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patients with high lipoprotein(a) levels may benefit from taking pcsk9 inhibitors
lipoprotein(a) is a variant of ldl (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, and large amounts of data have shown that higher lipoprotein(a) levels are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events. atherosclerosis patients with higher baseline lipoprotein(a) levels have a 26 percent greater risk of coronary death from heart attack than patients with the lowest lipoprotein(a) levels. to date, there have been limited therapies available that can effectively reduce lipoprotein(a) levels and reduce risk of cardiovascular events. in the latest analysis from the fourier (further cardiovascular outcomes research with pcsk9 inhibition in subjects with elevated risk) trial, researchers found that pcsk9 inhibitors reduced lipoprotein(a) levels and that patients starting with higher lp(a) levels appeared to derive greater absolute benefit from taking psck9 inhibitors. their results were reported at the 86th annual congress of the european atherosclerosis society. `in addition to its effects for reducing ldl cholesterol, pcsk9 inhibition may emerge as an important option for patients with elevated lipoprotein(a) concentration,` said first author michelle l. o'donoghue, md, of the department of cardiovascular medicine at brigham and women's hospital. `we have identified a therapy, evolocumab treatment, that effectively reduces lipoprotein(a) concentration.` the fourier trial was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, which evaluated adding evolocumab...
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soft machines | eurekalert! science news
in the world of robotics, soft robots are the new kids on the block. the unique capabilities of these automata are to bend, deform, stretch, twist or squeeze in all the ways that conventional rigid robots cannot.today, it is easy to envision a world in which humans and robots collaborate -- in close proximity -- in many realms. emerging soft robots may help to ensure that this can be done safely, and in a way that syncs to human environments or even interfaces with humans themselves.`some of the advantages of soft robotic systems are that they can easily adapt to unstructured environments, or to irregular or soft surfaces, such as the human body,` said uc santa barbara electrical and computer engineering professor yon visell.despite their promise, to date, most soft robots move slowly and clumsily when compared with many conventional robots. however, the gap is narrowing thanks to new developments in the fundamental unit of robotic motion: the actuator. responsible for the mechanical movement of a mechanism or a machine, actuators do their work in various ways, relying on electromagnetic, piezoelectric, pneumatic or other forces.now, visell and his ucsb collaborators have married the electromagnetic drives used in most conventional robotic systems with soft materials, in order to achieve both speed and softness. `an interesting biological analog to the actuator described in our new work might be a fast twitch muscle,` said visell, who along with ucsb chemistry and biochem...
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another potential mechanism links androgen deprivation therapy to cardiovascular mortality
prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the us. as the prostate is a testosterone-responsive gland, androgen deprivation therapy (adt) is the cornerstone of treatment in these men, with approximately 50 percent of prostate cancer patients starting adt within a year of diagnosis. this therapy works by suppressing testosterone production, which in turn slows the growth of the cancer. although adt results in improved survival in a subset of these patients, it has many side effects, including increased risk of cardiovascular disease and sudden death. the mechanisms by which adt may lead to an increased risk of sudden death were unclear. now, a team of researchers from bwh has shed some light on this issue and their findings are published findings in the journal of the endocrine society. `we showed that adt results in electrophysiological changes in the heart,` said first author thiago gagliano-jucá, md, phd, a research fellow in the section on men's health at bwh. `the time it takes for these cells to be able to contract again after each beat increased following adt, and prolongation of this time is a known risk factor of ventricular arrhythmias. we are trying to piece together how adt might be resulting in sudden deaths in some men`. testosterone is known to shorten the time necessary for the cardiac cells (cardiomyocytes) to be able to contract again after a previous contraction. reduced testosterone levels as a result of adt prolongs this time, which is...
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birds from different species recognize each other and cooperate
image: this is a splendid fairy-wren. view more credit: allison johnsoncooperation among different species of birds is common. some birds build their nests near those of larger, more aggressive species to deter predators, and flocks of mixed species forage for food and defend territories together in alliances that can last for years. in most cases, though, these partnerships are not between specific individuals of the other species--any bird from the other species will do. but in a new study published in the journal behavioral ecology, scientists from the university of chicago and university of nebraska show how two different species of australian fairy-wrens not only recognize individual birds from other species, but also form long-term partnerships that help them forage and defend their shared space as a group.`finding that these two species associate was not surprising, as mixed species flocks of birds are observed all over the world,` said allison johnson, phd, a postdoctoral scholar at the university of nebraska who conducted the study as part of her dissertation research at uchicago. `but when we realized they were sharing territories with specific individuals and responding aggressively only to unknown individuals, we knew this was really unique. it completely changed our research and we knew we had to investigate it.`variegated fairy-wrens and splendid fairy-wrens are two small songbirds that live in australia. the males of each species have striking, bri...
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the chestnut gall wasp -- the threat of an invasive species with clonal reproduction
image: the rapid invasion of the chestnut gall wasp is causing considerable economic and ecological damage in the european chestnut sector. view more credit: university of extremaduraa molecular study carried out on the chestnut gall wasp, dryocosmus kuriphilus, has revealed the absence of genetic variability in this invasive species, a chestnut-tree parasite, in europe. this is due to the fact that the wasp's reproduction is strictly parthenogenetic, that is to say the females produce more females without having to be fertilized by a male. this is the main conclusion of the research, published in the journal scientific reports, carried out by researchers from the indehesa research institute of the university of extremadura, the university of córdoba, creaf and the csic-uclm-jccm hunting resources research institute. `it is very likely that the chestnut gall wasp population originates from very few females which were accidentally introduced into italy via infected plant material brought from china in 2006. as a result, their genetic diversity is null in the genes we have analysed`, explains researcher raúl bonal of the university of extremadura. the researchers have genotyped wasps collected in affected areas of andalusia. specifically, they have sequenced and screened 5 genes (3 mitochondrial and 2 nuclear) and compared them to the sequences of other individuals collected in other invaded areas in europe and from their natural distribution area in asia. the result...
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deep space radiation treatment reboots brain's immune system
image: these are reactive microglia (red+green) in irradiated mouse hippocampus. (blue stain is cell nuclei for anatomical reference.) view more credit: rosi lab / ucsfplanning a trip to mars? you'll want to remember your anti-radiation pills. nasa and private space companies like spacex plan to send humans to the red planet within the next 15 years--but among the major challenges facing future crewed space missions is how to protect astronauts from the dangerous cosmic radiation of deep space.now the lab of ucsf neuroscientist susanna rosi, phd, has identified the first potential treatment for the brain damage caused by exposure to cosmic rays--a drug that prevents memory impairment in mice exposed to simulated space radiation. the study was published may 18, 2018 in em>scientific reports.humans venturing beyond the earth's protective magnetic fields will be exposed to levels of cosmic radiation estimated to be 1000 times higher than what we experience on earth or even in the international space station's low-earth orbit. protecting astronauts from this harmful radiation will be key to making deep space exploration--and perhaps one day colonization--possible.rosi, who is director of neurocognitive research in the ucsf brain and spinal injury center and a professor in the departments of physical therapy and rehabilitation science and of neurological surgery, has conducted nasa-funded research for the past four years to understand how deep space radiation may affect a...
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what can snakes teach us about engineering friction?
image: research from drexel university paves the way for snake-inspired custom surface design. view more credit: drexel universityif you want to know how to make a sneaker with better traction, just ask a snake. that's the theory driving the research of hisham abdel-aal, phd, an associate teaching professor from drexel university's college of engineering who is studying snake skin to help engineers improve the design of textured surfaces, such as engine cylinder liners, prosthetic joints - and yes, maybe even footwear. abdel-aal, a mechanical engineer with expertise in tribology, the study of friction, has been collecting and analyzing snake skins for almost a decade in an effort to comprehend and quantify the way they generate friction when they move. in a paper recently published in the journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials abdel-aal explains how this `natural data` can be ported into the design of commercial products that slip and stick - a process called `bio-inspired surface engineering.``nature has informed many areas of engineering and design, but tribology is one field of study that has been somewhat overlooked when it comes to learning from nature,` said abdel-aal. `snakes in particular have a lot to teach us about optimizing slip and grip. their existence is dependent on efficiency of motion in very specific environments. the snakes we are studying today are the result of an evolutionary process that has fully adapted the micro-st...
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a better way to control crystal vibrations
the vibrational motion of an atom in a crystal propagates to neighboring atoms, which leads to wavelike propagation of the vibrations throughout the crystal. the way in which these natural vibrations travel through the crystalline structure determine fundamental properties of the material. for example, these vibrations determine how well heat and electrons can traverse the material, and how the material interacts with light.now, researchers have shown that by swapping out just a small fraction of a material's atoms with atoms of a different element, they can control the speed and frequencies of these vibrations. this demonstration, published in applied physics letters, by aip publishing, provides a potentially simpler and cheaper way to tune a material's properties, allowing for a wide range of new and more efficient devices, such as in solid-state lighting and electronics.the natural vibrations of a crystalline material travel as particles called phonons. these phonons carry heat, scatter electrons, and affect electrons' interactions with light. previously, researchers controlled phonons by dividing the material into smaller pieces whose boundaries can scatter the phonons, limiting their movement. more recently, researchers have engineered nanoscale structures, such as nanowires, into the material to manipulate phonons' speed and frequencies.a team of researchers from the university of california, riverside and the university of california, san diego has now found that b...
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new data changes the way scientists explain how cancer tumors develop
galveston, texas - a collaborative research team has uncovered new information that more accurately explains how cancerous tumors grow within the body. this study is currently available in nature genetics. researchers led by scientists at the university of texas medical branch at galveston and baylor college of medicine found that a losing a section of messenger rna that was previously thought to transform normal cells into cancerous ones actually acts by blocking a body's ability suppress the formation of tumors. the finding could completely alter the way that medical science approaches the formation of tumors.in molecules throughout the body, the three-prime untranslated region, or 3'utr, is a section of messenger rna that can alter gene expression. it's known that shortening this rna section promotes cancerous tumor growth. `researchers have historically thought that this was because 3'utr shortening induces the expression of proto-oncogenes, normal genes that when altered by mutation or expressed too high, become oncogenes that can transform a normal cell into a cancer cell,` said eric wagner, utmb associate professor in the department of biochemistry and molecular biology. `however, using a combination of computational approaches and cancer cell models, we found that 3'utr shortening in tumors actually causes tumor-suppressing genes to be turned off.` in the study, the researchers used `big data` analyses to reconstruct the rna thought to form global regulator...
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the vessel not taken: understanding disproportionate blood flow
each time a blood vessel splits into smaller vessels, red blood cells (rbcs) are presented with the same decision: take the left capillary or the right. while one might think rbcs would divide evenly at every fork in the road, it is known that at some junctures, rbcs seem to prefer one vessel over the other. one new computer model looks to determine why rbcs behave this way, untangling one of the biggest mysteries in our vascular systema pair of researchers from rutgers university has demonstrated a new direct numerical simulation in physics of fluids, from aip publishing, which predicts the flow of rbcs through the body's networks of capillaries. by constructing a network of virtual capillaries, the team found that not only can the flow through so-called mother vessels sometimes become skewed, leading to an uneven distribution of rbcs in daughter vessels, but these junctions also switch between an even and uneven flow over time.`this is the biological problem that has immense significance in healthy states and disease states,` said prosenjit bagchi, one of the authors of the paper. `these phenomena have been known for centuries, but in terms of high-fidelity computational modeling, there has not been much.`bagchi likens the partitioning of blood cells at bifurcations along blood vessels to cars in traffic where, sometimes, detours happen. anything from an injury, to a blocked capillary, to a tumor creating new vessels to feed itself can lead to a blood vessel falling ou...
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uci researchers discover novel mode of neurotransmitter-based communication
image: this computer model illustrates gaba binding to the newly discovered site on a neuronal potassium channel. view more credit: geoffrey abbott, university of california, irvineresearchers at the university of california, irvine school of medicine have discovered the first example of a novel mode of neurotransmitter-based communication. the discovery, published in nature communications, challenges current dogma about mechanisms of signaling in the brain, and uncovers new pathways for developing therapies for disorders like epilepsy, anxiety and chronic pain.voltage-gated potassium channels (kcnq2-5) generate the m-current, which helps control neuronal excitability. subunits of these channels each have high-affinity anticonvulsant drug-binding pockets, which uci researchers discovered accommodate endogenous neurotransmitters, including gamma-aminobutyric acid (gaba), one of the most influential neurotransmitters in the nervous system. the uci research team, led by postdoctoral fellow rían manville, phd and principal investigator geoffrey abbott, msc, phd, together with postdoctoral fellow maria papanikolaou, msc, phd, examined an ancient sequence motif, previously identified as a drug-binding site but overlooked with respect to native function. it was there that the team discovered a binding pocket for gaba. brain cells communicate by releasing chemicals called neurotransmitters that bind to specific locations, or receptors, on neighboring cells to either promote or...
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sleep better, parent better: study shows link between maternal sleep and permissive parenting
urbana, ill. - research has shown that consistently not getting enough sleep, or getting poor quality sleep, can put you at risk for a number of health conditions. but how does sleep, or the lack of it, affect how you parent? a new study from kelly tu, a human development and family studies researcher at the university of illinois, and colleagues, looks at the link between maternal sleep and permissive parenting during late adolescence. findings show that mothers who don't get enough sleep or who take longer falling asleep have a greater tendency to engage in permissive parenting--parenting marked by lax or inconsistent discipline. results also show that sleep quality may be especially important for african-american mothers and mothers from socioeconomically disadvantaged households. `short and disrupted sleep patterns are common among parents, especially parents of young children, and can affect their mental and physical health and daily functioning,` explains tu, assistant professor in the department of human development and family studies at u of i. `extending this work beyond young children, we were curious as to how sleep affects the parenting of adolescents.` during adolescence--11 to 18 years of age--parental involvement is still an important contributing factor in how well kids are adjusting socially, emotionally, and behaviorally. tu explains that research has shown a link between permissive parenting and adolescents' vulnerability to problematic or risky behav...
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vascular risk interacts with amyloid levels to increase age-related cognitive decline
risk factors for heart disease and stroke appear to hasten the risk of cognitive decline in normal older individuals with evidence of very early alzheimer's-disease-associated changes in the brain. vascular risk factors increase the risk of cognitive impairment in older individuals and appear to have a negative synergistic effect with levels of brain amyloid-beta, the protein that aggregates into neurotoxic plaques in the brains of individuals with alzheimer's disease. in their report published in jama neurology, a team of massachusetts general hospital (mgh) investigators describes finding that the combination of increased vascular risk and higher brain amyloid levels predicted even faster cognitive decline in clinically normal older individuals than would be expected based on the independent effects of both factors. `our findings suggest that having vascular risk factors like diabetes, smoking, and high blood pressure may accelerate the rate of cognitive decline in normal older adults, and that the effect of vascular risk on decline is magnified in people with higher brain amyloid levels,` says jennifer rabin, phd, a clinical and research fellow in the mgh department of psychiatry, lead author of the paper. `our findings support the rationale behind targeting modifiable vascular risk factors either alone or in combination with amyloid-lowering therapies to delay cognitive decline. measures of vascular risk also may be able to complement existing biomarkers in identifyi...
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one year's losses for child sexual abuse in us top $9 billion, new study suggests
a new study at the johns hopkins bloomberg school of public health found that the annual economic impact of child sexual abuse in the u.s. is far-reaching and costly: in 2015, the total economic burden was approximately $9.3 billion and includes costs associated with health care, child welfare, special education, violence and crime, suicide and survivor productivity losses.the study, published in the may 2018 edition of the journal child abuse and neglect, used data from the national child abuse and neglect data system to gather a full census of all child sexual abuse cases reported to child protective agencies across the u.s. in addition to estimating the 2015 annual cost, the researchers calculated the average lifetime cost per victim based on specific categories such as health care, child welfare, etc. these costs were tied to the incremental effects of child sexual abuse, over and above what the cost would be to someone who wasn't a victim of child sexual abuse. all costs were estimated in u.s. dollars and adjusted to the reference year 2015 using the gross domestic product deflator. the highest costs for women and men affected by child sexual abuse - more than $1,000,000 in estimated losses - were associated with the rare cases of fatal child sexual abuse. in 2015, the majority of child sexual abuse survivors were female, 75 percent versus 25 percent male survivors of 40,387 total cases reported in the national child abuse and neglect data system. nonfatal child sexual ...
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hurricanes: a bit stronger, a bit slower, and a lot wetter in a warmer climate
image: on average, storms in the future will be a little slower, a little stronger, and a lot wetter. view more credit: simmi sinha, ucarboulder, colo. -- scientists have published a detailed analysis of how 22 recent hurricanes would change if they instead formed near the end of this century. while each storm's transformation would be unique, on balance, the hurricanes would become a little stronger, a little slower moving, and a lot wetter.in one example, hurricane ike -- which killed more than 100 people and devastated parts of the u.s. gulf coast in 2008 -- could have 13 percent stronger winds, move 17 percent slower, and be 34 percent wetter if it formed in a future, warmer climate.other storms could become slightly weaker (like hurricane ernesto) or move slightly faster (like hurricane gustav). none would become drier. the rainfall rate of simulated future storms in the study increased by an average of 24 percent.the study, led by the national center for atmospheric research (ncar) and published in the journal of climate, compares high-resolution computer simulations of more than 20 historical, named atlantic storms with a second set of simulations that are identical except for a warmer, wetter climate that is consistent with the average outcome of scientific projections for the end of this century.`our research suggests that future hurricanes could drop significantly more rain,` said ncar scientist ethan gutmann, who led the study. `hurricane harvey demonstra...
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new study reveals prevalence of anti-gay verbal and physical bullying in florida schools
image: daniella dominguez, community education coordinator with yes institute, leading a discussion for nova southeastern university middle school students about their authentic experiences of bullying, gender, and stereotypes. view more credit: yes institutemiami, fl (may 21, 2018) - anti-gay verbal and physical harassment are pervasive public health problems found in schools, which are correlated with negative mental health and educational outcomes for students. a study published in the florida public health review, `incidences of school-based anti-gay and gender-related bullying: differences across levels of education,` compares anti-gay and gender-related bullying with student cohorts across public and private middle school, secondary, and post-secondary institutions in the same region. these findings can assist researchers and practitioners in better understanding the prevalence of anti-gay verbal versus physical harassment at particular education levels.`when i was working as a school nurse, despite my training in pediatrics in nursing school, i had no formal understanding of bullying or how it isolated kids. had i been more aware of how bullying shows up and how children attempt to cope with it, i would have felt more empowered to recognize and address incidences of bullying - in particular when students would be 'hiding out' in the nurse's office to avoid being bullied,` says lead author evan mcewing, dnp, aphn-bc, rn, ccrp, rqap-gcp of the university of...
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nasa sees tropical cyclone sagar's landfall
image: on may 19, nasa's terra satellite showed a few very powerful thunderstorms (yellow) northwest of the center where cloud top temperatures were as cold as minus 80 degrees fahrenheit (minus... view more credit: nasa/nrlthe final bulletin on tropical cyclone sagar was issued at 11 a.m. edt (1500 utc) on may 19. by that time, sagar had made landfall in somalia. nasa's terra satellite captured an infrared image of the storm as it was making landfall. sagar's center was located over land, near 10.3 degrees north latitude and 43.7 degrees east longitude, about 88 miles south-southeast of djibouti city, djibouti. sagar was moving to the southwest at 8 mph (7 knots/12.9 kph) and maintained maximum sustained winds near 57.5 mph (50 knots/92.6 kph). at 2:45 p.m. edt (1945 utc) on may 19, the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer or modis instrument that flies aboard nasa's terra satellite gathered infrared data on the land falling storm. infrared data provides temperature information. modis revealed a few very powerful thunderstorms northwest of the center where cloud top temperatures were as cold as minus 80 degrees fahrenheit (minus 62.2 celsius). nasa research has shown that cloud tops with temperatures that cold were high in the troposphere and have the ability to generate heavy rain.by may 21, sagar had dissipated over land. ###by rob gutro nasa's goddard space flight center disclaimer: aaas and eurekalert! are not responsible for the accuracy of new...
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ice cream funds research showing new strategy against thyroid cancer
image: sana karam, m.d., ph.d., and colleagues show that precisely-targeted radiation my beat traditional radiotherapy against anaplastic thyroid cancer, and with fewer side effects. view more credit: university of colorado cancer centeranaplastic thyroid cancer is almost uniformly fatal, with an average lifespan of about 5 months after diagnosis. and standard treatment for the condition includes 7 weeks of radiation, often along with chemotherapy.`we put patients through toxic treatment for seven weeks when most will only live five months. i'm not sure that's how i would want to spend my time,` says sana karam, md, phd, investigator at the university of colorado cancer center and assistant professor in the cu school of medicine department of radiation oncology.now a paper published in the journal thyroid suggests an alternative. rather than conventional radiotherapy, the paper suggests that thyroid tumors may be more susceptible to treatment with precisely targeted radiation known as stereotactic body radiation therapy (sbrt), and possibly with fewer side effects. the study was made possible by one of karam's patients. `it was one of those journeys that reminds you why we are so fortunate to be physicians,` karam says. the patient was only 50 years old at the time of diagnosis. `i treated him with six or seven weeks of radiation only to find that the cancer had already progressed elsewhere in his body. he had six kids, five of them adopted, and at the end of hi...
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hurricanes: stronger, slower, wetter in the future?
image: will future hurricanes resemble 2017's jose (top) and maria? scientists have new answers. view more credit: nasafind related stories on nsf'sgeosciences risk and resilience interest area.scientists have developed a detailed analysis of how 22 recent hurricanes would be different if they formed under the conditions predicted for the late 21st century.while each storm's transformation would be unique, on balance, the hurricanes would become a little stronger, a little slower-moving, and a lot wetter.in one example, hurricane ike -- which killed more than 100 people and devastated parts of the u.s. gulf coast in 2008 -- could have 13 percent stronger winds, move 17 percent slower, and be 34 percent wetter if it formed in a future, warmer climate.other storms could become slightly weaker (for example, hurricane ernesto) or move slightly faster (such as hurricane gustav). none would become drier. the rainfall rate of simulated future storms would increase by an average of 24 percent.the study, led by scientists at the national center for atmospheric research (ncar) and published in the journal of climate, compares high-resolution computer simulations of more than 20 historical, named atlantic storms with a second set of simulations that are identical but for a warmer, wetter climate that's consistent with the average scientific projections for the end of the century.a future with hurricane harvey-like rains`our research suggests that future hurricanes could drop ...
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new form of local anesthetic does not reduce opioid use or complications after knee surgery
chicago - contrary to what some studies may suggest, the local anesthetic drug, liposomal bupivacaine, did not reduce in-hospital opioid prescriptions or opioid-related complications in patients who received the drug during total knee replacement surgery as part of a multimodal approach to manage postsurgical pain, finds a new study published in the online first edition of anesthesiology, the peer-reviewed medical journal of the american society of anesthesiologists (asa).bupivacaine is a commonly used local anesthetic that prevents pain by blocking signals at nerve endings. liposomal bupivacaine is a long-acting version of bupivacaine, formulated in a new lipid-based structure. the drug is injected into tissues surrounding the surgical wound. one injection of liposomal bupivacaine is designed to provide long-lasting pain control for up to three days, thereby potentially reducing the need for opioid painkillers. `when we tested this hypothesis in a real-world setting where state of the art pain procedures such as peripheral nerve blocks were used, we were unable to show benefit,` said stavros g. memtsoudis, m.d., ph.d., senior study author and director of critical care services in the department of anesthesiology at the hospital for special surgery in new york. `local anesthesia is one mode that has been proposed as being part of a multimodal approach to reducing opioid consumption. but we found that adding liposomal bupivacaine to the mix did not add significant benefit....
Tags : new form of local anesthetic does not reduce opioid use or complications after knee surgery - bupivacaine ,opioid ,liposomal ,local ,pain ,nerve ,liposomal bupivacaine ,peripheral nerve ,american society ,nerve block ,local anesthetic ,peripheral nerve block ,opioid related complications new form of local anesthetic does not reduce opioid use or complications after knee surgery
smog laid bare: precise analysis of the composition of particulate matter
smog is a problem. but the knowledge about its constituents - no longer. researchers from several leading warsaw scientific institutions have joined forces and developed a new, extremely precise method for the chemical analysis of suspended particulate matter. the method, easily adaptable in many modern laboratories, not only determines the chemical composition of compounds, but even recognizes changes in the spatial distribution of atoms in molecules.atmospheric particulate matter, popularly known as smog, is becoming more and more troublesome. its particles are now attacking the lungs of the inhabitants of not only big cities. in industrialized countries it is literally everywhere, even in forest areas seemingly distant from urban agglomerations. this ubiquitous smog is characterized by a huge richness of chemical compounds, many of them occurring in isomeric forms, differing in the distribution of atoms in the molecule, and consequently also in their chemical properties. the detection of these isomers used to be the weak point of modern analytical techniques - until now.in the pages of analytical chemistry, warsaw-based scientists from the institute of physical chemistry of the polish academy of sciences (ipc pas), the institute of organic chemistry of the pas and the institute of environmental protection of the national research institute have presented a method of extremely precise analysis of smog particles. the new analytical technique will be able to be used by any re...
Tags : smog laid bare: precise analysis of the composition of particulate matter - chemical ,smog ,particles ,institute ,chemistry ,composition ,particulate matter ,chemical composition ,physical chemistry ,smog particles ,chemical compound ,warsaw based scientists ,suspended particulate matter smog laid bare: precise analysis of the composition of particulate matter
lightning in the eyewall of a hurricane beamed antimatter toward the ground
image: the adele mark ii flew aboard noaa's hurricane hunter wp-3d orion during the atlantic hurricane season. view more credit: gregory bowershurricane patricia, which battered the west coast of mexico in 2015, was the most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded in the western hemisphere. amid the extreme violence of the storm, scientists observed something new: a downward beam of positrons, the antimatter counterpart of electrons, creating a burst of powerful gamma-rays and x-rays.detected by an instrument aboard noaa's hurricane hunter aircraft, which flew through the eyewall of the storm at its peak intensity, the positron beam was not a surprise to the uc santa cruz scientists who built the instrument. but it was the first time anyone has observed this phenomenon. according to david smith, a professor of physics at uc santa cruz, the positron beam was the downward component of an upward terrestrial gamma-ray flash that sent a short blast of radiation into space above the storm. terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (tgfs) were first seen in 1994 by space-based gamma-ray detectors. they occur in conjunction with lightning and have now been observed thousands of times by orbiting satellites. a reverse positron beam was predicted by theoretical models of tgfs, but had never been detected.`this is the first confirmation of that theoretical prediction, and it shows that tgfs are piercing the atmosphere from top to bottom with high-energy radiation,` smith said. `this event...
Tags : lightning in the eyewall of a hurricane beamed antimatter toward the ground - gamma ,beam ,rays ,electrons ,smith ,that ,gamma rays ,positron beam ,smith said ,adele mark ,santa cruz ,atlantic hurricane season lightning in the eyewall of a hurricane beamed antimatter toward the ground
women with pregnancy-related diabetes may be at risk for chronic kidney disease
gestational diabetes may predispose women to early-stage kidney damage, a precursor to chronic kidney disease, according to a study by researchers at the national institutes of health and other institutions. the study appears in diabetes care.gestational diabetes occurs only in pregnancy and results when the level of blood sugar is too high. the condition increases the risk for preterm birth and cesarean delivery, among other complications. other forms of diabetes that occur outside of pregnancy are known to increase the risk for chronic kidney disease, in which the kidneys have difficulty filtering wastes from the blood. few studies have investigated the potential link between gestational diabetes and chronic kidney disease.`our findings suggest that women who have had gestational diabetes may benefit from periodic checkups to detect early-stage kidney damage and receive subsequent treatment,` said the study's senior author, cuilin zhang, m.d., m.p.h., ph.d., of the epidemiology branch at the eunice kennedy shriver national institute of child health and human development (nichd).the researchers found that women who had gestational diabetes were more likely to have a high glomerular filtration rate (gfr), an estimate of how much blood per minute passes through the glomeruli, the tiny filters within kidneys that extract waste from the blood. many researchers think that a very high gfr can precede the early kidney damage that accompanies pre-diabetes--higher than normal bloo...
Tags : women with pregnancy-related diabetes may be at risk for chronic kidney disease - diabetes ,gestational ,women ,kidney ,that ,health ,gestational diabetes ,kidney disease ,diabetes were ,chronic kidney ,kidney damage ,chronic kidney disease ,shriver national institute ,human development nichd ,kennedy shriver national women with pregnancy-related diabetes may be at risk for chronic kidney disease
fetal mri can reliably spot holoprosencephaly as early as 18 gestational weeks
image: this is youssef a. kousa, m.s., d.o., ph.d., a child neurology fellow at children's national and the study's lead author. view more credit: children's national health systemfetal magnetic resonance imaging (mri) can reliably spot holoprosencephaly as early as 18 gestational weeks, providing an opportunity to counsel families earlier in their pregnancy, according to children's-led research published online may 18, 2018, in the american journal of medical genetics. accurately diagnosing holoprosencephaly is vital because the degree of severity of the brain malformation correlates with heightened risk of fetal and neonatal demise and intellectual disability among surviving children, the study authors write.one of a series of fetal and postnatal mri images captured by children's national health system faculty is featured on the journal's cover.by about week five to six of pregnancy, the embryonic forebrain (prosencephalon) cleaves into two cerebral hemispheres. holoprosencephaly is incomplete separation of those cerebral hemispheres and occurs in 1.2 to 2.2 of every 10,000 live births. the brain defect is associated with genetic and environmental risk factors, including gestational diabetes, lower education level and aspirin use during pregnancy.according to the study team, an expanded spectrum of holoprosencephaly disease phenotypes and milder variants have been identified, including:aprosencephaly/atelencephaly, considered the most severe form, which can be a...
Tags : fetal mri can reliably spot holoprosencephaly as early as 18 gestational weeks - holoprosencephaly ,children ,with ,fetal ,severe ,weeks ,cerebral hemispheres ,associated with ,frontal lobes ,less severe ,craniofacial defects ,child neurology fellow fetal mri can reliably spot holoprosencephaly as early as 18 gestational weeks
many americans say infectious and emerging diseases in other countries will threaten the us
arlington, va.--may 21, 2018-- an overwhelming majority of americans (95%) think infectious and emerging diseases facing other countries will pose a 'major' or 'minor' threat to the u.s. in the next few years, but more than half (61%) say they are confident the federal government can prevent a major infectious disease outbreak in the u.s., according to a new national public opinion survey commissioned by research!america and the american society for microbiology. about a third (34%) agree that the global community will experience an epidemic in the next 10 years that includes cases in the u.s. but few agree that the global community is prepared to respond to another epidemic like ebola (28%) and that the u.s. is prepared to respond to such an epidemic (34%). a large majority of respondents (89%) say the federal government should fund international programs on the surveillance and detection of infectious disease outbreaks, and 70% say the federal government should do more to educate the public about global disease outbreaks and the risk to the u.s. `the findings indicate that many americans are unaware of the cutting-edge research and public health strategies to protect citizens against deadly epidemics like ebola,` said mary woolley, president and ceo, research!america. `with the recent ebola outbreak in the democratic republic of congo, it is essential for all stakeholders, from government to industry, to educate the public about efforts to prevent and contain threats...
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new technique reveals 3d shape of nanostructure's polariton interaction
image: this is an image of xiaoji xu, assistant professor, department of chemistry, lehigh university. view more credit: douglas benedict/academic imagenanostructures are the holy grail of new materials. the wonder material graphene, for example, is a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal pattern that, because of its conductivity, flexibility, transparency and strength, has the potential to create more efficient solar cells, smaller and faster electric circuits and microchips, transparent displays, and high density capacitors and batteries. according to xiaoji xu (https://chemistry.cas2.lehigh.edu/faculty/xiaoji-xu-0), assistant professor in the department of chemistry at lehigh university, another quality that makes nanomaterials like graphene so special is their ability to generate a physics phenomenon called a polariton. polaritons are quasiparticles resulting from a strong coupling of electromagnetic waves with an electric or magnetic dipole-carrying excitation--referred to by some as a light-matter coupling. polaritons make it possible for nanostructures to confine--and compress--light around the material. the ability to compress light is key to scaling down devices for future optical communications and computing. it could also lead to sensing at a scale below one nanometer, important for achieving biomedical advances in disease detection, prevention and treatment.the challenge for people studying these materials, says xu, is how to reveal--and chara...
Tags : new technique reveals 3d shape of nanostructure's polariton interaction - field ,snom ,light ,their ,near ,mode ,near field ,scanning near ,field optical ,optical microscopy ,peak force ,near field optical ,field optical microscopy ,peak force tapping new technique reveals 3d shape of nanostructure's polariton interaction
genome structure of dinosaurs discovered by bird-turtle comparisons
image: this is an apalone spinifera spiny softshell turtle hatchling view more credit: nicole valenzuelaa discovery by scientists at the university of kent has provided significant insight into the overall genome structure of dinosaurs.by comparing the genomes of different species, chiefly birds and turtles, the kent team were able to determine how the overall genome structure (i.e. the chromosomes) of many people's favourite dinosaur species - like velociraptor or tyrannosaurus - might have looked through a microscope. the research was carried out in the laboratory of professor darren griffin, of the university's school of biosciences, and is now published in the journal nature communications. it involved extrapolating the likely genome structure of a shared common ancestor of birds and turtles that lived around 260 million years ago - 20 million years before the dinosaurs first emerged. dr becky o'connor, senior postdoctoral researcher and co-author of the nature communications paper, then traced how chromosomes changed over evolutionary time from a reptile ancestor to the present day. the team found that, although the individual chromosomes rearranged their genes internally, this did not occur much at all between the chromosomes - what the scientists describe as 'a significant discovery'. birds (which are themselves living dinosaurs) have a lot of chromosomes compared to most other species and that is possibly one of the reasons why they are so diverse. this res...
Tags : genome structure of dinosaurs discovered by bird-turtle comparisons - university ,kent ,that ,research ,natural ,chromosomes ,natural history ,history museum ,genome structure ,state university ,iowa state ,natural history museum ,iowa state university ,royal veterinary college ,history museum london genome structure of dinosaurs discovered by bird-turtle comparisons
framework diversity of carbon nitrides offers rich platform for single atom catalysis
image: optimized pd coordination sites within different carbon nitride scaffolds with 6n, 9n, and 15n pockets. values in parentheses beneath each image indicate the corresponding formation energies (left), calculated versus an... view more credit: ©science china pressthe development and understanding of efficient catalysts based on isolated metal centers stabilized on suitable hosts is a challenging task that has sparked the imagination of researchers worldwide. the major interest in this topic arises for three key reasons: the prospect of improving the utilization of precious metals, the potential to achieve unprecedented functionality thereby enabling landmark shifts in catalytic processes, and the possibility to gain fundamental understanding of catalytic materials.prof. javier pérez-ramírez's team together with other collaborators made radical progress in the topic, identifying the unique potential of graphitic carbon nitride as a host for palladium atoms in 2015. since then, they and other groups have broadened the scope of these crystalline polymeric materials to other metals (platinum, iridium, gold, silver, to name a few), devising novel routes for their introduction, and demonstrating the efficacy of the resulting materials in further applications. carbon nitrides exhibit a rich structural diversity and can exist in different crystalline forms, which present unique coordination sites for single atoms. nonetheless, all previous studies focused on the most co...
Tags : framework diversity of carbon nitrides offers rich platform for single atom catalysis - carbon ,single ,structure ,nitride ,palladium ,catalysts ,carbon nitride ,single atom ,atom catalysts ,coordination sites ,nitride structure ,carbon nitride structure ,graphitic carbon nitride ,carbon nitride scaffolds ,linear melem oligomers framework diversity of carbon nitrides offers rich platform for single atom catalysis
hotter bodies fight infections and tumors better -- researchers show how
image: professor david rand, professor of mathematics and a member of the university of warwick's zeeman institute for systems biology and infectious disease epidemiology (sbider). view more credit: university of warwickhigher body temperatures speed our bodies' responses to infections, wounds and tumours - researchers at the universities of warwick and manchester proveslight rise in temperature and inflammation - such as a fever - speeds up cellular 'clock' in which proteins switch genes on and off to respond to infectionnew understanding could lead to more effective and fast-working drugs which target a key inflammation protein found to be critical for the temperature responseinterdisciplinary team of warwick mathematicians and manchester biologists used modelling and lab experiments to jointly make discoverythe hotter our body temperature, the more our bodies speed up a key defence system that fights against tumours, wounds or infections, new research by a multidisciplinary team of mathematicians and biologists from the universities of warwick and manchester has found.the researchers have demonstrated that small rises in temperature (such as during a fever) speed up the speed of a cellular 'clock' that controls the response to infections - and this new understanding could lead to more effective and fast-working drugs which target a key protein involved in this process.biologists found that inflammatory signals activate 'nuclear factor kappa b' (nf-κb) protei...
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an unexpected chemosensor pathway for innate fear behavior against predator odor
image: this is a feared mouse. view more credit: university of tsukubatsukuba, japan -innate fear is an essential emotion for animals to avoid danger in a severe natural environment. rodents kept in a laboratory also show instinctive fear behavior against the smell of predators such as foxes, cats or snakes despite having never seen them. this innate fear represents an evolutionarily conserved and genetically encoded survival mechanism. however, the molecular basis of innate behaviors is largely unknown. scientists centered at the international institute for integrative sleep medicine (wpi-iiis) at the university of tsukuba in japan used chemical mutagenesis to introduce random mutations into mice. the animals are screened for abnormal fear responses against a potent derivative of fox odorant. the screen identified a mutant pedigree, named fearless, showing markedly attenuated freezing response (typical fear behavior in mice) against the odorant. the fearless pedigree carried a mutation in the trpa1 gene, which function as a pungency/irritancy receptor. loss of trpa1 in mice diminished predator odor-evoked innate fear behaviors, although they exhibit a normal sense of smell. the research team then found that trpa1 acts as a chemosensor to detect predator odors. trpa1 is highly expressed in the trigeminal somatosensory system, which plays a crucial role in nociception, sensing harmful and potentially painful chemicals. they showed that trpa1-expressed trigeminal neurons ...
Tags : an unexpected chemosensor pathway for innate fear behavior against predator odor - fear ,innate ,trpa1 ,odor ,mice ,predator ,innate fear ,predator odor ,evoked innate ,anxiety disorders ,fear behavior ,odor evoked innate ,human anxiety disorders ,fear behavior against an unexpected chemosensor pathway for innate fear behavior against predator odor
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