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Tue, 20 Feb 2018 21:44:01 EST
Preventing the misdiagnosis of cellulitis
A new study finds early dermatology consultation for presumptive cellulitis can improve patient outcomes, reduce costs and reduce hospitalization.
Largest study of its kind finds alcohol use biggest risk factor for dementia
Alcohol use disorders are the most important preventable risk factors for the onset of all types of dementia, especially early-onset dementia. This according to a nationwide observational study of over one million adults diagnosed with dementia in France.
Resolvin D-1 limits kidney damage after heart attacks
A heart attack triggers an acute inflammatory response at the damaged portion of the heart's left ventricle. If the inflammation lingers, it can lead heart failure. The inflammation can also claim another victim -- the kidneys. New research shows that a bioactive compound called resolvin D-1, injected as a therapeutic dose, is able to limit this collateral damage in the kidneys, as tested in an animal model. This suggests potential application to the clinical setting.
Scientists poised to win the race against rust disease and beyond
In a race to prevent and control rust disease epidemics, scientists have positioned themselves to better understand how rust fungi infect crops and evolve virulence.
Protein levels in spinal fluid correlate to posture and gait difficulty in Parkinson's
Levels of a protein found in the brain called alpha-synuclein are significantly lower than normal in cerebrospinal fluid collected in Parkinson's disease patients suffering from postural instability and gait difficulty, a study has found.
Distant tropical storms have ripple effects on weather close to home
Researchers report a breakthrough in making accurate predictions of weather weeks ahead. They've created an empirical model fed by careful analysis of 37 years of historical weather data. Their model centers on the relationship between two well-known global weather patterns: the Madden-Julian Oscillation and the quasi-biennial oscillation.
Climate change, evolution, and what happens when researchers are also friends
A new study that addresses how climate change is affecting the evolution of organisms underscores the need for evolutionary, ecosystem and climate scientists to work together to better understand eco-evolutionary feedback dynamics.
'Brain on a chip' reveals how the brain folds
Our brains are wrinkled like walnuts by the time we are born. Babies born without these wrinkles -- called smooth brain syndrome -- suffer from severe developmental deficiencies and their life expectancy is markedly reduced. Now researchers have developed a method for growing tiny 'brains on chips' from human cells that enabled them to track the physical and biological mechanisms underlying the wrinkling process.
Reaching new heights in laser-accelerated ion energy
A laser-driven ion acceleration scheme could lead to compact ion sources for established and innovative applications in science, medicine and industry.
Stable gas hydrates can trigger landslides
Like avalanches onshore, there are different processes that cause submarine landslides. One very widespread assumption is that they are associated with dissociating gas hydrates in the seafloor. However, scientists have now found evidence that the context could be quite different.
Open data help scientists unravel Earth systems
Understanding nature and its processes has greatly benefitted from open data. Open remotely sensed data make hard-to-reach wilderness areas more accessible -- at least from above. These advances provide new opportunities for Earth system research.
Beluga whales dive deeper, longer to find food in Arctic
Beluga whales that spend summers feeding in the Arctic are diving deeper and longer to find food than in earlier years, when sea ice covered more of the ocean for longer periods, according to a new analysis.
'Demographic compensation' may not save plants facing changing climate
A large-scale study shows mixed results for hypothesis on how plants deal with climate change.
As climate changes, so could the genes of the Eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly
Researchers warn climate change can not only influence the geographic distribution of a species in response to changing conditions -- it could also affect the evolutionary trajectories of interbreeding species.
Tweeting in cities lower than expected, researchers find
Studying data from Twitter, researchers found that less people tweet per capita from larger cities than in smaller ones, indicating an unexpected trend that has implications in understanding urban pace of life.
Helping in spite of risk: Ants perform risk-averse sanitary care of infectious nest mates
Ants care for their sick nest mates in different ways, depending on their own immune status. When they themselves are susceptible to dangerous superinfections, they use a different method to care for sick colony members compared to ants that are not susceptible, thus protecting themselves from infection.
Designing microbial communities to help plants battle nutritional stress
Plants and microbes engage in a diverse array of symbiotic relationships, but identifying the specific microbes or groups of microbes that contribute to plant health is extremely difficult. Researchers have devised a general experimental scheme to identify and predict which small groups of bacterial species can help plants respond to phosphate starvation, a form of nutritional stress.
Spare parts from small parts: Novel scaffolds to grow muscle
Australian biomedical engineers have developed a 3-D material that successfully mimics nature to transform cells into muscle.
Land use change has warmed Earth's surface
Recent changes to vegetation cover are causing Earth's surface to heat up. Activities like cutting down evergreen forests for agricultural expansion in the tropics create energy imbalances that lead to higher local surface temperatures and contribute to global warming.
Researchers achieve 'Olympic ring' molecule breakthrough just in time for Winter Games
More than 7,000 miles away from the snowcapped peaks of PyeongChang, scientists in Florida have unlocked a novel strategy for synthesizing a highly versatile molecule called olympicene -- a compound of carbon and hydrogen atoms named for its familiar Olympic ring shape.
Unprecedented single-digit-nanometer magnetic tunnel junction demonstrated
Researchers have developed ultra-small magnetic tunnel junctions with high retention properties for use in semiconductor technologies.
Reshaping drug tests
Researchers have improved on the currently available methods for screening drugs for heart-related side effects. The method involves fabricating a tiny hole in a silicon chip over which lipid membranes, similar to those that surround cells, are encouraged to grow.
Unique chemistry found in the New Zealand glowworm
Researchers have helped uncover how New Zealand glowworms produce their glow. The scientists have discovered that the glowworms produce their light using a chemical reaction that is different from that of all other glowing creatures like fireflies.
Can you eat cells? Computer model predicts which organisms are capable of phagocytosis
Researchers have created a computational model capable of predicting whether or not organisms have the ability to 'eat' other cells through a process known as phagocytosis. The model may be a useful tool for large-scale microbe surveys and provides valuable insight into the evolution of complex life on Earth, challenging ideas put forward in recent studies.
Noise from ships scares porpoises
Porpoises communicate with each other using sounds. Therefore, they are highly sensitive to noise, such as ship noise. A new study shows that porpoises flee from and stop feeding when disturbed by heavy ship noise.
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope to reveal secrets of the Red Planet
Mars rovers and orbiters have found signs that Mars once hosted liquid water on its surface. Much of that water escaped over time. How much water was lost, and how does the water that’s left move from ice to atmosphere to soil? During its first year of operations, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will seek answers. Webb also will study mysterious methane plumes that hint at possible geological or even biological activity.
Survivors of blood or marrow transplantation are likely to experience cognitive impairment
Allogeneic blood or marrow transplantation recipients are at a significantly higher risk of cognitive impairment in the years post-transplantation, according to a new study. The research helps add a missing piece to a long-unsolved puzzle about post-transplant effects on recipients, specifically that vulnerable subpopulations of similar transplants can benefit from targeted interventions in the years after they receive their lifesaving treatment.
Researchers invent tiny, light-powered wires to modulate brain's electrical signals
A new study shows how tiny, light-powered wires could be fashioned out of silicon to manipulate electrical signaling between neurons. The research offers a new avenue to shed light on--and perhaps someday treat--brain disorders.
Brain aging may begin earlier than expected
Physicists have devised a new method of investigating brain function, opening a new frontier in the diagnoses of neurodegenerative and aging related diseases.
Industry is leaking huge amounts of microplastics, Swedish study shows
Millions of plastic pellets are leaking out into the environment from a manufacturing site in Stenungsund, according to a new Swedish study. Despite several international and national sets of regulatory frameworks, the leaking continues.
When it comes to our brains, there's no such thing as normal
There's nothing wrong with being a little weird. Because we think of psychological disorders on a continuum, we may worry when our own ways of thinking and behaving don't match up with our idealized notion of health. But some variability can be healthy and even adaptive, say researchers, even though it can also complicate attempts to identify standardized markers of pathology.
How political parties influence our beliefs, and what we can do about it
Fake news is everywhere, but why we believe it is still unclear. Psychologists suggest that valuing our identity more than our accuracy is what leads us to accept incorrect information that aligns with our political party's beliefs. This value discrepancy can explain why high-quality news sources are no longer enough--and understanding it can help us find strategies to bridge the political divide.
Low-fat or low-carb? It's a draw, study finds
New evidence might dismay those who have chosen sides in the low-fat versus low-carb diet debate. Cutting either carbs or fats shaves off excess weight in about the same proportion, according to the study.
Shedding (high-power laser) light on the plasma density limit
Researchers theoretically proposed the existence of density limit for hole boring by laser light on matter. They derived the maximum plasma density as a function of laser intensity, where hole boring stops and plasma blowout occurs. Theory and simulation of an ultra-high-pressure plasma state, wherein plasma's density pushes light back in the direction of the laser source, contribute to fundamental understanding, and provided grounding for applications such as laser-induced nuclear fusion.
Typhoid outbreak: Genetic cause of extensive drug-resistance found
The genetic cause behind a strain of typhoid's resistance to five classes of antibiotics has been uncovered by scientists at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and their collaborators. There is currently a major outbreak of typhoid fever in Pakistan. This study shows the typhoid strain causing the outbreak acquired an additional piece of DNA to become resistant to multiple antibiotics, including a third-generation antibiotic.
Alexa, how do word senses evolve?
A new paper is the first to look at 1,000 years of English development and detect the kinds of algorithms that human minds have used to extend existing words to new senses of meaning. This kind of 'reverse engineering' of how human language has developed could have implications for natural language processing by machines.
Quintillionths of a second in slow motion
Many chemical processes run so fast that they are only roughly understood. To clarify these processes, researchers have now developed a methodology with a resolution of quintillionths of a second. The new technology stands to help better understand processes like photosynthesis and develop faster computer chips.
Infection site affects how a virus spreads through the body
A person is more likely to get infected by HIV through anal intercourse than vaginal, but no one knows quite why. A new study shows that infection sites could affect the immune system's response to a virus and the way the virus spreads through the body.
Astronomers reveal secrets of most distant supernova ever detected
Astronomers have confirmed the discovery of the most distant supernova ever detected -- a huge cosmic explosion that took place 10.5 billion years ago, or three-quarters the age of the Universe itself.
Removing globally used anxiety drug from recycled and wastewater at low cost
Researchers can now remove a common anxiety drug from recycled water and wastewater, using low-cost titanium dioxide nanofibers. In cities running out of water, removing pharmaceuticals from wastewater in a simple, low cost way is becoming a priority.
Genes activated in metastasis also drive the first stages of tumor growth
Researchers have demonstrated that genes activated during metastasis are also able to initiate primary tumor development, and they explain the molecular mechanism involved.
When proteins shake hands
Protein nanofibers often have outstanding properties such as a high stability, biodegradability, or antibacterial effect. Artificially creating these fibers is not easy, much less assigning them specific functions. That and how fibers with new properties can be successfully created is now being reported by materials scientists in a new study.
'Nobody poaches here': Study exposes misperception of poaching on the Great Barrier Reef and its remedy
New research has revealed the tiny minority of fishers who poach on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) think the illegal practice is justified, because they believe 'everyone else is doing it.'
A trip to the mountains despite a heart condition?
Cardiologists are in agreement that generally exercise in the mountains is a very good way to prevent or reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases. Nevertheless what about those people who have a pre-existing cardiovascular condition? Under what circumstances is it safe for them to reside or holiday in high mountainous regions, and what rules should they apply to their conduct whilst there?
Grey squirrels beat reds in 'battle of wits'
Problem-solving powers may help to explain why grey squirrels have taken over from native red squirrels in the United Kingdom, according to new research.
Moderate and severe exacerbations accelerate physical activity decline in COPD patients
A new study shows that both moderate and severe exacerbations in COPD patients are associated with a decline in their physical activity level. Researchers observed that the acute drop in physical activity during a COPD exacerbation has an important and lasting effect.
Nitrate in drinking water increases the risk of colorectal cancer, study finds
Nitrate in groundwater and drinking water, which primarily comes from fertilisers used in the agricultural production, has not only been subject to decades of environmental awareness -- it has also been suspected of increasing the risk of cancer. The largest epidemiological study ever carried out in this area now shows that there is a correlation -- also when the amount of nitrate in the drinking water is far below the current drinking water standard.
Study of mollusk epidemic could help save endangered sea snail
Overfishing and environmental change have pushed abalone species on the US west coast to the edge of extinction. Now a fatal disease threatens their recovery. But new research shows that some abalone species may be less susceptible to the disease than others, providing initial data that could help map where abalone could survive and thrive despite the disease.
Very long-chain lipids could help prevent dry eye disease
Very long-chain lipids in the most superficial layer of the tear film cause severe dry eye disease when they were shortened in mice -- a result that could help develop new drugs for the disease.
Nitrate flux in the Arctic not following the decreasing NOx emissions in neighboring countries
Nitrate deposits in the Arctic remains high even after the turn of the century, despite environmental policies adopted by neighboring countries in the late 20th century to cut nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.
Pausing evolution makes bioproduction of chemicals affordable and efficient
Circumventing evolution in cell factories can pave the way for commercializing new biobased chemicals to large-scale.
How newly discovered gene helps grow blood vessels
A new study found that a newly discovered gene helps grow blood vessels when it senses inadequate blood flow to tissues.
In living color: Brightly-colored bacteria could be used to 'grow' paints and coatings
Researchers have unlocked the genetic code behind some of the brightest and most vibrant colors in nature. The article is the first study of the genetics of structural color -- as seen in butterfly wings and peacock feathers -- and paves the way for genetic research in a variety of structurally colored organisms.
Biodiversity loss raises risk of 'extinction cascades'
New research shows that the loss of biodiversity can increase the risk of 'extinction cascades', where an initial species loss leads to a domino effect of further extinctions.
Plants colonized Earth 100 million years earlier than previously thought
A new study on the timescale of plant evolution has concluded that the first plants to colonize the Earth originated around 500 million years ago -- 100 million years earlier than previously thought.
Some viruses produce insulin-like hormones that can stimulate human cells -- and have potential to cause disease
Scientists have identified four viruses that can produce insulin-like hormones that are active on human cells. The discovery brings new possibilities for revealing biological mechanisms that may cause diabetes or cancer.
Traces of indigenous 'Taíno' in present-day Caribbean populations
A thousand-year-old tooth has provided the first clear genetic evidence that the Taíno -- the indigenous people whom Columbus first encountered on arriving in the New World -- still have living descendants today, despite erroneous claims in some historical narratives that these people are extinct. The findings are likely to have particular resonance for people in the Caribbean and the US who claim Taíno ancestry, but have until now been unable to prove definitively that such a thing is possible.
Punishing a wrongdoer more rewarding to brain than supporting a victim
Punishing a wrongdoer may be more rewarding to the brain than supporting a victim. That is one suggestion of new research which measured the brain activity of young men while they played a 'justice game.'
Mouse model of intellectual disability isolates learning gene
Adult male mice lacking a gene linked to intellectual disability have trouble completing and remembering mazes, with no changes in social or repetitive behavior, according to new research. This animal model provides a new way to study the role of this gene in learning and memory and provides a rodent model of pure intellectual disability.
Real-time Captcha technique improves biometric authentication
A new login authentication approach could improve the security of current biometric techniques that rely on video or images of users' faces. Known as Real-Time Captcha, the technique uses a unique 'challenge' that's easy for humans -- but difficult for attackers who may be using machine learning and image generation software to spoof legitimate users.