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'pinning down' how salty droplets dry
image: this is a macroscopic pattern of re-crystallization with coffee-ring effect. (left) the initial concentration 8.4 percent (right) 0.47 percent. view more credit: rei kuritatokyo, japan - researchers from tokyo metropolitan university have discovered a new way of controlling the drying patterns formed by re-crystallizing salt. they found that the coffee ring effect can be used to pin the edge of drying droplets, creating a range of different geometric patterns. the same principles may be applied to understand and improve the adhesion of printer ink to surfaces and the manufacture of film-based devices.anyone who has visited the beach this summer would have felt large chunks of salt form on their skin after a splash in the sea. these large, crystalline chunks are formed by re-crystallization as the sea water dries off and leaves the salt behind. the drying of salt solution is actually a very complex phenomenon involving the interplay of many variables, including concentration and density profiles, heat transfer, as well as a wide range of environmental factors such as temperature and humidity. understanding and controlling the mechanisms behind re-crystallization is crucial to understanding drying-related industrial processes like the adhesion of printer ink, the manufacture of devices based on thin films, as well as phenomena like salt damage in brick and the dissolving of pharmaceuticals in the human body.drying droplets of solid-laden solution often leaves large...
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fda researchers report first evidence of esbl producing e. coli in us retail meat
image: microbial drug resistance (mdr) is an international, peer-reviewed journal covering the global spread and threat of multi-drug resistant clones of major pathogens that are widely documented in hospitals and the... view more credit: mary ann liebert, inc., publishersnew rochelle, ny, september 21, 2018--a new study using antimicrobial susceptibility testing and whole genome sequencing to test extended spectrum beta lactamase (esbl) producing e. coli isolated from cattle for food production and from various retail meat products has shown that all were resistant to at least three antimicrobial classes. they also carried various types of ctx-m type esbl genes, which are increasingly common in clinical patients worldwide and whose presence in food-producing animals and retail meat supplies might contribute to a greater incidence of infections. these findings are reported in microbial drug resistance, a peer-reviewed journal from mary ann liebert, inc. publishers. click here to read the full-text open access article on the microbial drug resistance website. daniel tadesse, u.s. food and drug administration (fda, laurel, md) and colleagues from the fda, texas tech university (lubbock, tx), and the u.s. department of agriculture (usda, clay center, ne) coauthored the article entitled `whole genome sequence analysis of ctx-m containing escherichia coli isolates from retail meats and cattle in the united states.` the esbl e. coli isolates from meat samples, including chi...
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study of protein 'trafficker' provides insight into autism and other brain disorders
image: astn2 is naturally expressed by purkinje cells in the mouse cerebellum, pictured here. to better understand how the protein works, researchers increased levels of astn2 (green) in these cells. view more credit: laboratory of developmental neurobiology at the rockefeller universityin the brain, as in business, connections are everything. to maintain cellular associates, the outer surface of a neuron, its membrane, must express particular proteins--proverbial hands that reach out and greet nearby cells. and, like a creepily long handshake, surface molecules can overstay their welcome: a protein that lingers too long on the membrane may compromise the connections, or synapses, between cells.in a new study, rockefeller scientist mary e. hatten and research associate hourinaz behesti demonstrate that the protein astn2 helps move proteins away from the membrane in a timely fashion. the researchers also propose a mechanism by which astn2 defects lead to neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and intellectual disabilities.proteins that need proteinsneurons send messages to one another in the form of chemicals, or neurotransmitters, which activate receptor proteins on the surface of neighboring cells. chemical communication is highly dynamic, which means that receptors must be dynamic too: they perpetually rotate on and off the membrane, ensuring rapid response to incoming signals. this process requires assistance from additional proteins, so-called traffickers that ...
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new battery gobbles up carbon dioxide
cambridge, mass. -- a new type of battery developed by researchers at mit could be made partly from carbon dioxide captured from power plants. rather than attempting to convert carbon dioxide to specialized chemicals using metal catalysts, which is currently highly challenging, this battery could continuously convert carbon dioxide into a solid mineral carbonate as it discharges. while still based on early-stage research and far from commercial deployment, the new battery formulation could open up new avenues for tailoring electrochemical carbon dioxide conversion reactions, which may ultimately help reduce the emission of the greenhouse gas to the atmosphere.the battery is made from lithium metal, carbon, and an electrolyte that the researchers designed. the findings are described today in the journal joule, in a paper by assistant professor of mechanical engineering betar gallant, doctoral student aliza khurram, and postdoc mingfu he. currently, power plants equipped with carbon capture systems generally use up to 30 percent of the electricity they generate just to power the capture, release, and storage of carbon dioxide. anything that can reduce the cost of that capture process, or that can result in an end product that has value, could significantly change the economics of such systems, the researchers say.however, `carbon dioxide is not very reactive,` gallant explains, so `trying to find new reaction pathways is important.` generally, the only way to get carbon dio...
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new findings on the muscle disease laing early-onset distal myopathy
image: this is homa tajsharghi, professor of biomedicine, university of skövde. view more credit: university of skövde new avenues are now being opened for future treatment of laing distal myopathy, a rare disorder that causes muscles in the feet, hands and elsewhere to atrophy. in a study published in the journal pnas, researchers have identified an enzyme with a clear link to how the disease develops. `now we know that the levels of enzyme activity are an important factor in how quickly the disease progresses. this may mean that the disease could be treated by artificially increasing the activity,` says martin dahl halvarsson, phd student in pathology at the institute of biomedicine at sahlgrenska academy, and the study's first author. the muscle disease laing early-onset distal myopathy is caused by an inherited mutation in a muscle protein, myosin, that normally contributes to muscle contraction. the disease often appears at a young age, from age 5 up to about age 20. what happens with laing is that muscle fibers, primarily in the legs, hands, hips, neck and shoulders, atrophy over a period of time. with reduced strength and mobility, patients experience impaired quality of life in the long term. how much and how quickly the disease develops varies greatly, however. in the current study led by homa tajsharghi, professor of biomedicine at the university of skövde, researchers for the first time introduced the mutation for the ...
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barrow researchers deploy novel clinical trial regimen for glioblastoma
(phoenix - sept. 21, 2018) combating glioblastoma remains a major challenge due the complex nature of these tumors, the inability of drugs to penetrate the brain tissue, and lack of correlation between animal models and the human condition.in a novel first-in-human phase 0 clinical trial study led by dr. nader sanai at barrow neurological institute, in collaboration with karmanos cancer institute and translational genomics institute, a drug called azd1775 was shown to penetrate the brain tumor providing first evidence of clinically-relevant activity of this drug in human glioblastoma.this study was published in august 2018 issue of the clinical cancer research journal. the study not only highlights differences between preclinical animal models and human studies but also confirms the utility of phase 0 trials as a part of an accelerated paradigm for evaluating drugs for glioblastoma patients.dr. sanai is the director of the ivy brain tumor center, which was founded to provide new treatment avenues and hope for glioblastoma patients. the ivy brain tumor center, which is located at barrow, is home to the largest phase 0 clinical trials program in the world for brain tumor patients. the phase 0 trial design keeps in mind the importance of time for brain tumor patient and spares them from investing precious time, effort and energy in therapies that do not work.`within days of surgery, we identify which investigational therapies have successfully penetrated the patient's tumor an...
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nasa sees areas of strength in tropical storm trami
image: at 8:45 a.m. edt (1245 utc) on sept. 21, 2018, the modis instrument aboard nasa's terra satellite looked at tropical storm trami (28w) in infrared light. modis found coldest cloud... view more credit: nasa/nrlnasa's terra satellite provided an infrared look at tropical storm trami, located just over 100 miles from guam on sept. 21. infrared data provides temperature information that showed two areas of the highest, coldest cloud tops and most powerful storms within the tropical storm.noaa's national weather service (nws) in tiyan, guam said that a flash flood watch is in effect for all of guam and the northern marianas. a small craft advisory remains in effect until 6 a.m. chst local time on sunday, sept. 23.however, the tropical storm watch for rota, tinian and saipan has been canceled.  because tropical storm trami (28w) continues to move away from the marianas the threat of damaging winds has ended.at 2:20 a.m. edt (0230 utc) on sept. 13, moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer or modis instrument aboard nasa's aqua satellite analyzed hurricane florence in infrared light. modis found coldest cloud top temperatures in two large areas. one was around the center of circulation and the other was in a thick band of thunderstorms wrapping into the low-level center. those temperatures were as cold as or colder than minus 80 degrees fahrenheit (minus 112 degrees celsius). surrounding them were powerful storms with cloud tops as cold as or colder than minus ...
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ocean acidification may reduce sea scallop fisheries
each year, fishermen harvest more than $500 million worth of atlantic sea scallops from the waters off the east coast of the united states. a new model created by scientists at the woods hole oceanographic institution (whoi), however, predicts that those fisheries may potentially be in danger. as levels of carbon dioxide increase in the earth's atmosphere, the upper oceans become increasingly acidic--a condition that could reduce the sea scallop population by more than 50% in the next 30 to 80 years, under a worst-case scenario. strong fisheries management and efforts to reduce co2 emissions, however, might slow or even stop that trend.the model, published in the journal plos one, combines existing data and models of four major factors: future climate change scenarios, ocean acidification impacts, fisheries management policies, and fuel costs for fishermen.`what's novel about our work is that it brings together models of changing ocean environments as well as human responses` says jennie rheuban, the lead author of the study. `it combines socioeconomic decision making, ocean chemistry, atmospheric carbon dioxide, economic development and fisheries management. we tried to create a holistic view of how environmental changes might play out across different aspects of the sea scallop fishery,` she notes.since the oceans can absorb more than a quarter of all excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, fossil fuel carbon emissions can cause a dip in ocean ph as well. that acidit...
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latest research hints at predicting autism risk for pregnant mothers
image: juergen hahn, professor and head of biomedical engineering view more credit: rensselaer polytechnic instituteresearchers at rensselaer polytechnic institute--led by juergen hahn, professor and head of biomedical engineering--are continuing to make remarkable progress with their research focused on autism spectrum disorder (asd). a recent paper authored by hahn and jill james from the university of arkansas for medical sciences (uams) in the journal research in autism spectrum disorders discusses their work on predicting with approximately 90 percent accuracy whether a pregnant mother has a 1.7 percent or a tenfold increased risk of having a child diagnosed with asd.currently there is no test for pregnant mothers that can predict the probability of having a child that will be diagnosed with asd. recent estimates indicate that if a mother has previously had a child with asd, the risk of having a second child with asd is approximately 18.7 percent, whereas the risk of asd in the general population is approximately 1.7 percent.`however,` said hahn, a member of the rensselaer center for biotechnology and interdisciplinary studies, `it would be highly desirable if a prediction based upon physiological measurements could be made to determine which risk group a prospective mother falls into.`hahn's work in developing a physiological test to predict autism risk is part larger emphasis on alzheimer's and neurodegenerative diseases at the center for biotechnology and ...
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a trojan horse delivery for treating a rare, potentially deadly, blood-clotting disorder
image: x. long zheng view more credit: uabbirmingham, ala. - in proof-of-concept experiments, university of alabama at birmingham researchers have highlighted a potential therapy for a rare but potentially deadly blood-clotting disorder, ttp. the researchers deliver this therapeutic enzyme via the cellular equivalent of a trojan horse, using tiny blood cell platelets as their protective delivery vehicle, with a key enzyme hidden inside.ttp, or thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, appears as blood clots in small arterioles throughout the body, particularly in the brain, heart, pancreas and kidneys, resulting in organ damage. the onset of symptoms can be sudden and nonspecific, and the in-hospital death rate remains as high as 20 percent.ttp is caused by lack of the enzyme adamts13 in the blood, most often because of autoantibodies against this enzyme. adamts13 normally acts to cleave a large protein called von willebrand factor, which is involved in blood clotting. loss of the enzyme allows destructive microvascular clots to form in important organ tissues.uab researchers, led by x. long zheng, m.d., ph.d., robert b. adams professor and division director of laboratory medicine in the department of pathology in uab's school of medicine, have now reported that platelets can spontaneously take up adamts13. the enzyme stays stable in those cells, and the platelets can effectively deliver the enzyme where it is needed.in ex vivo experiments with human blood from ttp patients...
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new nanotherapy offers hope in treating drug-resistant renal cell carcinoma
image: drs. arun iyer and samaresh sau at wayne state university are bringing new hope for improving treatment for drug-resistant renal cell carcinoma view more credit: julie o'connor, wayne state universitydetroit - a research team led by arun iyer, ph.d., assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences in the eugene applebaum college of pharmacy and health sciences at wayne state university, has developed a nanoplatform technology that works in combination with existing chemotherapeutic drugs that may reverse drug-resistance in renal cell carcinoma. drug resistance to chemotherapy is a significant clinical and financial burden in renal cell carcinoma and other types of cancers. the resistance can be caused by hypoxia, a decreased level of oxygen in the tumor cells and infiltration of tumor-promoting immune cells aiding the tumor growth in contrast to fighting against it.to alleviate the drug resistance, iyer, principal investigator on the project, and co-investigator and lead author of the work, samaresh sau, ph.d., research associate in the department of pharmaceutical sciences in the eugene applebaum college of pharmacy and health sciences, set out to find a way to use tumor hypoxia-directed nanoparticles to attack the root cause of the problem. `our tumor hypoxia directed nanoparticle used in conjunction with the fda-approved renal cell carcinoma treatment, sorafenib, has had positive outcomes in our animal trials,` said iyer. `the nanoparticles can deliver the ...
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philly refinery fails to include public input in cleanup efforts
over a decade of remediation planning and regulatory approvals at philadelphia's neighborhood refinery has occurred without the benefit of municipal or public involvement, says a new report from the kleinman center for energy policy at the university of pennsylvania school of design. sunoco, an energy transfer partners subsidiary, has not complied with the community involvement and public notice requirements outlined in pennsylvania's act 2 land recycling program.the philadelphia refinery site, now owned by the recently bankrupt philadelphia energy solutions (pes), has been home to petroleum storage and refining activities for over 150 years and is highly contaminated with hydrocarbons in the soil and groundwater. chemicals of concern include benzene (a human carcinogen), lead, mtbe, toluene, benzo (a)pyrene, and many other volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds. in some areas, pollution has migrated off site, and a drinking water aquifer used by the state of new jersey may be impacted.independent from pes refinery operations, sunoco maintains liability for legacy pollution at the site. sunoco has been engaged in remediation planning activities to meet act 2 requirements, aiming to meet site-specific remediation standards (in excess of statewide health-based standards) and release the company from further state and federal environmental liabilities. the omission of key public notice and involvement requirements may open new opportunities for the city of philadelphia, ...
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light pollution makes fish more courageous
image: light pollution makes guppys more courageous during the day. view more credit: david bierbach, igbartificial light at night also makes guppies more courageous during the day, according to a behavioural study led by researchers from the leibniz-institute of freshwater ecology and inland fisheries (igb) and the max planck institute for human development. exposing fish to artificial light at night, not only made fish more active during the night, but also made them emerge quicker from hiding places during the day, which could increase their exposure to predators. nocturnal lighting, however, did not affect their swimming speed or social behaviour during the day. light pollution can have many influences on ecological processes. previous research has shown that artificial light at night can have several direct consequences on night-time activity and movement patterns of animals. many animal species, for example birds and insects, are attracted by artificial light sources at night and can, as a result, loose their orientation. but how artificial light at night impacts the behaviour of individuals during the day, when the source of light pollution is absent, is largely unknown. in this study, a team led by ralf kurvers of the mpi for human development in collaboration with the igb, tested how exposure to artificial light at night affected the behaviour of fish during the day. as study species, they used guppies, a tropical freshwater fish and one of the model organisms ...
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the link between cognitive function and sexuality in older adults
the number of people who live at home with alzheimer's disease (ad), a brain disease that causes abnormal changes that kill brain cells, is expected to grow from 3.2 million today to more than 8 million in 2050.experts agree that we know very little about sexuality among people living at home with ad or other cognitive problems. older adults who have cognitive problems that impact the way they think and make decisions may ask physicians to help managing sexual problems. and caregivers may ask physicians about sexuality in the older adults for whom they provide care.one frequently asked question is: do older adults always have the capacity to consent to sexual activity?researchers have previously shown that the majority of people aged 57 to 85 have a spouse or other intimate partner and, among those with a partner, most are sexually active. having an active sexual life is linked to better physical and mental health, higher quality of life, and lower rates of loneliness.to learn more about the connection between sexuality and cognitive status, researchers designed a new study. they analyzed data from the national social life, health, and aging project to learn more about the relationship between sexual behavior, function, and cognition (people's ability to think and make decisions). their study was published in the journal of the american geriatrics society.based on their study, the researchers reported that:- 83 percent of men and 57 percent of women had an intimate partner....
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brown researchers teach computers to see optical illusions
image: brown university computer vision experts teach computers to see context-dependent optical illusions, in the hopes of helping artificial vision algorithms take context into account and be more robust. view more credit: serre lab/brown universityprovidence, r.i. [brown university] -- is that circle green or gray? are the center lines straight or tilted? optical illusions can be fun to experience and debate, but understanding how human brains perceive these different phenomena remains an active area of scientific research. for one class of optical illusions, called contextual phenomena, those perceptions are known to depend on context. for example, the color you think a central circle is depends on the color of the surrounding ring. sometimes the outer color makes the inner color appear more similar, such as a neighboring green ring making a blue ring appear turquoise -- but sometimes the outer color makes the inner color appear less similar, such as a pink ring making a grey circle appear greenish. a team of brown university computer vision experts went back to square one to understand the neural mechanisms of these contextual phenomena. their study was published on sept. 20 in psychological review.`there's growing consensus that optical illusions are not a bug but a feature,` said thomas serre, an associate professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences at brown and the paper's senior author. `i think they're a feature. they may represent edge...
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study: emissions from most diesel cars in europe greatly exceed laboratory testing levels
in september 2015, the german automaker volkswagen was found to have illegally cheated federal emissions tests in the united states, by intentionally programming emissions control devices to turn on only during laboratory testing. the devices enabled more than 11 million passenger vehicles to meet u.s. emissions standards in the laboratory despite producing emissions up to 40 times higher than the legal limit in real-world driving conditions. now a new mit study reports that volkswagen is not the only auto manufacturer to make diesel cars that produce vastly more emissions on the road than in laboratory tests. the study, published this month in atmospheric environment, finds that in europe, 10 major auto manufacturers produced diesel cars, sold between 2000 and 2015, that generate up to 16 times more emissions on the road than in regulatory tests -- a level that exceeds european limits but does not violate any eu laws. what's more, the researchers predict these excess emissions will have a significant health impact, causing approximately 2,700 premature deaths per year across europe. these health effects, they found, are `transboundary,` meaning that diesel emissions produced in one country can adversely affect populations in other countries, thousands of kilometers away. `you might imagine that where the excess emissions occur is where people might die early,` says study author steven barrett, the raymond l. bisplinghoff professor of aeronautics and astronautics at mit....
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new study estimates the caregiving costs for families
`informal care` is the term used in medicine to describe unpaid care provided by family and friends. it's an important lifeline for millions of older adults in the u.s. who need day-to-day help with shopping, cooking, cleaning, eating, taking medicine, looking after their own daily well-being, and many other activities essential to our health and quality of life as we age.in the u.s., more than 35 million people provided informal care to someone 50-years-old and older in 2015. we usually understand the costs associated with a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare worker providing professional care to older adults. however, we don't understand what the true costs are when older adults are cared for by family members or friends. in part, that's because most studies have focused on `direct` healthcare costs (the expenses associated with professional help/treatment). however, these studies have ignored the `indirect` costs associated with informal care.when the costs of informal care are accounted for, most studies usually multiply the hours of informal care by the wage that a formal home healthcare provider would earn. but this doesn't reflect the true cost of informal care. informal caregivers often give up other activities such as leisure or employment, for example. studies haven't examined the value of leisure time and the other important aspects of life people may give up when they care for a friend or family member.in a new study, researchers focused on one of the m...
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msu-spectrum health researchers identify new genetic disorder
grand rapids, mich., sept. 21, 2018 - researchers from michigan state university college of human medicine and physicians from spectrum health have identified for the first time in a human patient a genetic disorder only previously described in animal models.the disorder is caused by mutations in a gene known as ornithine decarboxylase 1 (odc1) and is defined by a number of clinical features including large birth weight, enlarged head size, hair loss, reduced muscle strength, skin lesions, hearing loss and developmental delays. the disorder is, as of yet, unnamed, and its long-term effects, which include impacts on the neurological system, are not completely known.their study is published in the american journal of medical genetics part a.`this remarkable case represents the first human example of a disorder that was described by researchers in a transgenic mouse model more than 20 years ago,` said senior author andré bachmann, phd, michigan state university professor and associate chair for pediatric research.`the odc1 gene plays an important role in a number of physiological and cell developmental processes including embryo and organ development,` said lead author caleb bupp, md, spectrum health medical geneticist. `the long-term impacts of this disorder are not completely known.`researchers also theorize that the odc inhibitor dfmo, a water soluble, fda-approved drug, may serve as a disease-modifying drug, and an early therapeutic trial in a new diagnosis may preven...
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three nasa missions return 1st-light data
image: these are the first images from wispr, short for the wide-field imager for parker solar probe. researchers studied the images to determine the instrument was pointed as expected, using celestial... view more credit: nasa/naval research laboratory/parker solar probenasa's continued quest to explore our solar system and beyond received a boost of new information this week with three key missions proving not only that they are up and running, but that their science potential is exceptional. on sept. 17, 2018, tess -- the transiting exoplanet survey satellite -- shared its first science observations. later in the week, the latest two missions to join nasa's heliophysics fleet returned first light data: parker solar probe, humanity's first mission to `touch` the sun, and gold, a mission that studies the dynamic boundary between earth and space. part of the data from tess's initial science orbit includes a detailed picture of the southern sky taken with all four of the planet-hunter's wide-field cameras. the image captures a wealth of stars and other objects, including systems previously known to have exoplanets, planets beyond our solar system. tess will spend the next two years monitoring the nearest, brightest stars for periodic dips in their brightness, known as transits. such transits suggest a planet may be passing in front of its parent star. tess is expected to find thousands of new planets using this method.together, the two other missions represent two...
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checklist helps assess early feeding skills in premature infants
september 21, 2018 - infants born prematurely face challenges in developing the complex, interrelated skills needed for effective feeding. an assessment called the early feeding skills (efs) checklist is a valid and reliable tool for evaluating the emergence of feeding skills in preterm infants, reports a study in advances in neonatal care, official journal of the national association of neonatal nurses. the journal is published in the lippincott portfolio by wolters kluwer. the efs provides a user-friendly tool for assessing and monitoring feeding skills in premature infants and other infants at risk of feeding problems - and for guiding interventions to promote the skills needed to feed successfully, according to the new research, led by suzanne thoyre, phd, rn, faan, of the university of north carolina at chapel hill school of nursing. study formally evaluates checklist for assessing feeding in preterm infantslearning how to feed safely and effectively is particularly challenging for premature infants and those with medical problems requiring care during the newborn (neonatal) period. establishment of oral feeding is often a key factor in determining when premature infants can go home from the hospital. the efs is a 22-item checklist developed to assess oral feeding skills in infants feeding by breast or bottle. in the study, registered nurses, speech-language pathologists, and occupational therapists used the efs to evaluate the feeding skills of 142 infants at children'...
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space-related start-up technology companies create synergistic innovation
image: new space is the leading peer-reviewed journal dedicated to facilitating and supporting the efforts of researchers, engineers, analysts, investors, business leaders, and policymakers to capitalize on the opportunities of commercial... view more credit: mary ann liebert, inc., publishersnew rochelle, ny, september 21, 2018--researchers have developed innovative business models underlying the successful launch of space-related start-up technology companies in costa rica. a fascinating article describes how the company dit (design, innovation, technology) space identified key market sectors that could benefit from spaced-based technology and how implementation of the technology could benefit the company and create synergies leading to the development of further space technology. the article is published in new space: the journal of space entrepreneurship and innovation, a peer-reviewed journal from mary ann liebert, inc., publishers. click here to read the full-text article free on the new space website through october 21, 2018.entitled `developing innovative business models for small space programs spin-outs, 'dit space' start-up experience in costa rica,` the article is coauthored by mr. luis monge, universidad nacional costa rica and mr. roberto aguilar, central american association of aeronautics and space (acae). the authors discuss the growth of dit space, which emerged as a spin-out of the scientific research program developed by the central american asso...
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afib linked to family history in blacks, latinos
image: this is dr. dawood darbar. view more credit: uic/jenny fontainedespite being the most common heart arrhythmia disorder in the u.s., there is not much research on the causes of atrial fibrillation in minority populations. and while researchers know that black and latino individuals are less likely than whites to develop the condition, which is also known as afib, they cannot yet fully explain why these groups are paradoxically more likely to experience higher rates of complications and even death as a result of afib.thanks to the development of a large, diverse registry of patients, researchers at the university of illinois at chicago who have been studying afib in minority populations think they have unlocked one small part of the mystery.`our analysis shows that there is a genetic predisposition to early-onset afib in blacks and latinos that is greater than what we see in whites,` said dr. dawood darbar, professor of medicine and head of cardiology at the uic college of medicine.the findings from the study, which looked at data from 664 patients with afib, are published in jama network open.darbar says that the study offers the first research-based evidence in support of increased monitoring, even including genetic testing, of individuals and their families who have first-degree relatives diagnosed with afib prior to age 60 as a preventive measure against complications that can develop as a result of the condition, including stroke.`many people with afib do n...
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fda researchers report first evidence of esbl producing e. coli in us retail meat
image: microbial drug resistance (mdr) is an international, peer-reviewed journal covering the global spread and threat of multi-drug resistant clones of major pathogens that are widely documented in hospitals and the... view more credit: mary ann liebert, inc., publishersnew rochelle, ny, september 21, 2018--a new study using antimicrobial susceptibility testing and whole genome sequencing to test extended spectrum beta lactamase (esbl) producing e. coli isolated from cattle for food production and from various retail meat products has shown that all were resistant to at least three antimicrobial classes. they also carried various types of ctx-m type esbl genes, which are increasingly common in clinical patients worldwide and whose presence in food-producing animals and retail meat supplies might contribute to a greater incidence of infections. these findings are reported in microbial drug resistance, a peer-reviewed journal from mary ann liebert, inc. publishers. click here to read the full-text open access article on the microbial drug resistance website. daniel tadesse, u.s. food and drug administration (fda, laurel, md) and colleagues from the fda, texas tech university (lubbock, tx), and the u.s. department of agriculture (usda, clay center, ne) coauthored the article entitled `whole genome sequence analysis of ctx-m containing escherichia coli isolates from retail meats and cattle in the united states.` the esbl e. coli isolates from meat samples, including chi...
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deep neural networks help to identify the neutrinoless double beta decay signal
image: the simulated tracks resulted from electrons emitted in a neutrinoless double beta decay event. view more credit: ©science china pressa group of researchers from shanghai jiao tong university and peking university improved the discrimination power of tracks from different particles passing through the gaseous detector greatly with the help of deep convolutional neural networks. the work will help to improve the sensitivity of detection for the pandax-iii neutrinoless double beta decay experiment, and deepen our knowledge to the nature of neutrinos.this work is published by science china physics, mechanics & astronomy (scpma) with the title of `signal-background discrimination with convolutional neural networks in the pandax-iii experiment using mc simulation`. hao qiao, a master student from peking university, is the first author.the phenomena of double beta decay, in which two electrons and two neutrinos are emitted, has been discovered in nature. the so called neutrinoless double beta decay, without the emissions of neutrinos, is directly related to the nature of neutrino itself, and has not been observed in any experiments. the process is only possible when neutrino is majorana fermion, or, neutrino and anti-neutrino are the same. scientists suspect that such property is also key to understand the asymmetry between matter and antimatter in our universe.only specially designed experiments could be able to find the rare neutrinoless double beta decay process....
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new research reveals a mitochondrial gene that protects against alzheimer's disease
new research from usc has uncovered a previously unknown genetic risk factor for alzheimer's disease and related dementias. the study provides insights on how these conditions, and other diseases of aging, might one day be treated and prevented. the research from the cohen lab at the usc leonard davis school of gerontology sheds new light on the protective role of a naturally occurring mitochondrial peptide, known as humanin. amounts of the peptide decrease with age, leading researchers to believe that humanin levels play an important function in the aging process and the onset of diseases linked to older age. `because of the beneficial effects of humanin, a decrease in circulating levels could lead to an increase in several different diseases of aging, particularly in dementia,` said senior author pinchas cohen, dean of the usc leonard davis school and one of three researchers to independently discover the existence of humanin 15 years ago. the study, led by kelvin yen of the usc leonard davis school, appears online on sept. 21 in the nature-published journal scientific reports. among the findings, the researchers discovered a significant difference between the circulating levels of humanin in african-americans, who are more impacted by alzheimer's disease and other diseases of aging, as compared to caucasians.`we have now discovered a novel underlying biological factor that may be contributing to this health disparity,` said yen, a research assistant professor of gero...
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combining multiple cctv images could help catch suspects
combining multiple poor quality cctv images into a single, computer-enhanced composite could improve the accuracy of facial recognition systems used to identify criminal suspects, new research suggests.psychologists from the universities of lincoln and york, both in the uk, and the university of new south wales in australia created a series of pictures using a 'face averaging' technique - a method which digitally combines multiple images into a single enhanced image, removing variants such as head angles or lighting so that only features that indicate the identity of the person remain.they compared how effectively humans and computer facial recognition systems could identify people from high quality images, pixelated images, and face averages. the results showed that both people and computer systems were better at identifying a face when viewing an average image that combined multiple pixelated images, compared to the original poor-quality images. computer systems benefited from averaging together multiple images that were already high in quality, and in some cases reached 100 per cent accurate face recognition. the results have implications for law enforcement and security agencies, where low quality, pixelated images are often the only pictures of suspects available to use in investigations. the image averaging method offers a standardised way of using images captured from multiple cctv cameras to create a digital snapshot which can be better recognised by both people and...
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insulin shows great potential against chronic colitis
millions of people take insulin every day to treat their diabetes. but diabetes is not the only disease on which insulin has an effect, it appears. chronic bowel inflammation can be treated effectively by injecting insulin into the rectum, it appears from a new study, where researchers have tested the treatment on mice. the study is a collaboration between departments at the university of copenhagen and roskilde university.'our new treatment with insulin on mice shows great potential against chronic bowel inflammation in humans like colitis ulcerosa, which causes a lot of people great discomfort. existing treatments attack the bowel's immune system, dampening it; instead our method strengthens the bowel cells' own defence. it appears to work equally well, and it can probably be used in combination with existing treatments', says jørgen olsen, co-inventor of the treatment and professor at the department of cellular and molecular medicine, university of copenhagen.the new study has just been published in the scientific journal of crohn's and colitis, and it has examined the effect of the treatment in a series of tests on mice with chronic colitis of the type colitis ulcerosa, among others, from which 20.000 danes suffer. the cause of these bowel disorders is unknown, but they cause patients great discomfort and can involve bloody diarrhoea, anaemia, stomach ache and weight loss.strengthened defence and weakened attackthe researchers have studied the effect of the insulin ...
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breast milk may be best for premature babies' brain development
image: babies born before their due date show better brain development when fed breast milk rather than formula, a study has found. image shows brain maps with information processing hubs represented... view more credit: jennifer brown research laboratory, the university of edinburghbabies born before their due date show better brain development when fed breast milk rather than formula, a study has found.experts say that helping mothers to provide breast milk in the weeks after giving birth could improve long-term outcomes for children born pre-term.premature birth has been linked to an increased possibility of problems with learning and thinking skills in later life, which are thought to be linked to alterations in brain development.studies have shown that pre-term birth is associated with changes in the part of the brain's structure that helps brain cells to communicate with one another, known as white matter.researchers at the university of edinburgh studied mri brain scans from 47 babies from a study group known as the theirworld edinburgh birth cohort.the babies had been born before 33 weeks gestation and scans took place when they reached term-equivalent age, an average of 40 weeks from conception.the team also collected information about how the infants had been fed while in intensive care - either formula milk or breast milk from either the mother or a donor.babies who exclusively received breast milk for at least three-quarters of the days they spent in hospit...
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in zebrafish, a way to find new cancer therapies, targeting tumor modulators
image: a new study suggests the power of fast-breeding zebrafish, combined with fluorescent tags, as tools for cancer drug discovery. view more credit: katherine c. cohen/boston children's hospitalthe lab of leonard zon, md, at boston children's hospital has long been interested in making blood stem cells in quantity for therapeutic purposes. looking for a way to test for their presence in zebrafish, their go-to research model, they turned to the myb gene, a marker of blood stem cells. to spot the cells, joseph mandelbaum, a phd candidate in the lab, attached a green fluorescent tag to myb, easily visible in transparent zebrafish embryos.`it was a real workhorse line for us,` says zon, who directs the stem cell research program at boston children's. the line has also proved valuable for discovering cancer drugs. in addition to being a marker of blood stem cells, myb is an oncogene. about five years ago, zon was at a cancer meeting and serendipitously met jeff kaufman, who was also interested in myb. kaufman was excited to hear about zon's fluorescing myb zebrafish, which reproduce quickly, can be studied at scale and are surprisingly similar to humans genetically. he asked if zon had ever heard of adenoid cystic carcinoma -- and a collaboration was born.targeting a cancer driverkaufman had founded the adenoid cystic carcinoma research foundation with his wife, marnie, in 2005, after she felt a lump under her jawline and was diagnosed with the rare, often deadly ma...
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lyme disease: a study on the speed of transmission by infected ticks
lyme borreliosis is a disease caused by bacteria of the genus borrelia that are transmitted by a bite from a tick of the genus ixodes. scientists from the institut pasteur used mice to study the transmission of bacteria by ticks infected with various european and north american species of borrelia. they found evidence of rapid bacterial transmission following a bite, with infection occurring within 24 hours of an adult tick bite and sometimes even sooner for nymph bites. this is a timely reminder of the importance of removing ticks as soon as possible after being bitten to prevent infection.lyme borreliosis is the most common vector-borne disease in europe. it is caused by spirochetes belonging to the borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex. this complex includes several species that are pathogenic for humans: borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, b. afzelii, b. garinii, b. bavariensis, b. spielmanii, b. valaisiana and b. lusitaniae. the bacteria are transmitted through a bite from a hard tick of the genus ixodes - in europe, primarily ixodes ricinus. ticks can infect a wide variety of hosts. humans are considered to be an accidental host; transmission can occur if they come into contact with an environment favorable to ticks.ticks have three lifecycle stages that can bite humans - larva, nymph and adult -, but bacteria are usually transmitted through bites from nymphs, which are higher in density and often go unnoticed because of their small size.the amount of time a tick must...
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