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US childhood mortality rates have lagged behind other wealthy nations for the past 50 years

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 04:19 PM PST

In a new study of childhood mortality rates between 1961 and 2010 in the United States and 19 economically similar countries, researchers report that while there's been overall improvement among all the countries, the U.S. has been slowest to improve.

What species is most fit for life? All have an equal chance, scientists say

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 04:19 PM PST

There are more than 8 million species of living things on Earth, but none of them -- from 100-foot blue whales to microscopic bacteria -- has an advantage over the others in the universal struggle for existence.A trio of scientists report that regardless of vastly different body size, location and life history, most species are equally 'fit' in the struggle for existence.

New biomarkers predict outcome of cancer immunotherapy

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 01:32 PM PST

Researchers have identified biomarkers in the blood that make it possible to predict whether cancer patients will respond positively to immunotherapy. Patients for whom therapy does not work can thus be treated using different methods at an earlier stage.

Would you pay $20 a day to lease a luxury car?

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 01:31 PM PST

Frequent payments can make consumers feel better about the benefits they are receiving from their purchase. More frequent payments can help people appreciate recurring pleasures and increase the likelihood of purchasing. The findings has implications for merchants and nonprofits.

'Hide or get eaten,' urine chemicals tell mud crabs

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 01:12 PM PST

Pinpointing urine compounds for the first time that make mud crabs hide for their lives, if blue crabs pee nearby, opens new doors to understanding how chemicals invisibly regulate marine wildlife.

US rivers and streams are compromised by increasing salt loads

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 01:12 PM PST

Human activities are exposing US rivers and streams to a cocktail of salts, with consequences for infrastructure and drinking water supplies. So reports a new study that is the first to assess the combined, long-term changes in freshwater salinity and alkalization across the country.

Growing opioid epidemic forcing more children into foster care

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 01:12 PM PST

The opioid crisis is causing serious consequences across the country. One of the biggest, illicit opioid abusers are neglecting their children, resulting in more kids being removed from their homes. A new study finds a direct correlation between the epidemic and growing number of children placed in foster care.

Gene test to predict breast cancer recurrence less cost effective in real world practice

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 01:12 PM PST

The most commonly used gene expression profile test, Oncotype DX®, used to help predict breast cancer recurrence may not be as cost-effective as once thought, say a team of researchers.

Recreational marijuana legalization: Do more youth use or do youth use more?

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 01:12 PM PST

Recent results indicate that the effects of recreational marijuana legalization on Oregon teens' use depends on whether the teens were already using marijuana when legal sales began.

Activity monitors only effective when users set goals

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 11:40 AM PST

The activity monitors that many received as holiday gifts won't automatically make their recipients active or healthy, new research indicates. However, trackers can have a significant impact when users establish clearly defined objectives.

Water-based, eco-friendly and energy-saving air-conditioner

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 10:32 AM PST

A team of researchers has pioneered a new water-based air-conditioning system that cools air to as low as 18 degrees Celsius without the use of energy-intensive compressors and environmentally harmful chemical refrigerants.

Unusual plant immune response to bacterial infection characterized

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 10:02 AM PST

When you see brown spots on otherwise healthy green leaves, you may be witnessing a plant's immune response as it tries to keep a bacterial infection from spreading. Some plants are more resistant to such infections than others, and plant biologists want to understand why. Scientists studying a plant protein called SOBER1 recently discovered one mechanism by which, counterintuitively, plants seem to render themselves less resistant to infection.

Uncovering the power of glial cells

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 10:01 AM PST

Implanted devices send targeted electrical stimulation to the nervous system to interfere with abnormal brain activity, and it is commonly assumed that neurons are the only important brain cells that need to be stimulated by these devices. However, new research reveals that it may also be important to target the supportive glial cells surrounding the neurons.

Nanoscale virus modified to deliver peptide drugs to cells, tissues

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 10:01 AM PST

Bioengineers have developed programmable adeno-associated viruses that may be used to deliver peptide drugs.

Surprising result shocks scientists studying spin

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:16 AM PST

Scientists analyzing results of spinning protons striking different sized atomic nuclei at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) found an odd directional preference in the production of neutrons that switches sides as the size of the nuclei increases. The results offer new insight into the mechanisms affecting particle production in these collisions.

Beta blockers may boost immunotherapy, help melanoma patients live longer

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:16 AM PST

Melanoma patients who took a specific type of beta blocker while receiving immunotherapy lived longer than patients who received immunotherapy alone, according to researchers.

A so-called 'muscle' cancer is not really a muscle cancer

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:16 AM PST

Oncologists have discovered the cell type that gives rise to rhabdomyosarcoma, the most prevalent soft tissue cancer in children. Previously, scientists thought the cancer arose from immature muscle cells, because the tumor resembled muscle under the microscope. However, the researchers discovered the cancer arises from immature progenitors that would normally develop into cells lining blood vessels.

Improved blood stabilization should expand use of circulating tumor cell profiling

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:16 AM PST

A new blood stabilization method significantly prolongs the lifespan of blood samples for microfluidic sorting and transcriptome profiling of rare circulating tumor cells, living cancer cells carried in the bloodstream.

Amazon biodiversity hotspot to suffer even more losses after contentious law passed

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:16 AM PST

In August 2017, the Bolivian government passed a contentious law that paved the way for construction of a new 190-mile road cutting through one of the country's most iconic and biodiverse protected rainforests. But a new report shows that the Isiboro-S├ęcure National Park and Indigenous Territory (or TIPNIS) has been subject to alarming levels of deforestation within its borders for many years, a reality that is too often overlooked.

Swallowable sensors reveal mysteries of human gut health

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:16 AM PST

Findings from the first human trials of a breakthrough gas-sensing swallowable capsule could revolutionize the way that gut disorders and diseases are prevented and diagnosed.

New catalyst for making fuels from shale gas

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:16 AM PST

Methane in shale gas can be turned into hydrocarbon fuels using an innovative platinum and copper alloy catalyst, according to new research.

Strong El Niño events cause large changes in Antarctic ice shelves

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:16 AM PST

A new study reveals that strong El Nino events can cause significant ice loss in some Antarctic ice shelves while the opposite may occur during strong La Nina events.

Brain-cell 'antenna' may be key to understanding obesity

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:16 AM PST

Researchers have discovered that the brain's ability to regulate body weight depends on a novel form of signaling in the brain's 'hunger circuit' via antenna-like structures on neurons called primary cilia.

New approach can save up to 95 percent of energy used for pipelines

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:16 AM PST

Until now it had been assumed that, once a flow of a fluid has become turbulent, turbulence would persist. Researchers have now shown that this is not the case. In their experiments they managed to destabilize turbulence so that the flow turned to a laminar state, and they observed that the flow remained laminar thereafter. Eliminating turbulence can save as much as 95 percent of the energy required to pump a fluid through a pipe.

Interactions between simple molecular mechanisms give rise to complex infection dynamics

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:16 AM PST

Bacteria can themselves be infected -- by viruses. Not all viruses are harmful to bacteria and some can even benefit them. Can bacteria tell good and bad viruses apart? Scientists now studied how infections with potentially beneficial viruses play out in bacteria that carry a certain type of anti-viral immune mechanism called restriction-modification. They show that population-level interactions between viruses and bacteria influence how the infection proceeds.

Throwing molecular wrench into gene control machine leads to 'melting away' of leukemia

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:16 AM PST

Researchers have figured out a way to prevent MYB, one of the most potent cancer-aiding proteins, from activating genes in AML, an aggressive form of leukemia. Tested in mice, the new method resulted in dramatic cancer reduction and no harm to healthy cells. This could lead to a new therapy for AML and possibly other cancers.

Severe obesity linked to newly identified gene mutations

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:15 AM PST

Researchers have discovered mutations in a gene related to obesity, offering new treatment possibilities in the fight against the global epidemic.

Cellular traffic jam seen in ALS/FTD -- Supports drug strategy

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:15 AM PST

A cellular traffic jam appears to affect neurons in most forms of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), researchers have shown. The findings suggest that a drug strategy aimed at easing the traffic jam may be generalizable to sporadic and at least some familial types of ALS and FTD (frontotemporal dementia).

Feel anxious? Have trouble sleeping? You may be traveling for business too often

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:15 AM PST

People who travel for business two weeks or more a month report more symptoms of anxiety and depression and are more likely to smoke, be sedentary and report trouble sleeping than those who travel one to six nights a month.  Among those who consume alcohol, extensive business travel is associated with symptoms of alcohol dependence.  Poor behavioral and mental health outcomes significantly increased as the number of nights away from home for business travel rose. 

Methane hydrate dissociation off Spitsbergen not caused by climate change

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:15 AM PST

For years, methane emissions from the seabed have been observed in the Arctic Ocean off Spitsbergen. The assumption that the warming of seawater by climate change is responsible for the release of methane, has not been confirmed. Research shows that post-glacial uplift is the most likely cause of methane hydrate break-down.

Agricultural fungicide attracts honey bees

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:10 AM PST

When given the choice, honey bee foragers prefer to collect sugar syrup laced with the fungicide chlorothalonil over sugar syrup alone, researchers report.

Many Midwestern retailers sell mislabeled invasive vines

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 09:10 AM PST

Gardeners hoping to celebrate the beauty of American bittersweet -- a native vine that produces orange berries in the fall and is used for wreaths -- may be unwittingly buying an invasive bittersweet instead. That's because many Midwestern retailers are selling oriental bittersweet with labels misidentifying it as the native plant, researchers report. These sales are occurring in stores and online.

DNA evidence used to protect the rhinoceros from extinction

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 07:59 AM PST

A new study shows that genetic database now being used in the fight against poaching the rhinoceros.

New long-acting, less-toxic HIV drug suppresses virus in humanized mice

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 07:59 AM PST

A team of researchers tested a new chemical compound that suppresses HIV, protects immune cells, and remains effective for weeks with a single dose. In animal experiments, the compound proved to be a promising new candidate to enhance current HIV treatment regimens -- without increasing toxic side effects, the researchers said.

Conception during IUD use increases risks to mother and infant

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 07:58 AM PST

Women who conceive while using an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD) have a greater risk of preterm delivery, low birth weight babies, bacterial infections, or losing a fetus, according to researchers.

Novel PET tracer clearly identifies and tracks bacterial infection in lungs

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 07:58 AM PST

Researchers have demonstrated that a new radiotracer, 2-18F-fluorodeoxysorbitol (18F-FDS), can identify and track bacterial infection in lungs better than current imaging methods and is able to differentiate bacterial infection from inflammation.

A biological solution to carbon capture and recycling?

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 07:13 AM PST

Scientists have discovered that E. coli bacteria could hold the key to an efficient method of capturing and storing or recycling carbon dioxide. They have developed a process that enables the E. coli bacterium to act as a very efficient carbon capture device.

How bacteria turbocharged their motors

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 07:13 AM PST

Using detailed 3-D images, researchers have shown how bacteria have evolved molecular motors of different powers to optimize their swimming.

Pan-European sampling campaign sheds light on the massive diversity of freshwater plankton

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 07:13 AM PST

In a major pan-European study, biologists have successfully extracted environmental DNA from as many as 218 lakes to refute a long-year belief that vital microorganisms do not differ significantly between freshwater bodies and geographic regions the way plants and animals do. Their new-age approach to biodiversity studies resulted in the largest freshwater dataset.

How gardeners can dig for health, not injury

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 07:13 AM PST

New research reveals that a bad digging technique can as much as double the load on the joints in the body, leaving people susceptible to chronic injuries.

Using AI technology to chart immune cell receptor

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 07:13 AM PST

Scientists have used a form of artificial intelligence to create a map that compares types of cellular receptors, the chemical "antennas" on the surface of immune system T-cells. Their experiments with lab-grown mouse and human T-cells suggest that people with cancer who have a greater variety of such receptors may respond better to immunotherapy drugs and vaccines.

Monthly brain cycles predict seizures in patients with epilepsy

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 07:13 AM PST

Neurologists have discovered monthly cycles of brain activity linked to seizures in patients with epilepsy. The finding suggests it may soon be possible for clinicians to identify when patients are at highest risk for seizures, allowing patients to plan around these brief but potentially dangerous events.

Scientists discover molecule that could reverse cellular aging

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 07:13 AM PST

Researchers have found that manipulating a single RNA molecule may be enough to reverse cellular aging.

Survival strategy of messenger RNAs during cellular sugar shortage

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 07:13 AM PST

If a cell runs low on sugar, it stores certain messenger RNAs in order to prolong its life. As a research group has now discovered, the protein Puf5p determines whether individual messenger RNAs will be stored or degraded when sugar levels are low. The study shows that Puf5p therefore sends the messenger RNAs to a cell organelle where their fate is sealed.

Camelina oil improves blood lipid profile

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 07:13 AM PST

The use of camelina oil reduces overall and LDL cholesterol levels in persons with impaired glucose metabolism, according to a new study.

Higher stress among minority and low-income populations can lead to health disparities, says report

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 07:13 AM PST

People with low incomes and racial/ethnic minority populations experience greater levels of stress than their more affluent, white counterparts, which can lead to significant disparities in both mental and physical health that ultimately affect life expectancy, according to a new report.

Yeast may be the solution to toxic waste clean-up

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 06:37 AM PST

About 46,000 nuclear weapons were produced during the Cold War era, leading to tremendous volumes of acidic radioactive liquid waste seeping into the environment. A new study suggests yeast as a potentially safer and more cost effective way to help clean up these radioactive waste sites.

Repeated influenza vaccination helps prevent severe flu in older adults

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 06:02 AM PST

Repeated vaccination for influenza in older adults reduced the severity of the virus and reduced hospital admissions, found new research.

Teens show decreased risk for heart disease later in life after bariatric surgery

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 06:02 AM PST

Adolescents with severe obesity who had bariatric surgery showed significant improvements in cardiovascular disease risk factors, according to this study. Prior to bariatric surgery, 33 percent of the study participants had three or more defined cardiovascular disease risk factors. However, three years post-surgery only 5 percent of study participants had three or more risk factors; representing significant reduction in the overall likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease later in life.

Efforts to track food intake on smartphone app impacted by day of week but not season of year

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 06:02 AM PST

Dietary self-monitoring is a key component of successful behavioral weight loss interventions and is essential for facilitating other behavior change techniques (eg, setting goals, providing behavioral feedback). A new study found that the amount of time in a study and day of the week were associated with dietary self-monitoring.

Large increase in non-powder gun-related eye injuries

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 06:02 AM PST

A study investigated sports- and recreation-related eye injuries during a 23-year period and found a slight decrease in eye injuries overall; however, the rate of eye injury associated with non-powder guns (including BB, pellet and paintball guns) increased by almost 170 percent.

Vision, sensory and motor testing could predict best batters in baseball

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 06:02 AM PST

Researchers found players with higher scores on computer-based vision and motor tasks had better on-base percentages, more walks and fewer strikeouts -- collectively referred to as plate discipline -- compared to their peers.

A botanical mystery solved by phylogenetic testing

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 06:02 AM PST

Researchers used DNA testing to rediscover Dracaena umbraculifera, which was thought to be extinct.

Depression in black adolescents requires different treatment

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 06:02 AM PST

Black adolescents express depressive symptoms differently than people from other age and racial groups, requiring that clinicians take this into account when developing treatment plans.

Multi-gene test predicts early heart disease risk

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 06:01 AM PST

A risk score based on multiple genetic differences, or polygenic test, predicted significantly more cases of early heart disease than standard tests for single genetic defects. The polygenic test predicted a high risk for early-onset heart disease in 1 out of 53 individuals, compared to 1 in 256 for the most frequent single genetic defect.

Proper exercise can reverse damage from heart aging

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 06:01 AM PST

Exercise can reverse damage to sedentary, aging hearts and help prevent risk of future heart failure -- if it's enough exercise, and if it's begun in time, according to a new study by cardiologists.

Female night shift workers may have increased risk of common cancers

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 06:01 AM PST

Night shift work was associated with women having an increased risk of breast, skin, and gastrointestinal cancer, according to a meta-analysis.

Chemists discover plausible recipe for early life on Earth

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 06:01 AM PST

Chemists find key chemical reactions that support life today could have been carried out with ingredients likely present on the planet four billion years ago.

Genome size affects whether plants become invasive

Posted: 07 Jan 2018 02:25 PM PST

Scientist studying the invasive plant Phragmites have found evidence to suggest that the most significant factor in determining whether a plant will become invasive is the size of its genome.