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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for September 9, 2019:
Spotlight Stories Headlines How circadian rhythms underlie energy production in the ‘good form of fat’ Genome engineering with CRISPR/HDR to diversify the functions of hybridoma-produced antibodies Using Spotify data to predict what songs will be hits Tiny capsules offer alternative to viral delivery of gene therapy New high-mass gamma-ray binary discovered Rocks at asteroid impact site record first day of dinosaur extinction Good at math? It means little if you’re not confident To reduce pollution, policymakers should broaden focus beyond smokestacks Scientists develop technique to reveal epigenetic features of cells in the brain Afterglow sheds light on the nature, origin of neutron star collisions Hard as a diamond? Scientists predict new forms of superhard carbon Electrochemistry breakthrough simplifies creation of coveted molecules for drugs, electronics New models suggest Titan lakes are explosion craters And then there was light: looking for the first stars in the Universe Native foods are key to preserving rodent gut bacteria in captivity Astronomy & Space news New high-mass gamma-ray binary discovered An international team of astronomers has detected a new high-mass gamma-ray binary (HMGB) in the Milky Way galaxy. The newly found HMGB, designated 4FGL J1405.1-6119, is one of only a handful of such objects discovered to date. The discovery was announced in a paper published August 28 on the arXiv pre-print repository.
Afterglow sheds light on the nature, origin of neutron star collisions The final chapter of the historic detection of the powerful merger of two neutron stars in 2017 officially has been written. After the extremely bright burst finally faded to black, an international team led by Northwestern University painstakingly constructed its afterglow—the last bit of the famed event’s life cycle.
New models suggest Titan lakes are explosion craters Using radar data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, recently published research presents a new scenario to explain why some methane-filled lakes on Saturn’s moon Titan are surrounded by steep rims that reach hundreds of feet high. The models suggests that explosions of warming nitrogen created basins in the moon’s crust.
And then there was light: looking for the first stars in the Universe Astronomers are closing in on a signal that has been travelling across the Universe for 12 billion years, bringing them nearer to understanding the life and death of the very earliest stars.
All comets in the solar system might come from the same place All comets might share their place of birth, new research says.
For the first time ever, astronomer Christian Eistrup applied chemical models to fourteen well-known comets, surprisingly finding a clear pattern. His publication has been accepted in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.
Goddard creates CGI moon kit as a form of visual storytelling A new NASA out-of-this-world animation allows humanity to experience their closest galactic neighbor as never before through an online “CGI moon kit.”
Hubble explores the formation and evolution of star clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud Just as people of the same age can vary greatly in appearance and shape, so do collections of stars or stellar aggregates.
New observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope suggest that chronological age alone does not tell the complete story when it comes to the evolution of star clusters.
Image: Hubble spots a swarm of stars This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows a dwarf galaxy named UGC 685. Such galaxies are small and contain just a tiny fraction of the number of stars in a galaxy like the Milky Way. Dwarf galaxies often show a hazy structure, an ill-defined shape, and an appearance somewhat akin to a swarm or cloud of stars—and UGC 685 is no exception to this. Classified as an SAm galaxy—a type of unbarred spiral galaxy—it is located about 15 million light-years from Earth.
China Sky Eye, the world’s largest single-dish radio telescope, is now fully operational China’s Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope, known as FAST, is the world’s most sensitive listening device. The single-dish radio telescope is made of 4,450 individual panels that scan the sky, detecting the universe’s whispers and shouts.
It’s cradled in a natural Earth depression the size of 30 soccer fields. It has more than twice the collecting area of the world’s previous largest radio telescope, the 305-meter dish in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. With construction completed in 2016, FAST has undergone rigorous testing and has one more hurdle before it’s considered fully operational.
Technology news Using Spotify data to predict what songs will be hits Two students and researchers at the University of San Francisco (USF) have recently tried to predict billboard hits using machine-learning models. In their study, pre-published on arXiv, they trained four models on song-related data extracted using the Spotify Web API, and then evaluated their performance in predicting what songs would become hits.
Machine learning and its radical application to severe weather prediction In the last decade, artificial intelligence (“AI”) applications have exploded across various research sectors, including computer vision, communications and medicine. Now, the rapidly developing technology is making its mark in weather prediction.
New salt-based propellant proven compatible in dual-mode rocket engines For dual-mode rocket engines to be successful, a propellant must function in both combustion and electric propulsion systems. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign used a salt-based propellant that had already been proven successful in combustion engines, and demonstrated its compatibility with electrospray thrusters.
China’s Geely takes stake in German ‘flying taxi’ firm Volocopter German “flying taxi” developer Volocopter said Monday it had raised 50 million euros ($55.1 million) from investors including automaker Geely, risking a revived debate about Chinese investments in EU firms.
Labour report alleges violations by China iPhone supplier Apple and its supplier Foxconn admitted they have been using too many temporary workers to staff an iPhone factory in central China, as a labour rights group accused them Monday of a number of workers rights violations.
Office sharing startup WeWork plans to cut valuation to below $20 bn Fast-growing office-sharing startup WeWork plans to again cut its valuation, this time to below $20 billion, and is under pressure from some investors to postpone its stock market debut, sources said Sunday.
China data centres set to consume more power than Australia: report China’s data centres –- the backbone of the country’s fast-growing digital economy—are on track to guzzle more electricity by 2023 than all of Australia last year, said a Greenpeace report published Monday.
Bamboo lights a fire under Australian construction industry A passion for sustainable construction led University of Queensland Ph.
D. student Mateo Gutierrez to explore the potential of bamboo as an environmentally friendly local building material.
Volkswagen bets big on electric. Will consumers buy in? Volkswagen is rolling out what it bills as the breakthrough electric car for the masses, the leading edge of a wave of new battery-powered vehicles about to hit the European auto market. The cars are the result of massive investments in battery technology and new factories driven by environmental regulation and concerns about global warming.
I create manipulated images and videos: Quality may not matter much Lots of people – including Congress – are worried about fake videos and imagery distorting the truth, purporting to show people saying and doing things they never said or did.
Survey: Internet users usually have a positive experience online, but potential for digital divide to widen Research from the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), part of the University of Oxford, has revealed a rapid increase in use of the internet for commercial, banking and entertainment purposes.
Qualcomm lowers price, remote access barriers to 5G Qualcomm plans to integrate its 5G modem in mid-range Snapdragon 600 and 700 series phones next year. What that brings to consumers is some good news about affording 5G without tears. Expect mid-tiered Snapdragon chipsets and devices. Qualcomm watchers were reporting how mid-priced phones will get a good shake at 5G in 2020 as the chips would power mid-price devices on the market.
Antitrust regulators pounce on Big Tech as probes widen The crackdown on Big Tech is intensifying as flanks of the government across the U.
S. try to rein in the industry’s immense power.
Uber adding 2,000 jobs in Chicago, mostly in Freight unit Uber plans to open a new office in Chicago and add 2,000 people to its area workforce over the next three years.
BA cancels almost all UK flights in landmark strike British Airways on Monday cancelled almost all flights departing and arriving into the UK, as the airline’s first-ever pilots’ strike began, sparking travel chaos for tens of thousands of passengers.
Crisis-hit Nissan CEO set to resign as board meets The CEO of crisis-hit Japanese automaker Nissan plans to resign, reports said Monday, as the firm’s board meets to discuss an audit launched after former chief Carlos Ghosn’s arrest over financial misconduct.
Australia blocks websites hosting Christchurch attack videos Australia ordered internet providers on Monday to block eight websites that published content linked to the Christchurch mosque massacre—a first under new censorship rules.
States led by Texas target Google in new antitrust probe Fifty U.S. states and territories, led by Texas, announced an investigation into Google’s “potential monopolistic behavior.”
Elliott invests $3.2B in AT&T, seeks changes Activist hedge fund manager Elliott Management is making a new $3.2 billion investment in AT&T, roughly a 1% stake, and calling for changes at the company such as selling assets and paying down debt.
Air France offers to snap up French airline as thousands stranded French flag carrier Air France on Monday offered to snap up its much smaller rival Aigle Azur after the airline’s collapse stranded thousands of passengers mainly booked on flights to and from Algeria.
State attorneys general teaming up on antitrust probes of Facebook and Google Tech giants Facebook and Google are facing more scrutiny into their business practices.
LinkedIn loses appeal in suit against data scraping startup A federal appeals court has affirmed the right of a startup company to scrape people’s profiles on networking service LinkedIn for data.
Medicine & Health news How circadian rhythms underlie energy production in the ‘good form of fat’ Circadian rhythms orchestrate a vast number of life’s processes through the activity of a 24-hour internal clock: hormone flow, blood pressure, sleep and wake cycles, and even the timing of hibernation among marmots and bears, are controlled by a biological timepiece.
Fatty foods necessary for vitamin E absorption, but not right away A fresh look at how to best determine dietary guidelines for vitamin E has produced a surprising new finding: Though the vitamin is fat soluble, you don’t have to consume fat along with it for the body to absorb it.
‘Clamp’ regulates message transfer between mammal neurons A fundamental question in nerve biology brings to mind a race car at the starting line: The engine is revving, but the brake is on.
The system is ready to go, but under tight control.
For better adult mental and relational health, boost positive childhood experiences Positive childhood experiences, such as supportive family interactions, caring relationships with friends, and connections in the community, are associated with reductions in chances of adult depression and poor mental health, and increases in the chances of having healthy relationships in adulthood, a new study led by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers suggests. This association was true even among those with a history of adverse childhood experiences.
A ‘super-cool’ method for improving donated liver preservation A new method for super-cooling human donor livers to subzero centigrade temperatures without freezing can triple the time that a donor organ stays safe and viable during transportation from the donor to the recipient.
This development could greatly expand the availability of healthy livers for transplantation, improve organ utilization, and reduce some of the time pressure on procurement and transplantation teams.
Use of antibiotics in preemies has lasting, potentially harmful effects Nearly all premature babies receive antibiotics in their first weeks of life to ward off or treat potentially deadly bacterial infections. Such drugs are lifesavers, but they also cause long-lasting collateral damage to the developing microbial communities in the babies’ intestinal tracts, according to research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Zebrafish aid effort to regenerate damaged retinas The tiny zebrafish may hold the secret to regenerating damaged retinas in humans, Vanderbilt University researchers reported last week in the journal Cell Reports.
High-fat, high-carbohydrate diets affect your brain, not just your physical appearance Much research has pointed to how an unhealthy diet correlates to obesity, but has not explored how diet can bring about neurological changes in the brain. A recent Yale study has discovered that high-fat diets contribute to irregularities in the hypothalamus region of the brain, which regulates body weight homeostasis and metabolism.
Feeling legs again improves amputees’ health While walking, people with intact legs can feel when they move their knee or when their feet touch the ground. The nervous system constantly draws on sensory feedback of this sort to control muscles precisely. People using a leg prosthesis, however, do not know precisely where the prosthesis is located, how it is moving, or what type of terrain it is standing on. They often cannot trust their prosthesis completely when walking, leading them to rely too often on their intact leg, which in turn reduces their mobility and causes them to tire quickly.
Women’s deep belly fat more strongly linked to diabetes and cardiovascular diseases A comprehensive study from Uppsala University, with over 325,000 participants, shows that deep belly fat is a major contributing risk factor for developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The study also shows that deep belly fat is a larger risk factor in women compared to men. Moreover, the scientists investigated how genes affect the accumulation of fat and present a new, simpler method to estimate the amount of deep belly fat.
Researchers find regulator of first responder cells to brain injury Astrocytes are the most abundant cells in the brain, yet there is still much to learn about them.
For instance, it is known that when the brain is injured or diseased astrocytes are the first responders. They become reactive and play roles that can be both beneficial and deleterious, but little is known about how these diverse responses to injury are regulated. Working with mouse models, a multi-institutional group led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine has identified nuclear factor I-A (NFIA) as a central regulator of both the generation and activity of reactive astrocytes.
Hemophilia three times more prevalent than thought More than 1,125,000 men around the world have the inherited bleeding disorder of hemophilia, and 418,000 of those have a severe version of the mostly undiagnosed disease, says a new study led by McMaster University researchers.
New study shows why people gain weight as they get older Many people struggle to keep their weight in check as they get older. Now, new research at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden has uncovered why that is: Lipid turnover in the fat tissue decreases during aging and makes it easier to gain weight, even if we don’t eat more or exercise less than before. The study is published in the journal Nature Medicine.
Study suggests human growth hormone can reverse epigenetic aging A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in the U.S. and one in Canada has found evidence that suggests recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) can reverse epigenetic aging in humans. In their paper published in the journal Aging Cell, the group describes their efforts to learn more about the impact of rhGH on the thymus, and what they found.
Black sheep: Why some strains of the Epstein-Barr virus cause cancer The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is very widespread. More than 90 percent of the world’s population is infected, with varying consequences.
Although the infection does not usually affect people, in some, it can cause glandular fever or various types of cancer. Researchers at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now discovered why different virus strains cause very divergent courses of disease.
‘Superagers’ over 80 have the memory and brain connectivity of twenty-somethings Research published in the journal Cerebral Cortex has shown that stronger functional connectivity—that is, communication among neurons in various networks of the brain—is linked to youthful memory in older adults. Those with superior memories—called superagers—have the strongest connectivity.
Preventing the onset of schizophrenia in a mouse model Although predisposing processes occur earlier, schizophrenia emerges at young adulthood, suggesting it might involve a pathological transition during late brain development in predisposed individuals. Using a genetic mouse model of schizophrenia, researchers from the Caroni group at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research (FMI) showed that, like in patients, characteristic network and cognitive deficits only emerge in adult mice.
They then demonstrated that these deficits could all be permanently prevented by specific treatments during a late adolescence sensitive time window. Their study has been published in Cell.
Can women pause their biological clocks? Worms may hold key to extending fertility What if women could press pause on their biological clocks? Human eggs begin to mature from the onset of a woman’s first period. However, most Western thirteen year olds are not interested in having babies and while they wait, their eggs age and the quality decreases.
What if there were a way to delay egg aging without losing egg quality?
New research provides hope for people living with chronic pain When you experience severe pain, like breaking or shattering a bone, the pain isn’t just felt at the sight of the injury. There is an entire network of receptors in your body running from the site of the injury, through your nervous system, along the spine and into the brain that reacts to tell you how much pain you are feeling. This system goes into high alert when the injury occurs, and then usually resets as you heal. However, sometimes, the system doesn’t reset, and even though the injury has mended, nerve damage has caused your brain to be permanently altered. It means you still feel the pain, even though the injury has fully healed.
Sound-shape associations depend on early visual experiences Data from individuals with different types of severe visual impairment suggest that the associations we make between sounds and shapes—a “smooth” b or a “spiky” k—may form during a sensitive period of visual development in early childhood.
The findings are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
Researchers describe the epigenetic fingerprints everyday experiences leave in neurons An international study led by researchers from the Instituto de Neurosciencias, UMH-CSIC in Alicante presents a novel multi-omic analysis of the changes in the organization of the genetic material of neurons triggered by neuronal activation both in a pathological (epilepsy) and physiological context (learning and memory).
Protein mapping pinpoints why metastatic melanoma patients do not respond to immunotherapy Tel Aviv University and Sheba Medical Center researchers say they have discovered why more than half of patients with metastatic melanoma do not respond to immunotherapy cancer treatments.
New research shows how stress can weaken defenses Research from the lab of Mark Alkema, Ph.D., professor of neurobiology, sheds light on how the “flight-or-flight” response impairs long-term organism health.
The study, conducted in the nematode worm, C. elegans, a common research model, was published in Nature.
Liquid biopsies reveal genetic alterations linked to cancer drug resistance Many patients see their tumors shrink in response to a drug, only to have them come back with a vengeance as they evolve to fend off the treatment. Oncologists want to be able to quickly detect cancer drug resistance as it emerges in their patients and identify another drug the tumors will still respond to.
Malaria can and should be eradicated within a generation, declare global health experts A future free of malaria, one of the world’s oldest and deadliest diseases, can be achieved as early as 2050, according to a new report published today by The Lancet Commission on malaria eradication.
Children of anxious mothers twice as likely to have hyperactivity in adolescence A large study has shown that children of mothers who are anxious during pregnancy and in the first few years of the child’s life have twice the risk of having hyperactivity symptoms at age 16. This work is being presented for the first time at the ECNP Congress in Copenhagen.
Scientists find psychiatric drugs affect gut contents Scientists have found that antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs can change the quantity and composition of gut bacteria in rats.
These results raise questions about the specificity of psychoactive drug action, and if confirmed in humans whether psychiatrists might need to consider the effects on the body before prescribing. The research team is currently carrying out a large-scale human observational study which aims to answer the questions posed by these findings.
This work is presented at the ECNP Conference in Copenhagen following part-publication in a peer-review journal.
New guideline on Parkinson’s disease aimed at physicians and people with Parkinson’s A comprehensive new Canadian guideline provides practical guidance for physicians, allied health professionals, patients and families on managing Parkinson disease, based on the latest evidence. The guideline is published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), accompanied by an easy-to-reference infographic and podcast.
Hospital infections declining in Canada There is good news on the infection front: infections acquired by patients in Canadian hospitals are declining, with a 30% reduction between 2009 and 2017, according to new research in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). However, continued focus is necessary to identify and prevent emerging antimicrobial-resistant pathogens, and infections with medical devices, such as urinary or intravenous catheters.
Paid family leave improves vaccination rates in infants Parents who take paid family leave after the birth of a newborn are more likely to have their child vaccinated on time compared to those who do not, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York. The effect is stronger on families living below the poverty line.
Tweets indicate nicotine dependence, withdrawal symptoms of JUUL users As e-cigarette brand JUUL continues to climb in popularity among users of all ages, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researchers took a unique approach to analyzing its impact by using Twitter to investigate any mention of nicotine effects, symptoms of dependence and withdrawal in regards to JUUL use.
Many older hospitalized patients with cancer experience malnutrition Results from a new study indicate that older hospitalized patients with cancer may have a high risk of being malnourished and experiencing symptoms such as no appetite and nausea, according to findings published early online in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.
High blood pressure among older pregnant women has increased by more than 75% since 1970 The rate of chronic hypertension among pregnant women age 35 and over in the United States has increased by more than 75% since 1970, with black women suffering from persistent high blood pressure at more than twice the rate of white women, according to a Rutgers study.
Years later, cancer cases linger over 9/11 anniversary Jacquelin Febrillet was 26 years old on September 11, 2001 when jihadist hijackers flew two passenger jets into the World Trade Center just two blocks from where she worked.
Using a wearable device to exercise more? Add competition to improve results While using a wearable device alone may not always be enough to motivate more exercise, adding fun and competition can be the catalyst needed to drive real results, according to a new study from researchers at Penn Medicine and Deloitte Consulting LLP. The two teams combined behavioral insights, gaming elements such as points and levels, and social elements like support, collaboration, or competition to generate significantly positive results in a workplace physical activity program. But when the study, called STEP UP, turned off the gaming elements, participants in the competition arm were the only ones who sustained higher levels of physical activity.
Results were published today in JAMA Internal Medicine.
At-home dialysis improves quality of life The United States lags behind other countries in home dialysis, but Kaiser Permanente research finds it safe to expand use in a large, integrated health care system.
Researchers lead new national guidance on how to stay fit and healthy Guidance on how the UK population can stay fit and healthy has been updated thanks to a major review led by the University of Bristol.
Reversing muscular dystrophy A new technology has brought researchers one step closer to a future cure for congenital muscular dystrophy type1A, a devastating muscle disease that affects children.
The birth of vision from the retina to the brain How is the retina formed? And how do neurons differentiate to become individual components of the visual system? By focusing on the early stages of this complex process, researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, in collaboration with the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), have identified the genetic programs governing the birth of different types of retinal cells and their capacity to wire to the correct part of the brain, where they transmit visual information. In addition, the discovery of several genes regulating nerve growth allows for the possibility of a boost to optic nerve regeneration in the event of neurodegenerative disease.
These results can be discovered in the journal Development.
How salt increases blood pressure Salt-sensitive hypertension affects about half of people with high blood pressure, but the precise mechanism of how dietary salt contributes to blood pressure elevation, kidney injury and cardiovascular disease remains unclear.
Zika diagnostic test granted market authorization by FDA Zika virus can cause babies to be born with devastating brain damage. But the signs of Zika infection in adults—rash, fever, headache and body aches—are nonspecific, so a pregnant woman who develops such symptoms can’t be sure if she has contracted Zika or something less risky for her fetus.
Will the genetic screening of athletes change sports forever? Since the first mapping of the human genome there has been interest in understanding which genetic factors underpin performance in sport.
Behavioral intervention reduces need to medicate kids with ADHD Most children with ADHD who receive behavioral intervention do not need medication, according to a new study by researchers at FIU’s Center for Children and Families.
Why accidents and emergencies seem to dramatically slow down time A few years ago I had a car crash. I was driving in the middle lane of a motorway, when a truck pulled out from the inside lane and hit the side of our car, spinning us around, and then hitting us again.
A new treatment option for diabetic cardiomyopathy An article published in Experimental Biology and Medicine reports a new treatment option for heart disease in patients with diabetes. The study, led by Dr.
ZuoYing Hu in the Department of Cardiology at Nanjing First Hospital in Nanjing (China), reports that an FDA-approved drug used to treat chronic heart failure improves heart function in an animal model of diabetes.
Research shows puberty changes the brains of boys and girls differently Scientists have found that brain networks develop differently in males and females at puberty, with boys showing an increase in connectivity in certain brain areas, and girls showing a decrease in connectivity as puberty progresses. These analyses were focused on brain regions previously identified as conferring risk for mood problems in adolescents, suggesting an association, although this needs to be tested. This work is presented at the ECNP Congress in Copenhagen, and is based on a recent peer-reviewed publication.
Toddler language learning: Richer and more complicated than you might think When you consider how children learn words, you might think of this kind of scenario: an adult points to an object (for example, a dog), clearly says a word in isolation (dog!), and the child immediately understands what the word means.
Researchers renew obsolete concept by using folate for cancer drug delivery NIBIB-funded biomedical engineers at the Ohio State University (OSU) have demonstrated a new method for delivering an anti-cancer drug in a study that tested the effect in animal models. When formulated within a membrane sac, called an exosome, and when paired with the B-vitamin folate, the anti-cancer drug can enter the cell without being sealed off within the cell by another sac, called an endosome. Endosome trapping has been a formidable challenge to overcome in drug delivery.
Flu season moderate, not ‘mutant’ The media has misrepresented the current influenza season based on testing numbers rather than test positivity rates, generating unnecessary fear in the community, according to the authors of a letter published online by the Medical Journal of Australia.
Bigger is cheaper when it comes to intensive care Intensive care units cost the Australian healthcare system $2.1 billion annually, with larger units with increased occupancy associated with lower costs, according to the authors of a research letter published online today by the Medical Journal of Australia.
Lollies, vitamins and fish-shaped sauce containers hit the MRI mark For children fearful of undergoing MRI scans, an inexpensive everyday item used as a marker, such as a jelly baby lolly or a plastic, fish-shaped soy sauce container, might make the process a little less intimidating.
Majority of Americans, including gun owners, support a variety of gun policies A new national public opinion survey conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health finds widespread agreement among gun owners, non-gun owners, and across political party affiliations for many U.S. gun violence prevention policies.
Study shows shorter people are at higher risk of type 2 diabetes Short stature is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a new study in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes).Tall stature is associated with a lower risk, with each 10cm difference in height associated with a 41% decreased risk of diabetes in men and a 33% decreased risk in women.
Once or twice weekly daytime nap linked to lower heart attack/stroke risk A daytime nap taken once or twice a week may lower the risk of having a heart attack/stroke, finds research published online in the journal Heart. But no such association emerged for either greater frequency or duration of naps.
With one suicide every 40 seconds, WHO urges action Nearly 800,000 people commit suicide each year—more than those killed by war and homicide or breast cancer, the World Health Organization said Monday, urging action to avert the tragedies.
The Alexander Technique: what could it do for you? The Alexander Technique has been used for more than 100 years to improve performance, posture and other body mechanics, yet it’s arguably the least well known method for achieving these benefits.
Scientists find biological link between high blood pressure and breast cancer Researchers have identified a protein that may be a risk factor for both high blood pressure and breast cancer.
The fast and the curious: Fitter adults have fitter brains In a large study, German scientists have shown that physical fitness is associated with better brain structure and brain functioning in young adults. This opens the possibility that increasing fitness levels may lead to improved cognitive ability, such as memory and problem solving, as well as improved structural changes in the brain.
This work is presented for the first time at the ECNP Congress in Copenhagen, with simultaneous publication in the peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports.
Study validates guidelines on treating patients with an underactive thyroid A study led by the University of Birmingham provides strong support for current recommendations on treating patients with an underactive thyroid and validates latest UK and US guidelines, say researchers.
Village women prove effective at tackling Indonesia’s growing killer Women from villages in rural Indonesia are playing a key role in detecting and preventing the most common cause of death in Indonesia, cardiovascular disease, with the use of smart phones. Researchers have found that the intervention has resulted in an increase of 14.5% more appropriate use of preventive medicine than normal and a reduction in blood pressure of patients by 41%
New app offers faster and easier assessment for multiple sclerosis Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers report they have developed and validated a tablet-based app that offers a faster, easier and more accurate way for health care providers who don’t have specialized training to assess the cognitive function of people with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic neurologic illness that affects the central nervous system, resulting in a variety of symptoms including motor issues, fatigue, visual disturbance, memory and concentration concerns, and mood changes.
Study identifies first potential biomarker for a debilitating fainting condition New research from the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences strongly suggests postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS, is an autoimmune disorder, and may help pave the way for a simple blood test that could help physicians diagnose the condition.
World’s largest evidence review: Nutritional supplements for mental health We’ve all heard that ‘food is good for your mood’.
Now a new study into mental health and nutrient supplementation has taken a leap forward by establishing the gold standard for which nutrients are proven to assist in the management of a range of mental health disorders.
Major gaps exist in patient understanding of genomic test results, Lung-MAP study shows A majority of cancer patients don’t understand key aspects of the genomic test results they receive as participants in biomarker-driven clinical trials, according to a first-of-its-kind pilot study conducted under the Lung Cancer Master Protocol (Lung-MAP).
Bias against single people affects their cancer treatment Unmarried patients with cancer are less likely to get potentially life-saving surgery or radiotherapy than their married counterparts, raising the concern that medical providers may be relying on stereotypes that discount sources of social support other than a current spouse.
Juul warned over claims e-cigarette safer than smoking Federal health authorities on Monday blasted vaping company Juul for illegally pitching its electronic cigarettes as a safer alternative to smoking and ordered the company to stop making unproven claims for its products.
Retinal vein occlusion linked to higher risk for CV events (HealthDay)—Retinal vein occlusion (RVO) is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality, according to a review published in the September issue of Retina.
Childhood food insecurity tied to poor health outcomes, developmental risk (HealthDay)—Food insecurity is associated with fair or poor health and developmental risk but not with obesity, underweight, or stunting, among children under 4 years old, according to a study published online Sept. 9 in Pediatrics.
Stop using all vape products during health investigation, New York warns New York’s top health regulator is urging people to stop using all vape products while an investigation continues into hundreds of lung-related illnesses nationwide.
Primary care physicians outline barriers to managing chronic kidney disease On July 10, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced they were aiming to reduce the number of Americans developing end-stage renal disease by 25% by 2030. But, the results of a focus group study done by Johns Hopkins researchers of more than 30 veteran primary care physicians across the United States suggest that these primary care providers lack sufficient knowledge, clinical support tools and time to effectively identify and manage patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). The study, published Aug. 22 in PLOS ONE, suggests that much work is needed in order for HHS to achieve its goal.
Less TV, more activity may mean extra years free of heart disease and stroke People who watch less TV and are physically active live more years free of heart disease, according to a new study.
How brain rhythms organize our visual perception To investigate how information of different visual features is processed in the brain, the neuroscientists from the German Primate Center—Leibniz Institute of Primate Research in Göttingen, Germany, the Iran University of Science and Technology and the Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences in Tehran, Iran measured the activity of individual nerve cells in the brain of rhesus monkeys, while the animals performed a visual perception task. The monkeys were trained to report changes in moving patterns on a computer screen. Using hair-thin microelectrodes, which are painless for the animals, the researchers measured the electrical activity of groups of nerve cells.
These signals continuously oscillate over a broad frequency spectrum.
Study: Action-oriented goals produce higher probability of purchases under tight deadlines If you want something done, ask a busy person—or so the saying goes. According to a new paper co-written by a University of Illinois scholar who studies attitudes and persuasion psychology, if you want to sell something quickly, it helps to try a busy consumer.
Offering children a variety of vegetables increases acceptance Although food preferences are largely learned, dislike is the main reason parents stop offering or serving their children foods like vegetables. A new study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, published by Elsevier, demonstrated that repeatedly offering a variety of vegetables increased acceptance and consumption by children.
HIV significantly increases risk for irregular heartbeat HIV infection significantly increases the risk of atrial fibrillation (AF)—one of the most important causes of irregular heartbeats and a leading cause of stroke—at the same rate or higher than known risk factors such as hypertension and diabetes, according to a study by researchers at UC San Francisco.
Researchers develop custom data collection system to improve health disparity research Epidemiological studies rely heavily on survey research; however, limitations of traditional data collection methods—paper-based, in-person, phone, mail, and internet surveys—can serve as barriers to recruitment and retention of research participants. Conventional data collection methods are especially ineffective for aging minority populations, who may have limited English proficiency and less access to and facility with technology.
To overcome these research barriers, Rutgers researchers developed an adaptable web-based platform to facilitate in-person, multilingual survey data collection with minority research participants.
NIAID officials call for innovative research on sexually transmitted infections Sexually transmitted infections, or STIs, pose a significant public health challenge. Globally, more than one million new STI cases are diagnosed each day. In a new article in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, experts from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, suggest that the biomedical research community must refocus its commitment to STI research to surmount this growing global health crisis.
Researchers identify negative impacts of food insecurity on children’s health Food insecurity—uncertainty about or a lack of consistent access to food that meets the needs of household members—is a persistent social problem in the United States that affected roughly 14.3 million households in 2018 and nearly 14% of households with children, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A new paper by researchers at the Boston University School of Social Work (BUSSW) and American University’s School of Public Affairs (AU SPA) confirms the negative impact of food insecurity on child health, suggesting the urgent need for policies to combat this problem.
Scientists isolate protective proteins that influence outcomes for type 2 diabetes Scientists from the School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, have, for the first time, discovered a family of proteins that are associated with lower blood sugar levels among obese patients with type 2 diabetes.
Repetitive impacts key to understanding sports-associated concussions Scientists at Trinity College Dublin today announced a significant advance in our understanding of mild head trauma (concussive brain injury) and how it may be managed and treated in the future. It seems that repetitive impacts—as opposed to single events—cause the all-important damage to blood vessels in the brain.
Americans love snacks. What does that mean for their health? Americans are addicted to snacks, and food experts are paying closer attention to what that might mean for health and obesity.
Intergenerational relationships promote aging immigrants’ health, lower caregivers’ stress Filial piety—the traditional value of caring for one’s elders—is central to the Chinese concept of family and has long shaped intergenerational relationships, daily life, and well-being, for older Chinese adults. The intersection of Eastern values and Western norms, however, can alter cultural beliefs across generations and negatively impact aging Chinese immigrants’ physical and mental health and the caregiving burdens faced by their children, according to two new Rutgers studies.
Strong student-adult relationships lower suicide attempts in high schools High schools where students are more connected to peers and adult staff, and share strong relationships with the same adults, have lower rates of suicide attempts, according to a new study published by the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
Study supports germline testing for all metastatic breast cancer patients Genetic testing for all metastatic breast cancer patients may be an optimal strategy for identifying additional patients with increased risk as well as response to targeted therapies, according to research published in JAMA Oncology.
New drug may protect against memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease A new drug discovered through a research collaboration between the University at Buffalo and Tetra Therapeutics may protect against memory loss, nerve damage and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Overcoming resistance in pancreatic cancer Cancer is relentless and resilient.
When a drug blocks a cancer cell’s main survival pathway, the cell avoids the obstacle by taking different pathways or detours to save itself. This tactic is called “developing resistance,” and it’s one of the key challenges researchers face when seeking effective therapeutics to combat pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA).
Brain cells that suppress drug cravings may be the secret to better addiction medicines For the nearly 20 million U.S.
adults who are addicted to drugs or alcohol, no effective medical treatment exists—despite plentiful scientific knowledge surrounding the factors that trigger relapse.
Experience of being a minority puts US teens at higher risk of anxiety, depression Puerto Rican teens growing up as minorities in the South Bronx are more likely to experience anxiety and depression than their peers growing up as a majority in Puerto Rico, even under similar conditions of poverty, says a new study in World Psychiatry. Researchers looked at nearly 2,000 Puerto Rican youth over two decades to understand how minority status and factors such as racism, poverty, violence and social support influence mental health. Although youth in Puerto Rico are poorer and face more homicides than young people living in the South Bronx, the experience of living as a minority group in the United States led to worse mental health outcomes.
Video assisted lung surgery reduces complications and hospital stays compared to open surgery Video-assisted thoracic surgery is associated with lower in-hospital complications and shorter length of stay compared with open surgery among British patients who were diagnosed at an early stage of lung cancer, according to research presented today the IASLC 2019 World Conference on Lung Cancer, hosted by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.
Scottish study shows that autoantibody test followed by CT imaging may reduce lung cancer mortality A combination of the EarlyCDT-Lung Test followed by CT imaging in Scottish patients at risk for lung cancer resulted in a significant decrease in late stage diagnosis of lung cancer and may decrease lung cancer specific mortality, according to research presented at IASLC 2019 World Conference on Lung Cancer hosted by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC). The research was presented by Prof. Frank Sullivan, from the University of St Andrews, St Andrews/United Kingdom.
9 Florida students hospitalized for eating ‘THC-laced candy’ Authorities say nine students from a Florida charter school ate marijuana-infused candy and were hospitalized with stomach pains.
Watching music move through the brain Scientists have observed how the human brain represents a familiar piece of music, according to research published in JNeurosci. Their results suggest that listening to and remembering music involve different cognitive processes.
Tumor mutational burden not significantly associated with efficacy of pembrolizumab Tumor mutational burden was not significantly associated with efficacy of pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy or placebo plus chemotherapy as first-line therapy for metastatic nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer, according to research reported today by Dr.
M. Garassino from the Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy. Dr. Garassino presented this new data today at the IASLC 2019 World Conference on Lung Cancer hosted by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.
Soups are the new smoothies When made at home, smoothies can be delicious and nutritious (store-bought versions often contain lots of sugar and an abundance of calories). But when it comes to feeling satisfied, a rich, thick soup has them beat.
Experts talk bioethics, healthcare in new book The United States spends twice as much on health care per person than any other affluent democracy. But that spending has not produced the results that might be expected, noted Penn President Amy Gutmann.
Durvalumab combined with chemotherapy improves overall survival in patients with lung cancer Adding immunotherapy in the form of durvalumab to chemotherapy improves overall survival in patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer, according to research presented today at the IASLC 2019 World Conference on Lung Cancer hosted by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC).
Mutations associated with sensitivity or resistance to immunotherapy in mNSCLC The relationship between gene alterations and response to anti-PD-L1 with and without anti-CTLA-4 are not well characterized. Dr. N.
Rizvi from Columbia University Medical Center in New York today presented an update from the Phase III MYSTIC study that showed poorer outcomes across treatment arms in patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer and mutations in STK11 or KEAP1 genes compared with those without the corresponding mutations. In patients receiving durvalumab with tremelimumab, ARID1Am was associated with survival benefits compared with ARID1Awt.
BioMILD trial demonstrates lung cancer screening using microrna blood test enhance prevention effort Lung cancer screening efforts have accelerated in the last decade, with researchers showing that low dose CT screening is effective in reducing lung cancer mortality. Now, researchers in Milan report that using a blood test, accompanied by low dose CT screening, is safe and effective. The results were shared today at the IASLC 2019 World Conference on Lung Cancer hosted by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.
Are there health consequences associated with not using a smartphone? Many studies have examined the health effects of smartphone abuse, but a new study looks at the sociodemographic features and health indicators of people who have a smartphone but do not use it regularly. This under-studied group of individuals were significantly more likely to report feelings of loneliness, according to the article published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.
Lung cancer screening model favored in Europe detects more cancers than one preferred in the US Researchers reported today that a prospective trial comparing two screening methods for at-risk lung cancer patients found that a model used by Canadian, Australian and European public health organizations detected more cancers than the screening model used by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).
The results were shared today at the IASLC 2019 World Conference on Lung Cancer hosted by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.
For some Texans, nearest abortion clinic is 250 miles away After seven states passed sweeping abortion bans this year, speculation soon arose about the potentially onerous travel burdens the laws could someday impose on women seeking to end unwanted pregnancies.
Biology news Genome engineering with CRISPR/HDR to diversify the functions of hybridoma-produced antibodies Bioengineers and life scientists incorporate hybridoma technology to produce large numbers of identical antibodies, and develop new antibody therapeutics and diagnostics.
Recent preclinical and clinical studies on the technology highlight the importance of antibody isotypes for therapeutic efficacy. In a new study, a research team in Netherlands have developed a versatile Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindrome Repeats (CRISPR) and homology directed repair (HDR) platform to rapidly engineer immunoglobin domains and form recombinant hybridomas that secrete designer antibodies of a preferred format, species or isotype. In the study, Johan M. S. van der Schoot and colleagues at the interdisciplinary departments of immunology, proteomics, immunohematology, translational immunology and medical oncology, used the platform to form recombinant hybridomas, chimeras and mutants.
The stable antibody products retained their antigen specificity. The research team believes the versatile platform will facilitate mass-scale antibody engineering for the scientific community to empower preclinical antibody research. The work is now published on Science Advances.
Scientists develop technique to reveal epigenetic features of cells in the brain The brain’s prefrontal cortex, which gives us our ability to solve problems and plan ahead, contains billions of cells. But understanding the large diversity of cell types in this critical region, each with unique genetic and molecular properties, has been challenging.
Native foods are key to preserving rodent gut bacteria in captivity As Rodolfo Martinez-Mota well knows, from the cactus spines in his clothes and skin, white-throated woodrats love to eat prickly pear cactus (from the Opuntia genus). They like the cactus so much that their gut microorganism community, or microbiome, is specially equipped to break down toxins in the cactus.
Identity crisis for fossil beetle helps rewrite beetle family tree There are more different kinds of beetle than just about any other kind of animal—scientists have described about 5,800 different species of mammals, compared with nearly 400,000 species of beetles.
Of those 400,000 kinds of beetles, more than 64,000 species are members of the rove beetle family, staphylinidae. These mostly small earwig-looking insects are found all over the world, and they’ve been around since the time of the dinosaurs. But scientists are still figuring out exactly when rove beetles first evolved. A new study in Systematic Entomology suggests that the fossil beetle species believed to be the oldest rove beetle isn’t a rove beetle at all, meaning the beetle family tree needs a rewrite.
Study reveals the attack initiation mechanism of predatory bacteria Scientists have unraveled the attack initiation mechanism used by so-called “predatory bacteria’, which are capable of invading and killing harmful bugs including E. coli or Salmonella.
Building blocks of bird babble identified A new study by an international team headed by the University of Zurich sheds light on whether animal vocalizations, like human words, are constructed from smaller building blocks.
By analyzing calls of the Australian chestnut-crowned babbler, the researchers have for the first time identified the meaning-generating building blocks of a non-human communication system.
Researchers unearth ‘new’ extinction A team of scientists has concluded that earth experienced a previously underestimated severe mass-extinction event, which occurred about 260 million years ago, raising the total of major mass extinctions in the geologic record to six.
Philippines confirms African swine fever, culls 7,000 pigs Lab tests have confirmed that African swine fever caused the deaths of pig herds in at least seven villages near Manila and a multiagency body will be set up to ensure the highly contagious disease does not spread further, Philippine officials said Monday.
Dramatic increase in whales near New Jersey and New York raises safety concerns The number of humpback whale sightings in New York City and northern New Jersey has increased dramatically in recent years, by more than 500 percent, as a result of warmer and cleaner waters, raising the risk of dangerous interactions between the huge marine mammals and humans, according to a Rutgers University-New Brunswick researcher.
Threatened species habitat destruction shows federal laws are broken Human activities have destroyed more than 7.
7 million hectares of threatened species habitat, revealing critical failures with Australia’s federal environmental protection laws.
The plus and minus of microtubules Microtubules are protein polymers that assemble into dynamic structures, essential for cell division, shape, motility, and transport of intracellular cargos.
The new gene technology makes it easier to characterize phytoplankton assemblages Unicellular microorganisms are the most abundant form of life on Earth in terms of quantity and variety. In the doctoral dissertation under review at the University of Jyväskylä, a new gene technology was developed to replace the laborious microscopic identification of small phytoplankton species. The method can be useful, for example, in detecting phenomena caused by climate change.
The new method can be used to monitor blooms of harmful cyanobacterial.
Peony scientist breaks new ground for cut flowers One of the world’s most popular flowers—the peony—can now be grown in hot climates, following a discovery that could disrupt the multi-billion dollar global cut flower industry.
New results on fungal genetics An international team of researchers has found unusual genetic features in fungi of the order Trichosporonales.
Hidden danger from pet dogs in Africa Dogs in tropical Africa run the risk of contracting canine trypanosomosis if they are bitten by bloodsucking tsetse flies carrying trypanosomes—microscopic, single-celled organisms found in the bloodstream. In dogs, this disease runs a severe course and is often fatal; “white eyes” or corneal cloudiness is one of the characteristic and obvious signs of the disease.
Scientists alleviate environmental concerns about BCA usage on powdery mildews Powdery mildew is a common fungal disease that infects many plants around the world, absorbing their nutrients and weakening or even killing them. In turn, powdery mildews are often attacked in the field by even smaller mycoparasites (fungi that feed on other fungi).
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