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Prion diseases: new clues in the structure of prion proteins
A new study carried out by SISSA - Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati in collaboration with other institutions including Genos Glycoscience. Research Laboratory from Zagreb, Croatia and Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste, provides important information on the differences in structures of the prions, proteins responsible for diseases that at the state of the art are incurable. (2021-02-19)

How humans can build better teamwork with robots
Nancy Cooke is a cognitive psychologist and professor of human systems engineering at the Polytechnic School at Arizona State University (ASU). She explores how an artificial intelligence agent can contribute to team communications failure, and how to improve those interactions, in her discussion at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). (2021-02-08)

Yale researchers develop injection to treat skin cancer
Yale researchers are developing a skin cancer treatment that involves injecting nanoparticles into the tumor, killing cancer cells with a two-pronged approach, as a potential alternative to surgery. (2021-02-02)

Competition among human females likely contributed to concealed ovulation
Humans are among the few species that lack overt physical indicators of female fertility. One explanation for concealed ovulation in human females is that hiding fertility from males helps females secure resources from males for raising children. A new model developed by a team of evolutionary scientists casts doubt on this idea, showing that females might have evolved to conceal ovulation from one another, not from males. (2021-01-25)

Chemotherapy with light; only one injection required
Researchers in South Korea have developed a phototherapy technology that can significantly increase efficiency while reducing the pain of chemotherapy and minimizing side effects after treatment. The research team has developed a cancer-targeted phototherapeutic agent that promises complete elimination of cancer cells without side effects. It involves only one injection and repeated phototherapy. (2021-01-14)

A biased evaluation of employees' performance can be useful for employers
In assessing an employee's performance, employers often listen to his immediate supervisor or colleagues, and these opinions can be highly subjective. Sergey Stepanov, an economist from HSE University, has shown that biased evaluations can actually benefit employers. An article substantiating this finding was published in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. (2020-12-10)

Environmental exposures affect therapeutic drugs
Humans are exposed to various environmental or dietary molecules that can attenuate or even increase the effect of therapeutic drugs. Studies on the industrial chemical bisphenol A and the phytoestrogen genistein, for example, have shown drug-exposome interactions. However, interactions between exposures and therapeutic agents have not been systematically investigated to date, conclude chemists Benedikt Warth and Manuel Pristner at the University of Vienna in a review article published in 'Trends in Pharmacological Sciences'. (2020-12-01)

Team uses copper to image Alzheimer's aggregates in the brain
A proof-of-concept study conducted in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease offers new evidence that copper isotopes can be used to detect the amyloid-beta protein deposits that form in the brains of people living with -- or at risk of developing -- Alzheimer's. (2020-11-24)

New study defines life cycle of a destructive plant pathogen 142 years after its discovery
''Using confocal and electron microscopic imaging, we provide compelling evidence to support the proposed life cycle of P. brassicae, making it more convincing and acceptable to the community,'' explained Liu. ''Notably, and most surprisingly, we discovered the existence of a sexual life stage of P. brassicae, starting from the fusion of two secondary zoospores within the infected epidermal cells.'' (2020-11-09)

Natural enemy of Asian fruit fly - previously thought to be one species - is in fact two
CABI scientists have led new research which reveals strong evidence that a natural enemy of the prolific Asian fruit fly Drosphila suzukii - previously believed to be one species - is in fact two with only one of the parasitoid proving suitable as a biological control agent against the pest. (2020-11-05)

Two motivational artificial beings are better than one for enhancing learning
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba have found that offline consolidation of a motor task was enhanced by praise delivered by robots, whether they were presented on a screen or were physically present. Further, simultaneous praise from two agents had a stronger effect than praise from just one, regardless of whether the agents were physically present or virtual. Such effects could be helpful for facilitating education and for general enhancement of human-robot interactions. (2020-11-05)

RUDN University chemist developed green method for malaria and leprosy drug production
A chemist from RUDN University suggested an eco-friendly method for the synthesis of dapsone, a substance that inhibits the growth of malaria and leprosy agents. The main component of the new reaction is hydrogen peroxide that does not form environmentally destructive compounds, and the only by-product is simple water. Unlike other technologies, this method includes only one stage of dapsone production and does not require high temperatures. The catalyst of the reaction can be reused without any loss of efficiency. (2020-10-30)

New drug that can prevent the drug resistance and adverse effects
A research team in Korea is garnering attention for having developed an anticancer drug that could potentially prevent drug resistance. The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) announced that a team of researchers led by Dr. Kwang-meyung Kim at the Theragnosis research center successfully developed a cancer-specific anticancer drug precursor that can prevent the drug resistance. (2020-10-21)

Combination therapy against cancer
In their quest to destroy cancer cells, researchers are turning to combinational therapies more and more. Scientists from Germany and China have now combined a chemotherapeutic and photodynamic approach. All agents are encapsulated in nanocapsules with a protein shell to be delivered to the tumor. There, light irradiation triggers a cascade of events, which lead to the destruction of the tumor cells, the researchers write in the journal Angewandte Chemie. (2020-10-13)

IL-21 protein a key part of immune response to central nervous system infections
esearchers at Penn State College of Medicine now better understand the role of a protein, interleukin-21 (IL-21), in the immune system response to infections in the nervous system. The results of their recent study support further investigation into using IL-21 as a therapeutic agent for persistent central nervous system infections. (2020-10-05)

Secure nano-carrier delivers medications directly to cells
Medications often have unwanted side-effects. One reason is that they reach not only the unhealthy cells for which they are intended, but also reach and have an impact on healthy cells. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), working together with the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, have developed a stable nano-carrier for medications. A special mechanism makes sure the drugs are only released in diseased cells. (2020-09-25)

When bots do the negotiating, humans more likely to engage in deceptive techniques
Researchers found that whether humans would embrace a range of deceptive and sneaky negotiating techniques was dependent both on the humans' prior negotiating experience in negotiating as well as whether virtual agents where employed to negotiate on their behalf. The findings stand in contrast to prior studies and show that when humans use intermediaries in the form of virtual agents, they feel more comfortable employing more deceptive techniques than they would normally use when negotiating for themselves. (2020-09-22)

Imaging agent developed at Washington University spotlights inflammation
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have created a new PET imaging agent that detects signs of inflammation. Such a tracer could aid diagnosis and study of diseases ranging from cardiovascular disease to cancer to COVID-19. (2020-09-14)

Temporal-spatial order property of hollow multishelled structures enables sequential drug release
A recent research led by Prof. WANG Dan and Prof. ZHANG Suojiang from the Institute of Process Engineering (IPE) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences studied the diffusion and transport mechanism of antimicrobial molecules through HoMSs, and discovered that the unique temporal-spatial order property of HoMSs can realize the sequential drug release for the first time. (2020-09-08)

Autonomous robot plays with NanoLEGO
Atoms and molecules behave in a completely different way to macroscopic objects and each brick requires its own ''instruction manual''. Scientists from J├╝lich and Berlin have now developed an artificial intelligence system that autonomously learns how to grip and move individual molecules using a scanning tunnelling microscope. (2020-09-03)

Dartmouth-led team engineers new treatment for drug-resistant bacterial infections
A new antibacterial agent that has been engineered by researchers at Dartmouth to essentially hide from the human immune system may treat life-threatening MRSA infections. A new paper, published today in Science Advances, provides details on the agent, which is the first lysin-based treatment with the potential to be used multiple times on a single patient, making it ideal to treat particularly persistent drug-resistant and drug-sensitive infections. (2020-09-02)

How weather affects crawfish harvests
To help inform farmers, researchers at Louisiana State University are the first to quantify how rainfall and temperature affect crawfish harvest yields. (2020-08-31)

UBCO researcher uses computer modelling to predict reef health
A UBC Okanagan researcher has developed a way to predict the future health of the planet's coral reefs. Working with scientists from Australia's Flinders' University and privately-owned research firm Nova Blue Environment, biology doctoral student Bruno Carturan has been studying the ecosystems of the world's endangered reefs. (2020-08-25)

New treatment developed by CHOP shows success in high-risk solid tumors
In a breakthrough study, researchers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have shown that an enhanced treatment developed in their lab leads to long-term remissions in 80% to 100% of mice with drug-resistant or high-risk solid tumors. The research, which could soon lead to clinical trials, is described in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. (2020-08-24)

Designed bacteria produce coral-antibiotic
Corals growing on the reefs of the Bahamas produce an active agent that kills multi-resistant tuberculosis bacteria. Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have managed to produce the antibiotic biotechnologically in the laboratory - fast, cost-efficient and sustainably. (2020-08-17)

Effect of gadolinium-based contrast agent on breast diffusion-tensor imaging
An ''Original Research'' article published in ARRS' American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR) concluded that the accuracy of breast cancer diagnosis via diffusion-tensor imaging (DTI) was equivalent both before and after the administration of a gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA), despite a value change in DTI parameters. Due to the lack of standardization of contrast-enhanced DTI, the authors of this AJR article still preferred unenhanced diffusion measurements. (2020-08-06)

Decoy receptor neutralizes coronavirus in cell cultures
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, scientists and health care providers are seeking ways to keep the coronavirus from infecting tissues once they're exposed. A new study suggests luring the virus with a decoy -- an engineered, free-floating receptor protein - binds the virus and blocks infection. (2020-08-04)

Study identifies missing piece needed for lower-cost, high-quality MRI
Researchers identify the missing piece needed to generate high-quality imaging using low-cost MRI scanners. (2020-07-17)

New theranostic agents show efficacy in prostate cancer treatment in preclinical studies
Researchers have developed a new pair of agents that show exceptional effectiveness for precision diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer in preclinical studies. The agents, which target prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA), can be easily and economically synthesized without specialized equipment. This research was presented at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging's 2020 Annual Meeting on July 11-14, 2020. (2020-07-13)

Nano-radiomics unveils treatment effect on tumor microenvironment
Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital have developed a novel noninvasive approach called nano-radiomics that analyzes imaging data to assess changes in the tumor microenvironment that are not detected with conventional imaging methods. (2020-07-10)

Chatbots can ease medical providers' burden, offer guidance to those with COVID-19 symptoms
COVID-19 has placed tremendous pressure on health care systems, not only for critical care but also from an anxious public looking for answers. Research from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business found that chatbots -- software applications that conduct online chats via text or text-to-speech -- working for reputable organizations can ease the burden on medical providers and offer trusted guidance to those with symptoms. (2020-07-09)

Using Epo against Covid-19
The doping agent erythropoietin could attenuate severe progression of COVID-19. (2020-07-06)

What ethical models for autonomous vehicles don't address - and how they could be better
There's a fairly large flaw in the way that programmers are currently addressing ethical concerns related to artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles (AVs). Namely, existing approaches don't account for the fact that people might try to use AVs to do something bad. (2020-07-06)

Glowing dye may aid in eliminating cancer
When a solid cancer is surgically removed, any small piece that is left behind increases the chance of a local recurrence or spread. In a pilot study of dogs with mammary tumors, a disease very similar to human breast cancer, a team from the University of Pennsylvania found that an injectable dye, which glows under near-infrared light, illuminated cancerous growth in the primary tumor as well as in lymph nodes. (2020-06-30)

Improved medical imaging improves cancer staging
Prof. TIAN Chao's group improved the imaging quality and 3D construction of the photoacoustic imaging, and applied them to in vivo sentinel lymph node imaging. (2020-06-28)

Development of safe liver sinusoid coating agents to increase the efficacy of gene therapy
A new technology to improve the efficacy and safety of gene therapy drugs was developed. A transient, selective, and safe coating of the liver sinusoidal wall was achieved. As a result, the clearance of gene therapy drugs was effectively prevented. Consequently, the gene transfer efficiency into cardiac muscle, skeletal muscle, and cancer tissue was boosted. This research will be published in Science Advances (IF = 12.804) on June 26 (EST). (2020-06-26)

Antioxidant agent may prevent chronic kidney disease and Parkinson's disease
Researchers from Osaka University developed a novel dietary silicon-based antioxidant agent with renoprotective and neuroprotective effects. They showed in animals models of chronic kidney disease and Parkinson's disease that the intake of their agent protects the kidney and brain, respectively, from taking further damage. These findings could provide new insights into the treatment of patients with these diseases. (2020-06-18)

Goodbye 'extinction,' hello 'evanescence'? Validating a new paradigm
Naturalist and zoologist Georges Cuvier established extinction as a distinct field of science in a series of publications beginning in 1799. He confirmed that fossil species were formerly living species no longer extant, confirming similar conclusions of classical Greek scholars. However, mechanisms thought to control the process remained controversial for two centuries. (2020-06-18)

Antihypotensive agent disrupts the immune system in sepsis
Patients who go into shock caused by sepsis (septic shock) are treated with the antihypotensive agent norepinephrine. Researchers from Radboud university medical center published results in today's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine revealing that its use is not without drawbacks: the drug disrupts the immune system and increases susceptibility to infections. This may have negative consequences for patients. Research into alternatives is therefore justified. (2020-06-11)

Army researchers find new ways to test swarming drones
The US Army has implemented a one-of-a-kind outdoor system to test swarming drones -- with a capacity of more than 1,500 times the volume of a typical testing facility. (2020-06-11)

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