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AI may mistake chess discussions as racist talk
'The Queen's Gambit,' the recent TV mini-series about a chess master, may have stirred increased interest in chess, but a word to the wise: social media talk about game-piece colors could lead to misunderstandings, at least for hate-speech detection software. (2021-02-18)

Oncotarget: Cancer stem cells and macrophages against cancer
The aim of this Oncotarget review is to define the complex crosstalk between these two cell types and to highlight potential future anti-cancer strategies (2021-02-15)

New treatment helps patients with a spinal cord injury
Spinal cord injuries disrupt the mechanism by which our bodies regulate blood pressure. A team of Swiss and Canadian scientists have developed a treatment that allows patients to regain control of their blood pressure, using targeted electrical spinal-cord stimulation. No medication is required. The team's findings were published today in Nature. (2021-01-28)

Glass frogs living near roaring waterfalls wave hello to attract mates
A University of California, Berkeley, conservationist has discovered that the glass frog Sachatamia orejuela can be added to the list of species that make use of visual cues in response to their acoustic environments. This is the first time a member of the glass frog family (Centrolenidae) has been observed using visual communication in this manner. (2021-01-15)

How to identify heat-stressed corals
Researchers have found a novel way to identify heat-stressed corals, which could help scientists pinpoint the coral species that need protection from warming ocean waters linked to climate change, according to a Rutgers-led study. (2021-01-04)

Model used to evaluate lockdowns was flawed
In a recent study, researchers from Imperial College London developed a model to assess the effect of different measures used to curb the spread of the coronavirus. However, the model had fundamental shortcomings and cannot be used to draw the published conclusions, claim Swedish researchers from Lund University, and other institutions, in the journal Nature. (2020-12-26)

Regulatory RNAs promote breast cancer metastasis
A gene-regulating snippet of RNA may contribute to the spread of many breast cancers. A molecule designed to destroy that RNA prevented metastases in animal models. The same strategy could be used to develop a new breast cancer drug. (2020-12-22)

Molecule holds promise to reprogram white blood cells for better cancer treatment
Cancer immunotherapy using ''designer'' immune cells has revolutionized cancer treatment. In this type of therapy, T cells, a type of white blood cell, are collected from a patient's blood and genetically engineered to produce T cells carrying a synthetic molecule termed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) that enables T cells to recognize and destroy cancer cells. Then these genetically modified CAR T cells are expanded and infused back to the patient. (2020-12-14)

Predicting British railway delays using artificial intelligence
Over the past 20 years, the number of passengers traveling on British train networks has almost doubled to 1.7 billion annually. With numbers like that it's clear that people rely on rail service in Great Britain, and how many disgruntled patrons there would be when delays occur. A recent study from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign used British Railway data and an artificial intelligence model to improve the ability to predict delays in railway networks. (2020-12-10)

Flightless bird species at risk of extinction
Bird species that have lost the ability to fly through evolution have become extinct more often than birds that have retained their ability to fly, according to new research from the University of Gothenburg. (2020-12-03)

Family pigs prefer their owner's company as dogs do, but they might not like strangers
Researchers compared how young companion dogs and companion pigs seek human proximity in a novel environment. It turned out that both dogs and pigs stay close to their owner if no other person is present; but if a stranger is also there, only dogs stay near humans, pigs prefer to stay away. The study reveals that living in a human family is not enough for early developing a general human preference in companion animals, species differences weigh in. (2020-11-30)

RIT students discover hidden 15th-century text on medieval manuscripts
Rochester Institute of Technology students discovered lost text on 15th-century manuscript leaves using an imaging system they developed as freshmen. By using ultraviolet-fluorescence imaging, the students revealed that a manuscript leaf held in RIT's Cary Graphic Arts Collection was actually a palimpsest, a manuscript on parchment with multiple layers of writing. (2020-11-19)

Personalized cancer vaccine clinical trial to expand following promising early results
A University of Arizona Health Sciences clinical trial to study safety and effectiveness of a personalized cancer vaccine combined with immunotherapy drug Pembrolizumab will expand after promising preliminary data was presented at the Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer's annual meeting. Researcher Julie E. Bauman, MD, MPH, reported data on the first 10 patients with head and neck cancer, seven of whom were treated at Banner - University Medicine, clinical partner for the UArizona Cancer Center. (2020-11-10)

How does the brain process fear?
CSHL Professor Bo Li's team explores the brain circuits that underlie fear. The researchers have mapped critical connections and teased out how specific components contribute to learning fear. They found a previously unknown link between fear learning and a movement control system. This research could lead to better treatments for people suffering from anxiety disorders. (2020-11-05)

Water striders learn from experience how to jump up safely from water surface
Water striders jump upwards from the water surface without breaking it. This study shows that they learn through personal experience, just like we do, to adjust leg movements to their body weight and to jump without breaking the water surface. Only females do that. A female water strider needs this skill to adjust locomotion to the change in her weight each time when a male rides on he back during mating. (2020-11-05)

Vitamin E from palm oil useful in boosting immune response based on studies on liver cells
Palm oil is an economical source of vitamin E, and several studies have shown the beneficial effects on the immune system, which include anti-oxidant and anti-cancer activity as well has cytoprotective actions. Researchers hope that these findings pave the way for easily available remedies for a variety of diseases. The current study is published in Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. (2020-11-03)

Excessive alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic
The full impact of COVID-19 on alcohol use is not yet known, but rates have been rising during the first few months of the pandemic. There's an urgent need for public health and medical responses to address harmful alcohol use. (2020-11-02)

Smart tablecloth can find fruit and help with watering the plants
This interactive fabric can identify items and find lost valuables. When an object or an object's status is determined, the fabric can trigger a desired action or prompt. (2020-10-30)

Kid influencers are promoting junk food brands on YouTube -- garnering more than a billion views
Kids with wildly popular YouTube channels are frequently promoting unhealthy food and drinks in their videos, warn researchers at NYU School of Global Public Health and NYU Grossman School of Medicine in a new study published in the journal Pediatrics. (2020-10-26)

New theory sheds light on how the environment influences human health
Researchers at Mount Sinai have proposed a groundbreaking new way to study the interaction between complex biological systems in the body and the environment. Their theory suggests the existence of 'biodynamic interfaces,' an intermediate entity between the two realms, as opposed to conventional approaches that analyze individual aspects of the interaction between the environment and humans in isolation, according to a paper published in BioEssays in October. (2020-10-20)

Underwater robots to autonomously dock mid-mission to recharge and transfer data
Robots exploring deep bodies of water can only go so far before needing to recharge and upload data. Purdue University engineers have designed a mobile docking station system that would help them go farther. (2020-10-06)

Europe: Modelling the evolution of a second wave of COVID-19
Two scientists from IP2I (CNRS/Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1), in collaboration with a researcher from the University of Southern Denmark and the University of Naples Federico II, have developed a new mathematical model inspired by high energy physics to predict the next waves of the Covid-19 pandemic. (2020-09-24)

New freshwater database tells water quality story for 12K lakes globally
Although less than one per cent of all water in the world is freshwater, it is what we drink and use for agriculture. In other words, it's vital to human survival. York University researchers have just created a publicly available water quality database for close to 12,000 freshwater lakes globally - almost half of the world's freshwater supply - that will help scientists monitor and manage the health of these lakes. (2020-09-22)

Perspective on employment rates after spinal cord injury - 30 years after the ADA
Thirty years after the passage of the ADA, planning for return to work is often a low priority during rehabilitation for spinal cord injury, The authors emphasize that vocational rehabilitation services, when delivered soon after injury and integrated into the medical rehabilitation plan, contribute to better employment outcomes. ''Implementing evidence-based practices during rehabilitation is an important step toward fulfilling the promises of the ADA for people with spinal cord injury,'' Dr. O'Neill concluded. (2020-09-22)

Evidence-based vocational rehab practices raise employment rates after spinal cord injury
Evidence-based practices that are raising post-injury employment rates include the individualized placement support model of supported employment, and vocational resource facilitation (VRF), according to Dr. John O'Neill at Kessler Foundation. He cited gains seen with the implementation of VRF for newly injured individuals in a Craig H. Neilsen Foundation funded project. ''Of the patients recruited during inpatient rehabilitation at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, 43% have returned to work, significantly exceeding national one-year post injury benchmarks ranging from 12% to 21%.'' (2020-09-18)

Gender harassment and institutional betrayal in high school take toll on mental health
High school students who endure gender harassment in schools that don't respond well enter college and adulthood with potential mental health challenges, according to a University of Oregon study. Researchers found that 97 percent of women and 96 percent of men from a pool of 535 undergraduate college students had endured at least one incident during high school. (2020-09-14)

RIT/NTID researchers study how deaf and hearing people watch sign language
A recent study has shown that readers' eye gaze behaviors are strong indicators of words that are unexpected, new, or difficult to understand. The study by Rain Bosworth, an assistant professor and researcher in the Center for Sensory, Perceptual, and Cognitive Ecology (SPaCE Center) at Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technical Institute for the Deaf, explores the unknown qualities of gaze behavior for 'sign watching' and how these are affected by a user's language expertise and intelligibility of the sign input. (2020-09-09)

Comparing the controllability of young hand-raised wolves and dogs
During domestication, dogs most probably have been selected for increased tractability. If so, then considerable differences should be found between domestic dogs and their closest wild relatives, wolves, in this trait. To reveal if such a difference exists, researchers at the Family Dog Project, Eötvös Loránd University assessed the development of tractability in hand-raised wolves and similarly raised, 3-24-week-old dogs. They found that despite intensive socialization, wolves remained less tractable than dogs. (2020-09-07)

German-Argentinean doctoral program bears first fruits
The Faculty of Biology at TU Dresden and the Faculty of Biochemistry and Biological Sciences at the Universidad Nacional del Litoral (UNL) in Santa Fe, Argentina have had a very special partnership for more than five years. A bi-national doctoral program not only enables doctoral students from both research institutions to spend a longer period of time abroad, but also offers a double degree in Biochemistry and Applied Biology. (2020-08-14)

Aquatic robots can remove contaminant particles from water
Scientists from WMG at the University of Warwick, led by Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, developed a 1cm by 1cm wireless artificial aquatic polyp, which can remove contaminants from water. Apart from cleaning, this soft robot could be also used in medical diagnostic devices by aiding in picking up and transporting specific cells for analysis. (2020-08-10)

Authors' 'invisible' words reveal blueprint for storytelling
The ''invisible'' words that shaped Dickens classics also lead audiences through Spielberg dramas. And according to new research, these small words can be found in a similar pattern across most storylines, no matter the length or format. (2020-08-07)

Origami microbots: Centuries-old artform guides cutting-edge advances in tiny machines
Origami principles can unlock the potential of the smallest robots, enhancing speed, agility and control in machines no more than a centimeter in size. (2020-07-30)

ENCODE3: Interpreting the human and mouse genomes
An international consortium of approximately 500 scientists, led in part by researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, reports on the completion of Phase 3 of the ENCODE project, providing a resource for scientists to understand how genetic variation shapes human health and disease. (2020-07-29)

Polycatenanes in mesoscale
An international research group led by Chiba University has succeeded in forming self-assembled molecule rings called ''polycatenanes'' without using additional molecular templates. The research group also succeeded in observing the polycatenanes, the longest structure reaching 500 nm, by using atomic force microscopy. This work, published in the journal Nature, is the first vital step in technological innovation for creating nanometer-sized topological structures and could potentially be applied to organic electronics and photonics, and other molecular machines. (2020-07-15)

Antarctica more widely impacted than previously thought
Researchers at Australia's Monash University, using a data set of 2.7 million human activity records, have shown just how extensive human use of Antarctica has been over the last 200 years. (2020-07-15)

How to map brain connections using DNA barcodes
Detailed wiring diagrams--connectomes--for the brain are critical for understanding brain development, function, and disease. CSHL scientists found a way to use a large set of short snippets of DNA to label neurons, increasing the number of paths that can be traced in a single experiment versus other brain mapping techniques. (2020-07-14)

How the body fights off urinary tract infections
Some people are better protected than others against urinary tract infections. This may be because their bodies produce more of a protein called uromodulin. An interdisciplinary research team has now found out exactly how this helper protein brings relief when nature calls and how this knowledge might benefit the treatment and prevention of these painful inflammations. (2020-07-02)

New system combines smartphone videos to create 4D visualizations
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have demonstrated that they can combine iPhone videos shot 'in the wild' by separate cameras to create 4D visualizations that allow viewers to watch action from various angles, or even erase people or objects that temporarily block sight lines. (2020-07-01)

Aboriginal artifacts reveal first ancient underwater cultural sites in Australia
The first underwater Aboriginal archaeological sites have been discovered off northwest Australia dating back thousands of years ago when the current seabed was dry land. Aboriginal artefacts discovered off the Plibara coast in Western Australia were discovered through a series of archaeological and geophysical surveys in the Dampier Archipelago, as part of the Deep History of Sea Country Project, funded through the Australian Research Council's Discovery Project Scheme. (2020-07-01)

Brain receptor pulls open electrical gate like a puppet master
NMDA receptors convert chemical messages into electrical signals within a neuron. The key to transmitting information is opening the receptor's built-in ion channel, a hollow pore that allows electrically-charged ions to flow. Hiro Furokawa's lab discovered that unlocking the receptor's ion channel is like working a stringed puppet - rock one part of the receptor and filaments pull open the channel's gate. Rock it a little differently, the filaments loosen, and the gate snaps shut. (2020-06-30)

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