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Science News and Current Events for April 15, 2016


Ames Laboratory scientist inducted into National Academy of Inventors
US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory senior metallurgist Iver Anderson was inducted into the National Academy of Inventors at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C., today at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Mothers' milk and the infant gut microbiota: An ancient symbiosis
Mothers' milk guides the development of neonates' gut microbiota, nourishing a very specific bacterial population that protects the child.
Princeton graduate student creates program that helps stabilize fusion plasma
Description of a new method for controlling plasma rotation.
Mayo clinic: Long-term benefits to the liver-kidney transplant
A new study from physicians at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, found there may be long-term benefits to simultaneous liver-kidney transplantation versus kidney transplantation alone.
Patients with EGFR expressing NSCLC benefit most from necitumumab added to chemotherapy
Patients with epidermal growth factor receptor expressing advanced squamous non-small-cell lung cancer benefit most from necitumumab added to gemcitabine and cisplatin chemotherapy, according to a subgroup analysis from the SQUIRE trial presented today at the European Lung Cancer Conference 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland.
WHO highlights hepatitis testing innovations at The International Liver Congress
Innovative hepatitis testing projects from 5 countries will be commended by the World Health Organization (WHO) at an award ceremony and symposium on hepatitis testing on Sunday morning, April 17 2016, at The International Liver Congress™ (ILC) in Barcelona, Spain.
'Weirdest martensite': Century-old smectic riddle finally solved
Physics professor James Sethna has co-authored a paper on the unusual microstructure of smectics -- liquid crystals whose molecules are arranged in layers and form ellipses and hyperbolas -- and their similarity to martensites, a crystalline structure of steel.
Plasma genotyping to predict treatment benefit in patients with NSCLC
The benefit of plasma genotyping to predict treatment benefit in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is confirmed in three studies presented today at the European Lung Cancer Conference (ELCC) 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Experimental drug guadecitabine found safe in patients with colorectal cancer
In a small, phase I clinical trial, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers say they show for the first time that the experimental drug guadecitabine (SGI-110) is safe in combination with the chemotherapy drug irinotecan and may overcome resistance to irinotecan in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.
Greenness around homes linked to lower mortality
Women live longer in areas with more green vegetation, according to new research funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health.
A laser for your eyes
A team of the Lomonosov Moscow State University scientists and the Belarusian National Technical University has created a unique laser, which is a compact light source with wavelengths harmless to the human eye.
At-home cognitive remediation may help cognitive symptoms in multiple sclerosis
In a randomized controlled trial, people with MS who used a computer-based cognitive remediation training program at home for 12 weeks had significantly higher cognitive test scores than those who used a placebo computer program.
Treatment for chronic hepatitis B linked to increased rates of colorectal and cervical cancer
A new study presented today demonstrates a potential link between treatment of long-term oral nucleos(t)ide analogues and an increased risk of colorectal (p=0.029) and cervical (p=0.049) cancer in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV).
UC Davis study says logos make a group seem real
New research at the University of California, Davis, shows that logos create the impression that a group is unified, effective and coordinated, even when the members of the group don't really seem that way on their own.
EARTH: Crippling heat stress projected by midcentury in densely populated regions
EARTH Magazine explores the world's top weather-related killer: exposure to extreme heat.
New tool reveals role of ancestry in soil communities of bacteria
Researchers at Northern Arizona University weighed in on the hotly debated relationship between lineage and behavior in microorganisms by using a new tool -- quantitative stable isotope probing -- producing results that have implications for how much may be lost when strains of bacteria are lost from a soil community.
Allergen immunotherapy found to pose no risk of infection
A team of Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has found no evidence of infections related to the common practice of injecting allergens beneath the skin to reduce the allergic response.
Immune cells help the brain to self-heal after a stroke
After a stroke, there is inflammation in the damaged part of the brain.
New debugger finds security flaws in popular web apps
By exploiting some peculiarities of the popular Web programming framework Ruby on Rails, MIT researchers have developed a system that can quickly comb through tens of thousands of lines of application code to find security flaws.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital research at AACR Annual Meeting
The American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting features the work of St.
Preliminary study: Antibody therapy reduces cancer stem cells in multiple myeloma
An experimental antibody treatment decreased by half the number of cancer stem cells that drive the growth of tumors in nearly all patients with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow and bone tissue, according to results of a preliminary clinical trial led by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists.
Physicists build engine consisting of one atom
An article in the latest edition of the journal Science describes an innovative form of heat engine that operates using only one single atom.
Fred Hutch research highlights at AACR Annual Meeting 2016
Below are brief summaries highlighting several presentations by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center scientists at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2016 in New Orleans from April 16-20.
Fish-eyed lens cuts through the dark
Combining the best features of a lobster and an African fish, University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers have created an artificial eye that can see in the dark.
Too much 'noise' can affect brain development
Using cutting-edge imaging technology, University of California, Irvine biologists have determined that uncontrolled fluctuations (known as 'noise') in the concentration of the vitamin A derivative retinoic acid can lead to disruptions in brain organization during development.
Poor patient warfarin knowledge may increase risk of deadly side effects
Patients have poor knowledge of warfarin which may increase their risk of serious side effects, according to research presented today at EuroHeartCare 2016 by Dr.
First-ever nivolumab study to treat aggressive anal cancer appears promising
A rare malignancy known as squamous cell carcinoma of the anal canal (SCCA) is on the increase, and now researchers have reported results of the first-ever phase II clinical trial results for treatment with the immunotherapy drug nivolumab.
Studies demonstrate improved safety results achieved with investigational drug for hep B
Studies presented today at The International Liver Congress™ 2016 in Barcelona, Spain, demonstrate that tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) improves patient safety while maintaining efficacy in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection compared to tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Viread, TDF).
Record Balkan floods linked to jamming of giant airstreams
Disastrous floods in the Balkans two years ago are likely linked to the temporary slowdown of giant airstreams, scientists found.
Women of color -- what we know and don't know about their unique health challenges
Women of color face both racial and gender disparities in the incidence, onset, and outcomes of diseases as diverse as cancer, cardiovascular disease, HIV infection and age-related disability.
Fossil fuels could be phased out worldwide in a decade, says new study
The worldwide reliance on burning fossil fuels to create energy could be phased out in a decade, according to an article published by a major energy think tank in the UK.
Antiviral therapy prolongs survival in immune tolerant hepatitis B patients
A new study, presented today at The International Liver Congress™ 2016 in Barcelona Spain, demonstrates that the use of antiviral therapy for patients in the immune tolerant phase of hepatitis B (HBV) prolongs overall survival and reduces the risk of the most common form of liver cancer (Hepatocellular Carcinoma, HCC) and scarring of the liver (cirrhosis).
'Odd couple' monolayer semiconductors align to advance optoelectronics
In a study led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, scientists synthesized a stack of atomically thin monolayers of two lattice-mismatched semiconductors.
Low fat diet helps postmenopausal women avoid deadly breast cancers
Women who stayed on a low fat diet for approximately eight years reduced their risk of death from invasive breast cancers and improved their survival rates.
New guidance on preventing sudden cardiac death in athletes published
The Journal of the American College of Cardiology today published a consensus statement that establishes guidance for conducting pre-participation screenings of college athletes and encourages emergency action plans for quickly responding to sudden cardiac arrest.
Multiple paternity may offer fewer advantages than previously thought
Females can enhance the survival chances of their offspring by mating with multiple males.
UConn-led travel survey will give state decision makers updated information
A new travel study being conducted by UConn faculty will provide data for the state travel model, updating decades-old information.
The genetic evolution of Zika virus
An analysis comparing the individual differences between over 40 strains of Zika virus has identified significant changes in both amino acid and nucleotide sequences during the past half-century.
Dental public health expert welcomes report on the state of British children's teeth
Professor Liz Kay welcomes the report from the Local Government Association about the poor state of British children's teeth
NASA eyes major Tropical Cyclone Fantala as it triggers warnings for Mauritius
NASA's Aqua satellite spotted an eye in strengthening Tropical Cyclone Fantala while the Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM mission satellite saw heavy rainfall within the powerful hurricane.
Researchers identify enzyme link between excessive heart muscle growth, cancer growth
UT Southwestern Medical Center cardiology researchers have identified molecular ties between the growth of cancer cells and heart cells that suggest existing cancer drugs may be able to help those with enlarged heart cells -- a condition that can lead to heart attacks and stroke.
Ultrathin organic material enhances e-skin display
University of Tokyo researchers have developed an ultrathin, ultraflexible, protective layer and demonstrated its use by creating an air-stable, organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display.
New scientific evidence of sexual transmission of the Zika virus
A study by researchers from Inserm, the Paris Public Hospitals (Bichat Hospital, AP-HP), Aix-Marseille University, and the National Reference Centre for Arboviruses confirms that the ZIKA virus can be transmitted sexually.
Additional benefits of type 2 diabetes treatment found for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patients
A type 2 diabetes treatment has been found to also have 'off-label' benefits for glucose control in the liver and in fatty cells known as adipose.
Amlan Ganguly receives NSF CAREER Award for improving data center energy efficiencies
Amlan Ganguly, a faculty member at Rochester Institute of Technology, recently received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award expected to total $596,512 over five years for 'Energy-efficient data center with wireless interconnection networks.' The five-year grant award is being used toward further exploring the design of energy efficient data centers utilizing a communication infrastructure with wireless interconnections.
First-ever videos show how heat moves through materials at the nanoscale and speed of sound
Using a state-of-the-art ultrafast electron microscope, University of Minnesota researchers have recorded the first-ever videos showing how heat moves through materials at the nanoscale traveling at the speed of sound.
'Wrong' scale used to evaluate results of brain surgery
The most common scale used to evaluate outcome of neurosurgical procedures, the modified rankin scale (mRS) -- does not measure what is commonly assumed, concludes a study conducted at the Department of Neurosurgery of Helsinki University Hospital.
Scientists uncover a potential approach to combat obesity in those prone to weight gain
For the first time scientists have kick-started the natural process by which genetically predisposed obese mice gain weight, opening new potential approaches to fight off obesity.
Bioscience initiative speeds new technologies to consumers
A new joint program between Connecticut Innovations, the University of Connecticut and Yale will speed faculty-led bioscience products to consumers.
Why education doesn't bring women equal pay
Women are closing the education gap with men, but a global study of gender equality using two decades of data form more than 150 countries shows these advances are failing to bring equal access to quality jobs and government representation.
EMBL scientists reveal structure of nuclear pore's inner ring
In a nutshell: First detailed structural description of all the rings of nuclear pores Necessary step towards understanding how nuclear pores control communication between the nucleus and the cytoplasm.
NASA awards UTARI researcher $1 million to develop better models for rotor spar fatigue
The University of Texas at Arlington and the UTA Research Institute will develop state-of-the-art computational methodologies to predict the strength and life of rotor blade assemblies, known as rotor spars, through a new $1 million agreement.
Clear-cutting destabilizes carbon in forest soils, Dartmouth study finds
Clear-cutting loosens up carbon stored in forest soils, increasing the chances it will return to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and contribute to climate change, a Dartmouth College study shows.
UCI team finds method to reduce accumulation of damaging Huntington's disease protein
A study appearing April 14 in the journal Neuron suggests there may be a new way to change the damaging course of Huntington disease.
New treatment algorithm can predict benefit of treatment in end-stage liver disease
A new algorithm designed to help physician decision-making in End-Stage Liver Disease (ESLD), was able to accurately predict death in 96 percent of patients with ESLD.
Nature Communications: Laser source for biosensors
In the area of nano photonics, scientists for the first time succeeded in integrating a laser with an organic gain medium on a silicon photonic chip.
Shorter treatment course potentially on the horizon for hep C patients
Data from a Phase 2 clinical trial show that an investigational injectable treatment known as RG-101 in combination with a four week course of oral direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment was well tolerated and resulted in high virologic response rates post-treatment among hepatitis C (HCV) infected patients with genotypes 1 and 4, who had not been treated previously.
Standardizing care improves outcomes for infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome
Standardizing hospital care policies across institutions for infants diagnosed with drug withdrawal symptoms at birth reduces their length of treatment and hospitalization, according to new collaborative research led by Vermont Oxford Network, Vanderbilt and the University of Michigan Health System.
Study shows cloud patterns reveal species habitat
Much of Earth's biodiversity is concentrated in areas where not enough is known about species habitats and their wider distributions, making management and conservation a challenge.
WiFi capacity doubled at less than half the size
Columbia Engineering Professor Harish Krishnaswamy has integrated a non-reciprocal circulator and a full-duplex radio on a nanoscale silicon chip for the first time.
Steve Elgar named National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellow
Steve Elgar, a senior scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, has been selected as a 2016 National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellow by the Department of Defense.
Study demonstrates benefits of existing treatment for hepatitis D patients
New research presented today shows that interferon alpha based therapies are effective in suppressing disease progression in a severe form of chronic viral hepatitis, hepatitis delta.
Self-understanding helps criminal substance abusers
Researchers from Aarhus BSS have developed the treatment program Impulsive Lifestyle Counselling, which helps substance abusers who also suffer from impulsive and criminal behavior.
Atomically thin sensor detects harmful air pollution in the home
Scientists from the University of Southampton have developed a graphene-based sensor and switch that can detect harmful air pollution in the home with very low power consumption.
Women with epilepsy just as likely to get pregnant as healthy women of childbearing age
In a prospective study, women with epilepsy had a comparable likelihood of achieving pregnancy, time taken to get pregnant, and pregnancy outcomes such as miscarriage, compared to a group of healthy peers.
Numerical simulations of tensile tests of red blood cells
The researchers investigate the effects of the hold position of the red blood cells on strain field during tensile testing using numerical simulations.
Protein-trapped sugar compounds nourish infant gut microbes
UC Davis researchers have shown that it is the sugar part of a sugar-protein compound found in both human and cow's milk that feeds the health-promoting microbes in babies' intestines.
In these microbes, iron works like oxygen
A pair of papers from a UW-Madison geoscience lab shed light on a curious group of bacteria that use iron in much the same way that animals use oxygen: to soak up electrons during biochemical reactions.
Pollutants in fish inhibit human's natural defense system
In a new study, environmental pollutants found in fish were shown to obstruct the human body's natural defense system to expel harmful toxins.
Rotman professors win 2016 Fellowship and Governor's Awards from the Bank of Canada
Two professors at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management have been named as the recipients of prestigious research awards from the Bank of Canada today.
First diagnosed case of Alzheimer's disease in HIV-positive individual reported
Georgetown University researchers are reporting the first case of Alzheimer's disease diagnosed in an HIV-positive individual.
Generation of tailored magnetic materials
Physicists are interested in a generation of artificial materials, the properties of which can be controlled.
Association for Chemoreception Sciences (AChemS) 38th Annual Meeting
Association for Chemoreception Sciences (AChemS) 38th Annual Meeting: Smell and Taste Experts to Discuss New Discoveries Research to understand the role of smell and taste in health and disease.
A better nutritional facts panel
The ubiquitous nutrition facts panel has graced food packages for many years.

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