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Building bionic jellyfish for ocean exploration

Building bionic jellyfish for ocean exploration
2024-02-28
Jellyfish can't do much besides swim, sting, eat, and breed. They don't even have brains. Yet, these simple creatures can easily journey to the depths of the oceans in a way that humans, despite all our sophistication, cannot. But what if humans could have jellyfish explore the oceans on our behalf, reporting back what they find? New research conducted at Caltech aims to make that a reality through the creation of what researchers call biohybrid robotic jellyfish. These creatures, which can be thought of as ocean-going cyborgs, augment jellyfish with electronics that enhance their swimming and a prosthetic ...

AI technique 'decodes' microscope images, overcoming fundamental limit

2024-02-28
Atomic force microscopy, or AFM, is a widely used technique that can quantitatively map material surfaces in three dimensions, but its accuracy is limited by the size of the microscope’s probe. A new AI technique overcomes this limitation and allows microscopes to resolve material features smaller than the probe’s tip. The deep learning algorithm developed by researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is trained to remove the effects of the probe’s width from AFM microscope images. As reported in the journal Nano Letters, the algorithm surpasses other methods in giving the first true three-dimensional ...

Exchange program research provides critical nutrition recommendations in Tanzania

Exchange program research provides critical nutrition recommendations in Tanzania
2024-02-28
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Using a novel research methodology, researchers in the U.S. and Tanzania have identified new recommendations for reducing nutrient deficiency in the East African country. Brandon McFadden, professor of agricultural economics and agribusiness and the Tyson Endowed Chair in Food Policy Economics for the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, said that a key recommendation from the study was for policymakers and public health officials in Tanzania to focus on education about zinc deficiency. “Zinc deficiency is a major health problem worldwide, particularly in developing countries, and a major health consequence is stunted growth ...

Q&A: Decline in condom use indicates need for further education, awareness

2024-02-28
New research from the University of Washington shows that condom use has been trending downward among younger gay and bisexual men over the last decade, even when they aren’t taking pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP. The study, published Feb. 27 in AIDS and Behavior, measures changes in sex without condoms among HIV-negative gay and bisexual men who are not taking PrEP. Using data from the 2014-19 cycles of the American Men’s Internet Survey — a web-based survey of cisgender men ages 15 and older who have sex with men (MSM) — researchers found ...

Clearing the air reduces suicide rates

Clearing the air reduces suicide rates
2024-02-28
(Santa Barbara, Calif.) — Researchers in the United States and China have discovered a curious link between air pollution and suicide rates that prompts us to reconsider how to approach this issue. China’s efforts to reduce air pollution have prevented 46,000 suicide deaths in the country over just five years, the researchers estimate. The team used weather conditions to tease apart confounding factors affecting pollution and suicide rates, arriving at what they consider to be a truly causal connection. The results, published in Nature Sustainability, unearth air quality as a key factor influencing mental health. Issues ...

Efficient lithium-air battery under development to speed electrification of vehicles

2024-02-28
By Beth Miller With the U.S. government’s goal to reduce emissions from transportation as part of a net-zero climate goal by 2050, efficient and reliable batteries are a necessity. A collaborative team of researchers led by the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis is working toward that goal by developing an energy storage system that would have a much higher energy density than existing systems. With $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), Xianglin Li, associate professor of mechanical engineering & materials science, will lead a multi-institutional ...

80 mph speed record for glacier fracture helps reveal the physics of ice sheet collapse

80 mph speed record for glacier fracture helps reveal the physics of ice sheet collapse
2024-02-28
There’s enough water frozen in Greenland and Antarctic glaciers that if they melted, global seas would rise by many feet. What will happen to these glaciers over the coming decades is the biggest unknown in the future of rising seas, partly because glacier fracture physics is not yet fully understood. A critical question is how warmer oceans might cause glaciers to break apart more quickly. University of Washington researchers have demonstrated the fastest-known large-scale breakage along an Antarctic ice shelf. The study, recently published in AGU Advances, shows that a 6.5-mile (10.5 kilometer) crack formed in 2012 on Pine Island Glacier — a retreating ice shelf that ...

Study unlocks nanoscale secrets for designing next-generation solar cells

2024-02-28
CAMBRIDGE, MA -- Perovskites, a broad class of compounds with a particular kind of crystal structure, have long been seen as a promising alternative or supplement to today’s silicon or cadmium telluride solar panels. They could be far more lightweight and inexpensive, and could be coated onto virtually any substrate, including paper or flexible plastic that could be rolled up for easy transport. In their efficiency at converting sunlight to electricity, perovskites are becoming comparable to silicon, whose manufacture still requires long, complex, and ...

Scientists discover 18 new species of gut microbes in search for origins of antibiotic resistance

Scientists discover 18 new species of gut microbes in search for origins of antibiotic resistance
2024-02-28
Scientists from Mass Eye and Ear and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard found 18 novel species of a type of bacteria called enterococci, which are gut microbes found in most land animals. Enterococcus type bacteria are among the leading causes of antibiotic-resistant infections worldwide and 60 species had previously been identified. Understanding origins of antibiotic-resistant bacteria could offer insight into mechanisms of how drug-resistant, hospital-associated infections take root. Antibiotic-resistant infection is projected to catch up to cancer as the leading ...

For people with tough-to-treat epilepsy, seizure dogs may reduce seizures

2024-02-28
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE UNTIL 4 P.M. ET, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2024 MINNEAPOLIS –  For people with drug-resistant epilepsy, having a dog companion trained in  detecting seizures and other epilepsy-related tasks may reduce the amount of seizures they have, according to new research published in the February 28, 2024, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. For the study, researchers looked at adults with severe epilepsy who have been unable to find effective treatment to reduce seizures. “Despite the development of numerous anti-seizure medications over the past 15 years, up to 30% of people ...

For young people, irregular meals, e-cigarette use linked to frequent headaches

2024-02-28
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE UNTIL 4 P.M. ET, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2024 MINNEAPOLIS – For children and teens, irregular meals such as skipped breakfasts are linked to an increased risk of frequent headaches, according to a new study published in the February 28, 2024, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The study also found that for those ages 12 to 17, substance use and exposure, specifically electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), were associated with frequent headaches. For the study, frequent headaches were defined as occurring more than once per week. “It ...

New study finds link between health care disparities and stroke treatment

2024-02-28
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE UNTIL 4 P.M. ET, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2024 MINNEAPOLIS – For people with stroke, social factors such as education, neighborhood and employment, may be linked to whether they receive treatment with clot-busting drugs according to a preliminary study released today, February 28, 2024, that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 76th Annual Meeting taking place April 13–18, 2024, in person in Denver and online. The study looked at people with ischemic stroke, which ...

Prognostic model development and molecular subtypes identification in bladder urothelial cancer

Prognostic model development and molecular subtypes identification in bladder urothelial cancer
2024-02-28
“Our study introduces an oxidative stress-based prognostic model for bladder cancer, offering insights into personalized therapy.” BUFFALO, NY- February 28, 2024 – A new research paper was published in Aging (listed by MEDLINE/PubMed as "Aging (Albany NY)" and "Aging-US" by Web of Science) Volume 16, Issue 3, entitled, “Prognostic model development and molecular subtypes identification in bladder urothelial cancer by oxidative stress signatures.” Mounting studies indicate that oxidative stress (OS) significantly ...

Study proposes streamlined approach to developing cancer drugs

Study proposes streamlined approach to developing cancer drugs
2024-02-28
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Drug discovery can be a frustrating process of trial and error. Scientists using fragment-based drug discovery link fragments of different molecules together to create a more potent drug but may not know whether a compound works until millions of dollars in research and development have already been spent. New University at Buffalo research may offer a more streamlined approach, allowing drug makers to determine the viability of a fragment-based design earlier in the process.  While developing a fragment-based drug to treat lung cancer, a team co-led by UB found that where they linked fragments together had a large effect on potency. “Despite ...

New study finds high-dose inhaled nitric oxide decreases the risk of death among critically ill Black patients with COVID-19

2024-02-28
In a first-of-its-kind study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, physician-scientists from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine discovered that high-dose inhaled nitric oxide therapy may improve oxygenation and reduce the risk of mortality among critically ill Black patients with COVID-19. Acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS, is a condition that most commonly occurs in the setting of a lung infection such as COVID-19. “In ARDS, the barrier between the blood vessels and air sacs in the lungs is disrupted leading to the accumulation of fluid ...

Ochsner Digital Medicine Partners with Humana Healthy Horizons

Ochsner Digital Medicine Partners with Humana Healthy Horizons
2024-02-28
New Orleans, LA. – Ochsner Digital Medicine has partnered with Humana Healthy Horizons to provide digital medicine services to its members. This agreement was effective February 1, 2024, with member enrollment in digital programs available immediately after. Humana Healthy Horizons is Humana’s Medicaid plan for Louisiana, covering thousands of members throughout the state. Through this partnership, Ochsner Digital Medicine will offer Humana Healthy Horizons members who have been diagnosed with Hypertension and Type 2 diabetes remote programs designed to manage and control their conditions. The programs use remote patient management through digital devices and personalized ...

Vision Zero road safety projects in Seattle are unlikely to have negative impacts on local business sales, UW study finds

2024-02-28
Seattle is routinely listed as one of the most walkable and bike-friendly cities in the nation. The city government has committed to Vision Zero, which aims to completely eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030, and embarked on a slew of infrastructure projects: expanding the city’s bike network, redesigning high-crash intersections and enhancing crosswalks to protect pedestrians.  Such safety projects sometimes meet opposition from local business owners, who worry that reduced parking and disruption ...

African great apes predicted to see frequent extreme climate events in the next 30 years

African great apes predicted to see frequent extreme climate events in the next 30 years
2024-02-28
African apes are already being exposed to climate change impacts, and will experience extreme events such as wildfires, heatwaves and flooding more frequently in the next 30 years, according to a study publishing February 28 in the open-access journal PLOS Climate by Razak Kiribou at Haramaya University in Ethiopia and colleagues. To better understand how African great apes will be affected by climate change, researchers investigated past and future climate for 363 sites across Africa. They estimated temperature and rainfall at each site between 1981 and 2010. Using two climate change scenarios, they projected how frequently apes would be exposed to climate change impacts in the near ...

EU countries have seen a decade of progress towards their 2030 sustainable energy goal

EU countries have seen a decade of progress towards their 2030 sustainable energy goal
2024-02-28
Countries in the European Union (EU) have made progress over the past decade toward Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7), which calls for “access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” by 2030, according to a study published February 28, 2024 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Marek Walesiak from Wroclaw University of Economics and Business, Poland, and Grażyna Dehnel from Poznań University of Economics and Business, Poland. In 2015, the United Nations developed 17 global Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030. Tenets of SDG 7 include universal access to affordable energy; increased renewable energy ...

Climate change threatens thousands of archaeological sites in coastal Georgia

Climate change threatens thousands of archaeological sites in coastal Georgia
2024-02-28
Thousands of historic and archaeological sites in Georgia are at risk from tropical storm surges, and that number will increase with climate change, according to a study published February 28, 2024 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Matthew D. Howland and Victor D. Thompson of Wichita State University and the University of Georgia. Anthropogenic climate change poses a major risk to coastlines due to rising sea level and increasingly severe tropical storms. This threatens not only living populations but also historic and archaeological sites. Mitigating damage requires accurate assessments of risks, but most predictive models focus on projected ...

Pet dogs with diarrhea may be shedding multi-drug resistant E.coli in 5 in 10 cases, with potential risks to their human owners

Pet dogs with diarrhea may be shedding multi-drug resistant E.coli in 5 in 10 cases, with potential risks to their human owners
2024-02-28
Pet dogs with diarrhea may be shedding multi-drug resistant E.coli in 5 in 10 cases, with potential risks to their human owners ### Article URL:  https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0298053 Article Title: Characteristics of MDR E. coli strains isolated from Pet Dogs with clinic diarrhea: A pool of antibiotic resistance genes and virulence-associated genes Author Countries: China Funding: This research was funded by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2018YFD0500900, ...

Harassment on public transport negatively impacts women's health and welfare, with existing measures being largely ineffective, per systematic review

Harassment on public transport negatively impacts womens health and welfare, with existing measures being largely ineffective, per systematic review
2024-02-28
Harassment on public transport negatively impacts women's health and welfare, with existing measures being largely ineffective, per systematic review ### Article URL:  https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0296830 Article Title: Invasion of privacy or structural violence? Harassment against women in public transport environments: A systematic review Author Countries: Spain Funding: This study has been supported by the research grant ACIF/2020/035 from the "Generalitat Valenciana". The funding entity did not contribute to the study design or data collection, analysis, interpretation, or writing the manuscript. There was no additional ...

How the SARS-CoV-2 virus acquires its spherical shape

How the SARS-CoV-2 virus acquires its spherical shape
2024-02-28
RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- For centuries, coronaviruses have triggered health crises and economic challenges, with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that spreads COVID-19, being a recent example. One small protein in SARS-CoV-2, the Membrane protein, or M protein, is the most abundant and plays a crucial role in how the virus acquires its spherical structure. Nonetheless, this protein’s properties are not well understood. A research team led by a physicist at the University of California, Riverside, has devised a new method to make large quantities of M protein, and has characterized the protein’s ...

A step toward personalized immunotherapy for all

A step toward personalized immunotherapy for all
2024-02-28
LA JOLLA, CA—Most cancers are thought to evade the immune system. These cancers don't carry very many mutations, and they aren’t infiltrated by cancer-fighting immune cells. Scientists call these cancers immunologically "cold." Now new research suggests such cancers aren't as "cold" as once thought. Researchers from the La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI), UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, and UC San Diego, have found that patients with "cold" tumors actually do make cancer-fighting T cells.  This discovery opens the door to developing vaccines or therapies to increase T cell ...

Drying without dying: Tracing water scarcity coping mechanisms from mosses to flowering plants

Drying without dying: Tracing water scarcity coping mechanisms from mosses to flowering plants
2024-02-28
Imagine: You find the dried-up remains of a once green and lush philodendron on your bookshelf and realize you can’t remember the last time you watered your houseplants. You soak the soil with water, hoping you can breathe life back into its desiccated husk, but it is futile. The plant has been too dehydrated for too long, and irreparable damage has been done. Now imagine that it isn’t your neglected houseplants that have been subjected to an unexpectedly dry growing season, but a field of wheat. With changes in global climate, such things are becoming more common and more of a concern for farmers, consumers, and researchers alike as the threat to food security intensifies. But ...
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