Friday, October 21, 2016

Science X Newsletter Friday, Oct 21

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for October 21, 2016:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Did 40-year-old Viking experiment discover life on Mars?

Researchers introduce relaxons to help describe heat flow through some crystals

Model helps explore how changing certainty in belief of one statement can lead to changings belief in truth of others

Photos show European Mars probe crashed, may have exploded (Update)

Researchers discover ways to expand temperature stability range of solar cells

Science sheds light on 250-year-old literary controversy

Most adults surveyed don't know e-cigarette use deposits nicotine on indoor surfaces

Structure of hydrogen-stuffed, quartz-like form of ice revealed

Oligodendrocytes selectively myelinate a particular set of axons in the white matter

Ultrastructure of a condensed chromosome-like structure in a cyanobacterium

Anti-cancer effects found in natural compound derived from onions

Algorithm could help analyze fetal scans to determine whether interventions are warranted

From ancient fossils to future cars: Energy-efficient batteries from silicon in diatomaceous earth

Cassini sees dramatic seasonal changes on Titan

Gut mast cells are influenced by antibiotics

Astronomy & Space news

Did 40-year-old Viking experiment discover life on Mars?

(—In 1976, two Viking landers became the first spacecraft from Earth to touch down on Mars. They took the first high-resolution images of the planet, surveyed the planet's geographical features, and analyzed the geological composition of the atmosphere and surface. Perhaps most intriguingly, they also performed experiments that searched for signs of microbial life in Martian soil.

Photos show European Mars probe crashed, may have exploded (Update)

Europe's experimental Mars probe hit the right spot—but at the wrong speed—and may have ended up in a fiery ball of rocket fuel when it struck the surface, scientists said Friday.

Cassini sees dramatic seasonal changes on Titan

As southern winter solstice approaches in the Saturn system, NASA's Cassini spacecraft has been revealing dramatic seasonal changes in the atmospheric temperature and composition of Saturn's largest moon, Titan.

The universe is expanding at an accelerating rate—or is it?

Five years ago, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three astronomers for their discovery, in the late 1990s, that the universe is expanding at an accelerating pace.

Oldest known planet-forming disk: Citizen scientists and professional astronomers join forces

A group of citizen scientists and professional astronomers, including Carnegie's Jonathan Gagné, joined forces to discover an unusual hunting ground for exoplanets. They found a star surrounded by the oldest known circumstellar disk—a primordial ring of gas and dust that orbits around a young star and from which planets can form as the material collides and aggregates.

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter views Schiaparelli landing site

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has identified new markings on the surface of the Red Planet that are believed to be related to ESA's ExoMars Schiaparelli entry, descent and landing technology demonstrator module.

Image: Jupiterrise

This image of the sunlit part of Jupiter and its swirling atmosphere was created by a citizen scientist (Alex Mai) using data from Juno's JunoCam instrument. JunoCam's raw images are available at for the public to peruse and process into image products.

Going out in a blaze of glory—Cassini's grand finale

With the conclusion of the international Cassini mission set for September 15, 2017, the spacecraft is poised to soon begin a thrilling two-part endgame.

Soyuz capsule docks with International Space Station

A Soyuz space capsule carrying astronauts from Russia and the United States has docked with the International Space Station after a two-day voyage.

Photonics dawning as the communications light for evolving NASA missions

A largely unrecognized field called photonics may provide solutions to some of NASA's most pressing challenges in future spaceflight.

European craft crashed on Mars, possibly exploded: ESA

A tiny lander despatched to Mars on a trial run had crashed and possibly exploded on the Red Planet, mission control said Friday, confirming Europe's second failed attempt to reach the alien surface.

Second research flight into zero gravity

Saturday, a parabolic flight is set to take off from Swiss soil for the second time. It will be carrying experiments from various Swiss universities on board to research the effects of zero gravity on biological and physical processes, and test technologies. With this flight, the second from the air force base in Dübendorf within one year, the Swiss Research Station for Zero Gravity initiated by the University of Zurich has got off to a flying start.

Technology news

Researchers discover ways to expand temperature stability range of solar cells

Despite the potential for powering the world with energy from the sun—the most abundant source of renewable energy - only about 1 percent of the world's energy production currently comes through solar cell technology. That's because solar cells are expensive to produce and are susceptible to efficiency reductions over time.

Algorithm could help analyze fetal scans to determine whether interventions are warranted

Researchers from MIT, Boston Children's Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital have joined forces in an ambitious new project to use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to evaluate the health of fetuses.

From ancient fossils to future cars: Energy-efficient batteries from silicon in diatomaceous earth

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering have developed an inexpensive, energy-efficient way to create silicon-based anodes for lithium-ion batteries from the fossilized remains of single-celled algae called diatoms. The research could lead to the development of ultra-high capacity lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and portable electronics.

Scientists explore use of 3-D printing to speed up target production for testing material strength

Advanced 3-D printing promises to redefine manufacturing in critical industries such as aerospace, transportation and defense, and now, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is exploring the use of 3-D printing to achieve unprecedented flexibility in producing "on-demand" targets for testing how materials behave under extreme conditions.

3-D printing and origami techniques combined in development of self-folding medical implants

Researchers at TU Delft have made flat surfaces that are 3-D printed and then 'taught' how to self- fold later. The materials are potentially very well suited for all kinds of medical implants. They report on their findings in the October 24th edition of Materials Horizons which features this research on its cover.

Ongoing cyber attack hits Twitter, Amazon, other top websites (Update)

Major internet services including Twitter, Spotify and Amazon suffered service interruptions and outages on Friday as a US internet provider came under sustained cyber attack.

Researchers describe technique to bypass ASLR schemes

(Tech Xplore)—Technology watching sites were abuzz this week with news about a CPU flaw regarding Intel Haswell powered devices. Researchers participating in the IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture in Taiwan said they developed a bypass for Intel's Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) technology on Haswell processors.

Google hawks hardware in real-world 'showroom'

It's not exactly a store, but the Google "showroom" that opened Thursday in New York is the internet giant's first real-world shop and a step onto terrain where rival Apple has excelled.

New Jersey Transit's longest delay: Modern safety technology

Six years after New Jersey Transit won federal approval to install modern safety technology on its commuter rail lines, the project has languished and trains still operate with speed controls developed in the 1950s.

Enhancing the reliability of artificial intelligence

Computers that learn for themselves are with us now. As they become more common in 'high-stakes' applications like robotic surgery, terrorism detection and driverless cars, researchers ask what can be done to make sure we can trust them.

With new algorithms, data scientists could accomplish in days what once took months

Last year, MIT researchers presented a system that automated a crucial step in big-data analysis: the selection of a "feature set," or aspects of the data that are useful for making predictions. The researchers entered the system in several data science contests, where it outperformed most of the human competitors and took only hours instead of months to perform its analyses.

By nixing coal, Iceland grabs green with geothermal heat

As Cornell considers geothermal heat to warm its campus, Icelandic engineer Thorleikur Johannesson told the story of how his country abandoned coal and set standards to achieve blue-ribbon blue skies in an Oct. 16 visit to Cornell.

Groundbreaking review on counteracting mobile phone distraction while driving

With mobile phone use by drivers now a reality, a groundbreaking QUT review looking at the issue as a task-sharing problem has recommended further research into how to make the practice safer.

Weakness of 2G mobile phone networks revealed

The encryption scheme used for second generation (2G) mobile phone data can be hacked within seconds by exploiting weaknesses and using common hardware, A*STAR researches show. The ease of the attack shows an urgent need for the 2G Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) encryption scheme to be updated.

Cars under new EU rules produce 4.5x more pollution on average than allowed

New diesel cars on the roads create much more pollution than is allowed by the European Commission's EURO-6 guidelines for acceptable emissions limits for new vehicles, according to new research. The EURO-6 guidelines became mandatory in September 2015.

Putting wind in the sails of Europe's offshore energy sector

Through a unique training programme that brought industry and academia together, the EU–funded MARE-WINT project has helped to fill a significant skills gap in the burgeoning offshore wind energy sector.

Combating cybercrime when there's plenty of phish in the sea

As more and more crime moves online, computer scientists, criminologists and legal academics have joined forces in Cambridge to improve our understanding and responses to cybercrime, helping governments, businesses and ordinary users construct better defences.

Facebook apologises for removing cancer video

Facebook has apologised for taking down a breast cancer awareness video because the images were flagged as offensive, saying the move was "an error".

Investors hit sell button on Nintendo's new console

Investors hit the sell button on Nintendo shares Friday as gamers and analysts were left underwhelmed by a sneak peek at the videogame giant's long-awaited new console.

Research targets conflict over wind farming and renewable energy in Korea

Associate Professor Richard Hindmarsh, of the Griffith School of Environment, has been successful in receiving a grant of about $36,000 from the Australia-Korea Foundation (AKF). His Korean partner is Dr Hyomin Kim of Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology.

Goodyear christening 2nd airship in fleet replacing blimps

Goodyear is officially welcoming the second airship in the fleet replacing its famous blimps.

Counterterrorism prosecutors seek access to encrypted data

Prosecutors from France, Belgium, Spain and Morocco called Friday for the ability to unlock phones and computers and to gain access to encrypted communications to aid in the fight against terrorism.

Tesla may enter ride ride-hailing business next year

Electric car maker Tesla Motors has plans to get into the ride-hailing and sharing businesses.

Facebook to allow more graphic news

Facebook on Friday said that it will begin allowing more graphic or potentially disturbing newsworthy posts to be shared at the leading online social network.

Sweden's Ericsson posts Q3 loss, cites worsening industry

Swedish mobile networks company Ericsson said Friday that the decline across the industry has accelerated, contributing to a third-quarter loss for the company of 233 million kroner ($26.3 million).

SAP misses 3Q profit forecasts, raises outlook slightly

German business software company SAP SE on Friday reported third-quarter earnings of $814.6 million.

AT&T near bid for Time Warner: report

US telecom giant AT&T is in "advanced talks" to acquire entertainment group Time Warner in a move to add in-house content to distribution services, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Medicine & Health news

Most adults surveyed don't know e-cigarette use deposits nicotine on indoor surfaces

Most U.S. adults surveyed in 2015 agree that e-cigarette use should not be allowed in places where smoking is prohibited. Yet one-third of respondents allow use of the devices within their home, and fewer than half said they knew that exhaled e-cigarette vapors contain nicotine that deposits on indoor surfaces.

Oligodendrocytes selectively myelinate a particular set of axons in the white matter

There are three kinds of glial cells in the brain: oligodendrocytes, astrocytes and microglia. Oligodendrocytes myelinate neuronal axons to increase conduction velocity of neuronal impulses. A Japanese research team at the National Institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS, Okazaki, Aichi, Japan) has found a characteristic feature of oligodendrocytes that selectively myelinate a particular set of neuronal axons.

Anti-cancer effects found in natural compound derived from onions

Research from Kumamoto University, Japan finds that a natural compound isolated from onions, onionin A (ONA), has several anti-cancer properties for ovarian cancer. This discovery is a result of research on the effects of ONA on a preclinical model of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) both in vivo and in vitro. This research comes from the same group that found ONA suppressed pro-tumor activation of host myeloid cells.

Gut mast cells are influenced by antibiotics

Gut microbiota can influence intestinal mast cells (MMC) activation through the ingestion of fat, according to findings published in Gastroenterology.

Combating drug resistance in acute myeloid leukemia with a ceramide-based therapeutic

Researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina Hollings Cancer Center have discovered a mechanism that confers resistance to drugs used to treat certain types of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Targeting this pathway with a novel lipid-based therapeutic showed efficacy in a preclinical model of AML. These findings were reported in an article published in the October 13, 2016 issue of Blood.

Pharmaceutical companies are profiting from rare diseases: study

Incentives intended to stimulate the development of more treatments for rare diseases are being exploited to boost the profits of pharmaceutical companies, new research led by Bangor University shows.

Tuberculosis tricks the body's immune system to allow it to spread

Tuberculosis (TB) tricks the immune system into attacking the body's lung tissue so the bacteria are allowed to spread to other people, new research from the University of Southampton suggests.

American Academy of Pediatrics announces new recommendations for children's media use

Recognizing the ubiquitous role of media in children's lives, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is releasing new policy recommendations and resources to help families maintain a healthy media diet. To support these recommendations, the AAP is publishing an interactive, online tool so families can create a personalized Family Media Use Plan.

Pediatricians update digital media recommendations for kids

It's not so bad to hand your child an iPad once in a while depending on how it's used. Playing a game together or Skyping with Grandma? That's OK. Helping your little one calm down or trying to keep peace in the house? Not so much.

35 percent of injury-related ER visits in Ghana alcohol-related

Emergency departments across the world see injuries every day.

Swiss doctors report success of using cells from the nose to repair damaged knee joints

Writing in The Lancet, Swiss doctors report that cartilage cells harvested from patients' own noses have been used to successfully produce cartilage transplants for the treatment of the knees of 10 adults (aged 18-55 years) whose cartilage was damaged by injury. Two years after reconstruction, most recipients reported improvements in pain, knee function, and quality of life, as well as developing repair tissue that is similar in composition to native cartilage.

Mortality & cardiovascular disease: You don't have to be an athlete to reduce the many risk factors

Researchers, it is hoped, will one day find a miracle cure for all kinds of diseases. Yet over and over again it has been shown that even if it takes a little more effort than swallowing a little pill, exercise is an excellent preventive and curative treatment for many diseases. A new study, whose preliminary results will be presented today at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress and soon be published in the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention, also supports this finding. The study shows that even low physical fitness, up to 20% below the average for healthy people, is sufficient to produce a preventive effect on most of the risk factors that affect people with cardiovascular disease.

Most US states now expanding early intervention initiatives for young people with psychosis

A special session at this year's International Early Psychosis Association (IEPA) meeting in Milan, Italy (20-22 October) will focus on the huge expansion of early intervention services for people with psychosis across the USA. The progress will be detailed by Dr Robert Heinssen, Director of the Division of Services and Intervention Research at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Bethesda, MD, USA.

Abuse of alcohol and illicit drugs is associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia in later life

New research published at this year's International Early Psychosis Association (IEPA) meeting in Milan, Italy (October 20-22), shows that alcohol, cannabis and other illicit drugs can greatly increase the risk of developing schizophrenia in later life. The study is by Dr Stine Mai Nielsen and Professor Merete Nordentoft, Copenhagen University Hospital, Mental Health Center Copenhagen, Gentofte, Denmark, and colleagues.

Presence of certain oral bacterium in esophageal cancer samples associated with shorter survival

Bottom Line: Among Japanese patients with esophageal cancer, those whose cancer tested positive for DNA from the bacterium Fusobacterium nucleatum had shorter cancer-specific survival compared with those whose cancer had no DNA from the bacterium.

Adverse events affect children's development, physical health and biology

It's known that adverse childhood experiences carry over into adult life, but a new study is focusing on the effect of these experiences in the childhood years.

Uninsured children more often transferred from ERs than those with private insurance

New research shows children seen in emergency departments who don't have insurance, or who have public Medicaid coverage, are significantly more likely to be transferred to another facility than to be admitted for inpatient care within the same receiving hospital compared to children with private insurance.

Researchers caution about potential harms of parents' online posts about children

What parents share with others about their children in today's digital age presents new and often unanticipated risks, according to new research being presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) 2016 National Conference & Exhibition in San Francisco on Friday, Oct. 21.

Visits to pediatric emergency departments for headache pain in children are on the rise

There is a growing body of evidence that pediatric emergency departments are seeing a steady increase in the number of children presenting with headaches, as supported by new research to be presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) 2016 National Conference & Exhibition in San Francisco.

Study examines suicides publicized on social media and teens' ER visits

New research questions whether there is a link between adolescent suicide highly publicized on social media with an increase in emergency departments visits by teens for suicidal thoughts and attempts.

Study shows same day return to play after concussion still common among youth athletes

Concussion guidelines published over the past decade—and laws in all states—now discourage youth athletes from returning to play if they display any signs of concussion after an injury. However, new research confirms athletes often head back into the game on the same day.

Child death rates from motor vehicle crashes vary widely between states

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among children in the United States. New research highlights how widely pediatric crash-related death rates vary from state to state, with child seat-restraint use and red-light camera policies appearing to play a role.

Parents with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia more likely to have children with mental health issues

New research presented at this year's International Early Psychosis Association (IEPA) meeting in Milan, Italy (20-22 October) shows that children born to one or both parents with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder are more likely to suffer mental health problems by age 7 years. The study is by Assistant Professor Anne Thorup and Professor Merete Nordentoft, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty Health and Medical Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues.

Higher education levels can reduce mortality especially in older people

Over the last century, life expectancy rose on average by three months a year. However, this progress has been uneven across educational groups. Highly educated people who systematically display the highest life expectancy levels have been the vanguards leading the way towards a lengthening of life for the remaining population groups. This trend has inspired scholars from the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research to point out that there is considerable potential for the life expectancy values of entire populations to increase further.

Neurons adjust their proteins during homeostatic scaling

Learning and memory formation are based on our brain's ability to adjust and regulate neuronal network activity. Neurons communicate at specialized structures known as synapses, and they are able to control the strength of their synaptic connections in response to changes in both the magnitude and frequency of inputs. This process, "synaptic plasticity", includes homeostatic scaling, a process by which neurons are able to stabilize network activity in response to large perturbations. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt am Main now report a detailed analysis of the proteins synthesized by neurons to mediate homeostatic scaling. Using bio-orthogonal labeling strategies, they discovered changes in newly-synthesized proteins, including known proteins involved in synaptic plasticity, but also new, yet uncharacterized proteins. The extensive, publicly-available dataset generated in this study provides a valuable starting point and reference for future studies of homeostatic scaling.

New report documents urgent need to replace youth prisons with rehabilitation-focused alternatives

A new report, published by Harvard Kennedy School's Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management (PCJ) and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), documents ineffectiveness, endemic abuses, and high costs in youth prisons throughout the country. The report systematically reviews recent research in developmental psychology and widespread reports of abuse to conclude that the youth prison model should be replaced with a continuum of community-based programs and, for the few youth who require secure confinement, smaller homelike facilities that prioritize age-appropriate rehabilitation.

Do programs to help doctors with substance abuse treat them fairly?

If a doctor has a substance abuse issue (or is suspected of having one) or needs mental health care, he or she is often referred to something called a Physician Health Program (PHP). In principle, these programs are intended to help doctors with substance abuse disorders and mental health problems.

Roots of resistance to cancer drugs runs deeper than a single gene

Searching for more individual genes to predict responses to breast cancer therapy may not work, a new study suggests. Instead, scientists and clinicians need to pay attention to abnormalities in networks of genes, Yale researchers report in a paper published Oct. 10 in the journal Annals of Oncology.

Do online tools change online behaviour?

Do we behave better online if we think someone is watching?

Osteoporosis treatment rates no longer rising in UK

Prescription rates of anti-osteoporotic drugs (AOD) to people aged 50 years or above have stabilised in men, and decreased in women since 2006, following a rise from rates in 1990, a new Southampton study has shown.

Prevention-oriented approach to dentistry helps patients avoid the drill

Several years ago, Peter Rechmann, DMD, PhD, professor of Preventive & Restorative Dental Science at UC San Francisco's School of Dentistry, saw a patient who was convinced that she needed a new set of dental crowns.

How Singaporean infants of different backgrounds are introduced to food

The timing and approach by which infants are introduced to solid food varies according to their cultural background, a Singaporean study suggests. A*STAR Researcher Toh Jia Ying says health practitioners should be aware of these differences when offering advice to parents about the transition to solid food.

The secret to preventing harmful fat building up around internal organs may lie in the genetics of fat stem cells

A molecular mechanism that influences the development of fat cells has been identified by A*STAR researchers. The discovery suggests that an excessive amount of vitamin A could have a role in obesity, and the work could lead to new strategies to ameliorate the risks of fat depositing around internal organs.

Mutant genes shown to activate a pathway that leads to overproduction of certain kinds of blood cells

Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are blood cancers that cause the bone marrow to produce too many red or white blood cells, or platelets, leading to various complications. There is no known cure for most MPNs.

Why we show the whites of our eyes

You know things are getting serious when a poker player slides their sunglasses on to stop their eyes giving the game away.

New approach for Parkinson's diagnosis with flux compensator

A new project for the early detection of Parkinson's disease with strongly magnetized xenon gas has been initiated at FMP. The team led by physicist Leif Schröder has received a three-year grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. This research aims to make a link between science fiction and pioneering basic research.

Research on gut bacteria may change the way we look at anxiety, depression, and behavioural disorders

If aliens were to examine a human, they would think we were just slavish organisms designed to feed microbes and carry them around. Our bodies contain 10 times more bacteria than cells, and there are an estimated 3.3 million genes in the total bacteria DNA, which is 160 times the number of human genes. Our intestine hosts about one kilogram of bacteria, which help to digest and metabolise food, produce vitamins and protect us from infections.

How social anxiety can be overcome with internet

In the current issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics a study analyzes the effects of internet-based cognitive behavior therapy for social anxiety. Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is one of the most common mental disorders in Western countries. Even though the prevalence in in China is much lower (0.2%), it translates into an enormous number of people (approx. 200 million adult people) in need for treatment of mental disorders. Internet interventions might be an easily accessible and cost-effective way to deliver evidence-based treatment for mental disorders to people who otherwise never would have the opportunity to receive effective treatment.

The consequences of sexual abuse in Swiss adolescents

In an investigation published in the current issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics the harm of sexual abuse in Swiss adolescents is analyzed. Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) comprises activities with actual physical contact (e.g. rape, unwanted touching) and without physical contact (e.g. exhibitionism, exposure to pornography, verbal sexual harassment, distribution of intimate pictures against one's will). Research has shown that CSA is a persistent public health

Treatment approach used in cancer holds promise for Alzheimer's disease

Researchers have developed a novel treatment that could block the development of Alzheimer's disease using microscopic droplets of fat to carry drugs into the brain. This treatment approach, which is used to target drugs to cancer cells, has been successfully applied to Alzheimer's disease for the first time, restoring memory loss in mice.

Sleeve that keeps picc lines in place helps deter infection

After having a central catheter inserted in their arm, some patients are told that their best option for covering and protecting the insertion site is a cut-off tube sock.

New nanomedicine approach aims to improve HIV drug therapies

New research led by the University of Liverpool aims to improve the administration and availability of drug therapies to HIV patients through the use of nanotechnology.

Landmark genetics study to improve prediction of heart disease recruits 20,000th participant

A team of researchers from the University of Leicester and NIHR Leicester Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit (LCBRU) in conjunction with colleagues from Primary Care and Leicester and Leicestershire CCGs have recruited their 20,000th participant to a landmark genetics study.

Fission yeast may be used to find the next cancer cure

Cancer is a notoriously difficult disease to treat. Not only do a wide variety of cancers exist, requiring specialized treatments for each type, but cancer cells within an individual can morph and render previously potent therapeutics ineffective. Thus, there is a continual need to discover new, effective drugs. Research from Dr. Norihiko Nakazawa in the G0 Cell Unit at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) led by Prof. Mitsuhiro Yanagida, may help make the discovery process easier. This research was published in Genes to Cells.

How does friendly fire happen in the pancreas?

In type 1 diabetes, the body attacks its own insulin-producing cells. Scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München, partner in the German Center for Diabetes Research, and their colleagues at Technical University of Munich have now reported in the journal PNAS about a mechanism used by the immune system to prepare for this attack. They were able to inhibit this process through targeted intervention and are now hoping this will lead to new possibilities for treatment.

A novel noninvasive imaging probe for fast and sensitive detection of cancer

Tumor detection using targeted fluorescent imaging probes is a promising technology that takes advantage of specific molecular events occurring in cancer tissues. However, currently available probes that use this technology fail to maximize their specificity for tumors because of strong off-target signals, and thus, have limited ability to detect small tumors in a short timespan after systemic injection.

Rat brain atlas provides MR images for stereotaxic surgery

Boris Odintsov, senior research scientist at the Biomedical Imaging Center at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and Thomas Brozoski, research professor at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield, have created a comprehensive, interactive rat brain atlas.

Sixty percent of Americans with diabetes skip annual sight-saving exams

People with diabetes are at increased risk of developing serious eye diseases, yet most do not have sight-saving, annual eye exams, according to a large study presented this week at AAO 2016, the 120th annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. This is especially timely as the Academy is reiterating the importance of eye exams during the month of November, which is observed as Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month.

Mobilizing our immune system to fight viruses

Last week marked the 20th anniversary of Professors Doherty and Zinkernagel's Nobel Prize in Medicine for discoveries concerning the immune system. Twenty years on, and Monash University-based researchers are making fundamental advances in how our immune system functions.

Discovery of blood biomarkers for early pancreatic cancer detection

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal forms of cancer because early stage symptoms are relatively light, often resulting in it being discovered only after spreading to other organs. In order to improve the prognosis of pancreatic cancer, the development of methods for early detection of pancreatic cancer with a blood test is important. Working toward that goal, a research collaboration between Kumamoto University, Tohoku University and the National Cancer Center of Japan has discovered proteins in the blood which improve the detection of pancreatic cancer. When used in combination with conventional biomarkers, they enable the diagnosis of early stage pancreatic cancer, which was previously difficult.

Danish researchers behind new cancer images

A Danish research team is behind a new method for studying how a tracer is distributed in a cancer tumour via its extensive vascular network.

Research highlights problem with cognitive development in sub-Saharan Africa

New research from the University of Liverpool highlights problems impacting on the cognitive development of children in sub-Saharan Africa.

Focusing on pleasure of eating makes people choose smaller portions

The rapid rise in portion sizes has gone hand in hand with rising rates of obesity. To curb supersizing, governments and public health institutions have advocated portion size limits and health warnings, but they have had limited success. Consumers feel they are being infantilized and food marketers feel they're being squeezed as they typically extract higher profits from bigger portions.

Study links changes in collagen to worse pancreatic cancer prognosis

A study in the current journal Oncotarget provides the first evidence linking a disturbance of the most common protein in the body with a poor outcome in pancreatic cancer.

Cardiac rehabilitation does not up health status after AMI

(HealthDay)—Participation in cardiac rehabilitation (CR) does not improve reported health status during the year following acute myocardial infarction (AMI); however, participation in CR does confer a significant survival benefit, according to a study published online Oct. 19 in JAMA Cardiology.

pCR of 37 percent for topical imiquimod in lentigo maligna

(HealthDay)—For patients with lentigo maligna (LM) in-situ melanoma, topical imiquimod has a pathological complete regression (pCR) rate of 37 percent, according to a study published online Oct. 6 in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Acidic skin care product beneficial in older adults

(HealthDay)—For older adults, an acidic skin care product with different plant oils improves epidermal barrier formation and increases lipid lamellae in the intercellular space of the stratum corneum (SC), according to a study published online Oct. 12 in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science.

Glucose intolerance and insulin resistance link to unfavorable cardiac function, structure

A study of U.S. Hispanics with diabetes mellitus showed a link between impaired glucose regulation and adverse measures of cardiac function and structure. Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in collaboration with colleagues from Wake Forest Medical School and six other institutions extended previous knowledge regarding the concept of 'diabetic cardiomyopathy, by also observing that these relationships emerged early and before the full onset of diabetes mellitus. The findings are published online in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging.

New oncogene linked to prostate cancer in African Americans may lead to better diagnostic tools

A team of scientists has identified MNX1 as a new oncogene - a gene than can cause cancer - that is more active in African American prostate cancer than in European American prostate cancer. The finding suggests that genetic factors can contribute, at last in part, to the higher incidence of prostate cancer among African American men compared with men of other ethnic groups. The team includes scientists at Baylor College of Medicine, Third Military Medical University in China, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, and Agilent Technologies India Pvt. Ltd. The study appeared Aug. 31 in Cancer Research.

Inflammation triggers unsustainable immune response to chronic viral infection

Scientists at the University of Basel discovered a fundamental new mechanism explaining the inadequate immune defense against chronic viral infection. These results may open up new avenues for vaccine development. They have been published in the journal Science Immunology.

Raising a vegan baby: Parents say abuse cases give a bad rap

There's a right way and a wrong way to raise a baby on vegan food. Those who get it wrong, parents say, give the responsible ones a bad name.

Head lice outbreaks in camp settings cause substantial burden on kids, staff

New research to be presented at the 2016 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition finds that lice can be the end of a happy summer for many kids at sleepaway camp.

Study finds youth motocross racing injuries severe despite required safety gear

A study at a Pennsylvania trauma center found competitive youth motocross athletes suffer potentially life-threatening injuries despite wearing helmets and other safety gear required on the sport's popular rough-terrain race courses.

Park in Indian capital shut after suspected bird flu deaths

City authorities have closed a sprawling park in the heart of New Delhi after eight birds died of suspected bird flu, days after the city zoo was closed to the public after nine birds died there.

Cedars-Sinai receives approval to test novel combined stem cell and gene therapy for ALS patients

Cedars-Sinai regenerative medicine investigators have received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to test a combination stem cell-gene therapy they developed to stall the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neurological disease that causes progressive paralysis and ultimately death.

After the hurricane, cholera hits Haiti's suffering survivors

The rains inundating their ruined homes are no longer the biggest concern of the long-suffering people of Randelle: cholera is tearing through the isolated Haitian mountain village at devastating speed.

Biology news

Ultrastructure of a condensed chromosome-like structure in a cyanobacterium

Eukaryotic cells, including human cells, form paired condensed chromosomes before cell division. The paired chromosomes are then equally divided into daughter cells. Prokaryotic cells, including bacteria, do not have such a DNA distribution system.

Characterizing the mechanical properties of biomolecules

Physicists at LMU have developed a novel nanotool that provides a facile means of characterizing the mechanical properties of biomolecules.

A moving story of FHL2 and forces

Researchers from the Mechanobiology Institute (MBI) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) have revealed the molecular events leading to the regulation of cell growth and proliferation in response to stiffness of the extracellular matrix that surrounds them. This study was published in the scientific journal PNAS on 14 October 2016.

Correctly packaging the complete yeast genome using purified components in the test-tube

An LMU team has succeeded in correctly packaging the complete yeast genome using purified components in the test-tube. This is a first that yields new insights into the mechanisms of genome organization above the level of the DNA sequence.

Researchers find new way to attack gastro bug

A team at Griffith's Institute for Glycomics identified a unique sensory structure that is able to bind host-specific sugar and is present on particularly virulent strains of Campylobacter jejuni.

Climate change impairs survival instincts of fish and can make them swim towards predators

Climate change is disrupting the sensory systems of fish and can even make them swim towards predators, instead of away from them, a paper by marine biologists at the University of Exeter says.

Scientists solve 60-year-old Septoria mystery

A new paper from scientists at the John Innes Centre in Norwich explains why plant breeders have found it difficult to produce wheat varieties which combine high yield and good resistance to Septoria, a disease in wheat which can cut yield losses by up to 50%. It traces the problem back to decisions made nearly sixty years ago.

Wildlife migration routes for multiple species can link conservation reserves at lower cost

Scientists have demonstrated a new technique for designing effective wildlife migration corridors while reducing the costs of conservation.

Algorithm can trace lineage trajectories through single-cell gene expression data

A new algorithm created at A*STAR allows scientists to track the trajectories of different cell lineages on the basis of their gene activity at the individual cell level. The tool, dubbed Mpath, should help reveal new insights into disease states and offer a way to see how drugs are working.

Digging echidnas are essential Australian ecosystem engineers

A team of Australian scientists has found that the short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) is a keystone species on the continent. In the Journal of Experimental Biology, they report that echidnas mix and move soil around and are essential for the health of the Australian environment.

How the pangolin got its scales – a genetic just-so story

Everyone loves animal oddities. Darwin and Lamarck pondered the advantages of the giraffe's long legs and neck, while a few decades later Rudyard Kipling explained how the leopard got its spots. Today genome sequencing is fleshing out what we thought we knew about some distinctive animal adaptations, from the giraffe to the leopard.

Windsurfing swans—an overlooked phenomenon

It is well-known that birds can fly, swim and walk, but now there is scientific evidence that birds also can windsurf. Olle Terenius from the Department of Ecology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences reports that the Mute swan occasionally uses the wings as sails when moving quickly on water surfaces.

Rap1, a potential new target to treat obesity

Scientists at Baylor College of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health and Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute have discovered a new mechanism in the mouse brain that regulates obesity. The study, which appears in Cell Reports today, shows that this new mechanism can potentially be targeted to treat obesity.

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