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Science current events and breaking science news on health, climate change, nanotechnology, the environment, stem cells, global warming, current cancer research, physics, biology, computer science, astronomy, endangered species and alternative energy.

Brivaracetam in epilepsy: Added benefit not proven

Brivaracetam (trade name: Briviact) has been approved since January 2016 as add-on therapy for adolescents from the age of 16 years and adults with epileptic seizures.




Why everyone wants to help the sick -- but not the unemployed

New research from Aarhus BSS at Aarhus University explains why healthcare costs are running out of control, while costs to unemployment protection are kept in line.

Women may be able to reduce breast cancer risk predicted by their genes

Women with a high risk of developing breast cancer based on family history and genetic risk can still reduce the chance they will develop the disease in their lifetimes by following a healthy lifestyle, new research led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests.

Metagenomics pathogen detection tool could change how infectious diseases are diagnosed

Scientists at the University of Utah, ARUP Laboratories, and IDbyDNA, Inc., have developed ultra-fast, meta-genomics analysis software called Taxonomer that dramatically improves the accuracy and speed of pathogen detection.

Powering up the circadian rhythm

At noon every day, levels of genes and proteins throughout your body are drastically different than they are at midnight.

Astronomers find giant planet around very young star

In contradiction to the long-standing idea that larger planets take longer to form, U.S. astronomers today announced the discovery of a giant planet in close orbit around a star so young that it still retains a disk of circumstellar gas and dust.

Weight gain in children associated with low hormone levels

A Mayo Clinic-led study found that obese teenagers have lower levels of a hormone potentially tied to weight management than teens of normal weights. The study is published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Palliative, hospice care lacking among dying cancer patients, Stanford researcher finds

Medical societies, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, recommend that patients with advanced cancer receive palliative care soon after diagnosis and receive hospice care for at least the last three days of their life.

Faster, more efficient CRISPR editing in mice

University of California, Berkeley scientists have developed a quicker and more efficient method to alter the genes of mice with CRISPR-Cas9, simplifying a procedure growing in popularity because of the ease of using the new gene-editing tool.

Alternative odor receptors discovered in mice

Smell in mammals turns out to be more complex than we thought.

Gut bacteria may contribute to poor health in patients with kidney disease

In patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), the accumulation of a gut bacterial metabolite that's normally excreted in urine may contribute to serious health problems.

Making or breaking habits: The endocannabinoids can do it

In our daily lives we constantly have to shift between habitual and goal-directed actions. For example, having to drive to a new place instead of driving home.

Mimicking deep sleep brain activity improves memory

It is not surprising that a good night's sleep improves our ability to remember what we learned during the day.

Vitamin nicotinamide riboside protects mice from diabetes complications

A naturally occurring vitamin, nicotinamide riboside (NR), can lower blood sugar levels, reduce fatty liver, and prevent peripheral nerve damage in mouse models of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes (T2D), according to a new study by researchers at the University of Iowa and the Iowa City VA Health Care System.

Difficult decisions involving perception increase activity in brain's insular cortex, study finds

As the difficulty of making a decision based on sensory evidence increases, activity in the brain's insular cortex also increases, according to researchers at Georgia State University.

Slime mold reveals clues to immune cells' directional abilities

How white blood cells in our immune systems home in on and engulf bacterial invaders--like humans following the scent of oven-fresh pizza--has long been a mystery to scientists.

Small talk: Electronic media keeping kids from communicating with parents

It happens in many households. Kids are tapping on their cell phones or are preoccupied by their favorite TV show as their parents ask them a question or want them to do a chore.

Mars is emerging from an ice age

Radar measurements of Mars' polar ice caps reveal that the mostly dry, dusty planet is emerging from an ice age, following multiple rounds of climate change.

First discovery in United States of colistin resistance in a human E. coli infection

The Multidrug Resistant Organism Repository and Surveillance Network (MRSN) at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) characterized a transferrable gene for colistin resistance in the United States that may herald the emergence of truly pan-drug resistant bacteria.

Coping with active surveillance anxiety in prostate cancer

Men with prostate cancer who are under close medical surveillance reported significantly greater resilience and less anxiety over time after receiving an intervention of mindfulness meditation, according to a recently published pilot study from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Surrogate endpoints poor proxy for survival in cancer drug approval process

Surrogate endpoints used to support the majority of new cancer drugs approved in the U.S. often lack formal study, according to the authors of a study published in the June issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

How a huge landslide shaped Zion National Park

A Utah mountainside collapsed 4,800 years ago in a gargantuan landslide known as a "rock avalanche," creating the flat floor of what is now Zion National Park by damming the Virgin River to create a lake that existed for 700 years.

Potential impact of a dengue vaccine in the Yucatan

While no dengue vaccine has yet been approved for general use, several candidates are in clinical development.

Researchers identify critical factors that determine drought vulnerability of wheat, maize

Researchers led by Lixin Wang, assistant professor of earth sciences in the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, have identified critical information about the environmental variables and agronomic factors that determine the vulnerability of maize and wheat production to drought.

Spring snow a no-go?

Spring snowpack, relied on by ski resorts and water managers throughout the Western United States, may be more vulnerable to a warming climate in coming decades, according to a new University of Utah study.

A planet 1,200 light-years away is a good prospect for a habitable world

A distant planet known as Kepler-62f could be habitable, a team of astronomers reports.

The dying child: Room for improvement in end-of-life care

Many pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists believe that their clinical care extends from treating ill children through end-of-life care.

Targeting metals to fight pathogenic bacteria

Researchers at the Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS) at UmeƄ University in Sweden participated in the discovery of a unique system of acquisition of essential metals in the pathogenic bacterium Staphylococcus aureus.

Beating the limits of the light microscope, one photon at a time

The world's most advanced light microscopes allow us to see single molecules, proteins, viruses and other very small biological structures. But even the best microscopes have their limits.

Underwater grass beds have ability to protect and maintain their own health

An expansive bed of underwater grass at the mouth of the Susquehanna River has proven it is able to "take a licking and keep on ticking."

Restoring chemotherapy sensitivity by boosting microRNA levels

By increasing the level of a specific microRNA (miRNA) molecule, researchers have for the first time restored chemotherapy sensitivity in vitro to a line of human pancreatic cancer cells that had developed resistance to a common treatment drug.

Migration back to Africa took place during the Paleolithic

The Palaeogenomics study conducted by the Human Evolutionary Biology group of the Faculty of Science and Technology, led by ConcepciĆ³n de la Rua, in collaboration with researchers in Sweden, the Netherlands and Romania, has made it possible to retrieve the complete sequence of the mitogenome of the Pestera Muierii woman(PM1)using two teeth.

Study identifies risk factors associated with eye abnormalities in infants with presumed Zika virus

In a study published online by JAMA Ophthalmology, Rubens Belfort Jr., M.D., Ph.D., of the Federal University of Sao Paulo and Vision Institute, Sao Paulo, Brazil, and colleagues assessed and identified possible risk factors for ophthalmoscopic (an instrument used to visualize the back of the eye) findings in infants born with microcephaly (a birth defect characterized by an abnormally small head) and a presumed clinical diagnosis of Zika virus intrauterine infection.

Why malnutrition is an immune disorder

Malnourished children are most likely to die from common infections, not starvation. New experimental evidence, reviewed May 26 in Trends in Immunology, indicates that even with a healthy diet, defects in immune system function from birth could contribute to a malnourished state throughout life.

Remains of bizarre group of extinct snail-eating Australian marsupials discovered

Fossil remains of a previously unknown family of carnivorous Australian marsupials that lived 15 million years ago have been discovered at the Riversleigh World Heritage Fossil Site in north-western Queensland by a UNSW Australia-led team of researchers.

Investigational drugs show promise for treating overactive bladder

In a recent study of patients with overactive bladder (OAB), a 30 mg extended release formulation of propiverine hydrochloride was at least as effective and safe as a 4 mg extended release formulation of tolterodine tartrate.

Vismodegib in basal cell carcinoma: Added benefit not proven

Vismodegib (trade name: Erivedge) has already been approved since 2013 for the treatment of patients with locally advanced basal cell carcinoma (BCC) or symptomatic metastatic BCC and has already undergone an early benefit assessment according to the Act on the Reform of the Market for Medicinal Products (AMNOG).

SwRI scientists discover evidence of ice age at martian north pole

Using radar data collected by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, a Southwest Research Institute-led team found evidence of an ice age recorded in the polar deposits of Mars.

Researchers aiming at improved early diagnosis of arthrosis

Arthrosis, a degenerative disease that affects the joints, becomes more common as people become older. The disease is becoming increasingly common among older people in Finland as well. Arthrosis is currently the subject of research in a number of projects funded by the Academy of Finland.

Fungi -- a promising source of chemical diversity

The fungus Aspergillus fumigatus produces a group of previously unknown natural products. With reference to plant isoquinoline alkaloids, these substances have been named fumisoquins.

Mothers' parenting stress impacts both parents' sexual satisfaction

First-time parents are only somewhat satisfied with their sex lives according to Penn State health researchers who checked in with parents regularly after their baby was born. And one factor that appears to be reducing their sexual satisfaction is mothers' stress as a new parent.

A critical inheritance from dad ensures healthy embryos

An important feature for life is what embryos receive from mom and dad upon fertilization. Oddly enough, centrioles, the structures responsible for cell division and flagella movement, are given by the paternal gamete.

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