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Science News and Current Events for September 12, 2017


Your stools reveal whether you can lose weight
Something as simple as a feces sample reveals whether you can lose weight by following dietary recommendations characterized by a high content of fruit, vegetables, fibers and whole grains.
Test may miss diabetes in some African-Americans
More than 200 scientists teamed up to report that they have identified 60 genetic variants that influence HbA1c measurements, as well as the ability of this test to diagnose diabetes.
Predicting atypical development in infants at high risk for autism?
New research from the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) identifies a potential biomarker that predicts atypical development in 1- to 2-month-old infants at high versus low familial risk for developing autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
Asthma symptoms can be improved by diet and exercise in non-obese patients
Non-obese people with asthma could reduce their symptoms and improve their quality of life through diet and exercise, according to research presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress 2017.
Inhibitors support immune therapy for leukemia
New immune therapies are considered a promising lead for treating recurring acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
Ornithologists at Yelabuga Institute share details of their latest work
Bird Protection and Monitoring Lab was established at the Yelabuga Institute in 2014.
Cancer patients receive less support to quit smoking than patients with heart disease
This research appears in the September/October 2017 Annals of Family Medicine.
How should we handle boys who can't read?
Boys are much worse at reading than girls. The disparities have been quite consistent over 15 years.
'Keep it local' approach more effective than government schemes at protecting rainforest
Conservation initiatives led by local and indigenous groups can be just as effective as schemes led by government, according to new research.
Cancer drug stimulates tripolar mode of mitosis
Taxanes inhibit cell division and make cancer cells sensitive to radiation therapy.
Relapse rare in young men after antireflux surgery
Surgery for severe heartburn has become less common after the turn of the millennium, due in part to the fear of relapse.
Farming fish
Steephead parrotfish (Chlorurus microrhinos) are picky eaters. In the central Pacific, however, they appear to have taken matters into their own hands -- er, fins.
Agriculture and health sectors collaborate to address population health
In at least 18 states around the United States, academic health science centers are partnering with cooperative extension systems to better address population health.
Household environment -- not genetics -- shapes salivary microbes
Researchers in the United Kingdom have discovered that the mix of microorganisms that inhabit a person's saliva are largely determined by the human host's household.
Study: Social media helps students learn scientific argumentation better
Researchers at the University of Kansas have published research showing that students who took part in a program that taught scientific argumentation learned the concepts better than their peers who did not.
Scientists use mismatch in telescopic data to get a handle on quasars and their 'tails'
Scientists compared the data on the coordinates of quasars obtained by Gaia and VLBI and suggested a method for revealing structure indirectly by means of combining the data from existing telescopes.
Why high-fiber diets do not always lead to weight loss
In the era of personalized nutrition, there might be value in getting your stool tested and your gut bacteria counted before starting on a new diet.
Letting the data speak for itself
A new statistical approach for environmental measurements lets the data determine how to model extreme events.
Physicists observe amplification of an optical signal within cubic nonlinear nanostructures
The coherent amplification of a localized optical signal within a planar titanium nitride nanoantenna has been achieved by scientists of Kazan Federal University (under the leadership of Sergey Kharintsev) and physicists from Harvard University, Nazarbayev University, and Imperial College London.
Cold comfort: Fat-rich diets and adaptation among indigenous Siberian populations
Recently, scientists have been exploring the genetic signatures of adaptation in several indigenous cold-adapted human populations.
KFU astronomers discovered an exoplanet together with Turkish and Japanese colleagues
In the last 20 years several thousand exoplanets have been found orbiting solar-type stars, but only about a hundred around giant stars.
Explaining bursts of activity in brains of preterm babies
The source of spontaneous, high-amplitude bursts of activity seen in the brains of preterm babies, which are vital for healthy development, has been identified by a team led by researchers at UCL and King's College London.
New research to treat acute malnutrition
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen and humanitarian organizations have conducted a large study in Burkina Faso in West Africa treating more than 1,600 children with acute malnutrition.
Telemonitoring and automated messages improve CPAP adherence
Patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are more likely to use CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, when their use is telemonitored and they receive individualized, automated messages that reinforce therapy adherence, according to a randomized, controlled trial published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Therapy proves effective in subgroup of COPD patients
Antibody treatment reduces rate of flare-ups in patients with a subgroup of treatment-resistant COPD.
Churches, places of reference, integration and socialization for the immigrant population
A research carried out by the UPV/EHU's Department of Sociology II analyses the role of religion and church leaders in the everyday life of African migrants.
Poll: Majority of Americans say tackle football is unsafe for young kids
A majority of Americans believe it is not safe for children to play tackle football before they reach high school, according to results of a UMass Lowell-Washington Post poll released today.
Lay interventions for depression and drinking
Brief psychological interventions delivered by lay counselors in primary care were effective and cost-effective for patients with depression and harmful drinking in India, according to two studies in PLOS Medicine by Vikram Patel of Harvard Medical School, USA, and colleagues from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK and Sangath, India.
Tomatoes' crystal ball reveals evolutionary secrets
For this study, Rob Last focused on a single type of molecule in trichomes - acylsugars.
Eye movements reveal temporal expectation deficits in ADHD
A technique that measures tiny movements of the eyes may help scientists better understand and perhaps eventually improve assessment of ADHD, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
Medicine of the future: New microchip technology could be used to track 'smart pills'
Chemical and electrical engineers team up to create a new breed of microdevices for medical diagnostics.
Brain activity between seizures informs potential treatment for childhood absence epilepsy
New research shows that in a mouse model of childhood absence epilepsy, brain activity is perturbed between seizures.
In mice, calorie restriction reduces fat but increases fur
Calorie restriction may help mice stay slim and live longer, but it also means less fat to keep their bodies warm.
Rapid climate changes across northern hemisphere in the earliest Middle Pleistocene
By studying climate changes that took place thousands of years ago, we can better understand the global climate system and predict the Earth's future climate.
'Superbug' bacteria gang up on us, fueled by antibiotic use, nursing home study suggests
What's worse than getting exposed to a kind of bacteria that modern antibiotics can't kill?
How does the age of our political leaders affect our opinions of older adults?
There is a common perception that older adults as a group have lower social status than middle-aged adults.
Best of ESMO 2017 Congress
ESMO 2017 was a truly global event with nearly 24,000 participants from 131 countries.
Queens control worker reproduction without castration in stingless bee species
Study contradicts the view that worker bees are forcibly castrated by the queen among the 600-odd species of stingless bees widely distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of the world.
To Improve smartphone privacy, control access to third-party libraries
Smartphone apps that share users' personal Information often do so through services called third-party libraries, suggesting a new strategy for protecting privacy.
Virginia Tech biochemists dip into the health benefits of olives and olive oil
Virginia Tech research team discovered that the olive-derived compound oleuropein helps prevent type 2 diabetes.
Earthquake faults may have played key role in shaping the culture of ancient Greece
The Ancient Greeks may have built sacred sites deliberately on land affected by previous earthquake activity, according to a new study by BBC presenter Iain Stewart MBE, Professor of Geoscience Communication at the University of Plymouth.
Western researchers reverse the negative effects of adolescent marijuana use
Researchers at Western University have identified a specific mechanism in the prefrontal cortex for some of the negative mental health risks associated with adolescent marijuana use.
Innovations in Primary Care: Interdisciplinary opioid treatment and a massive open online course to prevent falls
Innovations in Primary Care are brief one-page articles that describe novel innovations from health care's front lines.
Trustworthiness and public investment in clinical practice guidelines
This research appears in the September/October 2017 Annals of Family Medicine.
Blame often attributed to others in patient safety incident reports
This research is published in the September/October 2017 Annals of Family Medicine.
Study sets new distance record for medical drone transport
Johns Hopkins researchers have set a new delivery distance record for medical drones, successfully transporting human blood samples across 161 miles of Arizona desert.
Researchers identify critical molecular link between inflammation and diabetes
A new study has uncovered how inflammation contributes to a key feature of diabetes, the body's inability to metabolize glucose, a condition known as insulin resistance.
Individuals with developmental disabilities experience health care disparities
This research was published in the September/October 2017 Annals of Family Medicine.
Kids praised for being smart are more likely to cheat, new studies find
Kids who are praised for being smart, or who are told they have a reputation for being smart, are more likely to be dishonest and cheat, a pair of studies from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto and researchers in the US and China has found.
New tool for cell-free therapy based on artificial membrane vesicles
Scientists at Kazan Federal University's Institute of Fundamental Medicine and Biology, led by Professor Albert Rizvanov, have shown that artificial membrane vesicles generated by cytochalasin B treatment of human cells retain angiogenic activity.
NASA finds a tail on Typhoon Talim
NASA satellite imagery showed what looks like a large tail on Typhoon Talim as it moved through the Philippine Sea.
Adults with intellectual disabilities are at high risk of preventable emergency admissions
This research was published in the September/October 2017 Annals of Family Medicine.
She loves me, she loves me not: The analytics behind finding true love with online dating
Looking for love online? Nearly 50 percent of Americans know someone who has used an online dating site and 5 percent of Americans who are married or in committed relationships met online.
Modeling the impact of green eggs and hens
New research findings from UBC's Okanagan campus show that poultry given vegan organic chicken feed can help to produce eggs with a smaller environmental footprint than those fed non-organic feeds that contain animal by-products.
SLU researcher discovers how hibernating ribosomes wake up
Saint Louis University scientist Mee-Ngan F. Yap, Ph.D., has uncovered the way a bacterial ribosome moves from an inactive to an active form, and how that 'wake up call' is key to its survival.
NASA satellites find wind shear affecting Hurricane Jose
Vertical wind shear is weakening Hurricane Jose as it makes a cyclonic loop in the western Atlantic Ocean.
Doctors can now predict the severity of your disease by measuring molecules
The simple new technique could offer vastly superior predictions of disease severity in a huge range of conditions with a genetic component, including Alzheimer's, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, schizophrenia and depression.
Gazing into the flames of ionic winds
New 3-D visualizations that reveal how flames respond to electric fields could help improve combustion efficiency and reduce pollution.
Why do phone batteries sometimes explode? (video)
Lithium-ion batteries have become a ubiquitous part of the digital revolution, but not without a serious setback.
Scribes improve physician satisfaction with no negative effects on patient satisfaction
This research appears in the September/October 2017 Annals of Family Medicine.
Air quality in 'green' housing affected by toxic chemicals in building materials
Indoor air pollution can be a problem in many homes, even in eco-friendly buildings.
Hospice care is short and may start later than needed
Older adults are admitted to hospice for short duration despite experiencing symptoms months prior to the end of life, according to a Yale-led study.
Forest regeneration experiment of 30 years yields results
A spruce forest regeneration experiment in Interior Alaska that spanned nearly 30 years demonstrates which forest management practices produce the best results.
Primary care practices use 4 complementary methods to identify high-risk patients
Risk stratified care management -- assigning a patient to a risk category on which care is based -- is increasingly viewed as a way to improve care and reduce costs.
Menopausal hormone therapy not associated with mortality or deaths from CVD
In the overall study of women ages 50-79, researchers found no increase or decrease in total mortality or deaths from cardiovascular disease, cancer or other major illnesses in the randomized hormone therapy trials.
Alzheimer's disease biomarker identified across test sites
A new study has demonstrated the potential to use a frequency distribution-based index of brain functional connectivity as a biomarker for detecting Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment.
Doctors spend half of workday in the electronic health record
The full text article appears in the September/October 2017 Annals of Family Medicine
Ancient tree reveals cause of spike in Arctic temperature
A kauri tree trapped in a New Zealand swamp for 30,000 years may have overturned the idea that a slowdown in ocean currents in the North Atlantic may be entirely responsible for Dansgaard-Oeschger events and the characteristic bi-polar see-saw, which sees the Antarctica cool while the Arctic warms during glacial periods.
Marsupial moms express placental genes in milk
Marsupials have short pregnancies. Their placentas mimic those of mice during early fetal development, while other key placental genes are expressed and secreted into milk for the offspring, Stanford researchers say.
Physicists propose new way to stabilize next-generation fusion plasmas
Recent experiments conducted on the DIII-D National Fusion Facility suggest that up to 40 percent of high-energy particles are lost during tokamak fusion reactions because of Alfvén waves.
TSRI study reveals new clues to how a successful HIV vaccine could work
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have made a discovery that could speed efforts to develop a successful HIV vaccine.
New Tulane University drug effective against malaria
Tulane University researchers have developed a new drug that is effective against non-severe cases of malaria, according to results from an FDA-supervised clinical trial published in the latest issue of The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
NASA gets infrared look at Tropical Depression 21W
NASA's Aqua satellite measured cloud top temperatures in newly formed Tropical Depression 21W in the South China Sea and found a large area of strong thunderstorms around the center of circulation.
Best poster at ESMO 2017 shows positive trials twice as likely to be reported in lay press
Randomized controlled trials with positive results are twice as likely to be reported by the lay press as those with negative trials, according to results from the Best Poster in Public Health and Health Economics at the ESMO 2017 Congress in Madrid.
Debunking study suggests ways to counter misinformation and correct 'fake news'
A meta-analysis of laboratory debunking studies examines the factors underlying effective messages to counter misinformation in news and correct
Magnetic cellular 'Legos' for the regenerative medicine of the future
By incorporating magnetic nanoparticles in cells and developing a system using miniaturized magnets, researchers have succeeded in creating cellular magnetic 'Legos.' They were able to aggregate cells using only magnets and without an external supporting matrix, with the cells then forming a tissue that can be deformed at will.
Graphene based terahertz absorbers
Graphene Flagship researches create a terahertz saturable absorber using printable graphene inks with an order of magnitude higher absorption modulation than other devices produced to date.
NASA finds some strength in new eastern Pacific tropical depression
NASA's Aqua satellite measured cloud top temperatures in newly formed Tropical Depression 15E in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and found some strong storms.
ACP submits recommendations on 2018 Physician Fee Schedule proposal
ACP today provided more than a dozen recommendations on the proposed rule for the calendar year 2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Historic legacies affect climate change survival in Caribbean
In a new paper published this week, Dr Sealey-Huggins finds that discussion of climate change has failed to pay enough attention to the social, political and historic factors which increase the vulnerability of Caribbean societies, and calls for a new approach focused on understanding and addressing these historic inequalities.
UMass Amherst study suggests father's environmental exposure affects sperm epigenetics
The authors believe theirs is among the first human studies to investigate the influence of phthalate exposure on sperm epigenetics, embryo development and whether DNA methylation in sperm cells may be a path by which a father's environmental exposure influences these endpoints.
Gene variant could lead to missed type 2 diabetes diagnosis in African Americans
In the largest study of its kind, an international research team has identified 60 gene variants -- 42 for the first time -- that can influence blood levels of hemoglobin A1c.
September/October 2017 Annals of Family Medicine
This is a summary of articles published in the September/October 2017 Annals of Family Medicine.
Research finds entrenched hiring bias against African-Americans
In a new Northwestern University meta-analysis, the largest and most comprehensive of its kind, researchers aiming to assess trends in hiring discrimination in America against African-Americans and Latinos found no change in rates of discrimination against African-Americans in field experiments of hiring from 1990 to 2015.
Exposure to head impacts in youth football practice drills
Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center examined differences in the number, location, and magnitude of head impacts sustained by young athletes during various youth football practice drills.
Running group helps half its graduates quit smoking
Half the people who completed a 10-week community running program aimed at helping them quit smoking were successful in their attempt.
Researchers identify potential biomarkers of age-related macular degeneration
Patients with any stage of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) carry signs of the disease in their blood that may be found through special laboratory tests, according to a new study led by AMD researchers based at Massachusetts Eye and Ear.
Cognitive behavioral therapy not the solution to long-term weight loss in people with diabetes
Cognitive behavioral group therapy (CBGT) is no better than standard care at preventing weight regain after dieting in people with type 2 diabetes, according to new research being presented at this year's European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Annual Meeting in Lisbon, Portugal.
Keeping NASA's James Webb Space Telescope in the dark
This bunny-suited technician is performing the important task of ensuring no unwanted infrared light interferes with the optical testing of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope inside of Chamber A at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Irma's heavy rainfall measured by NASA's IMERG
NASA calculated the rainfall left in the wake of now post-tropical cyclone Irma as it moved through the Caribbean Sea to landfall in Florida and then captured a night-time look at the storm as it moved over Georgia.
US public backs carbon tax, and spending revenue on renewables
The majority of the US public is in favour of a tax on fossil fuels, provided the money goes into clean energy and infrastructure, according to a new study.
Preventing childhood deafness following chemotherapy treatment
A UK charity backs a pioneering new project to prevent childhood deafness following treatment with life-saving cancer drugs.
Sexually aroused male flies unable to sleep after close encounters with females
The urge to mate appears to override the need to sleep in flies, according to new research that hints at the importance of sleep for animals.
Laparoscopic antireflux surgery associated with high rate of recurrence of GERD
Among patients who underwent laparoscopic antireflux surgery, about 18 percent experienced recurrent gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) requiring long-term medication use or secondary antireflux surgery, according to a study published by JAMA.
Do cancer and its treatment affect later pregnancy outcomes?
An International Journal of Cancer study found that female survivors of certain types of cancer have higher risks of poor outcomes in pregnancies conceived after diagnosis than women without cancer.
Researchers discover new, abundant enzyme that helps bacteria infect animals
Researchers have discovered a new class of enzymes in hundreds of bacterial species, including some that cause disease in humans and animals.
NASA-funded research at USC provides evidence of ground-ice on asteroids
Research at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering has revealed new evidence for the occurrence of ground ice on the protoplanet Vesta.
Drunken noodles or Pad Kee Mao? Language matters on ethnic menus
Ethnic restaurants like to brag about how 'authentic' they are.
Researchers identify possible new target in fight against lung cancer
Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine have identified a molecule called miR-124 in non-small cell lung cancer cells that plays a regulatory role in the cancer cells' fate -- determining whether or not the specific subtype of cancer cell will undergo programmed cell death.
Cost-effective imaging can determine patients' OSA risk and severity
Researchers from the Center for Sleep & Circadian Neurobiology aimed to reproducibly quantify pharyngeal structures by using digital morphometrics based on a laser ruler, and to assess differences between subjects with OSA and control subjects and associations with apnea-hypopnea index.
LSUHealthNO Research discovers potential new Rx target for colon cancer
Genetic research conducted at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine and Stanley S.
A one-of-a-kind star found to change over decades
Researchers at the University of Notre Dame recently found new evidence that lends support to an existing theory of how the unusual star emits energy.
Storming the cellular barricades to fight fungi
Yale scientists have developed a new class of small molecules that attack fungal infections by clinging to the cell wall of harmful fungi and recruiting a swarm of antibodies to join the fight.
Superior pathological diagnosis using transparent tissues
RIKEN Quantitative Biology Center and Osaka University researchers show CUBIC, a tissue clearing and 3-D imaging technique, makes human organs transparent to improve pathology diagnosis.
Affordable Care Act expands health coverage to more patients, although differences remain
This research appears in the September/October 2017 Annals of Family Medicine.
Small study suggests twice-daily aspirin dosing could lead to more cardiovascular benefits for people with type 2 diabetes
Taking aspirin twice daily, rather than the current recommendation of once daily, could enhance cardiovascular protection in people with type 2 diabetes (T2D), suggests a small study being presented at this year's European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Annual Meeting in Lisbon, Portugal.
Scientists find that nanoparticles from tattoos travel inside the body
The elements that make up the ink in tattoos travel inside the body in micro and nanoparticle forms and reach the lymph nodes according to a study published in Scientific Reports by scientists from Germany and the ESRF.
Preeclampsia may boost heart disease risk by altering blood vessels
Preeclampsia may permanently change the blood vessels of women who experience the condition during pregnancy, boosting their lifelong risk for cardiovascular disease, according to Penn State researchers.
Astronauts don't develop anemia during spaceflight, NASA study suggests
Space flight anemia -- the reduction of circulating red blood cells during time spent in space -- is an established phenomenon, but it may not be a major concern during long-duration space missions, according to a study published in the open-access journal BMC Hematology.
AI -- Engineering: merging, morphing, mobile robots
Researchers at the Université libre de Bruxelles have developed self-reconfiguring modular robots that can merge, split and even self-heal while retaining full sensorimotor control.
'Missing link' explains how viruses trigger immunity
A discovery by Melbourne researchers has solved a longstanding mystery of how viruses trigger protective immunity within our body.
Type 2 diabetes is being misdiagnosed in African-Americans, genetic study suggests
One of the tests used to diagnose type 2 diabetes and monitor blood sugar control is influenced by 60 genetic variants, an international team of scientists has found.
Want to rebound from failure? Feel the pain
Feeling the pain of failure leads to more effort to correct your mistake than simply thinking about what went wrong, according to a new study.
Microscope invented at marine biological laboratory illuminates chromosomal 'dark matter'
Using a microscope invented at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), a collaborative team of biologists, instrument developers, and computational scientists has for the first time measured the density of a relatively inscrutable, highly condensed form of chromosomal material (heterochromatin) that appears in the cells of human beings and other eukaryotes.
Statistics reveals new, more precise insight into upward mobility between generations
As political rhetoric containing promises of education, social opportunities and other development for disadvantaged people continues to fill the airwaves, economics researchers have developed state-of-the-art statistical methods that uncover the impact of different aspects of upward mobility (or lack thereof), aside from parental income.
Long-term follow-up finds no increased overall risk of death with menopausal hormone therapy
Among postmenopausal women in the Women's Health Initiative trials, use of hormone therapy for five to seven years was not associated with risk of all-cause, cardiovascular or cancer death over 18 years of follow-up, according to a study published by JAMA.
Breaking down barriers to accessing PrEP for men who have sex with men
A new study has shown that barriers preventing men who have sex with men (MSM) from establishing nonjudgmental relationships with primary care providers may limit access to preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV infection.
New survey of older Hispanics reveals many face language and cultural barriers to care
Less than a quarter of Hispanics age 40 and older are confident that local home health aides, assisted living communities, or nursing homes can accommodate their cultural needs, according to a new survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
UT faculty member helps identify new species of prehistoric crocodile
Around 95 million years ago, a giant relative of modern crocodiles ruled the coastlines and waterways of what would one day become north central Texas.

Best Science Podcasts 2017

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2017. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Oliver Sipple
One morning, Oliver Sipple went out for a walk. A couple hours later, to his own surprise, he saved the life of the President of the United States. But in the days that followed, Sipple's split-second act of heroism turned into a rationale for making his personal life into political opportunity. What happens next makes us wonder what a moment, or a movement, or a whole society can demand of one person. And how much is too much?
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Future Consequences
From data collection to gene editing to AI, what we once considered science fiction is now becoming reality. This hour, TED speakers explore the future consequences of our present actions. Guests include designer Anab Jain, futurist Juan Enriquez, biologist Paul Knoepfler, and neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris.