Monday, September 26, 2016

Science X Newsletter Week 38

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 38:

Scientists confirm the universe has no direction

The universe is not spinning or stretched in any particular direction, according to the most stringent test yet.

China begins operating world's largest radio telescope

The world's largest radio telescope began searching for signals from stars and galaxies and, perhaps, extraterrestrial life Sunday in a project demonstrating China's rising ambitions in space and its pursuit of international scientific prestige.

Researchers discover a cell in spinach that uses sunlight to produce electricity and hydrogen

Using a simple membrane extract from spinach leaves, researchers from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have developed a bio-photo-electro-chemical (BPEC) cell that produces electricity and hydrogen from water using sunlight. The raw material of the device is water, and its products are electric current, hydrogen and oxygen. The findings were published in the August 23 online issue of Nature Communications.

Chemists find key to manufacturing more efficient solar cells

In a discovery that could have profound implications for future energy policy, Columbia scientists have demonstrated it is possible to manufacture solar cells that are far more efficient than existing silicon energy cells by using a new kind of material, a development that could help reduce fossil fuel consumption.

Towards quantum Internet: Researchers teleport particle of light six kilometres

What if you could behave like the crew on the Starship Enterprise and teleport yourself home or anywhere else in the world? As a human, you're probably not going to realize this any time soon; if you're a photon, you might want to keep reading.

NASA to reveal 'surprising' activity on Jupiter's moon Europa

There's something going on beneath the surface of Jupiter's icy moon Europa. But what?

Human DNA tied mostly to single exodus from Africa long ago (Update)

A study of hundreds of new genomes from across the globe has yielded insights into modern genetic diversity and ancient population dynamics, including compelling evidence that essentially all non-Africans today descend from a single migration out of Africa.

America's first wave-produced power goes online in Hawaii

Off the coast of Hawaii, a tall buoy bobs and sways in the water, using the rise and fall of the waves to generate electricity.

Smoking leaves lasting marks on DNA, study finds

(HealthDay)—Smoking cigarettes can leave a lasting imprint on human DNA, altering more than 7,000 genes in ways that may contribute to the development of smoking-related diseases, a new study says.

Researchers discover more efficient way to split water, produce hydrogen

Hydrogen is often considered a fuel for the future, in the form of fuel cells to power electric motors or burned in internal combustion engines. But finding a practical, inexpensive and nontoxic way to produce large amounts of hydrogen gas – especially by splitting water into its component parts, hydrogen and oxygen – has been a challenge.

Physicists retrieve 'lost' information from quantum measurements

(Phys.org)—Typically when scientists make a measurement, they know exactly what kind of measurement they're making, and their purpose is to obtain a measurement outcome. But in an "unrecorded measurement," both the type of measurement and the measurement outcome are unknown.

Coffee-infused foam removes lead from contaminated water

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the U.S., which makes for a perky population—but it also creates a lot of used grounds. Scientists now report in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering an innovative way to reduce this waste and help address another environmental problem. They have incorporated spent coffee grounds in a foam filter that can remove harmful lead and mercury from water.

Acceleration relation found among spiral and irregular galaxies challenges current understanding of dark matter

In the late 1970s, astronomers Vera Rubin and Albert Bosma independently found that spiral galaxies rotate at a nearly constant speed: the velocity of stars and gas inside a galaxy does not decrease with radius, as one would expect from Newton's laws and the distribution of visible matter, but remains approximately constant. Such 'flat rotation curves' are generally attributed to invisible, dark matter surrounding galaxies and providing additional gravitational attraction.

A non-probabilistic quantum theory produces unpredictable results

(Phys.org)—Quantum measurements are often inherently unpredictable, yet the usual way in which quantum theory accounts for unpredictability has long been viewed as somewhat unsatisfactory. In a new study, University of Oxford physicist Chiara Marletto has developed an alternative way to account for the unpredictability observed in quantum measurements by using the recently proposed theory of superinformation—a theory that is inherently non-probabilistic. The new perspective may lead to new possibilities in the search for a successor to quantum theory.

Digitally unwrapped scroll reveals earliest Old Testament scripture (Update)

An extremely fragile, ancient Hebrew scroll has been digitally unwrapped for the first time, revealing the earliest copy of Old Testament Bible scripture since the Dead Sea Scrolls, researchers said Wednesday.

Research on stress hormone effects on the brain reveals unexpected findings

Stress is a common problem often resulting in poor health and mental disorders. New research has revealed that current concepts on how stress hormones act on the brain may need to be reassessed.

Nasa scientists find 'impossible' cloud on Titan—again

The puzzling appearance of an ice cloud seemingly out of thin air has prompted NASA scientists to suggest that a different process than previously thought—possibly similar to one seen over Earth's poles—could be forming clouds on Saturn's moon Titan.

Oxytocin enhances spirituality, new study says

Oxytocin has been dubbed the "love hormone" for its role promoting social bonding, altruism and more. Now new research from Duke University suggests the hormone may also support spirituality.

Scientists say ocean fossils found in mountains are cause for concern over future sea levels

Tiny ocean fossils distributed widely across rock surfaces in the Transantarctic Mountains point to the potential for a substantial rise in global sea levels under conditions of continued global warming, according to a new study.

Acoustic metamaterial panel absorbs low-frequency sound

When it comes to low-frequency sound waves, traditional sound-absorbing materials tend to be undesirably bulky, heavy or thick.


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Friday, September 23, 2016

Science X Newsletter Friday, Sep 23

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for September 23, 2016:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Ice core analyses indicates atmospheric oxygen levels have fallen 0.7 percent over the past 800,000 years

Scholars who studied liars, put pants on rats win Ig Nobels

Hyperloop pushes dream of low-cost futuristic transport

Chemists find key to manufacturing more efficient solar cells

BSI Group guidelines look at ethics as part of robotic system design

DNA study offers some hints of cat domestication history

Multifaceted genetic impact of training

Summer fireworks on Rosetta's comet

Melatonin, biological clock keep singing fish on time

Research may help to discover the true colour of extinct animals

Scientists demonstrating future potential of new insect control traits in agriculture

Seismic 'CT scans' reveal deep earth dynamics

Landmark map reveals the genetic wiring of cellular life

Research on stress hormone effects on the brain reveals unexpected findings

Fate of turtles and tortoises affected more by habitat than temperature

Astronomy & Space news

Summer fireworks on Rosetta's comet

Brief but powerful outbursts seen from Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko during its most active period last year have been traced back to their origins on the surface.

Pluto's 'heart' sheds light on a possible buried ocean

Ever since NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto last year, evidence has been mounting that the dwarf planet may have a liquid ocean beneath its icy shell. Now, by modeling the impact dynamics that created a massive crater on Pluto's surface, a team of researchers has made a new estimate of how thick that liquid layer might be.

SwissCube—seven years in space and still active

The little Swiss satellite was launched on 23 September 2009 and continues to send back regular reports. That ranks it among the oldest nanosatellites that are still active. Enthusiasts will be able to follow the satellite using a soon-to-be released mobile app.

Highlights from a decade of JAXA and NASA's Hinode Solar Observatory

Since its launch on Sept. 22, 2006, Hinode, a joint mission of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NASA, has been watching the sun nearly non-stop, providing valuable insight into our star – and others throughout the universe. 

New research collaboration explores microbiome of the space station

More than 200 people have crossed the airlock threshold to the International Space Station to conduct research that benefits people on Earth and the agency's Journey to Mars. The microbes they brought with them—and left behind—are the focus of a new collaborative research opportunity from NASA and the non-profit Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

SpaceX: Accident points to breach in rocket's helium system

SpaceX said Friday that evidence points to a large breach in the rocket's helium system during a routine prelaunch test that turned into a devastating fireball three weeks ago.

How to see the doomed Tiangong-1 Chinese space station

China's first space station, Tiangong-1, is expected to fall to Earth sometime in late 2017. We've known for several months that the orbital demise of the 8-metric ton space station was only a matter of time. But Chinese space agency officials recently confirmed that they have lost telemetry with the space station and can no longer control its orbit. This means its re-entry through Earth's atmosphere will be uncontrolled.

Technology news

Hyperloop pushes dream of low-cost futuristic transport

Is it a plane, is it a train? No, say supporters of Hyperloop, a futuristic mode of transport floated by Silicon Valley billionaire Elon Musk that promises high-tech, high-speed and cheap travel over long distances.

BSI Group guidelines look at ethics as part of robotic system design

(Tech Xplore)—Roboticists working on a robot's hardware and software can brag a lot. They have made robots which can flip pancakes, make sandwiches, ask children and adults questions, and generate expressions of happiness, wonder and sadness.

Michelle Obama passport scan appears online in apparent hack

The White House said Thursday it was looking into a cyber breach after what appeared to be a scan of first lady Michelle Obama's passport was posted online.

Beyond the Yahoo hack: Other major data breaches

The Yahoo hack exposed personal details from at least 500 million user accounts, potentially the largest breach of an email provider in history. Despite the size of the break-in, attackers don't appear to have accessed obviously sensitive information such as financial data or Social Security numbers.

Grab expands self-driving car trial in Singapore

Southeast Asia's leading ride-hailing firm Grab on Friday teamed up with a US-based software developer to run a limited public trial of a self-driving car service in Singapore.

No longer invite-only, 'robo-cars' offered to Singaporeans

Autonomous vehicle software startup nuTonomy has made rides on its self-driving taxis available to the general public in Singapore for free, expanding a first-in-the world run that was initially invitation-only.

Big email hack doesn't exactly send the message Yahoo needed

Yahoo has been struggling for years to keep people coming back to its digital services such as email. That challenge just got more daunting after hackers stole sensitive information from at least 500 million accounts.

Can public transit and ride-share companies get along?

In Centennial, Colorado and Altamonte Springs, Florida, residents and visitors can now get a free ride to the nearest train station. The ride is paid for by the local public transit agency, but it's not a public bus that makes the trip. Rather, it's a car driven by someone working for ride-sharing companies Lyft and Uber.

Yahoo pressed to explain huge 'state sponsored' hack

Yahoo faced pressure Friday to explain how it sustained a massive cyber-attack—one of the biggest ever, and allegedly state-sponsored—allowing hackers to steal data from half a billion users two years ago.

UPS testing drones for use in its package delivery system

One of the world's largest package delivery companies is stepping up efforts to integrate drones into its system.

Russia? China? Who hacked Yahoo, and why?

Yahoo's claim that it is the victim of a gigantic state-sponsored hack raises the question of whether it is the latest target for hackers with the backing of Russia, China or even North Korea, experts say.

Twitter surges after report that it may be on the block

Twitter's stock is surging following a report that the social media company, forever struggling in Facebook's shadow, is close to a sale.

'Virtual orchestra' hits high notes in London

Music fans will be able to immerse themselves into the world of an orchestra thanks to a virtual reality experience launched in London on Friday.

Massive hack is yet another blow for ailing Yahoo

The huge Yahoo hack deals a fresh blow to the internet pioneer which has been struggling to reinvent itself, potentially impacting the pending sale aiming at giving it a new start.

Google gets more time to answer EU charges: official

EU anti-trust authorities have granted US tech giant Google a few extra weeks to answer charges that it has abused its market dominance, an EU official told AFP on Friday.

Despite state barriers, cities push to expand high-speed internet

Websites take minutes to load and photos take hours to upload at Ryan Davis' home in the small southern Tennessee city of Dayton. If Davis gets in his car and drives about half an hour south to Chattanooga, though, everything takes under a second.

Foreign hacker who aided Islamic State gets 20 years in US

A computer hacker who helped the Islamic State by providing names of more than 1,000 U.S. government and military workers as potential targets was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison.

Panasonic provides a stand-alone photovoltaic power package to off-grid areas in Myanmar

Panasonic Corporation provided the Power Supply Station; a stand-alone photovoltaic power package, to the village of Yin Ma Chaung, a Magway Region of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. The Power Supply Station is installed as part of a CSR effort by the Sustainable Alternative Livelihood Development Project, supported by the Mae Fah Luang Foundation under Royal Patronage (MFL Foundation) of the Kingdom of Thailand. This project was rolled out in partnership with Mitsui & Co., Ltd as one of their CSR activities, and funded by donations to support the mission of the MFL Foundation's activities.

Suspected Russian cyberattack targets German parties, media

German security officials say a cyberattack believed to be directed by Russia targeted journalists and lawmakers in recent weeks.

Report: Germany hacked Afghan firm to help free aid worker

German weekly Der Spiegel reports that the country's army hacked a mobile phone company in Afghanistan to help free a kidnapped aid worker.

Medicine & Health news

Multifaceted genetic impact of training

Endurance training changes the activity of thousands of genes and give rise to a multitude of altered DNA-copies, RNA, researchers from Karolinska Institutet report. The study, which also nuances the concept of muscle memory, is published in the journal PLOS Genetics.

Research on stress hormone effects on the brain reveals unexpected findings

Stress is a common problem often resulting in poor health and mental disorders. New research has revealed that current concepts on how stress hormones act on the brain may need to be reassessed.

Human neuron transplants treat spinal cord injury in mice

Chronic pain and loss of bladder control are among the most devastating consequences of spinal cord injury, rated by many patients as a higher priority for treatment than paralysis or numbness. Now a UC San Francisco team has transplanted immature human neurons into mice with spinal cord injuries, and shown that the cells successfully wire up with the damaged spinal cord to improve bladder control and reduce pain. This is a key step towards developing cell therapies for spinal cord injury in humans, say the researchers, who are currently working to develop the technique for future clinical trials.

Older adults with long-term alcohol dependence lose neurocognitive abilities

Heavy drinking can lead to neurophysiological and cognitive changes ranging from disrupted sleep to more serious neurotoxic effects. Aging can also contribute to cognitive decline. Several studies on the interaction of current heavy drinking and aging have had varied results. This study sought to elucidate the relations among age, heavy drinking, and neurocognitive function.

Specific trauma experiences contribute to women's alcohol use, differs by race

Trauma exposure has consistently been reported as a risk factor for alcohol use and related problems. Further, racial differences in alcohol use, alcohol use disorder (AUD), and trauma exposure between European American (EA) and African American (AA) women have been reported previously. This study sought to identify racial differences in alcohol involvement, and to examine the risk conferred by specific trauma exposures and PTSD for different stages of alcohol involvement in EA and AA women.

100 million prescription opioids go unused each year following wisdom teeth removal, study estimates

More than half of opioids prescribed to patients following surgical tooth extraction – such as the removal of impacted wisdom teeth – were left unused by patients in a new study from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine. The authors say the surplus is troubling given the ongoing opioid epidemic and evidence showing that individuals who abuse prescription opioids often use leftover pills that were prescribed for friends or family members. The study, published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, suggests the availability of prescription disposal kiosks in pharmacies and small financial incentives may increase proper disposal of opioids by more than 20 percent.

Leprosy found in California elementary school student

A case of leprosy, extremely rare in the United States, has been diagnosed in a Southern California elementary school student, sending health officials scrambling to reassure parents and the public that the disease is hard to transmit and easy to treat.

Study finds apple and lettuce can remedy garlic breath

Garlic – no one likes it when the scent of it sticks around on their breath. Now, garlic lovers may have a new solution to their halitosis problem. A study published in the September issue of the Journal of Food Science found that eating raw apple or lettuce may help reduce garlic breath.

Tackling obesity with soups, smartphones and supermarket shopping

Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing long-term and life-limiting health problems, like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.

Are you a jerk? Take this quiz by a UC Riverside philosopher and find out

Are you a jerk? How do you know? Jerk self-knowledge is hard to come by, says Eric Schwitzgebel, a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Riverside.

Controlling cell-fate decisions

Rafal Ciosk and his group at the FMI have identified an important link between the Notch signaling pathway and PRC2-mediated gene silencing. They showed that a fine balance between epigenetic silencing and signaling is crucial for cell-fate decisions. While this study has important implications for normal development and tissue homeostasis, it also provides insights into the origin of certain diseases associated with abnormal Notch signaling, such as acute T cell leukemia.

Genetic risk score card for early prediction of heart disease

Scientists are getting closer to being able to predict an individual's genetic risk of heart disease, paving the way for earlier intervention and lifestyle changes.

Antibodies directed against cancer stem cells could help patients with acute myeloid leukemia

An antibody drug that targets a surface marker on cancer stem cells could offer a promising new therapeutic approach for treating acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a form of blood cancer that affects an estimated 50,000 people in Saudi Arabia.

Study reveals joint replacement surgery inequities

The provision of publicly-funded hip and knee total joint replacement (TJR) procedures varies between District Health Boards (DHBs) and national rates have not increased since 2007, new University of Otago research has found.

Disparities in insulin pump use by New Zealanders with type 1 diabetes

There are significant demographic and regional disparities in the use of insulin pumps in New Zealand, according to new University of Otago research.

Al­tern­at­ive ox­i­dase from a mar­ine an­imal works in mam­mals and com­bats bac­terial sepsis

Mitochondrial alternative oxidase from a sea-squirt works as a safety valve for stressed mitochondria. This property enables it to stop the runaway inflammatory process that leads to multiple organ failure and eventual death in bacterial sepsis.

Transmedia storytelling can be an effective health intervention

"East Los High," a pioneering transmedia edutainment program purposely designed to address issues of reproductive and sexual health among teens, is demonstrating the power and potential of leveraging entertainment media for health promotion and social change.

Avoiding failure leads to missed opportunities for children with ADHD

Behavioral experiment on reward and punishment highlights the cumulative effect of punishment in children with ADHD.

Encouraging children to order healthier foods in restaurants

Recent trends and findings suggest that families are spending more money eating out at restaurants. This trend is concerning to researchers, as children's menus at full-service restaurants generally do not follow nutritional standards set forth by the National Restaurant Association. These standards include the Kids LiveWell initiative, which recommends that children's meals contain 600 calories or less per entrée.

Narcan project has stopped nine opioid overdoses; seeks additional naloxone kits

A University of Alabama at Birmingham crowdfunded study to provide naloxone kits to family and friends of at-risk opioid users has distributed over 100 kits and has seen nine overdose reversals since it began in Nov. 2015. Naloxone, known as Narcan, is an injectable medication that can reverse opioid overdose. Typically provided at emergency departments or by first responders, the UAB project was the first in Alabama to place naloxone kits in the hands of those close to opioid abusers.

Clinical study results offer hope after spinal cord injury

Richard Fessler, MD, PhD, says that the field of treating spinal cord injuries may be on "the verge of making a major breakthrough after decades of attempts."

Scientists discover sleeping sickness can also be transmitted and spread via the skin

Scientists have made an important new discovery in the study of Human African Trypanosomiasis, more commonly known as African sleeping sickness. The findings could have a major impact on the way the disease is diagnosed, treated and potentially eradicated.

Pediatric atopic dermatitis may benefit from early immune intervention

Researchers for the first time have identified the skin phenotype of pediatric eczema or atopic dermatitis (AD) in infants, opening the door for personalized treatment approaches for young children with eczema. The study, led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, was published online today in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

New hope in fight against aggressive and often hard to treat brain tumour

Researchers from the University of Southampton have discovered a potential way of stopping one of the most aggressive types of brain tumour from spreading, which could lead the way to better patient survival.

Vitamin B levels during pregnancy linked to eczema risk in child

Infants whose mothers had a higher level of a particular type of vitamin B during pregnancy have a lower risk of eczema at age 12 months, new Southampton research has shown.

Unique molecular atlas of pancreas produced

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have managed to produce the first molecular map of the genes that are active in the various cells of the human pancreas. They have also revealed differences in genetic activity between people with type 2 diabetes and healthy controls. The study, which is published in Cell Metabolism, was conducted in the AstraZeneca and Karolinska Institutet co-run Integrated Cardio Metabolic Centre, and in association with researchers from AstraZeneca.

Identical five-year-old twins with identical cancers

Since the day they came home from the hospital in matching newborn monkey outfits, Zane and Zac Taylor have done everything together.

Germany sees 'turning point' in birth rate decline

Germany has halted a three-decade-long decline in its birth rate, with data showing that the trend has started to reverse, statisticians said Friday.

Science can shape healthy city planning

Previous studies have shown a correlation between the design of cities and growing epidemics of injuries and non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. A three-part series published in The Lancet and released in conjunction with the United Nations quantifies health gains achieved if cities were designed so that shops, facilities, work and public transportation were within walking distance of most residents.

Aerial pesticide 'key driver' of Zika's end in Miami: US

The use of a controversial pesticide, sprayed from overhead on a Miami neighborhood, was a "key driver" in ending the local spread of the Zika virus there, US health officials said Friday.

Pembrolizumab approval is tip of the iceberg for immunotherapy in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

The recent approval of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) following progression on a platinum-based chemotherapy was a significant advancement for the disease. However, the approval of the PD-1 inhibitor only scratches the surface of the potential of immunotherapies in head and neck cancer, said Barbara A. Burtness, MD.

Team compares effectiveness of four PD-L1 tests

In a recent study, a Yale Cancer Center team compared the performance of the four available PD-L1 assay tests. They found that one of the assays failed to reveal comparable levels of PD-L1, a tumor-promoting protein, while three others revealed comparable levels. The findings were presented September 26 at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) 2016 Chicago Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology in Chicago.

Drug-resistant germs thrive in America's corroding water systems

(HealthDay)—The thousands of miles of aging, corroding pipes that bring water to Americans each day may be home to dangerous drug-resistant bacteria, a new report warns.

Can brain 'pacemaker' improve lives of head trauma patients?

(HealthDay)—Deep brain stimulation—a technique that sends targeted electrical impulses to certain areas of the brain—may help people who've had a traumatic brain injury gain more independence, a new study suggests.

The 'love hormone' may quiet tinnitus

(HealthDay)—People suffering from chronic ringing in the ears—called tinnitus—may find some relief by spraying the hormone oxytocin in their nose, a small initial study by Brazilian researchers suggests.

How to protect yourself from the seasonal flu

(HealthDay)—Don't let this year's flu season catch you by surprise.

Robotic-assisted platform feasible in peripheral artery disease

(HealthDay)—A robotic-assisted platform is safe and feasible for peripheral vascular intervention in patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD), according to a study published online Sept. 14 in JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions.

Pregabalin benefits not linked to prior gabapentin use

(HealthDay)—Pregabalin is beneficial for neuropathic pain, regardless of previous gabapentin use, according to research published online Sept. 9 in Pain Practice.

uPAR elevated in bronchial tissue of asthma patients

(HealthDay)—Urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) is elevated in patients with asthma, with high uPAR levels linked to severe, non-atopic disease, according to a study published online Sept. 14 in Allergy.

TP53, MDM2 alterations linked to cisplatin resistance in GCT

(HealthDay)—In germ cell tumors (GCTs), TP53 and MDM2 alterations correlate with cisplatin resistance and are associated with inferior outcome, according to a study published online Sept. 19 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Standard and double dose pantoprazole equally effective

(HealthDay)—For patients with gastric adenoma or early gastric cancer, standard dose or double dose intravenous pantoprazole for 48 hours is equally effective for prevention of delayed bleeding after endoscopic resection, according to a study published online Sept. 16 in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Social support intervention helps those living with HIV/AIDS

(HealthDay)—A social support intervention can improve social support and quality of life (QOL) for individuals living with HIV/AIDS, according to a study published online Sept. 20 in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Facet utilization up from 2000 to 2006, plateaued to 2012

(HealthDay)—Bundling of the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes for facet injections with image guidance and limiting billing to a maximum of three levels, implemented in 2010, correlated with a large decrease in use of facet injections, according to a study published in the September issue of The Spine Journal.

Studies link cancer patient's survival time to insurance status

Privately insured people with two types of cancer were diagnosed earlier and lived longer than those who were uninsured or were covered by Medicaid, according to two new studies.

Can't sit still while reading this? Keep fidgeting. Research says it's good for your health

Finally, science comes to the rescue of those of us who have been told all our lives to "sit still."

Anxiety is an underrecognized yet serious clinical problem for dialysis patients

A new review looks at the potential effects of anxiety on a vulnerable patient population: individuals undergoing hemodialysis for the treatment of kidney failure. The review, which appears in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN), stresses that anxiety disorders may interfere with optimal dialysis treatment and lead to additional serious health consequences.

Germany passes new sex worker protection, no-means-no laws

German legislation designed to make life safer for sex workers, including making the use of a condom mandatory, and a stricter "no means no" law both passed their final hurdles Friday with approval from the upper house of Parliament.

Precision medicine trial first of its kind to show benefit to patients

A clinical trial for types of advanced cancer is the first of its kind to show that precision medicine – or tailoring treatment for individual people – can slow down the time it takes for a tumour to grow back, according to research presented at the Molecular Analysis for Personalised Therapy (MAP) conference, today (Friday).

Scotland launches world's first national atlas of palliative care

The first Scottish Atlas of Palliative Care has been by University of Glasgow academics at a major palliative care conference in Edinburgh.

Study reveals more liberal use of dialysis in the US compared with other developed nations

A new study indicates that a much higher proportion of patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD)—even those ≥85 years of age—receive renal replacement therapy (RRT) such as maintenance dialysis or kidney transplantation in the United States than in other developed countries. The findings, which appear in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN), suggest that decisions about RRT in the United States may not be strongly guided by the individual considerations of patients, and instead reflect wider practices favoring interventions to lengthen life.

Holistic approach to pain management helps curb opioid overuse

The holistic approach to patient care and pain management used by Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) can help prevent opioid dependency, substance use disorder, drug overdoses and death, according to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA). The AANA strongly supports President Obama's proclamation of Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week (Sept.18-24, 2016).

Study finds 20M would lose health coverage under Trump plan

A new study that examines some major health care proposals from the presidential candidates finds that Donald Trump would cause about 20 million to lose coverage while Hillary Clinton would provide coverage for an additional 9 million people.

Gene editing of blood stem cells can correct disease-causing mutations

Recent advances in gene editing technology, which allows for targeted repair of disease-causing mutations, can be applied to hematopoietic stem cells with the potential to cure a variety of hereditary and congenital diseases. Gene editing can overcome many of the obstacles associated with gene addition therapies, but this young field still faces many challenges before it is ready for human testing, as discussed in a Review article published in Human Gene Therapy.

Pediatric obesity guidelines serve as toolkit for treating patients with obesity

The Obesity Medicine Association today released guidelines on pediatric obesity care for healthcare professionals who make decisions for pediatric patients with obesity. In a project led by Dr. Suzanne Cuda, associate professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and pediatrician at The Children's Hospital of San Antonio, the guidelines were developed by practicing pediatricians and clinicians and provide clinicians a toolkit to guide them through diagnosis, management and treatment of infants, children and adolescents with obesity.

Oral drug delivery company says opioid lawsuit has no merit

One of the companies alleged to have conspired to keep generic versions of a popular opioid treatment off the market says the antitrust lawsuit has no merit.

Taking care of airplane ear

It's worse for some more than others - that annoying and sometimes painful blockage in your ears when taking off or landing in an airplane.

Biology news

DNA study offers some hints of cat domestication history

(Phys.org)—A trio of researchers has presented their preliminary findings regarding a mitochondrial DNA study they have undertaken as part of an effort to learn more about the domestication history of the modern house cat. Evolutionary geneticist Eva-Maria Geigl gave the presentation at this year's International Symposium on Biomolecular Archaeology at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

Melatonin, biological clock keep singing fish on time

In the 1980s, people living on houseboats in the San Francisco Bay were puzzled by a droning hum of unknown origin that started abruptly in the late evening and stopped suddenly in the morning.

Scientists demonstrating future potential of new insect control traits in agriculture

DuPont Pioneer researchers have discovered a protein from a non-Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) bacterium source that exhibits promise as an alternative means for controlling corn rootworm in North America and Europe. Science published the finding this week.

Landmark map reveals the genetic wiring of cellular life

Researchers at the University of Toronto's Donnelly Centre have created the first map that shows the global genetic interaction network of a cell. It begins to explain how thousands of genes coordinate with one another to orchestrate cellular life.

Fate of turtles and tortoises affected more by habitat than temperature

Habitat degradation poses a greater risk to the survival of turtles and tortoises than rising global temperatures, according to new research.

To produce biopharmaceuticals on demand, just add water

Researchers at MIT and other institutions have created tiny freeze-dried pellets that include all of the molecular machinery needed to translate DNA into proteins, which could form the basis for on-demand production of drugs and vaccines.

A compound that stops cells from making protein factories could lead to new antifungal drugs

Tiny, abundant biological factories, known as ribosomes, produce the cell's most fundamental building material: protein. If ribosomes don't work, cells can't divide—and this can be an advantage for scientists seeking to develop drugs that target invading organisms, such as pathogenic fungi.

Researchers prove fast microbial evolutionary bursts exist

There are more than a dozen species of finch that evolved on the Galapagos Islands, each identified by beak shape and size. Some have strong beaks to crack nuts while others have long, fine beaks to grasp larvae with surgical precision. All of the finches evolved from a common ancestor in a very short period of time, an evolutionary process known as adaptive radiation.

Great white sharks and tuna share genetics that makes them super predators

Despite evolving separately for 400 million years, some sharks and tuna share genetic traits linked to higher metabolism and quick swimming behaviour.

Lund University biologist receives the Ig Nobel Prize

Susanne Åkesson, Professor of Evolutionary Ecology at Lund University in Sweden, has been awarded the prestigious Ig Nobel Prize. The prize, which she shares with six other researchers from Hungary and Spain, was presented to them for their discovery that white horses aren't particularly bothered by blood-sucking horse-flies. Why? Because they are white.

Gaps in data place thousands of illegally traded wild animals at risk, say researchers

The fate of over 64,000 live wild animals officially reported to have been confiscated by enforcement agencies remains untraceable, according to a new report released by the University of Oxford Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) and World Animal Protection.

Lemur poop could pinpoint poaching hotspots

When Tara Clarke went to Madagascar this summer, she packed what you might expect for a trip to the tropics: sunscreen, bug spray. But when she returned seven weeks later, her carry-on luggage contained an unusual item: ten pounds of lemur droppings.

Caspian terns discovered nesting 1,000 miles farther to the north than ever recorded in Alaska

WCS reported today that in the late summer of 2016, a WCS field team led by Dr. Trevor Haynes monitored Caspian tern chicks through to fledging in Cape Krusenstern National Monument in Alaska. This discovery of Caspian terns breeding above the Arctic Circle in the Chukchi Sea is nearly 1,000 miles farther north than previously recorded – a strikingly large jump in the range of nesting for this (or any) species.

Camera traps reveal extraordinary wildlife

A camera trap survey in one of Africa's largest conservation landscapes has captured an exciting range of species – from honey badgers and caracals to a hyena holding an elephant's trunk…

Researchers expose 'hidden layers' in fungi

If we are to tame fungi and optimize their extremely important role in our ecosystem, we must gain a more complete view of their functional abilities. Researchers from TU Delft and Utrecht University have exposed a previously hidden layer of functional complexity in fungi. They publish their findings on Friday September 23th in Scientific Reports.

Team uses wasps to monitor exotic Joro spider

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers are reaching out to citizen scientists to find nests of the black and yellow mud dauber wasp (Sceliphron caementarium) – also known as the "dirt dauber"—in northeastern Georgia.

Pythons extend their grip on parts of South Florida

Burmese pythons appear to be slithering into new territory, extending their range and putting more of South Florida's wildlife at risk of becoming lunch.

New York seizes $4.5 mn worth of elephant ivory items

The New York authorities seized $4.5 million worth of illegal elephant ivory items in what they described as the biggest bust in the state's history, officials said Thursday.

New book examines the conservationist thrall and narratives of extinction

It all began with the adoption of a Jardine's parrot in the mid-1990s.

Lipid receptor fosters infection of the uterus in dogs

In the female dog, cells of the uterus can accumulate lipid droplets to form so-called foamy epithelial cells during late metoestrus. These cells produce a hormone that is involved in the implantation of the embryo in the uterus. A team of researchers from the Institute of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology at Vetmeduni Vienna has now shown for the first time that the factor assisting the cells in lipid accumulation also facilitates the binding of bacteria to the epithelial cells, resulting in serious infections of the uterus in female dogs. Two studies on this subject were published in the journals Anatomia, Histologia, Embryologia and Theriogenology.

Laos failing to curb illegal wildlife trade: monitor

The illegal trade in pangolins, helmeted hornbills and other wildlife products is thriving in Laos, a monitoring group said Friday, urging the Southeast Asian nation to crack down on a lucrative commerce largely fuelled by demand in neighbouring China.

Toyota develops a new DNA analysis technology to dramatically accelerate improvements in agricultural production

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces that it has developed a new deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) analysis technology called Genotyping by Random Amplicon Sequencing (GRAS) using analytical materials that have been provided by the Kyushu Okinawa Agricultural Research Center (KARC) of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO). This technology is capable of dramatically improving the efficiency of identifying and selecting useful genetic information for agricultural plant improvement. This newly developed technology should lead to substantial time and cost savings in the agricultural plant improvement process.


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