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WHO strategy to eradicate yaws should be revised to achieve elimination

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 08:13 PM PST

First evidence of antibiotic resistance in yaws bacteria highlights need for robust vigilance and improved laboratory surveillance.

Tracking oxygen saturation, plus vital signs, to identify vulnerable preemies

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 08:11 PM PST

While near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) long has been used to monitor oxygenation in conditions in which blood flow is altered, such as bleeding in the brain, how NIRS values relate to other vital sign measures in NICU babies was unknown.

Self-sealing miniature 'wound' created by engineers

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 01:40 PM PST

Biomedical engineers have developed a miniature self-sealing model system for studying bleeding and the clotting of wounds. The researchers envision the device as a drug discovery platform and potential diagnostic tool.

New research reveals plant wonderland inside China's caves

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 12:18 PM PST

Over five years (2009-2014) researchers have delved into the depths of some of China's most unexplored and unknown caves in the largest ever study on cave floras. Surveying over 60 caves in the Guangxi, Guizhou and Yunnan regions, they were able to assess the vascular plant diversity of cave flora in more detail than ever before.

Sweet route to greater yields

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 12:18 PM PST

Three years ago, biotechnologists demonstrated in field trials that they could increase the productivity of maize by introducing a rice gene into the plant that regulated the accumulation of sucrose in kernels and led to more kernels per maize plant. They have now unravelled the intimate details of the relationships governing the increased productivity and hope to transfer the biotechnology to other cereals, such as wheat and rice.

Who's your daddy? Good news for threatened sea turtles

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 12:18 PM PST

A groundbreaking study of sea turtle nests and hatchlings using paternity tests to uncover 'who are your daddies?' is the first to document multiple paternity in loggerhead sea turtle nests in southwest Florida. What started out as a study on female sea turtle promiscuity is proving to be very good news for this female-biased species facing rising risks of extinction due to climate change.

Super wood could replace steel

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 12:18 PM PST

Engineers have found a way to make wood more than 10 times stronger and tougher than before, creating a natural substance that is stronger than many titanium alloys.

Got a coastal bridge to retrofit? There's an optimal approach for that

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 11:04 AM PST

Life-cycle engineers incorporate -- for the first time -- the three most common failure modes for bridges vulnerable to floods, hurricanes and tsunamis into a risk assessment framework to optimize retrofitting strategies.

Pheromone from insect that transmits citrus greening (HLB) identified

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 11:04 AM PST

A new discovery makes it possible to synthesize the substance and use it in traps to attract and kill Asian citrus psyllid, helping control worst pest faced by citrus industry - in Florida alone, orange production has decreased in the order of 90 million boxes in the last 15 years.

Robotic fish can 'see' and mimic live fish

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 11:04 AM PST

Researchers tapped advances in real-time tracking software and robotics to design and test the first closed-loop control system featuring a bioinspired robotic replica interacting in three dimensions with live zebrafish. The system allows the robotic replica to both 'see' and mimic the behavior of live zebrafish in real time. Robots previously have been deployed alongside live animals to better understand animal behavior but the encounters were unidirectional.

Helping authorities respond more quickly to airborne radiological threats

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 11:04 AM PST

A new technique uses existing technologies to detect potential airborne radiological materials in hours instead of days.

Autism genetics study calls attention to motor skills, general cognitive impairment

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 11:04 AM PST

A new study of the genetic factors involved in the causation of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) draws fresh attention to the impact these illnesses have on motor skills, and more broadly on cognitive function. Careful inference from the data suggests to researchers that the genetic factors causing ASD broadly diminish the brain's cognitive functions.

Printable, colorful camouflage with polymers

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 11:04 AM PST

In nature, colors can serve as a form of communication, but they can also hide animals and plants, camouflaging them from sight. Researchers now report that they have developed polymers that can better mimic nature's color-changing abilities than existing polymers. They say the materials could enable smart decorations, camouflage textiles and improved anti-counterfeiting measures.

New fuel standards will decrease childhood asthma cases

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 11:04 AM PST

A new study quantifies health benefits of new a standard for shipping fuel, finding it will result in a 3.6 percent reduction of childhood asthma globally.

Two-step process to thwart cancer cells

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 11:04 AM PST

Scientists have found a new way to kill liver cancer cells and inhibit tumor growth. This research could accelerate the development of new treatments for liver cancer, which is currently difficult to cure.

A genetic trigger adds branches to plants, could boost crop yields

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 11:04 AM PST

When it comes to agriculture from branched plants, such as apple trees, the more branches that bear fruit, the better. But in the real world, there's a limit to the number of branches that plants make -- a gene tends to put the brakes on this splitting process called shoot branching. Today researchers reveal a chemical that can reverse this limitation, possibly leading to improved crop production.

Intense laser experiments provide first evidence that light can stop electrons

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 11:04 AM PST

By hitting electrons with an ultra-intense laser, researchers have revealed dynamics that go beyond 'classical' physics and hint at quantum effects. This radiation reaction -- demonstrated in the lab for the first time -- is thought to occur around objects such as black holes and quasars.

Large-group living boosts magpie intelligence

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 11:04 AM PST

Growing up in a large social group makes Australian magpies more intelligent, new research shows.

Scientists crack structure of enzyme complex linked to cancer

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 11:04 AM PST

A research team has solved the crystal structure for an enzyme that plays a key role in DNA methylation, the process by which methyl groups are added to the DNA molecule. The breakthrough reveals how the enzyme recognizes and methylates its substrates. In humans, errors in methylation have been associated with various diseases, including cancer. DNA methylation also critically influences plant and animal development.

Diet may influence the spread of a deadly type of breast cancer, study finds

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 11:04 AM PST

A single protein building block commonly found in food may hold a key to preventing the spread of an often-deadly type of breast cancer, according to a new multicenter study. Investigators found that by limiting an amino acid called asparagine in laboratory mice with triple-negative breast cancer, they could dramatically reduce the ability of the cancer to travel to distant sites in the body. Among other techniques, the team used dietary restrictions to limit asparagine.

Towards a better prediction of solar eruptions

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 11:03 AM PST

Just one phenomenon may underlie all solar eruptions. Researchers have identified the presence of a confining 'cage' in which a magnetic rope forms, causing solar eruptions. It is the resistance of this cage to the attack of the rope that determines the power and type of the upcoming flare. This work has enabled the scientists to develop a model capable of predicting the maximum energy that can be released during a solar flare.

Multiple chronic diseases leave patients with adversely high costs

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 11:03 AM PST

Current strategies for treating patients with several chronic diseases are putting an unnecessary financial burden on countries' health systems and individuals, a global study has found. Experts say that the current clinical practice of tackling each disease in isolation may lead to the prescription of unnecessary medicines, resulting in patient expenses that are disproportionate to the number of conditions they have.

Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 11:03 AM PST

Removing fossil fuel subsidies would have only a small effect on CO2 emissions and renewable energy use, new research has shown. The largest emissions savings would be in oil and gas exporting countries, where fewer poor people would be affected, and subsidy removal can be aided by currently low oil prices.

How the immune system decides which bacterial species to attack

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 11:00 AM PST

A new study reveals a mechanism by which the immune system may decide whether a bacterial species is a partner in bodily processes or an invader worthy of attack.

First model to capture crosstalk in social dilemmas

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 11:00 AM PST

The idea that previous interactions can affect unrelated future decisions might seem obvious: the stranger in front of you pays for your coffee, and then you pay for the stranger behind you. You've had no interaction with the latter, and no reason to do them a favor, but you do it anyway. Similarly, if a friend refuses to help, you might be less inclined to help the next person who asks you for something. These are both instances of crosstalk -- previous interactions affecting unrelated future decisions -- and though this notion might seem natural, it had never before been incorporated into simulations of groups engaging in repeated social dilemmas.

Mind-controlling molecules from wasp venom could someday help Parkinson's patients

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 09:52 AM PST

After being stung by a parasitic wasp, the American cockroach loses control of its behavior, becoming host to the wasp's egg. Days later, the hatchling consumes the cockroach alive. While this is a gruesome process for the cockroach, scientists now report the discovery of a new family of peptides in the wasp's venom that could be key to controlling roach minds, and might even help researchers develop better Parkinson's disease treatments.

Versatile sensor against tumor initiating cells

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 09:06 AM PST

Researchers have developed the first fluorescent sensor to visualize TICs. Functional in lung, central nervous system, melanoma, breast, renal, ovarian, colon, and prostate cancer cell cultures, this could become a useful tool for biopsy-free post-treatment assessment and anti-TIC drug development.

Acne linked with increased risk of depression

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 09:06 AM PST

In an analysis of one of the largest electronic medical records databases in the world, researchers found that patients with acne had a significantly increased risk of developing major depression, but only in the first five years after being diagnosed with acne.

Biotechnologists look to bacteria in extremely cold environments for 'green' detergents

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 09:06 AM PST

Despite subzero temperatures, increased UV radiation, little liquid water, and few available nutrients, bacteria living at Earth's poles thrive. They manage it thanks in part to molecules called biosurfactants, which help them separate the complex substrates they feed on into easy-to-metabolize droplets. Researchers now review the hypothetical uses of these cold-loving molecules for 'green' detergents, fuel additives, and other applications.

Better knowledge of evolution leads to greater acceptance of the concept

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 09:06 AM PST

Prevailing theories about evolution state that belief in the concept is tied only to a person's politics or religion. But according to new research, whether Americans accept or reject the subject also depends on how well they understand it.

Inflammation in testes could explain link between obesity and reduced fertility

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 09:06 AM PST

A new study suggests that chronic inflammation caused by obesity may harm the male genital tract, leading to lower fertility in obese men.

Wage increases do not have a persistent effect on job satisfaction

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 09:06 AM PST

After a wage increase, people tend to be more satisfied with their jobs -- and even more so when what they have gained exceeds the wage increases of their colleagues. Yet, this effect on job satisfaction is not persistent.

Scientists successfully test new, safer titanium plate for bone tissue repair

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 09:06 AM PST

For the first time, patented titanium fiber plates developed by engineers for medical use were put to the test in an animal model. Researchers have found that, unlike conventional plates, the titanium fiber plates do not cause bone embrittlement after close contact with the bone for prolonged periods. This could eliminate the need for plate extraction and the associate surgical risks.

Chemists develop a simple, easy-to-use method to break down pollutants in water

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 09:06 AM PST

Chemists have found out how stubborn pollutants in water can be disintegrated easily and cost-effectively. To do so researchers only need a green LED light, a catalyst and vitamin C. In this way, they can produce special types of electrons that reliably destroy the pollutants in the water. Until now, complex laser systems were required for this.

Macromolecular machines for controlled drug delivery

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 09:06 AM PST

Researchers have demonstrated the design and synthesis of a smart globular macromolecular machine vehicle for actively controlled cancer drug delivery, which would enhance the drug's efficacy.

Highly efficient ammonia synthesis catalyst developed

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 09:06 AM PST

Researchers have discovered that a catalyst of calcium amide with a small amount of added barium (Ba-Ca(NH2)2) with ruthenium nanoparticles immobilized onto it can synthesize ammonia at an efficiency 100 times greater than that of conventional ruthenium catalysts at low temperatures below 300ºC. The performance of this catalyst is also several times higher when compared to iron catalysts currently being used industrially.

Discovery paves way for treatment to prevent blood vessel damage

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 09:06 AM PST

The discovery of a previously unknown interaction between proteins could provide a breakthrough in the prevention of damage to healthy blood vessels.

Male susceptibility to autism linked to male hormones in early-stage brain development

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 09:06 AM PST

Exposure to androgens (male hormones) during brain development alters genes related to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a new study. Using male human cells, researchers identified key genes that are regulated by testosterone and that contribute to the risk for autism, generating important insight into how male hormones might contribute to the increased male susceptibility to ASD.

Deep brain stimulation: A new treatment approach in patients with multiple sclerosis

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 09:06 AM PST

A pilot study has shown that treatment with deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) significantly reduces symptoms of fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). The results from this research suggest that TMS is a safe option for the treatment of patients with MS.

Simple molecule could prevent, alleviate pre-diabetes

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 08:01 AM PST

Restoring levels of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ), a key molecule in energy production in cells, could overcome insulin resistance or pre-diabetes -- a precursor to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Sick bees eat healthier

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 08:01 AM PST

Scientists have shown that sick bees try to look after themselves by eating healthy food.

Giant viruses may play an intriguing role in evolution of life on Earth

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 07:27 AM PST

A virus may have influenced the evolution of multicellular life. Biologist have found a virus family that has a similar set of genes as eukaryotes, placing giant viruses in the evolutionary journey of most plants, insects, and animals.

Arming CRISPR/Cas systems with enzyme that also controls translation of genetic information into protein

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 07:26 AM PST

CRISPR/Cas systems are known as promising "gene scissors" in the genome editing of plants, animals, and microorganisms by targeting specific regions in their DNA - and perhaps they can even be used to correct genetic defects. A team of scientists have now identified an enzyme, a special pair of RNA scissors, which is involved in CRISPR/Cas systems and the correct regulation of gene expression - in other words, in reading genes and translating their information into proteins.

Chemists make bicycle-like molecular drive

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 07:25 AM PST

Molecular cars have been known for some time, but scientists have now synthesized molecules that operate like the pedals of a bicycle. Fueled by light, the molecules can be used as molecular switches that pave the way for the design of functional molecular systems effective under severe spatial restrictions.

Light controls two-atom quantum computation

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 07:24 AM PST

Scientists have demonstrated mathematical operations with a quantum gate between two trapped atoms that is mediated by photons.

Brain training for old dogs: Could touchscreen games become the Sudoku of man’s best friend?

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 07:22 AM PST

Spoiling old dogs in their twilight years by retiring them to the sofa and forgiving them their stubbornness or disobedience, doesn't do our four-legged friends any good. Regular brain training and lifelong learning create positive emotions and can slow down mental deterioration in old age. Physical limitations, however, often do not allow the same sort of training as used in young dogs. In a new study, a team of researchers led by cognitive biologists propose computer interaction as a practical alternative. In the training lab, old dogs responded positively to cognitive training using educational touchscreen games.

Rainforest collapse 307 million years ago impacted the evolution of early land vertebrates

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 06:01 AM PST

Researchers have discovered that the mass extinction seen in plant species caused by the onset of a drier climate 307 million years ago led to extinctions of some groups of tetrapods, the first vertebrates to live on land, but allowed others to expand across the globe.

Symptoms of alcoholism make taking medication to treat the disease more difficult

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 06:01 AM PST

Symptoms of alcoholism make it more difficult for some people to regularly take the prescription drug naltrexone, which could help treat their disease, a researcher has found.

Using shark scales to design better drones, planes, and wind turbines

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 06:01 AM PST

A team of evolutionary biologists and engineers have demonstrated a new structure inspired by shark skin that could improve the aerodynamic performance of planes, wind turbines, drones, and cars. The research sheds light on a decades-old mystery about sharkskin.

Shoals of sticklebacks differ in their collective personalities

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 06:01 AM PST

Research has revealed that, among schooling fish, groups can have different collective personalities, with some shoals sticking closer together, being better coordinated, and showing clearer leadership than others.

New light shed on antibiotics produced by ants

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 06:01 AM PST

Ants, like humans, deal with disease. To deal with the bacteria that cause some of these diseases, some ants produce their own antibiotics. A new comparative study identified some ant species that make use of powerful antimicrobial agents -- but found that 40 percent of ant species tested didn't appear to produce antibiotics. The study has applications regarding the search for new antibiotics that can be used in humans.

A blueprint for future blood-nerve barrier and peripheral nerve disease research

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 06:01 AM PST

Researchers have detailed, for the first time, the normal human transcriptome of the blood-nerve barrier. This barrier -- a tight covering of endothelial cells -- maintains the microenvironment of peripheral nerves. Knowledge of the transcriptome will aid research in peripheral nerve disease.

Study questions link between medical marijuana and fewer opioid deaths

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 06:01 AM PST

Several studies have shown an association between legalizing medical marijuana and lower death rates from opioids. A new study finds that link is more complex than previously described and appears to be changing as both medical marijuana laws and the opioid crisis evolve.

Changes in mouse breast tissue after exposure to fracking chemicals

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 06:01 AM PST

Environmental scientists report that they observed changes in mammary gland development of female mice exposed during early development to the chemicals used in unconventional oil and gas (UOG) extraction -- including fracking -- at levels environmentally relevant to humans.

Re-introducing an 'old' antibiotic may help fight multi-drug resistant bacteria

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 06:00 AM PST

A new study indicates that the drug fosfomycin may be effective for treating multidrug-resistant bacterial infections. In most European countries, the oral formulation is only approved as a 3 gram single dose for the treatment of uncomplicated cystitis; however a new study found that a dosing regimen of 6-12 grams per day divided in 3 doses is required for the treatment of systemic multi-drug-resistant bacterial infections.

How old antibiotic compounds could become tomorrow's life-saving drugs

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 06:00 AM PST

As the fight against drug-resistant infections continues, University of Leeds scientists are looking back at previously discarded chemical compounds, to see if any could be developed for new antibiotics.

Back pain is common in highly active older adults

Posted: 07 Feb 2018 05:57 AM PST

Many well-functioning and highly active older adults experienced back pain, which was linked with poorer perceived and observed walking endurance.