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EurekAlert! - Biology
  • Stroke damage mechanism identified
  • (University of Leeds) Researchers have discovered a mechanism linked to the brain damage often suffered by stroke victims -- and are now searching for drugs to block it.
  • TGen-Luxembourg scientific team conducts unprecedented analysis of microbial ecosystem
  • (The Translational Genomics Research Institute) An international team of scientists from the Translational Genomics Research Institute and The Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine have completed a first-of-its-kind microbial analysis of a biological waste water treatment plant that has broad implications for protecting the environment, energy recovery and human health. The study, published Nov. 26 in the scientific journal Nature Communications, describes in unprecedented detail the complex relationships within a model ecosystem.
  • How do our muscles work?
  • (University of Vienna) Scientists led by Kristina Djinovic-Carugo at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories of the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna have elucidated the molecular structure and regulation of the essential muscle protein alpha-actinin. The new findings allow unprecedented insights into the protein's mode of action and its role in muscle disorders. The findings, made in collaboration with King's College London, may lead to improved treatments, and are published in the top-class journal Cell.
  • Matched 'hybrid' systems may hold key to wider use of renewable energy
  • (Oregon State University) The use of renewable energy in the United States could take a significant leap forward with improved storage technologies or more efforts to 'match' different forms of alternative energy systems that provide an overall more steady flow of electricity, researchers say in a new report.
  • Copper on the brain at rest
  • (DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) A new study by Berkeley Lab researchers has shown that proper copper levels are essential to the health of the brain at rest.
  • The influence of the Isthmus of Panama in the evolution of freshwater shrimps in America
  • (Pensoft Publishers) The molecular evolution of freshwater shrimps in America was studied based in the relationship between Pacific and Atlantic sister species that are separated by the Isthmus of Panama. Despite the high morphological similarities between each pair of species, it was concluded that all species are valid taxonomic entities, proving the efficiency of the Isthmus for the genetic isolation of the species. The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys.
  • Process converts human waste into rocket fuel
  • (University of Florida) Buck Rogers surely couldn't have seen this one coming, but at NASA's request, University of Florida researchers have figured out how to turn human waste -- yes, that kind -- into rocket fuel.
  • New guide to the genetic jungle of muscles can help health research
  • (Aarhus University) Researchers from Aarhus University and Bispebjerg Hospital have created a comprehensive overview of how tens of thousands of genes interact in relation to the behavior of muscles. At the same time, they have developed a guide to the enormous amounts of data and thus paved the way for new knowledge about diseases associated with lack of activity.
  • Amazonian shrimps: An underwater world still unknown
  • (Pensoft Publishers) A study reveals how little we know about the Amazonian diversity. Aiming to resolve a scientific debate about the validity of two species of freshwater shrimp described in the first half of the last century, researchers have found that not only this species is valid, but also discovered the existence of a third unknown species. The researchers concluded that these species evolved about 10 million years ago. The study was published in the journal ZooKeys.
  • Classical enzymatic theory revised by including water motions
  • (Ruhr-University Bochum) The main focus of enzymology lies on enzymes themselves, whereas the role of water motions in mediating the biological reaction is often left aside owing to the complex molecular behavior. The groups of Martina Havenith and Irit Sagi revised the classical enzymatic steady state theory by including long-lasting protein-water coupled motions into models of functional catalysis.
  • The mysterious 'action at a distance' between liquid containers
  • (Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences) For several years, it has been known that superfluid helium housed in reservoirs located next to each other acts collectively, even when the channels connecting the reservoirs are too narrow and too long to allow for substantial flow. A new theoretical model reveals that the phenomenon of mysterious communication 'at a distance' between fluid reservoirs is much more common than previously thought.
  • Hydrothermal settlers
  • (Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University) OIST researcher Yuichi Nakajima decodes barnacle genetics to understand how climate change impacts the deep ocean.
  • NASA completes Rodent Research-1 operations on the International Space Station
  • (NASA/Johnson Space Center) With the successful completion of mission operations for Rodent Research-1, NASA has brought an important new biological research capability into space.
  • An eel-lectrifying future for autonomous underwater robots
  • (World Scientific) A team in Singapore has developed and built a prototype for an eel-like robotic fish to be operable remotely, small, sophisticated and intelligent enough to operate autonomously underwater. A new form of central pattern generator model is presented, by which the swimming pattern of a real Anguilliform fish is successfully applied to the robotic prototype. Mathematical model, control law design, different locomotion patterns, and locomotion planning are presented for an Anguilliform robotic fish.
  • First harvest of research based on the final GOCE gravity model
  • (Technische Universitaet Muenchen) Just four months after the final data package from ESA's GOCE satellite mission was delivered, researchers are laying out a rich harvest of scientific results at the 5th International GOCE User Workshop in Paris. The GOCE Gravity Consortium, coordinated by the Technische Universität München, produced all of the mission's data products. On this basis, studies in geophysics, geology, ocean circulation, climate change, and civil engineering are sharpening the picture of our dynamic planet.
  • Toolkit for ocean health
  • (Frontiers) One of the global leaders in ocean science, Professor Carlos Duarte has shared his insights on the future of the world's oceans in a paper published in the international open-access journal Frontiers in Marine Science.
  • Protecting the rainforest through agriculture and forestry
  • (Technische Universitaet Muenchen) Conservationists are always looking for ways to halt the pace of deforestation in tropical rainforests. One approach involves recultivating abandoned agricultural land. An international team investigating this concept has just published its findings in Nature Communications. Working in the mountainous regions of Ecuador, the researchers found afforestation and intense pasturing to be particularly effective, clearly increasing the environmental and economic value of abandoned farmlands.
  • Human antibodies produced in DNA-vaccinated cows protect in lethal models of hantavirus
  • (US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases) Scientists investigating the potentially deadly hantavirus have used a novel approach to developing protective antibodies against it. The research, published in Science Translational Medicine, used specially bred 'transchromosomal' cows engineered to produce fully human antibodies. Investigators immunized the cows with DNA vaccines targeting two types of hantaviruses, Andes and Sin Nombre. The team collected plasma from the cows, purified the human IgG antibodies, and tested the material, which had potent neutralizing activity against both hantaviruses.
  • Prehistoric conflict hastened human brain's capacity for collaboration, study says
  • (National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS)) Warfare not only hastened human technological progress and vast social and political changes, but may have greatly contributed to the evolutionary emergence of humans' high intelligence and ability to work together toward common goals, according to a new study from the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis.
  • DNA survives critical entry into Earth's atmosphere
  • (University of Zurich) The genetic material DNA can survive a flight through space and re-entry into the earth's atmosphere -- and still pass on genetic information. A team of scientists from UZH obtained these astonishing results during an experiment on the TEXUS-49 research rocket mission.
  • Study reveals significantly increased risk of stillbirth in males
  • (University of Exeter) A large-scale study led by the University of Exeter has found that boys are more likely to be stillborn than girls. Published in the journal BMC Medicine, the study reviewed more than 30 million births globally, and found that the risk of stillbirth is about ten percent higher in boys. This equates to a loss of around 100,000 additional male babies per year.
  • Precise measurements of microbial ecosystems
  • (University of Luxembourg) The Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine has succeeded for the first time in describing the complex relationships within an ecosystem in unprecedented detail. For their work, carried out in collaboration with US and Luxembourg partners, their model ecosystem was a 'biological wastewater treatment plant.' In it live numerous species of bacteria which are involved in the wastewater purification process. The researchers publish their results today in the journal Nature Communications.
  • The unbelievable underworld and its impact on us all
  • (University of Manchester) A new study has pulled together research into the most diverse place on earth to demonstrate how the organisms below-ground could hold the key to understanding how the worlds ecosystems function and how they are responding to climate change.
  • The artificial pancreas shown to improve the treatment of type 1 diabetes
  • (University of Montreal) The world's first clinical trial comparing three alternative treatments for type 1 diabetes was conducted in Montreal by researchers at the institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal and the University of Montreal. The study confirms that the external artificial pancreas improves glucose control and reduces the risk of hypoglycemia compared to conventional diabetes treatment.
  • Research on a rare cancer exposes possible route to new treatments
  • (University of Utah Health Sciences) Researchers from Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah discovered the unusual role of lactate in the metabolism of alveolar soft part sarcoma and also confirmed that a fusion gene is the cancer-causing agent in this disease.

Latest Science News -- ScienceDaily
  • Matched 'hybrid' systems may hold key to wider use of renewable energy
  • The use of renewable energy in the United States could take a significant leap forward with improved storage technologies or more efforts to 'match' different forms of alternative energy systems that provide an overall more steady flow of electricity, researchers say in a new report.
  • Post-medieval Polish buried as potential 'vampires' were likely local
  • Potential 'vampires' buried in northwestern Poland with sickles and rocks across their bodies were likely local and not immigrants to the region. In northwestern Poland, apotropaic funerary rites--a traditional practice intended to prevent evil--occurred throughout the 17th-18th c. AD.
  • DNA survives critical entry into Earth's atmosphere
  • The genetic material DNA can survive a flight through space and re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere – and still pass on genetic information. Scientists obtained these astonishing results during an experiment on the TEXUS-49 research rocket mission.
  • Invisible shield found thousands of miles above Earth blocks 'killer electrons'
  • An invisible shield has been discovered some 7,200 miles above Earth that blocks so-called 'killer electrons,' which whip around the planet at near-light speed and have been known to threaten astronauts, fry satellites and degrade space systems during intense solar storms.
  • Treatment breakthrough for advanced bladder cancer
  • A major breakthrough in developing a new therapy for advanced bladder cancer -- for which there have been no major treatment advances in the past 30 years -- has been made by scientists. The study examined an antibody (MPDL3280A) which blocks a protein (PD-L1) thought to help cancer cells evade immune detection.
  • Potential predictive biomarker for response to PD-L1 checkpoint blocker found
  • Scientists analyzed tissue samples from patients who had -- and had not -- responded to a promising new immunotherapy drug. The study could help identify patients most likely to respond to the new drug, which blocks PD-L1.
  • High-tech mirror beams heat away from buildings into space
  • Engineers have invented a material designed to help cool buildings. The material reflects incoming sunlight, and it sends heat from inside the structure directly into space as infrared radiation.
  • Unbelievable underworld and its impact on us all
  • A new study has pulled together research into the most diverse place on earth to demonstrate how the organisms below-ground could hold the key to understanding how the worlds ecosystems function and how they are responding to climate change.
  • 'Eye of Sauron' provides new way of measuring distances to galaxies
  • Scientists have developed a new way of measuring precise distances to galaxies tens of millions of light years away, using the W. M. Keck Observatory near the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The method is similar to what land surveyors use on Earth, by measuring the physical and angular, or ‘apparent’, size of a standard ruler in the galaxy, to calibrate the distance from this information.
  • Off switch for pain discovered
  • A way to block a pain pathway in animal models of chronic neuropathic pain has been discovered by researchers, suggesting a promising new approach to pain relief.
  • Majority of women report sexual dysfunction after childbirth
  • Many women notice that their sexual health changes after childbirth, according to researchers. Researchers have a study underway to determine the extent to which pelvic pain may be related to this change.
  • Vaccines may make war on cancer personal
  • In the near future, physicians may treat some cancer patients with personalized vaccines that spur their immune systems to attack malignant tumors. New research has brought the approach one step closer to reality.
  • Shaping the future of energy storage with conductive clay
  • Materials scientists have invented clay, which is both highly conductive and can easily be molded into a variety of shapes and sizes. It represents a turn away from the rather complicated and costly processing — currently used to make materials for lithium-ion batteries and supercapacitors —- and toward one that looks a bit like rolling out cookie dough with results that are even sweeter from an energy storage standpoint.
  • Modeling the past to understand the future of a stronger El Niño
  • El Nino is not a contemporary phenomenon; it’s long been the Earth’s dominant source of year-to-year climate fluctuation. But as the climate warms and the feedbacks that drive the cycle change, researchers want to know how El Nino will respond.
  • Why patients respond to a life-saving melanoma drug
  • Researchers have pioneered a new methodology to predict why some patients battling advanced melanoma respond well or not at all to the new breakthrough drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda).
  • The living, breathing ocean
  • The ocean is a complex ecosystem. The ocean carbon cycle is governed by the relationship among carbon, nutrients and oxygen, and the ratio between certain elements is key to understanding ocean respiration.
  • Laser physicists 'see' how electrons make atomic and molecular transitions
  • By solving a six-dimensional equation that had previously stymied researchers, physicists have pinpointed the characteristics of a laser pulse that yields electron behavior they can predict and essentially control.
  • Copper on the brain at rest
  • Proper copper levels are essential to the health of the brain at rest, new research shows. The brain consumes 20-percent of the oxygen taken in through respiration. This high demand for oxygen and oxidative metabolism has resulted in the brain harboring the body's highest levels of copper, as well as iron and zinc. Over the past few years, researchers have developed a series of fluorescent probes for molecular imaging of copper in the brain.
  • Engineers make sound loud enough to bend light on a computer chip: Device could improve wireless communications systems
  • Engineering researchers have developed a chip on which both sound wave and light wave are generated and confined together so that the sound can very efficiently control the light.
  • Saving ovaries does not help prevent prolapse for women after menopause
  • Removing ovaries at hysterectomy does not increase a woman's risk of pelvic organ prolapse after menopause. In fact, removing ovaries lowers the risk of prolapse. This surprising finding from a Women's Health Initiative study has just been published.
  • More public health interventions required to tackle grim reaper of 'lifestyle' diseases
  • More public health interventions, along the lines of the smoking ban, are needed to tackle the devastating toll of 'lifestyle' diseases, including heart disease and cancer, according to academics.
  • An enzyme that fixes broken DNA sometimes destroys it instead, researchers find
  • Enzymes inside cells that normally repair damaged DNA sometimes wreck it instead, researchers have found. The insight could lead to a better understanding of the causes of some types of cancer and neurodegenerative disease.
  • Dogs hear our words and how we say them
  • When people hear another person talking to them, they respond not only to what is being said -- those consonants and vowels strung together into words and sentences -- but also to other features of that speech -- the emotional tone and the speaker's gender, for instance. Now, a report provides some of the first evidence of how dogs also differentiate and process those various components of human speech.
  • Elderly brains learn, but maybe too much
  • Learning requires both mental flexibility, or 'plasticity,' and stability. A new study finds that in learning a visual task, older people exhibited a surprising degree of plasticity, but had trouble filtering out irrelevant information, suggesting that their learning was not as stable.
  • Cognitive test battery developed to assess impact of long duration spaceflights on astronauts' brain function
  • A cognitive test battery, known as Cognition, has been developed for the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) to measure the impact of typical spaceflight stressors (like microgravity, radiation, confinement and isolation, exposure to elevated levels of CO2, and sleep loss) on cognitive performance. This computer-based test has already been tested by astronauts on Earth. It will be performed for the first time in a pilot study on the International Space Station (ISS) on November 28.
  • Enzyme may be key to cancer progression in many tumors
  • A deeper understanding of how KRAS turns off tumor suppressor genes and identifies a key enzyme in the process has been gained by researchers. The findings suggest that this enzyme, known as TET1, may be an important target for cancer diagnostics and treatment.
  • Research on rare cancer exposes possible route to new treatments
  • The unusual role of lactate in the alveolar soft part sarcoma has been uncovered by researchers who also confirm that a fusion gene is the cancer-causing agent in the disease.
  • Brain researchers pinpoint gateway to human memory
  • An international team of researchers has successfully determined the location, where memories are generated with a level of precision never achieved before. To this end the scientists used a particularly accurate type of magnetic resonance imaging technology.
  • New guide to genetic jungle of muscles can help health research
  • A comprehensive overview of how tens of thousands of genes interact in relation to the behavior of muscles has been developed by scientists. At the same time, they have developed a guide to the enormous amounts of data and thus paved the way for new knowledge about diseases associated with lack of activity.
  • Hacked emails slice spam fast
  • Spam spreads much faster and to more people when it is being propagated by hacked, or otherwise compromised, email accounts rather than legitimate accounts, according to new research.
  • Iberian orcas, increasingly trapped
  • Thanks to the more than 11,200 sightings of cetaceans over the course of ten years, Spanish and Portuguese researchers have been able to identify, in detail, the presence of orcas in the Gulf of Cadiz, the Strait of Gibraltar and the Alboran Sea. According to the models that have been generated, the occurrence of these cetaceans is linked to the distribution of their main prey (red tuna) and their presence in Spanish, Portuguese and Moroccan waters is thus more limited than previously thought.
  • How a common antacid could lead to cheaper anti-cancer drugs
  • A cheap answer to anti-cancer medication may be in your medicine cabinet. Cimetidine treats indigestion by blocking histamine receptors in the gut, which decreases the production of gastric acid. It also appears to block histamine receptors in cancer cells, as well as supporting the immune system's defenses against cancer.
  • Study examines communication, end-of-life decisions
  • A recent study examines how the quality of communication among family members and care givers impacts end-of-life decisions. The author says that family communication holds a great deal of potential for improving end-of-life health care.
  • Minimally invasive disc surgery is a pain in the neck
  • In comparison with open surgery, while minimally invasive surgery for cervical or lumbar discectomy may speed up recovery and reduce post-operative pain, it does not improve long-term function or reduce long-term extremity pain.
  • Amazonian shrimps: An underwater world still unknown
  • A study reveals how little we know about the Amazonian diversity. Aiming to resolve a scientific debate about the validity of two species of freshwater shrimp described in the first half of the last century, researchers have found that not only this species is valid, but also discovered the existence of a third unknown species. The researchers concluded that these species evolved about 10 million years ago.
  • An 'eel-lectrifying' future for autonomous underwater robots
  • Scientists have developed and built a prototype for an eel-like robotic fish to be operable remotely, small, sophisticated and intelligent enough to operate autonomously underwater. A new form of central pattern generator model is presented, by which the swimming pattern of a real Anguilliform fish is successfully applied to the robotic prototype. Mathematical model, control law design, different locomotion patterns, and locomotion planning are presented for an Anguilliform robotic fish.
  • The mysterious 'action at a distance' between liquid containers
  • For several years, it has been known that superfluid helium housed in reservoirs located next to each other acts collectively, even when the channels connecting the reservoirs are too narrow and too long to allow for substantial flow. A new theoretical model reveals that the phenomenon of mysterious communication 'at a distance' between fluid reservoirs is much more common than previously thought.
  • New evidence of ancient rock art across Southeast Asia
  • Research on the oldest surviving rock art of Southeast Asia shows the region's first people brought with them a rich art practice. These earliest people skilfully produced paintings of animals in rock shelters from southwest China to Indonesia. Besides these countries, early sites were also recorded in Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia.
  • Bioengineering study finds two-cell mouse embryos already 'talking' about their future
  • Bioengineers have discovered that mouse embryos are contemplating their cellular fates in the earliest stages after fertilization when the embryo has only two to four cells, a discovery that could upend the scientific consensus about when embryonic cells begin differentiating into cell types. Their research used single-cell RNA sequencing to look at every gene in the mouse genome.
  • Toolkit for ocean health
  • The ocean is undergoing global changes at a remarkable pace and we must change with it to attain our best possible future ocean, warns an expert who shares his insights on the future of the world's oceans in a new paper.
  • Protecting rainforest through agriculture, forestry
  • Conservationists are always looking for ways to halt the pace of deforestation in tropical rainforests. One approach involves recultivating abandoned agricultural land. Working in the mountainous regions of Ecuador, the an international team of researchers found afforestation and intense pasturing to be particularly effective, clearly increasing the environmental and economic value of abandoned farmlands.
  • Study unlocks basis of key immune protein's two-faced role
  • A long sought-after partner for a key immune protein, called TIM-3, that helps explain its two-faced role in the immune system has been discovered by researchers. The interest in TIM-3 as a drug target stems largely from its inhibitory role, particularly in cancer. Scientists explain that if there were a way to block TIM-3 pharmacologically, it could unleash the immune system, freeing it to attack tumors.
  • Particles, waves and ants
  • Particles or waves traveling through disordered media are scattered at small impurities. Surprisingly, the density of these impurities does not affect the overall dwell time the particle -- or wave -- spends inside the medium. This remarkable finding applies not only to particles and waves, but also to crawling ants or drunken sailors hitting streetlamps.
  • Protons fuel graphene prospects
  • Graphene, impermeable to all gases and liquids, can easily allow protons to pass through it researchers have found.
  • Global quantum communications: No longer the stuff of fiction?
  • Neither quantum computers nor quantum cryptography will become prevalent technologies without memory systems able to manipulate quantum information easily and effectively. Scientists have recently made inroads into popularizing quantum information technologies by creating an atomic memory with outstanding parameters and an extremely simple construction.
  • Prehistoric conflict hastened human brain's capacity for collaboration
  • Warfare not only hastened human technological progress and vast social and political changes, but may have greatly contributed to the evolutionary emergence of humans' high intelligence and ability to work together toward common goals, according to a new study.
  • Isolation of important centres in brain results in age-related memory deficits
  • Poor memory among the elderly can be explained by regions in the hippocampus complex, an important part of the brain, becoming more co-active during rest, thereby interacting less efficiently with other parts of the brain when we try to memorize information, researchers report.
  • Pleasure at another's misfortune is evident in children as young as two
  • Even very young children will show signs of schadenfreude when an inequitable situation is rectified. Until now, researchers believed that children didn't develop such a sophisticated emotion until the age of seven, but a new study found evidence of schadenfreude in children as young as two.
  • It's particle-hunting season! Scientists launch Higgs Hunters Project
  • Scientists have launched the Higgs Hunters project, which will allow members of the general public to study images recorded at the Large Hadron Collider and to help search for previously unobserved particles.
  • Drivers of sexual traits: Age and a whole lot more
  • Many male animals have multiple displays and behaviors to attract females; and often the larger or greater the better. Understanding what has driven the evolution of these traits is an important evolutionary question.
  • How various brain areas interact in decisions
  • Our decisions can be pictured in the brain, and now scientists have been able to show in a recent study which areas are most active in decision making. Often the so-called prefrontal cortex not only apparently shows increased activity during decisions that require self-control, but in general during decision making. The results could be of use in promoting decision skills in difficult decisions.
  • Inpatient psychotherapy is effective in Germany
  • The effectiveness of inpatient psychotherapy – which is widely available in Germany – has been the focus of long-term study, particularly with regard to the reduction of the psychiatric symptoms and impairments in the interpersonal sphere.
  • Hydrothermal settlers: Barnacle holds clues about how climate change is affecting the deep ocean
  • The deep ocean seems so remote that it is difficult to imagine any sort of human-generated change making an impact on deep-sea life. It is even more difficult to collect or examine evidence from the deep ocean to determine what those impacts might be. Enter the barnacle; a hard, sessile creature that looks like a tiny volcano and attaches to rocks, boat bottoms, and other hard substrates, where it filters ocean water to feed on tiny organisms. The barnacle holds clues about how climate change is affecting the deep ocean. 
  • Sportswomen still second best to sportsmen, in the press
  • Despite a sequence of stellar performances by Britain’s female athletes and team game players, coverage of women’s sport in the Press still occupies a fraction of the space given to men, according to an expert who has analyzed thousands of articles in newspapers that she describes as a “football-saturated boyzone”. 
  • Glassy protein solution may cause eyesight deterioration
  • Long-sightedness caused by age could be due to proteins in the lens of the eye that are converted from a fluid solution to a solid, glassy state, researchers have found. Around the age of 40-50, many people find their sight deteriorates and they need to use reading glasses. This age-related long-sightedness is thought to be due to a reduction in the elasticity of the lens in the eye. A new research study appears to have put its finger on the details of what happens in the eye when long-sightedness develops.
  • New test to measure HDL cholesterol can predict cardiovascular risk
  • Changes to the "good cholesterol" HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) can be associated with cardiovascular diseases, researchers report. By developing a new laboratory test, scientists have demonstrated for the first time that the presence of certain proteins in the HDL can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality.
  • New measuring system to objectively ascertain level of fatigue in physicians through eye movement
  • It is possible to establish in an objective way the level of fatigue in physicians after long shifts through their eye movement, according to an international team of scientists that has demonstrated this for the first time.
  • Efficacy of new drug against stem cells that provoke onset, growth of cancer, metastasis
  • An team of researchers has demonstrated the efficacy of a new drug against cancerogenic stem cells, which cause the onset and development of cancer, of relapse after chemotherapy and metastasis. This drug, called Bozepinib, has proved to be effective in tests with mice, they report.
  • Classical enzymatic theory revised by including water motions
  • Enzymes are macromolecular biological catalysists that lead most of chemical reactions in living organisms. The main focus of enzymology lies on enzymes themselves, whereas the role of water motions in mediating the biological reaction is often left aside owing to the complex molecular behavior. Scientists have now revised the classical enzymatic steady state theory by including long-lasting protein-water coupled motions into models of functional catalysis.
  • Studying the speed of multi-hop Bluetooth networks
  • Bluetooth technology is the most widespread standard wireless communication. One of its applications is the creation of electronic sensor networks. Researchers have studied the performance of Bluetooth networks and measured the delays taking place in information transmission time.

AP Top Science News At 3:21 a.m. EST
  • US tightens smog limits in bid to protect health
  • WASHINGTON (AP) -- In a fresh confrontation with Republicans, the Obama administration on Wednesday proposed stricter emissions limits on smog-forming pollution linked to asthma and respiratory illness. The move fulfilled a long-delayed campaign promise by President Barack Obama but left environmental and public health groups wanting more....
  • Lab-coated Muggles use Harry Potter to study brain
  • WASHINGTON (AP) -- Harry Potter swoops around on his broom, faces the bully Malfoy and later runs into a three-headed dog. For scientists studying brain activity while reading, it's the perfect excerpt from the young wizard's many adventures to give their subjects....
  • Feds cancel permit for Idaho wolf-killing derby
  • BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Environmental groups have won the latest battle in their effort to halt a wolf- and coyote-shooting derby in Idaho, but a pro-hunting group says the contest with cash prizes for whoever kills the most predators will go on as planned early next year....
  • Colorado mastodon bones show ancient warmer Earth
  • DENVER (AP) -- A trove of ancient bones from gigantic animals discovered in the Colorado mountains is providing scientists with a fascinating look at what happened about 120,000 years ago when the Earth got as warm as it is today....
  • Dutch seek to harness energy from salt water mix
  • AMSTERDAM (AP) -- Dutch researchers are seeking to add a new, largely untapped renewable energy source to the world's energy mix with the opening of a "Blue Energy" test facility on Wednesday....
  • Helium: It gives NYC's Thanksgiving parade a lift
  • NEW YORK (AP) -- It'll never rank up there with turkey and pumpkin pie, but for millions of Americans the Thanksgiving experience just wouldn't be the same without ... helium....
  • Space station's 3-D printer pops out 1st creation
  • CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- The first 3-D printer in space has popped out its first creation....
  • Doctor behind 'free radical' aging theory dies
  • OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Dr. Denham Harman, a renowned scientist who developed a prominent theory on aging that's now used to study cancer, Alzheimer's disease and other illnesses, has died in Nebraska at age 98....
  • Crew docks at International Space Station
  • BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (AP) -- A Soyuz capsule carrying three astronauts from Russia, the United States and Italy docked Monday with the International Space Station, less than six hours after launching from Russia's manned space facility in Kazakhstan....
  • Google's latest: A spoon that steadies tremors
  • MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) -- Google is throwing its money, brain power and technology at the humble spoon....

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BBC News - Science & Environment

News from Science
  • Universities warn against using science funds for "highly uncertain" plan to stimulate European economy
  • GSK's vaccine passes muster in early-stage clinical trials
  • Proposal reprises earlier plan shelved by Obama
  • New studies show how to unleash the immune system on more cancers and how to predict who will benefit
  • Three studies bring researchers closer to using gene therapy and reprogrammed cells to replace defective skin

Reuters: Top News

Science News Headlines - Yahoo News
  • Exclusive: First gene therapy drug sets million-euro price record
  • By Ludwig Burger and Ben Hirschler FRANKFURT/LONDON (Reuters) - The Western world's first gene therapy drug is set to go on sale in Germany with a 1.1 million euro ($1.4 million) price tag, a new record for a medicine to treat a rare disease. The sky-high cost of Glybera, from Dutch biotech firm UniQure and its unlisted Italian marketing partner Chiesi, shows how single curative therapies to fix faulty genes may upend the conventional pharmaceutical business model. ...
  • Ultra-strong graphene's weak spot could be key to fuel cells
  • By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - In a discovery that experts say could revolutionize fuel cell technology, scientists in Britain have found that graphene, the world's thinnest, strongest and most impermeable material, can allow protons to pass through it. The researchers, led by the Nobel prize winner and discoverer of graphene Andre Geim of Manchester University, said their finding also raised the possibility that, in future, graphene membranes could be used to "sieve" hydrogen gas from the atmosphere to then generate electricity. ...
  • Gut check: how vultures dine on rotting flesh, and like it
  • By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - They snack on danger and dine on death, merrily munching on rotting flesh that would certainly sicken or kill any person and most other animals. But how do vultures do it? These feathery scavengers have one of the toughest guts on the planet, that is how. Scientists said on Tuesday that their analysis of two species of North American vultures showed that the birds possess a ferociously acidic digestive system and intestines loaded with two fiendish kinds of bacteria. ...
  • Multi-national crew reaches space station
  • By Irene Klotz (Reuters) - A Russian Soyuz rocket blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazahkstan on Sunday to deliver three new crew members to the International Space Station, including Italy's first female astronaut. A Soyuz capsule carrying incoming station commander Terry Virts from U.S. space agency NASA, Soyuz commander Anton Shkaplerov from the Russian Federal Space Agency and first-time flier Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency lifted off at 2101 GMT (4.01 p.m. EST) Sunday. ...
  • Physicists solve mystery of why cats rule, dogs drool
  • (Reuters) - Popular web videos showing that "cats rule and dogs drool" have new scientific evidence to support that felinophilic sentiment, at least when it comes to drinking. While cats expertly manipulate water to quench thirst neatly, dogs smash, slosh, spill, and splash their way, according to research unveiled on Monday. The latest findings, which focus on dogs and were presented at a meeting in San Francisco of the American Physical Society, build on an earlier discovery of how cats drink. ...
  • Mystery of 'Vampire' Burials Solved
  • The mystery behind several "vampire" burials in Poland has been solved. The fact that all the people buried as vampires were local suggests they may have been felled by a cholera epidemic that swept through the region, said study co-author Lesley Gregoricka, a bioarchaeologist at the University of South Alabama. Tales of the dead coming back to life have truly ancient roots, going back to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Babylonians and beyond, said study co-author Tracy Betsinger, a bioarchaeologist at the State University of New York at Oneonta.
  • World's Newest Lava Lake Appears in Africa
  • Heralded by fiery lava fountains and plumes of poisonous gas, a new lava lake has appeared atop one of Africa's most active volcanoes for the first time in 75 years. The lava lake at Nyamuragira volcano in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) simmers deep within the summit's North Pit Crater. Though the churning lava seems to come and go, scientists think the volcano may eventually spawn a long-lived lava lake. At the moment, "it's a very small, bubbling lava lake," said Benoit Smets, a volcanologist at the European Center for Geodynamics and Seismology in Luxembourg.
  • Map of Endangered Shark's Wanderings Could Aid Conservation
  • A young hammerhead's 10.5-month journey through the Gulf of California reveals that the endangered shark often swam outside of protected areas, according to a new research that suggests key areas where protection could help the species survive. After hitching rides from local fishermen, researchers caught and tagged three young scalloped hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna lewini) in the Gulf of California, which separates the Baja California peninsula from mainland Mexico. "I spent at least five weeks going out every day from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the local fishermen in La Paz Bay and Mazatlan until we were able to set at least three archival tags," said lead researcher Mauricio Hoyos, who works with Pelagios Kakunjá, a marine conservation nonprofit. Of the three sharks, the researchers recaptured one, a female measuring 3.1 feet (1 meter) long when they first tagged her on Jan. 26, 2007, in La Paz Bay.
  • Sesame Street Muppets Counting Down to NASA Orion Launch
  • Elmo, Cookie Monster and the other popular muppets from "Sesame Street" have joined forces with NASA to count down to the launch of the first Orion spacecraft, scheduled for Dec. 4. Beginning Tuesday (Nov. 25) and over the next ten days, NASA and "Sesame Street" will share online comic strips, videos and graphics of the Muppet characters interacting with the Orion space capsule in an effort to educate a new generation of space explorers about the Orion Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) and NASA's future journey to Mars. "9 days to go before NASA's Orion launch!" wrote Sesame Street on Twitter on Tuesday, captioning a cartoon of The Count counting heat shield tiles. The muppet-led Orion countdown is part of a collaboration between NASA and the Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind the television show.
  • Astronauts Celebrate Thanksgiving in Space (Video)
  • This Thursday (Nov. 27) will be full of feast, family and friends as people celebrate Thanksgiving — both on Earth and on the International Space Station (ISS). The orbiting lab's American astronauts — commander Barry "Butch" Wilmore and flight engineer Terry Virts — and Italian-born flight engineer Samantha Cristoforetti will take Thursday off from their normal duties to celebrate the holiday. Orbiting about 250 miles (400 kilometers) above the Earth, Wilmore took a moment to send a Thanksgiving greeting for everyone on the ground.
  • Thanksgiving Science: Why Gratitude Is Good for You
  • Thanksgiving may be the only major American holiday focused on giving thanks for all of life's blessings, but gratitude isn't just a good excuse for chowing down on turkey and pumpkin pie; it's also a way to promote good health and well-being, experts say.
  • One for every leg: scientists map centipede genome
  • LONDON (Reuters) - An international team of more than 100 researchers has mapped the genome of the centipede and found that, while it easily outpaces humans on number of legs, it falls short when it comes to genes. Sequencing the genome of Strigamia maritima, a northern European centipede, the 106-strong team found it has around 15,000 genes - some 7,000 fewer than a human. ...
  • 'Interstellar' Science: Is Wormhole Travel Possible?
  • Wormholes are theoretical tunnels through the fabric of space-time that could potentially allow rapid travel between widely separated points — from one galaxy to another, for example, as depicted in Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar," which opened in theaters around the world earlier this month. The novel came out in 1985, while the movie (which also stars Matthew McConaughey, apparently a wormhole connoisseur) was released in 1997.
  • Cosmic Case of Missing Stars Baffles Scientists
  • A massive population of stars is missing, and scientists are stumped as to where it could be. New observations from the Hubble Space Telescope challenge a previous theory for the apparent disappearance of a massive number of stars. Because some star clusters around our Milky Way galaxy have fewer stars than observations suggest they should, astronomers suspected many of these stars were ejected from their clusters to ultimately find new homes in the Milky Way. "If these kicked-out stars were there, we would see them — but we don't!" Frank Grundahl of Aarhus University in Denmark, a co-author on the paper, said in a statement. The finding draws into question whether the missing stars were ever present at all, in globular clusters around Fornax or the Milky Way.
  • Nobel Medal for DNA discovery could fetch $3.5 million at auction
  • By Patricia Reaney NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Nobel Prize gold medal awarded to American scientist Dr. James Watson, a co-discoverer of DNA, is expected to sell for up to $3.5 million at auction next month in New York, Christie's said on Monday. Watson, along with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, unraveled the double-helix structure and function of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in England in 1953 in a discovery that heralded the modern era of biology. The medal, the first to be offered by a living recipient, will go under the hammer on Dec. 4, with a pre-sale estimate of $2.5 million to $3. ...
  • Small Volcanic Eruptions Slow Global Warming
  • Small volcanic eruptions account for part of the global warming slowdown since 2000, a new study suggests. Until now, the climate impacts of small volcanic blasts were overlooked because their planet-cooling particles cluster below the reach of satellites, scientists reported Oct. 31 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The stratosphere is the second layer of Earth's atmosphere, above the one in which humans live (the troposphere). Closer to the polar regions, the boundary drops to about 6 miles (10 km), said lead study author David Ridley, an atmospheric scientist at MIT.
  • Obama plugs science, math education at ceremony
  • WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama said Thursday that 19 scientists, researchers and innovators who received the country's highest honor for their life-changing work embody the spirit of the nation and its "sense that we push against limits and that we're not afraid to ask questions."
  • Parallel Worlds Could Explain Wacky Quantum Physics
  • The idea that an infinite number of parallel worlds could exist alongside our own is hard to wrap the mind around, but a version of this so-called Many Worlds theory could provide an answer to the controversial idea of quantum mechanics and its many different interpretations. Bill Poirier, a professor of physics at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, proposed a theory that not only assumes parallel worlds exist, but also says their interaction can explain all the quantum mechanics "weirdness" in the observable universe. Poirier first published the idea four years ago, but other physicists have recently started building on the idea and have demonstrated that it is mathematically possible. Quantum mechanics is the branch of physics that describes the rules that govern the universe on the microscopic scale.
  • CERN scientists discover 2 new subatomic particles
  • GENEVA (AP) — Scientists at the world's largest smasher said Wednesday they have discovered two new subatomic particles never seen before that could widen our understanding of the universe.
  • Israeli XPrize Mission Science Twist: Map Lunar Magnetism (Op-Ed)
  • With the goal of landing the first Israeli spacecraft on the moon, nonprofit SpaceIL is competing for the Google Lunar XPrize: a modern race to the moon. First, instead of developing a rover to drive 500 m like most other teams, SpaceIL engineers are pursuing a "hop" — using the spacecraft's propulsion system first to land, and second to take off again and land 500 m away. Second, we are using the mission not only to stimulate technological advancement, but also to investigate the lunar magnetic field: To that aim, SpaceIL will be carrying a scientific experiment that will advance humanity's shared understanding of the moon. Although magnetized rocks were discovered decades ago, and astronauts returned some samples to Earth for research, the origin of the magnetic field presents an enigma — and an opportunity.
  • NASA Pluto Probe to Wake From Hibernation Next Month
  • NASA's New Horizons probe is about to wake up from a long slumber and get ready for its highly anticipated Pluto flyby next summer. New Horizons is scheduled to emerge from a 99-day hibernation on Dec. 6, then gear up for a six-month Pluto encounter that peaks with the first-ever close flyby of the mysterious dwarf planet on July 14, 2015. “New Horizons is healthy and cruising quietly through deep space, nearly 3 billion miles [4.8 billion kilometers] from home, but its rest is nearly over," Alice Bowman, New Horizons mission operations manager at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, said in a statement. New Horizons launched in January 2006.
  • Scientists 'confident' comet lander will wake up
  • BERLIN (AP) — A burst of sunshine in the spring could be just the wakeup call for Europe's comet lander.
  • Big Bang's Echo May Reveal Skeleton of the Universe
  • Scientists may soon get a look at the universe's skeleton by taking a close look at light left over from the Big Bang, which can be used to reveal the presence of matter like stars, galaxies, black holes and even larger structures in the otherwise empty universe. In a similar way, scientists with the international POLARBEAR collaboration want to use a diffuse light that fills every corner of the cosmos to indicate where there is matter and where there is none. POLARBEAR studies the cosmic microwave background (CMB) — the surviving light from the infant universe that is normally seen a kind of baby picture of the cosmos. "We're using the light that we've usually used to measure the seeds of the structure of the universe, to measure the whole tree," said Adrian Lee, a professor of physics at the University of California Berkeley, and a lead scientist with POLARBEAR.
  • Famed Physicist Ernest Rutherford Helped Pioneer Sonar in Secret
  • Ernest Rutherford is best-known for splitting the atom, but that's not his only claim to fame. The British physicist also helped pave the way for sonar technology. Rutherford produced a secret report during World War I that would form the basis for acoustic technology to detect German U-boats, which were a menace to the British Navy and merchant vessels. Now known as the father of nuclear physics, Rutherford became the first person to split an atom in 1917 in a reaction between nitrogen and alpha particles.
  • Comet scientists take break after 4 straight days
  • BERLIN (AP) — The European Space Agency says that its scientists are taking a bit of a break after working for four days around the clock since the pioneering lander Philae touched down on a comet.
  • Alien Life Could Thrive on 'Supercritical' CO2 Instead of Water
  • Alien life might flourish on an exotic kind of carbon dioxide, researchers say. This "supercritical" carbon dioxide, which has features of both liquids and gases, could be key to extraterrestrial organisms much as water is to biology on Earth. Most familiar as a greenhouse gas that traps heat, helping warm the planet, carbon dioxide is exhaled by animals and used by plants in photosynthesis. While it can exist as a solid, liquid and gas, past a critical point of combined temperature and pressure, carbon dioxide can enter a "supercritical" state.
  • Space scientist apologizes for shirt called sexist
  • BERLIN (AP) — British physicist Matt Taylor brimmed with excitement as the European Space Agency's Philae lander successfully separated from the Rosetta spacecraft, showing off a colorful tattoo on his thigh of both, while proclaiming "we're making history."
  • 'Nature's Fury': NYC Exhibit Explores Science of Natural Disasters
  • From the eruption that buried Pompeii in A.D. 79 to the superstorm that shut down New York City in 2012, natural disasters are an unavoidable part of life on Earth. A new exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) explores the causes and aftermath of the mighty forces that shape the planet, from earthquakes to volcanoes to hurricanes. The interactive exhibit lets visitors build their own virtual volcano, create and measure tiny earthquakes, and see what the eye of a tornado looks like. "Nature's Fury: The Science Behind Natural Disasters" will be open to the public from Nov. 15 to Aug. 9, 2015.
  • Professor sues Caltech over her disclosures to FBI
  • PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — A physics professor at the California Institute of Technology sued the school Thursday, claiming she faced a "merciless campaign" of retaliation for telling the FBI that she suspected illegal activities at the university-managed NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
  • Global Warming Will Bring More US Lightning Strikes
  • A 50 percent increase in the number of lightning strikes within the United States can be expected by 2100 if temperatures continue to rise due to greenhouse gas emissions, a new study claims. Romps and his colleagues discovered a new combination of two factors that they say predicts 77 percent of the geographic and time patterns seen in U.S.
  • Scientists: US-China pact won't slow warming much
  • WASHINGTON (AP) — Don't expect the landmark U.S.-China climate change agreement to nudge the world's rising thermostat downward much on its own, scientists say.
  • World's Oldest Living People Have Their Genomes Sequenced
  • Many of these so-called "supercentenarians" were physically and cognitively fit into their old age — one participant practiced as a doctor until age 103, and another drove a car until age 107. The ultimate goal of the research is to figure out how supercentenarians are able to "slow down the aging clock," said study co-author Stuart Kim, a professor of developmental biology at Stanford University. None of the supercentenarians in the study had heart disease, stroke or diabetes — diseases that are  very common in old age — and just one participant had been diagnosed with cancer. "The best way forward is for people to pool their data so we can compare all the supercentenarians," Kim said.
  • Scientists scour the genomes of people who live past 110
  • By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - How do some people live past 110 years old? Is it superior genes, clean living, good luck or some combination of those? Scientists studying these "supercentenarians" said on Wednesday they sequenced the genomes of 17 people ages 110 to 116 to try to determine whether they possess genetic traits that may account for their membership in this exclusive club that worldwide includes only about 75 individuals, nearly all women. ...
  • L'Aquila Earthquake Scientists Win Manslaughter Appeal
  • The Italian scientists convicted of manslaughter for failing to sufficiently warn the public before the deadly 2009 L'Aquila earthquake won an appeal of their conviction Monday (Nov. 10). An appeals court in L'Aquila overturned the 2012 convictions and completely cleared the six scientists, according to the Associated Press. The men were members of an official commission convened to evaluate the threat from tremors that had rocked L'Aquila for months before a magnitude-6.3 quake killed 309 people on April 6, 2009. Prosecutors said reassuring statements from the official, Bernardo De Bernardinis, convinced L'Aquila residents to sleep indoors the night of the earthquake, which increased the number of people who died in collapsed buildings.
  • Scientists find rare burial site of Ice Age infant in Alaska
  • By Daniel Wallis (Reuters) - Archaeologists working in Alaska's remote interior have discovered the burial site of an Ice Age infant and a late-term fetus believed to be the youngest remains found in the Americas dating from that period. The burials, found underneath the cremated remains of an Ice Age toddler, date to about 11,500 years ago and provide new insights into mortuary practices of the people who lived in the area of the Upward Sun River site at the time. ...
  • GMO battles over 'settled' science spur new study of crops
  • By Carey Gillam (Reuters) - Monsanto Co, the world's largest seed company, and its brethren of global biotech crop developers are spreading the word that as far as the safety of their genetically modified grain goes, the science is solidly on their side. The message of "settled" science has become the rallying cry for defenders of the crops and food commonly referred to as GMOs as they push back against consumers, environmentalists, lawmakers and others who want the crops labeled, restricted or banned. ...
  • Will Purr for Treats: How Cats Became Domesticated
  • A new study has revealed the genetic changes that make kitties snuggle up with humans and purr for treats. Many of the changes have altered the cat's motivation to seek rewards and have changed their fear of new situations, said study co-author Wesley Warren, a geneticist at the Genome Institute at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The team also discovered the genetic changes that make cats keen nighttime hunters and why their noses aren't as sensitive as their canine cousins'. Cats and humans go way back: Some studies suggest cats were first domesticated about 9,000 years ago in the Near East, while others trace cat domestication back to China around 5,000 years ago.
  • The Science of 'Interstellar': Black Holes, Wormholes and Space Travel
  • The sci-fi epic "Interstellar" is just a movie, but it throws a lot of science on the screen for space geeks to sink their teeth into. "Interstellar," which opened in theaters across the United States on Friday (Nov. 7), delves into black holes and wormholes, and it touches down on more than one alien planet. Here's a look at some of the space-science concepts that play key roles in the film, which was directed by Christopher Nolan and stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine. "Interstellar" is set at some nebulous point in the not-too-distant future, when global crop failures threaten humanity with extinction.
  • Study: Global warming worsening watery dead zones
  • WASHINGTON (AP) — Global warming is likely playing a bigger role than previously thought in dead zones in oceans, lakes and rivers around the world and it's only going to get worse, according to a new study.
  • Breakthrough Prizes in science, math earn winners $3 million each
  • By Sarah McBride SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Academia doesn't usually bring rich financial rewards. But that changed Sunday for recipients of a record 12 Breakthrough Prizes, the award created two years ago by Russian billionaire venture capitalist Yuri Milner, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Google co-founder Sergey Brin and other tech industry luminaries. Each prize is worth $3 million, almost three times the cash a Nobel Prize winner receives. This year is the first to honor mathematicians. Five won for work ranging from algebraic geometry to analytic number theory. ...

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News from the National Academies
  • Winners of National Medals of Science, Technology Honored at Ceremony
  • President Obama today honored the new class of National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation winners, several of whom are members of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. These medals are the nation's highest honors for achievement and leadership in advancing the fields of science and technology. Read Oct. 3 announcement of winners 
  • U.S. and Indian Science Academies Examine Challenges Posed by Emerging Infections
  • This week the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Indian National Science Academy are holding a three-day workshop in New Delhi to explore emerging infections, global health, and biological safety in the United States and India. In particular, the workshop will address challenges posed by infectious diseases, both within the countries and across national borders. The overall goals are to share challenges and lessons learned in these areas and to encourage collaborative partnerships among Indian and American scientists.
  • Ebola Workshop Summarized in 10-Page Brief
  • The Institute of Medicine and National Research Council today released a 10-page brief summarizing a workshop held on Nov. 3 that explored current knowledge of Ebola and priority research areas. Discussions took place at the event on observations and lessons from West Africa, transmission and routes of entry, survival and infectivity, personal protective equipment and behaviors, and waste handling and management. The brief recaps statements made by presenters or individual meeting participants. It does not necessarily represent the views of all meeting participants, the planning committee, the Institute of Medicine, or the National Research Council.
  • Social and Behavioral Information for Electronic Health Records
  • A new report from Institute of Medicine identifies 12 measures of social and behavioral information that should be included in all electronic health records (EHRs) to provide better patient care, improve population health, and enable more informative research. Four measures are already widely collected -- race/ethnicity, tobacco use, alcohol use, and residential address. The additional measures are education, financial resource strain, stress, depression, physical activity, social isolation, exposure to violence, and neighborhood median household income. While time will be needed to collect such data and act upon it, the committee that wrote the report concluded the health benefits of addressing these determinants outweigh the added burden to providers, patients, and health care systems.
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients Announced
  • President Obama announced yesterday the names of 19 individuals who will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a White House ceremony later this month. Among those to be honored is Mildred Dresselhaus, a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering and "one of the most prominent physicists, materials scientists, and electrical engineers of her generation," the White House said. Economist Robert Solow, a National Academy of Sciences member and Nobel laureate, will also receive this highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. Read More
  • Uganda Meeting Focuses on Ownership of Africa's Development Agenda, Marks Culmination of ASADI
  • The 10th Annual Meeting of African Science Academies, hosted this year by the Uganda National Academy of Sciences, began today in Kampala. The conference's theme focuses on country ownership of Africa's post-2015 development agenda, a topic addressed in a new report from several African science academies released at the meeting. A mindset shift is needed, the report says, for countries to take greater ownership of development goals such as the Africa Union's Agenda 2063 and the U.N.'s planned Sustainable Development Goals. It recommends catalysts for giving all sectors of society in Africa a greater stake in and responsibility for the continent's development agenda. The annual meeting also marks the culmination of the 10-year African Science Academy Development Initiative, a partnership of the U.S. National Academies and several counterparts in Africa aimed at strengthening the capacity of the African academies to inform policymaking through evidence-based advice. This effort is evaluated in a new report from the InterAcademy Council, a multinational organization of the world's science academies, which drew on lessons learned during the initiative to make recommendations about the future shape of science academies in Africa.
  • Workshop to Inform Public Health Practices for Ebola
  • As a result of the emergence of Ebola, the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council hosted a public workshop to discuss research needed to best safeguard the U.S. public. The workshop provided a venue to explore immediate science needs to provide the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, public health officials, health care providers, and the general public with the most up-to-date and accurate information about the virus. Photos
  • Report Calls for Greater Investment in the Health and Well-Being of Young Adults
  • Young adults ages 18-26 should be viewed as a separate subpopulation in policy and research, because they are in a critical period of development when successes or failures could strongly affect the trajectories of their lives, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. Young adults' brains and behaviors continue maturing into their 20s, and they face greater challenges achieving independence than their predecessors did, have lengthened pathways into adulthood, and are surprisingly unhealthy. The report reviews what is known about the health, safety, and well-being of young adults and offers recommendations for policy and research. Read More
  • Institute of Medicine Names Four Anniversary Fellows for 2014
  • The Institute of Medicine has selected four outstanding health professionals for the class of 2014 IOM Anniversary Fellows. Each fellow will work with an IOM board and an expert study committee or roundtable related to his or her professional interests, including contributing to its reports or other products. Created in 2005 to celebrate IOM's 35th anniversary, the purpose of the IOM Anniversary Fellows Program is to enable talented, early career health science scholars to collaborate with eminent researchers, policy experts, and clinicians from across the country, participate actively in the work of the IOM, and further their careers as future leaders in the field. Read More
  • IOM Presents Awards for Outstanding Achievements and Service
  • The Institute of Medicine presented the Gustav O. Lienhard Award to Linda Aiken, Claire M. Fagin Leadership Professor of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, for her rigorous research demonstrating the importance of nursing care and work environments in achieving safe, effective, patient-centered, and affordable health care. Also, Vikram Patel, professor of international mental health and Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and at the Public Health Foundation of India received the 2014 Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health. In addition, IOM honored two of its members -- Dan G. Blazer and Richard B. Johnston Jr. -- for outstanding service to the institution. The awards were announced during IOM's 44th annual meeting.Lienhard News ReleaseSarnat News ReleaseService Awards News Release
  • IOM Elects 70 New Members, 10 Foreign Associates
  • The Institute of Medicine today announced the names of 70 new members and 10 foreign associates during its 44th annual meeting. Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. Video Webcast | Agenda
  • Workshop on 'Gain of Function' Research Announced
  • The National Research Council and Institute of Medicine are organizing a public workshop on the potential risks and benefits of "gain of function" research that increases the pathogenicity or transmissibility of infectious agents such as SARS, MERS, or pandemic influenza. The workshop discussions will help inform deliberations of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity. Read More
  • Award Ceremony Honors Excellence in Science Communication
  • The recipients of the 2014 Communication Awards were honored at a ceremony held last night at the historic National Academy of Sciences building. The winners were author Dan Fagin; NPR correspondent Rob Stein; New York Times science reporter Dennis Overbye; and Seattle Times reporter Craig Welch and photographer Steve Ringman. These prestigious awards -- each of which includes $20,000 -- are presented annually by the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine to recognize excellence in reporting and communicating science, engineering, and medicine to the general public. Photos from the award ceremony
  • Harvey Fineberg Named President of Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
  • Former Institute of Medicine President Harvey V. Fineberg has been selected by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation as its next president, the foundation announced today. Fineberg served two terms as IOM's president, from 2002 until this summer. Before that, he was provost of Harvard University and served for 13 years as dean of the Harvard School of Public Health. Fineberg currently holds the presidential chair as a visiting professor at the University of California, San Francisco. He assumes his new post at the foundation on Jan. 1, 2015.
  • Framework to Guide Assessment of Chemical Alternatives
  • Chemicals used in consumer products and industrial processes have elicited concerns in recent years about health or environmental impacts, prompting manufacturers, retailers, and regulators to develop methods for evaluating potentially safer chemical substitutes. Although a number of assessment tools exist, they reflect a range of different priorities, such as protecting workers, the end user, or the environment.A new report from the National Research Council describes a decision framework for comparing chemicals in terms of human health and ecological risks that is more uniformly applicable for a diverse set of users while remaining flexible enough to be tailored to the specific decision being made. The framework draws on the strengths and common characteristics of existing assessment approaches, but also includes several advancements: problem formulation and scoping, comparative exposure assessment, and evaluation of physicochemical properties. Read More Register for Public Webinar
  • Super Typhoon Intensifies in Pacific
  • Super Typhoon Vongfong has rapidly intensified from the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane to a monster typhoon with peak wind speeds of 190 mph. Based on estimates of its central pressure, Vongfong is now the most intense storm so far in 2014, and forecast models suggest it could rival the intensity of last year's deadly Typhoon Haiyan. In the United States, local, state, and federal leaders as well as community groups and businesses are working to strengthen the nation's resilience to natural disasters and adverse events. Learn what the National Academies are doing to help advance the resilience conversation.
  • NAS Member Shares 2014 Nobel in Chemistry
  • National Academy of Sciences member William E. Moerner has won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Eric Betzig and Stefan W. Hell "for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy," more commonly known as nanoscopy.
  • NAE Members Share Nobel Prize in Physics
  • National Academy of Engineering member Shuji Nakamura and foreign member Isamu Akasaki, together with Hiroshi Amano, have won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics for the invention of the blue light-emitting diode (LED).
  • NAS Foreign Associates Receive Nobel Prize in Medicine
  • Norwegian husband and wife Edvard Moser and May-Britt Moser along with U.S.-British scientist John O'Keefe have won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain. The Mosers are foreign associates of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Report Urges Caution in Handling Eyewitness Identifications, Recommends Best Practices
  • A new report from the National Research Council recommends best practices that law enforcement agencies and courts should follow to improve the likelihood that eyewitness identifications used in criminal cases will be accurate. Science has provided an increasingly clear picture of the inherent limits in human visual perception and memory that can lead to errors, as well as the ways unintentional cues during law enforcement processes can compromise eyewitness identifications, the report says. Read More | Listen to the Briefing
  • Prominent Speakers Address Annual Meeting
  • The National Academy of Engineering's 2014 annual meeting featured an address by NAE President C.D. Mote Jr., as well as a discussion on innovation and engineering from distinguished speakers NAS/NAE/IOM member Frances H. Arnold, California Institute of Technology's Dick and Barbara Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Biochemistry and a winner of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation; Sally Jewell, secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior; and Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google Inc. President Mote's speech is available online; a video of the plenary discussion will be available soon.
  • NAE Announces Winning Videos
  • During its annual meeting, NAE announced the winners of the Engineering For You Video Contest. In celebration of NAE's 50th anniversary, the contest invited participants to submit a 1-2 minute video showing engineering's impact on society in the last 50 years and to project its contributions in the next 50 years. A judging committee chaired by Rob Cook, Pixar Animation Studios' emeritus vice president of advanced technology, selected the winning videos from more than 600 submissions. Learn more about the winners and their videos.
  • U.S. Health System Not Properly Designed to Meet the Needs of Patients Nearing End of Life
  • The U.S. health care system is not properly designed to meet the needs of patients nearing the end of life and those of their families, and major changes to the system are necessary, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine. The committee that wrote the report envisioned an approach to end-of-life care that integrates traditional medical care and social services and that is high-quality, affordable, and sustainable. The committee called for more "advance care planning" by individuals, for improved training and credentialing for clinicians, and for federal and state governments and private sectors to provide incentives to patients and clinicians to discuss end-of-life issues.
  • Improving Health Infrastructure Across Nations Key to Maintaining Successful Programs
  • Without attention to the management, financing, and infrastructure that support health services in low- and middle-income countries, it will not be possible to maintain the progress of global health programs, such as the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and response efforts to widespread pandemics, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine. For example, malaria eradication efforts may have failed because case surveillance was not integrated into primary care. The report says an aid strategy that emphasizes research and training, global public goods, efficient management, and rigorous program evaluation would go far to improving the health infrastructure in these countries and to making good use of the proportionately decreasing prominence of U.S. assistance in national health budgets.
  • NAS Gulf Research Program Announces Strategic Vision and Initial Opportunities
  • A new strategic vision document released today by the National Academy of Sciences' Gulf Research Program describes the long-term goals, objectives, and strategies for the program and will guide its scope of work over the next five years (2015-2020). In addition, the program announced that its initial, short-term activities, to be funded in 2015, will include exploratory grants, early-career research fellowships, and science policy fellowships. The $500 million, 30-year program to be run by NAS -- an independent, nonprofit institution -- was established at the request of the U.S. government as part of the criminal settlements related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion, the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history. Focused on human health, environmental protection, and safety of oil and gas activities in the Gulf of Mexico and the United States' Outer Continental Shelf, the program will support research and development, education and training, and environmental monitoring.
  • EPA Should Incorporate Sustainability Approaches More Broadly
  • A broad array of tools is available to help the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency incorporate sustainability concepts into its decision making, and the agency should do so across its spectrum of activities, says a new report from the National Research Council. For every major decision, EPA should include a strategy to assess implications for the three dimensions of sustainability -- environmental, social, and economic -- in an integrated manner. EPA should also collaborate with private-sector companies and non-government organizations (NGOs), leveraging their insights and experiences with sustainability. Read more
  • Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation Wins Best Book Award From National Academies;
    NPR, New York Times, and Seattle Times Also Take Top Prizes
  • The recipients of the 2014 Communication Awards were announced today by the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. Supported by the W.M. Keck Foundation since 2003 as part of the Keck Futures Initiative, these prestigious awards -- each of which includes a $20,000 prize -- recognize excellence in reporting and communicating science, engineering, and medicine to the general public. The winners were selected from a record 335 entries for works issued in 2013. Read more
  • Resilient America Roundtable Announces Pilot Projects to Build Disaster Resilience in Charleston, South Carolina, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • At a workshop today in Washington, D.C., the National Research Council’s Resilient America Roundtable announced its first two American communities that will be the focus of pilot projects to develop a community disaster resilience strategy, based on the Research Council report Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative. The two communities are Charleston, South Carolina, and Linn County/Cedar Rapids, Iowa.Over an initial two-year period, Resilient America Roundtable teams will work with decision makers, local organizations, businesses, and citizens in Charleston and Cedar Rapids to better understand the risks each community faces and design strategies to bolster resilience to these risks. Lessons learned in each of the pilot communities will be shared broadly with other communities across the nation.“These pilot projects offer us an exciting opportunity to bring science into communities to help them build their own community disaster resilience strategies,” said Lauren Alexander Augustine, director of the Resilient America Roundtable. For more information on the pilot projects and the Resilient America Roundtable, visit the Roundtable’s website.
  • Formaldehyde Confirmed as Known Human Carcinogen
  • A new report from the National Research Council has upheld the listing of formaldehyde as "known to be a human carcinogen" in the National Toxicology Program 12th Report on Carcinogens (RoC). The committee that wrote the Research Council report found that the listing is supported by sufficient evidence from human studies that indicate a causal relationship between exposure to the chemical and at least one type of human cancer. It reached the same conclusion after conducting both a peer review of the RoC and an independent assessment of the formaldehyde literature.
  • National Academies Host Symposium on Science, Technology, and Innovation for Development in Africa
  • While President Obama hosts the first U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine are holding a symposium to explore the role of science, technology, and innovation in advancing development and economic growth in Africa.  The webcast has ended. A recording will be available online at a later date.Follow the conversation on Twitter at #AfricaSciDev
  • Strong, Positive Safety Culture in Chemical Labs Requires Support From All Levels Within Research Institutions
  • Everyone involved in the academic chemical research enterprise -- from researchers and principal investigators to university leadership -- has an important role to play in establishing and promoting a strong, positive safety culture, says a new report from the National Research Council. This requires a constant commitment to safety organization-wide and emphasis on identifying and solving problems, rather than merely adhering to a set of rules and assigning blame when those rules are not followed. Read More
  • $15 Billion Annual Public Financing System for Physician Training Needs Overhaul
  • The U.S. should significantly reform the federal system for financing physician training and residency programs to ensure that the public's $15 billion annual investment is producing the doctors that the nation needs, says a new report by the Institute of Medicine. Current financing -- provided largely through Medicare -- requires little accountability, allocates funds independent of workforce needs or educational outcomes, and offers insufficient opportunities to train physicians in the health care settings used by most Americans. Read More
  • Styrene Reasonably Anticipated to Be a Human Carcinogen, New Report Confirms
  • A new report from the National Research Council has upheld the listing of styrene as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen" in the National Toxicology Program's 12th Report on Carcinogens (RoC). The committee that wrote the report found that the listing is supported by "limited but credible" evidence of carcinogenicity in human studies, "sufficient" evidence from animal studies, and "convincing relevant information" in mechanistic studies that observed DNA damage in human cells that had been exposed to styrene. The committee reached the same conclusion after conducting both a peer review of the RoC and an independent assessment of the styrene literature. Read More
  • Lessons Learned From 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Accident
  • A new congressionally mandated report from the National Academy of Sciences concludes that the overarching lesson from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident is that nuclear plant licensees and regulators must actively seek out and act on new information about hazards with the potential to affect the safety of nuclear plants. The committee that wrote the report examined the causes of the accident and made recommendations for improving nuclear plant safety and offsite emergency responses to nuclear plant accidents in the U.S. Read More
  • National Vision Needed to Reduce Risk Along East and Gulf Coasts
  • In recent years, an increase in the population and property located along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts has contributed to a dramatic rise in storm-related losses. Climate change poses additional threats to these coastal communities due to sea-level rise and possible increases in the strength of the most intense hurricanes. Because the vast majority of funding associated with coastal storms comes from the federal government -- and often only after a disaster occurs -- property owners and local and state governments have few incentives not to develop or rebuild in high-risk areas.A new report from the National Research Council recommends a national vision for coastal risk reduction that includes a long-term view, regional rather than project-based solutions, and consideration of the wide array of economic, environmental, and social benefits that come from risk management efforts. To support this vision, a national risk assessment is needed to identify coastal areas that face the greatest threats and are high priorities for risk-reduction efforts. Read More | Slides
  • Too Soon for 3-D Printing to Significantly Enhance Space Operations, Report Says
  • A new report from the National Research Council discusses the role additive manufacturing, often referred to as 3-D printing, could have in future space and aerospace missions. Both NASA and the Air Force are exploring the possibility of putting this technology to use, and although 3-D printing is a fairly mature technology, the report concludes that its application in space is extremely limited. The vacuum of space, zero gravity, and intense thermal fluctuations are a few of the harsh environmental obstacles the technology will need to overcome. In addition, the high costs of equipment operation, maintenance, and infrastructure platforms must also be considered in the cost-benefit equation. The report looks beyond production costs as the sole criterion for evaluating the benefits of space-based 3-D printing, however, and highlights the potential value of creating structures and functionalities not feasible without this technology. The committee that wrote the report recommends NASA and the Air Force cooperate across multiple levels, especially when utilizing the International Space Station for research. Read More3D Printing in Space Infographic
  • Science Fellows Celebrate 10 Years
  • The Jefferson Science Fellowship program held a gathering July 15 at the National Academy of Sciences building to celebrate the program's 10-year anniversary. Administered by the National Academies, the program supports university faculty on one-year assignments at the U.S. Department of State or USAID, where they serve as science and technology advisers on foreign policy issues, often traveling to U.S. embassies and missions overseas.
  • New Institute of Medicine President Takes Office
  • Victor J. Dzau -- an internationally recognized trailblazer in translational research, health innovation, and global health care strategy and delivery -- begins his new role as president of the Institute of Medicine today. Dzau takes the helm at IOM after serving nearly 10 years as chancellor for health affairs at Duke University and president and CEO for Duke University Health System. Before that, Dzau held influential posts with Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Stanford University.In announcing Dzau's appointment, NAS President Ralph J. Cicerone said, "Victor Dzau is an internationally acclaimed leader and scientist whose work has improved health care in the United States and globally. Under his direction, the Institute of Medicine will continue to advance research and improve health by providing objective, evidence-based guidance on critical issues." "As a physician-scientist and leader in academic medicine," said outgoing IOM president Harvey V. Fineberg, "Victor has consistently demonstrated inspirational leadership, innovative thinking, and multifaceted achievement. Now, all of us at the IOM, both members and staff, will benefit more fully from his leadership." Fineberg, who served 12 years as IOM's president, is joining the faculty of the University of California, San Francisco, for a one-year appointment as a presidential chair and will focus on global health policy and analysis.
  • Improving DOD Engagement in International Science and Technology
  • To remain globally competitive in science and technology (S&T), the U.S. Department of Defense should develop an implementable strategy to improve its awareness of the global S&T landscape and identify opportunities for collaboration, says a new report from the National Research Council. Read More
  • Despite Advances in Planning, Everglades Restoration Impeded by Financial and Policy Constraints
  • A new congressionally mandated National Research Council report finds that while planning for Everglades restoration projects has advanced considerably over the past two years, project implementation has been impeded by financial, procedural, and policy constraints. The report is the fifth in a series of biennial reviews of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, a multibillion dollar project launched in 2000 with the goal of reversing the ecosystem's decline. This most recent evaluation finds that restoration progress to date has been moderate and focused largely on the edges of the Everglades.The impacts of climate change -- especially sea-level rise -- provide further incentive to accelerate restoration efforts, the report adds. Timely project authorization, adequate funding levels, and creative policy and implementation strategies are needed to achieve restoration benefits.
  • Winners of 2014 Essay Contest Announced
  • The National Academy of Engineering announced today the winners of its 2014 EngineerGirl essay competition. This year's contest was held as the NAE celebrates its 50th anniversary and asked students in grades three to 12 to describe how engineering has addressed societal needs in the past 50 years and suggest ways that engineering will impact society in the next 50 years in one of the following areas: nutrition, health, communication, education, and transportation. Read More
  • Effectiveness of PTSD Treatment Provided by DOD and VA Unknown
  • The U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs should track the outcomes of treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder provided to patients and develop a coordinated and comprehensive strategy to do so, says a new congressionally mandated report from the Institute of Medicine. Without tracking outcomes, neither DOD nor VA knows whether it is providing effective or adequate PTSD care, for which they spent $294 million and more than $3 billion, respectively, in 2012. Read More
  • Assessing the Design of the National Children's Study
  • While the National Children's Study (NCS) could add immensely to knowledge about children's health and development, and while the study's proposed design has several strengths, the design needs stronger scientific rationale and further development of several key aspects such as sampling and measurement strategies, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine. Read More
  • Assessing FAA's Staffing Processes for Air Traffic Controllers
  • The Federal Aviation Administration's models for determining air traffic controller staffing needs are suitable for developing initial estimates of the number of controllers required at terminal areas and airport towers, but the models used to staff centers controlling air traffic between airports can be improved, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council. As a matter of priority, FAA should implement an enhanced scheduling tool for all facilities that incorporates fatigue mitigation strategies. Read More
  • Green Growth in Portugal
  • On June 11 the National Research Council welcomed Jorge Moreira da Silva, Portugal's minister of environment, spatial planning, and energy, who spoke about his country's efforts to move beyond economic crisis while growing in a sustainable way. In discussions with other European nations, Portugal has advocated goals of obtaining 40 percent of energy from renewable sources, reducing greenhouse gases by 40 percent, and increasing energy efficiency by 30 percent by the year 2030. The event also hosted panelists from Portuguese industry and research institutes, who explained the country's efforts to support electric vehicles, smart grids, and renewable energy such as floating wind power and wave power. Closing remarks were made by the U.S. EPA Deputy Administrator Robert Perciasepe and Portugal's Secretary of State for Energy, Artur Trindade.The event was held by the Research Council's Network for Emerging Leaders in Sustainability Series, a seminar series for early-career professionals who are interested in building bridges with peers in D.C.-area agencies and organizations around sustainability efforts.
  • Report Examines Military Research on Health Effects of Low-level Radiation
  • The Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI) carries on a robust program of research on the biological and health effects of ionizing radiation exposure, but it is not substantively advancing research on health risks arising from exposure to low-level radiation, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine. However, AFRRI's unique infrastructure, which would be difficult to reproduce elsewhere, positions it to contribute to low-level radiation research.
  • Substantial Scientific and Technical Advances Needed for Microbial Forensics
  • Much as human DNA can be used as evidence in criminal trials, genetic information about microorganisms can be analyzed to identify pathogens or other biological agents in the event of a suspicious disease outbreak. The tools and methods used to investigate such outbreaks belong to an emerging discipline known as microbial forensics, but the field faces substantial scientific and technical challenges, says a new report from the National Research Council. The report offers an initial set of research priorities for advancing the capabilities needed to make microbial forensics a more effective tool for identifying and attributing the sources of biothreats. Many of these challenges are shared by other disciplines, such as medicine and public health, so bridging the gaps in microbial forensics could also strengthen capabilities and knowledge in these other areas. Read More
  • Report Outlines Research Needs for Safe and Efficient Use of Increasingly Autonomous Aircraft
  • Civil aviation is on the threshold of potentially revolutionary changes with the emergence of increasingly autonomous unmanned aircraft, but barriers to their incorporation into the existing aviation system remain, says a new report from the National Research Council. The report recommends a research agenda to help overcome these hurdles. Read More
  • NASA Should Focus on Mars as "Horizon Goal" for Human Space Exploration
  • The expense of human spaceflight and the dangers it poses to the astronauts involved can be justified only by the goal of putting humans on other worlds, concludes a new report from the National Research Council. Currently, the only technologically feasible destinations for human spaceflight are the moon, asteroids, Mars, and the moons of Mars. The report recommends that NASA pursue a "pathway" approach, which encompasses executing a series of missions to one or more of these destinations as intermediate accomplishments toward the "horizon goal" of putting humans on Mars. While the report does not recommend a particular pathway to pursue, it found that returning to the moon would make significant contributions toward a Mars landing and would provide opportunities for international and commercial cooperation. The success of this pathway approach would require sustained national commitment, international collaboration, and a budget that increases by more than the rate of inflation, the report says. Read More | Video Report Summary | Video Webcast
  • Members Awarded 2014 Kavli Prizes
  • Five members of the National Academy of Sciences, one of whom is also a member of the Institute of Medicine, were among the nine winners of the 2014 Kavli Prizes announced today.MIT's Alan H. Guth and Stanford's Andrei D. Linde, both NAS members, will share the prize in the field of astrophysics with a third scientist, Alexei Starobinsky from the Russian Academy of Sciences, "for pioneering the theory of cosmic inflation."Sir John Pendry, an NAS foreign associate with the UK's Imperial College London, will share the award in nanoscience with France's Thomas W. Ebbesen and Germany's Stefan W. Hell "for their transformative contributions to the field of nano-optics."McGill University's Brenda Milner, an NAS foreign associate, and Washington University's Marcus E. Raichle, a joint NAS/IOM member, will share the prize in neuroscience with the UK's John O'Keefe "for the discovery of specialized brain networks for memory and cognition." The Kavli Prizes are awarded by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. Laureates in each category -- astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience -- share a cash reward of $1 million.
  • The Importance of STEM Education
  • At the 2014 White House Science Fair, new steps to support science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education were announced as part of the president's Educate to Innovate campaign.The Academies have produced dozens of expert reports on this topic, including a recent report that focused on integrating STEM disciplines in K-12 education and what would most likely lead to positive learning outcomes. Also important, STEM learning outside the classroom in informal and after-school settings is the subject of a June 3-4 workshop.
  • NIH Accepts IOM's Recommendations Regarding RAC
  • Last December, the Institute of Medicine released a report that finds in most cases human gene transfer research no longer requires additional review from the National Institutes of Health's Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee, known as RAC, because these reviews do not provide benefits beyond the existing regulatory and oversight framework. Today NIH announced that it accepts the report's recommendations and a proposal to implement this revised review process will be published in the Federal Register with opportunity for public comment. NIH Director Francis S. Collins noted, "Given the progress in the field, I am confident that the existing regulatory authorities can effectively review most gene transfer protocols and that a streamlined process will reduce duplication and delays in getting gene transfer trials initiated. Issues of concern that may arise in exceptional cases can still be addressed by consulting the expertise of the RAC."
  • Holder Cites Findings of New Report
  • At a symposium of the National Association of Attorneys General, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder discussed the new National Research Council report on the growth of incarceration in the United States. Holder called it a "landmark study" that brings into sharp focus the importance of efforts to make the criminal justice system more efficient and effective. Video Clip | Full Speech
  • Spurring Innovation with Convergent Research
  • Convergent research - which integrates tools and knowledge from the life sciences, physical sciences, engineering, and other fields - could spur innovation and help tackle societal challenges, but greater national coordination is needed, says a new National Research Council report.
  • National Climate Assessment
  • The U.S. Global Change Research Program released the third national climate assessment, which finds impacts related to climate change are already evident in many sectors. A panel of the National Academy of Sciences was among the reviewers of the national climate assessment. Read more about the National Academy of Sciences' work related to climate change, including a recent overview conducted jointly with the Royal Society, and a study on the likelihood of abrupt impacts of climate change.
  • Substantial Improvements Made in EPA's IRIS Program
  • In 2011, the National Research Council reviewed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) assessment for formaldehyde and found deficiencies both in that particular assessment as well as more broadly in EPA's general assessment methods. Congress directed EPA to implement the report's general recommendations into the IRIS process, and then tasked the Research Council with assessing the changes that were made.The new congressionally mandated Research Council report found that changes EPA has both implemented and proposed constitute "substantial improvements" to the IRIS program. The report offers further guidance and recommendations to build on the progress that has been made to improve the overall scientific and technical performance of the program. Read More
  • New Report Details Basics of Cybersecurity for Decision Makers
  • Cybersecurity is a never-ending battle, and a permanently decisive solution to the problem will not be found in the foreseeable future, concludes a new report from the National Research Council. Written for a lay audience, the report presents the fundamental issues at the nexus of public policy and cybersecurity and is written to help decision makers and the interested public make informed choices about cybersecurity. Read more
  • New Report Recommends U.S. Revises Policies to Reduce Incarceration Rates
  • Given the minimal impact of long prison sentences on crime prevention and the negative social consequences and burdensome financial costs of U.S. incarceration rates, which have more than quadrupled in the last four decades, the nation should revise current criminal justice policies to significantly reduce imprisonment rates, says a new report from the National Research Council. A comprehensive review of data led the committee that wrote the report to conclude that the costs of the current rate of incarceration outweigh the benefits. Read More
  • Academy Elects New Members, Foreign Associates
  • The National Academy of Sciences elected 84 new members and 21 foreign associates from 15 countries in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Election to the Academy is widely regarded as one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive. Read More
  • Changes in Arctic Systems Give Rise to Emerging Research Questions
  • The climate, ecosystems, and communities of the Arctic are changing rapidly in complex ways that have implications throughout the region and, increasingly, around the globe. A new report from the National Research Council presents emerging research questions that come to the forefront because they address newly recognized phenomena, make use of new technology or avenues of accessibility, or build on recent research results and insights. The report also identifies the key resources and strategies for addressing emerging research questions, including interdisciplinary, international, interagency, and private-sector cooperation; improved operational and human capacity; long-term observations; and sustained investment in Arctic research. Read more
  • NAS Honors Award Winners
  • During a ceremony at its 151st annual meeting, the National Academy of Sciences presented the 2014 Public Welfare Medal to John E. Porter, former member of Congress, partner in the law firm Hogan Lovells, and chair of Research!America "in recognition of decades of advocacy on behalf of scientific and medical research." NAS honored 15 other individuals as well for their outstanding scientific achievements. News Release - Public Welfare MedalNews Release - Awards

Science News
  • Bioengineering study finds two-cell mouse embryos already 'talking' about their future
  • Bioengineers have discovered that mouse embryos are contemplating their cellular fates in the earliest stages after fertilization when the embryo has only two to four cells, a discovery that could upend the scientific consensus about when embryonic cells begin differentiating into cell types. Their research used single-cell RNA sequencing to look at every gene in the mouse genome.]]>
  • Turkey's great escape foils our Thanksgiving plans
  • Two Sundays before Thanksgiving, my farming partner and I brought a live turkey in a burlap sack to our urban farm on the outskirts of Portland. The lanky brown-feathered bird quietly took her place in our chicken coop.]]>
  • Colorado mastodon bones show ancient warmer Earth
  • In this Nov. 25, 2014 photo, paleontologist Mike Getty, left, and volunteer Hillary McLean piece back together the tusk of an ancient mastodon, part of an extensive discovery unearthed from Snowmass, Colo., inside a workroom... . In this Nov. 25, 2014 photo, ancient mastodon bones sit on a shelf, part of an extensive discovery unearthed from Snowmass, Colo., inside a workroom at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.]]>
  • Powerful earthquake strikes off eastern Indonesia; no tsunami warning
  • A powerful earthquake struck off the coast of eastern Indonesia late Wednesday, prompting villagers to flee to higher ground, but officials said a tsunami was unlikely. The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude-6.8 quake hit about 161 kilometres northwest of Ternate, the provincial capital of North Maluku, and was centred 41 kilometres below the seabed.]]>
  • Obama administration sets stricter smog standard
  • The Obama administration took steps Wednesday to cut levels of smog-forming pollution linked to asthma, lung damage and other health problems, making good on one of President Barack Obama's original campaign promises while setting up a fresh confrontation with Republicans and the energy industry. In a long-awaited announcement, the Environmental Protection Agency said it prefers a new, lower threshold for ozone pollution of 65 to 70 parts per billion, but said it would take public comments on an even lower standard of 60 parts per billion sought by environmental groups.]]>
  • Deere dips on shaky outlook for fiscal 2015
  • Deere's fourth-quarter results were stronger than Wall Street expected but it says its farm equipment sales and profits will keep falling in its new fiscal year as the sector remains weak. In this Sept.]]>
  • Thanksgiving by the numbers
  • 5-5.5 -- The number of hours it takes to cook a stuffed 22- to 24-pound turkey in an oven set to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. 11-12 -- The number of hours it takes to thaw a frozen 22- to 24-pound turkey in cold water.]]>
  • 'Jurassic World' trailer: Dinosaurs and Pratt
  • OK, not really, but that's probably what went through a lot of people's minds watching the newly released trailer for "Jurassic World." Universal Pictures scored a coup casting Chris Pratt in a lead role in the four-quel, now that he is hot off the success of "Guardians of the Galaxy."]]>
  • Sialic acid shields human cells from attack by immune system
  • Biochemists have identified molecular structures that allow the immune system to tell friend from foe. The researchers identified and crystallized a complex that forms the contact point between the healthy human cell and the complement system.]]>
  • "Jurassic World" Full-Length Trailer Now Online [From ABC News]
  • On Monday, fans were treated to an eight-second preview of it. And now, Universal has released the full-length trailer for Jurassic World .]]>
  • Boxelder bugs are looking for a winter home
  • Batten down the hatches. It's that time of year when boxelder bugs are snooping around looking for a winter home.]]>
  • Strong earthquake hits China's Sichuan province
  • A strong earthquake shook a sparsely populated area of western China late Tuesday, cutting telephone service and prompting residents to rush out of their homes, officials and media reports said. There were no immediate reports of injuries.]]>
  • More food banks serve hungry college students
  • They may be studying at high-priced institutions, but a growing number of U.S. college students rely on food pantries for their next meal. At least 100 have opened on college campuses across the country in the past six years.]]>
  • Livestock on 2 Nebraska farms quarantined
  • Authorities say livestock have been quarantined on two north-central Nebraska farms following diagnoses of a disease that can hamper an animal's ability to eat and drink. The Nebraska Agriculture Department said in a news release Monday that a U.S. Department of Agriculture laboratory confirmed the diagnoses of vesicular stomatitis.]]>
  • Conservatively Speaking
  • The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection provides advice for protecting yourself and still getting great savings during 2014's Black Friday, November 28, 2014. The annual day of shopping with deep discounts on many items and DATCP reminds consumers to have a plan, a copy of stores ads and knowledge of each stores return, refund and exchange policy.]]>
  • Regin malware linked to attacks on Belgacom and a well-known cryptographer
  • After Symantec blew the lid on Regin on Sunday, computer security experts and companies are revealing information that has lead to suspicions that the U.S. and U.K. are involved. Regin has been known about for years by security companies, but Symantec's white paper on the malware prompted several in the last day to come forward with what they know.]]>
  • Oak Glen marks the end of apple picking season with Apple Butter Festival
  • Where: Los Rios Rancho, 39611 S. Oak Glen Road, Yucaipa, with additional activities at various locations around the5-mile Oak Glen Loop. From Nov. 28-29, the town's farmers, merchants and community members plan to host the annual Apple Butter Festival.]]>

Slashdot: Science
  • Health Advisor: Ebola Still Spreading, Worst Outbreak We've Ever Seen
  • Lasrick writes After four decades of confining Ebola outbreaks to small areas, experts acknowledged in an October 9 New England Journal of Medicine article that "we were wrong" about the scope of the current situation. At the present transmission rate, the number of Ebola cases in West Africa doubles every two to three weeks. Early diagnosis is the key to controlling the epidemic, but that's far easier said than done: "And there are several complicating factors. For one thing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 60 percent of all Ebola patients remain undiagnosed in their communities." A transmission rate below 1 is necessary to keep the outbreak under control (instead of the current rate of 1.5 to 2), and the authors detail what's in the works to help achieve early detection, which is crucial to reducing the current transmission rate. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • Canada's Ebola Vaccine Nets Millions For Tiny US Biotech Firm
  • Anita Hunt (lissnup) writes: Iowa-based NewLink Genetics has secured a US$50million deal with pharmaceutical giant Merck for the experimental Ebola vaccine developed by Canadian government scientists. NewLink bought the exclusive commercial licensing rights to Canada's VSV-EBOV in 2010 with a milestone payment of just US$205,000. This is an interesting new twist in a story we've discussed previously, and which continues to draw media attention. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • LHC's 'Heart' Starts Pumping Protons Before Restart
  • astroengine writes: While on its long road to restart, yet another milestone was reached at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) over the weekend. Protons were generated by the LHC's source and blasted through a "daisy-chain" of smaller accelerators before being intentionally smashed into a metaphorical brick wall. The particle beam didn't reach the LHC's famous 17-mile (27-kilometer) accelerator ring — they were stopped just short — but the event was used to begin calibration efforts of the massive experiment's detectors before the whole system is powered back up again early next year. "These initial tests are a milestone for the whole accelerator chain," said the LHC's chief engineer, Reyes Alemany Fernandez. "Not only was this the first time the injection lines have seen beams in over a year, it was also our first opportunity to test the LHC's operation system. We successfully commissioned the LHC's injection and ejection magnets, all without beam in the machine itself." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • NSF Commits $16M To Build Cloud-Based and Data-Intensive Supercomputers
  • aarondubrow writes: As supercomputing becomes central to the work and progress of researchers in all fields, new kinds of computing resources and more inclusive modes of interaction are required. The National Science Foundation announced $16M in awards to support two new supercomputing acquisitions for the open science community. The systems — "Bridges" at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center and "Jetstream," co-located at the Indiana University Pervasive Technology Institute and The University of Texas at Austin's Texas Advanced Computing Center — respond to the needs of the scientific computing community for more high-end, large-scale computing resources while helping to create a more inclusive computing environment for science and engineering. Reader 1sockchuck adds this article about why funding for the development of supercomputers is more important than ever: America's high-performance computing (HPC) community faces funding challenges and growing competition from China and other countries. At last week's SC14 conference, leading researchers focused on outlining the societal benefits of their work, and how it touches the daily lives of Americans. "When we talk at these conferences, we tend to talk to ourselves," said Wilf Pinfold, director of research and advanced technology development at Intel Federal. "We don't do a good job communicating the importance of what we do to a broader community." Why the focus on messaging? Funding for American supercomputing has been driven by the U.S. government, which is in a transition with implications for HPC funding. As ComputerWorld notes, climate change skeptic Ted Cruz is rumored to be in line to chair a Senate committee that oversees NASA and the NSF. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • ISS's 3-D Printer Creates Its First Object In Space
  • An anonymous reader writes: NASA reports that the 3-D printer now installed on the International Space Station has finally finished its first creation. After it was installed on November 17th and calibrated over the next week, ground control sent it instructions yesterday to build a faceplate for the extruder's own casing. The process was mostly a success. "[Astronaut Butch Wilmore] Wilmore removed the part from the printer and inspected it. Part adhesion on the tray was stronger than anticipated, which could mean layer bonding is different in microgravity, a question the team will investigate as future parts are printed. Wilmore installed a new print tray, and the ground team sent a command to fine-tune the printer alignment and printed a third calibration coupon. When Wilmore removes the calibration coupon, the ground team will be able to command the printer to make a second object. The ground team makes precise adjustments before every print, and the results from this first print are contributing to a better understanding about the parameters to use when 3-D printing on the space station." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • NASA To Deploy Four Spacecraft To Study Magnetic Reconnection
  • Zothecula writes: NASA has released a video depicting the initial deployment of an undertaking designed to study a phenomenon known as magnetic reconnection. "Reconnection happens when magnetic field lines explosively realign and release massive bursts of energy, while hurling particles out at nearly the speed of light in all directions. Magnetic reconnection powers eruptions on the sun and – closer to home – it triggers the flow of material and energy from interplanetary space into near-Earth space." The launch of the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission will see four identical spacecraft deployed from a single Atlas V rocket, set to lift off from cape Canaveral, Florida, no earlier than March next year. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • "Advanced Life Support" Ambulances May Lead To More Deaths
  • HughPickens.com writes Jason Kane reports at PBS that emergency treatments delivered in ambulances that offer "Advanced Life Support" for cardiac arrest may be linked to more death, comas and brain damage than those providing "Basic Life Support." "They're taking a lot of time in the field to perform interventions that don't seem to be as effective in that environment," says Prachi Sanghavi. "Of course, these are treatments we know are good in the emergency room, but they've been pushed into the field without really being tested and the field is a much different environment." The study suggests that high-tech equipment and sophisticated treatment techniques may distract from what's most important during cardiac arrest — transporting a critically ill patient to the hospital quickly. Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulances stick to simpler techniques, like chest compressions, basic defibrillation and hand-pumped ventilation bags to assist with breathing with more emphasis placed on getting the patient to the hospital as soon as possible. Survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients are extremely low regardless of the ambulance type with roughly 90 percent of the 380,000 patients who experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital each year not surviving to hospital discharge. But researchers found that 90 days after hospitalization, patients treated in BLS ambulances were 50 percent more likely to survive than their counterparts treated with ALS. Not everyone is convinced of the conclusions. "They've done as much as they possibly can with the existing data but I'm not sure that I'm convinced they have solved all of the selection biases," says Judith R. Lave. "I would say that it should be taken as more of an indication that there may be some very significant problems here." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • Conglomerate Rock From Mars: (Much) More Precious Than Gold
  • An anonymous reader writes It's the oldest rock on Earth--and it's from Mars. A 4.4-billion-year-old martian meteorite, found in a dozen pieces in the western Sahara, has ignited a frenzy among collectors and scientists; prices have reached $10,000 a gram, and museums and universities are vying for slivers of it. It is the only known martian meteorite made of sediment, a conglomerate of pebbles and other clumps of minerals from when the planet was warm, wet, and possibly habitable. The story of the discovery of the rock and its significance is fascinating, as well as the details presented about the economics of rare space materials. Apropos, this older story about missing moon rocks. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • How the Pentagon's Robots Would Automate War
  • rossgneumann writes: Pentagon officials are worried that the U.S. military is losing its edge compared to competitors like China, and are willing to explore almost anything to stay on top—including creating robots capable of becoming fighting machines. A 72-page document throws detailed light on the far-reaching implications of the Pentagon's plan to monopolize imminent "transformational advances" in biotechnology, robotics and artificial intelligence, information technology, nanotechnology, and energy. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • Raspberry Pi-Powered Body Illusion Lets You Experience Parkinson's
  • hypnosec writes: Analogue, a theater/art group, has developed an interactive installation called "Transports," powered by the Raspberry Pi, that lets you experience symptoms of Parkinson's disease. In the illusion, a person's mind is tricked into believing that his/her hand is the hand shown in a point-of-view video, and the motorized glove worn by the user gives the feeling of tremors associated with Parkinson's. The glove recreates tremors, the ones experienced by patients, at 6 hertz – the upper limit of what is experienced by people with Parkinson's disease. Users are asked to follow instructions fed through headphones while using the glove, which creates an illusion of a virtual limb. They are supposed to mimic the movements of a man on the screen and manipulate real cutlery as he does. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies
  • sciencehabit writes The universe may be a lonelier place than previously thought. Of the estimated 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe, only one in 10 can support complex life like that on Earth, a pair of astrophysicists argues. Everywhere else, stellar explosions known as gamma ray bursts would regularly wipe out any life forms more elaborate than microbes. The detonations also kept the universe lifeless for billions of years after the big bang, the researchers say. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • Interviews: Ask the Hampton Creek Team About the Science and Future of Food
  • samzenpus writes Hampton Creek is a food technology company that makes food healthier by utilizing a specially made egg substitute in food products. The company was selected by Bill Gates to be featured on his website in a story called, The Future of Food, and has raised $30 million in funding. Hampton Creek's latest product is called, Just Cookies, which is an eggless chocolate chip cookie dough, but it is their eggless mayo that has been in the news lately. Unilever, which manufactures Hellmann's and Best Foods mayonnaise, is suing Hampton Creek claiming that the name Just Mayo is misleading to consumers. Named one of Entrepreneur Magazine's 100 Brilliant Companies and one of CNBC's Top 50 Disruptors, Hampton Creek has picked up some impressive talent including the former lead data scientist at Google Maps, Dan Zigmond. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, Dan and the Hampton Creek team have agreed to answer any questions you may have. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one per post. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • NASA Offering Contracts To Encourage Asteroid Mining
  • An anonymous reader writes "Two private companies, Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources, have received contracts from NASA to study asteroid redirection and will pursue their plans of asteroid mining. From the article: "Deep Space Industries is planning to build a number of dense spacecrafts called FireFlies, and they plan on sending the satellites on one way missions to gather information about the density, shape, composition and size of an asteroid. They also have plans to build a spacecraft called Dragonfly, which has the purpose of catching asteroids. The asteroid material will be collected and returned to Earth by 'Harvesters'. Planetary Resources, on the other hand, plans to build a number of middle sized and small telescopes that will be capable of examining asteroids near the planet Earth for economic potential. They already have the telescopes Arkyd 300, Arkyd 200 and the Arkyd 100, each having its own specific systems." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • Apple To Donate Profit Portion From Black Friday For AIDS Fight
  • An anonymous reader writes Apple will donate a portion of their sales from online and retail stores on Cyber Monday and Black Friday as a contribution to the worldwide fight against AIDS. Apple kicks off a two-week fundraising campaign for RED, the charity started by U2 lead singer Bono and Bobby Shriver. It includes 25 partnering app-makers, from Angry Birds to Toca Boca, which will donate all proceeds from purchases of their apps or in-app upgrades. In a statement, Apple CEO Tim Cook said: "Apple is a proud supporter of (RED) because we believe the gift of life is the most important gift anyone can give. For eight years, our customers have been helping fight AIDS in Africa by funding life-saving treatments which are having a profoundly positive impact. This year we are launching our biggest fundraising push yet with the participation of Apple's retail and online stores, and some of the brightest minds in the App Store are lending their talents to the effort as well." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • Multi-National Crew Reaches Space Station
  • An anonymous reader writes A Russian capsule carrying three astronauts from Russia, the United States and Italy has blasted off for the International Space Station. Aboard the capsule are Russian Anton Shkaplerov, Nasa's Terry Virts and European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, Italy's first female astronaut. "I think that 100 years from now, 500 years from now, people will look back on this as the initial baby steps that we took going into the solar system," Virts told a pre-launch press conference. "In the same way that we look back on Columbus and the other explorers 500 years ago, this is the way people will look at this time in history." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • Study: Space Rock Impacts Not Random
  • sciencehabit writes When it comes to small space rocks blowing up in Earth's atmosphere, not all days are created equal. Scientists have found that, contrary to what they thought, such events are not random, and these explosions may occur more frequently on certain days. Rather than random occurrences, many large airbursts might result from collisions between Earth and streams of debris associated with small asteroids or comets. The new findings may help astronomers narrow their search for objects in orbits that threaten Earth, the researchers suggest. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • How the World's Agricultural Boom Has Changed CO2 Cycles
  • An anonymous reader writes Every year levels of carbon dioxide drop in the summer as plants "inhale," and climb again as they exhale after the growing season in the Northern Hemisphere. However, the last 50 years has seen the size of this swing has increase by as much as 50%, for reasons that aren't fully understood. A team of researchers may have the answer. They have shown that agricultural production, corn in particular, may generate up to 25% of the increase in this seasonal carbon cycle. "This study shows the power of modeling and data mining in addressing potential sources contributing to seasonal changes in carbon dioxide" program director for the National Science Foundation's Macro Systems Biology Program, who supported the research, Liz Blood says. "It points to the role of basic research in finding answers to complex problems." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • NASA Remasters 20-Year-Old Galileo Photographs of Jupiter's Moon, Europa
  • An anonymous reader writes with news that NASA has released remastered pictures of Europa taken by the Galileo spacecraft. "Scientists have produced a new version of what is perhaps NASA's best view of Jupiter's ice-covered moon, Europa. The mosaic of color images was obtained in the late 1990s by NASA's Galileo spacecraft. This is the first time that NASA is publishing a version of the scene produced using modern image processing techniques. This view of Europa stands out as the color view that shows the largest portion of the moon's surface at the highest resolution. An earlier, lower-resolution version of the view, published in 2001, featured colors that had been strongly enhanced. The new image more closely approximates what the human eye would see. Space imaging enthusiasts have produced their own versions of the view using the publicly available data, but NASA has not previously issued its own rendition using near-natural color." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • Elon Musk Talks "X-Wing" Fins For Reusable Rockets, Seafaring Spaceport Drones
  • An anonymous reader writes Elon Musk sent a number of tweets recently in which he detailed a program to test the function of "X-Wing" style grid fins that could help spacecraft navigate upon re-entry. The tweets describing how it would work, also include an autonomous seafaring platform, which can hold its position within three meters even in a heavy storm, that would act as a landing pad. From the article: "The SpaceX reusable rocket program has been progressing with varying results, including an explosion over Texas back in August. While the incident didn't result in any injury or even 'near injuries,' Musk conceded in a tweet that this was evidence that '[r]ockets are tricky.' An earlier test flight from this summer involving an ocean splashdown was considered more successful, proving that the Space X Falcon 9 booster could re-enter earth's atmosphere, restart its engines, deploy its landing legs and make a touch down at 'near zero velocity.'" Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • Prospects Rise For a 2015 UN Climate Deal, But Likely To Be Weak
  • An anonymous reader writes with news that a global climate deal seems to be on the horizon. "A global deal to combat climate change in 2015 looks more likely after promises for action by China, the United States and the European Union, but any agreement will probably be too weak to halt rising temperatures. Delegates from almost 200 nations will meet in Lima, Peru, from Dec. 1-12 to work on the accord due in Paris in a year's time, also spurred by new scientific warnings about risks of floods, heatwaves, ocean acidification and rising seas. After failure to agree a sweeping U.N. treaty at a summit in Copenhagen in 2009, the easier but less ambitious aim now is a deal made up of 'nationally determined' plans to help reverse a 45 percent rise in greenhouse gas emissions since 1990." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Biology News Net
  • Two studies identify a detectable, pre-cancerous state in the blood
  • Researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard-affiliated hospitals have uncovered an easily detectable, "pre-malignant" state in the blood that significantly increases the likelihood that an individual will go on to develop blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, or myelodysplastic syndrome. The discovery, which was made independently by two research teams affiliated with the Broad and partner institutions, opens new avenues for research aimed at early detection and prevention of blood cancer. Findings from both teams appear this week in the New England Journal of Medicine.
  • ASU, IBM move ultrafast, low-cost DNA sequencing technology a step closer to reality
  • A team of scientists from Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute and IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center have developed a prototype DNA reader that could make whole genome profiling an everyday practice in medicine.
  • Lionfish analysis reveals most vulnerable prey as invasion continues
  • Stephanie Green studies lionfish in The Bahamas. If you live in lionfish territory in the Atlantic Ocean, the last thing you want to be is a small fish with a long, skinny body, resting by yourself at night, near the bottom of the seafloor.
  • Intrepid scientific explorer recounts lifetime of work and adventure in Amazon
  • Drawing on nearly five decades of experience, Professor Sir Ghillean Prance, one of the seminal scientific explorers of the Amazon rain forest in modern times, chronicles some of his most significant and fascinating expeditions in That Glorious Forest: Exploring the Plants and Their Indigenous Uses in Amazonia, now available from The New York Botanical Garden Press.
  • Imagination, reality flow in opposite directions in the brain
  • Electrical and computer engineering professor Barry Van Veen wears an electrode net used to monitor brain activity via EEG signals. As real as that daydream may seem, its path through your brain runs opposite reality.
  • Ancient genetic program employed in more than just fins and limbs
  • Hox genes are master body-building genes that specify where an animal's head, tail and everything in between should go. There's even a special Hox gene program that directs the development of limbs and fins, including specific modifications such as the thumb in mice and humans. Now, San Francisco State University researchers show that this fin- and limb-building genetic program is also utilized during the development of other vertebrate features.
  • Natural gut viruses join bacterial cousins in maintaining health and fighting infections
  • Microbiologists at NYU Langone Medical Center say they have what may be the first strong evidence that the natural presence of viruses in the gut -- or what they call the 'virome' -- plays a health-maintenance and infection-fighting role similar to that of the intestinal bacteria that dwell there and make up the "microbiome."
  • New view of mouse genome finds many similarities, striking differences with human genome
  • Looking across evolutionary time and the genomic landscapes of humans and mice, an international group of researchers has found powerful clues to why certain processes and systems in the mouse - such as the immune system, metabolism and stress response - are so different from those in people. Building on years of mouse and gene regulation studies, they have developed a resource that can help scientists better understand how similarities and differences between mice and humans are written in their genomes.
  • The role DNA methylation plays in aging cells
  • Although every person's DNA remains the same throughout their lives, scientists know that it functions differently at different ages.
  • New clue in celiac disease puzzle: Cause of oat toxicity explained
  • Melbourne researchers have identified why some people with coeliac disease show an immune response after eating oats.
  • Drugs that prevent blood clots may protect organs during transplantation
  • Organs can become significantly damaged during transplantation, but a new article published in the BJS (British Journal of Surgery) offers a protective strategy that could keep them safe and allow them to function optimally after the procedure.
  • A new approach to fighting chronic myeloid leukemia
  • Chronic myeloid leukemia develops when a gene mutates and causes an enzyme to become hyperactive, causing blood-forming stem cells in the bone marrow to grow rapidly into abnormal cells. The enzyme, Abl-kinase, is a member of the "kinase" family of enzymes, which serve as an "on" or "off" switch for many functions in our cells. In chronic myeloid leukemia, the hyperactive Abl-kinase is targeted with drugs that bind to a specific part of the enzyme and block it, aiming to ultimately kill the fast-growing cancer cell. However, treatments are often limited by the fact that the cancer cells can adapt to resist drugs. EPFL scientists have identified an alternative part of Abl-kinase on which drugs can bind and act with a reduced risk of drug resistance. Their work is published in Nature Communications.
  • Advances in electron microscopy reveal secrets of HIV and other viruses
  • New techniques in electron microscope reveal new information about viruses, for example on the location of the variable V2 loop of HIV Env protein (red). This could give new insight... UC Davis researchers are getting a new look at the workings of HIV and other viruses thanks to new techniques in electron microscopy developed on campus.
  • Single-dose, needle-free Ebola vaccine provides long-term protection in macaques
  • Scientists have demonstrated for the first time that a single-dose, needleless Ebola vaccine given to primates through their noses and lungs protected them against infection for at least 21 weeks. A vaccine that doesn't require an injection could help prevent passing along infections through unintentional pricks. They report the results of their study on macaques in the ACS journal Molecular Pharmaceutics.

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EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health
  • Stroke damage mechanism identified
  • (University of Leeds) Researchers have discovered a mechanism linked to the brain damage often suffered by stroke victims -- and are now searching for drugs to block it.
  • TGen-Luxembourg scientific team conducts unprecedented analysis of microbial ecosystem
  • (The Translational Genomics Research Institute) An international team of scientists from the Translational Genomics Research Institute and The Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine have completed a first-of-its-kind microbial analysis of a biological waste water treatment plant that has broad implications for protecting the environment, energy recovery and human health. The study, published Nov. 26 in the scientific journal Nature Communications, describes in unprecedented detail the complex relationships within a model ecosystem.
  • Trial shows new imaging system may cut X-ray exposure for liver cancer patients
  • (Johns Hopkins Medicine) Johns Hopkins researchers report that their test of an interventional X-ray guidance device approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2013 has the potential to reduce the radiation exposure of patients undergoing intra-arterial therapy for liver cancer.
  • NIAID/GSK experimental Ebola vaccine appears safe, prompts immune response
  • (NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) An experimental vaccine to prevent Ebola virus disease was well-tolerated and produced immune system responses in all 20 healthy adults who received it in a Phase 1 clinical trial conducted by researchers from the National Institutes of Health. The candidate vaccine, which was co-developed by the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and GlaxoSmithKline, was tested at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
  • UT Arlington wins grant to educate Hispanics about depression, treatment
  • (University of Texas at Arlington) Katherine Sanchez, assistant professor in the UTA School of Social Work, will use a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services grant to educate Hispanic patients about depression and reduce barriers to treatment.
  • SLU researcher finds an off switch for pain
  • (Saint Louis University) Researchers have discovered a way to block a pain pathway in animal models of chronic neuropathic pain suggesting a promising new approach to pain relief.
  • Copper on the brain at rest
  • (DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) A new study by Berkeley Lab researchers has shown that proper copper levels are essential to the health of the brain at rest.
  • Penn Medicine team develops cognitive test battery for spaceflight
  • (University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine) Penn Medicine researchers have developed a cognitive test battery, known as Cognition, for the National Space Biomedical Research Institute to measure the impact of typical spaceflight stressors (like microgravity, radiation, confinement and isolation, exposure to elevated levels of CO2, and sleep loss) on cognitive performance. This computer-based test has already been tested by astronauts on Earth. It will be performed for the first time in a pilot study on the International Space Station (ISS) on Nov. 28.
  • Saving ovaries does not help prevent prolapse for women after menopause
  • (The North American Menopause Society (NAMS)) Removing ovaries at hysterectomy does not increase a woman's risk of pelvic organ prolapse after menopause. In fact, removing ovaries lowers the risk of prolapse. This surprising finding from a Women's Health Initiative study was published online this week in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society.
  • More public health interventions required to tackle grim reaper of 'lifestyle' diseases
  • (University of Manchester) More public health interventions, along the lines of the smoking ban, are needed to tackle Britain's devastating toll of 'lifestyle' diseases, including heart disease and cancer, according to academics.
  • Funding to investigate an alternative to chemotherapy
  • (University of Plymouth) Professor Simon Rule, Professor in Haematology at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and Consultant Haematologist at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, has been awarded a significant grant by Cancer Research UK to carry out a research study into the treatment of older patients with mantle cell lymphoma.
  • Brain researchers pinpoint gateway to human memory
  • (DZNE - German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases) An international team led by researchers of the University of Magdeburg and the DZNE has successfully determined the location, where memories are generated with a level of precision never achieved before. To this end the scientists used a particularly accurate type of magnetic resonance imaging technology.
  • Minimally invasive disc surgery is a pain in the neck
  • (McMaster University) In comparison with open surgery, while minimally invasive surgery for cervical or lumbar discectomy may speed up recovery and reduce post-operative pain, it does not improve long-term function or reduce long-term extremity pain.
  • New guide to the genetic jungle of muscles can help health research
  • (Aarhus University) Researchers from Aarhus University and Bispebjerg Hospital have created a comprehensive overview of how tens of thousands of genes interact in relation to the behavior of muscles. At the same time, they have developed a guide to the enormous amounts of data and thus paved the way for new knowledge about diseases associated with lack of activity.
  • Research team proves the efficacy of new drug against stem cells that provoke the growth of cancer
  • (University of Granada) An Andalusian team of researchers led by the University of Granada has designed a drug that fights cancerogenic stem cells responsible for the onset and development of cancer, for relapse after chemotherapy, and for metastasis. The new drug, called Bozepinib, has been successfully tested in mice, and has a selective action against cancerogenic stem cells for breast and colon cancer, as well as melanoma.
  • New measuring system to objectively ascertain the fatigue level in physicians through eye movement
  • (University of Granada) An international team of scientists including researchers from the U. of Granada find that the speed of saccadic movements (rapid eye movements) is an excellent way to objectively measure the level of fatigue in a physician. Results prove that after a 24-hour medical shift, the speed of saccadic movements diminishes and the subjective perception of fatigue augments. However, the execution of simulated laparoscopic tests is not affected by this type of fatigue.
  • US supercomputer Titan does calculations for HZDR cancer research
  • (Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf) For their calculations, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) will now, starting in 2015, have access to the World's second-fastest computer. The Dresden research initiative is one of 56 projects the US Department of Energy has granted access to Titan as part of their INCITE program. HZDR's 3-D simulations of laser-accelerated ions is listed as one of their six 2015 highlights. Insights from the computations may prove useful in proton-based cancer therapy.
  • Minimally invasive interventions performed with the Italian surgical robot 'ALF-X'
  • (Catholic University of Rome) It's called ALF-X and it's the innovative robotic surgical system being used by gynaecological surgeons at the A. Gemelli University Polyclinic in Rome, which has been in operation in the surgical field for a year in the Department for the Protection of Health of Women, Newborns, Children and Adolescents, directed by professor Giovanni Scambia.
  • Study unlocks basis of key immune protein's two-faced role
  • (Brigham and Women's Hospital) A Brigham and Women's Hospital-led team has identified a long sought-after partner for a key immune protein, called TIM-3, that helps explain its two-faced role in the immune system.
  • JCU joins forces with US Special Ops Command to save wounded soldiers
  • (James Cook University) US Special Forces are funding a world first, breakthrough drug therapy for treating battle casualties that's being developed by James Cook University scientists in Australia. The US Special Operations Command is providing $550,000 to fund work by professor Geoffrey Dobson and research associate Hayley Letson from JCU's Division of Tropical Health and Medicine.
  • New research supporting stroke rehabilitation
  • (Frontiers) New research published today from Manchester Metropolitan University could help improve stroke patients' rehabilitation.
  • SU2C-supported research discovers why patients respond to a life-saving melanoma drug
  • (Entertainment Industry Foundation) Reported in Nature online, Dr. Antoni Ribas, co-leader of the CRI-SU2C Immunology Dream Team and colleagues at UCLA Jonsson CCC studied tumor biopsies from 46 advance melanoma patients taken before and after treatment with pembrolizumab (Keytruda), the new FDA-approved breakthrough drug. Using biopsy findings created an algorithm to predict the likelihood whether patients would likely to respond to this treatment.
  • Human antibodies produced in DNA-vaccinated cows protect in lethal models of hantavirus
  • (US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases) Scientists investigating the potentially deadly hantavirus have used a novel approach to developing protective antibodies against it. The research, published in Science Translational Medicine, used specially bred 'transchromosomal' cows engineered to produce fully human antibodies. Investigators immunized the cows with DNA vaccines targeting two types of hantaviruses, Andes and Sin Nombre. The team collected plasma from the cows, purified the human IgG antibodies, and tested the material, which had potent neutralizing activity against both hantaviruses.
  • Vaccines may make war on cancer personal
  • (Washington University School of Medicine) In the near future, physicians may treat some cancer patients with personalized vaccines that spur their immune systems to attack malignant tumors. New research led by scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has brought the approach one step closer to reality.
  • Nervous system may play bigger role in infections than previously known
  • (St. Michael's Hospital) The nervous system may play a bigger role in infections and autoimmune diseases than previously known.

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Health News
  • Blessings are Not Always Obvious
  • A very dear friend is going through a deep trial. This faithful follower prays for wisdom, guidence, assurance and peace.]]>
  • Researchers discover 'pre-cancers' in...
  • Many older people silently harbor a blood "pre-cancer" - a gene mutation acquired during their lifetime that could start them on the path to leukemia, lymphoma or other blood disease, scientists have discovered. It opens a new frontier on early detection and possibly someday preventing these cancers, which become more common with age.]]>
  • Pioneering Model & Restaurateur B. Smith Reported Missing
  • MyFoxNY.com says the 65-year-old Smith, who revealed her diagnosis with Alzheimer's disease earlier this year, was last seen at around 8:00 pm Tuesday in Southampton, Long Island after arriving from New York City on a bus. Her husband and business partner Dan Gasby reported her missing when she failed to turn up at home.]]>
  • Some immigrants get benefits under Obama's actions
  • Many immigrants in the United States illegally who apply for work permits Under President Obama 's new executive actions would be eligible for Social Security and Medicare benefits upon reaching retirement age, according to the White House. Under Obama's actions, immigrants who are spared deportation would be eligible to obtain work permits and a Social Security number.]]>
  • Growing popularity of pet massages sparks talk of regulation
  • Spa treatments don't stop with people. You won't see any aromatherapy candles around, but animals get massages, too, and it's become a regular service that many pet owners value as more than just glorified petting.]]>
  • Doctor behind 'free radical' aging theory dies
  • Dr. Denham Harman, a renowned scientist who developed the most widely accepted theory on aging that's now used to study cancer, Alzheimer's disease and other illnesses, has died in Nebraska at age 98. Harman, who worked into his mid-90s at the Univ. of Nebraska Medical Center-arriving each day at 7 a.m.-died after a brief illness at a hospital in Omaha, medical center spokesman Tom O'Connor said.]]>
  • i i Tentative deal to settle part of XL Foods beef recall class-action lawsuit
  • Lawyers have brokered a tentative deal to settle part of a class-action lawsuit filed over an E. coli outbreak and the largest meat recall in Canadian history. The lawsuit is against XL Foods Inc., which operated a meat-packing plant in southern Alberta during the tainted beef recall in 2012.]]>
  • Schumer To Dems: Make Government Help Workers
  • The Senate Democrats' top message man is urging the party leftward in the wake of crushing midterm election losses, saying working Americans want a robust government that will promote education access, labor bargaining rights, progressive taxes and more. At a Washington news conference, New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer said his party erred five years ago by putting health care reform ahead of economic priorities.]]>
  • New device may make mammograms more comfortable
  • Dutch researchers have developed a device that may reduce the discomfort many women feel during a mammogram while preserving the quality of the image. Breast compression is necessary in mammography for imaging purposes, but it can be painful.]]>
  • Facing health law hikes, consumers mull options
  • Consumers across most of America will see their health insurance premiums go up next year for popular plans under President Barack Obama's health care law. But it will take time for families to figure out the best bang for their budgets - even as a bigger political battle brews over the program's future.]]>
  • Many women are not taking up the offer of cervical screening, according to figures
  • A total of 4.24million women in England, aged between 25 to 64, were invited for cervical screening in 2013/14. Figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre showed that 3.23 million of those were tested - a fall of 2.9% compared to 3.32million in the previous year.]]>
  • An MRI scanner is used in the test
  • A new and more potentially more accurate technique to diagnose prostate cancer without the need for invasive biopsies is being tested in a nationwide trial. The Prostate MRI Imaging Study is testing whether the use of advanced MRI scans can detect the condition without the need for biopsies.]]>
  • The number of smokers has fallen to 19% of the adult population
  • Only a tiny proportion of people who use e-cigarettes had never smoked before, latest figures published by the Office of National Statistics have shown. There had been concerns that e-cigarettes would normalise smoking or provide a gateway to nicotine addiction, but that has not been borne out by the official figures for 2013.]]>
  • Salmonella in 10 states linked to raw sprouts
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 63 people from 10 states concentrated on the East Coast fell ill with salmonella linked to bean sprouts from a supplier in New York City. The CDC said the supplier, Wonton Food Inc. of Brooklyn, has agreed to stop production for now.]]>
  • Merck, Iowa firm sign Ebola vaccine licensing...
  • Merck & Co., one of the world's top developers and sellers of vaccines, has entered a partnership with a small drug developer to research and manufacture a potential Ebola vaccine now in initial patient testing. The exclusive deal involves a vaccine candidate called rVSV-EBOV that's under early development by BioProtection Systems, the vaccine-development subsidiary of NewLink Genetics Corp. of Ames, Iowa .]]>
  • Flu vaccine less effective against mutant strain
  • This year's flu shot may prove less effective than usual because the dominant virus now circulating has mutated significantly in the months since the vaccine was devised. The H3N2 strain - one of three targeted in this year's flu vaccine - is thought to have changed its genetic makeup enough to possibly thwart the antibodies that the vaccine activates.]]>
  • A 25-year-old woman died in a private assessment and treatment unit
  • Mental health charities have called for an independent inquiry following the death of a "beautiful young woman and daughter" who reached 26st in weight after she was isolated in a padded room at a specialist unit for seven years. Mencap and The Challenging Behaviour Foundation made the call to the Department of Health as a coroner decided that he did not think any plan to treat 25-year-old Stephanie Bincliffe's dangerous weight gain would have worked due to her challenging behaviour.]]>

Science

NBC News Health

CNN.com - Health
  • Lifetime dieter feels 'unstoppable'
  • Danyeil Durrant was 10 years old when she first began dieting. She had no idea she would be wrestling with her eating habits for the next three decades.
  • How she lost 145 pounds
  • One day, Kari Ianuale had had enough. The Nazareth, Pennsylvania, resident was embarrassed to discover that her size 24 pants no longer fit.
  • It's time to get your flu shot!
  • Flu season is about to begin, the CDC says. And health officials have a few updates to their recommendations.
  • Flu shot myths addressed
  • Flu vaccine myths can confuse people trying to decide whether to get a shot. Here are five common myths and, based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the truth.
  • Vintage cold and flu ads
  • Electrodes in brain to treat Tourette's
  • A pioneering procedure might be the answer to ending the misery of Tourette's syndrome.
  • The next medicinal marijuana?
  • Ayahuasca is a psychedelic drink that's attracting more and more tourists to the remote corners of the Amazon. But is it a drug, or is it medicine?
  • New link between coffee and DNA
  • You can blame that third cup of Joe on your genes.
  • Music helps your brain
  • Dr. Sanjay Gupta tells us why music therapy is good for the brain and how it can help us live to 100.
  • Live to 100: Laugh more
  • Dr. Sanjay Gupta tells us how laughing more can help us live to 100.
  • Eat chocolate. Yes, chocolate.
  • Dr. Sanjay Gupta tell us how eating certain types of chocolate can help us live to 100.
  • Visit to Sanjay Gupta's past
  • Dr. Sanjay Gupta traveled from Pakistan to Michigan to discover his family's roots. Here's what he learned along the way.
  • How to really lose weight
  • From what to eat to how much to exercise, Elizabeth Cohen explains what you really need to do to lose weight.
  • Keeping young athletes safe
  • CNN's Holly Firfer reports on ways parents can keep their student athletes safe.
  • Lab holds 2,000 brains
  • The University of Miami Brain Endowment Bank provides brain tissues to researchers to study various brain disorders.
  • Smart toothbrush tracks brushing
  • This Bluetooth enabled toothbrush coaches you while you brush and tracks your progress through a smartphone app.
  • Farming in the city
  • This urban farm supplies fresh produce to food deserts, but also offers other benefits to individuals and the community.
  • Can psychedelic drugs be medicine?
  • Psychiatrists are now considering the benefits of LSD and other psychedelic drugs in treatment. Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports.
  • What is 'too much' caffeine?
  • Carl Azuz reports on why consuming too much caffeine is not good for you.
  • Inside your mind with 'Brain Games'
  • Jason Silva from National Geographic's hit show "Brain Games" talks about tricks the mind plays that shape our reality.
  • The best way to brush
  • CNN's Martha Shade reports on what's the best way to brush your teeth.
  • How outbreak can start, and end
  • Dr. Sanjay Gupta describes how "contact tracing" could help stem the tide of an Ebola outbreak.
  • The healthiest fish to eat?
  • As our oceans become more polluted, Sally Kohn sits down with Fabien Cousteau to talk about the healthiest fish to eat.
  • Plastic surgery gone wrong
  • Dr. Terry Dubrow and Dr. Paul Nassif from E!'s new show "Botched" discuss the risks and complications of plastic surgery.
  • Ha! Laughter is the best medicine
  • Scott Weems, author of "Ha! The Science of When we Laugh and Why," speaks with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
  • Twin boys born 24 days apart
  • Due to a delayed delivery, a set of twins in Massachusetts were born 24 days apart. WCVB's Mary Saladna reports.
  • Is red meat really bad for you?
  • CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks with Nina Teicholz, author of "The Big Fat Surprise."
  • This is your body on weed
  • Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains how marijuana affects the brain and how pot can be used to treat certain conditions.
  • Teacher eats only McDonald's
  • A teacher only eats McDonald's for 90 days, and LOSES 37 pounds. KCCI reports.
  • World's most dangerous workout?
  • Is the "sport of fitness" the world's most dangerous workout? CNN's Jarrett Bellini asks CrossFitters and gives it a go.
  • Can you remember to eat less fat?
  • If you can't remember where your car keys are, you may want to put down the muffins. A study of 1,000 healthy men shows a possible link between high-trans-fat diets and failing memories.
  • Firefighter drops 40 pounds
  • Joe Van Veldhuizen lost 40 pounds to race his first Ironman. He did it slowly, counting calories and gradually increasing his exercise routine. See what it took to make his amazing weight loss transformation a reality.
  • His crime: Mental illness?
  • As a father of three, I felt Tricia Lammers' pain as she spoke about her son Blaec.
  • Can sunlock affect fertility?
  • The cold snap that's hitting much of the country this week may leave you with a real desire to head to the beach. If you do, you may want to watch what kind of sunblock you use.
  • Parents wed in NICU
  • A Texas couple married Tuesday in the neonatal intensive-care unit with their prematurely born son, dressed in a tuxedo onesie, serving as ring bearer. The baby's twin died in utero.
  • Trans fat may hurt your memory
  • If you can't remember where your car keys are, you may want to eat fewer muffins.
  • DNA pioneer to sell Nobel Prize
  • DNA pioneer James Watson is to sell the Nobel Prize he won for his co-discovery of the double helix structure, the building block of life.
  • Lung cancer battle: Time for action
  • Lung cancer kills nearly twice as many women as breast cancer, but there is no sea of ribbons, no colored NFL cleats, no national monuments aglow in pink for lung cancer awareness.
  • A one-woman Ebola hospital
  • 22-year-old Fatu Kekula nursed her mother, father and sister through Ebola using trash bags to protect herself.
  • Crab's blood could save your life
  • Hundreds of thousands of horseshoe crabs are captured each year for their incredible blue blood.
  • The monster that took my son
  • A week before Cole died, I promised him he would do "something big" someday. For two years, I have been fighting to keep that promise.
  • Lung cancer battle: Time for action
  • Lung cancer kills nearly twice as many women as breast cancer, but there is no sea of ribbons, no colored NFL cleats, no national monuments aglow in pink for lung cancer awareness.
  • DNA pioneer James Watson to sell Nobel Prize
  • DNA pioneer James Watson is to sell the Nobel Prize he won for his co-discovery of the double helix structure -- the building block of life.
  • Grateful Boston man shows off his double arm transplant
  • A 40-year-old quad amputee was all thank you's at a news conference Tuesday at a Boston area hospital as he showed off his two new arm transplants.
  • Be fit: Exercise is the best medicine
  • Want to "Be a Champion" like Dhani Jones? The benefits of exercise extend further than you think.
  • American teens aren't nearly as lonely as their parents were
  • American teenagers aren't feeling quite as lonely as their parents were when they were teens.
  • A form of sugar helps twin girls
  • Hugh and Chris Hempel welcomed beautiful twin girls into the world in 2004. Since the girls were about two, the whole family has been fighting to treat the twins' rare genetic condition.
  • Study: Bad marriage can break your heart
  • A study has found that older couples in bad marriages, especially wives, have a higher risk for heart disease than those who are happily wed.
  • Learn to live with it: Becoming stress-free
  • People believe that stress comes from external sources. That's why they're so stressed, author A. Parthasarathy writes.
  • Can't sleep? Try these 10 tips
  • It affects everyone, from office workers to sports stars. How you sleep affects how you perform -- and this man can help you snooze to the top.
  • What she did with months to live
  • "I had to film her death," Frederic Lumiere says softly. "In the film, I'm behind the camera, and you can hear me crying."
  • Reduce your risk of dementia
  • The statistics, unfortunately, are staggering. An estimated 44 million people worldwide are living with dementia, according to a report released Tuesday by Alzheimer's Disease International.
  • Hallucinogens to treat depression?
  • Psychedelic drugs are being researched as a potential treatment for conditions ranging from anxiety to tobacco and alcohol addiction.
  • Lack of sleep may shrink your brain
  • Can sleep deprivation affect the size of your brain? It's possible, a recent study published in an online issue of Neurology suggests.
  • Mental illness: Time to break taboo
  • 350 million people around the world suffer from depression. Why aren't we talking about it?
  • Schizophrenia is eight disorders
  • What we know -- and psychiatrists have diagnosed for decades -- as schizophrenia may really be eight separate diseases, research published in The American Journal of Psychiatry suggests.
  • Adam's story: 63 pills a day
  • The modest clinic on Milpas Street in laid-back Santa Barbara, California, was well known to patients seeking powerful pain medication.

NYT > Health

BBC News - Health

Health News Headlines - Yahoo News
  • Europe and Central Asia failing to curb spread of HIV: WHO
  • By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Despite major advances in treating and preventing HIV, Europe and Central Asia have failed to tackle the epidemic, with some 136,000 people becoming newly infected with the incurable AIDS virus last year, health officials said on Thursday. Figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) showed 80 percent more new HIV cases in 2013 compared to 2004, meaning a crucial target to reverse the tide of AIDS in the region will be missed. ...
  • Cricket-Former ICC chief wants review of safety standards
  • By Sudipto Ganguly MUMBAI, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Former International Cricket Council chief Jagmohan Dalmiya has called on the game's administrators to work on upgrading safety standards to ensure that incidents like the shock death of Australian batsman Phillip Hughes never happen again. Hughes, wearing a helmet, was struck on the neck by a short-pitched delivery when batting in a domestic match on Tuesday, with the force of the blow piercing his vertebral artery and causing blood to gush into his brain. He died in hospital on Thursday aged 25. ...
  • Tropical fly-borne illness reported near Damascus: WHO
  • GENEVA/BEIRUT (Reuters) - At least three wounded people have been infected near Damascus with a tropical disease spread by flies that had never before been reported in Syria, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said. The outbreak of myiasis, also known as screw worm, stems from deteriorating water and sanitation conditions. While not life-threatening, its presence is an indicator of how bad health conditions have become, according to the global health body. ...
  • Cricket-Grief-stricken Clarke shows true off-field leadership
  • By Ian Ransom MELBOURNE, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Long called upon to rescue his team from treacherous situations, Australia captain Michael Clarke could do little to save his close friend Phillip Hughes, but bore his grief quietly in a vital supporting role for his "little brother's" family. Clarke was among the first to arrive at St Vincent's hospital on Tuesday after Hughes was rushed there with a sickening head injury and read the family's statement upon his death, three days before his 26th birthday. ...
  • Liver transplant recipient marks 25th anniversary
  • SEVERN, Md. (AP) — Alyssa Riggan hasn't dwelled on being the first person in the U.S. to successfully receive part of a liver from a living donor 25 years ago, a medical procedure that paved the way for routine live-donor transplants.
  • Thai court sentences five to death in war-torn south
  • BANGKOK (Reuters) - A Thai court sentenced to death five suspected Muslim separatists convicted of killing four soldiers, prompting Human Rights Watch to accuse the government of applying "double standards" in the turbulent south. Thailand is predominantly Buddhist but parts of the south, in particular the three southernmost provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat, are majority Muslim. A low-level insurgency in the region has claimed more than 6,000 lives since 2004 following the resurgence of a dormant Muslim separatist movement. ...
  • Lab-coated Muggles use Harry Potter to study brain
  • WASHINGTON (AP) — Harry Potter swoops around on his broom, faces the bully Malfoy and later runs into a three-headed dog. For scientists studying brain activity while reading, it's the perfect excerpt from the young wizard's many adventures to give their subjects.
  • Cricket-Hughes death casts doubts on first India test
  • * Hughes would have wanted game to go ahead - Chappell * The whole of Australian cricket is grieving, says Cricket Australia boss (Updates after Hughes death) MELBOURNE, Nov 27 (Reuters) - The shocking death of batsman Phillip Hughes on Thursday has cast doubts on whether the first test between Australia and India will go ahead in Brisbane next week. A two-day tour match between India and a Cricket Australia XI in Adelaide was called off following the announcement of the 25-year-old's death, while New Zealand and Pakistan suspended their test match in Sharjah for the day out of respect. ...
  • Cricket-Fractured cheekbone lucky escape from bouncer - Shehzad
  • KARACHI, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Pakistan test opener Ahmed Shehzad knows he had a lucky escape when a short-pitched ball cracked his cheekbone earlier this month and says he "froze" when he heard the news of Australian batsman Phil Hughes' death on Thursday. Hughes died in a Sydney hospital two days after being struck by a ball that led to a "catastrophic" injury which caused "massive" bleeding to his brain. ...
  • Cricket-'Freakish accident' gave Hughes little chance of survival - doctors
  • SYDNEY, Nov 27 (Reuters) - The death of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes was caused by a "freakish accident" that gave the 25-year-old international batsman little chance of survival, his doctors said on Thursday. Hughes was struck by a short-pitched delivery on Tuesday while playing in a domestic match and died in St Vincent's hospital on Thursday having never regained consciousness. "I think in this instance, this was a freakish accident because it was an injury to the neck that caused haemorrhage in the brain. ...
  • Cricket-Reaction to the death of Phillip Hughes
  • * Australian PM leads tributes * "a shocking aberration," says Abbott (Updates with more reaction) SYDNEY, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes died in hospital on Thursday, two days after the batsman was struck on the head by a bouncer during a domestic match. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott led a flood of tributes for the 25-year-old. - - - "His death is a very sad day for cricket and a heartbreaking day for his family. What happened has touched millions of Australians. For a young life to be cut short playing our national game seems a shocking aberration. ...
  • Cricket-Australia's Hughes dies after being hit by ball
  • * Hughes suffers "massive" brain bleeding * Hughes dies two days after emergency surgery * Tributes flood social media (Recasts, adds quotes, details) By Swati Pandey SYDNEY, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes died in a Sydney hospital on Thursday, two days after being struck by a ball that led to a "catastrophic" injury which caused "massive" bleeding to his brain and ultimately proved fatal. ...
  • Ebola vaccine from Glaxo passes early safety test
  • NEW YORK (Reuters) - An experimental Ebola vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline caused no serious side effects and produced an immune response in all 20 healthy volunteers who received it in an early-stage clinical trial, scientists reported on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The trial, which began on Sept. 2 and will monitor the volunteers for 48 weeks, is primarily aimed at assessing how safe the vaccine is. But the immune response offered hope that it would also be effective. ...
  • Number of Ebola cases nears 16,000 as Sierra Leone loses ground: WHO
  • By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - The death toll in the world's worst Ebola epidemic has risen to 5,689 out of 15,935 cases reported in eight countries by Nov. 23, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday. Almost all cases and all but 15 deaths have been in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia - the three hardest-hit countries, which reported 600 new cases in the past week, the WHO said in its latest update. "The total number of cases reported in Sierra Leone since the outbreak began will soon eclipse the number reported from Liberia," it said. ...
  • Australia batsman Hughes passes away aged 25
  • SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes died in hospital on Thursday, two days after the international batsman was struck on the head by a ball during a domestic match. Governing body Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed the 25-year-old had lost his fight for life, casting a pall over the cricket-mad nation who are co-hosting the World Cup early next year. "We are extremely sad to announce that Phillip Hughes has passed away at the age of 25," CA said on its Twitter feed. "Our thoughts go out to Phillip's family, friends, and the entire cricket community on this incredibly sad day. ...
  • Cricket-Reaction to the death of cricketer Phillip Hughes
  • SYDNEY, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes died in hospital on Thursday, two days after the batsman was struck on the head by a bouncer during a domestic match. Australian Primer Minister Tony Abbott led a flood of tributes for the 25-year-old. - - - "His death is a very sad day for cricket and a heartbreaking day for his family. What happened has touched millions of Australians. For a young life to be cut short playing our national game seems a shocking aberration. ...
  • Tradition trumps safety innovation in cricket helmets
  • * Helmet safety in focus after Hughes injury * Manufacturers say baseball, cycling ahead on safety * Elite players slow to adopt new styles (Edits headline) By Jane Wardell SYDNEY Nov 27 (Reuters) - Former Australia cricketer Bryce McGain wore a new, safety-conscious helmet for a series of televised one-day matches a few years ago - and quickly found himself the butt of commentator and player jibes. "They explained the technology and I liked the idea that it was safer," McGain said of the futuristic-looking helmet he wore in 2009. ...
  • Cricket-Statement on the death of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes
  • SYDNEY, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes died in hospital on Thursday, two days after the batsman was struck on the head by a ball during a domestic match. Cricket Australia released the following statement from team doctor Peter Brukner announcing the 25-year-old's death. - - - - "It is my sad duty to inform you that a short time ago Phillip Hughes passed away. "He never regained consciousness following his injury on Tuesday. "He was not in pain before he passed and was surrounded by his family and close friends. ...
  • Cricket-Australia batsman Hughes dies from head injury
  • SYDNEY, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes died in a Sydney hospital on Thursday after being struck by a ball and suffering a severe head injury two days earlier. "We are extremely sad to announce that Phillip Hughes has passed away at the age of 25," Cricket Australia said in a statement. "Our thoughts go out to Phillip's family, friends, and the entire cricket community on this incredibly sad day." Hughes was struck in the head while batting in a match at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday. ...
  • China takes 'zero tolerance' approach to regional polluters: Cabinet
  • BEIJING (Reuters) - China will take a "zero tolerance" approach to a wide range of environmental violations and has promised stronger action against regional governments that protect polluters or hinder inspections, according to a Cabinet document. Authorities across China have been ordered to take part in a comprehensive inspection program to be completed by the end of 2015, said the policy document that was released on the official government website late on Wednesday. ...
  • It's not cricket: tradition trumps innovation in helmets
  • * Helmet safety in focus after Hughes injury * Manufacturers say baseball, cycling ahead on safety * Elite players slow to adopt new styles By Jane Wardell SYDNEY Nov 27 (Reuters) - Former Australia cricketer Bryce McGain wore a new, safety-conscious helmet for a series of televised one-day matches a few years ago - and quickly found himself the butt of commentator and player jibes. "They explained the technology and I liked the idea that it was safer," McGain said of the futuristic-looking helmet he wore in 2009. ...
  • Uruguay pushes back start of marijuana sale in pharmacies
  • MONTEVIDEO (Reuters) - Uruguay could start selling marijuana in pharmacies in March, the head of the National Drugs Board said on Wednesday, although the government had initially been aiming for year-end. The South American country is the world's first to permit the cultivation, distribution and use of marijuana, aiming to wrest control of the trade from drug gangs while at the same regulating and even taxing its consumption. But a variety of hurdles are preventing the government from making its deadlines in implementing the measures passed into law last December. ...
  • Ebola vaccine seems safe in first-stage testing
  • WASHINGTON (AP) — An experimental Ebola vaccine appears safe and triggered signs of immune protection in the first 20 volunteers to test it, U.S. researchers reported Wednesday.
  • Celiac disease showing up in many forms and at all ages
  • By Janice Neumann (Reuters Health) – A classical set of celiac disease symptoms no longer reflects the profile of most newly-diagnosed patients, according to a new study from Italy. Instead, doctors need to take other symptoms into account and consider the possibility of celiac disease, even when patients don’t fit the old image of the condition, researchers say. “It’s been a gradual phenomenon since the 1970s that fewer people are presenting with the classical diarrhea and more with non-classical or silent presentation, both in adults and children,” said Dr. ...
  • FDA rejects Avanir's migraine drug-device
  • (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration rejected Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc's migraine drug device, a few weeks after the regulator had raised questions regarding some data submitted as part of the marketing application. Earlier this month the FDA had asked Avanir to assess the root cause of errors observed in the data from the drugmaker's human factors study, which assesses if patients can use a device safely and effectively. The product, AVP-825, delivers a low-dose sumatriptan powder - the most commonly prescribed migraine medicine - through the nose. ...
  • US tightens smog limits in bid to protect health
  • WASHINGTON (AP) — In a fresh confrontation with Republicans, the Obama administration on Wednesday proposed stricter emissions limits on smog-forming pollution linked to asthma and respiratory illness. The move fulfilled a long-delayed campaign promise by President Barack Obama but left environmental and public health groups wanting more.
  • Tensions flare between Senate Democrats, White House
  • By Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Criticism of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law by a top Senate Democrat this week laid bare post-election tensions that could pose challenges for the party in upcoming fights with Republicans over taxes, energy and immigration. In a high-profile speech on Tuesday dissecting Democrats' losses in this month's midterm elections, Charles Schumer, the No. 3 Senate Democrat, listed "a cascade of issues" botched by the White House, starting with Obama's push for healthcare reforms soon after he took office in 2009. ...
  • Researchers discover 'pre-cancers' in blood
  • Many older people silently harbor a blood "pre-cancer" — a gene mutation acquired during their lifetime that could start them on the path to leukemia, lymphoma or other blood disease, scientists have discovered. It opens a new frontier on early detection and possibly someday preventing these cancers, which become more common with age.
  • Hormones only one factor in sexual function during menopause
  • By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) - Testosterone and other reproductive hormones do play a role – but probably a small one – in women's feelings of sexual desire during menopause, according to a new study. Factors like emotional wellbeing and quality of the intimate relationship may be more important, says lead author Dr. John F. Randolph, Jr., of the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor. “The big thing that came out of this is it has long been assumed or theorized that hormones played a big role, but it’s been hard to prove,” Randolph told Reuters Health. ...
  • Health insurance sign-ups coming to shopping malls
  • CHICAGO (AP) — The Obama administration will promote health insurance coverage at shopping malls starting on Black Friday and continuing through the busiest shopping days of the holiday season, officials announced Wednesday. They said more than 462,000 people selected a private insurance plan in the first week of 2015 enrollment through the online marketplace HealthCare.gov.
  • Twitter Chat Tips on the Benefits of Gratitude
  • Gratitude is good for your health.
  • Sierra Leone official: Ebola may have reached peak
  • FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — The Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, which has been surging in recent weeks, may have reached its peak and could be on the verge of slowing down, Sierra Leone's information minister said Wednesday.
  • Breast cancer recurrence risk down since 1980s
  • By Andrew M. Seaman (Reuters Health) - Rates of breast cancer recurrence fell by half or more between the 1980s and the early 2000s - likely due to improved treatments and increased screenings, according to a new study from Canada. The analysis of data on Canadian breast cancer patients offers reassurance that breast cancer survival is improving and also provides updated data to researchers, said the study’s lead author, Dr. Karen Gelmon from the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver, British Columbia. ...
  • US adult smoking rate dips just under 18 percent
  • NEW YORK (AP) — A government report says the smoking rate for U.S. adults dipped below 18 percent for the first time last year.
  • Guinea, hit by Ebola, reports only 1 cholera case
  • CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — The health workers rode on canoes and rickety boats to deliver cholera vaccines to remote islands in Guinea. Months later, the country has recorded only one confirmed cholera case this year, down from thousands.
  • At 1 month, US Ebola monitors finding no cases
  • NEW YORK (AP) — For three weeks, Dr. John Fankhauser and his family lived in two RVs in a meadow in North Carolina, watching movies, playing cards and huddling around a fire pit — with no other campers around.
  • Why You Act Like a Kid When You Go Home for Thanksgiving
  • It???s only natural for adults to slip back into their childhood personas.
  • Sierra Leone seeks U.S. military help to fight Ebola
  • By Emma Farge DAKAR (Reuters) - Sierra Leone appealed to the United States on Wednesday to send military aid to help it battle Ebola as it falls behind its West African neighbors Guinea and Liberia in the fight against the virus. The worst recorded Ebola outbreak has killed at least 5,689 people, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday, as the virus has overwhelmed African countries with weak infrastructure and healthcare systems. While the outbreak appears to be coming under control in Liberia, thanks partly to a health operation run by U.S. ...
  • U.S. approves GSK's purchase of Novartis vaccine business: companies
  • WASHINGTON (Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline won U.S. antitrust approval to buy Novartis AG's vaccine business, with the exception of influenza vaccines, the two companies said on Wednesday. The deal is part of a three-way transaction unveiled in April, which includes Britain's GSK buying the vaccines business of Novartis, the Swiss company purchasing GSK's cancer drugs, and the two groups tying up in consumer healthcare. The U.S. ...
  • Why Music: Telling the Story of Music and the Mind
  • Meet Una Vida -- a jazz singer from New Orleans confronted with the daunting challenge of caring for herself as her mind and memory start to slip away. Meet Alice -- a renowned Columbia linguistics professor starting to lose her mastery of the words that once defined her. Meet Henry -- an elder black man passing his days away in a...

AP Top Health News At 4:33 a.m. EST
  • Lab-coated Muggles use Harry Potter to study brain
  • WASHINGTON (AP) -- Harry Potter swoops around on his broom, faces the bully Malfoy and later runs into a three-headed dog. For scientists studying brain activity while reading, it's the perfect excerpt from the young wizard's many adventures to give their subjects....
  • Liver transplant recipient marks 25th anniversary
  • SEVERN, Md. (AP) -- Alyssa Riggan hasn't dwelled on being the first person in the U.S. to successfully receive part of a liver from a living donor 25 years ago, a medical procedure that paved the way for routine live-donor transplants....
  • At 1 month, US Ebola monitors finding no cases
  • NEW YORK (AP) -- For three weeks, Dr. John Fankhauser and his family lived in two RVs in a meadow in North Carolina, watching movies, playing cards and huddling around a fire pit - with no other campers around....
  • Ebola vaccine seems safe in first-stage testing
  • WASHINGTON (AP) -- An experimental Ebola vaccine appears safe and triggered signs of immune protection in the first 20 volunteers to test it, U.S. researchers reported Wednesday....
  • Researchers discover 'pre-cancers' in blood
  • Many older people silently harbor a blood "pre-cancer" - a gene mutation acquired during their lifetime that could start them on the path to leukemia, lymphoma or other blood disease, scientists have discovered. It opens a new frontier on early detection and possibly someday preventing these cancers, which become more common with age....
  • Guinea, hit by Ebola, reports only 1 cholera case
  • CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) -- The health workers rode on canoes and rickety boats to deliver cholera vaccines to remote islands in Guinea. Months later, the country has recorded only one confirmed cholera case this year, down from thousands....
  • US adult smoking rate dips just under 18 percent
  • NEW YORK (AP) -- A government report says the smoking rate for U.S. adults dipped below 18 percent for the first time last year....
  • US tightens smog limits in bid to protect health
  • WASHINGTON (AP) -- In a fresh confrontation with Republicans, the Obama administration on Wednesday proposed stricter emissions limits on smog-forming pollution linked to asthma and respiratory illness. The move fulfilled a long-delayed campaign promise by President Barack Obama but left environmental and public health groups wanting more....
  • Sierra Leone official: Ebola may have reached peak
  • FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) -- The Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, which has been surging in recent weeks, may have reached its peak and could be on the verge of slowing down, Sierra Leone's information minister said Wednesday....
  • Calorie count to appear with many prepared foods
  • WASHINGTON (AP) -- Diners will soon know how many calories are in that bacon cheeseburger at a chain restaurant, the pasta salad in the supermarket salad bar and even that buttery tub of popcorn at the movie theater....

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BioMed Central - Most accessed articles
  • Shaping the oral microbiota through intimate kissing
  • Background: The variation of microbial communities associated with the human body can be the cause of many factors, including the human genetic makeup, diet, age, surroundings, and sexual behavior. In this study, we investigated the effects of intimate kissing on the oral microbiota of 21 couples by self-administered questionnaires about their past kissing behavior and by the evaluation of tongue and salivary microbiota samples in a controlled kissing experiment. In addition, we quantified the number of bacteria exchanged during intimate kissing by the use of marker bacteria introduced through the intake of a probiotic yoghurt drink by one of the partners prior to a second intimate kiss. Results: Similarity indices of microbial communities show that average partners have a more similar oral microbiota composition compared to unrelated individuals, with by far most pronounced similarity for communities associated with the tongue surface. An intimate kiss did not lead to a significant additional increase of the average similarity of the oral microbiota between partners. However, clear correlations were observed between the similarity indices of the salivary microbiota of couples and self-reported kiss frequencies, and the reported time passed after the latest kiss. In control experiments for bacterial transfer, we identified the probiotic Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium marker bacteria in most kiss receivers, corresponding to an average total bacterial transfer of 80 million bacteria per intimate kiss of 10 s. Conclusions: This study indicates that a shared salivary microbiota requires a frequent and recent bacterial exchange and is therefore most pronounced in couples with relatively high intimate kiss frequencies. The microbiota on the dorsal surface of the tongue is more similar among partners than unrelated individuals, but its similarity does not clearly correlate to kissing behavior, suggesting an important role for specific selection mechanisms resulting from a shared lifestyle, environment, or genetic factors from the host. Furthermore, our findings imply that some of the collective bacteria among partners are only transiently present, while others have found a true niche on the tongue’s surface allowing long-term colonization.
  • Body composition changes associated with fasted versus non-fasted aerobic exercise
  • It has been hypothesized that performing aerobic exercise after an overnight fast accelerates the loss of body fat. The purpose of this study was to investigate changes in fat mass and fat-free mass following four weeks of volume-equated fasted versus fed aerobic exercise in young women adhering to a hypocaloric diet. Twenty healthy young female volunteers were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 experimental groups: a fasted training (FASTED) group that performed exercise after an overnight fast (n = 10) or a post-prandial training (FED) group that consumed a meal prior to exercise (n = 10). Training consisted of 1 hour of steady-state aerobic exercise performed 3 days per week. Subjects were provided with customized dietary plans designed to induce a caloric deficit. Nutritional counseling was provided throughout the study period to help ensure dietary adherence and self-reported food intake was monitored on a regular basis. A meal replacement shake was provided either immediately prior to exercise for the FED group or immediately following exercise for the FASTED group, with this nutritional provision carried out under the supervision of a research assistant. Both groups showed a significant loss of weight (P = 0.0005) and fat mass (P = 0.02) from baseline, but no significant between-group differences were noted in any outcome measure. These findings indicate that body composition changes associated with aerobic exercise in conjunction with a hypocaloric diet are similar regardless whether or not an individual is fasted prior to training.
  • QMachine: commodity supercomputing in web browsers
  • Background: Ongoing advancements in cloud computing provide novel opportunities in scientific computing, especially for distributed workflows. Modern web browsers can now be used as high-performance workstations for querying, processing, and visualizing genomics’ “Big Data” from sources like The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) without local software installation or configuration. The design of QMachine (QM) was driven by the opportunity to use this pervasive computing model in the context of the Web of Linked Data in Biomedicine. Results: QM is an open-sourced, publicly available web service that acts as a messaging system for posting tasks and retrieving results over HTTP. The illustrative application described here distributes the analyses of 20 Streptococcus pneumoniae genomes for shared suffixes. Because all analytical and data retrieval tasks are executed by volunteer machines, few server resources are required. Any modern web browser can submit those tasks and/or volunteer to execute them without installing any extra plugins or programs. A client library provides high-level distribution templates including MapReduce. This stark departure from the current reliance on expensive server hardware running “download and install” software has already gathered substantial community interest, as QM received more than 2.2 million API calls from 87 countries in 12 months. Conclusions: QM was found adequate to deliver the sort of scalable bioinformatics solutions that computation- and data-intensive workflows require. Paradoxically, the sandboxed execution of code by web browsers was also found to enable them, as compute nodes, to address critical privacy concerns that characterize biomedical environments.
  • Mental illness related disparities in diabetes prevalence, quality of care and outcomes: a population-based longitudinal study
  • Background: Health care disparity is a public health challenge. We compared the prevalence of diabetes, quality of care and outcomes between mental health clients (MHCs) and non-MHCs. Methods: This was a population-based longitudinal study of 139,208 MHCs and 294,180 matched non-MHCs in Western Australia (WA) from 1990 to 2006, using linked data of mental health registry, electoral roll registrations, hospital admissions, emergency department attendances, deaths, and Medicare and pharmaceutical benefits claims. Diabetes was identified from hospital diagnoses, prescriptions and diabetes-specific primary care claims (17,045 MHCs, 26,626 non-MHCs). Both univariate and multivariate analyses adjusted for socio-demographic factors and case mix were performed to compare the outcome measures among MHCs, category of mental disorders and non-MHCs. Results: The prevalence of diabetes was significantly higher in MHCs than in non-MHCs (crude age-sex-standardised point-prevalence of diabetes on 30 June 2006 in those aged ≥20 years, 9.3% vs 6.1%, respectively, P < 0.001; adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.40, 95% CI 1.36 to 1.43). Receipt of recommended pathology tests (HbA1c, microalbuminuria, blood lipids) was suboptimal in both groups, but was lower in MHCs (for all tests combined; adjusted OR 0.81, 95% CI 0.78 to 0.85, at one year; and adjusted rate ratio (RR) 0.86, 95% CI 0.84 to 0.88, during the study period). MHCs also had increased risks of hospitalisation for diabetes complications (adjusted RR 1.20, 95% CI 1.17 to 1.24), diabetes-related mortality (1.43, 1.35 to 1.52) and all-cause mortality (1.47, 1.42 to 1.53). The disparities were most marked for alcohol/drug disorders, schizophrenia, affective disorders, other psychoses and personality disorders. Conclusions: MHCs warrant special attention for primary and secondary prevention of diabetes, especially at the primary care level.
  • The genome of the sparganosis tapeworm Spirometra erinaceieuropaei isolated from the biopsy of a migrating brain lesion
  • Background: Sparganosis is an infection with a larval Diphyllobothriidea tapeworm. From a rare cerebral case presented at a clinic in the UK, DNA was recovered from a biopsy sample and used to determine the causative species as Spirometra erinaceieuropaei through sequencing of the cox1 gene. From the same DNA, we have produced a draft genome, the first of its kind for this species, and used it to perform a comparative genomics analysis and to investigate known and potential tapeworm drug targets in this tapeworm. Results: The 1.26Gb draft genome of S. erinaceieuropaei is currently the largest reported for any flatworm. Through investigation of ?-tubulin genes, we predict that S. erinaceieuropaei larvae are insensitive to the tapeworm drug albendazole. We find that many putative tapeworm drug targets are also present in S. erinaceieuropaei, allowing possible cross application of new drugs. In comparison to other sequenced tapeworm species we observe expansion of protease classes, and of Kuntiz-type protease inhibitors. Expanded gene families in this tapeworm also include those that are involved in processes that add post-translational diversity to the protein landscape, intracellular transport, transcriptional regulation and detoxification. Conclusions: The S. erinaceieuropaei genome begins to give us insight into an order of tapeworms previously uncharacterized at the genome-wide level. From a single clinical case we have begun to sketch a picture of the characteristics of these organisms. Finally, our work represents a significant technological achievement as we present a draft genome sequence of a rare tapeworm, and from a small amount of starting material.
  • An inside-out origin for the eukaryotic cell
  • Background: Although the origin of the eukaryotic cell has long been recognized as the single most profound change in cellular organization during the evolution of life on earth, this transition remains poorly understood. Models have always assumed that the nucleus and endomembrane system evolved within the cytoplasm of a prokaryotic cell. Results: Drawing on diverse aspects of cell biology and phylogenetic data, we invert the traditional interpretation of eukaryotic cell evolution. We propose that an ancestral prokaryotic cell, homologous to the modern-day nucleus, extruded membrane-bound blebs beyond its cell wall. These blebs functioned to facilitate material exchange with ectosymbiotic proto-mitochondria. The cytoplasm was then formed through the expansion of blebs around proto-mitochondria, with continuous spaces between the blebs giving rise to the endoplasmic reticulum, which later evolved into the eukaryotic secretory system. Further bleb-fusion steps yielded a continuous plasma membrane, which served to isolate the endoplasmic reticulum from the environment. Conclusions: The inside-out theory is consistent with diverse kinds of data and provides an alternative framework by which to explore and understand the dynamic organization of modern eukaryotic cells. It also helps to explain a number of previously enigmatic features of cell biology, including the autonomy of nuclei in syncytia and the subcellular localization of protein N-glycosylation, and makes many predictions, including a novel mechanism of interphase nuclear pore insertion.
  • Evidence-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: nutrition and supplementation
  • The popularity of natural bodybuilding is increasing; however, evidence-based recommendations for it are lacking. This paper reviewed the scientific literature relevant to competition preparation on nutrition and supplementation, resulting in the following recommendations. Caloric intake should be set at a level that results in bodyweight losses of approximately 0.5 to 1%/wk to maximize muscle retention. Within this caloric intake, most but not all bodybuilders will respond best to consuming 2.3-3.1 g/kg of lean body mass per day of protein, 15-30% of calories from fat, and the reminder of calories from carbohydrate. Eating three to six meals per day with a meal containing 0.4-0.5 g/kg bodyweight of protein prior and subsequent to resistance training likely maximizes any theoretical benefits of nutrient timing and frequency. However, alterations in nutrient timing and frequency appear to have little effect on fat loss or lean mass retention. Among popular supplements, creatine monohydrate, caffeine and beta-alanine appear to have beneficial effects relevant to contest preparation, however others do not or warrant further study. The practice of dehydration and electrolyte manipulation in the final days and hours prior to competition can be dangerous, and may not improve appearance. Increasing carbohydrate intake at the end of preparation has a theoretical rationale to improve appearance, however it is understudied. Thus, if carbohydrate loading is pursued it should be practiced prior to competition and its benefit assessed individually. Finally, competitors should be aware of the increased risk of developing eating and body image disorders in aesthetic sport and therefore should have access to the appropriate mental health professionals.
  • Impacts of genetically engineered crops on pesticide use in the U.S. -- the first sixteen years
  • Background: Genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant and insect-resistant crops have been remarkable commercial successes in the United States. Few independent studies have calculated their impacts on pesticide use per hectare or overall pesticide use, or taken into account the impact of rapidly spreading glyphosate-resistant weeds. A model was developed to quantify by crop and year the impacts of six major transgenic pest-management traits on pesticide use in the U.S. over the 16-year period, 1996–2011: herbicide-resistant corn, soybeans, and cotton; Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) corn targeting the European corn borer; Bt corn for corn rootworms; and Bt cotton for Lepidopteron insects. Results: Herbicide-resistant crop technology has led to a 239 million kilogram (527 million pound) increase in herbicide use in the United States between 1996 and 2011, while Bt crops have reduced insecticide applications by 56 million kilograms (123 million pounds). Overall, pesticide use increased by an estimated 183 million kgs (404 million pounds), or about 7%. Conclusions: Contrary to often-repeated claims that today’s genetically-engineered crops have, and are reducing pesticide use, the spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds in herbicide-resistant weed management systems has brought about substantial increases in the number and volume of herbicides applied. If new genetically engineered forms of corn and soybeans tolerant of 2,4-D are approved, the volume of 2,4-D sprayed could drive herbicide usage upward by another approximate 50%. The magnitude of increases in herbicide use on herbicide-resistant hectares has dwarfed the reduction in insecticide use on Bt crops over the past 16 years, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
  • Molecular dynamics simulations and drug discovery
  • This review discusses the many roles atomistic computer simulations of macromolecular (for example, protein) receptors and their associated small-molecule ligands can play in drug discovery, including the identification of cryptic or allosteric binding sites, the enhancement of traditional virtual-screening methodologies, and the direct prediction of small-molecule binding energies. The limitations of current simulation methodologies, including the high computational costs and approximations of molecular forces required, are also discussed. With constant improvements in both computer power and algorithm design, the future of computer-aided drug design is promising; molecular dynamics simulations are likely to play an increasingly important role.
  • Porn video shows, local brew, and transactional sex: HIV risk among youth in Kisumu, Kenya.
  • Background: Kisumu has shown a rising HIV prevalence over the past sentinel surveillance surveys, and most new infections are occurring among youth. We conducted a qualitative study to explore risk situations that can explain the high HIV prevalence among youth in Kisumu town, Kenya Methods: We conducted in-depth interviews with 150 adolescents aged 15 to 20, held 4 focus group discussions, and made 48 observations at places where youth spend their free time. Results: Porn video shows and local brew dens were identified as popular events where unprotected multipartner, concurrent, coerced and transactional sex occurs between adolescents. Video halls - rooms with a TV and VCR - often show pornography at night for a very small fee, and minors are allowed. Forced sex, gang rape and multiple concurrent relationships characterised the sexual encounters of youth, frequently facilitated by the abuse of alcohol, which is available for minors at low cost in local brew dens. For many sexually active girls, their vulnerability to STI/HIV infection is enhanced due to financial inequality, gender-related power difference and cultural norms. The desire for love and sexual pleasure also contributed to their multiple concurrent partnerships. A substantial number of girls and young women engaged in transactional sex, often with much older working partners. These partners had a stronger socio-economic position than young women, enabling them to use money/gifts as leverage for sex. Condom use was irregular during all types of sexual encounters. Conclusions: In Kisumu, local brew dens and porn video halls facilitate risky sexual encounters between youth. These places should be regulated and monitored by the government. Our study strongly points to female vulnerabilities and the role of men in perpetuating the local epidemic. Young men should be targeted in prevention activities, to change their attitudes related to power and control in relationships. Girls should be empowered how to negotiate safe sex, and their poverty should be addressed through income-generating activities.

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