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Science News and Current Events for August 28, 2017


16-year study suggests air temperature is external trigger for heart attack
A 16-year study in more than 280,000 patients has suggested that air temperature is an external trigger for heart attack.
New technique to aid IVF embryo selection
Australian researchers have successfully developed an advanced new imaging technique, which can help assess the quality of early-stage embryos.
Boosting immune cell memory to improve vaccines and cancer immunotherapy
In mouse experiments, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that drugs that activate the cells' proteasome, or recycling center, tip the balance in favor of memory CD8+ T cells.
Mount Sinai identifies strategies to optimize statin treatment for muscle symptoms
10 to 20 percent of patients taking statins report muscle-related symptoms including aches, pains and cramps that prevent the use of recommended doses.
Study: After Hurricane Katrina, personal debt fell for those worst hit -- but at a cost
After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans a dozen years ago, there was a sharp and immediate drop in personal debt among residents living in city's most flooded blocks, according to a new Case Western Reserve University study.
New neutron holography technique opens a window for obtaining clear 3-D atomic images
NITech-led collaboration working with Japanese particle accelerator facilities shows that neutron holograms can reveal the precise atomic structure of doped materials, offering a new characterization technique for materials scientists.
Study suggests statins associated with lower rates of breast cancer and mortality
A 14 year study in more than one million people has found that women with high cholesterol have significantly lower rates of breast cancer and improved mortality.
Is telomere length associated with the cognitive response to a lifestyle intervention?
A new study from the FINGER trial team shows that participants with shorter leukocyte telomere length had more pronounced benefits on cognition following the multidomain lifestyle intervention.
Using donor stem cells to treat spinal cord injury
A new study in mice published in The Journal of Neuroscience details a potential therapeutic strategy that uses stem cells to promote recovery of motor activity after spinal cord injury.
NASA sees Tropical Storm Harvey moving back into the Gulf
On Monday, Aug. 28 at 7 a.m. CDT the National Hurricane Center said the center of Harvey is emerging into the Gulf of Mexico.
NASA sees Tropical Storm Pakhar after landfall
Just after Tropical Storm Pakhar made landfall in southeastern China and NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured an image of the storm.
Oxygen therapy does not improve survival (DETO2X-AMI)
Oxygen therapy does not improve survival in patients with heart attack symptoms, according to late-breaking research presented today in a Hot Line LBCT Session at ESC Congress and published in the NEJM.
Studies reveal how shingles vaccine should be used in arthritis patients
New research indicates that the live varicella-zoster vaccine -- which is given to protect against shingles -- elicits robust immune responses in patients when administered several weeks prior to the start of treatment with the arthritis drug tofacitinib.
Solar hydrogen production by artificial leafs: Scientists analysed how a special treatment improves cheap metal oxide photoelectrodes
Metal oxides are promising candidates for cheap and stable photoelectrodes for solar water splitting, producing hydrogen with sunlight.
Perovskite solar cells go single crystal
A recent work developed an innovative approach to self-grow single crystalline CH3NH3PbI3 directly on polycrystalline FTO/TiO2 substrate, with which n-i-p type of perovskite solar cells were fabricated.
Compounds in cocoa may help delay onset of type 2 diabetes
What if eating chocolate helped prevent and treat diabetes? It's crazy enough to laugh off.
Study finds the burdens of spousal caregiving alleviated by appreciation
The fact that spouses often become caregivers for their ailing partners is quite common in American life -- and few roles are more stressful.
Eating triggers endorphin release in the brain
Finnish researchers have revealed how eating stimulates brain's endogenous opioid system to signal pleasure and satiety.
UMass Amherst study of bee health finds no natural medicine in once-promising compound
Ph.D. student Evan Palmer-Young and advisor evolutionary ecologist Lynn Adler had reported in 2015 that a parasitic infection of bumble bees, Crithidia bombi, was reduced when the bees fed on anabasine, a natural alkaloid, in sugar water.
Algae fortifies coral reefs in past and present
The Great Barrier Reef, and most other large reefs around the world, owe their bulk in large part to a type of red algae that grows on corals and strengthens them.
Study estimates number of births, population prevalence of Down syndrome in nine states
A new study estimates, for the first time, both the numbers of children born annually with Down syndrome in nine U.S. states and the prevalence of Down syndrome in each of those states' populations.
Renal denervation lowers blood pressure in hypertensive patients
Renal denervation lowers blood pressure in hypertensive patients not taking medication, according to late-breaking results from the SPYRAL HTN-OFF MED study presented today in a Hot Line LBCT Session at ESC Congress and published in the Lancet.
Atrial fibrillation and blood pressure: More than just a number (AFFIRM)
New research presented at ESC Congress today shows, for the first time, that blood pressure control is pivotal in reducing major bleeding and stroke risk in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF).
Maternal suicide in pre-and postnatal periods in Ontario
One of every 19 deaths in pregnant and new mothers in Ontario is due to suicide, highlighting the need for stronger mental health supports during and after pregnancy, according to a new study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
New ancient sea reptile found in Germany -- The earliest of its kind
A previously unrecognized 132 million-year-old fossilized sea monster from northern Germany has been identified by an international team of researchers.
Oil and gas wells as a strong source of greenhouse gases
Boreholes in the North Sea could constitute a significantly more important source of methane, a strong greenhouse gas, than previously thought.
Keeping pandas off endangered list ledge
Things aren't all black and white for giant pandas. The beloved Chinese icons have basked in good press lately -- their extinction risk status downgraded from 'endangered' to 'vulnerable,' their good fortunes have shown to rub off on their less charismatic forest neighbors that benefit from panda-centric conservation efforts.
Record-breaking galaxy 5 billion light-years away shows we live in a magnetic universe
A team of astronomers has observed the magnetic field of a galaxy five billion light-years from Earth.
Researchers unlock regenerative potential of cells in the mouse retina
Cells within an injured mouse eye can be coaxed into regenerating neurons and those new neurons appear to integrate themselves into the eye's circuitry, new research shows.
Georgia State astronomers collaborate to study variability in Seven Sisters cluster
An international team of astronomers has used a new algorithm to enhance observations from the NASA Kepler Space Telescope in its K2 Mission and perform the most detailed study yet of the variability of the Seven Sisters star cluster.
Infants' race influences quality of hospital care in California, Stanford study finds
Infants' racial and ethnic identities influence the quality of medical care they receive in California's neonatal intensive care units, a study from the Stanford University School of Medicine has found.
Inclisiran lowers 'bad' cholesterol for up to 1 year (ORION 1)
Inclisiran lowers low-density lipoprotein (LDL; 'bad') cholesterol for up to one year in patients with high cardiovascular risk and elevated LDL cholesterol, according to late-breaking results from the ORION 1 trial presented today in a Hot Line LBCT Session at ESC Congress.
80-year-olds as street-savvy as 18-year-olds
Our gut instinct about whether a stranger poses a threat is as good when we're 80 as when we're 18, according to new research.
Largest Ichthyosaurus was pregnant mother
Scientists from the UK and Germany have discovered the largest Ichthyosaurus on record and found it was pregnant at the time of death.
Combination of conventional and new drugs enhances tumor cell death
In a recent study published in the scientific journal Translational Oncology, a group of Brazilian researchers tested the therapeutic effect of a combination of conventional -- common anti-cancer agents -- and new drugs -- under clinical trials.
Concurrent treatment with OX40- and PD1-targeted cancer immunotherapies may be detrimental
Concurrent administration of the T-cell stimulating anti-OX40 antibody and the immune checkpoint inhibitor anti-PD1 antibody attenuated the effect of anti-OX40 and resulted in poor treatment outcomes in mice.
Worm infection reveals cross-talk in the lymph nodes
By studying a worm infection, EPFL scientists have discovered how lymphatic vessels grow within lymph nodes, with major implications for cancer and inflammation.
Climate may quickly drive forest-eating beetles north, says study
Over the next few decades, global warming-related rises in winter temperatures could significantly extend the range of the southern pine beetle, one of the world's most aggressive tree-killing insects, through much of the northern United States and southern Canada, says a new study.
Black hole models contradicted by hands-on tests at Sandia's Z machine
Models of black holes that rely upon an assumption made 20 years ago need revision.
Anti-aldosterones save lives in STEMI heart attack patients: ALBATROSS, REMINDER
Certain heart attack patients who have ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) are significantly more likely to survive if they are treated immediately with anti-aldosterone-type drugs in addition to standard therapy, according to new research presented at ESC Congress today.
Closure of left atrial appendage during heart surgery protects the brain (LAACS)
Closure of the left atrial appendage during heart surgery protects the brain, according to late-breaking research presented today in a Hot Line LBCT Session at ESC Congress.1 The results suggest that closure should be routinely added to open heart surgery.
Married patients with heart disease have better survival rates
Marriage is a vital factor affecting the survival of patients who have had a heart attack, as well as the survival of patients with the most important risk factors, according to research presented today at ESC Congress.
'Marrying up' is now easier for men, improves their economic well-being, study finds
As the number of highly educated women has increased in recent decades, the chances of 'marrying up' have increased significantly for men and decreased for women, according to a new study led by a University of Kansas sociologist.
NJIT Oil spill expert assesses use of deep-sea dispersants in Deepwater Horizon cleanup
In a groundbreaking study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, collaborators from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Texas A&M University and the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology pooled their scientific and technical expertise to provide some of the first answers to policy questions regarding the use of deep-sea dispersants.
New app uses smartphone selfies to screen for pancreatic cancer
A new app from University of Washington researchers could lead to earlier detection of pancreatic cancer simply by snapping a smartphone selfie.
Study identifies methods for preventing overcrowding in emergency rooms
A new study identifies four key strategies to reduce overcrowding in emergency rooms.
New member of NAS reveals how animals select good microbes, reject harmful ones
In her inaugural article published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, commemorating her induction into one of the country's most distinguished scientific groups, Margaret McFall-Ngai from University of Hawai'i and a team of researchers reveal a newly discovered mechanism by which organisms select beneficial microbes and reject harmful ones.
Dispersants improved air quality for responders at Deepwater Horizon
A study published Aug. 28, 2017, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences adds a new dimension to the controversial decision to inject large amounts of chemical dispersants immediately above the crippled oil well at the seafloor during the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.
US opioid epidemic reaches new level of crisis in overdoses, hospitalizations and cost
'We found a 34 percent increase in overdose-related ICU admissions while ICU opioid deaths nearly doubled during that same period,' according to Dr.
Oil and water may combine if conditions are right, study suggests
They say that oil and water do not mix...but now scientists have discovered that -- under certain circumstances -- it may be possible.
Drug breakthrough for mosquito virus outbreaks
Scientists have discovered a way that could help treat severe inflammation from an infectious mosquito-borne disease during outbreaks.
New liquid-metal membrane technology may help make hydrogen fuel cell vehicles viable
While hydrogen fuel cell cars offer advantages over electric vehicles, they have yet to take off.
The outsized role of soil microbes
Three scientists have proposed a new approach to better understand the role of soil organic matter in long-term carbon storage and its response to changes in global climate and atmospheric chemistry.
Bag-mask ventilation fails to improve on endotracheal intubation in cardiac arrest (CAAM)
Bag-mask ventilation fails to improve on endotracheal intubation in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients, according to late-breaking results from the CAAM trial presented today in a Hot Line LBCT Session at ESC Congress.
Gene therapy using 'junk DNA' could lower risk for heart disease
Researchers successfully used a gene that suppresses cholesterol levels as part of a treatment to reduce plaque in mice with a disorder called familial hypercholesterolemia.
Acid zone in Chesapeake Bay identified
New paper identifies pH minimum zone in Chesapeake Bay. The area, 30-50 feet down, threatens the ability of shellfish such as oysters, clams and scallops to create and maintain their shells.
Screening for vascular disease saves one life for every 169 patients assessed (VIVA)
A novel screening program for vascular disease saves one life for every 169 men assessed, according to late-breaking results from the VIVA trial presented today in a Hot Line LBCT Session at ESC Congress and published in the Lancet.
Nanoparticles pollution rises 30 percent when flex-fuel cars switch from bio to fossil
Use of ethanol in vehicles reduces pollution by nanoparticles, a study shows.
Medical treatment may prevent, alleviate mitral valve damage after a heart attack
A research team led by investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital and collaborators has shown, for the first time, that it may be possible to nonsurgically treat or even prevent the damage to a major heart valve that often occurs after a heart attack.
Cutbacks in foreign aid for HIV treatment would produce great harm, generate few savings
Proposed reductions in US foreign aid would have a devastating impact on HIV treatment and prevention programs in countries receiving such aid, an international team of investigators reports.
Single-nucleus RNA sequencing, droplet by droplet
Researchers describe a new single-cell expression profiling technique. Called DroNc-Seq, it merges an earlier platform with microfluidics, allowing massively parallel measurement of gene expression in structurally-complicated tissues.
Men, women and risk of developing Alzheimer disease: Is there a difference?
Are female carriers of the apolipoprotein E ?4 allele, the main genetic risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer disease, at greater risk of developing the disease than men?
Ibuprofen associated with blood pressure rise in arthritis patients at cardiovascular risk
Ibuprofen is associated with increased blood pressure and hypertension compared to celecoxib in patients with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis and increased risk of cardiovascular disease, according to late-breaking results from the PRECISION-ABPM study presented today in a Hot Line Session at ESC Congress and published in EHJ.
Repetitive elements shape embryonic chromatin landscape
Retrotransposons are repetitive elements that form almost half of the mammalian genome.
NASA gets an infrared view of Tropical Cyclone Sanvu
NASA's Aqua satellite used infrared light to gather cloud top temperature data from the newest tropical cyclone in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.
Self-identifying as disabled and developing pride in disability aid overall well-being
Experiencing stigma, the severity of a disability and a person's age and income level help determine whether someone with an impairment considers themselves to be a person with a disability, and experiencing stigma predicts whether those individuals will ultimately develop disability pride, new research from Oregon State University shows.
PCSK9 inhibition could ameliorate cardiovascular disease by immune mechanisms
PCSK9 inhibition could ameliorate atherosclerosis and thus cardiovascular disease by immune mechanisms that are unrelated to lowering of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, according to research presented today at ESC Congress.
Mimicking birdsongs
Researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have developed a simple device that mimics complex birdsongs.
NASA calculates Tropical Storm Harvey's flooding rainfall
At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, an analysis of Hurricane Harvey's tremendous rainfall was created using eight days of satellite data.
Coronary artery bypass surgery effective in patients with type 1 diabetes
Coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) is the best method of treating artherosclerotic coronary arteries in diabetes patients with multivessel disease, even in the presence of type 1 diabetes, a new study from Karolinska Institutet reports, clearing up a question in the current recommendation.
Breakthrough discovery presents hope for treating fibrotic diseases which cause organ impairment
Duke-NUS, SingHealth and NHCS researchers discovered a key driver of cardiac and renal fibrosis.
Country's largest estuary facing increasing acidification risk
Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States and one of the largest in the world, is facing new risks from a layer of highly acidified water some 10 to 15 meters below the surface, a new study has found.
It's not a rat's race for human stem cells grafted to repair spinal cord injuries
More than one-and-a-half years after implantation, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and the San Diego Veterans Administration Medical Center report that human neural stem cells (NSCs) grafted into spinal cord injuries in laboratory rats displayed continued growth and maturity, with functional recovery beginning one year after grafting.
Young adults, especially men, fall behind in high blood pressure treatment and control
Awareness, treatment and control of high blood pressure is significantly lower in young adults compared to middle-aged and older adults.
Electricity consumption in Europe will shift under climate change
Rising temperatures due to greenhouse gas emissions will fundamentally change electricity consumption patterns in Europe.
Beetle's best friend: Trained dogs most efficient in monitoring hermit beetle larvae
Considered at risk of extinction, hermit beetles need to be efficiently monitored.
How low should LDL cholesterol go?
New analysis shows that in a high-risk population, achieving ultra-low LDL cholesterol levels, down to <10 mg/dL, safely results in additional lowering of risk of cardiovascular events.
Popularity outranks strategy in supply chain integration decisions
Conscious comparison and indirect copying increase the similarity of supply chain management practices of peer group companies, sometimes at the cost of quality and operating culture.
New view of dispersants used after Deepwater Horizon oil spill
New research has uncovered an added dimension to the decision to inject large amounts of chemical dispersants above the crippled seafloor oil well during the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.
Apixaban lowers stroke risk in AF patients undergoing cardioversion (EMANATE)
Apixaban lowers the risk of stroke compared to warfarin in anticoagulation-naïve patients with atrial fibrillation scheduled for elective cardioversion, according to late-breaking results from the EMANATE trial presented today in a Hot Line LBCT Session at ESC Congress.
CLAMP's dual duties may make it model for studies of protein function in context
An essential fruit fly protein called CLAMP may help biologists answer the key question of how the same protein can manage to coordinate two completely different processes on distinct chromosomes in the same cell.
NIPPON follow-up: Shorter dual antiplatelet therapy stands the test of time (DAPT)
Three year follow-up of patients who received dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) after placement of a drug-eluting stent (DES) shows that a short course of the therapy continues to be as beneficial as a longer course.
Grid-based continual analysis of molecular interior for drug discovery, QSAR and QSPR
A series of grid-based computational technologies for in silico virtual screening and molecular design of new drugs is proposed.
Do estrogen therapies affect sexual function in early postmenopause?
Transdermal estrogen therapy delivered through the skin modestly improved sexual function in early postmenopausal women, according to an article published by JAMA Internal Medicine.
Study finds romance and affection top most popular sexual behaviors
Researchers at Indiana University have published a new US nationally representative study of sexual behavior, the first of its kind to capture a wide range of diverse sexual behaviors not previously examined in the general population.
Coral skeletons may resist the effects of acidifying oceans
Coral skeletons are the building blocks of diverse coral reef ecosystems, which has led to increasing concern over how these key species will cope with warming and acidifying oceans that threaten their stability.
Transcatheter aortic valve implantation safe and effective in nonagenarians
Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is safe and effective in nonagenarians, according to research presented at ESC Congress today.1 The observational study found that nonagenarians who underwent TAVI had worse short-term outcomes but similar one-year outcomes as patients younger than 90 years.
Anti-inflammatory therapy cuts risk of lung cancer
In most clinical trials for cancer therapy, investigators test treatments in patients with advanced disease.
Nagoya-led team flips the switch on ferroelectrics
Nagoya University-led team controls the configuration of domains in nanorod- and thin-film ferroelectric systems.
VLA reveals distant galaxy's magnetic field
A chance combination of a gravitational lens and polarized waves coming from a distant quasar gave astronomers the tool needed to make a measurement important to understanding the origin of magnetic fields in galaxies.
Optical control of magnetic memory -- New insights into fundamental mechanisms
A research team at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has shown for the first time how laser modulation of magnetic properties in materials is influenced by thermal effects and how the process occurs under moderate experimental parameters.
NASA takes potential Tropical Cyclone 10's temperature
Cloud top temperatures are an important factor when it comes to determining the strength of storms.
Education and feedback improve use of stroke prevention drugs in AF (IMPACT-AF)
Education of healthcare providers and patients with atrial fibrillation has led to a 9 percent absolute increase in the use of anticoagulation therapies to reduce stroke, according to late-breaking results from the IMPACT-AF trial presented today in a Hot Line LBCT Session at ESC Congress1 and published in the Lancet.
Helping corals to cope with pressure
When faced with high salinity, the tiny plant cells within coral tissue alter their metabolites to better cope with stress.
Americans' risk of needing nursing home care is higher than previously estimated
One worry Americans face as they grow older is the possibility of needing nursing home care and paying for the associated costs.
Reducing inflammation without lowering cholesterol cuts risk of cardiovascular events
Investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital announced results of a clinical trial culminating from 25 years of cardiovascular research work.
Brain changes linked to physical, mental health in functional neurological disorder
An imaging study by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has identified differences in key brain structures of individuals whose physical or mental health has been most seriously impaired by a common but poorly understood condition called functional neurological disorder, sometimes called conversion disorder.
Shedding consistent pounds each week linked to long-term weight loss
Those whose weights fluctuated the most during the first few weeks of a weight loss program had poorer weight loss outcomes one and two years later, compared to the men and women who lost a consistent number of pounds each week.
Study corrects the record on the relative risk of Alzheimer's between men and women
White women whose genetic makeup puts them at higher risk for Alzheimer's disease are more likely than white men to develop the disease during a critical 10-year span in their lives.
SPRINT post-hoc analysis: Food for thought on defining the ideal blood pressure target
Adding to the debate on optimal blood pressure control, new findings presented at ESC Congress today suggest there may be variations in the ideal target depending on baseline pressure and overall cardiovascular risk.
New analysis examines how low cholesterol can safely go (FOURIER)
Very aggressive reduction of LDL-cholesterol to ultra-low levels was associated with progressively fewer cardiovascular events and appears to pose no safety concerns in patients with stable atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease over 2.2 years of follow-up, according to a new analysis of the FOURIER trial.
Chronic lack of sleep increases risk-seeking
Sleepiness, reduced concentration and performance -- more and more people are suffering from the consequences of a chronic lack of sleep.
Sildenafil should be avoided in valve disease with residual pulmonary hypertension
Sildenafil should not be used to treat residual hypertension in patients with valvular heart disease, according to late-breaking results from the SIOVAC trial presented today in a Hot Line LBCT Session at ESC Congress.
PATHWAY-2 uncovers main cause of drug-resistant hypertension, finds old drugs work best
Salt retention is the main culprit behind drug-resistant hypertension (RHTN), with older diuretic medications being the most effective treatment, according to new results from the PATHWAY-2 study.
Study reveals clinical benefit of LDL cholesterol lowering depends on how it is lowered
The benefit of lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol depends on how it is lowered, according to late-breaking results from a naturally randomised genetic trial presented today in a Hot Line -- LBCT Session at ESC Congress1 and published in JAMA.
Mass. General team reports first response of central nervous system tumor to CAR T-cells
In a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine, a Massachusetts General Hospital research team reports a remarkable treatment response in a patient participating in a clinical trial of a novel immune-system-based cancer therapy.
Bone marrow protein may be target for improving stem cell transplants
A new study led by University of Pennsylvania and Technical University of Dresden scientists has identified an important regulator of hematopoeisis, the process of making new blood cells.
A low-cost method for solar-thermal conversion that's simpler and greener
Researchers at Columbia Engineering have developed a simple, low-cost, and environmentally sound method for fabricating a highly-efficient selective solar absorber (SSA) to convert sunlight into heat for energy-related applications.
Portland State research in ancient forests show link between climate change and wildfires
Portland State researchers studying centuries-old trees in South America have found a tight correlation between wildfires and a warm weather fluctuation that has become more frequent in recent decades -- and will continue to be more frequent as the climate warms.

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