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Child with rare genetic syndrome successfully treated in less than two years

2021-07-20
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Diagnosing a rare medical condition is difficult. Identifying a treatment for it can take years of trial and error. In a serendipitous intersection of research expertise, an ill patient in this case a child and innovative technology, Bachmann-Bupp Syndrome has gone from a list of symptoms to a successful treatment in just 16 months. The paper chronicling this lightning-fast scientific response to the Bachmann-Bupp Syndrome was published in the open-access journal, eLife. For more than 25 years, André Bachmann, professor of pediatrics in Michigan State University College ...

Study: Long-term prognosis for some patients with severe brain injury better than expected

2021-07-20
New research adds to a body of evidence indicating decisions about withdrawing life-sustaining treatment for patients with moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) should not be made in the early days following injury. In a July 6, 2021, study published in JAMA Neurology, researchers led by UC San Francisco, Medical College of Wisconsin and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital followed 484 patients with moderate-to-severe TBI. They found that among the patients in a vegetative state, 1 in 4 "regained orientation" - meaning they knew who they were, their ...

Study refutes suspicion that dengue increases risk of microcephaly associated with zika

2021-07-20
By Luciana Constantino | Agência FAPESP – A pregnant woman infected by zika virus does not face a greater risk of giving birth to a baby with microcephaly if she has previously been exposed to dengue virus, according to a Brazilian study that compared data for pregnant women in Rio de Janeiro and Manaus. A zika epidemic broke out in Brazil in 2015-16 in areas where dengue is endemic. Both viruses are transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti. Some of the states affected by the zika epidemic reported a rise in cases of microcephaly, a rare neurological disorder in which the baby’s brain fails to develop completely. Others saw no such rise. According to this new study by Brazilian researchers, two factors explain the rise in microcephaly in only some areas: the ...

Improving access to mental health services in low-income communities

Improving access to mental health services in low-income communities
2021-07-20
When it comes to improving access to mental health services for children and families in low-income communities, a University of Houston researcher found having a warm handoff, which is a transfer of care between a primary care physician and mental health provider, will help build trust with the patient and lead to successful outcomes. "Underserved populations face certain obstacles such as shortage of providers, family beliefs that cause stigma around mental health care, language barriers, lack of transportation and lack of insurance. A warm handoff, someone who serves as a go-between for experts and patients, can ensure connections are made," said Quenette L. Walton, assistant professor at the ...

UCI-led study finds unleashing Treg cells may lead to treatments for multiple sclerosis

UCI-led study finds unleashing Treg cells may lead to treatments for multiple sclerosis
2021-07-20
Irvine, CA - July 20, 2021 - In a new University of California, Irvine-led study, researchers found that a certain protein prevented regulatory T cells (Tregs) from effectively doing their job in controlling the damaging effects of inflammation in a model of multiple sclerosis (MS), a devastating autoimmune disease of the nervous system. Published this month in Science Advances, the new study illuminates the important role of Piezo1, a specialized protein called an ion channel, in immunity and T cell function related to autoimmune neuroinflammatory disorders. "We found that Piezo1 selectively restrains Treg cells, limiting their potential to mitigate ...

Babies at risk for diabetes may have microbiota restored

Babies at risk for diabetes may have microbiota restored
2021-07-20
Newborns at risk for Type 1 diabetes because they were given antibiotics may have their gut microorganisms restored with a maternal fecal transplant, according to a Rutgers study. The study, which involved genetic analysis of mice, appears in the journal Cell Host & Microbe. The findings suggest that newborns at risk for Type 1 diabetes because their microbiome - the trillions of beneficial microorganisms in and on our bodies - were disturbed can have the condition reversed by transplanting fecal microbiota from their mother into their gastrointestinal tract after the antibiotic course has been completed. Type 1 diabetes is the most ...

Data identifies turbine wake clustering, improves wind farm productivity via yaw control

Data identifies turbine wake clustering, improves wind farm productivity via yaw control
2021-07-20
WASHINGTON, July 20, 2021 -- In the wind power industry, optimization of yaw, the alignment of a wind turbine's angle relative to the horizonal plane, has long shown promise for mitigating wake effects that cause a downstream turbine to produce less power than its upstream partner. However, a critical missing puzzle piece in the application of this knowledge has recently been added -- how to automate the identification of which turbines are experiencing wake effects amid changing wind conditions. In the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, by AIP Publishing, ...

Bleak cyborg future from brain-computer interfaces if we're not careful

Bleak cyborg future from brain-computer interfaces if were not careful
2021-07-20
WASHINGTON, July 20, 2021 -- Surpassing the biological limitations of the brain and using one's mind to interact with and control external electronic devices may sound like the distant cyborg future, but it could come sooner than we think. Researchers from Imperial College London conducted a review of modern commercial brain-computer interface (BCI) devices, and they discuss the primary technological limitations and humanitarian concerns of these devices in APL Bioengineering, from AIP Publishing. The most promising method to achieve real-world BCI applications is through electroencephalography (EEG), a method ...

Climate change threatens food security of many countries dependent on fish

Climate change threatens food security of many countries dependent on fish
2021-07-20
Millions of people in countries around the world could face an increased risk of malnutrition as climate change threatens their local fisheries. New projections examining more than 800 fish species in more than 157 countries have revealed how two major, and growing, pressures - climate change and over-fishing - could impact the availability of vital micronutrients from our oceans. As well as omega-3 fatty acids, fish are an important source of iron, zinc, calcium, and vitamin A. A lack of these vital micronutrients is linked to conditions such as maternal mortality, stunted growth, and pre-eclampsia. Analyses by an international team from the UK and Canada and led by scientists from Lancaster ...

Gene expression mechanism may have immunity, cancer implications

Gene expression mechanism may have immunity, cancer implications
2021-07-20
PHILADELPHIA -- (July 20, 2021) -- Alternative polyadenylation (APA) is an RNA processing mechanism that regulates gene expression by generating different ends on RNA transcripts of the same gene. Though it affects more than half of human genes, the significance of APA was poorly understood. Now a new study by The Wistar Institute describes an important function of APA in allowing certain mRNAs to reach specific sites of protein synthesis and reveals that length, sequence and structural properties can determine the destination (and fate) of mRNAs within the cell. These findings, published online in the journal Cell Reports, shed light on the consequences of APA that may represent a paradigm shift in the mRNA metabolism field. The ...

Medical debt in US

2021-07-20
What The Study Did: Credit reports were analyzed to estimate the amount of medical debt in collections nationally and by geographic region and income group and its association with Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Authors: Neale Mahoney, Ph.D., of Stanford University in Stanford, California, is the corresponding author. To access the embargoed study: Visit our For The Media website at this link https://media.jamanetwork.com/ (doi:10.1001/jama.2021.8694) Editor's Note: The article includes funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional ...

Recovering DNA from challenging forensic evidence in forensic genomics

Recovering DNA from challenging forensic evidence in forensic genomics
2021-07-20
New Rochelle, NY, July 19, 2021--Duct tape and items retrieved from the water are common pieces of evidence in forensic cases. A new study evaluates the recovery of DNA from folded duct tape that has been submerged in ocean water for up to 2 weeks. The study is published in the peer-reviewed journal Forensic Genomics. Click here to read the article now. Joseph Donfack, PhD, from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Laboratory Division, and coauthors showed that it is possible to recover enough DNA to yield a complete short tandem repeat (STR) profile from folded duct tape that has been submerged in ocean water for up to 2 weeks if the initial ...

New method predicts 'stealth' solar storms before they wreak geomagnetic havoc on Earth

New method predicts stealth solar storms before they wreak geomagnetic havoc on Earth
2021-07-20
On 23 July 2012, humanity escaped technological and economic disaster. A diffuse cloud of magnetized plasma in the shape of a slinky toy tens of thousands of kilometers across was hurled from the Sun at a speed of hundreds of kilometers per second. This coronal mass ejection (CME) just missed the Earth because its origin on the Sun was facing away from our planet at the time. Had it hit the Earth, satellites might have been disabled, power grids around the globe knocked out, GPS systems, self-driving cars, and electronics jammed, and railway tracks ...

Shoppers' mobility habits: retailers overestimate car use

2021-07-20
Retail traders often fear that reducing the amount of urban space made available for parking private vehicles would have a negative effect on their businesses. A survey conducted by researchers from the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) on two shopping streets in Berlin shows that traders have a skewed perception of their customers' mobility habits. The findings of this research will facilitate better-informed decision-making around urban land-use planning. The researchers surveyed around 2,000 customers and 145 retailers on Kottbusser Damm (Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district) and Hermannstraße (Neukölln district). The vast majority of shoppers - 93 per cent - had not travelled to their ...

Self-administered high-flow therapy for COPD and type 1 respiratory failure: benefit not proven

2021-07-20
No benefit of high-flow therapy (HFT) can be derived from the available study data for patients with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or chronic type 1 respiratory failure. It therefore remains unclear whether this form of treatment has advantages over long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT) or non-invasive ventilation (NIV). This is the conclusion of the benefit assessment that the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) has now completed. The Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) had commissioned IQWiG to investigate the advantages and disadvantages of HFT in patients with stable, advanced COPD or chronic respiratory failure with oxygen deficiency ...

Long-period oscillations of the Sun discovered

Long-period oscillations of the Sun discovered
2021-07-20
These motions were measured by analyzing 10 years of observations from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). Using computer models, the scientists have shown that the newly discovered oscillations are resonant modes and owe their existence to the Sun's differential rotation. The oscillations will help establish novel ways to probe the Sun's interior and obtain information about our star's inner structure and dynamics. The scientists describe their findings in today's issue of the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. In the 1960s the Sun'ss high musical notes were discovered: The Sun rings like a bell. ...

Rapidly diversifying birds in Southeast Asia offer new insights into evolution

Rapidly diversifying birds in Southeast Asia offer new insights into evolution
2021-07-20
New findings from zoologists working with birds in Southeast Asia are shining fresh light on the connections between animal behaviour, geology, and evolution - underlining that species can diversify surprisingly quickly under certain conditions. The zoologists, from Trinity College Dublin's School of Natural Sciences, sequenced DNA and took measurements and song recordings from Sulawesi Babblers (Pellorneum celebense), shy birds that live in the undergrowth on Indonesian islands. Although these islands were connected by land bridges just tens of thousands of years ago, and although the babblers look ...

No excuse to continue reliance on fossil fuels, says leading nano-technologist

2021-07-20
One of the leading thinkers in nano-science has called on the energy materials community to help finally put an end to the world's reliance on fossil fuels. In a hard-hitting editorial published by Energy and Environmental Materials, Professor Ravi Silva, Director of the Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) at the University of Surrey, argues that there are no coherent excuses left to justify the use of fossil fuels. In his paper, Professor Silva challenges the scientific community to lead the world away from a reality where fossil fuels still account for 80 per cent of the energy mix. While the cost of clean energy generation has plummeted over recent years, ...

The Indus basin: Untapped potential for long-term energy storage

2021-07-20
Hydropower has massive potential as a source of clean electricity, and the Indus basin can be a key player in fulfilling long-term energy storage demands across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. IIASA researchers explored the role the Indus basin could play to support global sustainable development. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the growth of hydropower plants worldwide is set to slow down this decade. This puts at risk the ambitions of countries across the globe aiming to reach net-zero emissions while ensuring reliable and affordable energy supplies for their citizens. Even so, there are thousands of dams planned to be built this next decade. New hydropower dams installed worldwide are forecasted to increase global hydroelectricity ...

Is bacterial acidity a key to tackle antimicrobial resistance?

2021-07-20
Decreasing bacterial acidity could help reduce antimicrobial resistance by eliminating bacteria that can survive being treated with antibiotics. Scientists at the University of Exeter have developed a novel method, which allows users to measure the pH of individual bacteria before, during and after treatment with antibiotics. The research, published in the journal mBio, lays the foundation for understanding the special properties of bacteria that survive being treated with antibiotics, so that new ways of targeting them can be developed. The Exeter University research team found that even before antibiotic treatment, common infection causing Escherichia coli cells that can survive treatment have a more acidic intracellular pH compared to clonal cells that are eliminated ...

Capturing electrons in space

Capturing electrons in space
2021-07-20
Interstellar clouds are the birthplaces of new stars, but they also play an important role in the origins of life in the Universe through regions of dust and gas in which chemical compounds form. The research group, molecular systems, led by ERC prize winner Roland Wester at the Institute for ion physics and applied physics at the University of Innsbruck, has set itself the task of better understanding the development of elementary molecules in space. "Put simply, our ion trap allows us to recreate the conditions in space in our laboratory," explains ...

Digital technology driving tangible advancements in Parkinson's disease research and clinical care

2021-07-20
Amsterdam, July 20, 2021 - Well over six million people globally have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (PD), which has an enormous impact on the lives of patients, their families, and caregivers and is incurring mounting costs for society. This special supplement to the Journal of Parkinson's Disease (JPD), guest-edited by noted experts Anat Mirelman, PhD, E. Ray Dorsey, MD, MBA, Patrik Brundin, MD, PhD, and Bastiaan R. Bloem, MD, PhD, reviews how digital technology is being used to reshape research and clinical care in PD. Digital health technology is an umbrella term that spans a diverse range of applications, including body-fixed wearable sensors, non-contactable domestic sensors, smartphone apps, and videoconferencing and other telemedicine systems that allow for direct remote ...

Study highlights socioeconomic, racial differences in the financing of medical education

2021-07-20
MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (07/20/2021) -- National data analyzed by University of Minnesota Medical School researchers show that nearly 40 percent of all funds used to pay for medical school are expected to come from family or personal sources and scholarships. The prevalence of these sources, however, varies widely by race and socioeconomic status. Arman Shahriar, Varun Sagi and Lorenzo Gonzalez, all fourth-year students at the University of Minnesota Medical School, are co-lead authors of the study, which was published today in JAMA Network Open. "Financing a four-year medical education requires upwards of a quarter-million dollars, and this amount has been rising faster than inflation since the 1960s. Prior to this study, ...

How green is your plastic?

2021-07-20
Despite the best efforts of industry to work towards sustainability, most plastics (or polymers) are still made using non-renewable fossil fuels. However, researchers have now found an economical method for producing biobased acrylate resins. The study, published in the journal Angewandte Chemie, shows how all the synthesis steps, from initial building blocks right up to polymerization, can be carried out in a single reactor (one pot), minimizing environmental impact. Most varnishes, adhesives and paints are made from acrylate resins, which are polymers of acrylic acid esters and methacrylic acid esters. The raw materials that form these ...

Young forests are preferred summer vacation destinations for bats

2021-07-20
The sight of felled trees and logging activity can be jarring for nature lovers, but from those sites can sprout young forest growth that's especially attractive to a familiar inhabitant of wooded areas throughout the Northeast - bats. New findings from researchers at the UConn College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources, published in Forest Ecology and Management, finds that a number of bat species native to the Northeast are highly active in newly created forest spaces, foraging for food at higher rates than is typical of mature forests. Little is known about ...
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