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Take your best shot: Which SARS-CoV-2 vaccine should I get, if any?

Take your best shot: Which SARS-CoV-2 vaccine should I get, if any?
2021-07-20
Vaccine hesitancy continues to be a hurdle in the development of widespread immunity within the U.S. population as the COVID-19 pandemic enters its second year. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine have developed a computerized decision analytic model to compare projected outcomes of three vaccine strategies: a patient opts for a messenger RNA vaccine, a patient decides to get an adenovirus vector vaccine or the patient simply forgoes a vaccine altogether. Pfizer and Moderna produce mRNA vaccines while Johnson & Johnson manufacture an adenovirus vector vaccine. The decision analytic ...

Virginia Tech scientists uncover how a molecule improves appearance of surgery scars

Virginia Tech scientists uncover how a molecule improves appearance of surgery scars
2021-07-20
Surgical scars treated with a molecule called alphaCT1 showed a long-term improvement in appearance when compared to control scars, according to multicenter, controlled Phase II clinical trials - a finding that could help surgeons improve patient outcomes. Now, a public-private research team led by Rob Gourdie, professor and director of the Center for Vascular and Heart Research at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, has revealed clues about why and how it improves the appearance of scars. The study, to be published in the August issue of the Federation ...

A foot tumor and two tail fractures complicated the life of this hadrosaur

2021-07-20
When it was discovered in the 1980s in Argentina, this hadrosaur was diagnosed with a fractured foot. However, a new analysis now shows that this ornithopod commonly known as the duck-billed dinosaur actually had a tumour some 70 million years ago, as well as two painful fractures in the vertebrae of its tail, despite which, it managed to survive for some time. This dinosaur, called Bonapartesaurus rionegrensis, was discovered in Argentinean Patagonia in the 1980s, and the first analyses of its fossils indicated an ailment of the foot, possibly a fracture, as the Argentinean palaeontologist Jaime Powell pointed out at the time. The study of this animal then came to a standstill until 2016, when Powell invited another team of scientists to resume ...

Review evaluates the evidence for an intensifying Indian Ocean water cycle

Review evaluates the evidence for an intensifying Indian Ocean water cycle
2021-07-20
The Indian Ocean has been warming much more than other ocean basins over the last 50-60 years. While temperature changes basin-wide can be unequivocally attributed to human-induced climate change, it is difficult to assess whether contemporary heat and freshwater changes in the Indian Ocean since 1980 represent an anthropogenically-forced transformation of the hydrological cycle. What complicates the assessment is factoring in natural variations, regional-scale trends, a short observational record, climate model uncertainties, and the ocean basin's complex circulation. A ...

Spinal fluid biomarkers detect neurodegeneration, Alzheimer's disease in living patients

2021-07-20
PHILADELPHIA--Alzheimer's disease and related diseases can still only be confirmed in deceased patients' brains via autopsy. Even so, the development of biomarkers can give patients and their families answers during life: Alzheimer's disease can be accurately detected via peptides and proteins in a patient's cerebrospinal fluids (CSF), which can be collected through a lumbar puncture and tested while the patient is alive. In 2018, a new framework suggested combining three Alzheimer's disease biomarkers in CSF - pathologic amyloid plaques (A), tangles (T), and neurodegeneration (N), collectively called ATN. According to recent research from the Perelman School ...

SARS-CoV-2 spike mutation L452R evades human immune response and enhances infectivity

SARS-CoV-2 spike mutation L452R evades human immune response and enhances infectivity
2021-07-20
An international team of researchers led by Kumamoto and Tokyo Universities (Japan) have shown that the L452R mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which is common to two mutant strains (Epsilon and Delta), is involved in cellular immunity evasion via the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) A24, and enhances viral infectivity. HLA-A24 is one of the most prominent HLA-class I alleles, especially in East/Southeast Asian populations, which might make them particularly vulnerable to coronavirus variants with this mutation. The ongoing novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19) pandemic has, as of June 2021, infected over 150 million and killed over 3.5 million people worldwide. Vaccination drives ...

The origin of bifurcated current sheets explained

The origin of bifurcated current sheets explained
2021-07-20
A Korean research team has identified the origin of bifurcated current sheets, considered one of the most unsolved mysteries in the Earth's magnetosphere and in magnetized plasma physics. A POSTECH joint research team led by Professor Gunsu S. Yun of the Department of Physics and Division of Advanced Nuclear Engineering and Dr. Young Dae Yoon from the Pohang Accelerator Laboratory has theoretically established the process of collisionless equilibration of disequilibrated plasma current sheets. In addition, by comparing this with particle simulations and satellite data from NASA, the origin of the bifurcated ...

Synthesis of new red phosphors with a smart material as a host material

Synthesis of new red phosphors with a smart material as a host material
2021-07-20
Overview: Professor Hiromi Nakano of Toyohashi University of Technology used a material with a unique periodical structure (smart material: Li-M-Ti-O [M = Nb or Ta]) as a host material to synthesize new Mn4+-activated phosphors that exhibit red light emissions at 685 nm when excited at 493 nm. Because the valence of the Mn ions in the material changes from Mn4+ to Mn3+ according to the sintering temperature, composition, and crystal structure, there is a difference in the photoluminescence intensity of the phosphors. XRD, TEM, and XANES were used to clarify the relationship between the photoluminescence intensity and the sintering temperature, ...

Tree-ring records reveal Asian monsoon variability

2021-07-20
Chinese researchers along with international colleagues recently reported a 6,700-year-long, precisely dated and well-calibrated tree-ring stable isotope chronology from the Northeastern Tibetan Plateau. It reveals full-frequency precipitation variability in the Asian Summer Monsoon (ASM) from interannual to multimillennial timescales with a long-term decreasing trend and several abrupt climate change events. The international research team comprised 20 scientists from research groups based in China, Norway, Germany, United Kingdom, USA, Sweden, Canada, and Switzerland ...

No IgA leads to intestinal inflammation in mice

No IgA leads to intestinal inflammation in mice
2021-07-20
Tokyo, Japan - While researchers have known for years that immunoglobulin A (IgA) is important for gut health, it has remained unclear exactly what role it plays in preventing infection and disease. But now, researchers from Japan have found that eliminating IgA disrupts the balance of the intestinal ecosystem, making it susceptible to disease. In a study published online in May in Gut, researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) have revealed that IgA deficiency results in substantial inflammation of the ileum, a specific part of the small intestine. IgA is present in large quantities in the small intestine, where it helps protect the body against microorganisms that could potentially cross the lining of the gut to cause ...

Farm consolidation has negative effect on wild pollinators

Farm consolidation has negative effect on wild pollinators
2021-07-20
A new study by a team of researchers has found that the consolidation of traditional smallholder farms in China has a devastating effect on the biodiversity of wild pollinators in the area. Pollinators play an essential role when it comes to supporting global food production. However, wild pollinators are on the decline for several reasons, including the loss of floral resources and nesting sites. This loss of biodiversity could have far-reaching consequences for global food production in future. "Biodiversity is essential for all life, with pollinators being one of the most important groups," says Dr Yi Zou from Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool ...

Removal of barred owls slows decline of iconic spotted owls in Pacific Northwest, study finds

2021-07-20
CORVALLIS, Ore. - A 17-year study in Oregon, Washington and California found that removal of invasive barred owls arrested the population decline of the northern spotted owl, a native species threatened by invading barred owls and the loss of old-forest habitats. The conservation and management of northern spotted owls became one of the largest and most visible wildlife conservation issues in United States history after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the spotted owl as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1990 because of rapid declines in the owl's old-forest habitats. Four years later, the Northwest Forest Plan was adopted and reduced the rate of logging of old-growth forests on federal lands. Despite more ...

Strong signals

2021-07-20
Tsukuba, Japan - Scientists from the department of Anatomy and Embryology at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Tsukuba created a computer model to simulate the development of complex structures based on the Delta-Notch signaling pathway. This work may lead to a more comprehensive picture of the process that results in the formation of organs and other physiological systems. The development of a tiny embryo consisting of undifferentiated cells into a healthy fetus with spatially defined organs depends on the complex interplay between genetic instructions and signaling molecules. For example, "Notch" genes are ...

A machine learning breakthrough: using satellite images to improve human lives

A machine learning breakthrough: using satellite images to improve human lives
2021-07-20
Berkeley -- More than 700 imaging satellites are orbiting the earth, and every day they beam vast oceans of information -- including data that reflects climate change, health and poverty -- to databases on the ground. There's just one problem: While the geospatial data could help researchers and policymakers address critical challenges, only those with considerable wealth and expertise can access it. Now, a team based at the University of California, Berkeley, has devised a machine learning system to tap the problem-solving potential of satellite imaging, using low-cost, ...

Millions of dollars saved when scheduled travel providers adapt to on-demand scheduling

2021-07-20
CATONSVILLE, MD, July 20, 2021 - Uber and Lyft are popular on-demand ways to travel, but does that mean trains and buses are a thing of the past? Travelers prefer different modes of transportation at different times. So how can all these modes co-exist and do so successfully? New research in the INFORMS Journal Transportation Science has created a model and an algorithm to redistribute transit resources based on commuter preferences resulting in millions in savings. "Based on case study experiments in New York City, our optimized transit schedules consistently lead to 0.4%-3% system-wide cost reduction. This amounts to rush hour savings of millions of dollars per day, while simultaneously reducing costs to passengers and transportation service ...

New method for uninterrupted monitoring of solid-state milling reactions

New method for uninterrupted monitoring of solid-state milling reactions
2021-07-20
A team of chemists from the Croatian Ruđer Bošković Institute (RBI) described a new, easy-to-use method for uninterrupted monitoring of mechanochemical reactions. These reactions are conducted in closed milling devices, so in order to monitor the reaction one has to open the reaction vessel, thus interfering with the process. The new method uses Raman spectroscopy to get deeper insight into solid-state milling reactions, without the usual interruption of the chemical reaction process. Mechanochemical synthesis by milling is used today to prepare all ...

Public health summer program increases STEM career interests in high schoolers

2021-07-20
High school students who participated in summer programs about public health increased their interest in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), according to a Rutgers study. Published in the journalPedagogy in Health Promotion, the study explored whether increasing public health awareness would motivate high school students to pursue public health careers. Researchers found that the summer program, Public Health: Outbreaks, Communities, and Urban Studies (PHocus) offered in 2018 and 2019 increased the students' knowledge in public health, epidemiology, urban public health and global public health. "Including interdisciplinary, authentic ...

Mayo research provides insights into high-risk younger demographics for severe COVID-19

2021-07-20
ROCHESTER, Minn. ? Using data from 9,859 COVID-19 infections, Mayo Clinic researchers have new insights into risk factors for younger populations, some of which differ significantly from their older counterparts. People younger than 45 had a greater than threefold increased risk of severe infection if they had cancer or heart disease, or blood, neurologic or endocrine disorders, the research found. These associations were weaker in older age groups. The study was published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. The research team studied people living in a 27-county region of Southeast Minnesota and West Central Wisconsin surrounding Mayo Clinic in Rochester diagnosed with COVID-19 between March and ...

Coffee doesn't raise your risk for heart rhythm problems

2021-07-20
In the largest study of its kind, an investigation by UC San Francisco has found no evidence that moderate coffee consumption can cause cardiac arrhythmia. In fact, each additional daily cup of coffee consumed among several hundred thousand individuals was associated with a 3 percent lower risk of any arrhythmia occurring, including atrial fibrillation, premature ventricular contractions, or other common heart conditions, the researchers report. The study included a four-year follow up. The paper is published July 19, 2021, in JAMA Internal Medicine. "Coffee is the primary source of caffeine for most people, and it has a reputation for causing or exacerbating arrhythmias," said senior and corresponding author Gregory Marcus, MD, professor ...

New algorithm may help autonomous vehicles navigate narrow, crowded streets

New algorithm may help autonomous vehicles navigate narrow, crowded streets
2021-07-20
It is a scenario familiar to anyone who has driven down a crowded, narrow street. Parked cars line both sides, and there isn't enough space for vehicles traveling in both directions to pass each other. One has to duck into a gap in the parked cars or slow and pull over as far as possible for the other to squeeze by. Drivers find a way to negotiate this, but not without close calls and frustration. Programming an autonomous vehicle (AV) to do the same -- without a human behind the wheel or knowledge of what the other driver might do -- presented a unique challenge ...

Renewable energies: No wind turbine disturbing the scenery

Renewable energies: No wind turbine disturbing the scenery
2021-07-20
Wind energy is of outstanding importance to the energy transition in Germany. According to the Federal Statistical Office, its share in total gross electricity production of about 24% is far higher than those of all other renewable energy sources. "To reach our climate goals, it is important to further expand these capacities and to replace as much coal-based power as possible," says Professor Wolf Fichtner from KIT's Institute for Industrial Production (IIP). "However, there is considerable resistance, especially in beautiful landscapes." A team of researchers from KIT, the University of Aberdeen, and the Technical University of Denmark has now calculated what this means for the costs ...

Solar cells: Layer of three crystals produces a thousand times more power

2021-07-20
The photovoltaic effect of ferroelectric crystals can be increased by a factor of 1,000 if three different materials are arranged periodically in a lattice. This has been revealed in a study by researchers at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU). They achieved this by creating crystalline layers of barium titanate, strontium titanate and calcium titanate which they alternately placed on top of one another. Their findings, which could significantly increase the efficiency of solar cells, were published in the journal Science Advances. electric crystals do not require a so-called pn junction to create the photovoltaic effect, in other words, no positively and negatively doped layers. This makes it much easier to produce ...

Study identifies MET amplification as driver for some non-small cell lung cancers

Study identifies MET amplification as driver for some non-small cell lung cancers
2021-07-20
A study led by D. Ross Camidge, MD, PhD, director of thoracic oncology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and CU Cancer Center member, has helped to define MET amplification as a rare but potentially actionable driver for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Camidge says many of the major developments in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer have come from defining molecularly specific subsets of the disease for which researchers have been able to develop targeted treatments. Until now, all of these subsets have been based on either genetic mutations or gene rearrangements ...

Revealing the secrets of cell competition

Revealing the secrets of cell competition
2021-07-20
As multicellular life relies on cell-cell interactions, it is not surprising that this is not always peaceful: cells with higher fitness eliminate cells with lower fitness through cell competition. Cell competition has emerged as a quality control mechanism and occurs when cells differ, genetically or otherwise, from each other. In mammals, the process of cell competition has been observed e.g., in cancer, during organ homeostasis, and during development as a process to select the fittest cells in the embryo and the adult. However, the features that distinguish "winner" from "loser" cells and whether there are key determinants for cell competition in various biological ...

Untrained beer drinkers can taste different barley genotypes

Untrained beer drinkers can taste different barley genotypes
2021-07-20
PULLMAN, Wash. - When it comes to craft beer, the flavor doesn't have to be all in the hops. As a panel of amateur beer tasters at Washington State University recently demonstrated, malted barley, the number one ingredient in beer besides water, can have a range of desirable flavors too. Researchers recruited a panel of about 100 craft beer drinkers to taste some so-called SMaSH beers--those brewed with a single barley malt and single hop. All the beers contained the same hop variety, called Tahoma, but each had a malt from a different barley genotype, or genetic makeup. Trained tasters can distinguish these easily, but even the untrained ...
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