poniedziałek, 29 lutego 2016

Fwd: Science X Newsletter Monday, Feb 29


The Milky Way's central molecular zone

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Newsletter Phys.org <not-for-reply@physorg.com>
Date: Tue, Mar 1, 2016 at 3:09 AM
Subject: Science X Newsletter Monday, Feb 29
To: Pascal Alter <pascal.alter@gmail.com>

Dear Pascal Alter,
Here is your customized Phys.org Newsletter for February 29, 2016:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

- The cold, hard facts: Scientists redefine the chemical history of interstellar water in the early solar system
- Study suggests ocean was cooler than others have suggested during time life began on Earth
- Sony patent filing talks about glove interface object
- Best of Last Week – Finding missing matter, strange music from the moon and how junk food primes the brain
- Nice: Raspberry Pi 3 gets WiFi and Bluetooth
- Boeing eyes 3D printing objects levitating in space
- New insights into how antiarrhythmic drugs work
- Offsetting climate change's effects
- Shaving time to test antidotes for nerve agents
- Breast cancer genetic variants found to alter how cells respond to oestrogen
- Illuminating the broad spectrum of disease
- New genetic insights into mesothelioma
- Loss of MHCI in motor neurons leads to ALS astrocyte toxicity
- In emergencies, should you trust a robot? (w/ Video)
- Device 'fingerprints' could help protect power grid, other industrial systems

Nanotechnology news

New form of electron-beam imaging can see elements that are 'invisible' to common methods

Electrons can extend our view of microscopic objects well beyond what's possible with visible light—all the way to the atomic scale. A popular method in electron microscopy for looking at tough, resilient materials in atomic detail is called STEM, or scanning transmission electron microscopy, but the highly-focused beam of electrons used in STEM can also easily destroy delicate samples.

Physicist discovers new 2D material that could advance material science

A new one atom-thick flat material that could upstage the wonder material graphene and advance digital technology has been discovered by a physicist at the University of Kentucky working in collaboration with scientists from Daimler in Germany and the Institute for Electronic Structure and Laser (IESL) in Greece.

Stretchable electronics that quadruple in length

EPFL researchers have developed conductive tracks that can be bent and stretched up to four times their original length. They could be used in artificial skin, connected clothing and on-body sensors.

Syracuse chemists combine biology, nanotechnology to create alternate energy source

Chemists in Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences have made a transformational advance in an alternate lighting source—one that doesn't require a battery or a plug.

Physics news

Photoshop filters for safer bridges (w/ Video)

How can we constantly monitor the stability of a bridge or detect a leak in a gas pipeline in real time? A method based on optical fibers has become the norm in recent years. By carefully measuring the path of light in fibers up to 100 kilometers long, we can glean information on the temperature, pressure and intensity of magnetic fields along the entire length of the fiber. It's similar to a nerve, which tells us the intensity and location of a stimulus.

Three 'twisted' photons in 3 dimensions

Researchers at the Institute of Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, the University of Vienna, and the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona have achieved a new milestone in quantum physics: they were able to entangle three particles of light in a high-dimensional quantum property related to the 'twist' of their wavefront structure. The results from their experiment appear in the journal Nature Photonics.

New theory of deep-ocean sound waves may aid tsunami detection

Acoustic-gravity waves are very long sound waves that cut through the deep ocean at the speed of sound. These lightning-quick currents can sweep up water, nutrients, salts, and any other particles in their wake, at any water depth. They are typically triggered by violent events in the ocean, including underwater earthquakes, explosions, landslides, and even meteorites, and they carry information about these events around the world in a matter of minutes.

Earth news

Study suggests ocean was cooler than others have suggested during time life began on Earth

A pair of researchers, one with Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in South Africa and the other with the University of Bergen in Norway, has conducted a study of rocks in South Africa, and has concluded that the ocean was not as cold as other studies have shown during the time period when life is believed to have first appeared on Earth. In their paper published in the journal Sciences Advances, Maarten de Wit and Harald Furnes describe their research results and why they now believe that our planet may have existed in the Goldilocks Zone for the entire time that life has existed on our planet.

Philippines affected by more extreme tropical cyclones

Tropical cyclones in the Philippines are becoming more extreme and causing greater amounts of devastation, a new study has shown.

Why we will still need oil and gas in the future

Worldwide, total oil demand keeps growing. Low prices are fueling this trend. To remain competitive, oil companies need to reduce their production costs. Siemens is supporting their efforts with a comprehensive portfolio of products and services for electrification, compressors and rotating equipment, automation, and digitization along the entire production chain—from oil drilling to processing in refineries.

Offsetting climate change's effects

Grasslands across North America will face higher summer temperatures and widespread drought by the end of the century, according to a new Harvard study on the effects of climate change.

Microorganisms duke it out within algal blooms

An unseen war rages between the ocean's tiniest organisms, and it has significant implications for understanding the ocean's role in climate change, according to a new study.

When less is more: Study tracks down lingering source of carbon tetrachloride emissions

Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) was once commonly used as a cleaning agent and remains an important compound in chemical industry. CCl4 is responsible for that sickly sweet smell associated with dry cleaning solvents from decades ago. It's a known air toxin and it eats away at the ozone layer—the gas accounts for about 10-15 percent of the ozone-depleting chemicals in the atmosphere today. As a result, production across the globe has been banned for many years for uses that result in CCl4 escaping to the atmosphere.

Australian icebreaker refloated in Antarctica after grounding

An Australian icebreaker that ran aground in Antarctica during a blizzard has been refloated, officials said Saturday as they work to bring the vessel's expeditioners home.

When sea levels rise, damage costs rise even faster

Damages from extreme events like floods are even more relevant than the mean sea level itself when it comes to the costs of climate impacts for coastal regions. However, while it is now rather well understood how sea-levels will rise in the future, only small progress has been made estimating how the implied damage for cities at the coasts will increase during the next decades. A team of scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) now provides a method to quantify monetary losses from coastal floods under sea-level rise. For the first time, the scientists show that the damage costs consistently increase at a higher rate than the sea-level rise itself.

China coal consumption drops again: govt

China's coal consumption fell for the second year in a row, government data showed Monday, as the world's biggest polluter attempts to tackle chronic pollution that accompanied economic growth.

Carbon cycling in the peat swamp forests of Borneo

Imagine a two-hour boat ride through the dark waters of the Mendaram River, a humid hike through flooded forest floors, and weeklong camp outs without Internet or phone access.

Alabama to be hub of scientific study of Southern tornadoes

About 40 scientists from around the nation are expected to participate in "VORTEX Southeast," an upcoming study of the unique characteristics of tornadoes that develop in the South, weather researchers say.

Fishing meets science with waders and smartphones

Dutch and American researchers have developed waders equipped with temperature sensors that enable fly-fishers to find the best fishing locations while collecting data to help scientists study streams. The research is published today (29 February) in Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems (GI), an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union.

Study celebrates the success of EU air quality policy amidst Brexit uncertainty

A study led by the University of Leeds has found that about 80,000 deaths are prevented each year due to the introduction of European Union (EU) policies and new technologies to reduce air pollution.

Americans would pay more to support biodiversit

Most Americans are willing to pay more taxes to support biodiversity conservation in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a national survey conducted by researchers at Duke University and the University of Virginia.

Plankton feces could move plastic pollution to the ocean depths

Plastic waste could find its way deep into the ocean through the faeces of plankton, new research from the University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory shows.

New Geosphere article examines massive 2014 Colorado avalanche

On 25 May 2014, a rain-on-snow-induced rock avalanche occurred in the West Salt Creek valley on the northern flank of Grand Mesa in western Colorado (United States). The avalanche mobilized from a preexisting rock slide in the Green River Formation and traveled 4.6 km down the confined valley, killing three people.

Research demonstrates that air data can be used to reconstruct radiological releases

New research from North Carolina State University demonstrates that experts can use data from air sampling technology to not only detect radiological releases, but to accurately quantify the magnitude and source of the release. This has applications for nuclear plant safety, as well as national security and nuclear nonproliferation monitoring.

Study defines social motivations of urban farms

Two thirds of urban farmers have a social mission that goes beyond food production and profits, finds new research led by NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

Astronomy & Space news

NASA's IBEX observations pin down interstellar magnetic field

Immediately after its 2008 launch, NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, spotted a curiosity in a thin slice of space: More particles streamed in through a long, skinny swath in the sky than anywhere else. The origin of the so-called IBEX ribbon was unknown - but its very existence opened doors to observing what lies outside our solar system, the way drops of rain on a window tell you more about the weather outside.

One-year spaceman sees mission as 'steppingstone' to Mars

As soon as he returns from the International Space Station, NASA's first and only yearlong spaceman, Scott Kelly, will try to pop up from a lying position and stand still for three minutes.

At last second, SpaceX delays satellite launch again

In the very last second before liftoff Sunday, SpaceX scrubbed the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket to send a communications satellite into orbit, marking the third delay since last week.

Image: Hubble's blue bubble

Sparkling at the center of this beautiful NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is a Wolf–Rayet star known as WR 31a, located about 30,000 light-years away in the constellation of Carina (The Keel).

Nasa tests life-detection drill in Earth's driest place

In a harsh environment with very little water and intense ultraviolet radiation, most life in the extreme Atacama Desert in Chile exists as microbial colonies underground or inside rocks.

The frozen canyons of Pluto's north pole

This ethereal scene captured by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft tells yet another story of Pluto's diversity of geological and compositional features—this time in an enhanced color image of the north polar area.

The Milky Way's central molecular zone

The center of our Milky Way galaxy lies about 27,000 light-years away in the direction of the constellation of Sagittarius. At its core is a black hole about four million solar masses in size. Around the black hole is a donut-shaped structure about eight light-years across that rings the inner volume of neutral gas and thousands of individual stars. Around that, stretching out to about 700 light-years, is a dense zone of activity called the Central Molecular Zone (CMZ). It contains almost eighty percent of all the dense gas in the galaxy - a reservoir of tens of millions of solar masses of material - and hosts giant molecular clouds and massive star forming clusters of luminous stars, among other regions many of which are poorly understood.

The Apus constellation

The southern hemisphere is replete with beautiful stars and constellations, enough to keep a stargazing enthusiast busy for a lifetime. For countless centuries, the indigenous peoples of South America, South Africa, Australia and the South Pacific have looked up at these stars and drawn inspiration. However, to European astronomers, they remained uncharted and unknown until the 16th century.

MAVEN observes Mars moon Phobos in the mid- and far-ultraviolet

NASA scientists are closer to solving the mystery of how Mars' moon Phobos formed.

Astronaut Scott Kelly's yearlong mission almost over

Space superman Scott Kelly's yearlong mission is one for the NASA history books.

Video: Can Europe develop a permanent moon base?

Jan Woerner, Director General of the European Space Agency, has a bold new vision for space exploration. "My intention is to build up a permanent base station on the Moon," he tells Euronews from the agency's main control room in Darmstadt. "Meaning that it's an open station, for different member states, for different states around the globe."

Technology news

Boeing eyes 3D printing objects levitating in space

Has Boeing been exploring the printing of 3D printing of levitating objects? Yes, Boeing has patented technology to 3D print objects while levitating in space. PatentYogi has presented a video that explains what Boeing had in mind in their patent application, first filed in 2014.

Nice: Raspberry Pi 3 gets WiFi and Bluetooth

Monday is a special day for Raspberry Pi founders and team. February 29 marks the fourth anniversary of the first sales of the Raspberry Pi 1, but fans are meanwhile celebrating news that circulated in the media about Model B Raspberry Pi 3.

Sony patent filing talks about glove interface object

Some patent filings make viewers scratch their heads and wonder if the inventions could possibly be viable, functional and commercially successful now or in a million years. A patent filing recently made public by the US Patent & Trademark Office is a different story. Sony Computer Entertainment has filed a patent for a "Glove Interface Object" and many tech sites are saying, whew, the time has come.

Mercedes eyes humans, not robots, for S-Class customization

Here is a headline which, if you read it fast, might trick you into thinking you see the words in this order: "Mercedes replaces humans with robots on the production line."

Solar Impulse plane makes first maintenance flight in Hawaii

The sun-powered plane Solar Impulse 2 has made a successful test flight in Hawaii, where it has been grounded for repairs on its round-the-world trek, the Swiss-based project said Saturday.

Dolby plays to eyes as well as ears with new technologies

At the entrance of Dolby headquarters in San Francisco, a ribbon of television screens plays synchronized videos that change in time to sound effects.

In Sweden's 1st unstaffed food shop, all you need is a phone

It was a chaotic, late-night scramble to buy baby food with a screaming toddler in the backseat that gave Robert Ilijason the idea to open Sweden's first unstaffed convenience store.

1970s technology solution to Internet 'capacity crunch'

Exactly 50 years ago, Noble prize winner Charles Kao and his colleagues demonstrated the feasibility of using fibre optical cables to transmit information over long distance. 

Device 'fingerprints' could help protect power grid, other industrial systems

Human voices are individually recognizable because they're generated by the unique components of each person's voice box, pharynx, esophagus and other physical structures.

In emergencies, should you trust a robot? (w/ Video)

In emergencies, people may trust robots too much for their own safety, a new study suggests. In a mock building fire, test subjects followed instructions from an "Emergency Guide Robot" even after the machine had proven itself unreliable - and after some participants were told that robot had broken down.

Researchers make key improvement in solar cell technology

Researchers have reached a critical milestone in solar cell fabrication, helping pave the way for solar energy to directly compete with electricity generated by conventional energy sources.

New method may find elusive flaws in medical implants and spacecraft

Medical implants and spacecraft can suddenly go dead, often for the same reason: cracks in ceramic capacitors, devices that store electric charge in electronic circuits. These cracks, at first harmless and often hidden, can start conducting electricity, depleting batteries or shorting out the electronics.

Samsung wins US appeal in Apple patent case

A US appeals court on Friday handed Samsung a win over Apple in a long-running patent fight, overriding a jury verdict ordering it to pay $119.6 million to the iPhone maker.

European man held until hearing in phishing scam

An Eastern European man was ordered held Friday until a detention hearing on charges he ran an international email phishing scheme that enabled him and others to steal banking information from U.S. companies.

UC Berkeley alerts 80,000 to cyberattack on financial system

The University of California, Berkeley says a hacker broke into a computer system holding financial data of 80,000 students, alumni, current and former employees.

Apple-FBI case has wide implications

Apple and the US government are squaring off in an epic legal battle with wide-ranging implications for how technology firms must work with law enforcement.

Frankfurt seeks to win over FinTech whizzkids

As Germany's banking capital, Frankfurt has long established itself as one of Europe's leading financial hubs.

Hong Kong leader swarmed by 'angry' emojis on Facebook

Hong Kong's beleaguered leader is nearly 100 times more unpopular than US presidential hopeful Donald Trump, according to Facebook's new "angry-face" button that allows netizens to voice their displeasure on the social network.

Mining to dining: Australia becomes China's land of milk and honey

Asian consumers determined to improve their lifestyle are boosting the fortunes of Australian producers of premium baby milk formula, vitamins and honey, as the region's burgeoning middle class jumps on the health food bandwagon.

Small SUVs mingle with Bugatti, McLaren supercars in Geneva

While waiting for the much-discussed future of driverless cars to arrive, European automakers are focusing on tried-and-tested sales winners at this year's Geneva International Auto Show—rolling out the small SUVs that are increasingly replacing hatchbacks and sedans in people's driveways.

Will 5G support the Internet of Things?

A major focus of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week was around advances in implementing 5G, the version of mobile wireless networks that will replace the current 4G.

Can we trust police drones?

In Australia, unmanned aerial vehicles – or drones – are now being used by the police in most states as a tool to help fight crime or to assist in rescue missions.

New approach to data reduction for intelligent transportation systems

Intelligent transportation systems enable people to make smart travel choices, whether it's selecting an alternate route to avoid a minor traffic backup or figuring out the safest evacuation path during a hurricane.

Biodiesel in a caustic flash

Biodiesel represents a potentially cleaner and more sustainable fuel than those derived from crude oil. Now, scientists have developed a high-speed conversion that turns waste cooking oil into fuel using ultrasound and caustic soda. Details are reported in the International Journal of Oil, Gas and Coal Technology.

European arrests target 'darknet' selling drugs, arms, fake ID

Police in seven European countries raided operators of "darknet" online platforms trading in weapons, illegal drugs, fake IDs and counterfeit money, arresting nine suspects, German authorities said Monday.

Microsoft to ship developer HoloLens for $3,000 in March

Microsoft says it will start shipping a developer version of its augmented reality device, HoloLens, for $3,000 on March 30.

EU unveils details of data privacy pact with US

The EU on Monday unveiled details of a new deal with the US to curb government spying on the personal Internet data of European citizens, but critics said it fell short and threatened fresh legal action.

'Paywalls' become the norm at US newspapers: survey

The vast majority of US newspapers have implemented digital subscriptions or "paywalls" to cope with the decline in print, a survey showed Monday.

German court fines Facebook over site's terms of service

A court in Germany has fined Facebook 100,000 euros ($109,000) for failing to amend its terms of service.

Google self-driving car strikes public bus in California

A self-driving car being tested by Google struck a public bus on a city street. It appears to be the first time one of the tech company's vehicles caused an accident.

Apple ready for encryption 'conversation': lawyer

Apple wants a "conversation" to help settle a standoff with US law enforcement over accessing an encrypted iPhone, according to testimony prepared for a congressional hearing.

US magazine New Republic sold after upheaval

US magazine The New Republic is being sold after a failed four-year effort to revitalize the century-old publication by a Facebook entrepreneur, the owner said Friday.

Pakistan's untapped resources empowered by e-commerce boom

In the Hindu Kush mountains craftswomen painstakingly stitch flowing scarves, skilled artisans who were unable to sell their products beyond the remote region until mobile internet came to Pakistan and dropped the market into the palms of millions of previously marginalised people.

Former TEPCO bosses indicted over Fukushima disaster

Three former executives of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant operator were indicted Monday over the 2011 atomic accident, in what will be the first criminal trial linked to the disaster.

Insider Q&A: Bank of America's Moore on mobile banking

Banking customers are on the move, and the big national banks are scrambling to keep up. They are working to update their technology and offerings in hopes of nabbing increasingly mobile customers.

GE tries to woo investors with 'digital industrial' vision

General Electric is promising to boost its earnings by about 15 percent in each of the next three years and dole out $67 billion to shareholders as CEO Jeffrey Immelt tries to create a sleeker, "digital industrial" company.

Chemistry news

The cold, hard facts: Scientists redefine the chemical history of interstellar water in the early solar system

For the past 30 years, the significance of the anomalously low ortho-to-para ratios (OPRs) of gaseous water (H2O) in interstellar space has remained unknown. (In ortho hydrogen molecules, both nuclei spin in the same direction, while in para hydrogen the nuclei spin opposite directions.) Recently, however, scientists at Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan found that water desorbed (that is, released from or through a surface) from ice at 10 kelvin shows a statistical high temperature OPR of 3 rather than the lower values typically found, even when the ice is produced in situ by a known formation process of interstellar water known as O2 hydrogenation. This invalidates the assumed relation between OPR and temperature and requires a reinterpretation of the low OPRs will help elucidate the chemical history of interstellar water from molecular clouds and processes in the early solar system, including comet formation.

Shaving time to test antidotes for nerve agents

Imagine you wanted to know how much energy it took to bike up a mountain, but couldn't finish the ride to the peak yourself. So, to get the total energy required, you and a team of friends strap energy meters to your bikes and ride the route in a relay, then add up your individual energy inputs. Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif., are currently using a similar approach, powered by LLNL's world-class supercomputers, to simulate the energy requirements for candidate drug molecules to permeate cell membranes - shaving weeks of compound testing by determining in advance how readily they'll enter cells to perform their activity.

Unlocking the secrets of squid sucker ring teeth

A squid has more in common with a spider than you may think. The razor-sharp 'teeth' that ring the suckers found on some squid tentacles are made up entirely of proteins remarkably similar—and in some ways superior—to the ones found in silks. Those proteins, called suckerins, give the teeth their strength and stretchiness, and could one day be used as the basis for biomaterials with many potential biomedical applications.

Nanoparticles on nanosteps

New technologies are starved for efficient and inexpensive catalysts. The best materials are made up of nanoparticles, whose properties are the result of their small size. The single catalyst particles have, however, an ugly tendency to cluster into larger particles, thereby reducing their effectiveness. A group of scientists from the International School of Advanced Studies in Trieste and the DEMOCRITOS centre of the Istituto Officina dei Materiali of the Italian National Research Council (IOM-CNR), with the collaboration of other institutions, have developed a material that maintains the stability of a "dispersed" catalyst, thus maximising the efficiency of the process and decreasing costs and wastage. The study has just been published in Nature Communications.

Scrutinising the tip of molecular probes

Studies of molecules confined to nano- or micropores are of considerable interest to physicists. That's because they can manipulate or stabilise molecules in unstable states or obtain new materials with special properties. In a new study published in EPJ Plus , Stefan Frunza from the National Institute of Materials Physics in Romania and colleagues have discovered the properties of the surface layer in probe molecules on the surface of oxide particles. These properties depend on the interaction at the interface. In this particular study, probes are formed by adsorption of rod-like cyanophenyl derivates on the surface of oxide particles. The authors found that their surface layers behave like glass-forming liquids.

Biology news

Turtles' vulnerable start to life on Philippine coast

Hundreds of tiny turtle hatchlings emerge above a Philippine beach at night and immediately look to the sea, hoping to beat huge odds and start a remarkable trans-oceanic journey lasting decades.

Wildlife secrets revealed with advanced tracking devices

Solar-powered trackers on wings have recorded California condors soaring to 15,000 feet, while locators attached to humpback whales have revealed 1,000-foot dives to underwater mountains. And GPS collars on Yellowstone grizzly bears are giving new insights into one of the most studied large carnivore populations in the world.

Mating without males decreases lifespan

Pristionchus nematodes come in two varieties: Most species consist of typical males and females, but in several species the females have evolved the ability to produce and use their own sperm for reproduction. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Developmental Biology in Tübingen, Germany, discovered that these so called hermaphrodites have shorter lifespans, with females frequently living over twice as long as closely related hermaphrodites.

Major breakthrough in fighting antibiotic resistance

In what is being heralded as a groundbreaking discovery, scientists led by Monash and Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researcher, Thomas Naderer and James Vince, have shown that drugs, originally developed to kill cancer cells, can also prevent infectious diseases that are difficult to treat with common antibiotics.

Why do chimpanzees throw stones at trees?

Chimpanzees often use tools to extract or consume food. Which tools they choose for which purpose, however, can differ depending on the region where they live. Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have thus initiated the 'Pan African Programme: The Cultured Chimpanzee' and, since 2010, have collected data on chimpanzee behavior, demography and resource availability across Africa following a standardized protocol. This is how the researchers encountered a thus far unknown behavior: In West Africa chimpanzees throw stones at trees resulting in conspicuous accumulations at these sites. Why exactly the animals do this the researchers do not yet know, yet the behavior appears to have some cultural elements.

Watching new species evolve in real time

Sometimes evolution proceeds much more rapidly than we might think. Genetic analysis makes it possible to detect the earliest stages of species formation and to gain a better understanding of speciation processes. For example, a study just published in PLOS Genetics by researchers from Eawag and the University of Bern - investigating rapid speciation in threespine stickleback in and around Lake Constance - shows that a species can begin to diverge very rapidly, even when the two daughter species breed alongside one another simultaneously.

Imaging algorithm gathers information about how cells move

Brown University engineers have developed a new technique to help researchers understand how cells move through complex tissues in the body. They hope the tool will be useful in understanding all kinds of cell movements, from how cancer cells migrate to how immune cells make their way to infection sites.

Capsule shedding: A new bacterial pathway that promotes invasive disease

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have identified an enzyme that acts early in pneumococcal infections to promote bacterial survival and invasive disease by removing the bacteria's capsule. The research appears today in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

Scientists used high tech ultrasound imaging to study tiger shark reproduction

Researchers from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and the University of New England used the same ultrasound imaging technology used by medical professionals on pregnant women to study the reproductive biology of female tiger sharks. The study offers marine biologists a new technique to investigate the reproductive organs and determine the presence of embryos in sharks without having to sacrifice the animal first, which was commonly done in the past.

New insights into how antiarrhythmic drugs work

If you suffer from atrial fibrillation (AF)—a condition where disorganized electrical signals cause the heart's upper chambers to contract quickly and irregularly—your doctor may prescribe an antiarrhythmic drug. While these drugs have long been prescribed for AF, which has been linked to an increased risk of stroke, chest pains and even heart failure, their complete mechanisms for restoring action and mitigating these risks have been unclear.

A new way to discover DNA modifications

DNA is made from four nucleosides, each known by its own letter—A, G, C, and T. However, since the structure of DNA was deciphered in 1953, scientists have discovered several other variants that are often added to the DNA sequences to replace one of the usual four letters.

Black widows are color-coded to deter predators without tipping off prey

Secret codes and hidden messages aren't just for computer security experts or kids passing notes in class—animals use them too. The telltale red hourglass of the black widow spider sends a warning signal that some animals can see but others cannot, finds a Duke University study.

House backs bill to boost hunting, fishing on public lands

The House on Friday approved a bill to expand access to hunting and fishing areas on public lands, extend protections for the use of lead bullets in hunting and strip wolves of federal protections in four states.

Making better enzymes and protein drugs

Natural selection results in protein sequences that are only soluble to the level that is required to carry out its physiological function. However, in biotechnological applications, we need these proteins to survive concentrations that are up to 1000-fold higher that what naturally occurs, e.g. an antibody drug in the syringe prior to injection. Moreover, these proteins are isolated at high purity and can thus no longer count on the help of molecular chaperones that all living organisms employ to keep its proteins in shape.

Genetic tool to help feed the world

UWA researchers have compiled a database they hope will eliminate much of the time and expense spent developing new crop varieties to feed the world's people.

Innovative and eco-efficient capsules to revolutionise pest control in potato crops

The new method of pest control specifically uses special capsules called ATRACAP. They contain a strain of an entomopathogenic fungus that attacks specific pest insects and can reduce chemical pesticide use on European farms.

Invasive water frogs too dominant for native species

In the past two decades, water frogs have spread rapidly in Central Europe. Using a new statistical model, researchers from the University of Basel were now able to show that local species such as the Yellow-bellied Toad and the Common Midwife Toad are suffering from the more dominant water frogs. The journal American Naturalist has published their results.

On the hook: Sustainable fishing in Papua New Guinea

A multi-disciplinary team from James Cook University has been busy unlocking the secrets of the Papuan Black Bass, one of the world's toughest sportfish.

Undergraduate student takes to Twitter to expose illegal release of alien fish in Japan

Posing a significant threat to the native biodiversity in Japan, specifically that of threatened aquatic insects, some alien fishes, such as the bluegill, have become the reason for strict prohibitions. All activities potentially capable of introducing the species into the wild are currently punishable by either a fine of up to 3 million yen for a person (100 million yen for corporations), or a prison sentence of up to 3 years.

Moth genitalia is the key to snout grass borers from the Western Hemisphere

Two scientists have produced an illustrated key to define the subtle differences between the 41 species of snout moth grass borers that currently dwell in the Western Hemisphere. The researchers conclude that the adults moths are too tough to tell apart by external characters, and therefore, the only way to identify the species is by dissecting and comparing genitalia. The study is published in the open-access journal ZooKeys.

Biofuels from algae: A budding technology yet to become viable

Despite high expectations and extensive research and investment in the last decade, technological options are still in developing stages and key resources for algal growth are still too onerous for economically viable production of algal biofuels, according to a JRC literature review. No large-scale, commercial algae-to-biofuels facilities have been implemented up until the end of 2015.

Forensic botany uses plant DNA to trace crimes

Sam Houston State University is advancing the field of forensic botany with the publication of two recent studies that use marijuana DNA to link drug supplies and pollen DNA to aid in forensic investigations.

Engineered swarmbots rely on peers for survival

Duke University researchers have engineered microbes that can't run away from home; those that do will quickly die without protective proteins produced by their peers.

First evidence that constant stress causes organisms to program changes in offspring

Researchers have known for decades that the environmental stress experienced by one generation induces changes in behavior, shape, biochemical properties and rates of development of their offspring. But the precise ecological conditions that produced these responses were not known.

How useful are microsatellites?

Understanding genetic diversity and evolutionary dynamics of organisms can have important implications for designing successful conservation efforts and understanding potential effects of future climate change. For scientists seeking to illuminate these dynamics and uncover genetic diversity within plant species, microsatellites are an often-used tool. These repeated segments of DNA sequences offer a glimpse into the evolutionary history of organisms at a very fine scale, providing a valuable data source for population-level studies.

Appeals court upholds designation of polar bear habitat

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service followed the law when it designated more than 187,000 square miles—an area larger than California—as critical habitat for threatened polar bears in Alaska marine waters and its northern coast, an appeals court ruled Monday.

Inside America's battle on wildlife trafficking

Carlos Pages knows how to take precautions before he opens a crate; the last thing the wildlife inspector wants is to find a deadly cobra loose—again—at Miami International airport.

Is rare wildlife traded on the darknet?

Unlike illicit trade in drugs, guns or pornography, illicit trade in rare wildlife doesn't have to hide on the 'darknet' because people can find whatever rare species they want in the open marketplace.

White lion shot dead near Canadian capital

An African white lion was shot dead after escaping from its enclosure at a small private zoo near Ottawa over the weekend, the facility's owner announced Monday.

Medicine & Health news

Predictive proteins: Elevated levels trigger metastatic progression of cancer cells

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center, with colleagues in Spain and Germany, have unraveled how elevated levels of particular proteins in cancer cells trigger hyperactivity in other proteins, fueling the growth and spread of a variety of cancers.

Electron microscopy captures snapshot of structure coronaviruses use to enter cells

High-resolution cryo-electron microscopy and supercomputing have now made it possible to analyze in detail the infection mechanisms of coronaviruses. These viruses are notorious for attacking the respiratory tract of humans and animals.

Mammalian fertilization, caught on tape

The development of every animal in the history of the world began with a simple step: the fusion of a spermatozoon (the male gamete) with an oocyte, or egg (the female gamete). Despite the ubiquity of this process, the actual mechanisms through which fertilization occurs remain poorly understood. A new tool developed by a team of French biophysicists may soon shed light on this still-mysterious process, and has already captured highly detailed images of what happens when sperm and egg first touch.

Study finds consistent link between violent crime and concealed-carry gun permits

The first study to find a significant relationship between firearm crime and subsequent applications for, and issuance of, concealed-carry gun permits has been published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

Study links normal stem cells to aggressive prostate cancer

A study that revealed new findings about prostate cells may point to future strategies for treating aggressive and therapy-resistant forms of prostate cancer.

Scientists identify gene that regulates the growth of melanoma

Yale Cancer Center researchers have identified a gene in melanoma that can dramatically affect the growth of the disease. The findings, published in the journal Cell Reports, provide new insight into how melanoma grows and identifies a new target for treatment of melanoma and other cancers.

New insight into the possible risk factors associated with food allergies

A study by researchers at the University of Southampton and Southampton General Hospital, is the first to assess the prevalence of two different types of food hypersensitivity and the risk factors associated with them.

Researchers identify genetic switch regulating satiety and body weight

A team of researchers at Helmholtz Zentrum München, Technische Universität München and the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) has identified a new mechanism that regulates the effect of the satiety hormone leptin. The study published in the journal Nature Communications identified the enzyme HDAC5 as key factor in our control of body weight and food intake and potential target against the Yoyo dieting effect.

Breast cancer genetic variants found to alter how cells respond to oestrogen

An international study of almost 120,000 women has newly identified five genetic variants affecting risk of breast cancer, all of which are believed to influence how breast cells respond to the female sex hormone oestrogen.

New genetic insights into mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a rare but deadly form of cancer: the five-year survival rate for patients diagnosed with the disease is between five and ten percent. Although aggressive surgery can help some patients with early-stage mesothelioma, current treatments for patients with more advanced mesothelioma are not effective.

Loss of MHCI in motor neurons leads to ALS astrocyte toxicity

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a devastating progressive neurodegenerative disease that results in the death of motor neurons, the nerve cells that control muscles. Eventually, individuals with ALS will lose their ability to walk, move, swallow and breathe.

New understanding of bones could lead to stronger materials, osteoporosis treatment

Researchers at Cornell University have discovered that bone does something better than most man-made materials: it bounces back after it breaks. In an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week Cornell scientists report that cancellous bone—the spongy foam-like type of bone found near joints and in the vertebrae that is involved in most osteoporosis-related fractures—displays unique material properties that allow it to recover shape after it breaks.

Illuminating the broad spectrum of disease

In a paper published in Nature Biotechnology, researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute describe a new method that dramatically simplifies an arduous experimental process in early drug discovery. Their method, called PRISM, uses a molecular barcoding system to test potential drug compounds on cancer and other cell lines at an unprecedented scale and speed. The system allows for pooling and testing of multiple cell lines simultaneously, and promises to accelerate the search for targeted therapies by better representing the broad genetic diversity of disease.

Blood vessels sprout under pressure

It is blood pressure that drives the opening of small capillaries during angiogenesis. A team of researchers led by Prof. Holger Gerhardt of the MDC observed the process for the first time and published their findings in Nature Cell Biology. The scientists showed how the pressure exerted by the blood causes the membrane of endothelial cells to cave in and grow into the cell's body, until a continuous vessel forms. The cell itself directs the process with the help of the actomyosin filaments of its cytoskeleton. Until now, scientists did not have such a detailed view of how blood capillaries form, which is important in the contexts of embryonic development, cancer or diabetes.

Biological clocks orchestrate behavioral rhythms by sending signals downstream

Different groups of neurons program biological clocks to orchestrate our behaviors by sending messages in a unidirectional manner downstream, a team of biologists has found.

Mutated gene associated with colon cancer discovered in 18th-century Hungarian mummy

The modern plagues of obesity, physical inactivity and processed food have been definitively established as modern causes of colon cancer. Researchers have also associated a mutation of the Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene with the deadly disease. But which came first? Is colon cancer a lethal product of modernity? Or is this an open-and-shut case of DNA gone awry?

Potential treatment for Huntington's disease, found effective, safe in mice, monkeys

A drug that would be the first to target the cause of Huntington's disease (HD) is effective and safe when tested in mice and monkeys, according to data released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 68th Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada, April 15 to 21, 2016. A study to test the drug in humans has begun.

Potential association between pre-labor cesarean delivery and childhood leukemia IDed

A potential correlation between pre-labor cesarean delivery (PLCD) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) could offer new targets for cancer prevention research, according to new research from the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota.

US details cases of nine pregnant women with Zika virus

US health authorities Friday described the cases of nine pregnant women who contracted the Zika virus while traveling, two of whom chose abortion and one who gave birth to a baby with microcephaly.

Eylea outperforms Avastin for diabetic macular edema with moderate or worse vision loss

A two-year clinical trial that compared three drugs for diabetic macular edema (DME) found that gains in vision were greater for participants receiving the drug Eylea (aflibercept) than for those receiving Avastin (bevacizumab), but only among participants starting treatment with 20/50 or worse vision. Gains after two years were about the same for Eylea and Lucentis (ranibizumab), contrary to year-one results from the study, which showed Eylea with a clear advantage. The three drugs yielded similar gains in vision for patients with 20/32 or 20/40 vision at the start of treatment. The clinical trial was conducted by the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network (DRCR.net), which is funded by the National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Puerto Rico braces for wave of mosquito-borne Zika virus

Leilani Dominicci has all the typical worries of pregnant women plus a new one spreading across Puerto Rico: the fear she will become infected with the Zika virus and put her baby at risk.

Colombia reports almost 43,000 Zika cases

Colombia has registered 42,706 cases of people infected with Zika, including 7,653 in pregnant women, the country's National Health Institute reported on Saturday.

First sexually-transmitted case of Zika in France: minister to AFP

A first case of Zika spread through sexual transmission has been recorded in France after a woman was infected when her partner returned from Brazil, Heath Minister Marisol Touraine told AFP on Saturday.

Cells in stiffer tissues are squeezed into mutating more often

When it comes to cancerous mutations, cells in soft tissues like bone marrow and the brain tend to exhibit fewer irregularities than their stiffer somatic brethren in the lungs or bone. According to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, this isn't only due to differences between the cells' type and function, but also to the rigid forces of resistance that act on them when they move and divide.

Tarantula toxins converted to painkillers

When venom from animals such as spiders, snakes or cone snails is injected via a bite or harpoon, the cocktail of toxins delivered to its victim tends to cause serious reactions that, if untreated, can be lethal. But even venom has a therapeutic upside: Individual peptide toxins are being tapped to target receptors in the brain to potentially serve as painkillers.

Quick thinking and feeling healthy predict longer life

Suffering from chronic medical conditions and engaging in unhealthy behaviors are known risk factors for early death, but findings from a longitudinal study of over 6,000 adults suggests that certain psychological factors may be even stronger predictors of how long we'll live.

Fighting infections with viruses, as antibiotics fail

When doctors told Christophe Novou that his leg would have to be amputated at the hip due to a raging bacterial infection, the 47-year-old Frenchman thought about killing himself.

New twist in addiction crisis: Deadly painkiller impostors

Authorities are sounding the alarm about a new and deadly twist in the country's drug-addiction crisis in the form of a potent painkiller disguised as other medications.

Neoehrlichiosis successfully treated in patients without immunodeficiency for the first time

The intercellular bacteria "Candidatus Neoehrlichia," as e.g. Borrelia, can be transferred by ticks. Approx. 4.2 % of indigenous ticks are infected with this rarely explored bacterium which, until today, has been exclusively identified as pathogenic bacterium in patients with an impairment of the immune system, such as in case of leukaemia, rheumatism or after organ transplantation. Now, an interdisciplinary team of researchers of MedUni Vienna and/or AKH Vienna succeeded in diagnosing the bacterium in an otherwise healthy female patient with fever of an unknown origin - and treating it successfully.

Meth use has skyrocketed in Australia

The total number of regular methamphetamine users in Australia is 270,000 - greater than the populations of either Hobart or Townsville.

Making breastfeeding best for women working outside the home

The health advantages of exclusive breastfeeding have been documented and reported for both mothers and children. According to a 2014 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nationally 79 percent of infants had ever been breastfed and 49 percent were breastfeeding at six months. The same report showed, in Kentucky, 61 percent of infants were ever breastfed and only 32 percent were breastfeeding at six months. The goal standard is to increase the proportion of infants that are breastfeeding at six months; with planning and support from the community those rates can improve.

Too much salt leading to risk of overweight and obese children

An Australian first study of primary schoolchildren by Victorian researchers has found that children eating greater amounts of salt have a greater risk of being overweight or obese.

Antibiotic resistance and brain pathways underpinned by a massive engine

Australian research has been given a boost today through a new and major investment into MASSIVE - a five-year collaboration between Monash University, CSIRO and the Australian Synchrotron.

Researchers developing wearable blood pressure monitor

Methods for measuring blood pressure have varied only slightly in the last 100 years, but researchers at Monash University are set to revolutionize the medical monitoring landscape. Known as cuffless blood pressure estimation, this innovative new device requires only a few small sensors to be placed on the body to measure blood pressure, rather than the inflating 'cuff' many of us are familiar with.

New target for reducing nerve pain identified

A specific molecule involved in maintaining pain after a nerve injury has been identified and blocked in mice by Hiroshima University researchers. These results reveal a promising therapeutic strategy for treating neuropathic pain.

New nano-formula boosts skin's defense against free radicals

Researchers at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem have developed a nanotechnology-based delivery system containing a protective cellular pathway inducer that activates the body's natural defense against free radicals efficiently, a development that could control a variety of skin pathologies and disorders.

Wearable tech may aid sporting injury treatment

Wearable tracking devices are set to become even greater sports analysis tools for local athletes thanks to an algorithm developed by WA and Victorian sports scientists and mathematicians.

Organic cation transporter CarT crucial for Drosophila vision

Scientists at UMass Medical School have identified a cell membrane transporter—CarT—that maintains vision in the fruit fly Drosophila by recycling the neurotransmitter histamine in the brain. Details of the study were published in Cell Reports.

Battling outbreak, Hawaii faces small staff, pesticide fears

On a farm in the heart of Hawaii's ongoing dengue outbreak, coffee grows wild among the ferns, and vanilla vines climb guava trees. It's hard to know where nature ends and the farm begins, and that's the way organic farmers there like it.

Electronic cards to make WIC easier to use

Pregnant women and parents using the Women, Infants and Children program will have an easier time buying food at the grocery store.

Low-income seniors report worse health, more depression and less access to care

Single or partnered elderly Californians whose income is above the official poverty level but below what is required to maintain a basic quality of life are almost twice as likely to say they are in poor or fair health; feel depressed; and cannot get timely health care as their wealthier counterparts, according to a new fact sheet by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

Precision oncology could be tailor-made for metastatic prostate cancer

Metastatic prostate cancer, where better therapeutic strategies are desperately needed, appears to be tailor-made for precision oncology, according to a new study by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. They found that a single metastasis within an individual patient can provide consistent molecular information to help guide therapy in metastatic prostate cancer.

Are parents of 'difficult' children more likely to use iPads to calm kids down?

It may be tempting to hand an iPad or Smartphone to a tantrum-throwing child—and maybe more so for some parents.

Studies find osteopathic manipulative treatment improves low back pain, avoid surgery

February 29, 2016— Studies published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association found that osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) reduced pain and improved function in patients suffering from chronic, nonspecific low back pain. Further, patients reporting the worst pain and higher degrees of disability received the most substantial benefit from the treatments.

Irritable bowel self-management strategies sustainable

(HealthDay)—Comprehensive self-management (CSM) strategies are sustainable for patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to a study published in the February issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Drop-to-drop variation seen with fingerprick blood

(HealthDay)—There is drop-to-drop variation in blood component measures from fingerprick blood that is greater than variation in drops of venous blood, according to a study published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Pathology.

Two-pronged attack increases potency of new anti-cancer drugs

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researchers have discovered that the treatment of the most deadly form of blood cancer may be improved by combining two recently developed drugs.

Opting out of federal rule requiring physician supervision does not increase anesthesia care access

The Medicare "opt-out" rule that allows anesthesia to be administered without physician supervision does not increase patient access to anesthesia care, according to a study recently published online in Anesthesia and Analgesia. The study shows that overall, opt-out states experienced a lower growth in anesthesia cases (anesthesia utilization rates) compared with non-opt-out states, suggesting that opt-out is not associated with an increase in access to anesthesia care.

Glucose-guzzling immune cells may drive coronary artery disease, Stanford study finds

Hyper-aggressive immune cells parked in arterial plaque and bingeing on glucose appear to be major drivers of coronary artery disease, Stanford University School of Medicine investigators have found.

Students binge drink less in locales with more affirmative LGBTQ school climates

Both heterosexual and gay/lesbian students report less binge alcohol consumption when living in states or cities that have greater proportions of schools with programs and policies that support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, according to new research from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

Innovative neuropeptide depression treatment to be developed

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and Impel NeuroPharma have signed a licensing agreement to advance a new neuropeptide-based therapeutic approach shown to be effective in treating depression.

Anti-bacterial fabric holds promise for fighting superbug

Antibiotics have proven to be a valuable weapon in the fight against infectious bacteria. However, due to the excess use of antibiotics in conventional treatments, overtime antibiotics have become less effective.

Developmental psychology: Friendship wins out over fairness

When children decide to share, the giver's relationships with the pool of recipients determine who gets how much. They will give more to a wealthy friend than to a needy stranger - at least in cases where wealth is measured in stickers.

Injustice can spread: Researchers discover how the chain of unfair behavior can be stopped

People who feel treated unfairly usually do not direct their anger only towards the perpetrator. They frequently unload their aggressions onto uninvolved outsiders who then in turn behave similarly. How can this chain of unfair behavior be disrupted? A team of researchers under the direction of the University of Bonn discovered that writing a message to the perpetrator is one way to regulate emotions and thereby reassess the situation. The results of the study are now published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Free ambulance service halves pregnancy-related deaths in rural Ethiopia

An operational assessment of a national free ambulance services programme reveals a drastic reduction in pregnancy-related deaths in rural Ethiopia, suggesting that the innovative model could offer a cost-effective way to improve maternal health outcomes across Sub-Saharan Africa. This argument is presented in an article published today in the Journal of Global Health.

Activity monitoring devices provide reliable records of activity

Fitbit, the popular physical activity monitoring device, is a valid and reliable way of monitoring physical activity, finds a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Chronic conditions rise in older people

The number of older people in England living with more than one chronic condition could have risen by ten per cent in the last decade putting increasing pressure on the NHS, new research has suggested.

Snoring in children can affect their health

Children commonly snore from time to time and that is often harmless. But children with frequent snoring and breathing problems during sleep have an increased risk of having trouble concentrating and learning difficulties. A newly published study from Sahlgrenska Academy shows that many parents of children that snore are not aware of the possible risks associated with frequent snoring in children.

'Need for Sleep': Even elite students are not spared

The legendary work ethic of East Asian students may have driven them to the top of the standardised test leaderboard but researchers at Duke-NUS Medical School (Duke-NUS) found that adolescents who sleep five hours a night for a week experience significant cognitive degradation. These findings caution against the levels of sleep curtailment practiced by as many as half of East Asian students in their headlong pursuit of higher grades.

Study hints at regeneration of nerve insulation to treat CHARGE birth defects

Research in Nature Neuroscience suggests the possibility of treating a group of genetic birth defects with molecular therapy that would regenerate malformed nerve insulation in the central nervous system.

Is anti-TNF therapy safe for inflammatory bowel disease patients with prior cancer?

A previous history of cancer doesn't necessarily preclude treatment with antibodies against tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) for patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), suggests a study in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.

Immune therapy breaks down wall around pancreatic tumors for chemo to attack

Many facets of the immune system can be manipulated to combat cancer, including macrophages, an immune cell subset that is commonly associated with aiding tumor growth. In a new preclinical study in Cancer Discovery,, researchers from the Abramson Cancer Center (ACC) at the University of Pennsylvania have uncovered the poorly understood mechanics of how macrophages can be "re-educated" by an experimental immune therapy to help tear down the scaffolding that surrounds and protects pancreas cancer from chemotherapy.

Food fight! Competition grows to bring dinner in the mail

Meal-kit companies have exploded in the past four years, shipping boxes of raw meat, seafood, fresh vegetables and other ingredients to busy city folk who want to skip the supermarket and still cook at home.

Poll: Brazilians oppose abortion in cases of microcephaly

A majority of Brazilians oppose allowing pregnant women to abort fetuses diagnosed with microcephaly, the type of infant brain damage linked to the Zika virus, according to a poll published Monday.

Many prostate cancer patients saved from unnecessary treatments and side effects

Of the approximately 24,000 Canadians diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, about half have a slow-growing form that poses little risk to their health. A new study from The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa shows that men with these slow-growing tumours are increasingly avoiding unnecessary and potentially harmful treatment in favour of an approach called active surveillance—monitoring the cancer with regular tests and treating it only if it changes to a higher risk form.

Active surveillance of low-grade prostate cancer alternative to overtreatment

For men with low-grade prostate cancer, active surveillance—monitoring with the option to treat if the cancer worsens—is the most common management strategy at a regional diagnostic centre in Ottawa, Ontario, according to new research in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)

Childhood poverty, parental abuse cost adults their health for years to come

Growing up in poverty or being abused by parents can lead to accumulated health problems later in life, according to research from Purdue University.

High-precision robotic system targets ocular surgery

Preceyes B.V., a spin-off of Eindhoven University of Technology, and Nightstar (UK) have entered into a collaboration for the development of a high-precision drug delivery technology in the eye. Nightstar will use the Preceyes robotic device to further refine the delivery of gene therapy to the subretinal space for a range of inherited retinal diseases. In the course of the collaboration, Nightstar will purchase the PRECEYES Surgical System for use in human gene therapy trials.

Prostate cancer vaccine trial begins at Oxford and Sheffield

Oxford University scientists have started a clinical trial to test a new vaccine against prostate cancer and are looking for volunteers to take part. The first four participants have already received this experimental vaccine at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, and the second trial site has just been opened at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield.

'Female libido' pill may not be worth it: researchers

(HealthDay)—The much-touted "female libido" pill seems to cause a host of serious side effects while failing to spark much additional passion in a woman's life, a new review suggests.

Study suggests lower income Ontario seniors less likely to access newly approved drugs

Wealthier seniors in Ontario were prescribed a new blood thinner for a common heart rhythm abnormality 1.5 times more often than poorer seniors when the drug was first approved by Health Canada, a new study has found.

Study finds 5x increase in hand sanitizer use when located in hospital

Placing alcohol-based hand sanitizers (AHS) in the middle of a hospital lobby floor in front of the visitor entrance increased visitor usage by 528 percent, according to a study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

Scientists find way to predict activity of stem cells

Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have for the first time developed a way to predict how a specific type of stem cell will act against different diseases. With more than 500 stem cell-based therapies currently in clinical trials, the findings could have an impact on evaluating these therapies and developing new ones.

Occult uterine sarcomas in one in 1,124 hysterectomies

(HealthDay)—Among patients undergoing surgery for benign gynecologic indications, the rate of occult uterine sarcoma is one in 1,124, according to a study published in the March issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Drug-induced liver injury from chinese, western meds varies

(HealthDay)—Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) and Western medicine (WM) have different effects as causes of drug-induced liver injury (DILI), according to a study published online Feb. 20 in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Risk higher in younger children for tonsillectomy complications

(HealthDay)—Although many pediatric patients undergo tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy (T&A) in ambulatory settings, an inpatient setting may be safer for younger children who are at higher risk of complications, according to research published in online Feb. 25 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Addition of amphotericin B to optisol-GS needs further study

(HealthDay)—Further investigation of the addition of amphotericin B to Optisol-GS, the most commonly used corneal storage medium in the United States, is warranted, according to research published online Feb. 25 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Both sides now: Brain reward molecule helps learning to avoid unpleasant experience, too

The brain chemical dopamine regulates how mice learn to avoid a disagreeable encounter, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. "We know that dopamine reinforces 'rewarding' behaviors, but to our surprise, we have now shown that situations that animals learn to avoid are also regulated by dopamine," said senior author John Dani, PhD, chair of the department of Neuroscience. The team's findings are published this month in Cell Reports.

Two-way clustering method for QSAR modeling of diverse set of chemicals

Toxicologists use a large number of tests to assess potential toxicity of chemicals to human and ecological health, a thorough analysis of one chemical requiring $2 to 4 million and a few years of time. One important toxicological property of chemicals is mutagenicity. Both drugs and environmental pollutants can be mutagenic. Gene mutilation related diseases have a major impact on human health. Some mutations may lead to increased susceptibility to some forms of heart disease, diabetes, or cancer. Laboratory bioassays used to assess the mutagenic potential of chemicals because the accumulation of mutations is prerequisite to tumor development. Therefore, testing a large number of chemical mutagens, both drug candidates in the discovery pipeline and environmental pollutants, can be expensive in terms of economic resources, testing facilities, and time.

Doctor, patient expectations differ on fitness and lifestyle tracking

With apps and activity trackers measuring every step people take, every morsel they eat, and each symptom or pain, patients commonly arrive at doctor's offices armed with minutely detailed data they've been collecting about themselves.

Brain boost: ONR Global sponsors research to improve memory through electricity

In a breakthrough study that could improve how people learn and retain information, researchers at the Catholic University Medical School in Rome significantly boosted the memory and mental performance of laboratory mice through electrical stimulation.

Improved imaging takes x-ray risks out of the picture

Fluoroscopy makes guiding a catheter through a blood vessel possible. However, fluoroscopy, a form of real-time moving X-ray, also exposes the patient to radiation. Now, a University of Missouri School of Medicine researcher has evaluated technology that may be used to replace fluoroscopy, eliminating the need for X-ray during cardiac ablation procedures.

A human liver microphysiology platform for studying physiology, drug safety, and disease

The human body critically depends on the liver to metabolize toxins and synthesize biomolecules necessary for life. In addition to being a site for life threatening diseases, the liver is particularly sensitive to damage induced by xenobiotics and drugs. Lawrence Vernetti, a co-author, puts it this way: "The cost to the drug developer becomes enormous if unexpected liver damage emerges late in drug development. You either stop development of potentially life-saving drugs or face additional expensive human clinical trials."

Subcutaneous insulin therapy fails to protect against oxidative stress and inflammation

Subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII) is the gold standard for type 1 diabetic patient therapy. Less physiological than intraperitoneal administration, the subcutaneous route may induce glycemic variability in some patients, a powerful enhancer of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. While this oxidative stress is recognized to play a role in diabetes and its complications, its characterization has not been fully achieved, especially in the liver, the target organ for insulin sensitivity. Under physiological conditions, an endogenous antioxidant system ensures the oxidative balance. Host survival depends upon the ability of cells and tissues to adapt to or resist the stress and repair or remove damaged molecules and cells.

Blocking inflammation prevents cell death, improves memory in Alzheimer's disease

Using a drug compound created to treat cancer, University of California, Irvine neurobiologists have disarmed the brain's response to the distinctive beta-amyloid plaques that are the hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.

Single dose of trastuzumab kick starts immune response in certain breast cancers

A tumor's immune response to a single dose of the HER2 inhibitor trastuzumab predicted which patients with HER2-positive breast cancer would respond to the drug on a more long-term basis, according to the results of a study published recently in Clinical Cancer Research.

Research shows stem cell infusion could be effective for most common type of heart failure

Cardiac stem cells could be an effective treatment for a common but difficult-to-treat type of heart failure, a new study from the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute shows.

Sleep loss boosts hunger and unhealthy food choices

Skimping on sleep has long been associated with overeating, poor food choices and weight gain. Now a new study shows how sleep loss initiates this process, amplifying and extending blood levels of a chemical signal that enhances the joy of eating, particularly the guilty pleasures gained from sweet or salty, high-fat snack foods.

Lung-MAP precision medicine trial makes exciting changes

The team behind the Lung Cancer Master Protocol (Lung-MAP), a groundbreaking clinical trial for patients with advanced squamous cell lung cancer, is announcing exciting new changes and enrolling more patients as it adapts to the latest science and treatments. The nation-wide precision medicine trial now includes nivolumab, the immunotherapy treatment recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Nuclear export of opioid growth factor receptor is CRM1 dependent

In a study in the February 2016 Issue (241:3) of Experimental Biology and Medicine researchers at The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, led by Dr. Pat McLaughlin, discovered that a novel biological pathway, the OGF-OGFr axis, regulates cell proliferation in normal and abnormal cells and tissues.

Why the 'Johnny Depp Effect' doesn't always work

New psychology research from the University of Otago, Warwick Business School, and University of California, San Diego, is helping explain why male faces with feminine features are considered attractive in some contexts but not others.

Female fertility is dependent on functional expression of the E3 ubiquitin ligase Itch

The post-translational addition of ubiquitin to proteins by enzymes of the E3 ubiquitin ligase family is largely recognized as a means to target misfolded or unwanted proteins for degradation by the proteasome. However, it is now understood that ubiquitination serves as a signal to modify a number of cellular functions such as protein trafficking, cell signaling, DNA repair, chromatin modifications, cell-cycle progression, and cell death. Though these functions are integral for all cells throughout the body, the physiologic role of specific E3 ligases must yet be defined in the context of various tissues. For example, very few studies exist that interrogate the function of specific E3 ubiquitin ligases in the reproductive system.

Sexual health communication between Asian-American adolescents and health-care providers

Health care providers play an important role in providing accurate information to adolescents about sexual health issues, including prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). There has been limited research, however, on how to best provide effective discussions about sexual health with Asian-American adolescents in a culturally sensitive manner.

Increased risk of obesity with increased time in the US in Filipino immigrants in New York

A study led by SUNY Downstate Medical Center has found increased risk of obesity among Filipino immigrants living in the New York City metropolitan area. The findings were published in the January/March issue of the journal, Family & Community Health.

For cancer patients, pain may rise as finances dwindle

(HealthDay)—Cancer patients skating near financial ruin will likely suffer more pain and worse symptoms than those who have some savings to fall back on, a new study reports.

Daylight saving time tied to brief spike in stroke risk

(HealthDay)—Changing the clocks for daylight saving time may cause a short-lived spike in some people's risk of suffering a stroke, a preliminary study hints.

Car crash risk may nearly double in people prone to fainting

(HealthDay)—People with a history of fainting may be almost twice as likely as others to get into a car crash, a new study finds.

Type 1 diabetes associated with increased risk of some cancer types

New research reveals that type 1 diabetes is associated with an increased risk of various cancer types including cancers of the stomach, liver, pancreas, endometrium, ovary and kidney, but a reduced risk of other cancer types, including prostate and breast cancer. The results derive from a multicentre study of data from five countries, published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]) by Senior Statistician Bendix Carstensen, Steno Diabetes Center, Denmark, Dr Stephanie Read and Professor Sarah Wild, University of Edinburgh, UK, and fellow members of the EASD Cancer and Diabetes group.

Study underscores huge gap between rich, poor in global surgery

The number of surgeries performed worldwide has grown steadily, particularly in the developing world, yet there remains an enormous gap in surgical care between rich and poor nations, according to a new study led by a Stanford University School of Medicine researcher.

Study points to cannabis' effect on emotion processing

The complex biochemistry of cannabis and how it affects the brain is only beginning to be understood. Lucy Troup, assistant professor of psychology at Colorado State University, has set out to answer specifically how, if at all, cannabis use affects one's ability to process emotions.

Bangladesh's 'Tree Man' may need dozen more operations

A Bangladeshi father dubbed "Tree Man" for massive bark-like warts on his hands and feet may need a dozen more operations to remove the growths, a hospital director said Sunday.

Yellow fever death toll rises to 125 in Angola

An ongoing yellow fever epidemic in Angola has killed 125 people out of 664 suspected cases since December 30, government statistics show, despite attempts to quell the outbreak.

As a state of islands marijuana sales tricky for Hawaii

With less than five months to go before medical marijuana dispensaries can open in Hawaii, business owners could be facing unique obstacles in a state of islands separated by federal waters.

Extracting value from chaos: The promise of health information technology

Expectations for health information technology abound. A paper from the Regenstrief Institute takes a sweeping look at a variety of categories of health IT including electronic medical records; health information exchange; telemedicine; patient portals and personal health records; mobile devices, wearable sensors and monitors; and social media. The authors evaluate current use of these technologies, detail their potential and discuss barriers that must be overcome to fulfill their promise of improving health.

Cruise ship that was damaged in storm turns around again

A cruise ship that was battered by a major Atlantic storm earlier this month was headed back to its home port Sunday as another squall and a norovirus outbreak threatened its current voyage.

Women considering abortions in many U.S. states get medically inaccurate information

Women considering abortions are getting medically inaccurate information nearly a third of the time in states that require doctors to provide informed consent materials to their patients, according to a Rutgers study.

Clinical trial demonstrates benefits of intravascular ultrasound vs. current diagnostics

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG; AEX: PHIA) today announced that Paul J. Gagne, MD, chief of vascular surgery at Norwalk Hospital in Norwalk, CT, has presented clinical trial data that demonstrates the benefits of its intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) technology compared to conventional contrast-enhanced X-ray imaging of the veins (also known as multiplanar X-ray venography) in the diagnosis of iliofemoral venous obstruction i.e. narrowed or blocked leg veins.

Understanding ageism prolongs your life

Perceptions about ageism makes people think of older people and is a form of discrimination. This according to Fredrik Snellman at Umeå University who believes that the concept needs to be redefined to mirror all people's practical experiences of ageing. The results have been published in the journal Nordic Psychology.

Web app to lower blood pressure by promoting a healthy lifestyle

Designed by doctors and psychologists from Valencian universities, the interactive web application has so far been tested on 100 overweight or obese patients.

Training needed to increase physician comfort level with transgender patients

George Washington University (GW) Researcher Michael S. Irwig, M.D. published a first-of-its-kind survey assessing the attitudes and practice patterns of transgender care by endocrinologists, who often treat transgender patients with hormone therapy.

Abortion case returns to Supreme Court after loss of Scalia

The Supreme Court challenge to a Texas law that has dramatically reduced the number of abortion clinics in the state is the justices' most significant case on the hot-button issue in nearly a quarter-century.

Risk of catching Ebola from survivor 'very low'

New research from the University of East Anglia shows that the risk of catching Ebola from a survivor is very low.

Renal insufficiency: Frequently undetected

In Germany, nearly 2 million people have non-dialysis-dependent renal insufficiency. This is the result presented by Matthias Girndt and colleagues, based on a study from the Robert Koch Institute and published in Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2016; 113: 85-91). In a second paper, Falk Hoffmann and colleagues conclude that one in five nursing home residents with renal insufficiency receives a contraindicated medication (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2016; 113: 92-98).

Public health should be part of Canada's missing and murdered Aboriginal women inquiry

Public health should be involved in Canada's national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women, because many factors underlying family and interpersonal violence are linked to mental health issues, substance abuse, low income and other public health issues, urges an editorial in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)

Metabolic phenotyping of blood plasma allows for the detection of lung cancer

Metabolic phenotyping of blood plasma by proton nuclear magnetic resonance (H-NMR) identified unique metabolic biomarkers specific to lung cancer patients and allowed for the accurate identification of a cohort of patients with early and late-stage lung cancer.

LGBTQ people often invisible in home care, research project reveals

Ontario's LGBTQ communities face barriers to finding high quality home care that meet their unique needs, a five-year study by York University researchers reveals.

Telemedicine to expand access to abortion pill in Maine

Maine is set to become the third state where women can utilize telemedicine to access abortion pills to end early pregnancies without the need for an in-office consultation with a doctor.

W.Va. lawmakers OK ban on 2nd trimester abortion method

A second-trimester abortion method would be banned in many instances under a bill that has passed the West Virginia Legislature.

FDA to add bold warning to Essure contraceptive device

Federal health regulators plan to add new warnings to Essure, a much-debated contraceptive implant that has been subject to thousands of complaints from women reporting chronic pain, bleeding and other problems.

Other Sciences news

Best of Last Week – Finding missing matter, strange music from the moon and how junk food primes the brain

It was another good week for physics as a new fast radio burst discovery found 'missing matter' in the universe—the international team of space scientists used a combination of optical and radio telescopes to home in on the burst first heard in April of last year.

Scientists discover major Jurassic fossil site in Argentina

Paleontologists in Argentina have announced the discovery of a major Jurassic-era fossil site four years after it was first discovered.

Fossil find reveals just how big carnivorous dinosaur may have grown

An unidentified fossilised bone in a museum has revealed the size of a fearsome abelisaur and may have solved a hundred-year old puzzle.

520-million-year-old fossilized nervous system is most detailed example yet found

Researchers have found one of the oldest and most detailed fossils of the central nervous system yet identified, from a crustacean-like animal that lived more than 500 million years ago. The fossil, from southern China, has been so well preserved that individual nerves are visible, the first time this level of detail has been observed in a fossil of this age.

New study delves into what makes a great leader

According to a new study by Dina Krasikova, assistant professor of management at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), the key to a successful, creative leader is confidence. Krasikova, an expert in leadership, took a closer look at the modern workplace and noted that many factors lead to a productive, well-led team.

Study identifies racial bias in US court sentencing decisions

Petty criminals who are black are more likely to be jailed than their white counterparts and serve longer sentences for low severity crimes, according to new research.

Automation won't destroy jobs, but it will change them

The last few years have seen numerous studies pointing to a bleak future with technology-induced unemployment on the rise. For example, a pivotal 2013 study by researchers at the University of Oxford found that of 702 unique job types in the United States economy, around 47% were at high risk of computerisation.

'Class ceiling' stops working class actors from getting parts

New research supports warnings from Christopher Eccleston and Julie Walters that acting in Britain has become a largely middle class profession.

Romanian police seize stolen archaeological treasures

Romanian police have seized gold coins and a treasure trove of statues which are over 2,000 years old allegedly stolen from archaeological sites and destined for auction, prosecutors said Monday.

MOOC instructors may need more support for successful courses

Supporting instructors of massive open online courses—MOOCs—may be just as important to the creation of long-term, successful courses as attracting and supporting students, according to a group of researchers.

Obama launches 'take your child to the lab' week

President Barack Obama is launching a version of "take your child to work day" that's focused on America's science laboratories instead of its corporate workspaces.

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