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The top science news articles and science news articles and current events, scientific discoveries, studies and research from the past week.
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Societies issue recommendations for left atrial appendage occlusion
The American College of Cardiology, Heart Rhythm Society and Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions today released a new overview on the implantation of left atrial appendage occlusion devices.

What your clothes may say about you
Moving closer to the possibility of "materials that compute" and wearing your computer on your sleeve, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering have designed a responsive hybrid material that is fueled by an oscillatory chemical reaction and can perform computations based on changes in the environment or movement, and potentially even respond to human vital signs.



Professor discovers new lichen species in city of Boulder
A University of Colorado Boulder scientist unexpectedly discovered two lichen species new to science in the same week while conducting research in Boulder Colorado, near the city's eastern limits.

Drugs for impotence do not increase risk of melanoma
Using drugs for impotence does not increase the risk of malignant melanoma, researchers from Umeå University in Sweden conclude in a publication in JAMA, a top US medical journal.

Hubble sees atmosphere being stripped from Neptune-sized exoplanet
Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have discovered an immense cloud of hydrogen dispersing from a warm, Neptune-sized planet orbiting a nearby star. The enormous gaseous tail of the planet is about 50 times the size of the parent star.

What's new in contact lenses? Prescribing trends reflect new lens materials and designs
More Americans are using soft contact lenses -- especially daily disposable lenses -- and taking advantage of new designs targeting vision problems that were difficult to correct with previous contact lenses, reports the July issue of Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the American Academy of Optometry.

To the rescue: Helping threatened Mediterranean sea turtles
Researchers Ullmann and Stachowitsch critically review the current state of sea turtle rescue centres and first-aid stations in relation to the mortality trends for two charismatic yet endangered flagship species - the Mediterranean loggerhead and green turtle populations. Their findings were published in the open-access journal Nature Conservation.

Norepinephrine aids brain in sorting complex auditory signals
For neuroscientists studying the intricate mechanisms of hearing in the brain's auditory cortex, a major question has been how a listener can focus in a noisy environment, and how neurochemicals help neurons convey as much embedded information as possible for the rest of the brain to act on.

Therapy affects the brain of people with Tourette syndrome
In addition to its effect on chronic tics, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can change the brain function of people with Tourette syndrome.

A supportive close friendship helps boys and girls overcome adversity
A single supportive close friendship can help young people from low-income backgrounds to thrive in challenging circumstances, according to a new University of Sussex study.

For vitiligo patient, arthritis drug restores skin color
A medication for treating rheumatoid arthritis has restored skin color in a patient suffering from vitiligo, according to dermatologists at Yale School of Medicine. The disfiguring condition is best known as the disease that plagued late pop star Michael Jackson.

Targeting telomeres, the timekeepers of cells, could improve chemotherapy
Telomeres, specialized ends of our chromosomes that dictate how long cells can continue to duplicate themselves, have long been studied for their links to the aging process and cancer.

As smoking declines, more are likely to quit
Smokeless tobacco and, more recently, e-cigarettes have been promoted as a harm reduction strategy for smokers who are "unable or unwilling to quit."

Understanding subduction zone earthquakes: the 2004 Sumatra earthquake example
The 26 December 2004 Mw ~9.2 Indian Ocean earthquake (also known as the Sumatra-Andaman or Aceh-Andaman earthquake), which generated massive, destructive tsunamis, especially along the Aceh coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia, clearly demonstrated the need for a better understanding of how frequently subduction zone earthquakes and tsunamis occur.

ALMA detects carbon 'smog' permeating interstellar atmospheres of early galaxies
Astronomers study the elements scattered between the stars to learn about the internal workings of galaxies, their motion and chemistry.

University of Iowa studies impact of marijuana on driving
A new study conducted at the University of Iowa's National Advanced Driving Simulator has found drivers who use alcohol and marijuana together weave more on a virtual roadway than drivers who use either substance independently.

Nanowires could be the LEDs of the future
The latest research from the Niels Bohr Institute shows that LEDs made from nanowires will use less energy and provide better light.

Detroit patients' contributions to national study re-define low-grade brain tumor diagnosis
Sixty-seven patients from the Hermelin Brain Tumor Center at Henry Ford Hospital and their families made important contributions to a national cancer study that proposes a change in how some brain tumors are classified - and ultimately treated.

New colon cancer culprit found in gut microbiome
Changes in the gut bacteria of colon cancer patients indicate that some virulent bacteria could be linked to the progression of the disease, according to research published in the open access journal Genome Medicine.

Study: Whooping cough resurgence due to vaccinated people not knowing they're infectious?
Whooping cough has made an astonishing comeback, with 2012 seeing nearly 50,000 infections in the U.S. (the most since 1955), and a death rate in infants three times that of the rest of the population.

Drug discovery for Parkinson's disease: LCSB researchers grow neurons in 3-D
The progressive loss of neurons in the brain of Parkinson's patients is slow yet inexorable. So far, there are no drugs that can halt this insidious process.

Scientists highlight the importance of nanoscale hybrid materials for non-invasive cancer diagnosis
Various diagnostic imaging techniques are currently used for clinical imaging/disease diagnosis. The accuracy of diagnosis is mainly based on the type of energy used (such as X-ray, sound waves, photons and positrons) to derive the visual information, as well as the degree of spatial resolution (mesoscopic or microscopic) and the level of information that can be obtained (physiological, anatomical or molecular).

Nanometric sensor designed to detect herbicides can help diagnose multiple sclerosis
The early diagnosis of certain types of cancer, as well as nervous system diseases such as multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica, may soon be facilitated by the use of a nanometric sensor capable of identifying biomarkers of these pathological conditions.

New Sesotho-named dinosaur from South Africa
South African and Argentinian palaeontologists have discovered a new 200 million year old dinosaur from South Africa, and named it Sefapanosaurus, from the Sesotho word "sefapano".

Porcupines can't jump: Camera traps in the forest canopy reveal dwarf porcupine behavior
A team of scientists, led by Dr. Tremaine Gregory from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, worked with a pipeline construction company to preserve the branches of large trees that connected over the pipeline clearing forming natural canopy bridges in the Lower Urubamba Region of Peru.

Rainbow of glowing corals discovered in depths of the Red Sea
Glowing corals that display a surprising array of colours have been discovered in the deep water reefs of the Red Sea by scientists from the University of Southampton, UK, Tel Aviv University and the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences (IUI), Israel, together with an international team of researchers.

Needle exchanges can prevent more HIV outbreaks like one in Indiana
Congress needs to immediately lift the ban on federal funding for needle exchange programs to counter the threat of HIV outbreaks among injection drug users like the one that has seen an alarming number of new cases erupt in a single rural Indiana county.

Red dwarf burns off planet's hydrogen giving it massive comet-like tail
A giant cloud escaping from a warm, Neptune-mass exoplanet is reported in this week's Nature.

Exceptional view of deep Arctic Ocean methane seeps
Over a course of 12 days Dr. Giuliana Panieri and her colleagues from Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate (CAGE) collected images from seven areas of known methane release in the Arctic Ocean. One of them was Vestnesa Ridge, with over 1000 active seep sites at the depth of over 1000 m.

Cystic fibrosis deadlier for Hispanic than non-Hispanic patients, Stanford study finds
Cystic fibrosis is more deadly for Hispanic than non-Hispanic patients, a disparity that is not explained by differences in their access to health care, according to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Factors released following stem cell transplantation therapeutically impact serious burns
Cell transplantation researchers have successfully used bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) to treat a variety of diseases and conditions.

Antarctic life -- highly diverse, unusually structured
In a comprehensive assessment of Antarctic biodiversity, published in Nature this week, scientists have revealed the region is more diverse and biologically interesting than previously thought.

Low-field synchronized transcranial magnetic stimulation effective for major depressive disorder
The results of a study assessing safety and efficacy of sTMS therapy with the NEST¨ device in adult patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) have been published in the Elsevier journal Brain Stimulation and are now available online on Science Direct.

Towards graphene biosensors
Pure carbon occurs in many forms. Besides the classical configurations found in diamonds, graphite, and coal, there are other younger exotic cousins such as graphene.

Spintronics advance brings wafer-scale quantum devices closer to reality
An electronics technology that uses the "spin" -- or magnetization -- of atomic nuclei to store and process information promises huge gains in performance over today's electron-based devices. But getting there is proving challenging.

Study examines cesarean section delivery and autism spectrum disorder
The initial results of a study suggested that children born by cesarean section were 21 percent more likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder but that association did not hold up in further analysis of sibling pairs, implying the initial association was not causal and was more likely due to unknown genetic or environmental factors, according to an article published online by JAMA Psychiatry.

In ERs, UTIs and STIs in women misdiagnosed, even mixed up nearly half the time
Urinary tract and sexually transmitted infections in women are misdiagnosed by emergency departments nearly half the time, according to a paper in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology.

Rare neurons enable mental flexibility
Behavioral flexibility -- the ability to change strategy when the rules change -- is controlled by specific neurons in the brain, Researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) have confirmed.

Unlocking fermentation secrets open the door to new biofuels
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have, for the first time, uncovered the complex interdependence and orchestration of metabolic reactions, gene regulation, and environmental cues of clostridial metabolism, providing new insights for advanced biofuel development.

BMJ investigation examines bitter dispute over e-cigarettes in the public health community
An investigation published by The BMJ today reveals how the controversial concept of "harm reduction", embraced enthusiastically by the tobacco industry, has sharply divided the public health community.

Analyzing ocean mixing reveals insight on climate
Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed a computer model that clarifies the complex processes driving ocean mixing in the vast eddies that swirl across hundreds of miles of open ocean.

Subcutaneous administration of multispecific antibody improves tumor treatment
As a rule, anti-tumor antibodies are administered to the patients intravenously. This usually takes several hours because otherwise a too rapid activation of the immune system can lead to significant adverse side effects.

A reinforced cylinder leads to fewer repeat surgeries for children born with heart defect
In this important study use of a ring-reinforced shunt improved surgical outcomes in children born with a serious heart defect: hypoplastic left heart syndrome.

Newly found ring of teeth uncovers what common ancestor of molting animals looked like
A new study of an otherworldly creature from half a billion years ago - a worm-like animal with legs, spikes and a head difficult to distinguish from its tail - has definitively identified its head for the first time, and revealed a previously unknown ring of teeth and a pair of simple eyes.

Thin colorectal cancer patients have shorter survival than obese patients
Although being overweight with a high body-mass index (BMI) has long been associated with a higher risk for colorectal cancer, thinner patients might not fare as well after treatment for advanced cancer, according to a new study from Duke Medicine.

New method can make cheaper solar energy storage
Storing solar energy as hydrogen is a promising way for developing comprehensive renewable energy systems.

SLU scientists develop potential new class of cancer drugs in lab
In research published in Cancer Cell, Thomas Burris, Ph.D., chair of pharmacology and physiology at Saint Louis University, has, for the first time, found a way to stop cancer cell growth by targeting the Warburg Effect, a trait of cancer cell metabolism that scientists have been eager to exploit.

Giant comet-like tail discovered on small exoplanet
The prospect of finding ocean-bearing exoplanets has been boosted, thanks to a pioneering new study.

Mixed findings regarding quality of evidence supporting benefit of medical marijuana
In an analysis of the findings of nearly 80 randomized trials that included about 6,500 participants, there was moderate-quality evidence to support the use of cannabinoids (chemical compounds that are the active principles in cannabis or marijuana) for the treatment of chronic pain and lower-quality evidence suggesting that cannabinoids were associated with improvements in nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, sleep disorders, and Tourette syndrome.

Lifelong learning is made possible by recycling of histones, study says
Neurons are a limited commodity; each of us goes through life with essentially the same set we had at birth.

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