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Today's Science News and Current Events


Researchers illuminate the path to a new era of microelectronics
A new microchip technology capable of optically transferring data could solve a severe bottleneck in current devices by speeding data transfer and reducing energy consumption by orders of magnitude, according to an article published in the April 19, 2018 issue of Nature.
E. coli's internal bomb may provide novel target for treatment strategy
Bacteria's internal bomb, the so-called toxin-antitoxin (TA) system that is part of the normal bacterial makeup, may be triggered to make bacteria turn on themselves, providing a valuable target for novel antimicrobial approaches in drug design, according to research presented at the 28th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID).
How social networking sites may discriminate against women
Using the photo-sharing site Instagram as a test case, Columbia researchers demonstrate how two common recommendation algorithms amplify a network effect known as homophily in which similar or like-minded people cluster together.
Business in Key Biodiversity Areas: Minimizing the risk to nature
A roadmap for businesses operating in some of the most biologically significant places on the planet has been issued this week by the Key Biodiversity Area Partnership involving 12 of the world's leading conservation organizations -- including IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Wood formation model to fuel progress in bioenergy, paper, new applications
Need stronger timber, better biofuels or new sources of green chemicals?
Spit and polish: The beauty of saliva for epigenetic studies
Accounting for cell components in saliva increases the reliability of biochemical tests for experience-driven epigenetic changes.
Measles serious threat for babies, toddlers, unvaccinated youths, ECDC says
The vast majority of measles cases in Europe were reported in unvaccinated patients, and children younger than two years old were at a higher risk of dying from measles than older patients, according to research presented at the 28th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID).
New microscope reveals biological life as you've never seen it before
Astronomers developed a 'guide star' adaptive optics technique to obtain the most crystal-clear and precise telescopic images of distant galaxies, stars and planets.
Treatment of cancer could become possible with adenovirus
An international team of researchers led by professor Niklas Arnberg at Umeå University, shows that adenovirus binds to a specific type of carbohydrate that is overexpressed on certain types of cancer cells.
A fat belly is bad for your heart
Belly fat, even in people who are not otherwise overweight, is bad for the heart, according to results from the Mayo Clinic presented today at EuroPrevent 2018, a European Society of Cardiology congress.
What's in a name? Yale researchers track PTSD's many identities during war
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been associated with military activities for as long as wars have been fought -- but this disorder was only named in the 1980s.
Compound improves stroke outcome by reducing lingering inflammation
An experimental compound appears to improve stroke outcome by reducing the destructive inflammation that can continue months after a stroke, scientists report.
Russian scientists learned to perform the diagnose by analyzing saliva
Researchers of Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) within the framework of the Project 5-100 developed a unique method of immune diseases diagnosing before the symptoms appear.
Grassland plants react unexpectedly to high levels of carbon dioxide
Plants are responding in unexpected ways to increased carbon dioxide in the air, according to a 20-year study conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota.
For heavy lifting, use exoskeletons with caution
You can wear an exoskeleton, but it won't turn you into a superhero.
Tampons can cause toxic shock syndrome
The use of intravaginal menstrual pads may be responsible for rare cases of menstrual toxic shock syndrome in women whose vaginas have been colonized by Staphylococcus aureus producing toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1).
The good, the bad and their fortuitous differences
Genetic differences between two very similar fungi, one that led to Quorn™, the proprietary meat substitute, and another that ranks among the world's most damaging crop pathogens, have exposed the significant features that dictate the pair's very different lifestyles, features that promise targets for controlling disease.
New infection prevention tool improve transparency and standardization of practice
Researchers developed a new color-coded visual tool called Infection Risk Scan, or IRIS, which is set to make it easier for healthcare workers to measure in which areas a hospital complies with guidelines and where it needs to implement measures to improve infection control and the use antimicrobial therapies, according to research presented at the 28th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID).
On the shape of the 'petal' for the dissipation curve
Topological insulators are new materials that have been studied by many research groups around the world for more than ten years.
In many countries, bone health may be at risk due to low calcium intake
At a special symposium held today at the World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases in Krakow, Poland, experts discussed the findings of the newly launched IOF Global Map of Dietary Calcium Intake in Adults and the implications of low calcium intake for the global population.
New theory shows how strain makes for better catalysts
A new theory of how compression and tension can affect the reactivity of metal catalysts could be helpful in designing new and better catalysts.
Brachytherapy for cervical cancer does not increase the risk of ureteral stricture
New research presented at the ESTRO 37 conference from two large international trials, shows that intracavitary and interstitial brachytherapy is safe and does not increase the risk of ureteral stricture in cervical cancer patients.
Trees are not as sound asleep as you may think
High-precision three-dimensional surveying of 21 different species of trees has revealed a yet unknown cycle of subtle canopy movement during the night.
SLU students learn Italian playing Assassin's Creed
A Saint Louis University professor has developed a method for teaching a new language through gaming.
Fat cells seem to remember unhealthy diet
Fat cells can be damaged in a short amount of time when they are exposed to the fatty acid palmitate or the hormone TNF-alpha through a fatty diet, a new study shows.
Research debunks 'myth' that strenuous exercise suppresses the immune system
New research suggests that rather than dampen immunity, endurance sports, like this weekend's London Marathon, can actually boost the body's ability to fight off illness.
Genomics study in Africa: Demographic history and deleterious mutations
Scientists from the Institut Pasteur set out to understand how the demographic changes associated with the Neolithic transition also influenced the efficacy of natural selection.
Faster walking heart patients are hospitalized less
Faster walking patients with heart disease are hospitalized less, according to research presented today at EuroPrevent 2018, a European Society of Cardiology congress, and published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
Tiny microenvironments in the ocean hold clues to global nitrogen cycle
A new University of Rochester study shows that nitrogen-feeding organisms exist all over the deep ocean, and not just in large oxygen-depleted
Meditation could help anxiety and cardiovascular health
In a student-led study, one hour of mindfulness meditation shown to reduce anxiety and some cardiovascular risk markers.
West Nile virus reemerged and spread to new areas in Greece in 2017, researchers show
West Nile virus (WNV), which is transmitted via mosquito bites, reemerged and spread to new territories of Greece in 2017 following a two-year hiatus in reported human cases, according to findings presented at the 28th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID).
Selection of a pyrethroid metabolic enzyme CYP9K1 by malaria control activities
Researchers from LSTM, with partners from a number of international institutions, have shown the rapid selection of a novel P450 enzyme leading to insecticide resistance in a major malaria vector.
New DNA screening reveals whose blood the vampire bat is drinking
The vampire bat prefers to feed on domestic animals such as cows and pigs.
HKU medical chemists discover peptic ulcer treatment metallodrug effective in 'taming' superbugs
A novel solution to antimicrobial resistance -- HKU medical chemists discover peptic ulcer treatment metallodrug effective in 'taming' superbugs.
Blood biomarkers may allow easier detection, confirmation of concussions
Researchers from the University of California, Irvine, Georgetown University and the University of Rochester have found that specific small molecules in blood plasma may be useful in determining whether someone has sustained a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), commonly known as a concussion.
Rochester scientists discover gene controlling genetic recombination rates
Genetic recombination is vital to natural selection, yet some species display far more crossover than others.
Late, but not too late -- screening for olfactory dysfunction
In a large population-based study of randomly selected participants in Germany, researchers found that participants aged 65-74 years with olfactory dysfunction showed impaired cognitive performance.
A study links soil metals with cancer mortality
Spanish epidemiologists and geologists have found associations between esophageal cancer and soils where lead is abundant, lung cancer and terrains with increased copper content, brain tumor with areas rich in arsenic, and bladder cancer with high cadmium levels.
Immune diversity among the KhoeSan population
By analyzing genes of two distinct groups of the KhoeSan, investigators were able to find a level of diversity and divergence in immune cell repertoires much higher than identified in any other population.
When there's an audience, people's performance improves
Often people think performing in front of others will make them mess up, but a new study found the opposite: being watched makes people do better.
Biomarkers for irritable bowel syndrome
Little is still known about the exact causes of irritable bowel syndrome.
Primary pancreatic organoid tumor models for high-throughput phenotypic drug screening
A multidisciplinary team of scientists share recent advancements in innovative in-vitro cancer biology methods for screening drug-like molecules in cancer tissue relevant models in a new report published online ahead-of-print at SLAS Discovery.
Large Candida auris outbreak linked to multi-use thermometers in UK ICU
Outbreaks of the fungal pathogen Candida auris in healthcare settings, particularly in intensive care units (ICUs), may be linked to multi-use patient equipment, such as thermometers, according to research presented at the 28th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.
New testing of model improves confidence in the performance of ITER
Article describes production of multiscale turbulence in fusion plasmas through heating of ions and electrons.
Graphene sets a new record on squeezing light to one atom
Graphene Flagship researchers reach the ultimate level of light confinement -- the space of one atom.
One step closer to reality
The software 'PyFRAP' is an accurate and reliable tool for the analysis of molecular movement, employing numerical simulations rather than simplified assumptions.
Study recommends strong role for national labs in 'second laser revolution'
A new study calls for the US to step up its laser R&D efforts to better compete with major overseas efforts to build large, high-power laser systems, and notes progress and milestones at the BELLA Center at the Department of Energy's Berkeley Lab, and at other sites.
How do people die in Switzerland today?
Today, almost two thirds of deaths in Switzerland aren't unexpected.
Structured light and nanomaterials open new ways to tailor light at the nanoscale
Joint research between Tampere University of Technology, (Finland) and University of Tübingen (Germany) has shown that carefully structured light and matching arrangements of metal nanostructures can be combined to alter the properties of the generated light at the nanometer scale.
Lupus treatment generates positive results in Phase III clinical trial
New research indicates that belimumab, a monoclonal antibody therapy that targets a component of the immune system, provides considerable benefits to patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a predominately female, chronic inflammatory disease that can affect virtually any organ.
Fight, flight, or freeze
There's increasing physiological evidence connecting breathing patterns with the brain regions that control mood and emotion.

Best Science Podcasts 2018

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2018. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Turning Kids Into Grown-Ups
Parenting is fraught with uncertainty, changing with each generation. This hour, TED speakers share ideas about raising kids and how — despite our best efforts — we're probably still doing it wrong. Guests include former Stanford dean Julie Lythcott-Haims, former firefighter Caroline Paul, author Peggy Orenstein, psychologist Dr. Aala El-Khani, and poet Sarah Kay.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#470 Information Spookyhighway
This week we take a closer look at a few of the downsides of the modern internet, and some of the security and privacy challenges that are becoming increasingly troublesome. Rachelle Saunders speaks with cyber security expert James Lyne about how modern hacking differs from the hacks of old, and how an internet without national boards makes it tricky to police online crime across jurisdictions. And Bethany Brookshire speaks with David Garcia, a computer scientist at the Complexity Science Hub and the Medical University of Vienna, about the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, and how social media platforms put a wrench...