and Imperial College London combined genomic data, models of bacterial evolution and predictive modelling to identify how vaccines could be optimised for specific age groups, geographic regions and communities of bacteria.

Parentese helps parents, babies make 'conversation' and boosts language develop

Used in virtually all of the world's languages, parentese is a speaking style that draws baby's attention. Parents adopt its simple grammar and words, plus its exaggerated sounds, almost without thinking about it.

A roadblock for disease-causing parasites

The thread-like parasite Dirofilaria immitis, causes canine heartworm, a debilitating disease in dogs. A related parasite, Brugia malayi, infects humans and is one of the parasites responsible for lymphatic filariasis, a neglected disease that affects 120 million and can give rise to elephantiasis, characterized by disfiguring and painful swollen limbs.

Math models add up to improved cancer immunotherapy

A merger of math and medicine may help to improve the efficacy of immunotherapies, potentially life-saving treatments that enhance the ability of the patient's own immune system to attack cancerous tumors.

'Chemical earmuffs' could prevent hearing loss

Once you start to lose your hearing, you can't get it back. But what if you could prevent hearing loss by blocking in advance the effects of loud noises?

Blood test identifies risk of disease linked to stroke and dementia

A UCLA-led study has found that levels of six proteins in the blood can be used to gauge a person's risk for cerebral small vessel disease, or CSVD, a brain disease that affects an estimated 11 million older adults in the U.S. CSVD can lead to dementia and stroke, but currently it can only be diagnosed with an MRI scan of the brain.

Scanning the brain to understand stuttering

There is no known cure for stuttering and other speech disorders such as dysarthria and apraxia of speech, but new research by a University of Canterbury (UC) academic involves scanning the brain to find out what causes speech production problems.

Evidence-based guideline reduces gastrostomy tube placement in young patients

Gastrostomy tubes (G-tubes) are commonly used to deliver nutrition directly to the stomach in patients who cannot eat by mouth, require supplemental nutrients, or have swallowing difficulties, including oropharyngeal dysphagia with aspiration. While the placement of G-tubes is on the rise nationally, data suggests that children with G-tubes have two to three times the number of hospitalizations as those who can be fed orally. While intended to improve quality of life, G-tubes may have unforeseen consequences, including an increased risk of postsurgical complications and higher overall medical costs.

New way to study pituitary tumors holds potential for better diagnoses and treatments

Houston Methodist neurosurgeons and neuroscientists are looking at a new way to classify pituitary tumors that could lead to more precise and accurate diagnosing for patients in the future.

Brain study identifies possible causes of ethnic pain disparities

In her Social and Cultural Neuroscience Lab at the University of Miami, assistant professor of Psychology Elizabeth Losin investigates the mechanisms underlying racial and ethnic disparities related to pain and pain treatment. She looks at the role the brain plays using functional MRI (fMRI) and the impact of social and cultural factors, including the doctor-patient relationship and stressful life experiences such as discrimination.

For complex decisions, narrow them down to two

When choosing between multiple alternatives, people usually focus their attention on the two most promising options. The quicker we do that, the faster we make the decision. Psychologists from the University of Basel have reported these findings in the scientific journal Nature Human Behaviour.

Cold plasma patch could make immunotherapy more effective for treating melanoma

An interdisciplinary team of researchers at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has developed a medicated patch that can deliver immune checkpoint inhibitors and cold plasma directly to tumors to help boost the immune response and kill cancer cells.

Early life experiences biologically and functionally mature the brain, research shows

Experiences early in life have an impact on the brain's biological and functional development, shows a new study by a team of neuroscientists. Its findings, which centered on changes in mice and rats, reveal how learning and memory abilities may vary, depending on the nature of individual experiences in early life.

New study links autism to specific cell, paves way for potential approach to treatment

People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) appear to suffer malfunctions in a cell that produces a special coating around nerve fibers that facilitates efficient electrical communication across the brain. And correcting it could offer a potential new avenue for treatment, according to a new study published today in the journal Nature Neuroscience from scientists at the Lieber Institute for Brain Development (LIBD).

Flickering light mobilizes brain chemistry that may fight Alzheimer's

For over a century, Alzheimer's disease has confounded all attempts to treat it. But in recent years, perplexing experiments using flickering light have shown promise.

Designing an emergency stop switch for immunotherapies

Immunotherapy, unlike chemotherapy and radiotherapy, arms the body's immune system to attack cancer cells. In recent years, it has proven to be remarkably successful at treating leukemia, lymphoma and other liquid cancers, or cancers present in body fluids.

If cancer were easy, every cell would do it

A new Scientific Reports paper puts an evolutionary twist on a classic question. Instead of asking why we get cancer, Leonardo Oña of Osnabrück University and Michael Lachmann of the Santa Fe Institute use signaling theory to explore how our bodies have evolved to keep us from getting more cancer.

First-ever experimental Sudan virus specific antibody treatment protects animals

Army scientists working with partners from industry and academia have developed an experimental treatment that protects animals from Sudan virus, which is closely related to Ebola. Their work is published online today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

China's isolation grows as virus toll reaches 259

China faced deepening isolation over its coronavirus epidemic on Sunday as the death toll soared to 259, with the United States and Australia leading a growing list of nations to impose extraordinary Chinese travel bans.

Australia to refuse entry to non-citizens arriving from China

The Australian government on Saturday said it would bar non-citizens arriving from mainland China from entering the country under new measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus epidemic.

Pentagon approves using military bases to quarantine 1,000

Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Saturday approved a request from the Department of Health and Human Services for the possible use of military facilities to accommodate 1,000 people who may have to be quarantined upon arrival from overseas due to a new virus.

Coronavirus: What we know about first death outside China

The Philippines has reported the first death outside China in the virus epidemic that has killed more than 300 people and spread to 24 nations.

New Chinese city locked down as virus kills abroad

China imposed a lockdown Sunday on a major city far from the epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic, as its death toll soared to 304 and the first fatality outside the country was reported in the Philippines.

Herbal remedies for the coronavirus spark debate in China

A claim by Chinese scientists that a liquid made with honeysuckle and flowering plants could help fight the deadly coronavirus has sparked frenzied buying of the traditional medicine, but doubts quickly emerged.

Chinese army to oversee virus hospital

China's army on Sunday was given control of a nearly-finished field hospital that will treat patients at the epicentre of a deadly virus epidemic that has severely strained medical facilities.

Group evacuated from China to France test negative for coronavirus

Tests for the coronavirus on about 20 people who arrived on France on an evacuation flight from China have come back negative, authorities said Monday.

New China virus details show challenge for outbreak control

It can spread person to person, even if someone is showing no symptoms. The next in line can continue to pass it on. The incubation period is so long that people may not know where or when they picked it up.

Thailand sees apparent success treating virus with drug cocktail

A Chinese woman infected with the new coronavirus showed a dramatic improvement after she was treated with a cocktail of anti-virals used to treat flu and HIV, Thailand's health ministry said Sunday.

DHS: New screening to begin amid coronavirus concerns

As the U.S. steps up its response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Department of Homeland Security is warning airline passengers that their flights may wind up rerouted if officials discover mid-flight that someone onboard has been in China in the last 14 days.

Heart disease risk grows as women move through menopause

A marker for heart disease risk considerably worsens as women transition through menopause, according to a new analysis from the largest and longest running study of women's health in midlife, the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN). Black women experience this accelerated decline earlier in menopause than their white counterparts.

China 'urgently needs' medical gear and masks as virus toll tops SARS

China said Monday it urgently needed medical equipment and surgical masks as the death toll from a new coronavirus jumped above 360, making it more deadly than the SARS crisis nearly two decades ago.

China's virus death toll spikes, more than SARS

China's death toll from a new coronavirus jumped above 360 on Monday to surpass the number of fatalities of its SARS crisis two decades ago, with dozens of people dying in the epicentre's quarantined ground-zero.

Built in 10 days, China's virus hospital takes 1st patients

The first patients arrived Monday at a 1,000-bed hospital built in 10 days as part of China's sweeping efforts to fight a new virus that is causing global alarm.

UN health agency tackles misinformation over virus outbreak

The World Health Organization chief has traveled a dozen times to monitor the Ebola response in Congo . But when he planned to visit China's capital last week over a new viral outbreak emerging from central Hubei province, his daughter got worried.

Britain's GSK joins race to develop China virus vaccine

UK pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) said Monday it was joining a global race to develop a vaccine for a new strain of a coronavirus that has killed more than 360 people.

Lower protein diet may lessen risk for cardiovascular disease

A plant-based diet may be key to lowering risk for heart disease. Penn State researchers determined that diets with reduced sulfur amino acids—which occur in protein-rich foods, such as meats, dairy, nuts and soy—were associated with a decreased risk for cardiovascular disease. The team also found that the average American consumes almost two and a half times more sulfur amino acids than the estimated average requirement.

Reirradiation rarely required in focal radiation therapy for multiple myeloma

For patients with multiple myeloma receiving focal radiation therapy (RT) for symptomatic plasmacytoma, reirradiation is rarely required, according to a letter to the editor published online Jan. 9 in Haematologica.

Got flu? Deal quickly with complications

Fighting the flu can be an unpleasant experience—but the misery may not stop there.

Neurodevelopment team locates a gene that helps control puberty and human reproduction

Thousands of Americans suffer from the delay or non-appearance of puberty. While the underlying cause is failure in the correct action of the hypothalamic hormone GnRH, the precise genetic causes have not been fully understood.

Cancer cell reversion may offer a new approach to colorectal cancer treatment

A novel approach to reverse the progression of healthy cells to malignant ones may offer a more effective way to eradicate colorectal cancer cells with far fewer side effects, according to a team of researchers based in South Korea.

The fastest skiers have the lowest blood pressure

The quicker someone completes the long distance cross-country ski race Vasaloppet, the lower the risk of them developing high blood pressure. This is the conclusion of a new study conducted by researchers at Uppsala University published in the online scientific journal Circulation.

What the coronavirus emergency declaration means for Canada

The director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) has decided the outbreak of 2019-nCoV constitutes a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) as more countries reported confirmed cases of the coronavirus. The move updates the organization's decisions from last week, when it said it lacked enough scientific evidence to declare the emergency.

Wuhan, the coronavirus and the world: Thinking beyond isolation

Public fear seems inevitable given the alarming updates on the coronavirus outbreak, and isolation—in the forms of lockdown and quarantine—has become our default response.

Increased traffic injuries are a surprising result of restricting older drivers

If older drivers with cognitive impairment are no longer permitted behind the wheel, then accident rates should fall. That seems like common sense, but it turns out that the logic isn't so simple. Since 2009, when Japan added cognitive tests to its license renewal process for those aged 75+, traffic injuries have actually increased.

Kids diagnosed with ADHD often don't take medication regularly

Children diagnosed with ADHD inconsistently take their prescribed medication, going without treatment 40 percent of the time, a new study has found.

Hereditary factors influence capacity to use fat at rest and during exercise

How effectively the human body uses fats for energy seems to be largely dictated by genes. Higher peak fat utilisation capacity during exercise may also predict better metabolic health.

New therapeutic approach may help to cure chronic hepatitis B infection

Researchers at Helmholtz Zentrum München, Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) have developed a novel therapeutic approach to cure chronic hepatitis B. The scientists found that the large amount of hepatitis B virus proteins expressed in the liver prevents the body's immune system to defeat the virus, consequently preventing an effective therapy. The researchers were able to show that knocking down the expression of the virus' proteins enables successful vaccination with TherVacB, a novel therapeutic vaccine.

Quarantines have been used for thousands of years

The recent global spread of a deadly coronavirus originating in Wuhan, China, has led world leaders to invoke an ancient tradition to control the spread of illness: quarantine.

Nigeria and disease outbreaks. Better prepared, but still weak spots

Early this year, China confirmed the first case of a new strain of coronavirus (2019nCoV) isolated from a cluster of people with a respiratory syndrome in Wuhan.

Study shows that hepatitis C drug EPCLUSA has the potential to inhibit coronaviruses

Columbia Engineering researchers have been developing strategies to cope with the new strain of coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, that has caused a global public health emergency.

Researchers provide new insights into the pathogenesis of epilepsy

The laboratories of Drs. Peyman Golshani at the University of California in Los Angeles, Tristan Shuman at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, and Panayiota Poirazi at the Institute of Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (IMBB) at the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH),collaborated in order to uncover how epilepsy affects spatial navigation in epileptic mice. This study is the first to demonstrate that a particular feature of epilepsy—namely the desynchronization of interneuronal populations in the hippocampus—causes deficits in spatial information coding. This work is published in the scientific journal Nature Neuroscience, and is likely to have important implications for epilepsy-related dysfunctions.

'No clear rationale' for 45% of Medicaid patients' antibiotic prescriptions

A new Northwestern Medicine study has found alarmingly high rates of inappropriate antibiotic prescribing for patients on Medicaid, the public health insurance program for those with lower incomes.

Political TV ads referencing guns increased eightfold over four election cycles

The number of political candidate television advertisements that refer to guns increased significantly across four election cycles in U.S. media markets, according to a new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

E-cigarette use high among recent quitters but rare among those who gave up longer ago

Former smokers who quit tobacco within the last five years are likely to use e-cigarettes, while vaping is rare among those who quit more than a decade ago, reveal the findings of research published online in the journal Tobacco Control.

Why language and music develop over generations

The ability to acquire and reproduce music and language varies from person to person because brains are organised differently. This is shown by new brain research from Aarhus University, which also explains why language develops over time, so that people speak differently today than in the 1970s.

Experimental HIV vaccine regimen ineffective in preventing HIV

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has stopped administration of vaccinations in its HVTN 702 clinical trial of an investigational HIV vaccine. This action was taken because an independent data and safety monitoring board (DSMB) found during an interim review that the regimen did not prevent HIV. Importantly, the DSMB did not express any concern regarding participant safety.

Aerobic exercise training linked to enhanced brain function

Individuals at risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD) because of family history or genetic predisposition who engaged in six months of aerobic exercise training improved their brain glucose metabolism and higher-order thinking abilities (e.g., planning and mental flexibility) called executive function; these improvements occurred in conjunction with increased cardiorespiratory fitness. The results of this study are published in a special issue of Brain Plasticity devoted to Exercise and Cognition.

Shift workers at risk for heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes

Shift workers are at a significantly increased risk for sleep disorders and metabolic syndrome, which increases a person's risk for heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Individuals, employers and physicians can all take steps to mitigate these risks, according to a clinical review in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

Pregnancy, breastfeeding may guard against early menopause

(HealthDay)—Both pregnancy and breastfeeding may protect women against early menopause, new research suggests.

Labs worldwide working on coronavirus vaccine, but rollout could take time

(HealthDay)—A mad dash is afoot to craft a vaccine for the new coronavirus that's ravaging China and starting to spread across the globe, with possibly dozens of labs working on permanent protection against the pathogen.

Do you know a child with a peanut allergy? The FDA just approved a treatment drug

Kids who live with peanut allergies, which can have consequences ranging from annoying to fatal, now have an approved form of pharmaceutical relief, the FDA announced Friday night.

For Americans, flu remains a bigger threat than coronavirus

While a new virus that originated in China has prompted Americans to wear masks on the subway and cancel international trips for fear of falling ill, a much deadlier killer already stalking the United States has been largely overshadowed: the flu.

Heart valve invented in Minnesota allows new kind of heart treatment

Inaugurating a potential blockbuster medical device category, a wire-and-mesh medical device invented in Roseville, Minn., has become the first catheter-delivered implant to get European approval to replace the heart's mitral valve without open-chest surgery.

Women's wellness: researchers look at post menopause as key factor in endometrial cancer

Endometrial cancer is the most common gynecological malignancy in the U.S. and the fourth most common cancer among women. In addition, endometrial cancer incidence rates are on the rise in the western world, suggesting that alterations in environmental factors such as diet, lifestyle, and the vaginal microbiome may be important drivers in its cause.

Simple solution to ensure raw egg safety

Salmonella is a key cause of foodborne gastroenteritis around the world, with most outbreaks linked to eggs, poultry meat, pork, beef, dairy, nuts and fresh produce.

Researchers discover that a molecule of blood is effective against autoimmune kidney disease

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body. When it causes inflammation in the kidneys (called lupus nephritis), they cannot properly remove waste from the blood or control body fluids. Without treatment, nephritis can lead to scarring and permanent damage of the kidneys, and possibly final renal failure. In this case, patients need to undergo dialysis and possibly a kidney transplant. Currently, lupus nephritis patients are treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and immunosuppressors, which are unsatisfactory and have side effects. Therefore, new therapeutic agents with higher potency, selectivity and safety are needed.

Bringing the 'sticky' back to pancreatic cancer

A multidisciplinary team of researchers at Japan's Tohoku University has found that a gene regulator, called BACH1, facilitates the spread of pancreatic cancer to other parts of the body. The scientists, who published their findings in the journal Cancer Research, say drugs that control BACH1 could improve disease prognosis.

Study demonstrates liquid biopsy as effective predictor of stage III melanoma relapse and treatment

A study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center showed that circulating tumor cells (CTCs), a form of liquid biopsy, was independently associated with melanoma relapse, suggesting CTC assessment may be useful in identifying patients at risk for relapse who could benefit from more aggressive therapy following primary treatment.

Many with military-related PTSD do poorly in treatment with first-line psychotherapies

A review of recent clinical trials paints a sobering picture of the usefulness of first-line psychotherapies in treating active duty military personnel and veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Natural herb kratom may have therapeutic effects and relatively low potential for abuse or harm

Using results of a survey of more than 2,700 self-reported users of the herbal supplement kratom, sold online and in smoke shops around the U.S., Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers conclude that the psychoactive compound somewhat similar to opioids likely has a lower rate of harm than prescription opioids for treating pain, anxiety, depression and addiction.

Homicide is a leading cause of pregnancy-associated death in Louisiana

Homicide is a leading cause of death among pregnant and postpartum women in Louisiana, according to an analysis of birth and death records from 2016 and 2017. The study, appearing as a research letter in JAMA Pediatrics, was funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), part of the National Institutes of Health. The research team was led by Maeve E. Wallace, Ph.D., of Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans.

Researchers identify link between decreased depressive symptoms, yoga and the neurotransmitter GABA

The benefits of yoga have been widely documented by scientific research, but previously it was not clear as to how yoga exerts its physiologic effect.

Hospital websites lack usability for non-English speakers

English proficiency shouldn't be a barrier to health care. That's why the federal government requires hospitals to make translated documents and interpreters available to patients.

Army develops big data approach to neuroscience

A big data approach to neuroscience promises to significantly improve our understanding of the relationship between brain activity and performance.

Elevated fasting blood sugar in pregnancy linked to harmful outcomes for mothers, babies

Pregnant women diagnosed with diabetes who have elevated fasting (pre-meal) blood sugar levels are more likely to face complications than those who have only elevated post-meal glucose levels, according to a new study by a University of Alberta research team.

Study: How to safely remove ovary in girls for best results in fertility preservation

Young girls who are about to undergo treatment for cancer or other therapies that pose high risk of infertility can opt to have an ovary removed and preserved for future transplantation when they are ready to pursue pregnancy. However, the tiny ovary can be easily damaged during surgery and the quality of ovarian tissue for fertility preservation is affected by the surgical removal technique, according to a study from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago published in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery. Using an experimental piglet model, researchers defined the safest laparoscopic technique for removing the ovary that also results in the best quality ovarian tissue for later use.

National study confirms nurses at higher risk of suicide than general population

In the first national study of its size, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and UC San Diego Health, Department of Nursing, have found that male and female nurses are at higher risk of suicide than the general population. Results of the longitudinal study were published in the February 3, 2020 online edition of WORLDviews on Evidence Based-Nursing.

Shift in treatment modalities associated with improved outcomes in uveal melanoma patients with live

Uveal melanoma—a cancer found in the eye—is rare, comprising less than 5% of all melanomas. Despite successful treatment of the primary tumor in the eye, up to 50% of patients will develop systemic spread (metastasis), most commonly in the liver. A recent study from Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary reported that prognosis of uveal melanoma patients with metastasis is very poor with a median survival of 3.9 months after diagnosis. They also suggested there has been no improvement in care over decades of treatment of metastatic disease. In contrast, new research from The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (SKCC) - Jefferson Health investigating uveal melanoma patients with liver metastasis treated at Jefferson showed that outcomes of these patients significantly improved with changes in treatment.

New research finds that ACOs are struggling to integrate social services with medical care

New findings from a Dartmouth-led study, published in the February issue of Health Affairs, show that despite effort and attention on the part of some healthcare providers to better address their patients' social needs—such as transportation, housing, and food—little progress is being made to integrate social services with medical care.

Two million Americans lost health coverage/access in Trump's first year: study

Over the course of 2017, positive trends in insurance coverage and healthcare access from the Affordable Care Act reversed, particularly for low-income residents of states that did not expand Medicaid.

Helping patients with binge eating disorders: There's an app for that

Behavioral therapy assisted by a smartphone app, delivered via telemedicine by a health coach, was an effective treatment for several symptoms of binge eating disorders, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published this week in The American Journal of Psychiatry.

FDA clears investigational new drug application for Calibr's 'switchable' CAR-T therapy

Calibr, the drug discovery and development division of Scripps Research, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given clearance to the Investigational New Drug (IND) application for Calibr's "switchable" CAR-T cell therapy, which is being evaluated for the treatment of certain cancers, including relapsed/refractory B-cell malignancies such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Link between chronic kidney disease and heart failure is identified in patients

People with chronic kidney disease have a higher risk for heart disease and heart-disease death. Now, for the first time in humans, research led by Navkaranbir Bajaj, M.D., of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has identified a pathological change that appears to link kidney disease to progressive heart disease.

Sub-standard mask donations hamper China virus response: Red Cross

The Red Cross on Monday stressed the need to ensure that all masks used in Chinese hospitals fighting the novel coronavirus outbreak are high quality, warning that donating sub-standard gear was more problematic than helpful.

Some hospitals wary as new liver transplant rules begin

Long-delayed rules that will more broadly share scarce donated livers go into effect Tuesday, to the dismay of some hospitals in Tennessee, Kansas and other states that fear their patients may lose out.

1st US patient with new virus leaves hospital, is recovering

The man who became the first U.S. patient infected with the new virus from China has left the hospital and said in a statement that he is getting better and looking forward to life returning to normal, according to a statement from the man provided to The Associated Press on Monday.

How to survive coronavirus quarantine, French style

Twice a day they will have their temperature taken and nurses will check them for coronavirus symptoms: other than that, their main concern will be how to keep their phone charged and get their laundry done.

Coronavirus evacuees arrive in Germany from China

A plane carrying German and foreign nationals evacuated from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the deadly coronavirus outbreak, landed in Germany on Saturday, an AFP reporter said.

Afghanistan seeks to quarantine any coronavirus cases

Afghan health authorities are establishing isolation wards across the country ahead of a potential influx of coronavirus cases, an official said Sunday, as governments worldwide monitor the disease's spread.

Invest in social equity to improve health for low-income people

Canada must invest in social spending and recognize that our health care system is not "universal" if Canadians living in low-income neighbourhoods are to have the same chance of good health as other Canadians, argues an editorial in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

New score measuring multiple chronic illnesses performs better than current method

A new score that measures multiple long-term health conditions performs better than the current Charlson Comorbidity Index and may help in health care planning and delivery, according to new research in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Birth timing may affect brain development

Moving birth a day early triggers an early start to widespread neuron death, according to new research in mice published in eNeuro.

Chinese tourism, the main engine of global travel

The impact of the current health crisis on Chinese foreign tourism is likely to be worse than during the SARS epidemic in 2002/2003 or the swine flu crisis in 2009, simply because so many more Chinese people travel abroad for pleasure than back then.

Study promotes NZ open-water environments for water safety teaching

With summer water safety a key priority for the start of another school year, new research shows teaching water safety in a range of natural open water environments, in contrast to learning in a swimming pool, may be more beneficial for learning.

The coronavirus will hit the tourism and travel sector hard

The spread of infectious diseases is invariably linked to travel. Today, tourism is a huge global business that accounts for 10.4 percent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 10 percent of global employment.

What needs to happen for better cancer prevention and control in Kenya

Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe are leading in new cancer cases in Africa. In 2018 Kenya was reported to have 47 887 new cancer cases (130 cases daily) and 32 987 deaths (90 daily). This marked a 30% rise since 2012.

Teacher's photos document virus-hit Chinese city

Arek and Jenina Rataj were starting a new life in the Chinese industrial center of Wuhan when a viral outbreak spread across the city of 11 million.

Lufthansa extends China flight ban as virus toll climbs

Germany's flagship carrier Lufthansa on Monday said it was suspending all flights to and from mainland China for longer than initially announced, as the death toll from the novel coronavirus climbed past 360.

Q and A: Resistant hypertension

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: At my last few visits to the doctor my blood pressure was high. What causes resistant hypertension, and how is it treated if medications aren't working?

Researchers develop new standards for quality of life measurement in cancer

For the first time, recommendations for the analysis of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in cancer clinical trials have been developed by an international group of experts. The recommendations will help to determine more consistent and comparable quality of life (QoL) results from clinical trials.

Value transformation framework model seeks to guide transition to value-based healthcare

With a new focus on quality of care and outcomes achieved, healthcare organizations are challenged to make the transition to value-based care. A model called the Value Transformation Framework (VTF) provides a structured, step-by-step approach to help guide the shift to value-based healthcare, reports a paper in the Journal for Healthcare Quality (JHQ), the peer-reviewed journal of the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ). The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

Questions and answers about cannabis use during pregnancy

A new study shows that women have many medical questions about the use of cannabis both before and during pregnancy, and during the postpartum period while breastfeeding. While more than half of licensed U.S. healthcare providers responded by saying that perinatal cannabis use was harmful, and nearly half discouraged perinatal cannabis use, many providers missed the opportunity to educate on safety or discourage cannabis use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. These findings are published in Journal of Women's Health.

HIT modernization crucial to improve healthcare for Native Americans and Alaska Natives

The Indian Health Service (IHS), a division within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, needs technology improvements to enhance healthcare for Native Americans and Alaska Natives, according to a Health Affairs blog post written by Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine researchers. The authors urge Congress to support the needs of indigenous tribes by allocating appropriate resources and supporting oversight of a health information technology (HIT) modernization program.

Biology news

Shape-morphing living composites

In a recent study published on Science Advances, L. K. Rivera-Tarazona and a research team in the departments of bioengineering and biological sciences at the University of Texas, Dallas, U.S., established a new method to explore genetic networks in the lab. They created living synthetic composites that changed shape in response to specific biochemical and physical stimuli. For example, Baker's yeast embedded in hydrogel can create a response material where cell proliferation (cell growth) caused controlled increase in the composite volume up to 400 percent. Genetic manipulation of the yeast permitted composites whose volume changed on exposure to L-histidine at a 14-fold higher rate than when exposed to D-histidine or other amino acids. The research team encoded an optogenetic (light responsive) switch in the yeast to control shape changes in space and time, with pulses of dim blue light at 2.7 mW/cm2. The living shape-changing materials can act as sensors and medical devices to respond to highly specific cues in the biological environment.

Exposing a virus's hiding place reveals new potential vaccine

By figuring out how a common virus hides from the immune system, scientists have identified a potential vaccine to prevent sometimes deadly respiratory infections in humans.

How and when spines changed in mammalian evolution

A new study from Harvard University and the Field Museum of Natural History sheds light on how and when changes in the spine happened in mammal evolution. The research reveals how a combination of developmental changes and adaptive pressures in the spines of synapsids, the extinct forerunners of mammals, laid the groundwork for the diversity of backbones seen in mammals today.

Relative of extinct tortoise located in Galapagos

A scientific expedition to the Galapagos Islands has discovered a tortoise with a "strong" genetic link to a presumed-extinct subspecies made famous by the popular Lonesome George, national park officials said Friday.

Grey seals discovered clapping underwater to communicate

Marine mammals like whales and seals usually communicate vocally using calls and whistles.

Research could reveal how human social life evolved

A UTSA researcher has discovered that, whether in a pair or in groups, success in primate social systems may also provide insight into organization of human social life.

Lights out? Fireflies face extinction threats of habitat loss, light pollution, pesticides

Habitat loss, pesticide use and, surprisingly, artificial light are the three most serious threats endangering fireflies across the globe, raising the spectre of extinction for certain species and related impacts on biodiversity and ecotourism, according to a Tufts University-led team of biologists associated with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Trained dogs are the most efficient way to hunt citrus industry's biggest threat

Dogs specially trained by Agriculture Research Service (ARS) scientists have proven to be the most efficient way to detect huanglongbing—also known as citrus greening—according to a paper just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Observing the specific roles of cells that have been lost in the noise of the body

You know when you walk onstage and immediately get "butterflies" in your stomach? That's the cells in your brain and gut talking to each other, says assistant chemical engineering professor Abigail Koppes.

Butterflies can acquire new scent preferences and pass them on to their offspring

It was long believed that physical characteristics acquired by organisms during their lifetime could not be passed on to their offspring. However, in recent years, the theory of inheritance of acquired traits has gained support, with studies showing how offspring of rats and tiny worms inherit behaviors that were acquired by their parents in response to particular environmental stimuli, even when the stimulus is no longer present in the offspring's generation.

The secret life of microbes: A snapshot of molecules in a deep-sea symbiosis

Mussels in the deep sea can only survive there thanks to symbiotic bacteria living inside of them. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen have now succeeded for the first time in simultaneously identifying individual bacteria in the symbiosis and measuring which metabolites they convert. This enables a new understanding of many biological processes. The researchers now present their results in Nature Microbiology.

Planned hydropower dams threaten fish in the tropics

Planned hydropower dams will greatly increase threats for freshwater fish species because of habitat fragmentation, especially in the tropics. This was already suspected, but environmental researchers at Radboud University, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, Stanford Natural Capital Project and others now provide evidence by mapping how future dams affect the habitats of 10,000 fish species. They publish their findings in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) in the week of February 3rd.

Family matters for world's second biggest fish

The world's second biggest fish—the basking shark—prefers to travel with family to familiar feeding sites, according to a new study led by the University of Aberdeen.

New membranes for cellular recycling

There is a constant spring-cleaning in our cells: The cell's own recycling system, so-called autophagy, fills garbage bags with cellular waste, transports them to the recycling yard and makes the decomposed material available again. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne, Germany, have now been able to show in the model organism yeast that the membrane of the garbage bags, known as autophagosomes, is newly produced on the spot around the garbage and not built of already existing components.

The sleeping sigma factor—A previously unrecognized mechanism of bacterial transcriptional regulation

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg have described a previously unrecognized mechanism of bacterial transcriptional regulation that is obviously widespread in bacteria. In the future, their findings could also help fight antibiotic resistance.

Knowledge Engine is ready to accelerate genomic research

Five years ago, a team of computer scientists, biomedical researchers, and bioinformaticians set out to bring the power of collective knowledge to genomic research. Their new publication in PLOS Biology shares the culmination of that effort, an analytical platform that guides researchers through the process of interpreting complex genomic datasets.

A fundamental discovery about how gene activity is regulated

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have discovered a fundamental mechanism that regulates gene activity in cells. The newly discovered mechanism targets RNA, or ribonucleic acid, a close cousin of DNA that plays an important role in cellular activity.

How the development of skulls and beaks made Darwin's finches one of the most diverse species

Darwin's finches are among the most celebrated examples of adaptive radiation in the evolution of modern vertebrates and now a new study, led by scientists from the University of Bristol, has provided fresh insights into their rapid development and evolutionary success.

Probing the genetic basis of Roundup resistance in morning glory, a noxious weed

The herbicide Roundup is the most widely used agricultural chemical in history. But over the past two decades, a growing number of weed species have evolved resistance to Roundup's active ingredient, glyphosate, reducing the product's dominance somewhat.

Chemists unveil the structure of an influenza B protein

A team of MIT chemists has discovered the structure of a key influenza protein, a finding that could help researchers design drugs that block the protein and prevent the virus from spreading.

How ants get angry: Precise 'lock and key' process regulates aggression, acceptance

For most social animals, even humans, the ability to distinguish friend versus foe can be a challenge that often can lead to knee-jerk aggression. But when it comes to ants getting aggressive, there's a more sophisticated method to their madness.

US states join global push to ban animal-tested cosmetics

A growing number of U.S. states are considering a ban on the sale or import of cosmetics that have been tested on animals, as advocates argue testing products such as lotions, shampoos and makeup on rabbits, mice and rats is cruel and outdated.

Dozens of koalas dead after logging at Australian plantation

Dozens of koalas have been euthanized and some 80 more are being treated for injuries and starvation after their habitat was logged, prompting an Australian government investigation Monday.

Australian animals under extreme stress in drought, bushfires

As climate change-related drought fanned catastrophic wildfires across Australia, claiming lives, homes, and farms, the richly diverse flora and fauna took a tragic toll. The World Wildlife Fund estimates that more than one billion animals have been killed, including thousands of koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, kookaburras, and cockatoos. Many thousands more are injured and homeless—and under deep stress.

Promising advances in breast regeneration therapy

A team of researchers from Osaka University, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, and Toppan Printing Co., Ltd. succeeded in reconstructing adipose tissue balls ("mini-breasts") with a functional vascular network using patient-derived cells, achieving a high graft survival rate in small animal models.

We found a way to trap stable flies: their dung preferences helped us

Stable flies (Stomoxys calcitrans) are cold-blooded pests. They feed on the blood of their hosts, which include cattle, camels, horses, dogs and humans. During their feeding they can mechanically transmit viruses and bacteria that cause diseases like West Nile fever, Rift Valley fever and anthrax.

Signs of fires, hurricanes, other disruptions linger in the Florida Everglades for years

The chemical signature left behind by hurricanes, fires, cold snaps and droughts can linger in the slow-moving water of the Florida Everglades for up to a decade.

Updated shark tagging atlas provides more than 50 years of tagging and recapture data

A 52-year database of the distribution and movements of 35 Atlantic shark species revealed new information on some of the least known species. It also uncovered a few surprises about where sharks go and how long they live.

Extinction is difficult to prove for Earth's ultra-rare species

A recent study by the University of Kent has called for an increase in scientific surveys and collection of specimens to confirm the extinction of ultra-rare species.

French mathematician and spider aficionado Cédric Villani honoured with a new orb-weaver

Despite being considered as one of the best studied spiders in the Palearctic, the orb-weaver spiders (family Araneidae) remain poorly known in the central parts of the ecozone. To bridge the knowledge gaps, an international research team of researchers took to the Caucasus, Middle East and Central Asia to study two of those genera: Araniella and Neoscona.

Scientists listen to whales, walruses, seals in a changing arctic seascape

A year-round acoustic study of marine mammals in the northern Bering Sea is providing scientists with a valuable snapshot of an Arctic world already under drastic pressure from climate change, according to WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society), Columbia University, Southall Environmental Associates, and the University of Washington.

Symbiotic viruses help host insects override the plant's defenses

Aphids, small sap-sucking insects, are virus carriers responsible for significant economic losses in many crops worldwide. Many aphids form symbiotic and mutualistic relationships with viruses, an aspect of plant disease that has not been well explored.

Scientists examine bacterial cannibalism

Researchers from Sechenov University and their colleagues summarised the results of various studies devoted to a process that can be described as bacterial cannibalism. Why some microorganisms start to kill their relatives of the same species and whether we can use this phenomenon to combat infectious diseases is explained in the article published in Antibiotics.

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