Monday, December 18, 2017

Science X Newsletter Week 50

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 50:

Major cause of dementia discovered

An international team of scientists have confirmed the discovery of a major cause of dementia, with important implications for possible treatment and diagnosis.

Ancient penguin was as big as a (human) Pittsburgh Penguin

Fossils from New Zealand have revealed a giant penguin that was as big as a grown man, roughly the size of the captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

New silicon structure opens the gate to quantum computers

In a major step toward making a quantum computer using everyday materials, a team led by researchers at Princeton University has constructed a key piece of silicon hardware capable of controlling quantum behavior between two electrons with extremely high precision. The study was published Dec. 7 in the journal Science.

Doing without dark energy: Mathematicians propose alternative explanation for cosmic acceleration

Three mathematicians have a different explanation for the accelerating expansion of the universe that does without theories of "dark energy." Einstein's original equations for General Relativity actually predict cosmic acceleration due to an "instability," they argue in paper published recently in Proceedings of the Royal Society A.

National MagLab's latest magnet snags world record, marks new era of scientific discovery

The Florida State University-headquartered National High Magnetic Field Laboratory has shattered another world record with the testing of a 32-tesla magnet—33 percent stronger than what had previously been the world's strongest superconducting magnet used for research and more than 3,000 times stronger than a small refrigerator magnet.

Discovery of new planet reveals distant solar system to rival our own

The discovery of an eighth planet circling the distant star Kepler-90 by University of Texas at Austin astronomer Andrew Vanderburg and Google's Christopher Shallue overturns our solar system's status as having the highest number of known planets. We're now in a tie.

Humans can feel molecular differences between nearly identical surfaces

How sensitive is the human sense of touch? Sensitive enough to feel the difference between surfaces that differ by just a single layer of molecules, a team of researchers at the University of California San Diego has shown.

No alien 'signals' from cigar-shaped asteroid: researchers

No alien signals have been detected from an interstellar, cigar-shaped space rock discovered travelling through our Solar System in October, researchers listening for evidence of extraterrestrial technology said Thursday.

Upper body strength key factor in men's bodily attractiveness

What makes a man's body attractive? In many mammalian species, females evolved to prefer the strongest males. According to research from Griffith University, the same is true of humans.

Study links health risks to electromagnetic field exposure

A study of real-world exposure to non-ionizing radiation from magnetic fields in pregnant women found a significantly higher rate of miscarriage, providing new evidence regarding their potential health risks. The Kaiser Permanente study was published today in the journal Scientific Reports.

Study confirms link between the number of older brothers and increased odds of being homosexual

Groundbreaking research led by a team from Brock University has further confirmed that sexual orientation for men is likely determined in the womb.

Laser-driven technique for creating fusion is now within reach, say researchers

A laser-driven technique for creating fusion that dispenses with the need for radioactive fuel elements and leaves no toxic radioactive waste is now within reach, say researchers.

Hyperlens crystal capable of viewing living cells in unprecedented detail

Just imagine: An optical lens so powerful that it lets you view features the size of a small virus on the surface of a living cell in its natural environment.

Complete design of a silicon quantum computer chip unveiled

Research teams all over the world are exploring different ways to design a working computing chip that can integrate quantum interactions. Now, UNSW engineers believe they have cracked the problem, reimagining the silicon microprocessors we know to create a complete design for a quantum computer chip that can be manufactured using mostly standard industry processes and components.

Researchers discover new way to power electrical devices

A team of University of Alberta engineers developed a new way to produce electrical power that can charge handheld devices or sensors that monitor anything from pipelines to medical implants.The discovery sets a new world standard in devices called triboelectric nanogenerators by producing a high-density DC current—a vast improvement over low-quality AC currents produced by other research teams.

New tree species in Brazil probably the world's heaviest living organism

Kew scientists, in collaboration with researchers from Brazil and Canada, have recently published a description of a new tree species from the legume family (Leguminosae or Fabaceae). Dinizia jueirana-facao G.P. Lewis & G.S. Siqueira, discovered in Brazil, grows to a whopping 40 metres with an estimated weight of up to 62 tonnes.

Intermittent fasting found to increase cognitive functions in mice

(Medical Xpress)—The Daily Mail spoke with the leader of a team of researchers with the National Institute on Aging in the U.S. and reports that they have found that putting mice on a diet consisting of eating nothing every other day for a period of time day resulted in improved cognitive functioning. The research was led by Dr. Mark Mattson who runs a neuroscience lab at the institute.

Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while simultaneously helping it avoid detection.

Engineers create plants that glow

Imagine that instead of switching on a lamp when it gets dark, you could read by the light of a glowing plant on your desk.

Mammal long thought extinct in Australia resurfaces

A crest-tailed mulgara, a small carnivorous marsupial known only from fossilised bone fragments and presumed extinct in NSW for more than century, has been discovered in Sturt National Park north-west of Tibooburra.


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Sunday, December 17, 2017

[NASA HQ News] Three New Crew Members on Voyage to International Space Station

  December 17, 2017 
RELEASE 17-100
Three New Crew Members on Voyage to International Space Station
Expedition 54 launches to the International Space Station
Expedition 54 crew members Scott Tingle of NASA, Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched to the International Space Station at 2:21 a.m. EST Dec. 17, 2017 (1:21 p.m. Baikonur time), from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Credits: NASA/Joel Kowsky
 

Expedition 54 flight engineer Scott Tingle of NASA, flight engineer Norishige Kanai of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Soyuz Commander Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos wave farewell prior to boarding the Soyuz MS-07 for launch Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Tingle, Norishige Kanai, and Shkaplerov will spend the next five months living and working aboard the International Space Station.

Credits: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Three crew members representing the United States, Russia and Japan are on their way to the International Space Station after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 2:21 a.m. EST Sunday (1:21 p.m. Baikonur time).

The Soyuz spacecraft carrying NASA's Scott Tingle, Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is scheduled to dock to the space station's Rassvet module at 3:43 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 19. Coverage of docking will begin at 3 a.m. on NASA Television and the agency's website, followed at 5 a.m. by coverage of the opening of hatches between the spacecraft and station.

The arrival of Tingle, Shkaplerov and Kanai will restore the station's crew complement to six. They will join Expedition 54 Commander Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos and his crewmates, Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba of NASA. The crew members will spend more than four months conducting approximately 250 science investigations in fields such as biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technology development.

Vande Hei, Acaba and Misurkin are scheduled to remain aboard the station until February 2018, and Tingle, Shkaplerov and Kanai are scheduled to return to Earth in April.

This crew continues the long-term increase in crew size on the U.S. segment from three to four, allowing NASA to maximize time dedicated to research on the space station. Highlights of upcoming investigations include demonstrating the benefits of manufacturing fiber optic filaments in a microgravity environment, a new study looking at structures that are vital to the design of advanced optical materials and electronic devices and examining a drug compound and drug delivery system designed to combat muscular breakdown in space or during other prolonged periods of disuse, such as extended bed rest on Earth.

For more than 17 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth that will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space. A global endeavor, more than 200 people from 18 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 2,100 research investigations from researchers in more than 95 countries.

Follow Tingle on his space mission at:

https://twitter.com/Astro_Maker

Get breaking news, images and features from the station on Instagram and Twitter:

https://instagram.com/iss

and

https://www.twitter.com/Space_Station

-end-

 

Press Contacts

Kathryn Hambleton
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1100
kathryn.hambleton@nasa.gov

Dan Huot
Johnson Space Center, Houston
281-483-5111
daniel.g.huot@nasa.gov

 

NASA news releases and other information are available automatically by sending an e-mail message with the subject line subscribe to hqnews-request@newsletters.nasa.gov.
To unsubscribe from the list, send an e-mail message with the subject line unsubscribe to hqnews-request@newsletters.nasa.gov.

 

 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Science X Newsletter Friday, Dec 15

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for December 15, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Ancient feces reveal parasites described in earliest Greek medical texts

First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

Complete design of a silicon quantum computer chip unveiled

Researchers study thermodynamic processes in an ultra-high temperature molten oxide

Testing shows differences in efficacy of Zika vaccines after one year

In first, SpaceX launches recycled rocket and spaceship (Update)

Our memory shifts into high gear when we think about raising our children, new study shows

Single-photon detector can count to four

Study finds graspable objects grab attention more than images of objects do

New technique could make captured carbon more valuable

Scientists pinpoint gene to blame for poorer survival rate in early-onset breast cancer patients

Finding a lethal parasite's vulnerabilities

Engineers develop floating solar fuels rig for seawater electrolysis

MAGMA: Work on flapless flight is taking off with initial flight trial success

Researchers design mock galaxies and more to prepare for sky-mapping instrument

Astronomy & Space news

In first, SpaceX launches recycled rocket and spaceship (Update)

For the first time, SpaceX on Friday blasted off both a rocket and a cargo ship that have flown before, a step forward in the company's goal to lower the cost of spaceflight.

Researchers design mock galaxies and more to prepare for sky-mapping instrument

Seeing is believing, or so the saying goes.

Report: NASA should develop US strategy for international space station beyond 2024

Although NASA has made progress toward the overall space exploration science priorities recommended in a 2011 decadal survey by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the space agency should raise the priority of scientific research that addresses the risks and unknowns of human space exploration. This heightened priority is particularly important given the limited remaining lifetime of the International Space Station (ISS) - the most significant destination for microgravity research - and because the U.S. currently does not have a strategy for the station beyond 2024, says a new midterm assessment report by the National Academies.

The Keck Cosmic Reionization Mapper

The design for the Keck Cosmic Web Imager (KCWI) includes two separate channels to detect light in the blue (350 to 560 nm) and the red (530 nm to 1050 nm) portions of the visible wavelength spectrum. KCWI-Blue was commissioned and started routine science observations in September 2017 and is obtaining superb and exciting new results while operating flawlessly.

Space station research explorer on NASA.gov launches phase one

Researchers, prospective partners, media professionals, students, and space enthusiasts now have more space station science at their fingertips with Space Station Research Explorer on NASA.gov (SSRE on NASA.gov). The new information exploration tool enables researchers, practiced and amateur alike, to stay up-to-date with the science being conducted aboard the International Space Station.

Technology news

MAGMA: Work on flapless flight is taking off with initial flight trial success

(Tech Xplore)—BAE Systems and Manchester University announced completion and success of its first flight trial of the unmanned aerial vehicle, MAGMA. Further flight trials are planned for the coming months to demonstrate the flight control technologies.

A not-quite-random walk demystifies the algorithm

The algorithm is having a cultural moment. Originally a math and computer science term, algorithms are now used to account for everything from military drone strikes and financial market forecasts to Google search results.

What the FCC rollback of 'net neutrality' means to you

Now that the federal government has rolled back the internet protections it put in place two years ago, the big question is: What does the repeal of "net neutrality' rules mean to you?

Japan firm says it will pay part of salaries in Bitcoin

A Japanese company will start paying part of its employees' salaries in Bitcoin, as it aims to get better understanding of the virtual currency, a spokeswoman said on Friday.

Microsoft updates bing search to highlight reputable results

Microsoft on Wednesday rolled out new features on its Bing search engine powered by artificial intelligence, including one that summarizes the two opposing sides of contentious questions, and another that measures how many reputable sources are behind a given answer.

T-Mobile taking over Dutch arm of Tele2 mobile provider

The Dutch arm of T-Mobile says it is taking over telecom and internet provider Tele2's operations in the Netherlands, in a move T-Mobile says is aimed at competing with local heavyweights KPN and VodafoneZiggo.

Brittle stars inspire new generation robots able to adapt to physical damage

Researchers at Tohoku University and Hokkaido University have, for the first time, succeeded in developing a robot capable of immediately adapting to unexpected physical damage. This is a significant breakthrough, as robots are increasingly expected to function in tough environments under hazardous conditions.

LLNL releases newly declassified nuclear test videos

Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) released 62 newly declassified videos today of atmospheric nuclear tests films that have never before been seen by the public.

Bicycles reacting to speed for stable cycling

A Dutch consortium including the University of Twente developed an electrical bicycle that prevents elderly people from falling. The smart assistive bicycle, called SOFIE, increases stability by via drive-off assistance and by automatically lowering the saddle at low speeds. The UT, Indes and Roessingh Research and Development (RRD) worked together on this science-based bike development. The scientific work of Vera Bulsink, Ph.D. student at the UT, co-developed the design and increased the stability of the prototype. She improved computer simulations and did laboratory testing on bicycling stability. She defended her Ph.D. project on 7 December 2017.

Germany extends facial recognition test at rail station

Germany's top security official is extending tests of automatic facial recognition technology after an initial six-month trial showed the system had a good success rate.

The psychology of Christmas shopping—how marketers nudge you to buy

Many people see marketing as a form of manipulation, particularly around Christmas and the other retail bonanzas: Easter, Valentine's Day, Mothers' Day and Fathers' Day. But rather than simply trying to trick people, the masters of marketing know it's much easier to understand and work with innate human flaws.

Cutting-edge motion capture technology could transform creative industries

TotalCapture is a real-time, full-body mocap system that uses standard video cameras, along with inertial measurement units typically found in mobile phones. The new system requires no optical markers or specialised infrared cameras and can be used indoors or out, giving filmmakers and video-game artists unprecedented flexibility not found in existing mocap technologies.

Shared autonomous vehicles have uncertain effects

The next revolution in transportation is expected to be shared autonomous vehicles, with personal cars yielding to driverless cars summoned on demand. For instance, Uber passengers in San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Phoenix can already hail driverless cars, and Bay Area Lyft riders will soon have the same opportunity.

Fast lanes may be coming to web: End of net neutrality could bring new fees for speed, reliability

With federal regulators poised to repeal net neutrality rules this week, your internet service provider would be allowed to speed up delivery of some online content to your home or phone.

Seattle imposes new limits on Airbnb, other short-term rentals

By limiting the number of homes that property owners can operate as short-term rentals for visitors, can Seattle preserve its housing stock for locals?

Tech support scams hitting more computer users online

For consumers who turn over control of their computers to remote technicians online, the fix may already be in.

Companies turn your Facebook friends into a sales force

Betsy Stover was 17 when her mother asked her to help fax strangers, hawking a service that had the markings of a pyramid scheme.

Review: Apple Watch Series 3 has LTE to stay connected without a nearby iPhone

Apple has conquered the smart watch market.

Google hit with lawsuit alleging fraud in ad-scam refunds

Online advertising agency AdTrader has sued Google in federal court, accusing it of fraud and deceit for not refunding or crediting advertisers whose ads were targeted in scams.

Can you fight traffic tickets from an app? The Florida Supreme Court will decide

The ongoing battle between start-up traffic ticket website TIKD.com, the Florida Bar and The Ticket Clinic has gotten the green light to go to the Florida Supreme Court.

This home-sharing startup is taking on Airbnb, using cryptocurrency instead of dollars

Airbnb may be the biggest home-sharing game in town, but a new startup is trying to push its way into the market.

Microsoft investing $50 million in AI climate-change program

Microsoft announced recently that it would invest $50 million in a program that provides cloud-computing services and other resources to organizations working on climate change and environmental technology.

With Christmas nearing, retailers feel pressure to deliver

The pressure to deliver for online shoppers is on.

Italy says Amazon will pay $118 million to end tax dispute

Italian tax authorities say Amazon will pay 100 million euros ($118 million) to end a dispute over its tax payments from 2011-2015.

Key tech investor leaves VC firm amid harassment claims

Shervin Pishevar, an early Uber investor and a founder of high-speed transport startup Hyperloop One, said Thursday he is breaking ties with his Silicon Valley venture capital firm to fight sexual harassment allegations.

German government says it backs 'open and free internet'

The German government says it backs an "open and free internet" following the U.S. decision to repeal net neutrality rules.

7-Eleven testing mobile ordering, delivery and in-store pickup in some Dallas stores

7-Eleven has created its own smartphone app for on-demand ordering and delivery and is testing it first with 10 of its Dallas stores.

Twitch will stream NBA G League games and let its livestreamers do play-by-play

Twitch made its mark as the place to watch video gamers in action. But over the past two years, the Amazon-owned property has expanded its offerings to include livestreams of artists, musicians and even knitters.

'Last Jedi' will play a big role as Disney takes on Netflix

Few would dare underestimate the cultural and commercial power of "Star Wars." The latest movie in the Skywalker saga, "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," is sure to have one of the biggest opening weekends of the year, with an estimated $425 million in its global premiere.

Wary of Trump, some foreign-born tech workers choose Canada, not Silicon Valley

Petra Axolotl knew her chances of getting an H-1B visa were slim. She had an MBA from Wharton and a job offer at Twitter, but luck would decide the Dutch data scientist's fate—and in 2016, it did not fall in her favor.

Facebook: Russia spent 97 cents meddling in Brexit vote

Facebook's investigation into whether Russia tried to influence Britain's vote to leave the European Union yielded just three suspicious ads viewed no more than 200 times over four days, the social media firm said Wednesday.

Civil engineer patents integrated sensor and algorithm to monitor stiffness in soils

Anand Puppala, associate dean for research in the College of Engineering at The University of Texas at Arlington and a civil engineering professor, recently was awarded a patent for developing a sensor system with an algorithm that will expedite field assessment of stabilization of high sulfate soils near bridges and roads.

Medicine & Health news

Testing shows differences in efficacy of Zika vaccines after one year

(Medical Xpress)—A large team of researchers with members from Harvard Medical School, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Bioqual Inc. and MIT has found that the efficacy of the three types of Zika vaccines currently undergoing clinical trials varied widely in monkeys after one year. In their paper published in Science Translational Medicine, the group describes testing all three vaccines in rhesus monkeys and what they found.

Our memory shifts into high gear when we think about raising our children, new study shows

Human memory has evolved so people better recall events encountered while they are thinking about raising their offspring, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Study finds graspable objects grab attention more than images of objects do

Does having the potential to act upon an object have a unique influence on behavior and brain responses to the object? That is the question Jacqueline Snow, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno, has set out to answer.

Scientists pinpoint gene to blame for poorer survival rate in early-onset breast cancer patients

A new study led by scientists at the University of Southampton has found that inherited variation in a particular gene may be to blame for the lower survival rate of patients diagnosed with early-onset breast cancer.

Offbeat brain rhythms during sleep make older adults forget

Like swinging a tennis racket during a ball toss to serve an ace, slow and speedy brainwaves during deep sleep must sync up at exactly the right moment to hit the save button on new memories, according to new UC Berkeley research.

How to regulate fecal microbiota transplants

(Medical Xpress)—A small team of researchers at the University of Maryland, some with affiliations to the Veterans Affairs Maryland Health Care System, has written and published a Policy Forum piece in the journal Science outlining the current state of regulating fecal microbiota transplants. In their paper, the group describes the nature of the procedure, why and how it is used, and the ways the government is trying to regulate it.

New cellular approach found to control progression of chronic kidney disease

Researchers have demonstrated for the first time that extracellular vesicles - tiny protein-filled structures - isolated from amniotic fluid stem cells (AFSCs) can be used to effectively slow the progression of kidney damage in mice with a type of chronic kidney disease. The findings, by a research team at the Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles, provide new insights about the mechanisms of kidney disease and point to a new approach for improved treatments. Results of the study were recently published online in Scientific Reports.

Cancer immunotherapy may work better in patients with specific genes

Cancer cells arise when DNA is mutated, and these cells should be recognized as "foreign" by the immune system. However, cancer cells have found ways to evade detection by the immune system.

Drug found that induces apoptosis in myofibroblasts reducing fibrosis in scleroderma

(Medical Xpress)—An international team of researchers has found that the drug navitoclax can induce apoptosis (self-destruction) in myofibroblasts in mice, reducing the spread of fibrosis in scleroderma. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their study of fibrosis in scleroderma and how they used what they learned to discover the healing effects of navitoclax.

Dementia with Lewy bodies: Unique genetic profile identified

Dementia with Lewy bodies has a unique genetic profile, distinct from those of Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease, according to the first large-scale genetic study of this common type of dementia.

What does hair loss have to teach us about cancer metastasis?

Understanding how cancer cells are able to metastasize—migrate from the primary tumor to distant sites in the body—and developing therapies to inhibit this process are the focus of many laboratories around the country. Researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) have identified one mechanism that regulates signaling events leading to cell migration and metastasis. In the October 24, 2017 issue of Science Signaling, they showed that primary cilia act as a focal point to transmit growth signals. Furthermore, they identified a specific ceramide species (produced by ceramide synthase 4 [CerS4]) that disrupts the ability of cells to form this focal point.

Regular takeaways linked to kids' heart disease and diabetes risk factors

Kids who regularly eat take-away meals may be boosting their risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, suggests research published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Despite removal of many obstacles, UK child organ donation rates remain low

Despite the removal of many logistical/professional obstacles, and clear guidance from national bodies, UK child organ donation rates remain lower than in other comparable countries, say experts in a leading article published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Coarse particulate matter may increase asthma risk

Children exposed to coarse particulate matter may be more likely to develop asthma and to be treated in an ER or be hospitalized for the condition, according to new research published online in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Higher blood sugar in early pregnancy raises baby's heart-defect risk

Higher blood sugar early in pregnancy raises the baby's risk of a congenital heart defect, even among mothers who do not have diabetes, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Stroke patients receive clot-busting medication more than twice as fast as national rates

Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Northern California are delivering clot-busting medication to new stroke patients more than twice as fast as the national average. This follows the regionwide adoption of an integrated telemedicine program, according to new research published Dec. 15 in the journal Stroke.

Exposure to larger air particles linked to increased risk of asthma in children

Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University report statistical evidence that children exposed to airborne coarse particulate matter—a mix of dust, sand and non-exhaust tailpipe emissions, such as tire rubber—are more likely to develop asthma and need emergency room or hospital treatment for it than unexposed children.

Frequent sun exposure may cue gene fusion found in skin cancer

A fusion gene is a single composite gene resulting from the combination of two formerly independent genes. Researchers from Kumamoto University, Japan have determined that a particular fusion gene is often found in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) lesions on skin exposed frequently to the sun.

Push to control gonorrhoea as resistance threat looms

Australia's rising number of gonorrhoea cases has been described as a potential 'perfect storm', with the emergence of extensively drug resistant strains overseas.

Stressed-out worms hit the snooze button

When you catch a nasty cold, curling up in bed to sleep may be the only activity you can manage. Sleeping in response to stress isn't a uniquely human behavior: many other animals have the same reaction, and it's not clear why. While the circadian sleep that follows the pattern of the clock has been studied extensively, sleep that's triggered by stress is far less understood.

Findings suggest kratom's potential to treat opioid addiction

As the nation grapples for solutions to the opioid epidemic—now claiming more than 33,000 American lives each year—the potential of the psychoactive plant kratom to become a useful tool in the battle has been hotly debated.

Extending food safety training to other countries could save lives

Food safety practices that Americans take for granted—washing hands with soap, refrigeration, and not cutting raw meat and vegetables on the same surface without disinfection—are not widely practiced in other places around the world, and researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences want to change that.

Office work can be a pain in the neck

Neck pain is a common condition among office workers, but regular workplace exercises can prevent and reduce it, a University of Queensland study has found.

First-in-class ERK1/2 inhibitor safe, shows early efficacy in patients with advanced solid tumors

The novel ERK1/2 kinase inhibitor ulixertinib displayed an acceptable safety profile and had clinical activity in patients whose tumors had mutations in the MAPK cell-signaling pathway, according to data from a phase I clinical trial published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Third of over-75s unaware they have chronic kidney disease

Over one-third of people aged over 75 show evidence of having severe chronic kidney disease, according to research from UCL published this week in the latest NHS Digital Health Survey for England. By comparison, only 5 per cent of adults of that age reported that they had been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease by a doctor.

Low-intensity exercise improves efficiency of dialysis, study finds

Exercise isn't very appealing when you have extreme fatigue and nausea from a chronic illness such as kidney failure. So, when you find out lower-intensity exercise can make a difference, it can be a big relief, says Paul Brown, who graduated from the Master of Kinesiology program at the University of Calgary in 2017. As a student, Brown led a study to find out just how much exercise is needed during hemodialysis, a treatment that uses a machine to filter the body's blood and remove toxins when the kidneys are not functioning.

Going after opioid manufacturers, distributors in court may help with crisis

As the health care community moves on multiple fronts to address the opioid crisis, one area that holds promise is in litigation against those who manufacture and distribute prescription opioid drugs, according to a University of Michigan researcher.

Muscle paralysis may increase bone loss

Muscle paralysis rapidly causes inflammation in nearby bone marrow, which may promote the formation of large cells that break down bone, a new study finds. The article is published in the American Journal of Physiology—Cell Physiology.

Jalisco mutation, rare strain of Alzheimer's affecting people in their 40s

Freddi Segal-Gidan, known as "Dr. Freddi" to her patients, talks softly as she walks with an Alzheimer's patient.

Do 'skinny teas' actually boost weight loss?

Weight loss teas are becoming common, with advertisements claiming dramatic results often appearing online. Do the big promises match the results, or do they only match the price tag?

Research on people's decisions about exercise

Dr.. Zachary Zenko of the Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke is on a mission to get people to exercise. He shared this mission and his research aimed at achieving this mission at Duke's Exercise and the Brain Symposium on December 1st.

Adjusting to a 'new normal' during the holidays after a heart attack, stroke

On the first Christmas after she suffered a major stroke, Chris Richards was determined to craft her traditional family celebration at their home in Laramie, Wyoming, rising at 5 a.m. for a day of baking, cooking and wrapping presents.

Warning labels can help reduce soda consumption and obesity, new study suggests

Labels that warn people about the risks of drinking soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages can lower obesity and overweight prevalence, suggests a new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study.

A cough that won't quit—is it lung cancer?

Coughing removes particles, mucus, irritants or fluids from the lungs. It may be caused by something in the air, such as cooking fumes, perfume or spices, or it may be related to congestion caused by a cold, allergies or a respiratory infection.

An ingredient in cannabis may be useful for treating psychosis – new study

Psychiatric patients treated with a substance found in cannabis, cannabidiol, showed a significant reduction in psychotic symptoms and were also more likely to be rated as "improved" by their psychiatrist, our latest study shows.

Patients' health and spirituality values influence attendance for pelvic-floor dysfunction treatment

New research from psychologists and health professionals in Swansea has found that the types of life values that patients hold affect their attendance at medical treatment for pelvic-floor dysfunction, a condition affecting over 25 percent of all women in the U.K..

New chronic kidney disease audit published

Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships, Clinical Commissioning Groups and primary care practices must all work together to improve outcomes for patients with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), according to the national Chronic Kidney Disease Audit published today. Recommendations include reviewing practice procedures and monitoring performance to help identify and actively manage patients with CKD.

Chaos in the transition from sleep to awake

Danish researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen have investigated how to describe one of the most significant state changes in the brain, namely the transition between sleep and wakefulness. They have discovered that this transition can be described as a qualitative and quantitative change in the dynamic membrane potential pattern of the neurons and that this transition is facilitated by a change in the concentration of the ions present in the brain's extracellular environment. The results have been published in the scientific journal Cell Systems.

Feeling sexually harassed? You're not alone

(HealthDay)—Before the #MeToo movement and the fall of numerous powerful men accused of sexual harassment, researchers surveyed thousands of women and found the problem to be widespread.

Five ways to avoid holiday weight gain

(HealthDay)—It's fun to celebrate the holidays, but week after week of festivities can add up to weight gain if you aren't careful. Pre-planning is key if you don't want to start next year with an even bigger weight loss goal.

Too much takeout food threatens kids' health

(HealthDay)—You can't beat the convenience of ordering out, but a steady diet of takeout food could raise your child's risk of heart disease and diabetes later in life.

Transcranial direct current stimulation no aid to memory

(HealthDay)—Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) applied to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) may not enhance short-term memory in healthy individuals, according to a study published online Nov. 23 in CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics.

Making insurers participate in marketplace could cut volatility

(HealthDay)—Requiring insurers that participate in Medicare or Medicaid to also participate in Marketplaces in the same geographic area could improve access to insurance, according to a study published in the December issue of Health Affairs.

Vermilionectomy has good long-term outcome for lip lesions

(HealthDay)—Vermilionectomy is effective for treatment of actinic cheilitis (AC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the lower lip, according to a research letter published online Dec. 14 in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.

Cordotomy by coblation viable for bilateral vocal fold immobility

(HealthDay)—Cordotomy by coblation is safe and efficient for treating bilateral vocal fold immobility (BVFI), according to a study published online Dec. 14 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Prevalence of diabetes tops 20 percent among U.S. veterans

(HealthDay)—The overall prevalence of diabetes among U.S. veterans was 20.5 percent in 2013 to 2014, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

Flying hospital helps blind patients see

Most people who board this blue-and-white MD-10 cargo plane will never leave the ground—instead, they'll take a different type of journey.

Many women report not feeling completely informed about breast cancer treatment options

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the United States, with more than 230,000 women diagnosed annually. (Skin cancer remains the most common.) Patients often describe the process of making a treatment decision as worrisome, so one research team wanted to explore how these patients became informed about their treatment options, and why some women might feel less than completely informed.

Erectile dysfunction is red flag for silent early cardiovascular disease

Despite decades long prevention and treatment efforts, cardiovascular (CV) disease continues to be the leading cause of death worldwide. Early detection of CV disease can allow for interventions to prevent heart attack and stroke, including smoking cessation, medications such as a statins, blood pressure control, weight management, exercise, and improved diet. A new study published online first today in the journal Vascular Medicine, focuses on a novel risk factor for cardiovascular disease that rarely receives attention - erectile dysfunction.

After searching 12 years for bipolar disorder's cause, team concludes it has many

Nearly 6 million Americans have bipolar disorder, and most have probably wondered why. After more than a decade of studying over 1,100 of them in-depth, a University of Michigan team has an answer - or rather, seven answers.

Majority of women prefer non-invasive testing for trisomy 21

(HealthDay)—The majority of both high-risk and intermediate-risk women prefer a non-invasive cell-free prenatal DNA screening (NIPT) as a secondary screening test for trisomy 21, according to a study published online Nov. 10 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Contrast-enhanced ultrasound no aid for metastasis detection

(HealthDay)—Contrast-enhanced laparoscopic ultrasonography (CE-LUS) does not appear to increase the detection rate of liver metastasis during robotic-assisted surgery for primary colorectal cancer (CRC), according to a study published online Nov. 13 in the Journal of Clinical Ultrasound.

Expanded TIMI risk score deemed practical in diabetes

(HealthDay)—The TIMI (Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction) Risk Score for Secondary Prevention (TRS 2°P) is an accurate predictor of atherothrombotic disease among patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online Dec. 1 in Diabetes Care.

Q-switched nd:YAG 1064 nm laser can improve track marks

(HealthDay)—Q-switched Nd:YAG 1064 nm laser treatment may be beneficial for treating linear hyperpigmented streaks on the bilateral forearms, characteristic of heroin use, according to a case report published online Dec. 12 in the International Journal of Dermatology.

Pharmacist participation in medical homes aids outcomes

(HealthDay)—A program that integrates clinical pharmacists into established primary care medical home practices helps patients achieve better disease management for high blood pressure (HBP) and diabetes mellitus (DM), compared to usual care, according to a study published recently in the Journal of International Medical Research.

Multiple myeloma survival down with high ADAR1 RNA expression

(HealthDay)—Amplification of the inflammation-responsive RNA editase adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR)1 gene is associated with reduced survival in multiple myeloma (MM), according to a study published online Dec. 4 in Nature Communications.

Researchers use artificial intelligence to identify bacteria quickly and accurately

Microscopes enhanced with artificial intelligence (AI) could help clinical microbiologists diagnose potentially deadly blood infections and improve patients' odds of survival, according to microbiologists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). In a paper published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, the scientists demonstrated that an automated AI-enhanced microscope system is "highly adept" at identifying images of bacteria quickly and accurately. The automated system could help alleviate the current lack of highly trained microbiologists, expected to worsen as 20 percent of technologists reach retirement age in the next five years.

Amber-tinted glasses may provide relief for insomnia

How do you unwind before bedtime? If your answer involves Facebook and Netflix, you are actively reducing your chance of a good night's sleep. And you are not alone: 90 percent of Americans use light-emitting electronic devices, such as smartphones and laptops, in the hour before bed, despite the fact that such behavior is associated with symptoms of insomnia. The obvious solution is to ditch the technology, but people rarely heed this advice.

Just ahead of holidays, flu cases are spreading across US

Health officials say the flu is spreading across the nation, with a dozen states now reporting widespread flu cases just ahead of the holiday season.

ESMO publishes new position paper on supportive and palliative care

ESMO, the leading professional organisation for medical oncology, published a position paper on supportive and palliative care in its leading scientific journal, Annals of Oncology today.

California issues first licenses for legal pot market

California's legal marijuana market is finally, fitfully, taking shape.

Researchers develop a new generation of tumor-specific aptamer-drug conjugate

The toxic nature of chemotherapy poses a great challenge to clinical treatment of cancer. A team of scholars from the School of Chinese Medicine (SCM) of Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) devoted their efforts to the development of a new generation of smart anti-cancer drug molecules. The tumour-specific aptamer-drug conjugate they developed performs well in the treatment of tumours and reduces possible toxic side-effects. The research findings were recently published in the internationally renowned academic journal Nature Communications.

Action video games to fight dyslexia

A study conducted by BCBL, the Basque research center, reveals that action video games improve visual attention and reading ability, two deficits suffered by people with dyslexia. The objective is to use the most useful elements of videogames in new software without violent connotations to treat this cognitive disorder.

Warding off Alzheimer's through good food

Reducing your chance of developing Alzheimer's could be as easy as eating more fish, fruit and veg.

Today is the deadline for Obamacare 2018

(HealthDay)—Today marks the end of the shortened sign-up period for most Americans to buy health insurance through the federal Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) marketplace.

Cautious Texas among last states to OK medical marijuana

When California rings in the new year with the sale of recreational pot for the first time, Texas will be tiptoeing into its own marijuana milestone: a medical cannabis program so restrictive that doubts swirl over who will even use it.

With obesity on rise, Paris takes a hard look at size bias (Update)

France, the country that gave the world butter croissants and foie gras, often has been a place where being overweight was seen as something of a sin. But its capital is taking a hard look at the contradictions with a campaign to counter sizeism, an often disregarded kind of discrimination.

Could a new app help cure loneliness?

Researchers from Lancaster University are exploring whether technology could be the key to tackling the UK's loneliness epidemic by better connecting older adults with their communities.

Biology news

Finding a lethal parasite's vulnerabilities

An estimated 100 million people around the world are infected with Strongyloides stercoralis, a parasitic nematode, yet it's likely that many don't know it. The infection can persist for years, usually only causing mild symptoms. But if the immune system is compromised by the use of immunosuppressing drugs such as steroids or chemotherapeutics, for example, the parasite can reproduce uncontrollably, leading to a potentially life-threatening infection.

Mammal long thought extinct in Australia resurfaces

A crest-tailed mulgara, a small carnivorous marsupial known only from fossilised bone fragments and presumed extinct in NSW for more than century, has been discovered in Sturt National Park north-west of Tibooburra.

Combination of warmer water, chemical exposure intensifies harmful effects in a coastal fish

Warmer water temperatures, combined with exposure to chemicals already known to be harmful to aquatic life, could threaten organisms that have temperature-sensitive sex determination.

Salmon help their offspring by dying on the spawning grounds

Spawning salmon that die after migrating home actually do their offspring a favor.

Genetic instructions from mom set the pattern for embryonic development

A new study indicates an essential role for a maternally inherited gene in embryonic development. The study found that zebrafish that failed to inherit specific genetic instructions from mom developed fatal defects earlier in development, even if the fish could make their own version of the gene. The study by researchers at Princeton University was published Nov. 15 in the journal eLife.

New research linking cancer-inhibiting proteins to cell antennae

Danish researchers have just presented a previously unknown mechanism that inhibits the ability of cells to develop into cancer cells. Their findings have important implications for the understanding of how cancer starts, and how to improve the treatment of illness in the future. The discovery is published today in the internationally recognized Journal of Cell Biology.

Researchers shine a spotlight on illegal wild orchid trade

Large-scale commercial trade of wild orchids is a pressing, but little-recognised conservation problem, according to researchers. Orchids are one of the largest families of flower plants in the world, and they are among the most well-protected.

Corn genetics provides insight into the crop's historical spread across the Americas

Iowa State University scientists have taken a journey through the past by studying the genetic changes in corn brought about by domestication.

Epigenetic rheostat uncovers how gene regulation is inherited and maintained

While our genome contains a vast repertoire of genes that are responsible for virtually all of the cellular and developmental processes life requires, it is the complex dance of regulating their expression that is vital for genetic programs to be executed successfully. Genes must be turned on and off at appropriate times or, in some cases, never turned on or off at all.

Study shows ground-penetrating radar can detect fine roots in crops

A recent study led Texas A&M AgriLife Research has shown ground-penetrating radar, or GPR, may be effectively used in detecting the fine roots of plants, helping agricultural producers identify what crop varieties are best suited to their field conditions.

Legalising rhino horn trade—don't charge in blind

Between 2008 and 2016, poachers killed more than 7100 rhinos in Africa. South Africa, which has nearly 80% of Africa's rhinos, was the worst affected country, with more than 1000 rhinos killed each year over the last four years.

Earwax like ice cores—unlocking the past hidden in whale earplugs

Farzaneh Mansouri's future data collectors are cruising around oceans worldwide, following blooms of productivity and accumulating decades of information—all in their earwax. Mansouri, an environmental scientist at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, studies the wax "earplugs" built up over years in sealed whale ear canals. The earplugs, according to her findings, provide records of the animals' movements and diets over the course of their long lives.

Wounded sea turtle healed with 3-D printing

Birch Aquarium has teamed up with UC San Diego Library's Digital Media Lab to create what is believed to be the first 3-D-printed brace for a sea turtle's shell.

Potato blight's chemical attack mechanism explained

A team of international researchers headed by scientists from the University of Tübingen has deciphered the workings of a cytolytic toxin, which is produced by some of the world's most devastating crop diseases. The Cytolysin is manufactured by pathogens such as bacteria and fungi and can wipe out entire harvests if chemical protection is not used. The study—by researchers from Tübingen and their partner institutions in Berkeley, Bordeaux, Ljubljana, Liége, and Wako in Japan, as well as Göttingen in Germany—may lead to ways of better protecting crops from such pathogens in the future. The study has been published in the latest edition of Science.

Krill behaviour takes carbon to the ocean depths

A new study shows that Antarctic krill behave in a way that could accelerate the transport of atmospheric carbon to the deep ocean.

Video: Insect biology students learn art of bug-based dyes

Cochineal bugs use a coloring as a defense mechanism, but humans have learned to use it to dye fabric. Before the advent of synthetic dyes, all dyes were made from insects or plants.

Study analyzes the peculiar cranial anatomy of howler monkeys

Emiliano Bruner, of the Paleoneurobiology Group of the Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH), has just published an article in the American Journal of Primatology, which analyzes the peculiar cranial structure and variability of the best-known species of South American howler monkey, Alouatta seniculus, using multivariate statistics and geometric models in three dimensions.

Hounds and wolves share parasites

Grey wolves are hosts to a variety of parasites. The presence of grey wolves in German forests has little influence on the parasite burden of hunting dogs. This reassuring conclusion is the result of a new study at the Berlin-based Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW). The study examined the faeces of 78 hunting dogs over several months in an area without wolves and in one that had been recolonised. The results have been published in the International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife.


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