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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | July 10, 2019


Beat the heat
University of Utah mechanical engineering associate professor Mathieu Francoeur has discovered a way to produce more electricity from heat than thought possible by creating a silicon chip, also known as a 'device,' that converts more thermal radiation into electricity.
Sloppy sea urchins
Marine scientists discover an important, overlooked role sea urchins play in the kelp forest ecosystem.
A moderate dose of novel form of stress promotes longevity
A newly described form of stress called chromatin architectural defect, or chromatin stress, triggers in cells a response that leads to a longer life.
Nitrogen from biosolids can help urban soils and plant growth
Research determines bioavailable nitrogen content of different biosolid products.
Diabetes patients experiencing empathy from PCPs have lower risk of mortality
A United Kingdom study designed to examine the association between primary care practitioner empathy and incidence of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality among type 2 diabetes patients found that those patients experiencing greater empathy in the year following their diagnosis saw beneficial long-term clinical outcomes.
Unprecedented display of concern towards unknown monkey offers hope for endangered species
A wild group of endangered Barbary macaques have been observed, for the first time, 'consoling' and adopting an injured juvenile from a neighboring group.
Yale-developed scorecard promotes better clinical trial data sharing
A tool developed by researchers at Yale, Stanford, and Bioethics International can promote greater sharing of clinical trial data by pharmaceutical companies.
Bringing the blockchain into the physical world
A team of computer scientists from Lancaster University, the University of Edinburgh in the UK, and the Universiti Teknologi MARA, in Malaysia, created the prototype BlocKit because blockchain -- the decentralised digital infrastructure that is used to organise the cryptocurrency Bitcoin and holds promise to revolutionise many other sectors from finance, supply-chain and healthcare -- is so difficult for people to comprehend.
Secrets of a sex-changing fish revealed
We may take it for granted that the sex of an animal is established at birth and doesn't change.
Ped EM docs at risk for developing compassion fatigue, burnout, low compassion satisfaction
Pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) physicians are at risk for developing compassion fatigue (CF), burnout (BO), and low compassion satisfaction (CS), but proactive awareness of these phenomena and their predictors may allow providers to better manage the unique challenges and emotional stressors of the pediatric ED to enhance personal well-being and professional performance.
HSE scholars propose new method for measuring individual well-being
Researchers at HSE University have applied an emotion recognition method to measure the subjective well-being of individuals.
How a popular antidepressant drug could rewire the brain
Prozac®, the trade name for the drug fluoxetine, was introduced to the US market for the treatment of depression in 1988.
A new approach to primary care: Advanced team care with in-room support
In this special report, the authors argue that the current primary care team paradigm is underpowered, in that most of the administrative responsibility still falls mainly on the physician.
Redesign of opioid medication management shows impact in rural clinics
In rural practice, a system redesign resulted in declines in the proportion of patients on high dose opioids and the number of patients receiving opioids.
'Flash mob' study puts clinical decision rules for ACS to the test
A novel 'flash mob' study finds that, in emergency care, acute coronary syndrome cannot be safely ruled out using the Marburg Heart Score or the family physicians' clinical assessment.
Quantum sensor breakthrough using naturally occurring vibrations in artificial atoms
A team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, have discovered a new method that could be used to build quantum sensors with ultra-high precision.
A structured approach to detecting and treating depression in primary care
A questionnaire-based management algorithm for major depressive disorder in primary care is feasible to implement, though attrition from treatment is high.
How does playing with other children affect toddlers' language learning?
Toddlers are surprisingly good at processing the speech of other young children, according to a new study.
Study finds ACOs need a balance of PCPs and specialists to best reduce health care costs
Accountable care organizations (ACOs), the health care delivery model created by the Affordable Care Act in an effort to reduce Medicare costs while improving coordination and quality of care, typically rely on primary care providers (PCPs) to steer the boat.
Impaired learning linked to family history of Alzheimer's
Adults with a first-degree relative with Alzheimer's disease perform more poorly on online paired-learning tasks than adults without such a family history, and this impairment appears to be exacerbated by having diabetes or a genetic variation in the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene linked to the disease.
UCLA-developed terahertz sensors work at room temperature, unlike current technology
Researchers at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering have developed an ultra-sensitive light-detecting system that could enable astronomers to view galaxies, stars and planetary systems in superb detail.
Cycling success may hold key to free up fifth of agricultural land
Making minor changes to how food is produced, supplied and consumed around the world could free up around a fifth of agricultural land, research suggests.
Using artificial intelligence to detect discrimination
A new artificial intelligence (AI) tool for detecting unfair discrimination -- such as on the basis of race or gender -- has been created by researchers at Penn State and Columbia University.
Shared e-cargo bikes: boom and barriers in Basel
Sustainable means of mobility are becoming ever more popular. In Switzerland, around 15,000 people have registered with the online platform carvelo2go, which hires out electric cargo bikes.
Standing frame intervention improves life for people with MS, research shows
This is a peer-reviewed, randomized controlled trial conducted in humans.
Anaphylactic shock: IgG antibodies and neutrophils play an unexpected role
Teams from the Institut Pasteur, Inserm, the Paris Public Hospital Network (AP-HP), the CNRS, Paris-Sud University and Sorbonne University have successfully identified a new pathological mechanism responsible for the unexplained cases of anaphylactic shock, involving neutrophils activated by antibodies of the IgG class.
Flu fact sheet for parents increases vaccination rate in children
Parents given a handout with flu facts at their pediatrician's office were significantly more likely to get their kids vaccinated before the end of flu season, Columbia pediatricians have found.
Solar power with a free side of drinking water
An integrated system seamlessly harnesses sunlight to cogenerate electricity and fresh water.
Why sex becomes less satisfying with age
The number of women regularly having sex declines with age, and the number of women enjoying sex postmenopause is even lower.
New evidence shows cytotoxic T cells can identify, invade, and destroy targets of large mass like Toxoplasma gondii tissue cysts
CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes can kill host cells infected with various microorganisms and single individual cancer cells through direct cell-to-cell contact, but their ability to destroy a target of large mass remains unexplored.
Metformin could lower risk of dementia in African Americans with type 2 diabetes
A large observational cohort study examining male veterans aged over 50 years with type 2 diabetes found that metformin use was associated with a significantly lower risk of dementia in African American patients.
Giving nanowires a DNA-like twist
Argonne National Laboratory played a critical role in the discovery of a DNA-like twisted crystal structure created with a germanium sulfide nanowire, also known as a 'van der Waals material.' Researchers can tailor these nanowires in many different ways -- twist periods from two to twenty micrometers, lengths up to hundreds of micrometers, and radial dimensions from several hundred nanometers to about ten micrometers.
Understanding how the mTOR complex comes together
Learning more about the mTOR complex and how it works is a stepping stone for others who might look for cancer therapies or ways to help treat diabetes and other diseases.
Astronomers expand cosmic 'cheat sheet' in hunt for life
Using nature's color palette from early Earth, Cornell University astronomers have created a cosmic 'cheat sheet' in order to understand where discovered exoplanets may fall along their own evolutionary spectrum.
Study contributes to the production of flexible electronic devices
Research conducted by Brazilian and Italian scientists ordered the structure of polythiophene to enhance the optical and electronic properties of this organic conductive polymer.
New filter enhances robot vision on 6D pose estimation
Robots are good at making identical repetitive movements, such as a simple task on an assembly line.
Are physical examinations really necessary?
As technology has gained ground in medicine and critics have called into question the diagnostic accuracy of physical examinations, what place does the practice of the physical exam have in today's clinic?
Pet tags link widely used flame retardant to hyperthyroidism in cats
Feline hyperthyroidism is the most common endocrine-related disease of older cats, and its prevalence has skyrocketed since the first case was diagnosed in 1979.
Unravelling the 3-dimensional genomic structure of male germ cells
A study led by the UAB and the CNAG-CRG reveals the three-dimensional genomic structure of male germ cells and how this structure determines their function.
How primary care physicians can make Astana work
The Astana Declaration, adopted by the World Health Organization in October 2018, acknowledges the importance of primary health care to achieve better health outcomes globally.
Designer proteins form wires and lattices on mineral surface
This research is a fundamental discovery of how to engineer proteins onto non-biological surfaces.
Repair of aged tissue can be enhanced by inhibiting signals from neighbouring cells
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered how regenerative capacity of intestinal epithelium declines when we age.
Surveys fail to capture big five personality traits in non-WEIRD populations
Questions commonly used to explore the ''Big Five'' personality traits--Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism--generally fail to measure the intended personality traits in developing countries, according to a new study.
Larger drug trials that intervene earlier needed for Alzheimer's disease
There are currently no drugs that stop or inhibit Alzheimer's disease.
Did food labeling help hospital employees make healthier cafeteria choices?
This observational study of nearly 5,700 hospital employees who used the workplace cafeteria reports on whether food placement and traffic light labeling (green for healthy, yellow for less healthy and red for least healthy) was associated with a reduction in calories in the food purchased by employees.
Researchers identify cancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells
Researchers at Trinity College Dublin have identified, for the first time in oesophageal cancer, the cancer killing capability of a lesser-known type of immune cell, presenting a new potential therapeutic target.
Patients with mental health conditions denied access to 'best available' stop smoking treatments
New research suggests that rethinking prescriptions for smokers with mental health conditions wishing to kick the habit could have a significant impact.
Can computer use, crafts and games slow or prevent age-related memory loss?
A new study has found that mentally stimulating activities like using a computer, playing games, crafting and participating in social activities are linked to a lower risk or delay of age-related memory loss called mild cognitive impairment, and that the timing and number of these activities may also play a role.
Heat, salt, drought: This barley can withstand the challenges of climate change
A new line of barley achieves good crop yields even under poor environmental conditions.
The Zika epidemic in Cuba, reflected by imported cases in Barcelona
Travelers returning to Barcelona mirrored the 2017 Zika outbreak in Cuba, according to a study led by the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona and the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, an institution supported by 'la Caixa'.
'Traffic light' food labels reduce calories purchased in hospital cafeteria
A new study by Massachusetts General Hospital shows that labeling food choices in a hospital cafeteria with simple 'traffic-light' symbols indicating their relative health value was associated with a reduction in calories purchased by employees.
Will your future computer be made using bacteria?
Graphene is a revolutionary nanomaterial, the discovery of which led to a Nobel Prize.
Awareness of product transformation increases recycling
A plastic bottle becomes a jacket, an aluminum can a bicycle.
Nonphysician practitioners absorbing more new patient requests post Affordable Care Act
The advent of the Affordable Care Act has led to millions of new patients seeking primary care.
Loneliness heightened among gay men in certain age group in China
Gay men in China ages 25-29 are eight times more likely to feel criticized and rejected compared with men in that country ages 20 or younger, new research shows.
Best male biathletes 'more attractive'
Top male biathletes are more attractive to the opposite sex, according to a new study by scientists at the universities of Exeter and Bristol.
Geophysical observations reveal the water distribution and effect in Earth's mantle
Professor Eiji Ohtani from Tohoku University, Japan, summarized the content, distribution and effect of water in the Earth's mantle, published in National Science Review.
Jump test tool to predict athletic performance
Researchers studying the impact of fatigue on athletic performance have developed prototype software that can enable coaches to predict when elite athletes will be too fatigued to perform at their best.
The path to China's 'ecological civilization' starts with national parks
President Xi Jinping staked out China's role as a committed player to tackle the climate crisis and build an 'ecological civilization.' In a review published July 10 in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution, researchers discuss one of the Chinese government's efforts -- reforming the management of protected areas by streamlining agencies' responsibilities and reducing functional overlaps.
Neural sleep patterns emerged at least 450 million years ago, Stanford researchers find
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found that neural signatures in sleeping zebrafish are analogous to those of humans, suggesting that the brain activity evolved at least 450 million years ago, before any creatures crawled out of the ocean.
Cleveland Clinic releases fourth installment of Alzheimer's Disease Drug Pipeline Report
Cleveland Clinic's fourth annual analysis of Alzheimer's disease drug development found that the pipeline has grown in the number and variety of agents being tested over the past year, while highlighting several advances in the field including new clinical trial designs, more detailed criteria for making a research diagnosis, and an increased use of biological tests reflecting of the disease.
Auroral crackling sounds are related to the electromagnetic resonances of the Earth
A new study shows that the sounds generated at an altitude of 70 to 80 metres are the result of the activation of Schumann resonances.
Discovered: A new way to measure the stability of next-generation magnetic fusion devices
Feature reports discovery of an alternative method for measuring the stability of fusion plasma, a critical task for researchers seeking to bring the fusion that powers the sun to Earth.
New antibody treatment provides little relief for high-frequency migraine patients
An early assessment reveals that the newly approved antibody treatment Erenumbab does not seem effective among patients who suffer from high-frequency migraines.
Mussels are inspiring new technology that could help purify water and clean up oil spills
Mussels are notorious maritime stowaways known for damaging the hulls of boats, but these same adhesive properties have widespread engineering applications, scientists in China and the United states write in review published July 10 in the journal Matter.
Genetic breakthrough in cereal crops could help improve yields worldwide
A team of Clemson University scientists has achieved a breakthrough in the genetics of senescence in cereal crops with the potential to dramatically impact the future of food security in the era of climate change.
Study explores how social movements can use virtual worlds
Online virtual worlds can help social movements raise awareness and create safe spaces for their members, according to a new study by an academic at the University of East Anglia (UEA).
UNH research finds thicker pavement is more cost effective down the road
Pavements, which are vulnerable to increased temperatures and excessive flooding due to sea level rise, can crack and crumble.
Many still uninsured after Affordable Care Act Implementation
In community health centers in Medicaid expansion states, among established patients who were uninsured prior to the Affordable Care Act, many remained uninsured after implementation of the Obama-era law.
How to capture waste heat energy with improved polymers
By one official estimate, American manufacturing, transportation, residential and commercial consumers use only about 40 percent of the energy they draw on, wasting 60 percent.
Food may have been scarce in Chaco Canyon
Chaco Canyon, a site that was once central to the lives of precolonial peoples called Anasazi, may not have been able to produce enough food to sustain its estimated population numbers.
Nuclear physics in search of world artifacts
NUST MISIS scientists together with the colleagues from PN Lebedev Physical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics Lomonosov Moscow State University and Dagestan State University have published the first results of a 'scan' obtained by the method of muon radiography of the underground space in the Derbent fortress of Naryn-Kala.
In UK's third largest city intervention program helps reduce childhood obesity
Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions, and continues to rise globally, particularly for children living in poverty.
Study: Minimum wage 'an effective tool' for increasing incomes of older workers
In an era of rising inequality and aging populations in the US, the effect of the minimum wage on the labor market for older workers is increasingly important, says new research from Mark Borgschulte, a professor of economics at Illinois.
Researchers discover ice is sliding toward edges off Greenland Ice Sheet
They found that ice slides over the bedrock much more than previous theories predicted of how ice on the Greenland Ice Sheet moves.
Study finds subclinical cardiovascular disease associated with higher fall risk
A new study out of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) identifies new factors that contribute to falls among seniors, pointing towards interventions that may help prevent them.
Is elevated systolic blood pressure associated with risk for valvular heart disease?
A group of 329,237 men and women of white Bristish ancestry with genetic data in the UK Biobank and blood pressure measurements were included in a study that examined the association between systolic blood pressure and risk of major valvular heart disease.
Are doctors treating more thyroid cancer patients than necessary?
New research may help change treatment practices for patients diagnosed with low risk thyroid cancer.
Puzzling brain disease could now be better diagnosed, treated
Scientists have developed an animal model that may provide a path toward improving the diagnosis and treatment of the devastating brain disease chronicled in the bestselling autobiography 'Brain on Fire.' The book, along with a 2017 movie by the same name, traces newspaper reporter Susannah Cahalan's harrowing descent into the throes of the disease.
Study examined short-term treatment of internet, computer game addiction
This randomized clinical trial of 143 men tested a short-term treatment for internet and computer game addiction.
How the mosquito immune system fights off the malaria parasite
A new study describes the way mosquito immune systems fight malaria parasites using various waves of resistance.
Pair of supermassive black holes discovered on a collision course
Astronomers have spotted a pair of supermassive black holes on a collision course in a galaxy 2.5 billion light-years away.
Keeping a cell's powerhouse in shape
A German-Swiss team around Professor Oliver Daumke from the MDC has investigated how a protein of the dynamin family deforms the inner mitochondrial membrane.
New research helps predict locations of blue whales so ships can avoid them
A new model based on daily oceanographic data and the movements of tagged whales has opened the potential for stakeholders to see where in the ocean endangered blue whales are most likely to be so that ships can avoid hitting them.
Evaluating risk of death, complications in patients with heart failure after ambulatory, noncardiac
Veterans Affairs data for 355,121 patients undergoing ambulatory, elective, noncardiac surgery were used to compare the risk of death and complications in patients with and without heart failure.
Getting to zero malaria cases in zanzibar
New research led by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, Ifakara Health Institute and the Zanzibar Malaria Elimination Program suggests that a better understanding of human behavior at night -- when malaria mosquitoes are biting -- could be key to preventing lingering cases.
Preeclampsia risk may be reduced by a healthy high-fibre diet
New research suggests that gut bacteria could have an impact on the outcome of pregnancies with a high plant-based fibre diet recommended.
July/August 2019 Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet
Annals of Family Medicine is a peer-reviewed, indexed research journal that provides a cross-disciplinary forum for new, evidence-based information affecting the primary care disciplines.
Bystander CPR less likely for black kids in poorest neighborhoods
African-American kids from the most disadvantaged areas are about half as likely to receive emergency bystander CPR following an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest than white children in disadvantaged or more prosperous neighborhoods.
Maternal obesity linked to childhood cancer
New study analyzed 2 million birth records and 3,000 cancer registry records and found that children born to obese mothers were 57% more likely to develop cancer, independent of other factors.
Study identifies new potential target in glioblastoma
Researchers are hopeful that new strategies could emerge for slowing the growth and recurrence of the most common primary brain cancer in adults, glioblastoma, based on the results of a study published today in Cancer Research.
Caught in the middle: Family physicians discuss their role in the opioid crisis
Family physicians prescribe the greatest volume of opioids (22.9%) and number of prescriptions (31.2%) to individuals with chronic noncancer pain, making them targets for quality improvements in safer prescribing practices.
Origin of life insight: peptides can form without amino acids
Peptides, one of the fundamental building blocks of life, can be formed from the primitive precursors of amino acids under conditions similar to those expected on the primordial Earth, finds a new UCL study published in Nature.
No more trial-and-error when choosing an electrolyte for metal-air batteries
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have developed a one-parameter measure that makes selecting the correct electrolyte for potassium-air batteries an exercise in rationality, rather than patience.
Feinstein Institutes discovery may have implications for diabetes management and therapy
Feinstein Institutes discovery may have implications for diabetes management and therapy.
How sounds, shapes, speech and body movements convey emotion through one shared property
Death metal band logos often have a spiky look while romance novel titles often have a swirly script.
Antibiotic stewardship intervention improves prescribing for acute respiratory infection
Antibiotic stewardship interventions for acute respiratory infection (ARI) is feasible and effective and can significantly reduce overuse in the emergency department (ED) and urgent care center (UCC) settings, potentially up to one-third.
Epic research endeavor reveals cause of deadly digestive disease in children
Nearly 10 years ago, a group of Israeli clinical researchers emailed Berkeley Lab geneticist Len Pennacchio to ask for his team's help in solving the mystery of a rare inherited disease that caused extreme, and sometimes fatal, chronic diarrhea in children.
Holes in the Universe sharpen cosmic measurements
Regions of the Universe containing very few or no galaxies -- known as voids -- can help measure cosmic expansion with much greater precision than before, according to new research.
New Zealand study unlocks secrets of sex change in fish
A University of Otago-led study is heralding advances in our understanding of one of the most startling transformations in the natural world -- the complete reversal of sex that occurs in about 500 species of fish.
Satellites analyzing developing gulf potential Tropical Cyclone Two
A massive complex of thunderstorms over the southeastern United States slid into the northeastern Gulf of Mexico and now has the potential to develop into a tropical cyclone.
No evidence of added benefit for most new drugs, say researchers
More than half of new drugs entering the German healthcare system have not been shown to add benefit, argue researchers in The BMJ today.
In cases when patients under anesthesia experience anaphylaxis, hyperactive immune...
A study of 86 patients reveals how drugs used for anesthesia can induce life-threatening anaphylaxis (a dangerous type of allergic reaction) through an alternative immune pathway.
Modeling early meteorite impacts on the moon
A detailed reconstruction of meteorite impacts resolves a longstanding problem and gives new insight into how the moon formed.
A human liver cell atlas
The cellular composition of the liver is incompletely understood. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Immunobiology and Epigenetics have created a comprehensive map of all cell types in the healthy human liver using a method named single-cell RNA sequencing.
Robotic pancreas transplant offers hope for obese patients with Type 1 diabetes
Surgeons at UI Health have demonstrated that obese patients with Type 1 diabetes can safely receive a pancreas transplant when the surgery is performed robotically.
Mattresses could emit higher levels of VOCs during sleep
Hundreds of household items, including furniture, paint and electronics, emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which at high levels can pose health risks.
Shingles vaccine safely prevents outbreaks among stem cell transplant patients
A newer form of shingles vaccine reduced outbreaks of the painful rash among patients who were transplanted with their own stem cells, according to a study led by a Duke Health researcher and published today in JAMA.
Caterpillars turn anti-predator defense against sticky toxic plants
A moth caterpillar has evolved to use acids, usually sprayed at predators as a deterrent, to disarm the defenses of their food plants, according to a study publishing July 10, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by David Dussourd from the University of Central Arkansas and colleagues.
Researchers determine bacteria structure responsible for traveler's diarrhea
For the first time researchers have deciphered the near-atomic structure of filaments, called 'pili', that extend from the surface of bacteria that cause traveler's diarrhea.
Cells synchronize to release toxins in unison
Observations of cellular life in a local marsh lead researchers to the discovery of a new type of intercellular communication.
Carbon nanotube tape stays sticky in extreme temperatures
In very hot or cold environments, conventional tape can lose its stickiness and leave behind an annoying residue.
Puzzling on a quantum chessboard
Physicists at the University of Innsbruck are proposing a new model that could demonstrate the supremacy of quantum computers over classical supercomputers in solving optimization problems.
Study: New cars are safer, but women most likely to suffer injury
UVA's Center for Applied Biomechanics finds that seat-belted females are more vulnerable to injury in front-end car crashes than males.
How to discover new materials quickly
A lot hinges on new materials -including efficient energy conversion for environmentally friendly engines of the future.
Robot-ants that can jump, communicate with each other and work together
A team of EPFL researchers has developed tiny 10-gram robots that are inspired by ants: they can communicate with each other, assign roles among themselves and complete complex tasks together.
Terahertz technology escapes the cold
The group of Jérôme Faist in the Department of Physics at ETH Zurich achieved the first realization of a terahertz quantum cascade laser operating without cryogenic cooling.
On the way to printable organic light emitting diodes
OLEDs are used today in many electronic devices for display applications.
Attitude towards new educational standards in Russia shows conflicting opinions
'The objective was to find out how ready the teachers are to implement the expected changes.
Arts & Medicine: Video, articles look back at 1978 novel 'The House of God'
The 1978 novel 'The House of God' is a fictional account of the internship experience of Samuel Shem, the pen name of Stephen Bergman, at Beth Israel Hospital in 1973-1974.
Expert mathematicians stumped by simple subtractions
Mathematics is seen as the pinnacle of abstract thinking. But are we capable of filtering out our knowledge about the world to prevent it from interfering with our calculations?
NTU Singapore scientists develop probes to detect acute kidney failure early
Scientists from NTU Singapore have developed a type of molecular renal probe that 'lights up' upon detecting the molecular changes caused by the onset of acute kidney failure.

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
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#530 Why Aren't We Dead Yet?
We only notice our immune systems when they aren't working properly, or when they're under attack. How does our immune system understand what bits of us are us, and what bits are invading germs and viruses? How different are human immune systems from the immune systems of other creatures? And is the immune system so often the target of sketchy medical advice? Those questions and more, this week in our conversation with author Idan Ben-Barak about his book "Why Aren't We Dead Yet?: The Survivor’s Guide to the Immune System".