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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | February 19, 2020


Some antibiotics prescribed during pregnancy linked with birth defects
Children of mothers prescribed macrolide antibiotics during early pregnancy are at an increased risk of major birth defects, particularly heart defects, compared with children of mothers prescribed penicillin, finds a study published by The BMJ today.
Study of civilians with conflict-related wounds helps improve the care in conflict zones
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have carried out the first randomized trial of civilians with acute conflict-related wounds at two hospitals in areas affected by armed conflict.
Enriching newborns' environment in the right way helps heal young, injured brains
Preclinical model of oxygen deprivation, a common consequence of prematurity, showed better recovery when exposed to a combination of increased physical activity, socialization and cognitive stimulation.
'Flapping wings' powered by the sun (video)
In ancient Greek mythology, Icarus' wax wings melted when he dared to fly too close to the sun.
Vision for primate neuroimaging to accelerate scientific and medical breakthroughs
A global community of over 150 scientists studying the primate brain has released a blueprint for developing more complete 'wiring diagrams' of how the brain works that may ultimately improve understanding of many brain disorders.
Improving assessments of an endangered lion population in India
An alternative method for monitoring endangered lions in India could improve estimates of their abundance and help inform conservation policy and management decisions.
UCLA researchers find new method for measuring treatment of rare liver disease in children
UCLA researchers who previously found that intravenous administration of fish oil can treat a rare but potentially deadly form of liver disease in children have now monitored levels of a small molecule at the center of the disorder to track treatment results.
Boys with inattention-hyperactivity face increased risk for traumatic brain injuries
McGill-led research shows that boys exhibiting inattention-hyperactivity at age 10 have a higher risk for traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in adolescence and adulthood.
Magnet-controlled bioelectronic implant could relieve pain
A Rice University electrical and computer engineer has introduced the first neural implant that can be programmed and charged remotely with a magnetic field.
Neighborhood features and one's genetic makeup interact to affect cognitive function
Few studies have examined how the neighborhood's physical environment relates to cognition in older adults.
New test identifies poisonous mushrooms
A simple, portable test that can detect the deadliest of the mushroom poisons in minutes has been developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists.
Brain measurements can reveal success of alcohol risk messages
By studying how our brains 'synchronise' during shared experiences, social neuroscientists at the University of Konstanz show if alcohol risk messages catch on in an audience and lead to a reduction in drinking.
Future soldiers may get improved helmet padding
Army researchers and industry partners recently published a study showing how they developed new materials and manufacturing methods to create higher performing helmet padding that reduces the likelihood of head injury in combat and recreational helmets.
Journey to the center of Mars
While InSight's seismometer has been patiently waiting for the next big marsquake to illuminate its interior and define its crust-mantle-core structure, two scientists, have built a new compositional model for Mars.
Breakthrough in coronavirus research results in new map to support vaccine design
Researchers have made a critical breakthrough toward developing a vaccine for the 2019 novel coronavirus by creating the first 3D atomic scale map of the part of the virus that attaches to and infects human cells.
Bacteria on the International Space Station no more dangerous than earthbound strains
Two particularly tenacious species of bacteria have colonized the potable water dispenser aboard the International Space Station (ISS), but a new study suggests that they are no more dangerous than closely related strains on Earth.
Right place, right time
Harvard researchers have discovered a new mechanism for how the brain and its arteries communicate to supply blood to areas of heightened neural activity.
Certain factors linked with discontinuing breast cancer therapy
For women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, long-term endocrine therapy can greatly reduce the risk of recurrence.
Training the mind in resilience
Two new studies from University of Miami researchers found that offering mindfulness training in high-demand settings bolsters attention and resilience.
Evaluating risk of cancer in patients with psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis
This observational study was a systematic review and meta-analysis that included 112 studies and examined the association between risk of cancer in patients with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, including the risk of specific cancers.
Scientists develop safer lead-based perovskite solar cell
Researchers at Northern Illinois University and the US Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory are reporting today (Feb.
Tumor blood vessel detection by a gripping force feedback system
Avoiding unnecessary bleeding during neuroendoscopic surgeries is crucial. When blood vessel location in a tumor cannot be visually confirmed, unintentional damage to the vessel and subsequent bleeding may occur.
Antidote to pain and negativity? Let it be
Merely a brief introduction to mindfulness helps people deal with physical pain and negative emotions, a new study by researchers at Yale, Columbia, and Dartmouth shows.
sphingotec's biomarker penKid® shows best representation of true glomerular filtration rate and has utility in patients with severe burns two studies show
In-depth method comparison by Dutch group shows that sphingotec's proprietary kidney function biomarker penKid® is currently the most accurate surrogate marker for true glomerular filtration rate in patients with renal impairment
Grabbing atoms
In a first for quantum physics, University of Otago researchers have 'held' individual atoms in place and observed previously unseen complex atomic interactions.
How does long-term quality of life, patient satisfaction compare for appendicitis treatments?
Researchers compared long-term quality of life and patient satisfaction among those patients who were treated with antibiotics or who had their appendix removed for uncomplicated acute appendicitis.
Eliminating viruses in our food with cranberries and citrus fruit
Fresh produce is a major vehicle for noroviruses, a group of viruses that are the most common cause of gastroenteritis in developed countries.
Communicating science can benefit from scientists 'being human'
As social beliefs and values change over time, scientists have struggled with effectively communicating the facts of their research with the public.
Random gene pulsing generates patterns of life
Scientists working on the intersection between biology and computation have found that random gene activity helps patterns form during development of a model multicellular system.
Big ideas in performance management 2.0
Industrial-era performance management paradigms and practices are outdated and ineffective in the modern VUCA work environment.
An optimized structure of memristive device for neuromorphic computing systems implemented
Lobachevsky University scientists have implemented a new variant of the metal-oxide memristive device, which holds promise for use in RRAM (Resistive Random Access Memory) and novel computing systems, including neuromorphic ones.
Changes to Title X mean contraception access for teens could worsen nationwide, study shows
Texas teens lost access to confidential family planning services due to family planning budget cuts and loss of Title X funds, says a new study led by the University of Colorado College of Nursing just published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
Community health worker-led care improves blood pressure control in hypertensive patients
Multi-country intervention trial to improve hypertension management, led by Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, in partnership with the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B), Aga Khan University in Pakistan, the University of Kelaniya in Sri Lanka and the Singapore Clinical Research Institute (SCRI), leads to ''clinically meaningful'' reductions in blood pressure and better blood pressure control in patients receiving the multi-component intervention.
Estimating effects of indoor tanning regulations
This analysis estimated the health and economic consequences of indoor tanning regulations, such as banning indoor tanning devices or prohibiting their use by minors, in North America and Europe compared with current levels of use.
Diabetes patients who use online tools manage disease better
In a study published in JAMA Network Open today, Kaiser Permanente scientists report that diabetes patients who used the Kaiser Permanente patient portal and mobile phone app improved their diabetes management outcomes.
Five millimeter diameter motor is powered directly with light
Researchers at the Faculty of Physics at the University of Warsaw, with colleagues from Poland and China used liquid crystal elastomer technology to demonstrate a rotary micromotor powered with light.
Methane emitted by humans vastly underestimated, researchers find
University of Rochester researchers and their collaborators measured methane levels in ancient air samples and found that scientists have been vastly underestimating the amount of methane humans are emitting into the atmosphere via fossil fuels.
New study results consistent with dog domestication during ice age
Analysis of Paleolithic-era teeth from a 28,500-year-old fossil site in the Czech Republic provides supporting evidence for two groups of canids -- one dog-like and the other wolf-like - with differing diets, which is consistent with the early domestication of dogs.
Big investment needed to eliminate Hep C in Pakistan could deliver huge health benefits
A large investment of at least US$3.9 billion needed to meet the World Health Organization's (WHO) target for the elimination of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Pakistan could deliver huge benefits in terms of lives saved and reduced ill health, according to University of Bristol led research published in The Lancet Global Health today [19 February].
Stressed corals set up progeny for a better life
First evidence that animal DNA methylation patterns can be passed to the next generation.
Veggie-loving fish could be the new white meat
A secret to survival amid rising global temperatures could be dwelling in the tidepools of the US West Coast.
Freedom of Information legislation: Fit for purpose?
New research has identified a clear accountability gap in the current Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation when it comes to outsourced public services.
Sweet beaks: What Galapagos finches and marine bacteria have in common
Ecological niches are a concept well known from higher animals.
Controlling CAR T cells with light selectively destroys skin tumors in mice
UC San Diego bioengineers have developed a control system that could make CAR T-cell therapy safer and more powerful when treating cancer.
Spanish modified Story Memory Technique efficacious for Mexicans with multiple sclerosis
Researchers adapted the English language Kessler Foundation modified Story Memory Technique into Spanish.
Cracks make historical paintings less vulnerable to environmental variations
Historical wood panel paintings with developed craquelure patterns -- networks of fine cracks in the paint- are significantly less vulnerable to environmental variations than previously assumed, according to a study in the open access journal Heritage Science.
Improved access to Midwifery Units is urgently needed, says new study
A high number of pregnant women in England cannot access the maternity care most appropriate for them, according to a new study, which could be costing the NHS millions of pounds a year.
Global relationships that determine bird diversity on islands uncovered
Researchers from the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford have contributed to a monumental international study, published today in Nature, that has shown what factors determine how many bird species can be found on any given island.
How to deflect an asteroid
MIT engineers devise a decision map to identify the best mission type to deflect an incoming asteroid.
Thousands of uninsured kidney disease patients strain Texas emergency departments
More than 10,000 uninsured patients sought care at Texas emergency departments for lifesaving kidney dialysis in 2017, incurring more than $21.8 million in hospital costs, according to researchers from UTHealth.
The Lancet: Egypt, Algeria and South Africa estimated to be at highest risk of new coronavirus cases in Africa
Increased resources, surveillance, and capacity building should be urgently prioritised in African countries with moderate risk of importing cases of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), as these countries are estimated to be ill-prepared to detect cases and limit transmission.
Illuminating interactions between decision-making and the environment
Employing a game theory model, University of Pennsylvania researchers demonstrate how strategic decisions influence the environment in which those decisions are made, alterations which in turn influence strategy.
Time-resolved measurement in a memory device
Researchers at ETH have measured the timing of single writing events in a novel magnetic memory device with a resolution of less than 100 picoseconds.
Jet stream not getting 'wavier' despite Arctic warming
Rapid Arctic warming has not led to a 'wavier' jet stream around the mid-latitudes in recent decades, pioneering new research has shown.
Study: Your home's water quality could vary by the room -- and the season
A study has found that the water quality of a home can differ in each room and change between seasons, challenging the assumption that the water in a public water system is the same as the water that passes through a building's plumbing at any time of the year.
What birdsong tells us about brain cells and learning
New research by neuroscientists at the University of Chicago uses a unique model -- the intricate mating songs of birds -- to show how the intrinsic properties of neurons are closely tied to the complex processes of learning.
A salamander named Egoria: Palaeontologists identify new Jurassic amphibian
A group of Russian and German palaeontologists have described a previously unknown genus and species of prehistoric salamanders.
Mixed-signal hardware security thwarts powerful electromagnetic attacks
A Purdue University team developed technology to use mixed-signal circuits to embed critical information that is suppressed at a lower level.
Fish in the Sahara? Yes, in the early Holocene
Catfish and tilapia make up many of the animal remains uncovered in the Saharan environment of the Takarkori rock shelter in southwestern Libya, according to a study published Feb.
Count me out of counting seeds
Technology lends a hand during tedious seed counting process.
Cobalt supply can meet demand for electric vehicle and electronics batteries
Greater use of electric vehicles might be good for the environment, but further growth hinges on continued availability of critical battery components such as cobalt.
Prenatal phthalate exposure associated with autistic traits in young boys
Exposure in the womb to phthalates, a group of endocrine-disrupting chemicals present in cosmetics and other common household products, was associated with autistic traits in boys, ages 3 and 4, but not in girls, according to a new study led by a University of Massachusetts Amherst environmental epidemiologist.
Different tick, same repellents: Study shows how to avoid Asian longhorned tick
While the invasive Asian longhorned tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis) has now appeared in 12 states since its first detection in the United States in 2017, new research offers some good news about its potential as a public health threat.
Keeping it simple -- Synthesizing useful organic compounds now made easier and cheaper
Organic boronic acids are widely used as starting material in the synthesis of various useful chemicals.
Researchers discover new mechanism for the coexistence of species
Researchers from AMOLF (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) and Harvard University (USA) show how the ability of organisms to move around plays a role in stabilizing ecosystems.
Childhood eczema cannot be prevented by daily moisturiser use, study finds
Using moisturisers on newborn babies does not prevent eczema as previously thought, according to a major new study.
Weed-derived compounds in Serbian groundwater could contribute to endemic kidney disease
People living in Balkan farming villages along the Danube River have long suffered from a unique type of kidney disease known as Balkan endemic nephropathy.
When parents should worry about teen girls' selfies
Adolescent girls who invest a lot of time in editing and selecting the perfect selfie may feel more body shame and appearance anxiety, researchers found.
Scientists develop more accurate stem-cell model of early developing mouse embryo
Scientists from the Hubrecht Institute (KNAW) and the University of Cambridge (UK) have managed to generate complex embryo-like structures from mouse embryonic stem cells.
Scientists develop open-source software to analyze economics of biofuels, bioproducts
Perennial grasses can be converted into everything from ethanol to bioplastics, but it's unclear which bioproducts hold the greatest potential.
Parenting elective lets physicians spend more time with their babies
A novel, four-week parenting rotation designed for pediatric residents has dramatically increased the amount of time resident parents can spend at home with their babies, according to a study by researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.
New machine learning method could supercharge battery development for electric vehicles
New machine learning method from Stanford, with Toyota and MIT researchers, has slashed battery testing times -- a key barrier to longer-lasting, faster-charging batteries for electric vehicles -- by nearly fifteenfold.
Could water solve the renewable energy storage challenge?
Seasonally pumped hydropower storage could provide an affordable way to store renewable energy over the long-term, filling a much needed gap to support the transition to renewable energy, according to a new study from IIASA scientists.
Laser writing enables practical flat optics and data storage in glass
Femtosecond laser machining has emerged as an attractive technology enabling appications ranging from eye surgery to direct writing in the bulk of transparent materials.
Earthquakes disrupt sperm whales' ability to find food, study finds
Otago scientists studying sperm whales off the coast of Kaik?ura have discovered earthquakes affect their ability to find food for at least a year.
Breast cancer surgery: Better results with higher case numbers
Increased chances of survival and fewer follow-up operations -- positive correlation between volume and quality in the surgical treatment of breast cancer.
MRI findings predict shoulder stiffness for rotator cuff tears
Two MRI findings--joint capsule edema and thickness at the axillary recess, specifically--proved useful in predicting stiff shoulder in patients with small to large (< 5 cm) full-thickness rotator cuff tears, according to an ahead-of-print article in the May issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR).
Altered potassium levels in neurons may cause mood swings in bipolar disorder
A sweeping new set of findings by Salk researchers reveals previously unknown details explaining why some neurons in bipolar patients swing between being overly or under excited.
Himalayan wolf discovered to be a unique wolf adapted to harsh high altitude life
Researchers from the University of Oxford have discovered that the Himalayan wolf is a unique wolf characteristically adapted to the harsh life in the Asian high altitudes where low oxygen levels challenge all life forms.
New 3D chirality discovered and synthetically assembled
Multi-layer 3D chirality of C2-symmetry has been revealed and enantioselectively synthesized.
Machine learning identifies personalized brain networks in children
Machine learning is helping Penn Medicine researchers identify the size and shape of brain networks in individual children, which may be useful for understanding psychiatric disorders.
Fetal balloon treatment for lung-damaging birth defect works best when fetal and maternal care are highly coordinated
Researchers from The Johns Hopkins Center for Fetal Therapy report new evidence that fetuses with severe congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), a rare but life-threatening, lung-damaging condition, experience a significantly high rate of success for the fetal treatment known as FETO, if they and their mothers receive coordinated and highly experienced care in the same expert setting.
Tel Aviv University researchers discover receptor chain involved in atopic dermatitis
A new Tel Aviv University study identifies the precise receptor chain involved in the development of atopic dermatitis, the most common cause of eczema.
Discovery may illuminate a missing link between atherosclerosis and aging
Using a preclinical model of atherosclerosis, Feinberg and colleagues have uncovered a long, noncoding RNA (lncRNA) that may point the way toward new therapies for atherosclerosis and shed light on why the likelihood of the disease increases with age.
A randomized, double-blind trial of F14512, a polyamine-vectorized anticancer drug, compared...
The objective of this study was to compare the safety and antitumor activity of F14512 and etoposide phosphate in dogs with spontaneous non-Hodgkin lymphoma and to investigate the potential benefit of F14512 in P-glycoprotein overexpressing lymphomas.
An apple a day might help keep bothersome menopause symptoms away
A healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables is known to benefit the human body in so many ways.
Receiving the news of Down syndrome in the era of prenatal testing
Most of the mothers of a child with Down Syndrome born in the Netherlands between 2010-16 have consciously chosen not to have prenatal testing.
Cognitive experiments give a glimpse into the ancient mind
New study published in PNAS shed light on some of the earliest examples of human symbolic behavior: Ancient engravings were likely produced with aesthetic intent and marked group identity.
Research shows the way to more efficient EPO production
EPO, an important drug for treating anemia, can now be produced in higher quantities and with better quality in mammalian cells designed using CRISPR.
Controversy swirls around adipose-derived cell therapies for reparative medicine
Challenging the US Food and Drug Administration's current approach to evaluating and approving adipose-based cell therapies used in reparative medicine, a group of researchers proposes a new path forward that focuses on patient safety and includes evidence-based medical practice.
Tart cherry juice concentrate found to help improve endurance exercise performance
Montmorency tart cherry juice has gained a reputation as a recovery drink among elite and recreational exercisers, with research suggesting benefits for reducing strength loss and improving muscle recovery after intensive exercise.
Help with medication reduces hospital admissions in older patients -- study
People aged 65 years and over are less likely to be readmitted to hospital if they are given help with their medication for three months after discharge, new research from the University of Bradford has found.
New mechanism involved in senescence modulates inflammation, response to immunotherapy
Wistar scientists discovered a novel pathway that enables detection of DNA in the cytoplasm and triggers inflammation and cellular senescence.
Green chemistry of fullerene: Scientists invented an environmentally friendly way to realize organic
Scientists from the Skoltech Center for Energy Science and Technology (CEST) and the Institute for Problems of Chemical Physics of Russian Academy of Sciences have developed a novel approach for preparing thin semiconductor fullerene films.
Investigating Medicaid expansion's association with insurance status, diagnosis, treatment among patients with cancer
More than 925,000 adults in the National Cancer Database with a new diagnosis of invasive breast, colon or lung cancer were included in this observational study that examined how Medicaid expansion under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was associated with insurance status, cancer stage at diagnosis and timely treatment.
What if we could teach photons to behave like electrons?
The researchers tricked photons - which are intrinsically non-magnetic - into behaving like charged electrons.
People who eat a big breakfast may burn twice as many calories
Eating a big breakfast rather than a large dinner may prevent obesity and high blood sugar, according to new research published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
From obesity to liver cancer: Can we prevent the worst?
Hepatocellular carcinoma, a liver cancer linked to the presence of fat in the liver, is one of the leading causes of cancer death worldwide.
Cannabis use during pregnancy
The large health care system Kaiser Permanente Northern California provides universal screening for prenatal cannabis use in women during pregnancy by self-report and urine toxicology testing.
Research reveals link between high cholesterol levels and risk of aortic valve disease
Researchers from The George Institute for Global Health at the University of Oxford have found that while having high cholesterol levels does not influence your risk of aortic or mitral valve regurgitation, it does increase your risk of developing another major heart valve disease -- aortic stenosis.
Comparing outcomes between African-American, white women after mammography-detected triple-negative breast cancer
Researchers compared treatment and survival rates between African American and white women following early detection with mammography of triple-negative breast cancer.
New type of heart valve may be the only replacement a child needs
Current prosthetic heart valves for children with congenital heart disease are fixed in size, requiring repeated open-heart surgeries during childhood to replace the valve with a larger version.
Size-adjustable prosthetic heart valve accommodates heart growth in sheep
Taking a step towards a major goal in heart valve prosthetics, scientists have created an adaptable heart valve replacement that can be expanded over time as the heart grows.
Research identifies barriers to development of seawater electrolysis technologies
Researchers at the University Of Liverpool, in collaboration with NUI Galway and TU Berlin, have identified the key technological and scientific challenges of producing hydrogen through seawater electrolysis.
A spookily good sensor
Researchers at The University of Tokyo show how quantum entanglement can be used to produce single-shot detectors with the ability to measure an individual magnon in a magnetic sphere.
A new way to assess male fertility
Current tests for male fertility include measuring the concentration and motility of spermatozoa.
A new model of the worm C. elegans to progress in the study of a rare disease
he IDIBELL Neurometabolic Diseases group, with international collaboration, has identified a model of chromosome X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (x-ALD) in the earthworm C. elegans, this is a rare disorder of the nervous system with no treatment available.
New study finds cellular immunotherapy treatment associated with improved quality of life
Adult lymphoma patients whose disease was effectively treated with chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy showed marked improvement on a variety of self-reported quality of life measures, according to a study published today in Blood Advances.
Improving innovation: Assessing the environmental impacts of emerging technology
How can we anticipate and design out environmental impacts of new technologies when they are at an early stage of development?
As out-of-pocket costs for neurologic medications rise, people less likely to take them
As out-of-pocket costs go up for drugs for the neurologic disorders Alzheimer's disease, peripheral neuropathy and Parkinson's disease, people are less likely to take the drugs as often as their doctors prescribed, according to a study funded by the American Academy of Neurology and published in the Feb.
Rise in global deaths and disability due to lung diseases over past three decades
There has been an increase in deaths and disability due to chronic respiratory (lung) diseases over the past three decades, finds an analysis of data from 195 countries published by The BMJ today.
Lensless on-chip microscopy platform shows slides in full view
Guoan Zheng, a University of Connecticut professor of biomedical engineering, recently published his findings on a successful demonstration of a lensless on-chip microscopy platform that eliminates several of the most common problems with conventional optical microscopy and provides a low-cost option for the diagnosis of disease.
Maternal obesity linked to ADHD and behavioral problems in children, NIH study suggests
Maternal obesity may increase a child's risk for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to an analysis by researchers from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), part of the National Institutes of Health.
New mathematical model reveals how major groups arise in evolution
Researchers at Uppsala University and the University of Leeds presents a new mathematical model of patterns of diversity in the fossil record, which offers a solution to Darwin's ''abominable mystery'' and strengthens our understanding of how modern groups originate.
Study of African society inspires broad thinking about human paternity, fidelity
A new study from UCLA professor of anthropology Brooke Scelza invites geneticists and sociologists to think more broadly about human fidelity and paternity.
Carrots plus sticks: Study looks at what works to reduce low-value care
The old story of a farmer trying to get a stubborn mule to pull a wagon by dangling a carrot in front of its nose, or hitting its rump with a stick, may not seem to have much to do with the practice of medicine.
The potentially deadly paradox of diabetes management
Diabetes affects nearly 1 in 10 adults in the US, of these millions, more than 90% have Type 2 diabetes.
A salary in exchange for our data, new economic system proposed by a researcher from IMDEA Networks
Data and the economy stemming from them are the engine for the fourth industrial revolution.
Ancient gut microbiomes shed light on human evolution
The microbiome of our ancestors might have been more important for human evolution than previously thought.
Study points to better medical diagnosis through levitating human blood
New research from the UBC's Okanagan campus, Harvard Medical School and Michigan State University suggests that levitating human plasma may lead to faster, more reliable, portable and simpler disease detection.

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