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Drug hobbles deadly liver cancer by stifling protein production

Dom, 01/13/2019 - 23:00
In laboratory experiments, UC San Francisco researchers successfully beat back the growth of aggressive liver cancers using a surprising new approach. Traditionally, targeted cancer therapies aim to disable proteins borne of cancer-driving genes. Instead, the UCSF scientists prevented these proteins, including those that shield tumors from the immune system, from being built in the first place.

The orderly chaos of black holes

Dom, 01/13/2019 - 23:00
During the formation of a black hole a bright burst of very energetic light in the form of gamma-rays is produced, these events are called gamma-ray bursts. Researchers from UNIGE, in collaboration with an international team, have built the POLAR instrument to analyze gamma-ray bursts. The first results of POLAR reveal that the high energy photons coming from gamma-ray bursts are neither completely chaotic, nor completely organized, but a mixture of the two.

Where is George? Ask this software to look at the crowd

Dom, 01/13/2019 - 23:00 is a mix of conventional algorithms and artificial intelligence developed at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown. From the video footage of a moving crowd composed of dozens of individuals, it learns to identify each and every individual in that crowd.

Study finds the circuits that may help you keep your cool

Dom, 01/13/2019 - 23:00
For optimal performance the brain can strike a balance of being alert, but not overly excited, using a circuit mechanism newly teased out by scientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory.

Study examines the course of back pain over time

Dom, 01/13/2019 - 23:00
Back pain is among the most frequently reported health problems in the world. New research published in Arthritis Care & Research, an official journal of the American College of Rheumatology and the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals, examines patterns in back pain over time and identifies the patient characteristics and the extent of healthcare and medication use (including opioids) associated with different patterns.

Sleeping less than six hours a night may increase cardiovascular risk

Dom, 01/13/2019 - 23:00
People who sleep less than six hours a night may be at increased risk of cardiovascular disease compared with those who sleep between seven and eight hours, suggests a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Poor quality sleep increases the risk of atherosclerosis -- plaque buildup in the arteries throughout the body -- according to the study.

Double star system flips planet-forming disk into pole position

Dom, 01/13/2019 - 23:00
New research led by an astronomer at the University of Warwick has found the first confirmed example of a double star system that has flipped its surrounding disc to a position that leaps over the orbital plane of those stars.

Let's prepare now so farming insects as food is environmentally friendly, say scientists

Dom, 01/13/2019 - 23:00
As whole-roasted crickets gain traction as a protein-rich snack and restaurants experiment with mealworms on the menu, there's still 'an overwhelming lack of knowledge' concerning the ecological sustainability of the emerging, multi-million-dollar insects-as-food industry, say researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. In an opinion article published Jan. 14 in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution, they explore unanswered questions around insect rearing, safety, and environmental impacts.

Conversion of breast cancer cells into fat cells impedes the formation of metastases

Dom, 01/13/2019 - 23:00
An innovative combination therapy can force malignant breast cancer cells to turn into fat cells. This can be used to prevent the formation of metastases in mice, as researchers at the University of Basel's Department of Biomedicine recently reported in the journal Cancer Cell.

Marine bacterium sheds light on control of toxic metals

Dom, 01/13/2019 - 23:00
An ocean-dwelling bacterium has provided fresh insights into how cells protect themselves from the toxic effects of metal ions such as iron and copper.Although essential to life, metal ions can also generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) -- highly reactive molecules that damage cells as they try to form bonds with other molecules. In humans, reactive oxygen species are linked to ageing and also to diseases such as cancers.

A little weed may change the teenage brain

Dom, 01/13/2019 - 23:00
Teenagers who report using recreational marijuana just once or twice display increased volume of numerous brain regions, according to a study of 14-year-olds from Ireland, England, France, and Germany. The research, published in JNeurosci, warrants further study of low-level cannabis use among adolescents amid changing societal attitudes toward the drug.

Memory of last meal influences when, how much rats eat next

Dom, 01/13/2019 - 23:00
Researchers have identified cells in the brains of male rats that appear to control future food intake by preserving memories of past meals. The study, published in eNeuro, lends support to the idea of boosting meal memories as a strategy for managing overeating.

Central Texas salamanders, including newly identified species, at risk of extinction

Dom, 01/13/2019 - 23:00
Biologists at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered three new species of groundwater salamander in Central Texas, including one living west of Austin that they say is critically endangered. They also determined that an already known salamander species near Georgetown is much more endangered than previously thought. They warn that more severe droughts caused by climate change and increasing water use in Central Texas have left groundwater salamanders 'highly vulnerable to extinction.'

Using genomic data, NYU Abu Dhabi researchers unlock history of North African date palm

Dom, 01/13/2019 - 23:00
Genome analysis reveals that North African date palms are a hybrid between cultivated date palms from the Middle East and a different, wild species of palm that grows on the island of Crete and in small areas of Southern Turkey. These findings, the result of research at NYU Abu Dhabi's Center for Genomics and Systems Biology (NYUAD CGSB), shed new light on the evolutionary history of one of the crop.

Diving deeper into developmental dyslexia

Dom, 01/13/2019 - 23:00
Men with dyslexia have altered structural connections between the thalamus and auditory cortex on the left side of the brain, new research published in JNeurosci reveals. The study extends similar observations of the dyslexic visual system and highlights the importance of early sensory processing for reading proficiency.

Invest in a single national electronic health record for primary care to benefit Canadians

Dom, 01/13/2019 - 23:00
Canada should invest in a single national electronic health record for primary care to improve the health of Canadians, argues an editorial in CMAJ.

Breast cancer cells in mice tricked into turning into fat cells

Dom, 01/13/2019 - 23:00
As cancer cells respond to cues in their microenvironment, they can enter a highly plastic state in which they are susceptible to transdifferentiation into a different type of cell. Researchers at the University of Basel in Switzerland exploited this critical phase, known as an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), to coax breast cancer cells in mice to turn into harmless fat cells. The proof-of-concept study appears Jan. 14, 2019, in the journal Cancer Cell.

Young-onset diabetes linked to higher risk of hospitalization for mental illness before age 40

Dom, 01/13/2019 - 23:00
Young-onset diabetes, which is defined as onset before age 40, is associated with a higher risk of being hospitalized for mental illness compared with those who develop diabetes later in life. Those with young-onset diabetes also faced increased hospitalizations for any reason across their lifetime. Findings from a population-based cohort study are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

American College of Physicians releases new edition of Ethics Manual

Dom, 01/13/2019 - 23:00
The American College of Physicians (ACP) today released the seventh edition of its Ethics Manual. New or significantly expanded sections of the ACP Ethics Manual include precision medicine and genetic testing, research and protection of human subjects, telemedicine, electronic communications, social media and online professionalism, electronic health records, and physician volunteerism.

UN warns of rising levels of toxic brine as desalination plants meet growing water needs

Dom, 01/13/2019 - 23:00
A fast-rising number of desalination plants (~16,000, with capacity concentrated in the Middle East / North Africa) quench a growing thirst for freshwater but also create a salty dilemma: how to deal with the chemical-laden leftover brine.In a new analysis, UN experts say that for every litre of freshwater, desalination plants produce on average 1.5 litres of brine (though values vary dramatically by plant). Globally, 142 million cubic meters of brine is discharged daily.