Friday, March 23, 2018

Science X Newsletter Friday, Mar 23

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for March 23, 2018:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

The brain learns completely differently than we've assumed since the 20th century

Flexible ultrasound patch could make it easier to inspect damage in odd-shaped structures

Scientists unveil high-sensitivity 3-D technique using single-atom measurements

Diffusiophoresis found to be critical factor for getting clothes clean

Genome of American cockroach sequenced for the first time

More than 2,500 cancer cases a week could be avoided

Humanity imperiled by abuse of life-giving Nature: reports (Update)

Analyzing past failures may boost future performance by reducing stress

GPS guidance can be fooled, so researchers are scrambling to find backup technologies

Bystander T cells can steal the show in resolving inflammation

First-ever observations of a living anglerfish, a female with her tiny mate, coupled for life

Hidden medical text read for the first time in a thousand years

Mars Curiosity celebrates sol 2,000

Potential insecticide discovered in Earth's longest animal

Expanding rings vital for viable embryos

Astronomy & Space news

Mars Curiosity celebrates sol 2,000

NASA's Mars Curiosity rover just hit a new milestone: its two-thousandth Martian day, or sol, on the Red Planet. An image mosaic taken by the rover in January offers a preview of what comes next.

Researchers track Chinese space station as it falls

A defunct Chinese space station, Tiangong-1, is expected to fall to Earth any day now—on March 31, give or take a few days. When it does, it will be the largest manmade object to re-enter Earth's atmosphere in a decade.

Sentinel-3B launch preparations in full swing

With the Sentinel-3B satellite now at the Plesetsk launch site in Russia and liftoff set for 25 April, engineers are steaming ahead with the task of getting Europe's next Copernicus satellite ready for its journey into orbit.

Two Americans, one Russian dock with International Space Station

A Soyuz capsule carrying two Americans and a Russian cosmonaut has docked with the International Space Station.

Scientists dedicate the birth of a new black hole to Stephen Hawking

One of the MASTER Global Robotic Net telescopes (MSU) located on Tenerife (Spain, Canary Islands) helped astronomers observe the gamma-ray burst caused by the collapse of a star and the formation of a black hole in its place. Standard telescopes are unable to point to gamma-ray bursts error-boxes fast enough to monitor the change in its brightness and obtain any information about its source. The scientists dedicated the new object to the physicist Stephen Hawking, and reported the finding in The Astronomer's Telegram.

Technology news

Flexible ultrasound patch could make it easier to inspect damage in odd-shaped structures

Researchers have developed a stretchable, flexible patch that could make it easier to perform ultrasound imaging on odd-shaped structures, such as engine parts, turbines, reactor pipe elbows and railroad tracks—objects that are difficult to examine using conventional ultrasound equipment.

GPS guidance can be fooled, so researchers are scrambling to find backup technologies

Five years ago, a team of researchers from the University of Texas at Austin boarded an $80-million yacht with the intent of trying to fool the vessel's navigation system and stealthily push it off course.

Uber self-driving crash calls safety, rules into question

Video of a fatal pedestrian crash involving a self-driving Uber vehicle that some experts say exposes flaws in autonomous vehicle technology is prompting calls to slow down testing on public roads and renewing concerns about regulatory readiness.

Zuckerberg's shine dims as guardian of Facebook users

Mark Zuckerberg rose to wealth and fame with a mission of connecting everyone through Facebook, but now faces the wrath of users outraged he isn't doing more to defend their data.

Hackers demanding bitcoin ransom attack Atlanta city computers

Hackers demanding ransom payable in bitcoin have attacked computers of the Atlanta city government in the southern US state of Georgia, officials say.

Japan firms face charges over alleged maglev bid-rigging

Japanese authorities on Friday pressed criminal charges against four major construction firms suspected of colluding to win contracts for Japan's multi-billion-dollar maglev project.

Nissan not changing autonomous drive tests over Uber crash

Nissan's chief planning officer said Friday the Japanese automaker does not plan to change its road tests for self-driving vehicles after the recent fatal accident of an Uber autonomous vehicle.

Fed up with Facebook? Here's how to break it off

Fed up with Facebook? You're not alone. A growing number of people are deleting it, or at least wrestling with whether they should, in light of its latest privacy debacle—allegations that a Trump-linked data-mining firm stole information on tens of millions of users to influence elections.

'OK, Google, send cash to my friend': Google Assistant lets you use voice to pay back IOUs

The Google Assistant can now help you pay back the money you owe a friend. Google announced that starting today you'll be able to send or request money from the contacts on your Android device or iPhone, via a voice command along the lines of "Hey Google, send Janie $15 for lunch today."

Apple is about to become the biggest R&D spender in the world

Critics of Apple used to point to its $250 billion-plus mountain of cash, much of it held overseas, and its relatively puny research and development budget and say, "Get spending!" The era of parsimony is over. After the GOP tax cut, Apple said it will be repatriating hundreds of billions of dollars, paying up to $38 billion in taxes on it, over the coming years.

Facebook needed third-party apps to grow. Now it's left with a privacy crisis

Facebook had only 20 million users when it opened up its budding platform to outside app developers in 2007, giving them much-needed access to the social network's growing web of friends and family.

How listening to random sound can unlock a trapped mind

David Tobin took to the stage at a recent technology conference in downtown Los Angeles, asked the 500 attendees to close their eyes, and turned up the sound so they could sample his wares: a textured, layered soundscape that he calls an "audiojack."

Firefox maker Mozilla to stop Facebook advertising because of data scandal

Mozilla, the makers of the popular Firefox web browser, said it will stop advertising on Facebook following a data scandal impacting tens of millions of users.

What Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg didn't say (and what it took him hours to)

Mark Zuckerberg apologized—but you had to wait for it.

Amazon Echo vs Google Home vs Apple HomePod: Which is right for you?

You've no doubt heard the buzz about smart speakers. Why else would you be reading this article? A few years ago, if you wanted a smart speaker with a hands-free digital assistant, there was only one option. The Amazon Echo was one-of-a-kind when it debuted in November 2014, and it launched into uncharted waters unsure if it would find a home with consumers.

There are 8 million reasons why you should care if Magic Leap succeeds

When it comes to tech, the most buzzed-about companies often raise big investments—and big questions.

Africa's young professionals embracing 'gospel of bitcoin'

In a sleek new high-rise in Uganda's capital, an enthusiastic lecturer described his financial success with the cryptocurrency bitcoin while his earnings were projected on a screen.

Reusing electric pylons to design the roof of a train station

For his Master's project, Joseph Desruelle devised a plan to reuse steel bars from dismantled electricity pylons to make a new roof for the Lausanne train station. This approach is still theoretical, but reusing materials in this way could one day become commonplace.

Researchers refute 20-year-old assumptions in solar cell production

Research led by the University of Luxembourg investigated the manufacturing process of solar cells. The researchers proved that assumptions on chemical processes that were commonplace among researchers and producers for the past 20 years are, in fact, inaccurate.

Facebook fallout—Americans' privacy at risk across entire tech, information industry

As fallout from the revelation of Cambridge Analytica's misuse of Facebook user information continues, many are mistakenly calling this incident a breach. Facebook is right to claim this incident was no breach — this is Facebook's platform working exactly as designed.

Exposed: The path of ransomware payments

The murky ecosystem of ransomware payments comes into focus in new research led by Damon McCoy, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Ransomware attacks, which encrypt and hold a computer user's files hostage in exchange for payment, extort millions of dollars from individuals each month, and comprise one of the fastest-growing forms of cyber attack.

Ready Player One—we are surprisingly close to realising just such a VR environment

I was fortunate enough to catch a preview screening of Ready Player One, Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Ernest Cline's futuristic novel. It blew me away. What really caught my attention wasn't just the awesome references to 1980s pop culture, or the mind-blowing set pieces. It was also the sub-text of the philosophical and cultural impact of gaming and related technologies.

Cambridge Analytica—the data analytics industry is already in full swing

Revelations about Cambridge Analytica have laid bare the seeming lack of control that we have over our own data. Suddenly, with all the talk of "psychographics" and voter manipulation, the power of data analytics has become the source of some concern.

Fallout from cyberattack on Atlanta computers still unclear (Update)

More than 24 hours after a ransomware cyberattack targeting the city of Atlanta's computer network was discovered, the fallout still wasn't clear.

Craigslist ends personal ads after US sex trafficking bill passes

Craigslist said Friday it shut down its personal ads section as concerns grew over unintended consequences of a law approved by Congress which could hold websites liable for promoting sex trafficking.

US charges Iranians in massive hacking scheme

The United States unveiled charges on Friday against nine Iranians for their alleged involvement in a massive state-sponsored hacking scheme which targeted hundreds of universities in the US and abroad and stole "valuable intellectual property and data."

Facebook as an election weapon, from Obama to Trump

The use of Facebook data to target voters has triggered global outrage with the Cambridge Analytica scandal. But the concept is nothing new: Barack Obama made extensive use of the social network in 2008 and stepped up "micro-targeting" in his 2012 re-election effort.

Broadcom shareholders approve plan to move back to US

Broadcom said Friday that its shareholders overwhelmingly approved a plan to move the computer chipmaking giant back to the United States from Singapore.

Cloud firm Dropbox surges in Wall Street debut (Update)

Dropbox shares surged Friday as the cloud data storage firm made its Wall street debut following a public offering raising some $750 million.

Reliance merges music apps amid streaming rise in India

Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries said Friday it was integrating its music app with sector leader Saavn in a $1 billion deal that shows the high hopes for streaming in the billion-plus market.

New US law changes rules for cross-border data requests

A measure signed into law Friday by President Donald Trump changes the rules for cross-border law enforcement requests to internet firms and could render moot a long-running court battle between the US government and Microsoft.

UK regulators search Cambridge Analytica offices

British regulators on Friday began searching the London offices of Cambridge Analytica (CA), the scandal-hit communications firm at the heart of the Facebook data scandal, shortly after a judge approved a search warrant.

Facebook's widening crisis over user data

Facebook is facing the most serious crisis in its 14-year history as it deals with fallout from a major leak of user data to political consultants associated with the 2016 Trump campaign.

Mahathir raises 'remote takeover' theory in MH370 mystery

Malaysia's veteran ex-leader Mahathir Mohamad said Friday that missing flight MH370 might have been taken over remotely in a bid to foil a hijack, reviving one of the many conspiracy theories surrounding its disappearance.

Google honors geochemist Katsuko Saruhashi

Google is using its logo Thursday to honor a pioneer in geochemistry.

Apple's new flagship Chicago store is for sale, and could fetch $170 million or more

Apple's new flagship store on Michigan Avenue is going up for sale and could fetch at least $170 million.

South Africa's Naspers cashes in $10bn Tencent stake

South African internet and entertainment group Naspers on Friday raised $9.8 billion (7.8 billion euros) selling two percent of its hugely-profitable stake in Chinese technology giant Tencent.

The efficiency of nature-inspired metaheuristics in limited-budget expensive global optimization

Global optimization problems in which evaluation of the objective function is an expensive operation arise frequently in engineering, machine learning, decision making, statistics, optimal control, etc. A general global optimization problem requires to find a point x* and the value f(x*) being the global (i.e., the deepest) minimum of a function f(x) over an N-dimensional domain D, where f(x) can be non-differentiable, multiextremal, hard to evaluate even at one point (evaluations of f(x) are expensive), and given as a "black box". Therefore, traditional local optimization methods cannot be used in this situation.

Royal Caribbean picks up world's largest cruise ship

French shipbuilder STX handed over the world's biggest cruiseliner, the Symphony of the Seas, to US giant Royal Caribbean International on Friday ahead of its maiden voyage in the Mediterranean.

India asks Cambridge Analytica for information on data

India's government on Friday sent a notice to U.K.-based Cambridge Analytica asking whether it has misused data to profile Indians and influence their elections.

Medicine & Health news

The brain learns completely differently than we've assumed since the 20th century

The brain is a complex network containing billions of neurons, where each of these neurons communicates simultaneously with thousands of other via their synapses (links). However, the neuron actually collects its many synaptic incoming signals through several extremely long ramified "arms" only, called dendritic trees.

More than 2,500 cancer cases a week could be avoided

More than 135,500 cases of cancer a year in the UK could be prevented through lifestyle changes, according to new figures from a Cancer Research UK landmark study published today.

Analyzing past failures may boost future performance by reducing stress

Insights from past failures can help boost performance on a new task—and a new study is the first to explain why. US researchers report that writing critically about past setbacks leads to lower levels of the "stress" hormone, cortisol, and more careful choices when faced with a new stressful task, resulting in improved performance. The study, published today in open access journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, is the first demonstration that writing and thinking deeply about a past failure improves the body's response to stress and enhances performance on a new task. This technique may be useful in improving performance in many areas, including therapeutic settings, education and sports.

Bystander T cells can steal the show in resolving inflammation

In Type 1 diabetes the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys insulin-producing pancreatic cells, leaving patients dependent on lifelong insulin injections. The putative perpetrators of the attack—which are called CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs)—recognize specific protein fragments displayed on pancreatic islet cells and then kill them. However, even CTLs that cannot recognize islet-specific antigens (but for example viral antigen) nonetheless invade pancreata as inflammation progresses. These cells have been dubbed bystanders, since researchers didn't know what they did. Many thought they might enhance inflammation.

How do we lose memory? A STEP at a time, researchers say

In mice, rats, monkeys, and people, aging can take its toll on cognitive function. A new study by researchers at Yale and Université de Montréal reveal there is a common denominator to the decline in all of these species—an increase in the level of the molecule striatal-enriched phosphatase, or STEP.

Brain's tiniest blood vessels trigger spinal motor neurons to develop

A new study has revealed that the human brain's tiniest blood vessels can activate genes known to trigger spinal motor neurons, prompting the neurons to grow during early development. The findings could provide insights into how amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neurodegenerative disorders may develop.

First proof a synthesized antibiotic is capable of treating superbugs

A "game changing" new antibiotic which is capable of killing superbugs has been successfully synthesised and used to treat an infection for the first time—and could lead to the first new class of antibiotic drug in 30 years.

Obesity rates keep rising for U.S. adults

Obesity rates have continued to climb significantly among American adults, but the same hasn't held true for children, a new government report finds.

Care providers' understanding of obesity treatment is limited

Despite the high prevalence of obesity among U.S. adults, provision of recommended treatments for obesity remains low. Providers cite lack of time, lack of reimbursement, and lack of knowledge as major barriers to treating patients with obesity. A new study published in Obesity assessed health care professionals' (HCPs') knowledge of evidence-based guidelines for nonsurgical treatment of obesity.

Care home admissions risk breaching human rights of older people

Thousands of older people in low and middle-income countries are at risk of abuse and human rights violations when being admitted to care homes, according to new research led by the University of East Anglia (UEA).

Fewer breast cancer patients need radical surgery if they are pre-treated with targeted drugs

Extensive surgery involving mastectomy and removal of several lymph nodes can be safely avoided for more women with some types of breast cancer, if they receive targeted drugs before surgery, according to research presented at the 11th European Breast Cancer Conference.

Time to epinephrine tied to survival in non-shockable OHCA

(HealthDay)—For patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) with non-shockable initial rhythm, each minute delay in epinephrine administration is associated with reduced survival and unfavorable neurologic outcomes, according to a study published online March 6 in Circulation.

Unique risks associated with texting medical orders

(HealthDay)—Despite the popularity, convenience, and speed of texting medical orders, there are unique and alarming risks associated with the practice, according to a report published in Drug Topics.

Microneedling + 5-fluorouracil effective vitiligo treatment

(HealthDay)—Microneedling in combination with 5-fluorouracil is a safe and effective treatment for vitiligo, according to a study published online March 12 in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.

Depression, antidepressant use may up risk of A-fib

(HealthDay)—Depression and antidepressant use are associated with atrial fibrillation (AF), according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health 2018 Scientific Sessions, held from March 20 to 23 in New Orleans.

Mindfulness: Improve your well-being

What is mindfulness?

Early studies of male birth-control pill show promise

Well, well, well. The ball has been knocked roundly into your court, gentlemen.

Obesity surgery prevents severe chronic kidney disease and kidney failure

Patients that underwent weight-loss surgery ran a significantly lower risk of developing severe chronic kidney disease and kidney failure when compared to conventionally treated patients, according to a study published in International Journal of Obesity.

Children with physical disabilities are at higher risk of poor mental health

A new study from Lund University in Sweden shows that even children with limited physical disabilities are at risk of developing mental issues later in life. Girls and adolescents from socioeconomically vulnerable families are at greatest risk. The study was published in PLOS ONE.

Health check can spot psychologically vulnerable persons

If mental health was made part of a health check, then it would be possible to detect vulnerable people who have not received assistance from doctors or psychologists for their psychological problems. This is shown by a new study from Aarhus University.

Different neural strategies for junior high school male and female English learners

Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University studied the neural response of Japanese junior high school students learning English as a second language while listening to English sentences. More proficient boys showed more activation in parts of the brain associated with grammatical rules (syntax); girls used a wider range of language information, including speech sounds (phonology) and meaning of words and sentences (semantics). These discoveries may help optimize how boys and girls are taught English.

Study reveals children who undergo baked milk and egg challenges have significantly different allergic reactions

Although the main approach to coping with food allergies is to avoid the allergenic food, studies have suggested that for milk and egg allergens, consuming them in baked form may be tolerated by most children. However, a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology shows that for the population of children that cannot tolerate milk or egg in baked form, they may experience significantly different allergic reaction profiles after consuming baked milk or egg.

Let's talk about Rx use—recognizing and reversing an overdose

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the misuse of and addiction to opioids is a serious national crisis, with more than 115 Americans dying from opioid overdose every day. Knowing how to prevent and recognize an overdose, and how to respond to it, may save a life. Here's what you need to know.

Novel research explores way to restore silenced voices

A swarm of cicadas that left thousands of insect carcasses across the Vanderbilt University campus in 2011 is leading to transinstitutional research at the Vanderbilt Institute for Surgery and Engineering (VISE) and Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) to develop a surgical planning tool to help restore speech for people with vocal fold paralysis.

Researchers reveal childhood predictors of becoming overweight or obese

Childhood predictors of becoming overweight or obese as adults in New Zealand include being male, born into a single-parent family, having parents with larger body size, and limited or no breastfeeding, new University of Otago research reveals.

New strategies to combat opioid addiction

In 2000, a doctor from tiny St. Paul, Virginia, asked the School of Medicine for help with a terrible problem. Art Van Zee, M.D., a physician in a community clinic, reported that opioid abuse was sweeping Appalachian coal country like a tsunami. People he had cared for since infancy were overdosing on the prescription painkiller OxyContin. How could this disaster be stopped?

Study probes the role of key protein linked to heart disease, diabetes

Diet-induced diabetes, obesity, and heart disease are leading causes of death worldwide. In their search for novel therapies for these related chronic illnesses, Yale researchers investigated a protein called ANGPTL4. The protein plays an essential role in regulating the metabolism of lipoproteins, which transport fat and lipids in the bloodstream, and has been associated with increased risk of heart disease in humans.

RNA-based therapeutic inhibits a metabolic pathway in tumor-initiating lung cancer cells

RNA-based therapeutics that prevent a key metabolic enzyme from being expressed in tumor-initiating cells (TIC) hold promise for the treatment of lung cancer, an A*STAR team has shown.

A better understanding of how genetics influences responses to mouth cancer drugs could lead to improved treatment

A single letter DNA mutation is a big determinant of whether patients with advanced oral cancer respond to treatments. Researchers from the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) and A*STAR who uncovered the mechanisms behind this effect hope their findings will help doctors target treatment more effectively.

Stem cell reserves found in the stomach have implications for the genesis of gastric cancer

A team of researchers at A*STAR has found that certain cells in the stomach, called chief cells, become stem cells in response to injury, providing a source of new cells. As well as being significant for understanding how the stomach lining renews itself, the finding sheds light on how gastric cancer can begin.

The gene causing new brain disorder

Newly discovered gene mutations may help explain the cause of a disease that drastically impairs walking and thinking.

We've come up with a TB test that's cheaper, quicker and more accurate

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease that kills more people due to a bacterial infection than any other disease in the world.

Research on sport for youth development not reaching those who need it, study shows

Canadian-led research establishing that youth sport should be about building the whole person and not just the athlete needs to be more accessible if it is to find its way into the programming of the nation's highest sport bodies, according to a new University of Alberta study.

Researcher unlocking relationship between early math ability, fingers

Ask toddlers how old they are, and they are likely to hold up the corresponding number of fingers and say, "this many."

Researchers discover a 'security chief' that sounds the alarm against infections

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have identified a key molecule that serves as a "security chief" to help the immune system quickly recognize and fight infections with dangerous gram-negative bacteria like Salmonella. The research appears online today in the journal Cell.

How a blind artist has challenged our understanding of colour

For centuries, people who were born blind have been the intellectual curios of philosophers studying consciousness. This is particularly true for those exploring the way our consciousness is effected by our bodies, especially our eyes, which Leonardo da Vinci described as the "window of the soul".

Achieving then failing in primary school is a sign of future teenage depression

Millions of people all over the world are experiencing mental health problems. And though the causes vary, we know that half of all these illnesses will have started in childhood or the teenage years.

If cannabis is getting stronger, why aren't cases of schizophrenia rising?

Most people who smoke pot enjoy it, but a smaller proportion experience psychotic-like symptoms, such as feeling suspicious or paranoid. The question that polarises researchers is whether smoking cannabis is associated with a risk of developing psychotic problems, such as schizophrenia, in the long term.

How stigma in the healthcare system is undermining efforts to reduce obesity

Obesity is a global public health concern due to its associations with an increased risk of poor mental and physical health. This is why attempts to prevent and treat obesity – especially in children – have become a focus of public health policy.

Inching closer to a world without polio

At its height in the 1940s and '50s, polio paralyzed more than 35,000 Americans every year. But thanks to vaccines as well as good hygiene and sanitation practices, polio has largely been forgotten in the developed world.

Yoghurt can be part of healthy child's diet

Children who eat more than 60g of yoghurt daily have a better overall diet compared to those who eat none, a new study has shown.

Radiologist uses virtual reality as powerful training tool

Physicians, trainees and even laypeople can now stand right beside an expert radiologist as he performs one of the most difficult medical procedures of its kind - in virtual reality.

Non-psychoactive cannabis ingredient could help addicts stay clean

A preclinical study in rats has shown that there might be value in using a non-psychoactive and non-addictive ingredient of the Cannabis sativa plant to reduce the risk of relapse among recovering drug and alcohol addicts. The study's findings inform the ongoing debate about the possible medical benefits of non-psychoactive cannabinoids, and the way that these may be used as therapeutics. So says Friedbert Weiss, leader of an investigative team at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, in Neuropsychopharmacology.

Who is keeping track of all those pills?

Is that pale blue pill the one that needs to be taken twice a day with meals, or is it the round white one?

Voluntary exercise and energy balance

Physical exercise alone generally fails to produce meaningful weight loss in obese individuals, and reduced non-exercise activity has been suggested to explain this observation.

Breakthrough article on mechanistic features of microRNA targeting and activity

Giovanna Brancati and Helge Grosshans from the FMI have described target specialization of miRNAs of the let-7 family. They identified target site features that determine specificity, and revealed that specificity can be modulated in a manner that allows cells to integrate target site quality and miRNA abundance. Their findings address the unresolved question of how miRNA family members can be targeting different transcripts within the same cell.

Candidate tuberculosis vaccine in phase II/III trial

Tuberculosis remains the most deadly infectious diseases in the world. In particular, the growing number of multiresistant microbes is a cause of great concern to doctors and healthcare policymakers. At least a dozen candidate vaccines are currently undergoing clinical testing. One of them, VPM1002, has now been approved for use in a clinical efficacy trial. The trial is designed to test the vaccine's efficacy and safety in patients in whom tuberculosis resurfaces following successful drug therapy. In addition, a phase II trial on newborns exposed to HIV has been completed with promising results.

Helping older adults discontinue using sedatives

Older adults, especially those who are admitted to hospitals, are at risk for potentially dangerous side effects if they are taking multiple medicines. Taking several medications at the same time is called polypharmacy. Of special concern are benzodiazepine and non-benzodiazepine sedative hypnotics. These medications, which include lorazepam, clonazepam, zopiclone, and others, are often prescribed for sleep—despite the fact that organizations like the American Geriatrics Society recommend that they not be used as a first choice for sleep problems, agitation, or delirium (the medical term for an abrupt, rapid change in mental function).

Older adults who have slower walking speeds may have increased risk for dementia

As of 2015, nearly 47 million people around the world had dementia, a memory problem significant enough to affect your ability to carry out your usual tasks. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer's disease, but other forms exist, too.

New accreditation program sets framework for rectal cancer care in the US

For many years in the U.S., there has been tremendous variability in the treatment and outcomes for rectal cancer care. In Europe, hospital clinicians have been improving their outcomes for this disease by working in multidisciplinary teams. These teams bring together specialists with different areas of expertise to evaluate and make treatment decisions for each patient. In the last decade, there has been a movement to harness this approach in the U.S. in order to improve care, sparking the creation of a new quality improvement initiative, the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer (NAPRC). The program is administered by the American College of Surgeons (ACS).

The study shows implications of access to high-quality fruits and vegetables

Researchers at Montana State University in Bozeman have published a study showing how access to high-quality fruits and vegetables—or lack thereof—strongly influences whether healthy foods make it to a person's breakfast, lunch or dinner plate.

Research discovers how some cancers resist treatment

An international team of researchers led by Lucio Miele, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair of Genetics at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, and Justin Stebbing, BM BCh MA, PhD, Professor of Cancer Medicine and Medical Oncology at Imperial College of Medicine in London, has found new genetic mutations that promote the survival of cancer cells. The research also provided a clearer understanding of how some cancer cells are able to resist treatment. The findings are published in PLOS ONE, available here.

End of brutal flu season in sight

(HealthDay)—It's been a particularly tough flu season, but spring—and real relief—may be near, new numbers show.

AHA: the heart-healthy way to dye those Easter eggs

Put a twist on making colorful eggs this season that is to dye for.

Another downside of weight gain: toenail fungus

(HealthDay)—Piling on pounds is bad for your health from head to toe.

The benefits of moving more

(HealthDay)—In the battle of the bulge, it's not just getting exercise that matters—what you do when you're not formally working out counts, too.

Intrauterine adhesions rarely occur post induced abortion

(HealthDay)—Intrauterine adhesions (IUA) following an induced abortion are rare, but risk increases when surgical evacuation is involved, according to a study published online March 13 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

Increase in patient load linked to poorer urologist ratings

(HealthDay)—Academic urologists have higher mean weighted ratings than their nonacademic peers, and those with increased patient load have poorer ratings, according to a research letter published online March 21 in JAMA Surgery.

Neural markers of depression resilience ID'd in female teens

(HealthDay)—Adolescent females at high familial risk of depression who do not go on to develop depression have compensatory functional connectivity patterns in emotion regulatory networks, according to a study published online March 21 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Food insecurity tied to poor glycemic control in diabetes

(HealthDay)—Limited food access owing to cost (food insecurity) is associated with increased hemoglobin A1c (HbA1C) among patients with diabetes, according to a study published online March 19 in Diabetes Care.

Frailty associated with failure to rescue after inpatient surgery

(HealthDay)—For patients undergoing inpatient surgery, frailty is associated with failure to rescue (FTR), according to a study published online March 21 in JAMA Surgery.

Hearing difficulty may up risk of accidental injury

(HealthDay)—Hearing difficulty is associated with accidental injury, according to a study published online March 22 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Nivolumab plus ipilimumab tops sunitinib for advanced renal CA

(HealthDay)—For patients with previously untreated clear-cell advanced renal-cell carcinoma, nivolumab plus ipilimumab is associated with better overall survival than sunitinib, according to a study published online March 21 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Siponimod cuts risk of disability progression in multiple sclerosis

(HealthDay)—For patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, the selective sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor1,5 modulator, siponimod, is associated with reduced relative risk of confirmed disability progression, according to a study published online March 22 in The Lancet.

Mayors' political leanings strongly influence thoughts on city health policy effectiveness

A new Drexel University study found that 30 percent of mayors don't believe civic policies can reduce health disparities in their cities, and it appears that individual political ideology is strongly related to those beliefs.

Women report fewer adverse side effects from partial or reduced breast radiotherapy

The average number of moderate or marked side-effects reported by breast cancer patients is lower if they are treated with radiotherapy to part of the breast or a reduced dose to the whole breast, rather than with standard radiotherapy to the whole breast, according to new findings presented at the 11th European Breast Cancer Conference on Friday.

Men should be included in trials to find better treatments for breast cancer

Professor Robert Mansel, Chair of the 11th European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC-11) and Emeritus Professor of Surgery at Cardiff University School of Medicine, UK, has called for men to be included in trials to improve treatments for breast cancer.

Low risk of a local recurrence five years after surgery for early breast cancer patients

Barcelona, Spain: Women with small, low grade, well-defined breast tumours and a genetic profile that shows they are at low risk of the cancer metastasising have only a 1.4% risk of the cancer returning to the site of the original tumour or the nearby lymph nodes (known as locoregional recurrence) within five years, according to new results from a large randomised trial of nearly 7000 patients.

Women in medicine shout #MeToo about sexual harassment at work

Annette Katz didn't expect to be part of a major social movement. She didn't set out to take on a major health organization. But that all began to change when a co-worker saw her fighting back tears and joined Katz to report to her union what amounted to a criminal sexual offense at a Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center in 2012 and 2013.

Investigating the enigmatic link between periodontal inflammation and retinal degeneration

At the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR), held in conjunction with the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), Hyun Hong, The Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University, presented a poster titled "Investigating the Enigmatic Link Between Periodontal Inflammation and Retinal Degeneration." The AADR/CADR Annual Meeting is in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., USA from March 21-24, 2018.

Kidney disease imaging

Obstructive nephropathy—a condition in which the flow of urine is blocked—is a primary source of kidney impairment in infants and children.

20 gene variants and transgender identity—what does it mean?

The week started strangely.

Why 'rapid-onset gender dysphoria' is bad science

A few decades ago, sexologist Ray Blanchard suggested that trans lesbians—trans women who are solely attracted to other women—were in fact men whose misguided heterosexuality led them to be aroused by the thought of being women.

Access and utilization of dental services for Medicaid children 2013-2015

At the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR), held in conjunction with the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), Natalia I. Chalmers, D.D.S., Ph.D. of the DentaQuest Institute, Westborough, Mass., presented an oral session titled "Access and Utilization of Dental Services for Medicaid Children 2013-2015." The AADR/CADR Annual Meeting is in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., USA from March 21-24, 2018.

Bariatric surgery for severely obese teens may help prevent premature heart disease

Bariatric surgery is predicted to cut in half the risk of premature heart disease and stroke in teens with severe obesity, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention | Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions 2018, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in population based cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.

Effect of an opioid prescribing protocol on provider prescribing behavior

At the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR), held in conjunction with the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), Chad Lowell Wagner, University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, Minneapolis, presented a poster titled "Effect of an Opioid Prescribing Protocol on Provider Prescribing Behavior." The AADR/CADR Annual Meeting is in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. from March 21-24, 2018.

Is knee pain linked to depression?

In the U.S., about 13 percent of women and 10 percent of men aged 60 or older have knee pain due to osteoarthritis (OA). Osteoarthritis occurs when a joint becomes inflamed, usually because the protective cartilage and other tissues that cushion joints like the knee become damaged and worn over time. Knee pain from OA can make it harder to take care of yourself, which can damage your quality of life. In turn, that can lead to depression.

Helping prevent falls in older adults with dementia

Annually, about one-third of all American adults aged 65 or older experience a fall. Falls are a major cause of medical problems, especially among those who have dementia. In fact, twice the number of older adults with dementia experience falls, compared to people without dementia.

Opioid prescribing patterns of oral and maxillofacial surgeons: A nationwide survey

At the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR), held in conjunction with the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), Brandon Michael Syme, University of Iowa College of Dentistry, Iowa City, presented a poster titled "Opioid Prescribing Patterns of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons: A Nationwide Survey." The AADR/CADR Annual Meeting is in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. from March 21-24, 2018.

Life-extending drug for ovarian cancer made available in Europe

Cancer patients in Europe can now receive a life-extending drug invented and developed by scientists at Newcastle University.

7 household items that may fight age spots

(HealthDay)—Age spots are small brown patches that can develop on your hands and face as you grow older. They can be caused by sun damage or changes in hormone levels.

Effect of deployment on use of e-cigarettes in US military

At the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR), held in conjunction with the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), Prescott McWilliams, United States Air Force, San Antonio, Texas and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU), Postgraduate Dental College (PDC), presented a poster titled "Effect of Deployment on Use of E-Cigarettes in U.S. Military." The AADR/CADR Annual Meeting is in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., USA from March 21-24, 2018.

E-cigarette aerosol exposure causes craniofacial abnormalities in mice

At the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR), held in conjunction with the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), Suraj Kandalam, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, presented a poster titled "E-cigarette Aerosol Exposure Causes Craniofacial Abnormalities in Mice." The AADR/CADR Annual Meeting is in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. from March 21-24, 2018.

Opioid abuse/dependence in those hospitalized due to periapical abscess

At the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR), held in conjunction with the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), Veerasathpurush Allareddy, University of Iowa, College of Dentistry & Dental Clinics, Iowa City, presented a poster titled "Opioid Abuse/Dependence in Those Hospitalized Due to Periapical Abscess." The AADR/CADR Annual Meeting is in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. from March 21-24, 2018.

Biology news

Genome of American cockroach sequenced for the first time

A team of researchers with South China Normal University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences has for the first time sequenced the genome of the American cockroach. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the group describes features of the genome likely to prove useful to the insect in adapting so well to human environments.

Humanity imperiled by abuse of life-giving Nature: reports (Update)

Humanity is risking its own well-being by over-harvesting and harming Nature's bounty, said a comprehensive survey Friday that warned animal and plant species were in decline in every world region.

First-ever observations of a living anglerfish, a female with her tiny mate, coupled for life

Down deep off the south slope of São Jorge Island in the Azores, west of Portugal in the North Atlantic Ocean, a fearsome-looking fish and her parasitically attached mate drift almost helplessly, salvaging precious energy in their dark, food-scarce environment.

Potential insecticide discovered in Earth's longest animal

A family of potent protein neurotoxins have been discovered in bootlace worms, a University of Queensland researcher has found.

Expanding rings vital for viable embryos

Scientists have discovered a process during mammalian embryonic development that is critical for early embryos to develop into healthy blastocysts.

Study tracks protein's role in stem cell function

MCL-1 is a member of the BCL-2 family of proteins important for blocking apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Many types of cancer cells escape the body's effort to kill them by overexpressing MCL-1.

Microscopy trifecta examines how cells engulf nutrients, viruses

Scientists have a better understanding of a mechanism that allows cells to internalize beneficial nutrients and not-so-beneficial viruses, thanks to collaboration among researchers from two South Dakota universities and the National Institutes of Health.

Consuming a large meal temporarily costs dominant animals their leadership position

New research, led by the University of Glasgow and published today in Current Biology, found that fish who consumed a large meal had to move to the back of their swimming social group due to reduced aerobic capabilities cause by food digestion.

Intracellular transport in 3-D

Ludwig Maximilian University researchers have visualized the complex interplay between protein synthesis, transport and modification.

New innovations in cell-free biotechnology

A Northwestern University-led team has developed a new way to manufacture proteins outside of a cell that could have important implications in therapeutics and biomaterials.

More than 130 pilot whales die in mass Australia beaching

At least 135 short-finned pilot whales died Friday after a mass beaching in Australia as rescuers worked to herd those still alive back out to sea.

Tyson the stray hippo captured in Mexico

A stray hippopotamus that had been roaming around the countryside in Mexico has been captured after a 10-day hunt and relocated to a wildlife refuge, authorities said Tuesday.

Olive ridley turtles hatch in Mumbai after two decades

Tiny olive ridley turtles have hatched in India's financial capital Mumbai for the first time in two decades after a major cleanup of a beach, officials said Friday.

Antimicrobial used in toiletries could become option against malaria

A study conducted at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil shows that triclosan, an antimicrobial compound used in soap, toothpaste, deodorant and many other products, can inhibit target genes in the malaria parasite during two crucial stages of its life cycle in humans—the hepatic stage, when it reproduces in the host's liver cells, and the erythrocytic stage, when it infects red blood cells.

Research suggests low density of snow leopards in Nepal's Conservation Area

The snow leopard is a mammal species of the cat family found at high altitudes in Nepal and other countries around the Himalayan range. However, it has been included in the vulnerable category of IUCN Red list of threatened species in recent years for various reasons.

Freezing frog cells for conservation

For the first time, Australian frog cells have been successfully frozen and re-grown in culture, offering hope of a new technique to safeguard endangered amphibians.

Genetic switch activates transformation of stem cells into heart muscle cells

The discovery of a genetic switch that triggers stem cells to turn into heart cells is a major step in finding treatment for damaged hearts.

How to fight Insectageddon with a garden of native plants

People across North America love to garden, yet the vast majority of garden plants are non-native species.

Molecule discovered in dirt could help against multi-resistant bacteria

Mom always said you could get germs from playing in the dirt. Now, scientists have taken that advice a step further: a Rockefeller University team collected more than 2,000 soil samples from nearby New York City parks, and around the world, in an effort to discover bacterial molecules with potential as drugs.

UN reports see a lonelier planet with fewer plants, animals

Earth is losing plants, animals and clean water at a dramatic rate, according to four new United Nations scientific reports that provide the most comprehensive and localized look at the state of biodiversity.

Gene boosts rice growth and yield in salty soil

Soil salinity poses a major threat to food security, greatly reducing the yield of agricultural crops. Rising global temperatures are expected to accelerate the buildup of salt in soil, placing an increasing burden on agricultural production. In a new study published in The Plant Cell, a team of researchers identified a gene that limits yield losses in rice plants exposed to salt stress and deciphered the underlying mechanism.

British bases in Cyprus slash songbird poaching numbers

The British military said Friday it has clamped down on poachers around its bases in Cyprus, leading to a big reduction in the number of migratory birds killed.

Researchers test new solutions to carcass disposal during food-animal disease outbreaks

Iowa State University researchers have completed testing of a key component of a new concept for disposing of animal carcasses following a disease outbreak. The research someday may help producers facing animal disease emergencies, such as in 2015 when avian influenza resulted in disposal of millions of chickens and turkeys in Iowa and other states.

The sorry state of Earth's species, in numbers

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) issued a dire diagnosis Friday of Earth's plant and animal species.

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