LSU Health New Orleans study finds disadvantaged census tracts linked to COVID incidence
(Press-News.org) New Orleans, LA - An LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health study reports a positive association between social vulnerability and COVID-19 incidence at the census tract level and recommends that more resources be allocated to socially vulnerable populations to reduce the incidence of COVID-19. The findings are published in Frontiers in Public Health, available END
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Gay men who 'sound gay' encounter more stigma and discrimination from heterosexual peers
Gay men are more likely than lesbian women to face stigma and avoidant prejudice from their heterosexual peers due to the sound of their voice, a new study in the British Journal of Social Psychology reports. Researchers also found that gay men who believe they sound gay anticipate stigma and are more vigilant regarding the reactions of others. During this unique study researchers from the University of Surrey investigated the role of essentialist beliefs -- the view that every person has a set of attributes that provide an insight into their identity -- of heterosexual, lesbian ...
First DNA extracted from modern, ancient and fossil tropical shells
In Wonderland, Alice drank a potion to shrink herself. In nature, some animal species shrink to escape the attention of human hunters, a process that takes from decades to millennia. To begin to understand the genetics of shrinking, scientists working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama successfully extracted DNA from marine shells. Their new technique will not only shed light on how animals from lizards to lemurs shrink, it will reveal many other stories hidden in shells. "Humans are unique as predators," said Alexis Sullivan, doctoral student at Penn ...
Machine learning method identifies precancerous colon polyps
OAK BROOK, Ill. - A machine learning algorithm helps accurately differentiate benign and premalignant colorectal polyps on CT colonography scans, according to a study published in the journal Radiology. Colorectal cancer is among the three most common causes of cancer-related death among men and women in industrialized countries. Most types of colorectal cancer originate from adenomatous polyps--gland-like growths on the mucous membrane lining the large intestine--that develop over several years. Early detection and removal of these precancerous polyps can reduce the incidence and mortality of colorectal cancer. During the last two decades, CT colonography emerged as a noninvasive ...
Innate immune system worsens the situation in severe COVID-19
Peer review/observational study/people In patients with severe COVID-19, the innate immune system overreacts. This overreaction may underlie the formation of blood clots (thrombi) and deterioration in oxygen saturation that affect the patients. This is shown in an Uppsala University study published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology. Blood contains numerous proteins that constitute the body's primary barrier, by both recognising and destroying microorganisms, including SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). These proteins are part of the intravascular innate immune system (IIIS), which consists of certain white blood cells, platelets and what are known as the cascade systems of the blood. Only 5 ...
Glaciers accelerate in the Getz region of West Antarctica
Glaciers in West Antarctica are moving more quickly from land into the ocean, contributing to rising global sea levels. A 25-year record of satellite observations has been used to show widespread increases in ice speed across the Getz sector for the first time, with some ice accelerating into the ocean by nearly 50%. The new study, led by the University of Leeds, reports that 14 glaciers in the Getz region are thinning and flowing more quickly into the ocean. Between 1994 and 2018, 315 gigatonnes of ice has been lost, adding 0.9 mm to global mean sea level - equivalent to 126 million Olympic swimming pools of water. The results published today (19/02/2021) in the journal Nature Communications show that, on average, ...
High energy radiotherapy could 'paint' tumours to avoid harming healthy tissue
A radiotherapy technique which 'paints' tumours by targeting them precisely, and avoiding healthy tissue, has been devised in research led by the University of Strathclyde. Researchers used a magnetic lens to focus a Very High Electron Energy (VHEE) beam to a zone of a few millimetres. Concentrating the radiation into a small volume of high dose will enable it to be rapidly scanned across a tumour, while controlling its intensity. It is being proposed as an alternative to other forms of radiotherapy, which can risk non-tumorous tissue becoming overexposed to radiation. The researchers are planning further investigation, with the use of a purpose-built device. The study ...
'Missing ice problem' finally solved
During glacial periods, the sea level falls, because vast quantities of water are stored in the massive inland glaciers. To date, however, computer models have been unable to reconcile sea-level height with the thickness of the glaciers. Using innovative new calculations, a team of climate researchers led by the Alfred Wegener Institute has now managed to explain this discrepancy. The study, which was recently published in the journal Nature Communications, could significantly advance research into our planet's climate history. During transitions from glacials to interglacials, the glaciers on Greenland and in North America and Europe wax and wane ...
Microbiome boost may help corals resist bleaching
A simple but powerful idea is to improve the health of corals using cocktails of beneficial bacteria. The strategy is being explored as part of global scientific efforts to help corals become stronger, more stress resistant and more likely to survive bleaching events associated with climate change. Corals rely on bacterial and algal symbionts to provide nutrients, energy (through photosynthesis), toxin regulation and protection against pathogenic attacks. This complex and finely balanced relationship underpins the health of the holobiont and coral reefs as a whole. Rather like the use of probiotics in plant science to improve ...
How women, migrants and workers are represented in the German Bundestag
Members of the German Bundestag who belong to underrepresented groups are more active in the legislative process and, early on, typically tend to advocate more for the interests of their groups. However, a current study by the universities in Konstanz, Basel, Geneva and Stuttgart indicates that, after a few years, most of them do move on to other political fields. This is tied to the career-related incentives these elected representatives face: At first, their careers in parliament benefit from their ability to speak for underrepresented groups. As their careers progress, however, they are required to demonstrate expertise in areas beyond the interests of these groups, the researchers conclude. The study was led by Professor Christian Breunig, ...
Families have high awareness of healthy eating but struggle to access good food
Low-income families have a high awareness of healthy diets but can't afford good quality and nutritious food, new research shows. The University of York study, in partnership with N8Agrifood, showed that participants tried to eat as much fruit and vegetables as they could within financial constraints, avoiding processed food wherever possible. But there was widespread acknowledgement that processed food was often more accessible than healthy options because of its lower cost. The researchers said that while the diets of low-income households have been subject ...