Friday, March 16, 2018

Science X Newsletter Friday, Mar 16

Dear Reader ,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for March 16, 2018:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Researchers uncover framework for how stem cells determine where to form replacement structures

Researchers measure gene activity in single cells

Study with infants suggests language not necessary for reasoning ability

Plasmons triggered in nanotube quantum wells

Piezomagnetic material changes magnetic properties when stretched

Experience trumps youth among jumping fish

World's biggest battery in Australia to trump Musk's

New technique uses AI to locate and count craters on the moon

A machine-learning approach to inventory-constrained dynamic pricing

New device for studying cell lineage over multiple generations offers a way to measure effects of mutations

Combining microbial and chemical fingerprints for forensics applications

NASA powers on new instrument staring at the Sun

Imaging technique pulls plasmon data together

Rare metals on Mars and Earth implicate colossal impacts

Stephen Hawking had pinned his hopes on 'M-theory' to fully explain the universe—here's what it is

Astronomy & Space news

New technique uses AI to locate and count craters on the moon

A new technique developed by researchers at U of T Scarborough is using the same technology behind self-driving cars to measure the size and location of crater impacts on the moon.

NASA powers on new instrument staring at the Sun

NASA has powered on its latest space payload to continue long-term measurements of the Sun's incoming energy. Total and Spectral solar Irradiance Sensor (TSIS-1), installed on the International Space Station, became fully operational with all instruments collecting science data as of this March.

Rare metals on Mars and Earth implicate colossal impacts

New research has revealed that a giant impact on Mars more than four billion years ago would explain the unusual amount of "iron loving" elements in the Red Planet.

Send your name to the sun aboard NASA's Parker Solar Probe

NASA's Parker Solar Probe—designed, built and managed by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory—will launch in summer 2018 on a historic mission to the sun.

A massive telescope for seeing the invisible

Some of the universe's greatest mysteries could soon be resolved thanks to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a huge radio telescope that will be built in South Africa and Australia. Several EPFL labs are involved in this epic project.

These are the places that (most likely) host alien life

Not too cold, not too hot—the conditions for life are found not just on Earth, but on a handful of other places out in the universe.

Black holes aren't totally black, and other insights from Stephen Hawking's groundbreaking work

Mathematical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking was best known for his work exploring the relationship between black holes and quantum physics. A black hole is the remnant of a dying supermassive star that's fallen into itself; these remnants contract to such a small size that gravity is so strong even light cannot escape from them. Black holes loom large in the popular imagination – schoolchildren ponder why the whole universe doesn't collapse into one. But Hawking's careful theoretical work filled in some of the holes in physicists' knowledge about black holes.

Technology news

World's biggest battery in Australia to trump Musk's

British billionaire businessman Sanjeev Gupta will built the world's biggest battery in South Australia, officials said Friday, overtaking US star entrepreneur Elon Musk's project in the same state last year.

A machine-learning approach to inventory-constrained dynamic pricing

In 1933, William R. Thompson published an article on a Bayesian model-based algorithm that would ultimately become known as Thompson sampling. This heuristic was largely ignored by the academic community until recently, when it became the subject of intense study, thanks in part to internet companies that successfully implemented it for online ad display.

Artificial intelligence: ARC test focus goes beyond factoid questions

"Common sense" is a phrase everyone hears at one time or another, usually from an angry bystander who think you don't have any. What is "common sense?"

1 in 3 Michigan workers tested opened fake 'phishing' email

Michigan auditors who conducted a fake "phishing" attack on 5,000 randomly selected state employees said Friday that nearly one-third opened the email, a quarter clicked on the link and almost one-fifth entered their user ID and password.

Target fights Amazon by offering free two-day shipping and bringing online orders to cars

Target is fighting Amazon's total retail domination by offering free two-day shipping, again raising wages and offering to bring online orders to customers' cars, the company announced at its annual meeting.

By vibrating the muscles, engineers produce a better prosthetic hand

Consider for a moment the welter of unconscious judgments and adjustments you make every time your hand reaches for an object—say, a tall drink of water. Eyes, muscles, brain and digits coordinate with exquisite speed and subtlety to ensure the cup is reached, grasped around the middle, held gently but firmly, and drawn—upright and at a pace that won't make waves—to your mouth.

Artificial intelligence can transform industries, but California lawmakers are worried about privacy

The use of bots to meddle in political elections. Algorithms that learn who people are and keep them coming back to social media platforms. The rise of autonomous vehicles and drones that could displace hundreds of thousands of workers.

Amazon looks at dropping packages onto your patio from as high as 25 feet

It's not that drones get tired, it's just that if they're delivering your box of cat food and low-rise socks, dropping down to put it on your patio and flying back up for the next delivery takes power that they need to conserve.

A flexible, low-cost technique could lead to the mass production of microelectromechanical systems

Making increasingly smaller microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) has proved very challenging, limiting their anticipated potential. Now, researchers at A*STAR have developed a versatile and cost-effective technique for making devices with much greater precision and reliability for use in biotechnology and medical applications.

The technology that gave Stephen Hawking a voice should be accessible to all who need it

Stephen Hawking was one of the most prominent people in history to use a high-tech communication aid known as augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).

Three scenarios show we have to think carefully about ethics in designing smart cities

To improve cities, governments are increasingly promoting the use of technology and data-driven decision-making. They decide how technologies and Big Data are being used or deployed in creating smart cities, with the help of academics who collect and interpret data, design new city ideas and newer technologies for cities.

A media giant in the balance: AT&T antitrust trial kicks off

On Monday, AT&T squares off against the federal government in a trial that could shape how you get—and how much you pay for—streaming TV and movies.

US opposes taxes on big tech firms

The United States said Friday it "firmly opposes" any new tax aimed at big technology firms, in a sharp challenge to a European proposal aimed at American digital titans.

EU readies tax on US tech titans

The European Union will next week unveil plans for a digital tax on US tech giants like Facebook, Amazon and Google as transatlantic tensions flare over prospects of a trade war.

Chalkboard computer teacher is international conference star

A Ghanaian schoolteacher who used chalkboard drawings to teach computer science because his farming village had no laptops found himself the star of a global conference in Singapore.

EU tech titans tax plan riles Washington

European Union plans for a digital tax on US tech giants like Facebook, Amazon and Google sparked fresh trade war tensions with Washington on Friday.

Drake breaks new streaming record—in video games

Hip-hop superstar Drake has broken a new record in streaming—this time in video games.

Siemens' health unit shares surge in Frankfurt debut (Update)

Shares in Siemens' Healthineers unit surged in their debut on the Frankfurt stock exchange Friday, after the industrial giant raised 4.2 billion euros in a more muted than expected initial public offering.

Rihanna hits Snapchat over beating ad, sending shares tumbling

Rihanna on Thursday denounced Snapchat after an advertisement made light of her beating by fellow pop star Chris Brown, sending the company's share prices tumbling.

Google says it pays women equally. An activist shareholder isn't convinced.

Google, which is being sued by former employees and investigated by the Labor Department for underpaying women, says it pays most of the men and women who work for the Internet giant around the globe—89% of the more than 70,000 plus employees—equally.

Whistleblower charges Walmart misled on e-commerce data in catch-up race with Amazon

A whistleblowing former employee alleges Walmart issued misleading e-commerce data in its race to catch up with retail rival, and then fired him in retaliation when he refused to stop complaining about the practice.

Facebook, with 2,000 employees in Seattle, expands into new building

Facebook, which has doubled the size of its workforce in Seattle in two years, has started moving into the second of four buildings the social-networking firm will be leasing in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood.

Gadgets: Great finds from the 2018 WPPI trade show

The 2018 WPPI trade show, for veteran or beginning wedding and portrait photographers, was held recently in Las Vegas. As usual the trade show portion of the event brought out companies introducing new innovative products to help photographers to do their job.

Need your yard mowed? 'Uber for lawn care' coming to Sacramento

Need someone to care for your lawn? There's an app for that.

Monocrystalline silicon thin film for cost-cutting solar cells with 10-times faster growth rate fabricated

A research team from Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Waseda University have successfully produced high-quality thin film monocrystalline silicon with a reduced crystal defect density down to the silicon wafer level at a growth rate that is more than 10 times higher than before. In principle, this method can improve the raw material yield to nearly 100 percent. Therefore, it can be expected that this technology will make it possible to drastically reduce manufacturing costs while maintaining the power generation efficiency of monocrystalline silicon solar cells, which are used in most high efficient solar cells.

Appeals court nixes some FCC rules on robocalls

A federal appeals court rolled back rules intended to deter irritating telemarketing robocalls, saying they were too broad.

Medicine & Health news

Study with infants suggests language not necessary for reasoning ability

A team of researchers from Spain, Hungary and Poland has found via a study with infants that language may not be a necessity for the ability to reason. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their study and what they found, and also offer some opinions on how their findings might be used to better understand the ability to reason. Justin Halberda with Johns Hopkins University offers a Perspective piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue.

Democratizing science: Researchers make neuroscience experiments easier to share, reproduce

Over the past few years, scientists have faced a problem: They often cannot reproduce the results of experiments done by themselves or their peers.

Team develops 3-D tissue model of a developing human heart

The heart is the first organ to develop in the womb and the first cause of concern for many parents.

Obesity and health problems: New research on a safeguard mechanism

Obesity and its negative impacts on health - including metabolic syndrome, type-2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular complications - are a global pandemic (Taubes, 2009). The worldwide incidence of obesity has more than doubled since 1980, and in 2014 more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight - and of these, 600 million were obese (World Health Organisation, 2015).

Human 'chimeric' cells restore crucial protein in Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Cells made by fusing a normal human muscle cell with a muscle cell from a person with Duchenne muscular dystrophy —a rare but fatal form of muscular dystrophy—were able to significantly improve muscle function when implanted into the muscles of a mouse model of the disease. The findings are reported by researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Stem Cell Review and Reports.

Study of nearly 300,000 people challenges the 'obesity paradox'

The idea that it might be possible to be overweight or obese but not at increased risk of heart disease, otherwise known as the "obesity paradox", has been challenged by a study of nearly 300,000 people published in in the European Heart Journal today.

Early puberty linked with increased risk of obesity for women

Girls who start puberty earlier are more likely to be overweight as adults, finds new research from Imperial College London.

One quarter of penis cancer sufferers don't get recommended treatment—halving the survival rate

A major international survey has found that around a quarter of patients are not receiving the recommended treatment for cancer of the penis. It also found that these patients had half the survival rate of those who were treated according to guidelines. The study, presented at the EAU conference in Copenhagen, finds that non-adherence is partly due to patients refusing treatment, or doctors being reluctant to treat appropriately or being unfamiliar with the best procedures.

Tonsillectomy may carry more risks in kids age 3 and under

(HealthDay)—When a child's tonsils become inflamed, surgical removal —a tonsillectomy—is often ordered.

Risk of breast CA may be higher in women with schizophrenia

(HealthDay)—The incidence of breast cancer in women with schizophrenia may be higher than that of the general female population, according to a review and meta-analysis published online March 7 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Grass peptide immunotherapy cuts seasonal allergy symptoms

(HealthDay)—Immunotherapy with peptide hydrolysates from Lolium perenne (LPP) reduces seasonal allergy symptoms and is generally well tolerated, according to a study published online March 7 in Allergy.

Burn deaths down from 1989 to 2017 in the US

(HealthDay)—Burn injury survival has dramatically increased over the past 30 years, according to a study published online March 9 in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Barriers to colorectal cancer screening among poor identified

(HealthDay)—Improving colorectal cancer screening rates among lower-income populations requires addressing structural, personal, and health care system barriers, according to research published in the April issue of Diseases of the Colon & Rectum.

Chinese takeout has so much salt it should carry a 'health warning,' UK advocacy group says

A UK advocacy group has added a little extra salt to sodium's existing wounds.

Study extends potential for personalized immunotherapy to large variety of cancers

A Ludwig Cancer Research study shows that ovarian cancer, which has proved resistant to currently available immunotherapies, could be susceptible to personalized immunotherapy. Led by Alexandre Harari and George Coukos, director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Lausanne, the study shows that ovarian tumors harbor highly reactive killer T cells, which kill infected and cancerous cells. The study demonstrates how they can be identified and selectively grown for use in personalized, cell-based immunotherapies.

The brain puts the memories warehouse in order while we sleep

During the hours of sleep, the brain performs a cleaning shift. A study led by a Spanish scientist at the University of Cambridge reveals that the neural connections associated with memory are strengthened and those created from irrelevant data are weakened until they are purged.

Researchers create a drug to extend the lives of men with prostate cancer

Fifteen years ago, Michael Jung was already an eminent scientist when his wife asked him a question that would change his career, and extend the lives of many men with a particularly lethal form of prostate cancer.

The myth behind adrenal fatigue

Do you feel extremely tired, have body aches or experience sleep disturbances? A simple internet search of these symptoms might bring up a condition called adrenal fatigue. However, Baylor College of Medicine's Dr. Ruchi Gaba warns against taking this term at face value and explains what might really be going on when you experience these symptoms.

Whole grains deliver on health benefits

All hail the whole grain!

Study casts doubt on ketamine nasal sprays for depression

Researchers from the Black Dog Institute and UNSW Sydney have questioned the efficacy and safety of intranasal ketamine for depression, with their pilot trial stopped early due to poor side effects in patients.

Report warns of cancer risk from chemicals used to cure processed meats

Researchers at Queen's University Belfast have found that nitrates used in the curing process for processed meats can produce chemicals that cause an increased risk of colorectal cancer.

A multimodal intervention to reduce one of the most common healthcare-acquired infections

Surgical site infections are the most frequent health care-associated infections in developing countries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this type of infection can affect up to one-third of surgical patients in those nations.

Potential of 3-D nanoenvironments for experimental cancer research

Researchers at Okayama University employed a 3-D nano-matrix to gain insights into how different cells types mimic the properties of cancer stem cells in this environment. Their results published in the journal PLOS One show that a nano-environment promotes distinct patterns of cell aggregation and biological properties that are reminiscent of tumors.

A little anger in negotiation pays

During negotiations, high-intensity anger elicits smaller concessions than moderate-intensity anger, according to a new study by management and business experts at Rice University and Northwestern University.

Protein analysis for personalised medicine

New knowledge about proteins helps researchers develop innovative solutions for clinical practice, for example to the benefit of patients with Parkinsons's disease.

New findings on type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer survival rates

Researchers from the University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center and Office of Public Health Studies found that patients who have type 2 diabetes in addition to other chronic diseases have a lower survival rate for colorectal cancer.

First hormone-free male contraceptive pill soon to be a reality

A hormone-free male contraceptive pill may soon become a reality, with Monash scientists moving closer to developing a new combination of oral contraceptive drugs that together block the transport of sperm during ejaculation.

Assay for genetic quirk can provide a wealth of information on patient disease status and prognosis

Despite great advances in medicine, cancer remains a death sentence for many. "Patients are still dying from breast cancer relapse," says Jian Yuan Goh, of A*STAR's Genome Institute of Singapore. The researcher and his colleagues, a team from Singapore, China, the United States, and Denmark, have recently identified a genetic aberration in a particularly aggressive subtype of breast cancer cells that, when quantified, can provide insights into a patient's cancer status, chances of relapse, and treatment progress. This discovery paves the way for an alternative to invasive and expensive biopsy testing.

Influenza's wild origins in the animals around us

In the early 20th century, the leading cause of death was infectious disease. Epidemics erupted with little warning, seemingly out of the blue. When the "Great Influenza" struck in 1918, it killed thousands of people a week in American cities and spread like wildfire around the globe. My great aunt, still a teenager, and living in the San Francisco area, was one of its estimated 50 to 100 million victims worldwide.

Fear of public speaking could be solved with virtual audience

Public speaking can heighten anyone's anxiety. Cicero, a program named after the famed Roman orator, aims to help people overcome that fear—with the help of a virtual audience.

Older Americans are experiencing "delayed aging"—and better health

Americans may be aging more slowly than they were two decades ago.

Early vaccination key to preventing HPV

Nearly half of adolescents aren't receiving a pair of vaccines to prevent a virus many of them will get.

Young blood—magic or medicine?

Ben Franklin famously wrote: "In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes". What he didn't mention, despite being 83 years old, was a third, almost inevitable eventuality: ageing.

Can the healthy brain offer clues to curing Alzheimer's?

"Have you cured Alzheimer's disease yet?"

Immune system 'double agent' could be new ally in cancer fight

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have discovered that an enzyme called TAK1 functions like a "double agent" in the innate immune response, serving as an unexpected regulator of inflammation and cell death. The findings highlight TAK1 inhibition as a potential cancer treatment.

How technology can help you get a better night's sleep

It's smart to turn off mobile devices and other small screens at least an hour before bedtime, but technology can also help us power down for a good night's sleep, says expert Cary Brown, a researcher in the University of Alberta's Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine.

Researchers examine bullying behavior by high school coaches

A new study by NDSU researchers has investigated the impact of high school coaches bullying student-athletes.

Sedentary lifestyles more harmful if type 2 diabetes in the family

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that a reduction in physical activity and an increase in sedentary behaviour has detrimental effects on the body, and could be more harmful if a first degree relative has type 2 diabetes.

Genetic variant discovery to help asthma sufferers

Research from the University of Liverpool, published today in Lancet Respiratory Medicine, identifies a genetic variant that could improve the safety and effectiveness of corticosteroids, drugs that are used to treat a range of common and rare conditions including asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Which skills will help patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a complex psychological condition, and those who suffer from it experience severe reduction in their quality of life. A new study in Springer's journal Cognitive Therapy and Research now shows that OCD sufferers need to adopt adaptive coping skills rather than the maladaptive strategies often used such as repetitive, compulsive actions or creating emotional distance from a situation, in order to effectively manage their condition. The research was led by Steffen Moritz of the University Hospital Hamburg in Germany.

Older adults' difficulties with focusing can be used to help put a face to a name

Everyone has experienced the awkward situation of meeting someone and then forgetting their name shortly after. Among older adults, this happens more often than not.

Colorado cannabis workers are happy, but need better safety training: study

Occupational health researchers at Colorado State University are drawing attention to worker safety and satisfaction in a young industry still finding its feet: legal cannabis.

Researchers join forces to improve life for children with genetic disorder

Audrey Alves had just turned 2 when she first visited the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute Neuromotor Research Clinic a year ago. Unlike most toddlers her age, she struggled to sit, crawl, and communicate.

US warns travelers of deadly yellow fever in Brazil

A deadly and growing yellow fever outbreak in Brazil has killed at least four international visitors, and US health officials on Friday warned travelers to get vaccinated or stay away.

Online intervention improves depression treatment rates in teen moms

An online program persuaded teenage mothers across 10 Kentucky counties to seek medical help for depression, highlighting an inexpensive way to increase mental health treatment rates for the vulnerable group, according to a University of Louisville study.

Tree care workers need better training to handle dangers on the job, study finds

As climate change increases the risk to trees from severe storms, insects, diseases, drought and fire, a Rutgers University study highlights the need for improved safety in tree-care operations.

Chemical peels are safe for people with darker skin, result in few side effects and complications

Results from a new study led by Boston Medical Center (BMC) indicate that, when performed appropriately, chemical peels can be a safe treatment option for people with darker skin. The findings, first published online in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, show that less than four percent of people with darker skin experienced unwanted side effects from a chemical peel. In addition, the researchers observed a lower rate of side effects compared to previous studies that included all skin types.

Brazil yellow fever outbreak necessitates vaccines

Brazil is in the midst of a yellow fever outbreak, with the mosquito-borne virus reaching popular tourist destinations that do not normally see the disease. Since January 2018, 10 cases of yellow fever have been confirmed in international travelers visiting Brazil, including four deaths.

Flu season finally slowing down

(HealthDay)—As winter nears its end so too does a tough flu season, with new data showing a decline in doctor visits and less severe strains of influenza beginning to dominate.

Binge drinking rampant among Americans

(HealthDay)—Americans are on a binge drinking binge.

'March madness' a peak time for vasectomies

(HealthDay)—Thinking about a vasectomy? Now—as March Madness begins—might be just the time for the procedure.

5 ways out of an exercise rut

(HealthDay)—Do you feel like you're stuck in second gear when it comes to exercise? Maybe you just don't experience the initial thrill of getting in shape anymore. Just as with dieting, it's possible to hit a fitness plateau.

Hep C compounds alcoholism's effect on brain volume

(HealthDay)—Alcohol dependence has deleterious effects on frontal cortical volumes that are compounded by hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and drug dependence, according to a study published online March 14 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Hemodynamic parameters predict outcome in PH-HFpEF

(HealthDay)—The hemodynamic parameters transpulmonary gradient, pulmonary vascular resistance, and diastolic pulmonary gradient are associated with mortality and cardiac hospitalization in pulmonary hypertension (PH) in patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), according to a study published online March 14 in JAMA Cardiology.

No benefit for MRI after normal cervical CT in blunt trauma

(HealthDay)—For patients with obtunded blunt trauma to the cervical spine, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) follow-up appears not to be beneficial after normal cervical computed tomography (CT) findings, according to a study published online March 14 in JAMA Surgery.

Closed-loop insulin delivery promising in T1DM pregnancy

(HealthDay)—For pregnant women with type 1 diabetes, a closed-loop system is associated with comparable glucose control and significantly less hypoglycemia than sensor-augmented pump (SAP) therapy, according to a study published online March 13 in Diabetes Care.

Dose-escalated radn does not up survival in localized prostate CA

(HealthDay)—Dose escalation from 70.2 to 79.2 Gy is not associated with improved overall survival (OS) in intermediate-risk prostate cancer, according to a study published online March 15 in JAMA Oncology.

Major study shows x5 greater suicide rate in patients with urological cancers

A major UK survey has shown that patients with urological cancer such as prostate, bladder or kidney cancer are five times more likely to commit suicide than people without cancer. The analysis also shows that cancer patients generally are around three times more likely to commit suicide than the general population, and that the proportion of attempted suicides which result in a completed or successful suicide was higher in cancer patients, with a higher proportion still in patients with urological cancers.

A new algorithm designed to make cardiopulmonary resuscitation more effective

Researchers in the UPV/EHU's Signal and Communications Group in collaboration with researchers in the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) have developed an algorithm to guide an effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation manoeuvre. Based on chest acceleration, it calculates the depth and frequency at which chest compressions are performed. PLOS ONE reports on the research with a validation of the algorithm with acceleration signals recorded during actual instances of cardiorespiratory arrest.

Is MERS-CoV a threat for Africa?

Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a lethal disease in humans, caused by a coronavirus (MERS-CoV). It was first identified in man in 2012, in the Arabian Peninsula. The main MERS-CoV reservoir species is the dromedary, which is found in large numbers in many African countries. Why is it that they have never transmitted the virus to humans, as they have in parts of the Middle East? The first clues were published in an article in the journal PNAS on 5 March. The work in question associated researchers from CIRAD, in partnership with IRD and several African partners, and an international team led by Professor Malik Peiris from Hong Kong University, who is Scientific Director of the Institut Pasteur's Hong Kong research pole.

The homeless need more than shelter—they need a good night's rest

It is estimated that about a third of people in the UK sleep poorly most nights, due to combination of stress, partner disturbance or lack of comfort. But, on any given night, a significant group of people have an added reason for insomnia – homelessness.

Researchers advise the use of anaesthesia in foetuses from 21 weeks of gestation

Although the problem of whether foetuses are able to feel is still controversial, experts at the University Hospital Virgen del Rocío in Seville have recently published a study in which they confirm that from the second trimester of pregnancy, the foetus shows pain responses to a harmful stimulus or as a response to stress. Therefore, the researchers indicate the need to anaesthetise the foetus during open foetal surgery, OFS.

Smart software can diagnose prostate cancer as well as a pathologist

Chinese scientists and clinicians have developed a learning artificial intelligence system which can diagnose and identify cancerous prostate samples as accurately as any pathologist. This holds out the possibility of streamlining and eliminating variation in the process of cancer diagnosis. It may also help overcome any local shortage of trained pathologists. In the longer term it may lead to automated or partially-automated prostate cancer diagnosis.

Climate change promotes the spread of mosquito and tick-borne viruses

Spurred on by climate change, international travel and international trade, disease-bearing insects are spreading to ever-wider parts of the world.

New report examines scientific evidence on safety and quality of abortion care in US

While legal abortions in the U.S. are safe, the likelihood that women will receive the type of abortion services that best meet their needs varies considerably depending on where they live, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. In addition, the report notes, the vast majority of abortions can be provided safely in office-based settings.

The role of verb fluency in the detection of early cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's disease

The ability to generate spoken verbs in infinitive in a given time begins to worsen in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Thus, the verb fluency test has been found to be a suitable neuropsychological tool for the detection of healthy aging people at risk of developing cognitive impairment, according to a recent research of the Research Center and Memory Clinic. Fundació ACE. Institut Català de Neurociències Aplicades, UIC-Barcelona, Spain.

Not having a regular doctor affects healthcare quality for older adults

About five percent of older adults on Medicare don't have a "personal physician," and this group scores lower on measures of healthcare quality, reports a study in the April issue of Medical Care.

Report: Abortion is safe but barriers reduce quality of care

Abortions in the U.S. are very safe but getting one without facing delays and false medical information depends on where women live, says a broad examination of the nation's abortion services.

Biology news

Researchers uncover framework for how stem cells determine where to form replacement structures

Researchers at Whitehead Institute have uncovered a framework for regeneration that may explain and predict how stem cells in adult, regenerating tissue determine where to form replacement structures.

Researchers measure gene activity in single cells

For biologists, a single cell is a world of its own: It can form a harmonious part of a tissue, or go rogue and take on a diseased state, like cancer. But biologists have long struggled to identify and track the many different types of cells hiding within tissues.

Experience trumps youth among jumping fish

Tiny jumping fish can leap further as they get older, new research shows.

New device for studying cell lineage over multiple generations offers a way to measure effects of mutations

A team of researchers with members from several institutions in France has found a new way to study cell lineage over multiple generations. They developed a device (which they call a "mother machine") that is capable of separating out individual bacteria cells and watching as they divide over time and sometimes mutate. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes using the device to measure the percentage of E. coli bacteria that developed with lethal mutations.

Entomologist confirms first Saharan farming 10,000 years ago

By analysing a prehistoric site in the Libyan desert, a team of researchers from the universities of Huddersfield, Rome and Modena & Reggio Emilia has been able to establish that people in Saharan Africa were cultivating and storing wild cereals 10,000 years ago. In addition to revelations about early agricultural practices, there could be a lesson for the future, if global warming leads to a necessity for alternative crops.

Global biodiversity 'crisis' to be assessed at major summit

Earth is enduring a mass species extinction, scientists say—the first since the demise of the dinosaurs and only the sixth in half-a-billion years.

The sorry state of Earth's species, in numbers

As the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) prepares to unveil a thorough diagnosis of the health of Earth's plant and animal species, this is what we already know:

Small mammal thought to be extinct rediscovered in Nepal's national park

The hispid hare (Caprolagus hispidus) is in the list of critically endangered small mammals. It was thought to be extinct from Chitwan National Park as it had not been spotted again after its first spotting in 1984.

Sustainable shark trade bill is supported by both conservationists and fishing industry

WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) supports a new bipartisan bill introduced in the U.S. Congress that encourages a science-based approach to fisheries conservation and management to significantly reduce the overfishing and unsustainable trade of sharks, rays, and skates around the world and prevent shark finning.

Microtubules anchored to proteins in the nuclear membrane position muscle cell nuclei

Scientists at A*STAR have revealed how microtubules, part of a cell's 'skeleton," position the multiple nuclei in muscle cells. Malfunctions in this crucial developmental process are linked to muscular dystrophies, a group of debilitating diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass.

Male squirrels kill offspring of rivals in years when food is plentiful, study shows

In years when food is abundant for squirrels, males kill the young of rival males, according to new research from University of Alberta biologists.

Scientists researching how tree frogs climb have discovered that a unique combination of adhesion and grip gives th

Scientists researching how tree frogs climb have discovered that a unique combination of adhesion and grip gives them perfect technique.

A sea turtle paradise in the land of lakes and volcanoes

There is little reason to wonder why Nicaragua is known as the land of lakes and volcanoes when you witness its dramatic volcanic landscape filled with vast forests, lagoons, lakes and pristine beaches. Located in the middle of the Americas, Nicaragua is home to a rich variety of plants and animals, and its beaches provide important nesting habitat for sea turtles.

IPBES: The world's guardian of biodiversity

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), due to bring out a major assessment on the health of the world's species next week, is an independent body created by more than 100 countries in 2012.

Blood, sweat and tears in raptor research

Murdoch University Ph.D. candidate Simon Cherriman is enjoying the relative safety of his home office after spending much of the last six months scaling trees and attaching satellite tags to 13 feisty juvenile Wedge-tailed Eagles.

Fading wolf population to be restored at Lake Superior park

Federal officials have tentatively decided to transport 20-30 gray wolves to Isle Royale National Park in Michigan over the next three years to replenish a population that has nearly died out because of inbreeding and disease.

African leaders call on EU to shut ivory trade

Thirty-two African countries on Friday called on the European Union to stop its ivory trade at a conference in Botswana aimed at saving African elephants.

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