2015년 2월 13일 금요일

Science X Newsletter Friday, Feb 13

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Scientists go to great lengths to extend superlow friction 
Interstellar technology throws light on spinning black holes 
Researchers find easy way to deposit metal nanoparticles on a surface using tape 
Should we call the cosmos seeking ET? Or is that risky? 
Researchers glimpse distortions in atomic structure of materials 
Correlations of quantum particles help in distinguishing physical processes 
Silver-glass sandwich structure acts as inexpensive color filter 
Study identifies two biomarkers for lack of sleep 
Google, Mattel bring virtual reality to iconic toy 
Distant species produce love child after 60 million year breakup 
'Danger' molecule may be new therapeutic target for male hypertension 
Thames study: Rivers can be a source antibiotic resistance 
Researchers use isotopic analysis to explore ancient Peruvian life 
How iron feels the heat 
World crop diversity survives in small farms from peri-urban to remote rural locations 

Nanotechnology news

Scientists go to great lengths to extend superlow friction

(Phys.org)—When nanosized pieces of graphite slide against each other, there can be virtually no friction between them. For many years, superlow friction, or "superlubricity," was known to exist only on the nanoscale. Then in 2012, scientists first demonstrated superlubricity beyond the nanoscale when they discovered the phenomenon in micrometer-sized graphite. Building on this and related research, scientists in a new study have now theoretically shown that superlow friction could extend to lengths of tens of centimeters.

Researchers find easy way to deposit metal nanoparticles on a surface using tape

(Phys.org)—A combined team of researchers from Northwestern University in the U.S. and Bilkent University in Turkey has found that ordinary Scotch tape can be used to create a metal nanoparticle surface. In their paper published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the team describes how they used ordinary sticky tape to create the surfaces and why it worked so well.

Gold nanotubes launch a three-pronged attack on cancer cells

Scientists have shown that gold nanotubes have many applications in fighting cancer: internal nanoprobes for high-resolution imaging; drug delivery vehicles; and agents for destroying cancer cells.

Physics news

Silver-glass sandwich structure acts as inexpensive color filter

The engineering world just became even more colorful.

Researchers glimpse distortions in atomic structure of materials

Researchers from North Carolina State University are using a technique they developed to observe minute distortions in the atomic structure of complex materials, shedding light on what causes these distortions and opening the door to studies on how such atomic-scale variations can influence a material's properties.

Correlations of quantum particles help in distinguishing physical processes

Communication security and metrology could be enhanced through a study of the role of quantum correlations in the distinguishability of physical processes, by researchers at the Universities of Strathclyde and Waterloo.

How iron feels the heat

As you heat up a piece of iron, the arrangement of the iron atoms changes several times before melting. This unusual behavior is one reason why steel, in which iron plays a starring role, is so sturdy and ubiquitous in everything from teapots to skyscrapers. But the details of just how and why iron takes on so many different forms have remained a mystery. Recent work at Caltech in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science, however, provides evidence for how iron's magnetism plays a role in this curious property—an understanding that could help researchers develop better and stronger steel.

Researchers replicate non-spherical shapes for industrial applications

New research from the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) looks at how to create various non-spherical particles by releasing droplets of molten wax into a cool liquid bath. The physics behind this research shows how a range of non-spherical shapes can be produced and replicated with many possible industrial applications. OIST Professor Amy Shen collaborated with her former Ph.D student Shilpa Beesabathuni from University of Washington, as well as The Procter & Gamble Company in the United States to conduct the research published in the Journal of Colloid and Interface Science.

CERN's two-year shutdown drawing to a close

It's almost two years to the day since the team in the CERN Control Centre switched off the beams in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at 7.24am on 14 February 2013, marking the end of the accelerator's first three-year run. Hundreds of engineers and technicians have been repairing and strengthening the laboratory's accelerators and experiments in preparation for running the LHC at the higher energy. So what has the work achieved?

Earth news

Stopping at red lights exposes drivers to high levels of air pollution, new study finds

Research published today in the journal Atmospheric Environment has found that drivers are exposed to dangerously high levels of air pollutants when stopped at red lights.

Thames study: Rivers can be a source antibiotic resistance

Rivers and streams could be a major source of antibiotic resistance in the environment.

Coral-devouring seastar thrives in warming ocean

An Australasian research team that includes a University of Otago marine scientist has found that rising sea surface temperatures could help promote outbreaks of crown-of-thorns seastars (COTS) that have devastated much of the coral on the Great Barrier Reef.

Study seeks to understand Amazonia's past to ensure its sustainable future

A new international project led by the University of Exeter will investigate the Amazon's sustainable future by studying the way that ancient societies used and transformed the environment. The study is pioneering a remote sensing data device that will be attached to an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to scan beneath the canopy of the forest.

NASA measures frigid cloud top temps of the Arctic air outbreak

Some of the coldest air of the 2014-2015 winter season was settling over the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. on February 13, 2015. That Arctic air mass brought wind chills from below zero to the single numbers from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic. Despite the cold on the surface, infrared NASA satellite imagery revealed even colder temperatures in cloud tops associated with the air mass.

Finding winners and losers in global land use

The United States added about 7.6 million acres of forests between 1990 and 2010, which may seem like a great environmental gain.

DOE says video points to single drum breach at NM nuke dump

New video appears to confirm that the radiation leak at the federal government's underground nuclear waste dump was limited to a single drum of waste, a U.S. Energy Department official said Thursday.

Climate pact blueprint ready for adoption in Geneva

Negotiators in Geneva are geared to adopt a climate blueprint Friday, a symbolic milestone in the fraught UN process that must culminate in a universal pact in Paris in December.

ESA image: Las Vegas and Lake Mead

This image from the Landsat-8 satellite acquired on 23 September 2014 brings us over the southwest United States: Nevada and Arizona.

Negotiators agree on early draft of UN climate deal

U.N. negotiators on Friday produced an early draft of what eventually should become a landmark climate deal in Paris next December, piling on suggestions to make sure the document reflected every country's wishes.

US lawmakers rally for Keystone as bill heads to Obama

US House Speaker John Boehner signed the bill Friday approving the Keystone XL pipeline between Canada and the United States, sending it to President Barack Obama who has vowed a veto.

Montana governor calls for deeper pipelines after oil spills

Montana's governor called on the Obama administration Friday to strengthen rules that require oil pipelines to be buried just 4 feet beneath major waterways, after two breaches that spilled a combined 93,000 gallons of crude into the Yellowstone River.

Astronomy & Space news

Interstellar technology throws light on spinning black holes

The team responsible for the Oscar-nominated visual effects at the centre of Christopher Nolan's epic, Interstellar, have turned science fiction into science fact by providing new insights into the powerful effects of black holes.

Should we call the cosmos seeking ET? Or is that risky?

Astronomers have their own version of the single person's dilemma: Do you wait by the phone for a call from that certain someone? Or do you make the call yourself and risk getting shot down?

A full day on Pluto-Charon

This time-lapse "movie" of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, was recently shot at record-setting distances with the Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on NASA's New Horizons spacecraft. The movie was made over about a week, from Jan. 25-31, 2015. It was taken as part of the mission's second optical navigation ("OpNav") campaign to better refine the locations of Pluto and Charon in preparation for the spacecraft's close encounter with the small planet and its five moons on July 14, 2015.

Kepler-432b is a dense, massive celestial body with extreme seasons

Two research groups of Heidelberg astronomers have independently of each other discovered a rare planet. The celestial body, called Kepler-432b, is one of the most dense and massive planets known so far. The teams, one led by Mauricio Ortiz of the Centre for Astronomy of Heidelberg University (ZAH) and the other by Simona Ciceri of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg, report that the planet has six times the mass of Jupiter, but about the same size. The shape and the size of its orbit are also unusual for a planet like Kepler-432b that is revolving around a giant star. In less than 200 million years, this "red giant" will most likely swallow up the planet. The results of this research were published in Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Two years on, source of Russian Chelyabinsk meteor remains elusive

Two years after a 20-meter rock slammed into the Earth after a meteoroid dramatically fragmented in the atmosphere over the Chelyabinsk region in Russia and injured hundreds of people, its parent asteroid remains elusive, a new paper published in the journal Icarus shows.

China's first female astronaut becomes mom, resumes training

China's first female astronaut has begun training for her next mission after having a baby, state media reported Friday.

The sun won't die for 5 billion years, so why do humans have only 1 billion years left on Earth?

In a few billion years, the sun will become a red giant so large that it will engulf our planet. But the Earth will become uninhabitable much sooner than that. After about a billion years the sun will become hot enough to boil our oceans.

Where did the Big Bang happen?

Close your eyes and imagine the Big Bang. That first moment, where all the energy, matter and light came into existence. It's an explosion right? Fire, debris, sinks, marmots and anvils flying past the camera in an ever expanding cloud of hot gas.

Power hiccup to speed end of Europe's space truck

A European supply ship will undock from the International Space Station on Saturday as scheduled but be destroyed 12 days earlier than planned because of a power hitch, the European Space Agency (ESA) said Friday.

Time for the world's largest radio telescope

On a recent trip to Australia, the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) visited one of the two sites of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) - a global science and engineering project to build the worlds largest radio telescope.

Eye on the International Space Station: One-Year Mission Miniseries

Have you ever experienced swelling in your legs, become dizzy when you stood up too quickly or suffered from elevated blood pressure? These common ailments faced on Earth are related to the amount of fluids in our bodies and how they redistribute when we change posture. In space, fluids, such as blood and water, shift to the upper body. Fluids play an essential role in our overall health, including the potential to impact vision.

Technology news

A 'Flickr-ing' view of the world, in 4-D

Imagine a version of Google Street View where you could hit the rewind button and see any point in time over the last five years. Cornell researchers are building something like that, at least for a few much-visited places.

Google, Mattel bring virtual reality to iconic toy

Google and toy giant Mattel said Friday they were teaming up to revamp the classic View-Master device, injecting it with digital-age virtual reality.

To combat fraud, Visa wants to track your smartphone

Those days of calling your bank to let them know that, yes, you really are in Thailand, and yes, you really did use your credit card to buy $200 in sarongs, may be coming to an end.

China wind power capacity jumps to record high

China boosted its installed wind energy capacity last year to a record 19.81 million kilowatts as the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter tries to switch its power grid to cleaner energy sources.

Obama focuses on cybersecurity in heart of Silicon Valley (Update)

President Barack Obama is asking Silicon Valley's tech elite to partner with federal authorities to thwart mounting cyber attacks while promising to make it easier for hacked companies to share information about breaches and protect citizen privacy.

London workshop teaches nuts and bolts behind tech

For children who have become increasingly savvy consumers of sophisticated technology, a London workshop is offering something different—a chance to get back to basics and build their own computers.

Argentine youth long for pricey high-tech gadgets

Ten-year-old Cloe Barrios spent a year saving for an iPod, a struggle shared by many Argentine youth scrambling to keep up with technology despite economic woes that make such gadgets exorbitantly pricey.

US cyber summit aims to boost defenses, mend fences

US President Barack Obama seeks to rally support for cybersecurity efforts and rebuild trust eroded by leaks on surveillance in a visit Friday to Silicon Valley.

When YouTube stars go offline and meet up 'live'

If you thought today's young YouTube celebrities have only virtual contact with their fans, think again. They have taken on something new: real life.

Utility poised to double solar rooftop capacity based on tests of inverter reliability

Inverter load rejection overvoltage (LRO) tests completed by the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory as part of a cooperative research agreement with SolarCity have proven so successful that a testing partner, Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO), has proposed to double its hosting capacity for solar energy.

Four email problems that even titans of tech haven't resolved

The email address as we know it was born when Ray Tomlinson introduced the "@" sign in 1977, since which email has continually grown in popularity as a communication tool for work and pleasure – until last year. For the first time ever, 2014 recorded a sharp decrease in the number of emails sent around the world, from 204m per second in 2013 to 138.8m per second in 2014.

Google asks judge to block Mississippi investigation

Google will ask a judge Friday to block an investigation by Mississippi's attorney general on whether the Internet giant facilitated illegal activity.

See here now: Telescopic contact lenses and wink-control glasses

An estimated 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide. Age-related macular degeneration alone is the leading cause of blindness among older adults in the Western world. But this week at the AAAS Annual Meeting in San Jose, California, Eric Tremblay from EPFL in Switzerland unveils a new prototype of his telescopic contact lens—the first of its kind—giving hope for better, stronger vision. The optics specialist also debuts complementary smart glasses that recognize winks and ignore blinks, allowing wearers of the contact lenses to switch between normal and magnified vision.

Dutch extradite Russian hacking suspect to face US charges

The Netherlands has extradited a Russian suspected of involvement in a huge data breach that racked up hundreds of millions of dollars in losses over seven years for U.S. companies.

Obama brings tech firms into his cybersecurity push (Update)

US President Barack Obama called Friday on Silicon Valley to put aside distrust of the government and become allies in defending cyberspace from terrorists, hackers and spies.

Many perils for online love seekers

Advice for people seeking love on the Internet for Valentine's Day: keep looking, but watch for scams and other risks.

Professor to discuss multi-stakeholder Internet governance at AAAS

It's taken just a few decades for the Internet to sweep the globe as an economic, cultural, and political force. The question now is how and by whom should this border-spanning technology be governed. John Savage, professor of computer science at Brown University, will address the issue of Internet governance at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Jose.

Alibaba reveals US regulator's request for data

Chinese online giant Alibaba said Friday US stock market regulators had asked for information related to a probe of its activities in China, and was cooperating with the request.

New company aims to bring 3-D printers to home users

Imagine you have an idea for a new object—say, a custom phone case that perfectly molds to your hand or a cupholder that attaches to your laptop. Then, an hour later, a tangible plastic version of that item materializes just a few feet away, right in your living room. This scenario might sound a bit futuristic, but New Matter, a company founded by Caltech alum Steve Schell (BS '01), is determined to make affordable, at-home 3-D printing a reality in the present.

Sensor economy opening expanding services and opportunities for individuals, industry

A new economy is taking shape – one in which sensors unblinkingly monitor the health of machines, and machines, production lines and entire factories trade logistical information in real time. Largely invisible because it's drivien by software and sensors, this new economy is ushering in a vast and expanding universe of services and opportunities for individuals and industries.

Industry's largest glass-molded aspheric lens

Panasonic Corporation today announced that it has developed the industry's largest glass-molded aspheric lens measuring 75 mm in diameter that can be used for interchangeable lenses for cameras and projectors whose size and resolution have been increasingly reduced and enhanced, respectively. The shipping of samples of this large-diameter aspheric lens will start from February 13, 2015. We will also commence with external sales of these lenses.

UTSA partners to deliver software tools for high performance computing

A collaboration between the UTSA Department of Computer Science and Edina, Minn.-based Silicon Informatics Inc. has yielded the delivery of a pair of highly flexible, scalable high performance computing (HPC) software tools: the pseudorandom number generator (CPRNG) and the interstream correlation tester software (ISC Test). The tools have a variety of applications. They could be used in simulations by the military to determine enemy strategies or weapons testing. The finance industry could also benefit implementing both tools to simulate future financial portfolios or stock options for retiring seniors.

Insurer Anthem offers layers of identity theft protection (Update)

Anthem Inc. is offering several levels of free identity theft protection to current and former customers after hackers broke into a database storing information for about 80 million people.

Argonne researchers to study Chicago emergency evacuation system

A group of Argonne researchers will be studying methods and creating tools for building more resilient mass transit systems to evacuate major cities under a $2.9 million grant announced this week by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration.

Chemistry news

Scientists shed light on controversial theory of protein structure

A team of chemists, biochemists and mathematicians at the University of Bristol have published a paper in the journal Nature Chemical Biology, which explores how protein structures are stabilised.

Lab-on-a-chip to study single cells

Scientists at EPFL have developed a new lab-on-a-chip technique to analyze single cells from entire population. The new method, which uses beads and microfluidics can change the way we study mixed populations of cells, such as those of tumors.

New self-stretching material developed

Although most materials slightly expand when heated, there is a new class of rubber-like material that not only self-stretches upon cooling; it reverts back to its original shape when heated, all without physical manipulation.

An unusual form of carbon ring structure identified in a family of doughnut-like macrostructures

The source of the peculiar stability of the structures forming carbon nanotubes has been established by researchers from the RIKEN Elements Chemistry Laboratory.

Lighting up a new path for novel synthetic polio vaccine

Scientists from the UK and US are using technology that helped in the design of a new synthetic vaccine to combat the foot and mouth disease virus (FMDV) to now target the virus that causes polio. The synthetic vaccine that is currently being engineered in collaboration with Prof. Dave Rowlands at the University of Leeds would provide a powerful weapon in the fight to rid the world of polio. This project is being funded by a £438,000 grant from the World Health Organisation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Action needed to standardize methods for the measurement of cigarette smoke constituents

Proposals to regulate cigarette smoke constituents will only be possible if the methods used to measure them are consistent.

Biology news

Study identifies two biomarkers for lack of sleep

(Phys.org)—Ideally, we would get the appropriate amount of sleep to keep our bodies healthy, but in our modern society things like jet lag, extended work hours, or using electronic devices cause disruptions in our sleep/wake cycle often leading to fewer hours of quality sleep. Most people suffer from chronic sleep restriction rather than complete deprivation, but there are very few studies that explore the effects of sleep restriction. Amita Sahgal and Aalim Weljie from the University of Pennsylvania and Peter Meerlo, from the University of Groningen in The Netherlands, investigated at how chronic sleep restriction affects the body's metabolic processes. Their work is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Evolution of a natural gene network explored by Yale researchers

Scientists have extensive knowledge of how mutations of single genes during evolution can have a fitness cost or benefit for the host organism. However, genes are often embedded into complex regulatory networks. The role of these gene networks in evolution is less well understood.

Scientists develop comparative search engine that helps to predict human gene function

The Human Genome Project wrapped up over a decade ago, yet around a third of the genome remains mysterious, its function unknown. Now, School of Medicine researchers have developed a comparative search engine that uses evolutionary correlations between human and other species' genes to help identify human gene function.

Biochemist sheds light on structure of key cellular 'gatekeeper'

Facing a challenge akin to solving a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle while blindfolded—and without touching the pieces—many structural biochemists thought it would be impossible to determine the atomic structure of a massive cellular machine called the nuclear pore complex (NPC), which is vital for cell survival.

Researchers gain better understanding of cellular intestinal barrier structure

(Phys.org)—A team of researches affiliated with several institutions in Japan has conducted research into the cellular structure of tight junctions in the small intestine, and has made progress in better understanding their construction, possibly helping to pave the way towards creating drugs that would be better equipped to make their way into the bloodstream. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes their research and findings and what they believe must be done next. Per Artursson and Stefan Knight with Uppsala University in Sweden offer a perspective piece on the work done by the team in the same journal edition.

World crop diversity survives in small farms from peri-urban to remote rural locations

As much as 75 percent of global seed diversity in staple food crops is held and actively used by a wide range of small farmholders—workers of less than three to seven acres—with the rest in gene banks, according to a Penn State geographer.

Harm and response

We often think of damage on a surface level. But for plants, much of the important response to an insect bite takes place out of sight. Over minutes and hours, particular plant genes are turned on and off to fight back, translating into changes in its defenses.

Distant species produce love child after 60 million year breakup

A delicate woodland fern discovered in the mountains of France is the love child of two distantly-related groups of plants that haven't interbred in 60 million years, genetic analyses show.

Google-style ranking used to describe gene connectivity

Using the technique known as "Gene Rank" (GR), Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center investigator Eugene Demidenko, PhD, captured and described a new characterization of gene connectivity in "Microarray Enriched Gene Rank," published in BioData Mining. The effective computer algorithm can be used to compare tissues across or within organisms at great speed with a simple laptop computer.

Structure-based design used as tool for engineering deimmunized biotherapeutics

In the first experimental use of algorithms that employ structure-based molecular modeling to optimize deimmunized drug candidates, Karl Griswold, PhD, and co-investigator Christopher Bailey-Kellogg, PhD of Dartmouth College complement their prior sequence-based deimmunizing algorithms and expand the tool kit of protein engineering technologies to use in next generation drug development. Their paper, "Protein Deimmunization via Structure-based Design Enables Efficient Epitope Deletion at High Mutational Loads," was published in Biotechnology and Bioengineering.

Almost 200 whales stranded on New Zealand beach

Almost 200 pilot whales stranded themselves Friday on a New Zealand beach renowned as a deathtrap for the marine mammals, conservation officials said.

If you could clone yourself, would you still have sex?

Imagine how easy life would be if you could produce offspring without a mate. Sexual reproduction is the most common mating system in the animal kingdom. But in many species, females do not require males to produce offspring –- they can reproduce asexually.

Camera-carrying turtles reveal seagrass decline

Sea turtles fitted with video cameras have revealed a decline in seagrass health in Shark Bay following a catastrophic marine heat wave in 2011.

Scientists measure bat populations in post-wildfire habitats

Two NAU researchers are learning more about how bats are faring in the post-wildfire Ponderosa pine forests, of which 3.2 million acres have been scorched during the past decade. Because bats help pollenate plants, aid in reforestation and maintain ecosystem balance by eating large quantities of insects, scientists believe it is imperative to understand the effects of wildfire on bat habitats.

Researcher explores effect of zero gravity on genes of microscopic worms

With apologies to the late NASA legend Neil Armstrong, whose boots were the first to step onto the surface of the moon, you might describe Chandran Sabanayagam's research at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute as one small freefall for a worm, one giant leap for biogenetics.

Female pumas kill more, eat less when humans are near, study finds

Female pumas kill more prey but consume less when their territories bump into human development, UC Santa Cruz researchers report in a new study based on monitoring more than two dozen pumas in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Mexican gray wolf population peaks in American Southwest

There are now more Mexican gray wolves roaming the American Southwest than at any time since the federal government began reintroducing the endangered predators.

Researcher studies impact of disease and climate change on camel herd in Africa

An Iowa State University veterinary researcher is helping to protect camel herds in East Africa from the ravages of climate change and disease, a project that will strengthen food security and human health for people throughout the region.

Fishing clubs get behind citizen science fish toxin project

Northern NSW fishing clubs are encouraging their members to become citizen scientists as part of the first ever study into the presence of toxins (CTXs), that cause the serious seafood-borne illness ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP), in fish caught in NSW waters.

Medicine & Health news

Consuming oily fish could repair damaged blood vessels

Eating oily fish may not only keep your heart healthy but it could actually help to fix damaged blood vessels faster, reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease, University of Reading scientists have found.

Seven genes for X-linked intellectual disability

X-linked intellectual disability is a disorder that predominantly affects men and can have highly variable clinical manifestations. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin have found seven new genes that can cause this genetic disease: Mutations of these genes on the X chromosome lead to various forms of intellectual disability. In their work, the researchers used a method of genetic analysis that significantly simplifies the search for rare genetic defects.

'Danger' molecule may be new therapeutic target for male hypertension

Higher levels of a "danger" molecule may be one reason males tend to become hypertensive earlier and more severely than females, scientists say.

Stress linked to worse recovery in women after heart attack

Young and middle-aged women experience more stress than their male counterparts, which could contribute to worse recovery from acute myocardial infarction (AMI), according to new findings by Yale School of Medicine researchers and their colleagues.

Researchers test device to help deaf children detect sounds

At age 3, Angelica Lopez is helping to break a sound barrier for deaf children.

One in four Saudis heading for heart attack in 10 years

One in four adults in Saudi Arabia is set to have a heart attack within the next 10 years, reveals research presented at the 26th Annual Conference of the Saudi Heart Association (SHA), held 13 to 16 February in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The conference features sessions from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) on hot topics in cardiovascular disease including prevention.

Short-term use of hormone replacement therapy associated with increased ovarian cancer risk

Taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for the menopause, even for just a few years, is associated with a significantly increased risk of developing the two most common types of ovarian cancer, according to a detailed re-analysis of all the available evidence, published in The Lancet.

Off the wagon: Vietnam's binge-drinking problem

A scantily clad DJ gyrates to ear-splitting music as the crowd of drinkers orders more towers of lager: welcome to The Hangover, one of a new crop of 'beer clubs' raising concerns about Vietnam's drinking culture.

MIT economist explains why randomized trials can improve medical care

About 80 percent of studies of U.S. medical interventions use randomized controlled trials (RCTs), the gold standard of laboratory research. But only about 18 percent of studies of U.S. health care delivery use RCTs. That can and should change, suggests Amy Finkelstein, the Ford Professor of Economics at MIT, in a Science piece co-written with MIT researcher Sarah Taubman.

Dealing with love, romance and rejection on Valentine's Day

Take care lovers, wherever you are, as Valentine's Day is soon upon us. Whether you're in a relationship or want to be in a relationship, research over a number of years shows that February 14 can be a day of broken hearts and broken wallets.

Rational drug combinations that may overcome mantle cell lymphoma resistance to ibrutinib

Genomic analyses of tumor and healthy tissue from patients with mantle cell lymphomas that fail to respond to treatment with the anticancer drug ibrutinib (Imbruvica) or initially respond but then stop responding and progress, provided explanations for these two types of drug resistance and suggested ways to overcome them in the clinic, according to data published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Young adults on marriage say it's so important that they put it off

With marriage rates declining and the average age at marriage rising, young adults in a new study say that marriage still stands as their most important pursuit in life.

Winter weather depriving city dwellers of vitamin D

Residents of snowy, northern U.S. cities are at risk of vitamin D deficiency and worse, may not even know it.

Immune cells commit suicide to prevent allergy

Scientists from the CNRS, INSERM and Université de Limoges, working in the Laboratoire Contrôle de la Réponse Immune B et Lymphoproliférations (CNRS/Université de Limoges) have demonstrated that the production of type E immunoglobulins (IgE) by B lymphocytes induces a loss in their mobility and the initiation of cell death mechanisms. These antibodies, present in small quantities, are the most powerful "weapons" in the immune system and can trigger extremely violent immune reactions or immediate allergies (asthma, urticaria, allergic shock) as soon as their levels rise, even slightly. These findings, published online in Cell Reports on 12 February 2015, thus elucidate how our bodies restrict the production of IgE in order to prevent an allergic reaction.

Researchers pioneer novel strategy to prevent progression of inflammation-associated cancers

A team of researchers led by Associate Professor Caroline Lee from the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore (NUS), in collaboration with Associate Professor Song Jianxing of the Department of Biological Sciences at the NUS Faculty of Science, has developed a novel strategy in the fight against cancer. They discovered that the interaction between two proteins, namely FAT10 and MAD2, leads to inflammation-associated cancers, such as liver (hepatocellular carcinoma) and colorectal cancers. A disruption of this unique interaction can prevent cancer.

Ban on smoking in cars with children

Smoking in cars carrying children will soon become illegal in England – in a significant victory for protecting under-18s from second-hand smoke.

Preterm infant hospitalisation tracked

The chances of a preterm baby needing rehospitalisation decrease sharply five years after birth, and are similar to those born full-term once the individual has reached adolescence, according to recent research.

Partner caregivers of veterans with traumatic brain injuries may be at risk for inflammatory disease

Blame and anger associated with the grief of caring for a loved one with a traumatic-brain injury (TBI) may be related to inflammation and certain chronic diseases, according to researchers from Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. These findings were published in the latest issue of Biological Research for Nursing.

Valentine's Day favorites can offer serious health benefits

Will the spoils of celebrating Valentine's Day sabotage your New Year's health and fitness resolutions?

Women often ignore common precursor to heart attacks

As caretakers, women often don't stop and take time for themselves when it comes to matters of the heart. But with Valentine's Day around the corner, Loyola University Health System internal medicine physician Anita Varkey, MD, urges women to protect their health and prevent a common warning sign of heart disease.

Researcher seeks answers to cognitive decline as we age

Aging is not kind to the brain. Memory, for example, begins to fail and multitasking abilities start to deteriorate. But are there ways to slow the natural process of cognitive decline? And if so, how do they work?

Promising results for new Alzheimer therapy

Scientists at Karolinska Institutet have evaluated a new Alzheimer's therapy in which the patients receive an implant that stimulates the growth of a certain type of nerve cell. The results, which are published in the scientific journal Alzheimer's & Dementia, suggest that the introduction of a nerve growth factor can prevent neuronal degradation in Alzheimer's patients.

Researchers call for new approach to the secondary prevention of coronary disease

The large majority of coronary patients in Europe are failing to achieve their lifestyle, risk factor and therapeutic targets as set out in the latest prevention guidelines. Fewer than one half of all European patients following a heart attack are even receiving the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation and preventive care.

Diathermy smoke extraction should be compulsory in operations

The electrical devices that are used to cauterise tissue during surgical operations cause plumes of smoke to arise as intense heat is applied to flesh. Research has shown that these fumes – known as diathermy smoke – contain compounds that are potentially harmful to the health of the personnel participating in the operation.

Hearing experts break sound barrier for children born without hearing nerve

A multi-institutional team of hearing and communication experts led by the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) is breaking sound barriers for children born without a hearing nerve in a clinical trial backed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Launched in March 2014, the three-year study has enrolled five of 10 participants and successfully implanted an auditory brainstem implant (ABI) device in four children who previously could not hear.

Clinical trial identifies patients at higher risk of second stroke

Risk of recurrent stroke is higher in patients who have low blood flow to the back of the brain, a six-year, multi-center trial has found, and the condition can be visualized using specialized software developed at the University of Illinois at Chicago that analyzes blood flow using standard MRI.

Researchers develop expert systems for identifying treatment targets for cancer and rare diseases

In recent months, several national initiatives for personalized medicine have been announced, including the recently launched precision medicine initiative in the US, driven by rapid advances in genomic technologies and with the promise of cheaper and better healthcare. Significant challenges remain, however, in the management and analysis of genetic information and their integration with patient data. The sheer scale and complexity of this data, generated using cutting-edge technologies such as next generation DNA sequencing, requires the development of new computer algorithms and systems that can mine this data to get actionable knowledge.

What is successful aging? Gerontologists strive to build consensus

Scholars have long debated what successful aging is, how to measure it, and how to promote it. But the latest issue of The Gerontologist lays the groundwork for building consensus on the topic—while pointing out that the answer may differ among academics and the general public, as well as across populations and demographic groups.

Type 2 diabetes linked to worse performance on cognitive testing

Type 2 diabetes is associated with worse performance on cognitive tests measuring abilities involved in the control of emotions, behaviours and thought, says a new study from the University of Waterloo.

New neurologists receive stroke training with mannequins and other simulation techniques

One of the most challenging cases that a first-year neurology resident physician can face is a stroke patient in the emergency department.

Short-term psychological therapy dramatically reduces suicide attempts among at-risk soldiers

Short-term cognitive behavioral therapy dramatically reduces suicide attempts among at-risk military personnel, according to findings from a research study that included investigators from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Door-to-door campaign linked hepatitis C patients to care

Working on the streets in medically underserved Philadelphia neighborhoods, members of the Do One Thing program have been able to identify residents chronically infected with hepatitis C and help them overcome the hurdles that prevent people from being cured, according to a new study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Survivors of childhood cancer at risk for developing hormone deficiencies as adults

Decades after undergoing cranial irradiation for childhood cancer, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital investigators found that adult survivors of pediatric cancer remain at risk for pituitary hormone deficiencies that may diminish their health and quality of life. The findings appear in the February 10 edition of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Lenvima approved for common thyroid cancer

(HealthDay)—Lenvima (lenvatinib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) that has progressed despite radioactive iodine therapy, the agency said Friday in a news release.

Device approved for female fecal incontinence

(HealthDay)—The Eclipse System has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat fecal incontinence in adult women aged 18 to 75, the agency said in a news release.

How to survive Valentine's day without romance

(HealthDay)—Valentine's Day can be difficult for some people, but it's important to keep things in perspective, an expert says.

'Play' may be more stressful for kids with autism: study

(HealthDay)—Children with autism appear to approach play differently than typically developing children, a recent study contends.

Exposure to gas, dust, fumes ups risk of mite sensitization

(HealthDay)—Occupational exposure to gas, dust, and fumes (GDF) increases the risk of mite sensitization, and is associated with asthma and wheeze in those who are mite-sensitized, according to a study published online Jan. 30 in Allergy.

ASCO endorses ACS guideline for prostate CA survivor care

(HealthDay)—The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has endorsed the American Cancer Society (ACS) Prostate Cancer Survivorship Care Guidelines, according to a report published online Feb. 9 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Prevalence of fibromyalgia varies with criteria applied

(HealthDay)—The prevalence of fibromyalgia varies with the different sets of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) classification criteria, according to a study published in the February issue of Arthritis & Rheumatology.

Targeted panel testing superior for neuromuscular diseases

(HealthDay)—Targeted panel testing has the highest clinical yield for molecular diagnosis of neuromuscular diseases (NMDs), according to a study published in the February issue of the Annals of Neurology.

Osteoporosis-treated adults have elevated risk of mortality

(HealthDay)—Women and men below age 70 who are treated for osteoporosis have an excess mortality risk, according to a study published online Feb. 7 in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

In state with tobacco ties, Kentucky House OKs smoking ban

In a state where tobacco interests once had a firm grip on the levers of politics, the Kentucky House of Representatives on Friday passed a ban on smoking in workplaces and indoor public places.

Scientist finds higher opioid doses associated with increase in depression

Patients who increased doses of opioid medicines to manage chronic pain were more likely to experience an increase in depression, according to Saint Louis University findings in Pain.

CDC: Nasty flu season has peaked, is retreating

A new report shows this winter's nasty flu season has peaked and is clearly retreating.

Meningitis outbreak declared at Canada university

Officials launched a meningitis vaccination campaign at a Canadian university Friday after detecting two cases of the infection, health authorities said.

HPV vaccine highly effective against multiple cancer-causing strains

According to a multinational clinical trial involving nearly 20,000 young women, the human papilloma virus vaccine, Cervarix, not only has the potential to prevent cervical cancer, but was effective against other common cancer-causing human papillomaviruses, aside from just the two HPV types, 16 and 18, which are responsible for about 70 percent of all cases. That effectiveness endured for the study's entire follow-up, of up to four years. The research was published February 4 in Clinical and Vaccine Immunology.

Team develops new weapon in war against flu pandemics and pneumonia

Scientists from NTU Singapore, the world's No. 1 young university, have developed an antibody which boosts the survival chances for patients suffering from influenza and pneumonia.

Would you take dieting advice from a friend?

Is a new diet or exercise program working for a friend? If so, there's a good chance that you will try it, too.

Marijuana use is associated with excessive daytime sleepiness in adolescents

A study published by researchers from Nationwide Children's Hospital, found 10 percent of adolescents sent to a Sleep Center for evaluation of excessive daytime sleepiness with testing results consistent with narcolepsy had urine drug screens positive for marijuana, confounding the results.

New radiotracer helps avoid neck dissection in patients with early head and neck cancer

The discovery that the identification and biopsy of the first lymph node to which a cancer spreads (the sentinel node) can lead to more accurate diagnosis and treatment has revolutionised the management of breast cancer. Now a team of researchers has been able to identify ac