Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Science X Newsletter Wednesday, Sep 20

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for September 20, 2017:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Scientists create world's first 'molecular robot' capable of building molecules

Mathematics predicts a sixth mass extinction by 2100

Complex life evolved out of the chance coupling of small molecules

Pulling, not pushing, silk could revolutionize how greener materials are manufactured

This dance is taken: Hundreds of male frog species change colors around mating time

Using Convolutional Neural Network to make 2-D face photo into 3-D wonder

New infrared imaging technique reveals molecular orientation of proteins in silk fibres

Ageing star blows off smoky bubble

Barn owls found to suffer no hearing loss as they age

Bats anticipate optimal weather conditions

Technique could make it easier to use mRNA to treat disease or deliver vaccines

New nerve degeneration molecule identified

Genome editing reveals role of gene important for human embryo development

Engineers 3-D print high-strength aluminum, solve ages-old welding problem using nanoparticles

The right way to repair DNA

Astronomy & Space news

Ageing star blows off smoky bubble

Astronomers have used ALMA to capture a strikingly beautiful view of a delicate bubble of expelled material around the exotic red star U Antliae. These observations will help astronomers to better understand how stars evolve during the later stages of their life-cycles.

Is the Milky Way an 'outlier' galaxy? Studying its 'siblings' for clues

The most-studied galaxy in the universe—the Milky Way—might not be as "typical" as previously thought, according to a new study.

Europe urged to reconsider pullout from 'Armageddon' asteroid mission

Space scientists urged Europe Wednesday to rethink its withdrawal from a futuristic, international dry-run for an Armageddon-like mission to deflect a space rock on a calamitous collision course with Earth.

Hubble discovers a unique type of object in the Solar System

With the help of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, a German-led group of astronomers have observed the intriguing characteristics of an unusual type of object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter: two asteroids orbiting each other and exhibiting comet-like features, including a bright coma and a long tail. This is the first known binary asteroid also classified as a comet. The research is presented in a paper published in the journal Nature today.

Scientists have invented a new way to weigh intergalactic black holes

Astrophysicists from Moscow State University have found a new way to estimate the mass of supermassive black holes outside our galaxy, even if they are barely detectable. The results of the study were published in Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Possible explanation for the galaxy's cosmic radiation

Cassiopeia A is a famous supernova remnant, the product of a gigantic explosion of a massive star about 350 years ago. Although discovered in radio observations 50 years ago, we now know that its emitted radiation spans from radio through high-energy gamma rays. It is also one of the few remnants for which the birth date and the type of supernova are known. It was a type IIb, the result of a core collapse supernova explosion. The precise knowledge of its nature makes Cassiopeia A one of the most interesting and investigated objects in the sky, and in particular, the study of its connection with cosmic rays, subatomic particles that fill the galaxy with energies higher than anything achievable in laboratories on Earth.

Solar antics

The sun's recent activity has caught the interest of scientists and space weather forecasters worldwide, highlighting the need to keep a watchful eye on our star and its awesome power.

Keeping astronauts – and Earth – safe from destructive solar storms

Space enthusiasts are invited to become scientists to help identify massive solar eruptions by watching video clips recorded in space.

Space radiation is risky business for the human body

While people protect their eyes from the sun's radiation during a solar eclipse, NASA's Human Research Program (HRP) is working to protect the whole human body from radiation in space. Space radiation is dangerous and one of the primary health risks for astronauts.

Puerto Rican astronaut gets double dose of hurricanes

Space station astronaut Joe Acaba is getting a double dose of hurricanes—even in orbit.

Work on China's mission to Mars 'well underway'

China's programme to launch a mission to Mars in 2020 is "well underway", its top planner said Wednesday as the country moves forward with its ambitious space programme.

Aligning the primary mirror segments of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope with light

Engineers at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston used light waves to align the James Webb Space Telescope's mirror segments to each other, so they act like a single, monolithic mirror in the cryogenic cold of the center's iconic Chamber A.

Image: Northern Lights over Canada from the ISS

The spectacular aurora borealis, or the "northern lights," over Canada is sighted from the International Space Station near the highest point of its orbital path. The station's main solar arrays are seen in the left foreground.

Technology news

Using Convolutional Neural Network to make 2-D face photo into 3-D wonder

(Tech Xplore)—Oh my. Those who have sworn off 10-minute mental breaks that turn out to be 60-minute reveries had best avoid a fascinating new way to see how your face looks like in 3-D mode. A University of Nottingham and Kingston University team have actually come up with a way to turn a 2-D photo of a face into a 3-D model.

System makes modifications necessary to transplant code from one program into another

Researchers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have developed a new system that allows programmers to transplant code from one program into another. The programmer can select the code from one program and an insertion point in a second program, and the system will automatically make modifications necessary—such as changing variable names—to integrate the code into its new context.

Real or fake? Creating fingers to protect identities

Do you know how safe it is to use your finger as a security login? And have you wondered how your cell phone knows if your finger is real or a fake?

Nest Labs adds doorbell that can recognize familiar faces

Home device maker Nest Labs is adding Google's facial recognition technology to a camera-equipped doorbell and rolling out a security system in an attempt to end its history of losses.

Apple, Amazon go different ways but reach the same conclusion: The tech businesses owe nothing to the U.S. city

In journalism, the competition to pick the new editor of a magazine or newspaper is often called a "bakeoff." (The oven is now preheating at Vanity Fair, following the announcement that Graydon Carter, the magazine's editor since 1992, will step down at the end of the year.) It also seems a pretty good way to describe the unusually public process Amazon and its founder, Jeff Bezos, have cooked up to select the city where it will locate a second headquarters, building on its presence in Seattle.

Expert discusses advances in aircraft air quality

Professor Peter Childs from the Dyson School of Design Engineering discusses air quality in aircraft cabins in his Q&A.

Drones can almost see in the dark

UZH researchers have taught drones how to fly using an eye-inspired camera, opening the door to them performing fast, agile maneuvers and flying in low-light environments. Possible applications could include supporting rescue teams with search missions at dusk or dawn.

Some of the best parts of autonomous vehicles are already here

Fully automated cars are still many years away. Amid the government activity and potential for social benefits, it's important not to lose sight of smaller improvements that could more immediately save lives and reduce injuries and economic costs of highway crashes.

3-D printers—a revolutionary frontier for medicine

Mission control on earth receives an urgent communication from Mars that an astronaut has fractured his shinbone. Using a handheld scanning device, the crew takes images of his damaged tibia and transmits them to earth.

Opinion: A 'cleanish' energy target gets us nowhere

It seems that the one certainty about any clean energy target set by the present government is that it will not drive sufficient progress towards a clean, affordable, reliable energy future. At best, it will provide a safety net to ensure that some cleanish energy supply capacity is built.

More than 80% of children have an online presence by the age of two

A toddler with birthday cake smeared across his face, grins delightedly at his mother. Minutes later, the image appears on Facebook. A not uncommon scenario – 42% of UK parents share photos of their children online with half of these parents sharing photos at least once a month.

Toshiba board decides on chip sale to Bain Capital group

Toshiba's board signed off Wednesday on selling its computer chip business to a group led by Bain Capital Private Equity, but the deal's future remains unclear as Toshiba's U.S. joint venture partner Western Digital opposes it.

Review: Apple Watch goes solo, but don't dump your phone yet

A chief gripe with Apple Watch is that it requires you to keep an iPhone with you for most tasks. The inclusion of GPS last year helped on runs and bike rides, but you're still missing calls and messages without the phone nearby.

London parrot does online shopping by mimicking owner

A pet parrot managed to place an online shopping order by mimicking its owner on a voice-controlled smart speaker, a British newspaper reported Wednesday.

New Army models predict number of cyberattacks that pierce company networks

A new study from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory presents evidence that the number of cyber intrusions can be predicted, particularly when analysts are already observing activities on a company or government organization's computer network.

Scientists prevent hacker attacks on cars

Today, many cars are offering a digital gateway which hackers can misuse. Scientists at the Competence Center for IT Security at Saarland University and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence have therefore developed a technology that can prevent such attacks. With the freely available software 'vatiCAN,' car manufacturers can retrofit their programs. The new technology is presented at the International Motor Exhibition in Frankfurt am Main.

Alexa, what do you see? Amazon said to be working on glasses

Amazon is attempting to develop glasses that pair with Alexa and would allow users to access the voice-activated assistant outside the home, according to a newspaper report.

Dockless bike-share hits US capital, following craze in China (Update)

Dockless bike-sharing, a trend which has taken China by storm, arrived in the US capital Wednesday with the launch of new services aimed at promoting two-wheeled travel without the hassle of a docking station.

'Overwatch' eSports league to debut in December

Activision Blizzard announced Wednesday its "Overwatch" eSports league—cashing in on the rise of video gaming as a spectator sport—would make its debut in December.

Nevada experiment mimics earthquakes to test bridge designs

A day after a deadly earthquake struck Mexico City, University of Nevada scientists will mimic quakes to test new bridge designs developed to help the structures better withstand violent temblors.

Apple CEO defends 'dreamers' program

Apple CEO Tim Cook defended the government program that protects young immigrants in the U.S. illegally and called immigration the "biggest issue of our time."

Apple says its new watch has cellular connectivity problems

Apple confirmed that its new Series 3 Apple Watch can encounter problems connecting to a cellular network. The problems arise when the watch joins unauthenticated Wi-Fi networks without connectivity.

Saudi Arabia to unblock internet calling apps

Saudi Arabia will lift its ban on internet calling applications on Wednesday, authorities said, easing restrictions online as the conservative kingdom faces new criticism over censorship.

Seaweed-fueled cars? Maybe one day, with help of new tech

Cars and trucks might one day run on biofuel made from seaweed with the help of two technologies being developed at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Innovative fuel manufacturing process moves closer to market

INL researchers are working with industry partners on an innovative method of producing advanced nuclear fuels that improve the attractiveness of new nuclear plants as reliable, emission-free baseload energy.

Equifax breach brings renewed attention to information security vulnerabilities

The recent Equifax breach, which compromised the personal data of more than 143 million American consumers, was a frequent topic of conversation during the fourth annual Cyber Security Conference held Tuesday at Johns Hopkins University. It topped conference organizer Anton Dahbura's "Unlucky 13" list of cyber concerns that have come to light in the past two weeks.

8 new cars, SUVs coming to the US in 2018

The biennial Frankfurt auto show in Germany is Europe's biggest display of new cars and SUVs and cutting-edge technology. Although mainly focused on European models, the Frankfurt show also hosts the debuts of many cars and SUVs that are headed to U.S. showrooms. Edmunds chose some highlights of this year's show to give consumers a preview of what they might see on U.S. roads in 2018.

Report: Iran group hacks aviation, petrochemical industries

A group of hackers suspected of working in Iran for its government is targeting the aviation and petrochemical industries in Saudi Arabia, the U.S. and South Korea, a cybersecurity firm warned Wednesday.

Chinese man pleads guilty in global software piracy case

A Chinese businessman has pleaded guilty to his role in an international, multimillion dollar software piracy case.

Attorneys: Portions of Foxconn law could be unconstitutional

Nonpartisan attorneys for the Wisconsin Legislature are warning that portions of a newly signed law speeding up legal appeals related to a planned flat-screen display factory could be unconstitutional.

Facebook tightens ad policies after 'Jew-hater' fiasco

Facebook is apologizing for letting advertisers use phrases like "Jew-haters" as a targeting criteria and for not noticing it until it was pointed out.

Medicine & Health news

Genome editing reveals role of gene important for human embryo development

Researchers have used genome editing technology to reveal the role of a key gene in human embryos in the first few days of development. This is the first time that genome editing has been used to study gene function in human embryos, which could help scientists to better understand the biology of our early development.

Thousands of new microbial communities identified in human body

A new study of the human microbiome—the trillions of microbial organisms that live on and within our bodies—has analyzed thousands of new measurements of microbial communities from the gut, skin, mouth, and vaginal microbiome, yielding new insights into the role these microbes play in human health.

Brain cancer growth halted by absence of protein, study finds

The growth of certain aggressive brain tumors can be halted by cutting off their access to a signaling molecule produced by the brain's nerve cells, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Newly ID'd role of major Alzheimer's gene suggests possible therapeutic target

Nearly a quarter century ago, a genetic variant known as ApoE4 was identified as a major risk factor for Alzheimer's disease—one that increases a person's chances of developing the neurodegenerative disease by up to 12 times.

Researchers see popular herbicide affecting health across generations

First, the good news. Washington State University researchers have found that a rat exposed to a popular herbicide while in the womb developed no diseases and showed no apparent health effects aside from lower weight.

Higher levels of fluoride in pregnant woman linked to lower intelligence in their children

Fluoride in the urine of pregnant women shows a correlation with lower measures of intelligence in their children, according to University of Toronto researchers who conducted the first study of its kind and size to examine fluoride exposure and multiple states of neurodevelopment.

Alcohol use affects levels of cholesterol regulator through epigenetics

In an analysis of the epigenomes of people and mice, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine and the National Institutes of Health report that drinking alcohol may induce changes to a cholesterol-regulating gene.

Researchers develop new tool to assess individual's level of wisdom

Researchers at University of San Diego School of Medicine have developed a new tool called the San Diego Wisdom Scale (SD-WISE) to assess an individual's level of wisdom, based upon a conceptualization of wisdom as a trait with a neurobiological as well as psychosocial basis.

Three-in-one antibody protects monkeys from HIV-like virus

A three-pronged antibody made in the laboratory protected monkeys from infection with two strains of SHIV, a monkey form of HIV, better than individual natural antibodies from which the engineered antibody is derived, researchers report in Science today.

Scientists restore tumor-fighting structure to mutated breast cancer proteins

Scientists at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute have successfully determined the full architecture of the breast cancer susceptibility protein (BRCA1) for the first time. This three-dimensional information provides a potential pathway to restore the BRCA1 protein's cancer-fighting abilities, even after it suffers damage.

Poliovirus therapy induces immune responses against cancer

An investigational therapy using modified poliovirus to attack cancer tumors appears to unleash the body's own capacity to fight malignancies by activating an inflammation process that counter's the ability of cancer cells to evade the immune system.

Laser device placed on the heart identifies insufficient oxygenation better than other measures

A new device can assess in real time whether the body's tissues are receiving enough oxygen and, placed on the heart, can predict cardiac arrest in critically ill heart patients, report researchers at Boston Children's Hospital and scientists from Cambridge device maker Pendar Technologies. Their study, conducted in animal models, is the cover article in today's issue of Science Translational Medicine.

Self-control may not diminish throughout the day

After a long day of work and carefully watching what you eat, you might expect your self-control to slip a little by kicking back and cracking open a bag of potato chips.

Oxytocin turns up the volume of your social environment

Before you shop for the "cuddle" hormone oxytocin to relieve stress and enhance your social life, read this: a new study from the University of California, Davis, suggests that sometimes, blocking the action of oxytocin in the brain may be a better option. The results are published online in the journal Biological Psychiatry.

Faulty cell signaling derails cerebral cortex development, could it lead to autism?

As the embryonic brain develops, an incredibly complex cascade of cellular events occur, starting with progenitors - the originating cells that generate neurons and spur proper cortex development. If this cascade malfunctions - if one tiny protein doesn't do its job - then the brain can develop abnormally.

Foot pain? New study says look at hip and knee for complete diagnosis

A study by researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) and Harvard Medical School suggests new guidelines may be in order for evaluating and treating lower extremity pain. Investigators set out to determine if there was a relation between foot pain and lower extremity joint pain, and they found a significant association between foot pain and knee or hip pain.

Genetic risk profile predicts survival for people with severe lung disease

An international Yale-led research team has shown that a risk profile based on 52 genes accurately predicts survival for patients with a severe lung disease. If confirmed in further studies, the finding could transform the way patients are treated for the condition, which is on the rise in older adults.

As men's weight rises, sperm health may fall

(HealthDay)—A widening waistline may make for shrinking numbers of sperm, new research suggests.

Early guidance can help future moms fight fear of childbirth

Caesarean deliveries in most developed countries, including Canada, are at least 10 to 20 per cent higher than recommended by the World Health Organization, and many efforts to decrease unnecessary C-sections have failed. But a new University of British Columbia study suggests that providing women with early knowledge about pregnancy and childbirth could help reduce these numbers.

The big question: Will cancer immune therapy work for me?

Dennis Lyon was a genetic train wreck. Cancer was ravaging his liver, lungs, bones and brain, and tests showed so many tumor mutations that drugs targeting one or two wouldn't do much good. It seemed like very bad news, yet his doctors were encouraged.

Treatment of heart attack patients depends on history of cancer

Treatment of heart attack patients depends on their history of cancer, according to research published today in European Heart Journal: Acute Cardiovascular Care. The study in more than 35 000 heart attack patients found they were less likely to receive recommended drugs and interventions, and more likely to die in hospital if they had cancer than if they did not.

Drug-resistant infections are a 'global health emergency': WHO

Resistance to antibiotic drugs is a "global health emergency" that threatens the progress made by modern medicine, the head of the UN's health agency warned as a new report was published Wednesday.

Tablets can teach kids to solve physical puzzles

Researchers confirm that when 4-6 year old children learn how to solve a puzzle using a touchscreen tablet, they can then apply this learning to the same puzzle in the physical world. This contradicts most previous research and suggests that different screen learning media could have different effects on skill transfer.

Long-term follow-up after weight-loss surgery finds high rate of anemia

Researchers found a high rate of anemia 10 years after patients received Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, suggesting that long-term follow-up with a bariatric specialist is important to lessen the risk for anemia, according to a study published by JAMA Surgery.

How to beat the Sunday night blues

Have you ever felt sad or anxious on a Sunday night? As it turns out, you could be experiencing a common phenomenon known as the Sunday Night Blues. A Baylor College of Medicine expert gives his tips on how to beat the Sunday doldrums.

Drinking to cope with stress may increase risk of alcohol problems

It can be tempting for some to reach for a cold beer after a stressful day, but drinking alcohol to relieve stress could potentially lead to drinking problems down the road, according to Penn State researchers.

Preventing deaths of children in hot cars through better messaging

Each year, dozens of young children die after being locked in a hot car, but new research from the University of Georgia's department of geography shows that most parents don't believe it could happen to them.

Hope for couples suffering IVF miscarriage

Women who miscarry during their first full round of IVF are more likely to have a baby after further treatment than women who don't get pregnant at all.

Hurricane Irma nursing home deaths shows stark dilemma of whether to stay put or evacuate

The death of Florida nursing home residents whose air-conditioning failed last week during Hurricane Irma highlights the tragic consequences of some of our most vulnerable citizens during a natural disaster.

The role of monosodium urate crystals in gout

An attack of gout is said to be like your joint catching fire, and someone slamming it with a hammer to put out the flames. Now A*STAR researchers have identified how the build-up of monosodium urate (MSU) crystals in the joints triggers such excruciating pain, raising the prospect of new treatments.

Computational modeling of drug resistance to guide treatment decisions for HIV patients

A bioinformatic examination of HIV mutations documented in clinics could help guide the selection of antiretroviral therapies.

Exfoliation syndrome study reveals genetic mutation that protects against glaucoma

A leading cause of glaucoma and blindness is exfoliation syndrome, or XFS, an age-related disorder that results in excess fibrous material building up. Now, A*STAR scientists, along with an international research team, have found a novel mutation on the LOXL1 gene that appears to protect against XFS and glaucoma, alongside five new locations on a chromosome associated with XFS1.

Protein essential for spermatogenesis could lead to new methods of contraception

"Infertility is generally perceived to be mostly a female problem, but this is wrong," says Philipp Kaldis, researcher from A*STAR. Kaldis studies the development of human sperm, his work could one day lead to the treatment of male infertility and help develop chemical contraception methods for males.

Mathematical simulations shed new light on epilepsy surgery

Results from an unexpected quarter is could help neurologists to identify which brain region to remove to eliminate an epilepsy patient's symptoms. Mathematicians from the University of Twente, together with researchers from the University Medical Center Utrecht, have shown that it is sensible to examine the interconnections between different brain regions closely, instead of searching for abnormal regions only. The results of their study were published in the scientific journal Epilepsia.

Personalised treatment for people with chronic breathing disorders

Ever realised you've forgotten your inhaler and immediately felt your breathing become more difficult? Ever wanted to walk upstairs to get something, but the thought of becoming breathless has stopped you? You're not alone! Our brains store a phenomenal amount of information about the world, based on our past experiences. This helps us to assess situations quickly and anticipate how our bodies will respond, such as when we will become breathless. These ideas are learned and updated constantly throughout our life, and quickly adapt if we develop something like a chronic breathing disorder.

Epigenetic changes and disease – what is the connection?

Previous research has shown that there is a connection between epigenetic changes and some of our common illnesses. But what does this connection mean? A new study shows that external factors, such as lifestyle aspects, often affect both the epigenetic pattern and cause the disease. The results have been published in PLOS Genetics.

Odds for weight loss are stacked against children who are obese early on 

The pudge on toddlers that some dismiss as "baby fat" is not a passing phase for some children.

Research suggests playing football before age 12 could have long-term health effects

Research suggests that playing American football before the age of 12 may have long-term consequences for players' mood and behaviour. The study is published today (19 Sep) in the journal Translational Psychiatry.

What's healthier—fresh, dried or frozen fruit?

"Eat more fruit and vegetables" is one of the most common recommendations we hear when we're encouraged to eat healthily. But when it comes to eating more fruit, we get mixed messages about how healthy fruit really is.

'Medicare for all' could be cheaper than you think

Public support for single-payer health care has been rising in recent months amid failed Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

How parents manage conflict has an impact on kids

Few parents want their children to hear them arguing, but since conflict is a normal part of any relationship, it can be hard to shield little ones from every spat.

Do ketogenic diets help you lose weight?

Is a ketogenic diet effective for weight loss? The answer depends on whether it achieves a reduction in total kilojoule intake or not.

How deep can a cell sense

National University of Singapore researchers discovered that mechanical cues from the porous microenvironment of the bone matrix could affect the proliferation of cancer cells.

New toothpaste uses latest research to put minerals back into teeth

Most people regard glass as being chemically stable and inert. This is certainly the case for the type of glass used in windows, which importantly, doesn't dissolve in the rain.

Failing medical implants are causing hundreds of thousands of people misery

Thousands of women across the world have been left in terrible pain after being implanted with transvaginal mesh – a device to treat urinary incontinence or prolapse. How did a medical implant that has caused so much damage to these women's bodies and lives come to be sold?

Guess who? Facial expressions can cause confusion

Photos of the same person can look substantially different. For example, your passport photo may look quite different from your driving licence, or your face in holiday photos.

One in four girls is depressed at age 14, new study reveals

New research shows a quarter of girls (24%) and one in 10 boys (9%) are depressed at age 14.

Despite legal abortion in Great Britain, women cite access barriers, new research finds

Some women are seeking abortion services outside the formal health care system in Great Britain, where abortion is legally available, citing reasons such as access barriers, privacy concerns and controlling circumstances, according to new research from Abigail Aiken, an assistant professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. The peer-reviewed study was published Wednesday in Contraception, an international reproductive health journal.

Differential brain network changes in Alzheimer's patients with and without CeVD

A new study of those with Alzheimer's disease (AD) with and without cerebrovascular disease (CeVD) has found that there are likely differential brain network changes suggesting differences in the underlying pathology for each of these seemingly similar brain disorders.

Eating nuts can reduce weight gain, study says

A study recently published in the online version of the European Journal of Nutrition has found that people who include nuts in their diet are more likely to reduce weight gain and lower the risk of overweight and obesity.

Building social communication skills in shy children helps with peer likeability

A new study by Yale-NUS College Assistant Professor of Social Sciences (Psychology) Cheung Hoi Shan has discovered that shy children with low English vocabulary skills, can still be popular among their peers if they have high-functioning social communication skills that enable them to engage and interact well with their peers in social settings. Dr Cheung conducted the study involving 164 preschoolers between 52 and 79 months old in Singapore. She co-authored the paper with Associate Professor John Elliott from the Department of Psychology under the National University of Singapore's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The paper was recently published in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology.

Less physical therapy can be just as effective

The queues for treatment with physiotherapists in Norwegian municipal clinics are often long. Perhaps unnecessarily long. It's a scenario that is probably true across the Western world.

Smokers who quit have metabolite levels that resemble those of nonsmokers

Even after years of smoking, the body has a remarkable ability to repair itself. Now in a study appearing in ACS' Journal of Proteome Research, scientists report that certain metabolic changes occur soon after quitting, and these changes could help explain how some ill-effects of smoking might be reversible.

Midlife depression may stem from tension with mothers and siblings, study finds

Relationships with our mothers and siblings change as we become adults and start our own families, but the quality of those relationships still has an effect on our well-being, particularly at midlife.

Tibetan yoga practice may improve sleep quality for breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy

Participating in twice-weekly practice of Tibetan yoga may reduce sleep disturbances and improve sleep quality in breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, according to a study from researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Researchers identify new target, develop new drug for cancer therapies

Opening up a new pathway to fight cancer, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have found a way to target an enzyme that is crucial to tumor growth while also blocking the mechanism that has made past attempts to target that enzyme resistant to treatment. Researchers were able to use this finding to develop a drug that successfully inhibits tumor growth of melanoma as well as pancreatic and colorectal cancer in mice. The journal Cancer Discovery published the findings online this month.

Hold the phone: An ambulance might lower your chances of surviving some injuries

Victims of gunshots and stabbings are significantly less likely to die if they're taken to the trauma center by a private vehicle than ground emergency medical services (EMS), according to results of a new analysis.

Immune cells produce wound healing factor, could lead to new IBD treatment

Specific immune cells have the ability to produce a healing factor that can promote wound repair in the intestine, a finding that could lead to new, potential therapeutic treatments for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according to a new research study.

Improving patient consent without diminishing clinical trial enrollment

Patients who have the wrong idea about the goals of clinical research may become better informed through a non-burdensome scientific reframing intervention, according to a study published September 20, 2017, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Paul Christopher from Brown University, United States, and colleagues.

One e-cigarette with nicotine leads to adrenaline changes in nonsmokers' hearts

A new UCLA study found that healthy nonsmokers experienced increased adrenaline levels in their heart after one electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) with nicotine but there were no increased adrenaline levels when the study subjects used an a nicotine-free or empty e-cig.

Both high, low levels of magnesium in blood linked to risk of dementia

People with both high and low levels of magnesium in their blood may have a greater risk of developing dementia, according to a study published in the September 20, 2017, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Binge drinking in college may lower chances of landing a job after college

Heavy drinking six times a month reduces the probability that a new college graduate will land a job by 10 percent, according to Tel Aviv University and Cornell University research published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

Slowly proliferating melanoma cells with high metastatic properties

A study conducted at The Wistar Institute has led to the identification of a slowly proliferating and highly invasive melanoma cell subpopulation, characterized by production of a protein associated with invasive behavior. The research was published in the journal Oncogene.

New clinical trial explores combining immunotherapy and radiation for sarcoma patients

University of Maryland School of Medicine researchers are investigating a new approach to treat high-risk soft-tissue sarcomas by combining two immunotherapy drugs with radiation therapy to stimulate the immune system to destroy the main tumor as well as leftover microscopic cancer cells that may seed other tumors.

Finding a natural defense against clogged arteries

In type 2 diabetes, chronic inflammation drives cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death among people with the condition. Researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center now have identified an unexpected natural protective factor that works against this inflammation.

Epidemic at work?: Businesses forced to deal with drug abuse

After a troubled youth himself, Phillip Cohen made it a practice to hire people at his woodworking business who have also struggled with addiction and mental health issues. But when an employee died from a drug overdose, he adopted a zero-tolerance policy.

Prostate cancer symptoms aren't always obvious

(HealthDay)—Although about 1 in 7 men will be eventually be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, the warning signs of the disease are often vague and may be confused with other conditions, experts at Fox Chase Cancer Center say.

Pioglitazone has limited effect in lipoatrophic diabetes

(HealthDay)—Pioglitazone may not be effective for lowering blood glucose levels, although it is associated with slight improvement in liver function, in lipoatrophic diabetes induced by juvenile dermatomyositis, according to a case report published online Sept. 12 in the Journal of Diabetes Investigation.

Monophasic HA filler noninferior to biphasic for nasolabial folds

(HealthDay)—Monophasic hyaluronic acid (HA) filler is safe and effective for correction of nasolabial folds (NLFs), according to a study published online Sept. 14 in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.

Hen's egg detectable in dust samples after egg consumption

(HealthDay)—Following consumption of hen's egg there is an increase in hen's egg protein in house dust collected from the eating area and bed, according to a study published online Sept. 2 in Allergy.

Proton pump inhibitors overused worldwide

(HealthDay)—Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are overused worldwide, with wide variation seen in the extent of inappropriate use, according to research published online Sept. 11 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.

Type 2 myocardial infarction definition impacts prognosis

(HealthDay)—Definition of type 2 myocardial infarction (T2MI) using a method that does not require the presence of coronary artery disease is associated with a lower event-related mortality rate, according to a study published in the Sept. 26 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Histamine may play role in colorectal tumorigenesis

(HealthDay)—Administration of histamine-producing gut microbes to histidine decarboxylase (HDC)-deficient mice reduces inflammation and tumor formation, suggesting an innovative approach to colorectal cancer (CRC) prevention and treatment, according to an experimental study published online Sept. 13 in The American Journal of Pathology.

General, central obesity linked to specific breast cancer risk

(HealthDay)—General and central obesity are associated with breast cancer risk, with different effects on specific subtypes, according to a study published online Sept. 14 in The Oncologist.

Women with heart disease less likely to reach treatment targets than men

Women with coronary heart disease are less likely to achieve treatment targets than men, finds a study published by the journal Heart today.

Are weight loss drugs the next tool to combat cocaine addiction?

Boston Medical Center's (BMC) psychiatry team is studying a drug called lorcaserin, which targets the brain's serotonin receptors and could help reduce cocaine cravings as well as dampen the rewards associated with taking cocaine.

New 3-D printed model allows brain surgeons to practice

The first time a young surgeon threads a wire through a stroke victim's chest up through their neck and fishes a blood clot out of their brain may be one of the most harrowing moments in her career. Now, a UConn Health radiologist and a medical physicist have made it easier for her to get some practice first. The team made a life-size model of the arteries that wire must pass through, using brain scans and a 3-D printer. They will make the pattern freely available to any doctor who requests it.

Study finds immune system is critical to regeneration

The answer to regenerative medicine's most compelling question—why some organisms can regenerate major body parts such as hearts and limbs while others, such as humans, cannot—may lie with the body's innate immune system, according to a new study of heart regeneration in the axolotl, or Mexican salamander, an organism that takes the prize as nature's champion of regeneration.

Communication key to preventing spread of drug-resistant bacteria

Communication breakdowns between care facilities can pave the way for outbreaks of infection, according to research on the spread of an extensively drug-resistant bacterium.

Oxidative stress produces damage linked with increased risk of preterm birth

A group of scientists led by Ramkumar Menon at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has gained new insights into what factors lead to preterm birth. This study is currently available in The American Journal of Pathology.

When moms don't sleep well, neither do their kids

(HealthDay)—If mom is an insomniac, her kids are likely to be poor sleepers, too.

Fighting HIV on multiple fronts might lead to vaccine

A combination antibody strategy could be the key to halting the spread of HIV, according to results from two promising animal studies.

PTSD linked with increased lupus risk

In a study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in civilian women were strongly associated with increased risk of developing lupus, an autoimmune disease.

Radavirsen performs well in early influenza trial

A phase 1 clinical trial published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that radavirsen—an antisense oligomer that inhibits the production of certain influenza proteins—is safe and well-tolerated in healthy individuals. Additional studies on radavirsen's potential as a treatment for influenza are warranted

Seniors with Type 2 diabetes may have increased risk for fracture

Though seniors with type 2 diabetes (T2D) tend to have normal or higher bone density than their peers, researchers have found that they are more likely to succumb to fractures than seniors without T2D. In a new study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, researchers from Hebrew SeniorLife's Institute for Aging Research found older adults with type 2 diabetes had deficits in cortical bone—the dense outer surface of bone that forms a protective layer around the internal cavity— compared to non-diabetics. The findings suggest that the microarchitecture of cortical bone may be altered in seniors with T2D and thereby place them at increased risk of fracture.

White House seeks support for last-ditch Obamacare repeal bid

The White House scrambled Tuesday to win over Republicans skeptical of their party's latest plan to overhaul Obamacare, in a last-ditch effort to make good on President Donald Trump's pledge to dismantle his predecessor's health reforms.

A quick jab could reduce stroke damage

A Perth treatment could significantly reduce the damage done to brain cells following a stroke.

Deep vein thrombosis recommendations

The first comprehensive European advice on deep vein thrombosis was recentely published in the European Heart Journal. The recommendations were produced by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Working Group on Aorta and Peripheral Vascular Diseases and Working Group on Pulmonary Circulation and Right Ventricular Function.

Asthma medication may have psychiatric side effects

In a Pharmacology Research & Perspectives study, the asthma medication montelukast (trade name Singulair) was linked with neuropsychiatric reactions such as depression and aggression, with nightmares being especially frequent in children.

How first 'vouchers' in UCLA kidney donation program led to 25 lifesaving transplants

In 2014 a former judge from San Diego County approached the UCLA Kidney Transplant Program with an unusual request: If the judge donated a kidney to a stranger now, could his then 4-year-old grandson, who suffered from chronic kidney disease, receive priority for a future kidney transplant if needed later in life?

New quality control method to select effective M-beta-CD for treating Neimann-Pick disease

Researchers have developed a quality control method to evaluate the pharmacological activity and potential effectiveness of different preparations of the therapeutic agent methyl-β-cyclodextrin (MβCD). Distinct batches of MβCD produced by different commercial laboratories may be more or less effective in reducing the cholesterol that accumulates in the fibroblasts of patients with the lysosomal storage disorder Niemann-Pick disease type C1. This new set of methods for selecting an optimal cyclodextrin preparation is described in ASSAY and Drug Development Technologies.

Study shows behavioral approach reduces cognitive fatigue in multiple sclerosis

A recent article by MS researchers describes a new nonpharmacological approach to reduce cognitive fatigue, a disabling symptom reported by as many as 90% of individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). Using functional neuroimaging, they demonstrated that the prospect of monetary reward stimulates the fronto-striatal network, resulting in the reduction of cognitive fatigue in individuals with MS and healthy controls. This is the first study to demonstrate this effect in an MS population.

New study offers novel treatment strategy for patients with colon cancer

Colorectal cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide.

Lawsuit challenges law that only doctors perform abortions

The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday that challenges a Maine restriction common across most of the U.S. that abortions be performed solely by physicians.

Styling a home gym

(HealthDay)—Whether it's a matter of cost or convenience, you might want to opt out of a fitness facility and opt to work out in the comfort of your own home.

Epilepsy drugs may have damaging effects on children's bones

In a study published in Epilepsia, young people taking anti-epileptic drugs experienced elevated rates of bone fractures and had reductions in tibial bone mineral density and lower limb muscle force.

Kentucky judge dismisses challenge of medical marijuana ban

Kentucky's ban on medical marijuana has survived an initial test in court, with a judge ruling Wednesday that the state has a good reason to "curtail citizens' possession of a narcotic, hallucinogenic drug."

FDA warns on mixing opioid addiction treatments, other meds

The Food and Drug Administration has issued new warnings about the dangers of combining medication for opioid addiction with antidepressants and other drugs that also slow breathing and brain activity.

Biology news

This dance is taken: Hundreds of male frog species change colors around mating time

Some of nature's most vibrant colors occur in frogs, who peek out from rainforests and marshes in startling shades of blue, yellow and red. But for hundreds of species, only males flaunt flashy colors—and sometimes only for a few hours, days or weeks each year.

Barn owls found to suffer no hearing loss as they age

(Phys.org)—A small team of researchers with the University of Oldenburg has found that barn owls do not suffer hearing loss as they get older. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the group describes hearing tests they conducted with a group of trained owls, what they found and why they believe more study of the birds may lead to preventing hearing loss in aging humans.

Bats anticipate optimal weather conditions

Millions of animals fly, swim or walk around the Earth every year. To ensure that they reach their destination, they need to perceive precise changes in environmental conditions and choose the right moment to set off on their journey. Bats, too, are influenced by environmental factors. Every spring, common noctules in southern Germany set off for their summer territories. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Radolfzell have been studying what conditions trigger this migration. They discovered that the decision to set off depends on a combination of wind speed, wind direction and air pressure. The researchers have developed a model that allows them to predict when the bats will start their migration.

New nerve degeneration molecule identified

A discovery in a transparent roundworm has brought scientists one step closer to understanding why nerves degenerate.

The right way to repair DNA

Is it better to do a task quickly and make mistakes, or to do it slowly but perfectly? When it comes to deciding how to fix breaks in DNA, cells face the same choice between two major repair pathways. The decision matters, because the wrong choice could cause even more DNA damage and lead to cancer.

Bite force research reveals dinosaur-eating frog

Scientists say that a large, now extinct, frog called Beelzebufo that lived about 68 million years ago in Madagascar would have been capable of eating small dinosaurs.

New hermit crab uses live coral as its home

A new hermit crab species can live in a walking coral's cavity in a reciprocal relationship, replacing the usual marine worm partner, according to a study published September 20, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Momoko Igawa and Makoto Kato from Kyoto University, Japan.

Fly away home? Ice age may have clipped bird migration

The onset of the last ice age may have forced some bird species to abandon their northerly migrations for thousands of years, says new research led by a University of Nebraska-Lincoln ornithologist.

Plants combine color and fragrance to procure pollinators

Who knew that it's possible to predict the fragrance of a flower by looking at its color?

Social environment matters for duck penis size

Most birds lack genitalia, but male ducks are known for their long, spiraling penises, which have evolved through an ongoing cat-and-mouse game with females. A new study from The Auk: Ornithological Advances looks at whether these impressive organs are affected by the social environment—that is, whether male ducks that face more competition grow bigger penises. While this appears to be true for some species, in others the relationship between social environment and penis growth is more complex.

Could condors return to northern California?

In 2003, Northern California's Yurok Tribe initiated efforts to reintroduce California Condors on their lands. While wild condors have not existed in the region for more than a hundred years, a new study from The Condor: Ornithological Applications suggests that hunters transitioning from lead to non-lead ammunition may allow these apex scavengers to succeed there once again.

California condors return to the skies after near extinction

In a remote, rugged valley overlooking the Pacific Ocean, researchers closely monitor an endangered icon: the California condor.

A study switches from genetic to metabolic analysis to reconstitute evolutionary process

With 72 species currently identified, Espeletia is a plant genus endemic to the paramo, a moist alpine biome unique to the northern Andes. This genus, which inhabits the world's most diverse high-altitude ecosystem, is an outstanding example of adaptive success.

Ricin only lethal in combination with sugar

The plant toxin ricin is one of the most poisonous naturally occurring proteins, making it an extremely dangerous bioweapon. Ricin attacks have made headlines a number of times over the years, including the spectacular "umbrella murder" in London in the 1970s, or the ricin letters addressed to Barack Obama in 2014. There is no antidote.

Foster tadpoles trigger parental instinct in poison frogs

Poison frogs, especially male poison frogs, are very caring parents. After the tadpoles hatch, the males piggyback their offspring to distant pools spread around the rainforest where they can feed and develop. In a recent study, a team of researchers from Vetmeduni Vienna, the University of Vienna and Harvard University show that this parental behaviour can be triggered experimentally. When unrelated tadpoles are placed on the backs of adult frogs, male – and even female – "foster parents" make their way to pools in the forest in the same way as if they had picked up the tadpoles themselves. The experiment showed for the first time that an external stimulus can trigger complex behaviours such as parental care in amphibians. The study was published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

Saving amphibians from a deadly fungus means acting without knowing all the answers

The calls of frogs on warm nights in the spring are a welcome sound, telling listeners that the seasons are changing and summer is coming. Today, however, ponds that once echoed with the chirps, chuckles and calls of frogs and toads are falling silent around the world.

Adjusting to fluctuating temperatures

The duration of the vegetation period – i.e. the time that elapses between leafing out (the emergence of the first leaf) in spring and the initiation of leaf loss in autumn – is a highly significant ecological parameter that has a considerable influence on both plant productivity and the biogeochemical cycling of vital nutrients in ecosystems. However, the mechanisms that determine the length of the vegetation period for any given species are poorly understood. Hence, in order to assess the potential impact of global climate change on plant productivity, for instance, more information on the timing of the growing seasons of a wide range of plant species is required. In a large-scale study, LMU botany professor Susanne Renner and her colleague Constantin Zohner have now measured this parameter for a large sample of woody plant species from the Northern hemisphere. Their findings, which have now been published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, reveal significant differences between species that are native to North America on the one hand, and European and East Asian trees and shrubs on the other.

10,000 year-old DNA proves when fish colonized lakes

DNA molecules in lake sediment are few and hard bound to particles. This resulted in challenging analyses and required development of new methods, both for extracting sufficiently clean DNA and for the statistical analysis of data. For this work, doctoral student Fredrik Olajos and researcher Folmer Bokma's efforts were of particular importance.

Breaking legume's crop wild relative barrier

Domesticating plants to grow as crops can turn out to be a double-edged scythe.

Protected waters foster resurgence of West Coast rockfish

West Coast rockfish species in deep collapse only 20 years ago have multiplied rapidly in large marine protected areas off Southern California, likely seeding surrounding waters with enough offspring to offer promise of renewed fishing, a new study has found.

Fish may use different behaviors to protect against parasites

New research indicates that fish may adapt their behaviour to defend against parasite infection. The findings are published in the Journal of Zoology.

Foundation to create special reserve for albino orangutan

A conservation group in Indonesia says it wants to create a 5-hectare "forest island" for the world's only known albino orangutan after rescuing it from villagers earlier this year.

Casting into the past helps reveal fishing's future

Intensive fishing and climate change pose an unprecedented threat to biodiversity in the world's oceans, but reconstructing how the past 500 years of human activity on the seas has transformed marine life could help to reveal what the future holds beneath the waves.

Wildlife pays the price of Kenya's illegal grazing

"It's devastating. I've been following them every day of my life for the last year," said Dedan Ngatia, a wild dog researcher in Kenya's central Laikipia region. "They're all dead."

Perth's urban sprawl affecting sex life of plants

A Perth researcher is using CSI-style paternity testing in the lab to track pollen and measure how much the urban sprawl is affecting plants ability to reproduce.

Convergent evolution of mimetic butterflies confounds classification

David Lohman, associate professor of biology at The City College of New York's Division of Science, is co-author of a landmark paper on butterflies "An illustrated checklist of the genus Elymnias Hübner, 1818 (Nymphalidae, Satyrinae)." Lohman and his colleagues from Taiwan and Indonesia revise the taxonomy of Asian palmflies in the genus Elymnias in light of a forthcoming study on the butterflies' evolutionary history.


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