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Today's Top Science News

Today's Top Science News

Evidence review confirms CDC guidance about infectivity of novel coronavirus
A new review of dozens of studies suggests that people may shed virus for prolonged periods, but those with mild or no symptoms may be infectious for no more than about 10 days. People who are severely ill from COVID-19 may be infectious for as long as 20 days, according to the review.

Safety considerations for visiting primary care doctors
Ann M. Nguyen, an assistant research professor at Rutgers Center for State Health Policy at the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, who recently published a paper on safety measures at physician offices, discusses what people should know about visiting their doctor and why putting off appointments that need to be done in person could lead to other health problems.

Light pollution may increase biting behavior at night in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes
Artificial light abnormally increases mosquito biting behavior at night in a species that typically prefers to bite people during the day, according to research from the University of Notre Dame that was published in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Tradition of petrified birds in the Dome of the Rock
The legend of Solomon and the birds associated with the Dome of the Rock was developed over time. Stories about the two birds demonstrate that Sufi traditions and the figure of Solomon were still very influential in shaping the appearance and conception of the Dome of the Rock.

One way to prevent cancer: map the fundamentals of how cells go awry
Wilmot Cancer Institute scientists focused on proteins involved in breast and brain cancer and melanoma, and made a new discovery.

How initiatives empowering employees can backfire
Strategies meant to motivate people in the workplace may have unintended consequences -- depending on who's in charge. Recent research from Michigan State University shows that empowerment initiatives aren't necessarily the answer for business leaders hoping to motivate their employees.

Hot-button words trigger conservatives and liberals differently
Researchers have linked a brain region to what they call neural polarization, offering a glimpse into the partisan brain in the weeks leading up to what is arguably the most consequential U.S. presidential election in modern history.

A CNIO team describes how a virus can cause diabetes
* CNIO researchers have discovered the molecular mechanism by which coxsackievirus type B4 affects the functions and identity of beta cells that generate insulin, therefore promoting diabetes* They suggest to explore whether the potential of some drugs tested for cancer treatment in combination with antiviral therapies could be effective as a prevention and therapeutic strategy* The finding could be relevant to face the COVID-19 pandemic, since recent clinical information indicates that the SARS-CoV-2 virus might also promote diabetes in some patients

From pills to powder: 1 in 3 high school seniors who misused prescription opioids later used heroin
Nearly one-third of students who reported misusing prescription opioids as high school seniors between 1997 and 2000, but did not have a history of medical use, later used heroin by age 35, according to a University of Michigan study.

Repairing the photosynthetic enzyme Rubisco
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry decipher the molecular mechanism of Rubisco Activase

Removal of synthetic estrogen from water
Synthetic estrogens from pharmaceuticals contaminate rivers and threaten the health of humans and fish. An effective and cost-efficient method for removing synthetic estrogen from bodies of water

New evidence for geologically recent earthquakes near Portland, Oregon metro area
A paleoseismic trench dug across the Gales Creek fault, located about 35 kilometers (roughly 22 miles) west of Portland, Oregon, documents evidence for three surface-rupturing earthquakes that took place about 8,800, 4,200 and 1,000 years ago.

Nature Communications publishes Bluestar Genomics' technology for cancer detection study
Bluestar Genomics, an innovative company leading the development of next-generation epigenomic approaches to early cancer detection, announced today the publication of study results in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications. The study demonstrates the power of the company's platform to detect pancreatic cancer in its early stages, addressing the unmet need of more than 60,000 patients diagnosed with the disease each year in the United States alone.

The GovLab launches collective intelligence to solve public problems
A new report from The Governance Lab at NYU's Tandon School of Engineering examines global examples of how public institutions are using new technology to take advantage of the collective action and collective wisdom of people in their communities and around the world to address problems like climate change, loneliness and natural disaster response

A new material for separating CO2 from industrial waste gases, natural gas, or biogas
With the new material, developed at the University of Bayreuth, the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) can be specifically separated from industrial waste gases, natural gas, or biogas, and thereby made available for recycling. The separation process is both energy efficient and cost-effective.

New anti-AB vaccine could help halt Alzheimer's progression, preclinical study finds
A preclinical study led by University of South Florida Health neuroscientists indicates that an antigen-presenting dendritic vaccine with a specific antibody response to oligomeric Aβ may be safer and offer clinical benefit in treating Alzheimer's disease. The vaccine uses immune cells known as dendritic cells loaded with a modified Aβ peptide as the antigen.

Researchers discovered the second 'key' used by the SARS-CoV-2 virus to enter into huma
To efficiently infect human cells, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is able to use a receptor called Neuropilin-1, which is very abundant in many human tissues including the respiratory tract, blood vessels and neurons. The breakthrough discovery was made by a German-Finnish team of researchers led by neuroscientists Mika Simons ,Technical University of Munich, Germany and virologist Giuseppe Balistreri, University of Helsinki, Finland.

Microbial diversity below seafloor is as rich as on Earth's surface
For the first time, researchers have mapped the biological diversity of marine sediment, one of Earth's largest global biomes. The research team discovered that microbial diversity in the dark, energy-limited world beneath the seafloor is as diverse as in Earth's surface biomes.

Targeting the shell of the Ebola virus
As the world grapples with COVID-19, the Ebola virus is again raging. A research team at University of Delaware is using supercomputers to simulate the inner workings of Ebola (as well as COVID-19), looking at how molecules move, atom by atom, to carry out their functions. Now, they have revealed structural features of the Ebola virus's protein shell to provide therapeutic targets to destabilize the virus and knock it out with an antiviral treatment.

Treatment for inflammatory bowel disease doesn't always work; new study uncovers why
In preclinical study, researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles uncover role for TNF, the most common target in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Results pave way for better understanding of how TNF functions in normal intestinal development and provide foundation for future new therapies.

UArizona Health Sciences researchers find biomarker that can appear before stomach cancer
A microRNA that can be found in a blood sample may make it easier to detect gastric cancer and could lead to improved treatment for the disease and others like it that are resistant to common immunotherapies.

Efficacy, politics influence public trust in COVID-19 vaccine
If an initial COVID-19 vaccine is about as effective as a flu shot, uptake by the American public may fall far short of the 70% level needed to achieve herd immunity, new Cornell research suggests.

Predicting tornadoes on UK cold fronts for the first time
Weather forecasters can more accurately predict when a tornado is likely to hit the UK thanks to a new tool devised in a partnership between the University of Leeds and the Met Office.

Mechanism linking gum disease to heart disease, other inflammatory conditions discovered
The link between periodontal (gum) disease and other inflammatory conditions such as heart disease and diabetes has long been established, but the mechanism behind that association has, until now, remained a mystery. This month, a team of scientists and clinicians led by the University of Toronto's Faculty of Dentistry say they've found the reason why -- and it's related to the body's own hyperactive immune response. The findings were published in October in the Journal of Dental Research.

Lost and found: UH geologists 'resurrect' missing tectonic plate
A team of geologists at the University of Houston College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics believes they have found the lost plate known as Resurrection in northern Canada by using existing mantle tomography images.

New theory sheds light on how the environment influences human health
Researchers at Mount Sinai have proposed a groundbreaking new way to study the interaction between complex biological systems in the body and the environment. Their theory suggests the existence of 'biodynamic interfaces,' an intermediate entity between the two realms, as opposed to conventional approaches that analyze individual aspects of the interaction between the environment and humans in isolation, according to a paper published in BioEssays in October.

The road to uncovering a novel mechanism for disposing of misfolded proteins
The discovery of the cause of a rare liver disease in babies led to uncovering a novel cellular mechanism for disposing of misfolded proteins that has implications for neurodegenerative conditions of older age

Coronavirus vaccines stir doubts among many people worldwide, new study shows
New Nature Medicine study highlights potential global hesitancy to accept a COVID-19 vaccine. Based on data collected with the previously validated COVID-SCORE survey of a sample of over 13,400 individuals from 19 countries that have been hard-hit by the virus, the investigators found that 72 % of participants would likely take the vaccine. Of the remaining 28 %, 14% would refuse, while 14% would hesitate, which translates into tens of millions of potential vaccine avoiders.

Cutting-edge, whole-heart imaging provides new details on heart defects
A cutting-edge technique that allows scientists to zoom into tiny details in a 3D image of a whole animal heart may lead to new insights on congenital heart disease.

UC studies tobacco use, cancer connection
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have identified new clues into ways tobacco use impacts patients with kidney cancer.

Anti-inflammatory therapy shows promise in slowing progression of multiple sclerosis
Intranasal administration of an anti-inflammatory drug helped reduce disease progression in a preclinical model of multiple sclerosis, according to recent research out of the University of Alberta.

New risk model estimates likelihood of death or hospitalization from COVID-19
Evidence-based model uses a range of factors such as age, sex, ethnicity and existing medical conditions to predict risk of death or hospitalization from COVID-19. Model provides nuanced information on people's risk of serious illness due to COVID-19 and has the potential to help patients and doctors reach a shared understanding of risk. The 'living' risk prediction model will be updated regularly as our understanding of COVID-19 increases and more data become available.

Slinging ink, raising temperatures
You've heard that they can sag with age, perpetuate the name of a regrettable ex, or reveal an embarrassing inability to spell. But tattoos may also impair the way we sweat, potentially causing the body to overheat if the tattoos cover a large area of the body.

How some sea slugs keep their ability to carry out plant-like photosynthesis
Scientists have shed new light on a relationship between a sea slug and tiny structures called chloroplasts from their food algae that allow the animals to photosynthesise in a similar way to plants.

The biological 'record' of extremely preterm birth differs in men and women
Researchers at McMaster University have found distinct effects of adversity early in life in the genomes of men compared to women who were born extremely preterm.

Mortality rate higher for US rural residents
A recent study by Syracuse University sociology professor Shannon Monnat shows that mortality rates are higher for U.S. working-age residents who live in rural areas instead of metro areas, and the gap is getting wider.

Colorful Perovskites: NREL advances thermochromic window technologies
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) report a breakthrough in developing a next-generation thermochromic window that not only reduces the need for air conditioning but simultaneously generates electricity.

Newly discovered gene may give 'sea pickles' their glow
A new study describes a bioluminescent gene that could be the reason that so-called 'sea pickles,' or pyrosomes, an underwater free-floating colony of thousands of tiny animals, reverberate in blue-green light. If confirmed, the finding would be the first bioluminescent gene identified from a chordate--the group that includes all vertebrates as well as a couple types of invertebrates: sea squirts (including pyrosomes) and lancelets.

Mammography screening saves lives also in older age
Mammography, which is an x-ray picture of the breast, is efficient also for women over the age of 70. For women invited to regular mammography screening over the age of 70, the reduction in mortality rate was significant. This according to a vast new study from Sweden.

National laboratories point to sugars as a key factor in ideal feedstock for biofuels
Popular wisdom holds that tall, fast-growing trees are best for biomass, but new research by two US Department of Energy National Laboratories reveals the size of trees is only part of the equation. Of equal economic importance, according to scientists from the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), is the amount of sugars that can be produced from the ligno-cellulosic biomass that can be converted into fuels.

Does the new heart transplant allocation policy encourage gaming by providers?
A new national policy was created to make determining who receives a heart transplant more fair. But new data shows it changed some practice patterns, too.

Cognitive behavioral therapy reduces insomnia symptoms among young drinkers
More than half of young adults at risk for alcohol-related harm report symptoms of insomnia. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the first-line treatments for insomnia, but it's never been tested on young adults who are actively drinking. Researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine evaluated CBT's effect on young adult binge drinkers with insomnia to determine if this treatment can improve their sleep and potentially affect alcohol use outcomes.

Nanodevices show how living cells change with time, by tracking from the inside
For the first time, scientists have introduced minuscule tracking devices directly into the interior of mammalian cells, giving an unprecedented peek into the processes that govern the beginning of development.

Boron nitride nanofilms for protection from bacterial and fungal infections
NUST MISIS material scientists have presented antibacterial nano-coatings based on boron nitride, which are highly effective against microbial pathogens (up to 99.99%). They can become a safe alternative to the usual antibiotics in implantology since they do not have typical negative side effects. The results of the work are published in the international scientific journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

Population currently sees coronavirus as the greatest health risk
The coronavirus is currently the population's main concern. More than a quarter of consumers perceive the virus as the greatest health risk. This is a finding of the most recent edition of the Consumer Monitor, a representative population survey by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR).

Study reveals role of sleep deprivation in unwanted thoughts
A new study from the University of York offers an important insight into the impact of sleep on mental health

Scientists discover unusual materials properties at ultrahigh pressure
An international team of scientists from NUST MISIS (Russia), Linköping University (Sweden) and University of Bayreuth (Germany) found that, contrary to the usual physical and chemical laws, the structure of some materials does not condense at ultrahigh pressures. Actually, it forms a porous framework filled with gas molecules. This happened with samples of Os, Hf, and W put together with N in a diamond anvil at a pressure of one million atmospheres. The discovery is described in Angewandte Chemie.

Study finds tocilizumab improves survival in critically ill patients with COVID-19
The investigators found that when tocilizumab was administered within the first two days of intensive care unit (ICU) admission, there was a 30 percent relative decrease (and a 10 percent absolute decrease) in mortality compared to patients whose treatment did not include early use of tocilizumab.

Food allergy caused by insects?
Can edible insects trigger allergies? In September 2020, the BfR launched a new joint research project to protect consumers from potential allergic reactions: Allergen-Pro. The aim: to establish methods for the in-depth analysis of allergens in food and to describe their im-pact on those with allergies. Seven partners from Switzerland and Germany are involved in developing suitable and reproducible detection methods for insect components in food products.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are industrial chemicals that have been used for decades in several industrial processes and consumer products due to their special technical properties. They are not easily degradable and are now detectable everywhere: in the envi-ronment, in the food chain and in humans. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published an opinion on health risks related to the presence of PFAS in food: http://www.efsa.europa. eu/de/news/pfas-food-efsa-assesses-risks-and-sets-tolerable-intake

Childlessness by circumstance
Why zebra finches have problems with reproduction.

Study: Free-college programs have led to large enrollment increases at two-year institutions
A study of 33 public community college promise programs, or free-college programs, across the United States found that they are associated with large enrollment increases of first-time, full-time students--with the biggest boost in enrollment among Black, Hispanic, and female students.

Researchers at the forefront of developing machine learning methods for chemical discovery
Prof. Alexandre Tkatchenko and his research team at the University of Luxembourg have been awarded grants totalling 500,000 euros to conduct research in the emerging field of machine learning methods for chemical discoveries.

Ban on accommodation meets with mixed acceptance among the population
The majority of the population considers the measures introduced by the Federal Government and the Länder to stem the spread of the coronavirus to be appropriate. Only the recently introduced ban on accommodating people from risk areas within Germany is met with much less acceptance: Only 45% regard the regulation as appropriate. This is the result of the current issue of the BfR-Corona-Monitor, a regular survey by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR).

Most psoriasis patients taking immunosuppressants survive COVID-19
Patients with psoriasis who are taking drugs that affect their immune system have high rates of survival from COVID-19. According to the first findings from a global registry of psoriasis and COVID-19 patients, led by Guy's and St Thomas' clinicians, over 90% survive.

Researchers use gold nanorod scattering to identify immune system's 'killer and savior'
Researchers have utilized the scattering of gold nanorods to identify M1 and M2 macrophages. Further development of this technique will lead to a new point of care or a biopsy tool which can predict the stages of manifestation of diseases like cancer, atherosclerosis, and fibrosis just from the simple tissue fluids or blood samples.

COVID-19: Distancing and masks are not enough
Decades-old data is being used to describe the propagation of tiny droplets. Now a fluid dynamics team has developed new models: Masks and distancing are good, but not enough. Even with a mask, infectious droplets can be transmitted over several meters and remain in the air longer than previously thought.

Artificial intelligence reveals hundreds of millions of trees in the Sahara
There are far more trees in the West African Sahara and Sahel than most would expect. A combination of artificial intelligence and detailed satellite imagery allowed a team from the University of Copenhagen and international collaborators to count all trees across a 1.3 million km2 area of West Africa.

Vitamin D: Consumption of high-dose food supplements is unnecessary
The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has prepared a health risk assessment for products sold on the market as food supplements containing a daily dose of chole-calciferol -- the precursor to active vitamin D -- of 50 or 100 micrograms. These products are representative of certain high-dose preparations used by some consumers to increase their intake of vitamin D.

Plants communicate at a molecular level
Working together with researchers from the University of Tübingen, the University of Tromsø, the UC Davis and the Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, biologists from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have discovered how tomato plants identify Cuscuta as a parasite. The plant has a protein in its cell walls that is identified as 'foreign' by a receptor in the tomato.

Asymmetric optical camouflage: Tuneable reflective color accompanied by optical Janus effect
Deliverying viewing-direction sensitive information display across single sheet of transreflective window is introduced. Based on the experimental verification of theoretical modelling, scientists in Republic of Korea invented colour tuneable optical device that displays different colours and messages depending on viewing direction which is completely new and exotic optical phenomenon. A step further, they realized asymmetric information encryption via colour matching across the distinct colour boundary.

Effective ventilation may be a key factor in preventing the spread of COVID-19
During the first wave of COVID-19, which paralyzed the world in spring, it was initially thought that effective hand washing and 2-meter social distancing would help prevent the highly contagious virus. Scientists, however, have now come to the conclusion that proper indoor ventilation is even more effective.

Hidden-symmetry-enforced nexus points of nodal lines in layer-stacked dielectric photonic crystals
The paper reveals that Maxwell's equations can have hidden symmetries induced by the fractional periodicity of the material tensor components and paves the way to finding novel topological degeneracies unique in photonics. The idea is exemplified by an AB-layer-stacked dielectric photonic crystal, where the unique photonic band connectivity leads to a new kind of symmetry-enforced triply degenerate points with exotic spin-1 conical diffractions at the nexuses of two nodal rings and a Kramers-like nodal line

Effect of tocilizumab in adults hospitalized with COVID-19 with moderate or severe pneumonia
This randomized clinical trial assessed whether tocilizumab improves outcomes of patients hospitalized with moderate-to-severe COVID-19 pneumonia compared to usual care.

D3Targets-2019-nCoV: a webserver for predicting drug targets and for target and multi-site based virtual screening against COVID-19
A highly effective drug therapy is urgently required to combat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The authors of this article have developed a molecular docking based webserver, namely D3Targets-2019-nCoV, with two functions, one is for predicting drug targets for drugs or active compounds observed from clinic or in vitro/in vivo studies, the other is for identifying lead compounds against potential drug targets via docking.

New approach to fighting cancer could reduce costs and side effects
CAR-T biotherapeutics company Carina Biotech and researchers at the University of South Australia have developed a novel approach based on microfluidic technology to "purify" the immune cells of patients in the fight against cancer.

No stain? No sweat: Terahertz waves can image early-stage breast cancer without staining
A team of researchers at Osaka University, in collaboration with the University of Bordeaux and the Bergonié Institute in France, has succeeded in terahertz imaging of early-stage breast cancer less than 0.5 mm without staining. Differences in terahertz intensity distributions also suggest the possibility of quantitative determination of cancer malignancy. Their work provides a breakthrough towards rapid and precise on-site diagnosis of various types of cancer and accelerates the development of innovative terahertz diagnostic devices.

Two studies point to an unrecognized avenue for anti-viral therapies against COVID-19
Helping to explain what makes SARS-CoV-2 so capable of infecting human cells, researchers in two independent studies discovered that the virus's spike protein recognizes and binds a protein on the human cell surface called neuropilin-1.

Neuropilin-1 drives SARS-CoV-2 infectivity, finds breakthrough study
In a major breakthrough an international team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, has potentially identified what makes SARS-CoV-2 highly infectious and able to spread rapidly in human cells. The findings, published in Science today [20 October] describe how the virus's ability to infect human cells can be reduced by inhibitors that block a newly discovered interaction between virus and host, demonstrating a potential anti-viral treatment.

Coronavirus: Study finds further door opener into the cell
The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is known to infect cells via the receptor ACE2. An international research team under German-Finnish coordination has now identified neuropilin-1 as a factor that can facilitate SARS-CoV-2 entry into the cells' interior. Neuropilin-1 is localized in the respiratory and olfactory epithelia. Experts from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Technical University of Munich, University Medical Center Goettingen, University of Helsinki and other research institutions now published their findings in the journal "Science".

SwRI researchers evaluate impact of wastewater systems on Edwards Aquifer
Southwest Research Institute developed an integrated hydrologic computer model to evaluate the impact of different types of wastewater disposal facilities on the Edwards Aquifer, the primary water source for San Antonio and its surrounding communities. The research results will guide authorities on what actions to take to protect the quality and quantity of water entering the aquifer.

Citizens themselves contribute to political mistrust
People have a special ability to detect and disseminate information about egotistic and selfish leaders. In this way, citizens themselves contribute greatly to the proliferation of voter apathy and mistrust of politicians, according to a new study from Aarhus BSS at Aarhus University.

Crystal structure of SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein RNA binding domain reveals potential unique drug targeting sites
Crystal structure of SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein RNA binding domain reveals potential unique drug targeting sites.

Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B Volume 10, Issue 8 publishes
The Journal of the Institute of Materia Medica, the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association, Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B (APSB) is a monthly journal, in English, which publishes significant original research articles, rapid communications and high quality reviews of recent advances in all areas of pharmaceutical sciences -- including pharmacology, pharmaceutics, medicinal chemistry, natural products, pharmacognosy, pharmaceutical analysis and pharmacokinetics.

Tocilizumab vs standard care on preventing worsening in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia
Researchers in this randomized clinical trial compared the effect of early administration of tocilizumab with standard therapy in preventing clinical worsening in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia.

Cross-party agreement on decarbonization but no master plan for electricity system
Which political parties have the most ambitious climate and energy policies? The answer, according to a new study, is surprising. In Germany, France, Spain and Italy, parties across the political spectrum, from the Greens to the Liberals, show a similar level of ambition on this score. However, researchers have also identified a major impediment to the energy transition: none of the investigated parties has a convincing idea for a technology mix that would ensure grid stability despite weather-related fluctuations in wind and solar energy.

New method allows more targeted measurement of thyroid hormone action in tissue
A team led by Michael Krebs from MedUni Vienna's Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism has now conducted a study to test the use of magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMRS) to measure the effect in body tissue as well. They were able to identify certain phosphorus-containing compounds that are visible in NMRS as markers for thyroid hormone action in tissue. The study has been published in the prestigious "Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism".

Examining association between early treatment with tocilizumab, risk of death among critically ill COVID-19 patients
Whether treatment with tocilizumab in the first two days after being admitted to an intensive care unit was associated with a reduced risk of death among critically ill patients with COVID-19 was investigated in this study.

Depths of the Weddell Sea are warming five times faster than elsewhere
Over the past three decades, the depths of the Antarctic Weddell Sea have warmed five times faster than the rest of the ocean at depths exceeding 2,000 metres. This was the main finding of an article just published by oceanographers from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI).

The gravity of play: Quantifying what we enjoy about games
Scientists from the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have created a mathematical model combining aspects from psychology and the physics of motion to objectively analyze the appeal of games and its evolution throughout history. Their findings show that changes in certain game-related measures are in line with cultural trends from various eras, demonstrating that their model is a promising approach to understanding human enjoyment derived from games.

Researchers develop method for earlier detection of Alzheimer's Disease
Washington State University scientists have developed a method to detect the biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease that is 10 times more sensitive than current blood testing technology.

This red light means 'go' for medical discoveries
With a little tweak of the color palette, University of Virginia researchers have made it easier for scientists to unravel the mysteries of disease and develop new treatments.

Dementia prevention strategies could save £1.9 billion annually
Programmes to reduce dementia risk by targeting smoking, high blood pressure and hearing loss are likely to be cost-effective and cost saving by reducing dementia rates by 8.5%, finds a new study by UCL and LSE researchers, published in The Lancet Healthy Longevity.

Study reveals why some blame Asian Americans for COVID-19
A blend of racial prejudice, poor coping and partisan media viewing were found in Americans who stigmatized people of Asian descent during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study.But it was prejudice against Asian Americans that was most strongly linked to beliefs that Asians were responsible for the pandemic and most at risk for spreading it, results showed.

Rethinking the link between cannabinoids and learning
Animals with altered cannabinoid signalling exhibit various motor and cognitive impairments, including deficits in learning and memory. A new study reveals an unexpected culprit for these effects - behavioral state.

Children with chronic kidney disease have outsized health burden
Chronically ill children with kidney disease may spend more time in the hospital, incur larger health care costs and have a higher risk of death compared to pediatric patients hospitalized for other chronic conditions, a new study suggests.

Cannabis reduces OCD symptoms by half in the short-term
People with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) report that the severity of symptoms was reduced by about half within four hours of smoking cannabis. After smoking cannabis, users with OCD reported it reduced their compulsions by 60%, intrusions, or unwanted thoughts, by 49% and anxiety by 52%. The study also found that higher doses and cannabis with higher concentrations of CBD were associated with larger reductions in compulsions.

Oncotarget: cGAS-STING pathway in oncogenesis and cancer therapeutics
Oncotarget Volume 11, Issue 30 reported that recent evidence shows that the host innate immunity is also critical in sensing the presence of cytoplasmic DNA derived from genomic instability events, such as DNA damage and defective cell cycle progression.

Oncotarget: Inhibition of HAS2 and hyaluronic acid production by 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 in breast
Oncotarget Volume 11, Issue 30 reported that genomic profiling of murine mammary tumor cells with differential VDR expression identified 35 transcripts that were altered by the 1,25D3-VDR complex including Hyaluronan Synthase-2.

New tool pulls elusive COVID-19 marker from human blood
Researchers at McMaster University and SQI Diagnostics in Canada have created a surface that repels every other element of human blood except an elusive cytokine critical to understanding the progress of COVID-19 in individual patients.

Interactions within larger social groups can cause tipping points in contagion flow
Contagion processes, such as opinion formation or disease spread, can reach a tipping point, where the contagion either rapidly spreads or dies out. When modeling these processes, it is difficult to capture this complex transition. In the journal Chaos, researchers studied the parameters of these transitions by including three-person group interactions in a contagion model called the susceptible-infected-susceptible model. In this model, an infected person who recovers from an infection can be reinfected.

New tool predicts risks of hospital admission and death from Covid-19
A new risk tool, developed by UK researchers to predict a person's risk of being admitted to hospital and dying from Covid-19 has been published by The BMJ today.

Study finds lowering nicotine decreases addictiveness of smoking in vulnerable populations
A study in JAMA Network Open provides evidence that, even in smokers from vulnerable populations, reducing nicotine content to low levels decreases addictiveness - a timely finding as the Food and Drug Administration considers a policy to lower nicotine content in all cigarettes sold in the U.S.

Steroid inhalers/pills for asthma linked to heightened risk of brittle bones and fractures
Taking steroid inhalers or tablets to treat asthma or control flare-ups is linked to a heightened risk of brittle bones (osteoporosis) and increased vulnerability to broken bones (fragility fractures), finds research published online in the journal Thorax.

Drinking green tea and coffee daily linked to lower death risk in people with diabetes
Drinking plenty of both green tea and coffee is linked to a lower risk of dying from any cause among people with type 2 diabetes, suggests research published in the online journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.

COVID-19 cough clouds in closed spaces
As the pandemic continues, researchers have increasingly focused on how respiratory droplets carrying the coronavirus travel and contaminate the air after an infected person coughs. While scientists have studied the properties of air at the mouth, less is known about how they change as the cough cloud travels. In Physics of Fluids, researchers estimate the evolving volume of the cough cloud and quantify the reduction in its volume in the presence of a face mask.

US adults' likelihood of accepting COVID-19 vaccination
In this survey study of U.S. adults, vaccine-related attributes and political characteristics were associated with self-reported preferences for choosing a hypothetical COVID-19 vaccine and self- reported willingness to receive vaccination. These results may help inform public health campaigns to address vaccine hesitancy when a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available.

More research needed to determine safety of hip and knee steroid injections
Although frequently used to treat painful osteoarthritis of the hip and knee, intra-articular corticosteroid (IACS) injections remain controversial. Questions about whether damage to joints occurs as a result of these injections, which are performed thousands a time each day, persist.

Aggressive melanoma cells at edge of tumours are key to cancer spread
Research led by Queen Mary University of London has revealed novel insights into the mechanisms employed by melanoma cells to form tumours at secondary sites around the body.

Highly selective membranes
Membranes with microscopic pores are useful for water filtration. The effect of pore size on water filtration is well-understood, as is the role of ions, charged atoms, that interact with the membrane. For the first time, researchers have successfully described the impact water molecules have on other water molecules and on ions as part of the filtration mechanism. The researchers detail a feedback system between water molecules which opens up new design possibilities for highly selective membranes. Applications could include virus filters.

 

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