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Study: Most state pension plans paper over unfunded liabilities

EurekAlert! - Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
An analysis of state pension plans from across the country finds that the already troubling state of pension finances may be worse than it first appears because many pension managers are making their plan's financial condition look better by perpetually putting off payments.

Unusual soybean coloration sheds a light on gene silencing

EurekAlert! - Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
Today's soybeans are typically golden yellow, with a tiny blackish mark where they attach to the pod. In a field of millions of beans, nearly all of them will have this look. Occasionally, however, a bean will turn up half-black, with a saddle pattern similar to a black-eyed pea.

Birds of all feathers work together to hunt when army ants march

EurekAlert! - Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
When army ants move out, a new Drexel University study found that, instead of chasing each other away, birds work together to follow the column and hunt the insects that marching ants scare out of hiding.

Medications underutilized when treating young people with opioid use disorder

EurekAlert! - Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
Only one in four young adults and teens with opioid use disorder (OUD) are receiving potentially life-saving medications for addiction treatment, according to a new Boston Medical Center (BMC) study published online in JAMA Pediatrics.

How often do youth with opioid use disorder get buprenorphine or naltrexone?

EurekAlert! - Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
Dispensing buprenorphine and naltrexone to adolescents and young adults with opioid use disorder has increased over time, although the medications appear to still be underutilized in young people and disparities exist with female, non-Hispanic black and Hispanic youth less likely to receive them, according to a new study published by JAMA Pediatrics.

Financial incentives increased viral suppression in HIV-positive patients in care

EurekAlert! - Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
Gift cards offered as financial incentives helped to increase viral suppression in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients in a community-based clinical trial in New York and Washington, D.C., two communities severely affected by HIV, according to a study published by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Study shows how an opportunistic microbe kills cancer cells

EurekAlert! - Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
New study results show for the first time how dying cells ensure that they will be replaced, and suggests an ingenious, related new approach to shrinking cancerous tumors. A research team from Rush University Medical Center will publish a new paper this week in the journal Developmental Cell that describes two groundbreaking discoveries.

Discovery could guide immunotherapy for lung cancer

EurekAlert! - Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
Scientists have discovered a new type of immune cell that could predict which lung cancer patients will benefit most from immunotherapy treatment, according to a Cancer Research UK funded study* published today (Monday) in Nature Immunotherapy.

Scientists throw light on mysterious ice age temperature jumps

EurekAlert! - Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
Scientists believe they have discovered the reason behind mysterious changes to the climate that saw temperatures fluctuate by up to 15°C within just a few decades during the ice age periods.

Sound waves direct particles to self-assemble, self-heal

EurekAlert! - Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
Berkeley Lab scientists have demonstrated how floating particles will assemble and synchronize in response to acoustic waves. Their simple experiment provides a new framework for studying how seemingly lifelike behaviors emerge in response to external forces. The work could help address fundamental questions about energy dissipation and non-equilibrium thermodynamics.

Firefly gene illuminates ability of optimized CRISPR-Cpf1 to efficiently edit human genome

EurekAlert! - Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
Scientists on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have improved a state-of-the-art gene-editing technology to advance the system's ability to target, cut and paste genes within human and animal cells -- and broadening the ways the CRISPR-Cpf1 editing system may be used to study and fight human diseases. 

Ancient DNA reveals role of Near East and Egypt in cat domestication

EurekAlert! - Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
DNA found at archaeological sites reveals that the origins of our domestic cat are in the Near East and ancient Egypt. Cats were domesticated by the first farmers some 10,000 years ago. They later spread across Europe and other parts of the world via trade hub Egypt. The DNA analysis also revealed that most of these ancient cats had stripes: spotted cats were uncommon until the Middle Ages.

Financial incentives improve viral suppression among people living with HIV

EurekAlert! - Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
The HPTN 065 study, conducted by the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN), showed that financial incentives can motivate some people living with HIV (PLWH) to take their HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART) medication regularly and maintain viral load suppression. This finding could have implications for improving health outcomes and decreasing the risk of transmitting the virus to others. Study findings were published today in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Tumor immune fitness determines survival of lung cancer patients

EurekAlert! - Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
In recent years, immunotherapy, a new form of cancer therapy that rouses the immune system to attack tumor cells, has captivated the public's imagination. When it works, the results are breathtaking. But more often than not it doesn't, and scientists still don't know why.

First atomic structure of an intact virus deciphered with an X-ray laser

EurekAlert! - Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
An international team of scientists has for the first time used an X-ray free-electron laser to unravel the structure of an intact virus particle on the atomic level. The method used dramatically reduces the amount of virus material required, while also allowing the investigations to be carried out several times faster than before. This opens up entirely new research opportunities, as the research team lead by DESY scientist Alke Meents reports in the journal Nature Methods.

Deadly heatwaves will continue to rise, according to study

EurekAlert! - Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
Seventy-four percent of the world's population will be exposed to deadly heatwaves by 2100 if carbon gas emissions continue to rise at current rates, according to a study published in Nature Climate Change. Even if emissions are aggressively reduced, the percent of the world's human population affected is expected to reach 48 percent.

How to stop the nasty lurking toxoplasmosis parasite? Target its 'stomach,' study suggests

EurekAlert! - Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
One in three people has a potentially nasty parasite hiding inside their body -- tucked away in tiny cysts that the immune system can't eliminate and antibiotics can't touch. But new research reveals clues about how to stop it: Interfere with its digestion during this stubborn dormant phase. If the discovery leads to new treatments, it could help prevent a parasitic disease called toxoplasmosis that sickens people worldwide.

Scientists step closer to drug treatment for hepatitis B

EurekAlert! - Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
A major new insight into how hepatitis B virus works could pave the way for new drug treatments for the infection which is the major cause of liver cancer worldwide.

To connect biology with electronics, be rigid, yet flexible

EurekAlert! - Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
Scientists have measured a thin film made of a polymer as it interacted with ions and electrons. They show how there are rigid and non-rigid regions of the film, and that these regions could accommodate electrons or ions -- but not both equally.

Babies' DNA affects mothers' risk of pre-eclampsia in pregnancy, study finds

EurekAlert! - Dom, 06/18/2017 - 22:00
A major new international study has revealed for the first time that some features in a baby's DNA can increase the risk of its mother developing pre-eclampsia -- a potentially dangerous condition in pregnancy.

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