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Most studies of acute kidney injury are flawed due to non-use of standard definitions

Most studies of acute kidney injury are flawed due to non-use of standard definitions
2021-07-20
In an article published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases (AJKD), researchers found that among 176 studies on acute kidney injury, the Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) definitions of kidney injury were inconsistently applied and 80% of studies did not define recovery of kidney function. The KDIGO definition of AKI is used in both clinical practice and in research. This scoping review demonstrated that there is a wide variation of practice in how this definition is applied and also a lack of transparency about how researchers applied it. An international panel of experts in AKI was formed in an attempt to achieve consensus on how this definition should be applied. They participated in a Delphi process and while they were able to ...

Risk score with 6 routinely available lab tests accurately predicts kidney failure

Risk score with 6 routinely available lab tests accurately predicts kidney failure
2021-07-20
Researchers developed a new risk equation, based on six routinely available patient parameters, that yielded improved performance in estimating the risk of a chronic kidney disease (CKD) patient to progress to end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) requiring kidney replacement therapy (KRT). A novel risk equation for the timely identification of chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients at risk for progressing to kidney failure requiring kidney replacement therapy was developed in 4,915 patients with CKD stage 1-5 with and without albuminuria, from the German Chronic Kidney Disease (GCKD) Study. It includes six laboratory tests: ...

Digital health technologies hold key to new Parkinson's treatments

2021-07-20
TUCSON, Ariz., July 20, 2021 -- The use of digital health technologies across health care and drug development has accelerated. A new paper titled "Digital Progression Biomarkers as Novel Endpoints in Clinical Trials: A Multistakeholder Perspective," co-authored by experts across diverse disciplines, highlights how new remote monitoring technologies present a tremendous opportunity to advance digital medicine in health care even further, specifically in Parkinson's disease. This perspective paper is co-authored by the academic leader of the largest funded project for digital technologies in Europe, Professor Lynn Rochester, University of Newcastle; European Medicines Agency (EMA) ...

New discoveries reveal how acute myeloid leukemia walks line between growth and cell death

2021-07-20
Researchers revealed new insights into how acute myeloid leukemia (AML) develops and progresses, according to a study published in END ...

Researchers develop novel method for glucagon delivery

Researchers develop novel method for glucagon delivery
2021-07-20
For children with Type 1 diabetes, the risk of experiencing a severe hypoglycemic episode is especially common -- and for parents, the threat of that happening in the middle of the night is especially frightening. Sudden and critical drops in blood sugar can go undetected overnight when the child is asleep, resulting in coma and death -- an event known as "dead in bed syndrome." "A parent can check their child's glucose levels right before they go to bed and everything looks fine, then around 2 a.m. their blood sugar is dangerously low -- near comatose level," said Matthew Webber, associate professor of chemical and ...

COVID-19 shutdowns reveal racial disparities in exposure to air pollution

COVID-19 shutdowns reveal racial disparities in exposure to air pollution
2021-07-20
WASHINGTON (July 20, 2021)--A new study of COVID-19 shutdowns in the United States reveals pronounced disparities in air pollution -- with disenfranchised, minority neighborhoods still experiencing more exposure to a harmful air pollutant compared to wealthier, white communities. This first-of-a-kind study published today by researchers at the George Washington University looks at how air pollution changed after schools and businesses shut down in March 2020 in attempts to curb the spread of COVID-19. "New York and other major urban areas had cleaner air as many commuters and others stayed off the roads," Gaige Kerr, the lead researcher on the study and a research scientist at the GW Milken ...

75% of sexual assault survivors have PTSD one month later

2021-07-20
Researchers want sexual assault survivors to know that it's normal to feel awful right after the assault, but that many will feel better within three months. In a meta-analysis published in Trauma, Violence & Abuse, researchers found that 81% of sexual assault survivors had significant symptoms of post-traumatic stress (PTSD) one week after the assault. One month afterward - the first point in time that PTSD can be diagnosed - 75% of sexual assault survivors met criteria for the disorder. That figure dropped to 54% after three months and 41% after one year. "One of the main takeaways is that the majority of recovery from post-traumatic stress happens in first three months," ...

Research shows microbes play critical role boosting vigor of hybrid corn

Research shows microbes play critical role boosting vigor of hybrid corn
2021-07-20
LAWRENCE -- A new paper appearing the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences gives new detail and understanding to the cultivation of corn, one of the United States' biggest cash crops. The research by a team at the University of Kansas centers on "hybrid vigor," also known as "heterosis," a well-known phenomenon where crosses between inbred lines of corn and other crops produce offspring that outperform their parents in yield, drought resistance and other desirable qualities. Yet, the mechanisms underpinning heterosis are little understood despite over a century of intensive research. The new PNAS research examines the relationship between heterosis and soil microbes, showing, ...

Using snakes to monitor Fukushima radiation

Using snakes to monitor Fukushima radiation
2021-07-20
Ten years after one of the largest nuclear accidents in history spewed radioactive contamination over the landscape in Fukushima, Japan, a University of Georgia study has shown that radioactive contamination in the Fukushima Exclusion Zone can be measured through its resident snakes. The team's findings, published in the recent journal of Ichthyology & Herpetology, report that rat snakes are an effective bioindicator of residual radioactivity. Like canaries in a coal mine, bioindicators are organisms that can signal an ecosystem's health. An abundant species in Japan, rat snakes travel short distances and can accumulate high levels of radionuclides. According ...

Elite runners spend more time in air, less on ground, than highly trained but nonelite peers

2021-07-20
A recent study led by Geoff Burns, an elite runner and postdoctoral researcher at the University of Michigan Exercise & Sport Science Initiative, compared the "bouncing behavior"--the underlying spring-like physics of running--in elite-level male runners (sub-four-minute milers) vs. highly trained but not elite runners. Subjects ran on a treadmill instrumented with a pressure plate beneath the belt, so Burns and colleagues could see how much time they spent in the air and in contact with the ground. When running, muscles and limbs coordinate to act like a giant pogo stick, and those muscles, tendons and ligaments interact to recycle energy from step to step, Burns says. The researchers looked at the basic physics of the runners ...

Health care providers missing opportunities to talk about sexual health with young people

2021-07-20
Routine adolescent preventive visits provide important opportunities for promoting sexual and reproductive health and for preventing unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. A new study END ...

Mind and matter: Modeling the human brain with machine learning

2021-07-20
We all like to think that we know ourselves best, but, given that our brain activity is largely governed by our subconscious mind, it is probably our brain that knows us better! While this is only a hypothesis, researchers from Japan have already proposed a content recommendation system that assumes this to be true. Essentially, such a system makes use of its user's brain signals (acquired using, say, an MRI scan) when exposed to a particular content and eventually, by exploring various users and contents, builds up a general model of brain activity. "Once we obtain the 'ultimate' brain model, we should be able to perfectly estimate the brain activity of ...

American Board of Urology outlines processes to ensure diversity in leadership

2021-07-20
July 19, 2021 - At the organization responsible for certifying the training and skills of US urologists, achieving and maintaining diversity, equity and inclusion is more than just a "numbers game," according to a special article in Urology Practice®, an Official Journal of the American Urological Association (AUA). The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer. In the new article, the American Board of Urology (ABU) points out that the practice of diversity and inclusion has been a cornerstone of its values for years. However, the Board acknowledges that while progress has been made, ...

Public trust in CDC, FDA, and Fauci holds steady, survey shows

Public trust in CDC, FDA, and Fauci holds steady, survey shows
2021-07-20
With more than two-thirds of American adults vaccinated with at least one dose of an authorized Covid-19 vaccine, the top U.S. health agencies retain the trust of the vast majority of the American public, as does Dr. Anthony Fauci, the public face of U.S. efforts to combat the virus, according to a new survey from the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) of the University of Pennsylvania. The survey revealed growing public confidence in both the safety and effectiveness of vaccines to prevent Covid-19. But after months of attacks on Fauci in conservative and social media, the survey found that people who said they rely on conservative and very conservative media rather than other sources ...

New insight into "training" highly reactive chemical compounds

New insight into training highly reactive chemical compounds
2021-07-20
Led by Dr Jonas Warneke, researchers at the Wilhelm Ostwald Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry at Leipzig University have made a decisive advance in the study of one type of highly reactive particles. Based on their research, they now understand the "binding preferences" of these particles. Their research serves as the basis for the targeted use of these highly reactive molecules, for example, to generate new molecular structures or to bind hazardous chemical "waste" and in this way dispose of it. The researchers have now published their findings in the journal Chemistry - A European Journal, and their research was featured on the cover thanks to the excellent review they received. What molecules and people have in common Molecules and people actually have a lot in ...

15,000-year-old viruses discovered in Tibetan glacier ice

15,000-year-old viruses discovered in Tibetan glacier ice
2021-07-20
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Scientists who study glacier ice have found viruses nearly 15,000 years old in two ice samples taken from the Tibetan Plateau in China. Most of those viruses, which survived because they had remained frozen, are unlike any viruses that have been cataloged to date. The findings, published today in the journal Microbiome, could help scientists understand how viruses have evolved over centuries. For this study, the scientists also created a new, ultra-clean method of analyzing microbes and viruses in ice without contaminating it. "These glaciers were formed gradually, and along with dust and ...

Automobile class society

2021-07-20
In order to correctly separate vehicles into classes, for instance for mobility pricing, one must be able to clearly distinguish mid-sized cars from upper class cars or small cars from compact cars. But this is becoming increasingly difficult: On photos, an Audi A4 looks almost the same as an Audi A6, a Mini One looks similar to a Mini Countryman. To date, there is no independent procedure for doing this. Thus far, the classes in each country have been determined by experts - to a large extend at their own discretion. Empa researcher Naghmeh Niroomand has now developed a system that can classify cars worldwide based on their dimensions. Purely mathematical and fair. Thanks to it, the current classification ...

Fish friends help in a crisis

Fish friends help in a crisis
2021-07-20
FORT LAUDERDALE/DAVIE, Fla. - It's good to have friends. Most humans have experienced social anxiety on some level during their lives. We all know the feeling - we show up to a party thinking it is going to be chock full of friends, only to find nearly all total strangers. While we typically attribute the long-lasting bonds of social familiarity to complex thinkers like humans, growing evidence indicates that we underestimate the importance of friendship networks in seemingly "simple" animals, like fish, and its importance for survival in the wild. To better understand how familiarity impacts social fishes, a group of research scientists studied this idea using schooling coral reef fish. "We studied how the presence of ...

SARS-CoV-2: Achilles' heel of viral RNA

2021-07-20
FRANKFURT, GERMANY. When SARS-CoV-2 infects a cell, it introduces its RNA into it and re-programmes it in such a way that the cell first produces viral proteins and then whole viral particles. In the search for active substances against SARS-CoV-2, researchers have so far mostly concentrated on the viral proteins and on blocking them, since this promises to prevent, or at least slow down, replication. But attacking the viral genome, a long RNA molecule, might also stop or slow down viral replication. The scientists in the COVID-19-NMR consortium, which is coordinated by Professor Harald Schwalbe from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Goethe University, have now completed an important ...

The environmental toll of disposable masks

2021-07-20
CAMBRIDGE, MA -- Since the Covid-19 pandemic began last year, face masks and other personal protective equipment have become essential for health care workers. Disposable N95 masks have been in especially high demand to help prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. All of those masks carry both financial and environmental costs. The Covid-19 pandemic is estimated to generate up to 7,200 tons of medical waste every day, much of which is disposable masks. And even as the pandemic slows down in some parts of the world, health care workers are expected to continue wearing masks most of the time. That toll could be dramatically cut by adopting reusable masks, according to a new study from MIT that has calculated the financial ...

Machine learning models to help photovoltaic systems find their place in the sun

Machine learning models to help photovoltaic systems find their place in the sun
2021-07-20
With the looming threat of climate change, it is high time we embrace renewable energy sources on a larger scale. Photovoltaic systems, which generate electricity from the nearly limitless supply of sunlight energy, are one of the most promising ways of generating clean energy. However, integrating photovoltaic systems into existing power grids is not a straightforward process. Because the power output of photovoltaic systems depends heavily on environmental conditions, power plant and grid managers need estimations of how much power will be injected by photovoltaic systems so as to plan optimal generation and maintenance schedules, among other important operational aspects. In line with modern trends, if something needs predicting, you can safely ...

Enzyme-based plastics recycling is more energy efficient, better for environment

2021-07-20
Researchers in the BOTTLE Consortium, including from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the University of Portsmouth, have identified using enzymes as a more sustainable approach for recycling polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a common plastic in single-use beverage bottles, clothing, and food packaging that are becoming increasingly relevant in addressing the environmental challenge of plastic pollution. An analysis shows enzyme-recycled PET has potential improvement over conventional, fossil-based methods of PET production across a broad spectrum of energy, carbon, and socioeconomic impacts. The concept, if further developed and implemented at scale, could lead to ...

Brain 'noise' keeps nerve connections young

Brain noise keeps nerve connections young
2021-07-20
Neurons communicate through rapid electrical signals that regulate the release of neurotransmitters, the brain's chemical messengers. Once transmitted across a neuron, electrical signals cause the juncture with another neuron, known as a synapse, to release droplets filled with neurotransmitters that pass the information on to the next neuron. This type of neuron-to-neuron communication is known as evoked neurotransmission. However, some neurotransmitter-packed droplets are released at the synapse even in the absence of electrical impulses. These miniature release events -- or ...

"Springing forward" affects early birds less than night owls, study finds

2021-07-20
Every spring, the Daylight Saving Time shift robs people of an hour of sleep - and a new study shows that DNA plays a role in how much the "spring forward" time change affects individuals. People whose genetic profile makes them more likely to be "early birds" the rest of the year can adjust to the time change in a few days, the study shows. But those who tend to be "night owls" could take more than a week to get back on track with sleep schedule, according to new data published in Scientific Reports by a team from the University of Michigan. The study uses data from continuous sleep tracking ...

DNA assay aids in identifying and protecting North American wolves, coyotes

2021-07-20
Forensics specialists can use a commercial assay targeting mitochondrial DNA to accurately discriminate between wolf, coyote and dog species, according to a new study from North Carolina State University. The genetic information can be obtained from smaller or more degraded samples, and could aid authorities in prosecuting hunting jurisdiction violations and preserving protected species. In the U.S., certain wolf subspecies or species are endangered and restricted in terms of hunting status. It is also illegal to deliberately breed wolves or coyotes with domesticated dogs. "If ...
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