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At least 3 out of 5 people who try a cigarette become daily smokers

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 06:49 PM PST

At least 61 percent of people who try their first cigarette become, at least temporarily, daily smokers, suggests an analysis of survey data.

Illnesses caused by recreation on the water costs $2.9 billion annually in the US

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 06:49 PM PST

Swimming, paddling, boating and fishing account for more than 90 million cases of gastrointestinal, respiratory, ear, eye and skin-related illnesses per year in the US with an estimated annual cost of $2.9 billion, according to a new report.

MERS antibodies produced in cattle safe, treatment well tolerated in phase 1 trial

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 03:51 PM PST

An experimental treatment developed from cattle plasma for Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus infection shows broad potential, according to a small clinical trial. The treatment, SAB-301, was safe and well tolerated by healthy volunteers, with only minor reactions documented.

New discovery could improve brain-like memory and computing

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 03:50 PM PST

From various magnetic tapes, floppy disks and computer hard disk drives, magnetic materials have been storing our electronic information along with our valuable knowledge and memories for well over half of a century.

3-D imaging of fat reveals potential targets for new obesity treatments

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 03:50 PM PST

With new imaging methods, scientists hope to make significant progress in the fight against obesity. A new report reveals striking images of neural projections within fat tissue, and clues for the development of new drugs.

Parasites and hosts may respond differently to a warmer world

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 03:49 PM PST

Organisms infected by parasites may respond differently to changes in temperature than their uninfected counterparts, according to new research.

General anesthetics do more than put you to sleep

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 12:34 PM PST

A new understanding of the complex ways in which general anesthetics act on the brain could eventually lead to improved drugs for surgery. It remains unclear how general anesthesia works, even though it is one of the most common medical procedures worldwide. University of Queensland researcher, Associate Professor Bruno van Swinderen, said his team had overturned previous understanding of what general anaesthetics do to the brain, finding the drugs did much more than induce sleep.

New drug capsule may allow weekly HIV treatment

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 12:34 PM PST

Researchers have developed a capsule that can deliver a week's worth of HIV drugs in a single dose. This advance could make it much easier for patients to adhere to the strict schedule of dosing required for the drug cocktails used to fight the virus, the researchers say.

Climate change drives collapse in marine food webs

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 12:09 PM PST

A new study has found that levels of commercial fish stocks could be harmed as rising sea temperatures affect their source of food.

For city kids with asthma, telemedicine and in-school care cut ER visits in half

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 12:09 PM PST

Urban children with asthma who received a combination of telemedicine support and school-based medication therapy were less than half as likely to need an emergency room or hospital visit for their asthma.

Planets around other stars are like peas in a pod

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 11:19 AM PST

A study of 909 planets and 355 stars reveals that, unlike our solar system, other planetary systems are distinguished by strict regularity.

Black hole research could aid understanding of how small galaxies evolve

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 11:19 AM PST

Scientists have solved a cosmic mystery by finding evidence that supermassive black holes prevent stars forming in some smaller galaxies.

Dual migration created genetic 'melting pot' of the first Scandinavians

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 11:18 AM PST

New genomic data suggest that the first human settlers on the Scandinavian peninsula followed two distinct migration routes. The study also indicates that the resulting mixed population genetically adapted to the extreme environmental conditions.

Deep sea creatures provide a guiding light in the quest to develop cancer therapies

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 10:27 AM PST

Scientists use enzymes responsible for marine animal bioluminescence to help researchers test whether cancer immunotherapies work.

World's smallest wearable device measures UV exposure

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 09:53 AM PST

Researchers have developed the smallest wearable device in the world. The wafer-thin, feather-light sensor can fit on a fingernail and precisely measures a person's exposure to UV light from the sun.

Proteomics analyses could present new opportunities to diagnose and treat dementias

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 09:52 AM PST

One of the most intriguing properties of the brain is its means to undergo synaptic plasticity which represents the basis for learning and memory, abilities that severely decline in the case of a dementia. New research suggests that particular proteins important in the communication between neurons could be targets for early interventions in patients with different types of dementias.

New stem cell method sheds light on a tell-tale sign of heart disease

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 09:49 AM PST

While refining ways to grow arterial endothelial cells in the lab, a regenerative biology team unexpectedly unearthed a powerful new model for studying a hallmark of vascular disease.

Targeting breast cancer through precision medicine

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 09:49 AM PST

Researchers have discovered a mechanism that may make cancer cells more susceptible to treatment. The research team found that the protein RYBP prevents DNA repair in cancer cells, including breast cancer.

Heart health at risk for Latinas over worries about deportation

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 09:49 AM PST

A recent study has found that worry about deportations was associated with multiple cardiovascular health risk factors in Latinas from California's Salinas Valley, an area with a large immigrant community.

Grocery store program improves farmers' adoption of environmental practices

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 09:49 AM PST

In one of the first analyses of a company-led sustainability program in the food and agriculture space, researchers found a major grocery chain fostered increased adoption of environmental practices at the farm level.

Spotty coverage: Climate models underestimate cooling effect of daily cloud cycle

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 09:49 AM PST

Researchers have found that the climate models scientists use to project future conditions on our planet underestimate the cooling effect that clouds have on a daily basis, which results in warmer, drier conditions than might actually occur. The researchers found that inaccuracies in accounting for the daily cloud cycle did not seem to invalidate climate projections, but did increase the margin of error for understanding how climate change will affect us.

Mass extinctions remove species but not ecological variety

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 09:49 AM PST

Though mass extinctions wiped out staggeringly high numbers of species, they barely touched the overall 'functional' diversity -- how each species makes a living, be it filtering phytoplankton or eating small crustaceans, burrowing or clamping onto rocks.

New skin barrier product reduces costs for ostomy care

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 09:49 AM PST

Ostomy patients using a new type of skin barrier product -- infused with ceramides that play an essential role in the normal barrier function of the skin--experience lower costs of care, according to a randomized trial.

Most patients with unknown spinal cord disease later given specific diagnosis, study shows

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 09:46 AM PST

A study found that most patients with suspected spinal cord inflammation of unknown cause have an alternative, specific diagnosis.

Deadly disinfection in ant colonies

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 08:32 AM PST

Ants kill colony mates infected with deadly diseases when they are unable to prevent them from falling sick in the first place. In doing so, the ants protect their colony from the outbreak of an epidemic.

Noise from oil and gas operations stresses birds, hinders reproduction

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 08:24 AM PST

Birds exposed to constant noise from oil and gas operations show physiological signs of chronic stress, have chicks whose growth is stunted, and -- in some cases -- lay fewer eggs that hatch, according to a new study.

Extra-terrestrial Hypatia stone rattles solar system status quo

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 08:24 AM PST

Analyses on a small pebble found in south-west Egypt cast significant questions on a widely-held view about the primitive pre-solar dust cloud which our Sun, Earth and other planets were formed from. Researchers found exotic micro-mineral compounds in the 'Hypatia' stone that are not known to occur on Earth, elsewhere in our solar system, or in known meteorites or comets.

Cancer targeted with reusable 'stinging nettle' treatment

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 08:24 AM PST

Cancer cells can be destroyed more effectively and selectively with a unique new reusable treatment, activated with a substance found in stinging nettles and ants.

Cluster of resistant tuberculosis pathogen discovered

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 08:24 AM PST

Between February and November 2016, researchers discovered a multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis in eight refugees arriving in Europe from the Horn of Africa. The analyses provided an impulse for launching a transnational investigation and developing a pan-European alerting system.

How quickly can children learn routes?

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 08:24 AM PST

New research suggests that children as young as eight can learn a route after only a single experience of it.

Potentially life-saving health monitor technology

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 08:24 AM PST

Sick babies in remote parts of the world could be monitored from afar thanks to new wearable technology. And parents at home, concerned about the risk of cot death, could keep track of their new babies' heart and breathing rates with automatic updates to their smart phones, using 'fitness tracker'-style technology built into baby sleep suits.

Jeans made with child labor? People choose willful ignorance

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 08:24 AM PST

Many consumers have found a way to cope with the knowledge that products they like have been made unethically: They simply forget they ever knew it.

Smoke from wildfires can tip air quality to unhealthy levels

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 08:24 AM PST

Smoke plumes emanating from wildfires are swept high up into the air and spread over thousands of kilometers even days after a fire has been put out. The fine particles and harmful ozone contained in these plumes often have devastating effects on the air quality of US cities and consequently the health of their inhabitants.

Dead trees are alive with fungi

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 08:24 AM PST

So far, little research has been conducted on fungi that live on dead trees, although they are vital to the forest ecology by breaking down dead wood and completing the element cycle between plants and soil. Soil biologists have now discovered that the number of fungus species inhabiting dead trees is 12 times higher than previously thought. Once trees die they are also colonized by different fungal communities depending on their species.

Women survive crises better than men

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 07:59 AM PST

Women today tend to live longer than men almost everywhere worldwide -- in some countries by more than a decade. Now, three centuries of historical records show that women don't just outlive men in normal times: They're also more likely to survive even in the worst of circumstances, such as famines and epidemics.

How do we taste sugar, bacon and coffee? Science finds a surprising answer

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 07:47 AM PST

Until now, many scientists believed that a single protein -- TRPM5 -- acted as a gatekeeper for tasting sweet, bitter and savory foods. Remove TRPM5 from a person's taste cells, and they would no longer be able to identify sweet, bitter or savory (also called umami) foods. A new study challenges this thinking.

One-step production of aromatic polyesters by E. coli strains

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 07:47 AM PST

Systems metabolic engineers defined a novel strategy for microbial aromatic polyesters production fused with synthetic biology from renewable biomass. The team produced aromatic polyesters from Escherichia coli (E. coli) strains by applying microbial fermentation, employing direct microbial fermentation from renewable feedstock carbohydrates.

In urban streams, pharmaceutical pollution is driving microbial resistance

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 07:47 AM PST

In urban streams, persistent pharmaceutical pollution can cause aquatic microbial communities to become resistant to drugs.

Engineers grow functioning human muscle from skin cells

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 07:47 AM PST

Engineers have grown the first functioning human muscle from non-muscle cells -- skin cells reverted to their primordial stem cell state. The ability to start from cellular scratch using non-muscle tissue will allow scientists to grow far more muscle cells, provide an easier path to genome editing and cellular therapies, and develop individually tailored models of rare muscle diseases for drug discovery and basic biology studies.

Moms of obese children use different words to restrict eating

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 07:28 AM PST

Mothers of children with obesity may be more likely to use direct statements to restrict a child's eating.

Rapid authentication method of Chinese medicines

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 07:28 AM PST

Scientists have developed a new method for rapid authentication of Chinese herbal medicines, including Ganoderma (known as Lingzhi in Chinese), and Gastrodiae Rhizoma (known as Tianma in Chinese).

Uneasiness in observers of unnatural android movements explained

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 07:28 AM PST

When the human-likeness of androids exceeds a certain threshold, the human's affinity for them decreases and an uncanny feeling about them increases. This effect, however, has been relatively unexplored. Osaka University-centered researchers recently found the visual observation of the android, compared with that of the human model, caused greater activation in the subthalamic nucleus, a brain region also involved in the pathology of Parkinson's disease. The findings further contribute to the knowledge needed to design androids with more natural movements.

Sun, wind, and power trading

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 07:28 AM PST

The use of renewables like the sun and wind can cause fluctuations in power grids. But what impact do these fluctuations have on security of supply? To answer this question, scientists analyzed different types of fluctuations in several power grids in Europe, Japan, and the USA -- and came to surprising conclusions.

Genetic alteration can cause obesity among Greenlanders

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 07:28 AM PST

Four per cent of the Greenlandic population are, due to a specific genetic alteration, in the risk of developing obesity and diabetes, a new study concludes. The gene represent a possible treatment target, the researchers argue.

How good bacteria control your genes

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 07:27 AM PST

Scientists have discovered a way that bacteria in the gut can control genes in our cells. Their work shows that chemical messages from bacteria can alter chemical markers throughout the human genome. The signal chemicals are made when bacteria digest fruits and vegetables. By communicating in this way, the bacteria may help to fight infections and to prevent cancer.

The bright side of an infectious protein

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 07:27 AM PST

Prions are self-propagating protein aggregates that can be transmitted between cells. The aggregates are associated with human diseases. Indeed, pathological prions cause mad cow disease and in humans Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The aggregation of prion-like proteins is also associated with neurodegeneration as in ALS.

Hereditary facial features could be strongly influenced by a single gene variant

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 07:27 AM PST

Do you have your grandmother's eyes? Or your father's nose? A new study has uncovered variations in singular genes that have a large impact on human facial features, paving the way to understanding what determines the facial characteristics passed on from generation to generation.

Evolution of Alpine landscape recorded by sedimentary rocks

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 06:18 AM PST

Rock avalanches and torrents started to form V-shaped valleys in the Swiss Alps approximately 25 million years ago. This landscape contrasts to the flat and hilly scenery, which characterized the Alps a few millions of years before. Geologists applied digital technologies to unravel these changes in landscape evolution. They analyzed 30 to 25 million-year old lithified rivers in Central Switzerland and came out with a detailed picture of how the Alps evolved within a short time interval.

Prolonged periods of sedentary time strongly associated with amount of fat around internal organs

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 06:18 AM PST

Researchers have found new evidence to suggest that longer periods of sedentary time (defined as any sitting/reclining activity with low energy expenditure) are more strongly associated with the amount of fat deposited around internal organs.

A water-based, rechargeable battery

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 06:17 AM PST

In the quest to find safe, low-cost batteries for the future, eventually we have to ask ourselves a question: Why not simply use water as an electrolyte? Water is cheap, in abundant supply, doesn't burn and can conduct ions. But it has one major drawback: It is only chemically stable up to a voltage of 1.23 volts. In other words, a water cell provides three times less voltage than a customary lithium ion cell with 3.7 volts, which makes it poorly suited for applications in an electric car. A cost-effective, water-based battery, however, could be extremely interesting for stationary electricity storage applications.

Alzheimer’s drug turns back clock in powerhouse of cell

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 06:09 AM PST

The experimental drug J147 is something of a modern elixir of life; it's been shown to treat Alzheimer's disease and reverse aging in mice and is almost ready for clinical trials in humans. Now scientists have solved the puzzle of what, exactly, J147 does. They report that the drug binds to a protein found in mitochondria, the energy-generating powerhouses of cells. In turn, they showed, it makes aging cells, mice and flies appear more youthful.

Study finds source of toxic green algal blooms and the results stink

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 06:02 AM PST

Florida's St. Lucie Estuary received national attention in 2016 as toxic green algal blooms wreaked havoc on this vital ecosystem. A new study contradicts the widespread misconception that periodic discharges from Lake Okeechobee were responsible. Water samples gathered and tested in the year-long study provide multiple lines of evidence that human wastewater nitrogen from septic systems was a major contributor to the high nitrogen concentrations in the estuary and downstream coastal reefs.

Scientists find heightened attention to surprise in veterans with PTSD

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 06:02 AM PST

Scientists have found that people with PTSD have an increased learning response to surprising events. While most everyone reacts to surprise, people with PTSD tend to pay even more attention to the unexpected.

Lake Michigan waterfowl botulism deaths linked to warm waters, algae

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 06:02 AM PST

Volunteers tracked bird deaths along Lake Michigan from 2010 to 2013 to discover what conditions lead to large die-offs. The researchers found that warm waters and algae -- both of which have become more frequent over the years -- tended to precede bird deaths, likely because they promoted the growth of botulism toxin-producing bacteria.

Identical twins can share more than identical genes: Molecular similarity

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 06:02 AM PST

Independent of their identical genes, identical twins share an additional level of molecular similarity that influences their biological characteristics.

Closing roads counters effects of habitat loss for grizzly bears

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 06:02 AM PST

It's simple math, says a scientist. The closer grizzly bears are to humans, the more ways there are for the bears to die. Put more simply, more roads equal fewer grizzly bears.

Place of residence linked to heart failure risk

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 06:02 AM PST

According to new research, almost 5 percent of heart failure risk was connected to neighborhood factors.