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Biodiversity, climate change and the fate of coral reefs

2021-07-20
An international group of researchers representing thousands of coral scientists across the globe is calling for new commitments and actions by the world's policymakers to protect and restore coral reefs. In a paper presented July 20 at the International Coral Reef Symposium, the scientists said that the coming decade will likely offer the last chance for policymakers at all levels to prevent coral reefs "from heading towards world-wide collapse." The paper, developed by the International Coral Reef Society, pushes for three strategies to save the reefs: addressing climate change, improving local conditions and actively restoring coral. ...

Tropical fly study shows that a mother's age and diet influences offspring health

Tropical fly study shows that a mothers age and diet influences offspring health
2021-07-20
The female tsetse fly, which gives birth to adult-sized live young, produce weaker offspring as they get older, and when they feed on poor quality blood. The study, carried out by researchers at the Universities of Bristol, Oxford and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, was designed to measure how tsetse offspring health is influenced by their mothers' age, and how factors such as the mother's nutrition and mating experience might come into play. In many animals, females show signs of reproductive ageing - where offspring health declines with maternal age - but there is huge variation within species in how rapidly this ageing occurs. Scientists found that female tsetse that experience ...

Mycoplasma mobile moves into overdrive: Twin motor modified from ATP synthase discovered

2021-07-20
For more than 20 years, Makoto Miyata from Osaka City University has been studying the gliding motility of the parasitic bacterium Mycoplasma mobile (M. mobile). It is a mechanism consisting of an external "grabbing" structure and internal "motor" - the motor having yet to be clarified on a molecular level. In collaboration with Osaka University and Kanazawa University, his research team used electron microscopy and high-speed atomic force microscopy (high-speed AFM) to reveal that the bacteria's molecular motor consists of two ATP synthase-like complexes, suggesting an unexpected evolution of the protein. Their findings were published in mBio. Based on genetic information, researchers have suggested that the ...

Study finds surprising source of social influence

2021-07-20
Imagine you're a CEO who wants to promote an innovative new product -- a time management app or a fitness program. Should you send the product to Kim Kardashian in the hope that she'll love it and spread the word to her legions of Instagram followers? The answer would be 'yes' if successfully transmitting new ideas or behavior patterns was as simple as showing them to as many people as possible. However, a forthcoming study in the journal Nature Communications finds that as prominent and revered as social influencers seem to be, in fact, they are unlikely to change a person's behavior by example -- and might actually be detrimental to the cause. Why? "When social influencers present ideas that are ...

Dearth of mental health support during pandemic for those with chronic health problems

2021-07-20
A new scoping review found that those with chronic health concerns, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune conditions, are not only at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection, they are also more likely to experience anxiety, depression or substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of the review was to address knowledge gaps related to the prevention and management of mental health responses among those with chronic conditions. The findings, recently published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, were based on a comprehensive review of 67 Chinese and English-language studies. "Levels ...

Tomato fruits send electrical warnings to the rest of the plant when attacked by insects

2021-07-20
A recent study in Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems shows that the fruits of a type of tomato plant send electrical signals to the rest of the plant when they are infested by caterpillars. Plants have a multitude of chemical and hormonal signaling pathways, which are generally transmitted through the sap (the nutrient-rich water that moves through the plant). In the case of fruits, nutrients flow exclusively to the fruit and there has been little research into whether there is any communication in the opposite direction--i.e. from fruit to plant. "We usually forget that a plant's fruits are living and semiautonomous parts of their mother-plants, far ...

Antibiotic prescriptions for kids plummet during pandemic

2021-07-20
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - As children made fewer visits to health facilities and engaged in social distancing and other COVID-19 mitigation measures, a smaller number of them also received prescription drugs, a new study suggests. Overall, medications prescribed for children dropped by more than a quarter during the first eight months of the pandemic compared to the previous year, with the steepest declines in infection-related medicines like antibiotics and cough-and-cold drugs. Antibiotic dispensing to children and teens plunged by nearly 56 % ...

Copper transporter potential new treatment target for cardiovascular disease

Copper transporter potential new treatment target for cardiovascular disease
2021-07-20
An internal transporter that enables us to use the copper we consume in foods like shellfish and nuts to enable a host of vital body functions also has the essential role of protecting the receptor that enables us to grow new blood vessels when ours become diseased, Medical College of Georgia scientists report. The findings published in the journal END ...

Main attraction: Scientists create world's thinnest magnet

Main attraction: Scientists create worlds thinnest magnet
2021-07-20
The development of an ultrathin magnet that operates at room temperature could lead to new applications in computing and electronics - such as high-density, compact spintronic memory devices - and new tools for the study of quantum physics. The ultrathin magnet, which was recently reported in the journal Nature Communications , could make big advances in next-gen memories, computing, spintronics, and quantum physics. It was discovered by scientists at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and UC Berkeley. "We're ...

Supermassive black holes put a brake on stellar births

Supermassive black holes put a brake on stellar births
2021-07-20
Black holes with masses equivalent to millions of suns do put a brake on the birth of new stars, say astronomers. Using machine learning and three state of the art simulations to back up results from a large sky survey, the researchers resolve a 20-year long debate on the formation of stars. Joanna Piotrowska, a PhD student at the University of Cambridge, will present the new work today (Tuesday 20 July) at the virtual National Astronomy Meeting (NAM 2021). Star formation in galaxies has long been a focal point of astronomy research. Decades of successful observations ...

Patient case strongly suggests link between COVID-19 vaccine and Bell's palsy

2021-07-20
The case of a patient who experienced two facial palsies - one after the first and another after the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine - strongly suggests that Bell's palsy (facial nerve palsy of unknown cause) is linked to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, doctors write in the journal BMJ Case Reports. They describe the first case to be reported in the medical literature of two separate unilateral facial nerve palsies, where muscles on one side of the face become weak or paralysed, occurring shortly after each dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. "The ...

Health impacts of lockdowns no worse than large COVID outbreaks, at least in short term

2021-07-20
Although lockdowns are undoubtedly associated with health harms, their impact on health is unlikely to be worse than the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic itself, concludes a review published in the online journal BMJ Global Health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an ongoing debate around whether the benefits of government "lockdowns"- either stay-at-home orders or interventions restricting movement - in reducing infections are outweighed by the negative impacts on the economy, social structure, education, and mental and physical health. In a nutshell, whether "the cure is worse than the disease." In this narrative review, an international team of doctors examine the ...

High-income countries are failing to provide adequate mental health services for children

2021-07-20
One in eight children have mental disorders that cause symptoms and impairment and therefore require treatment, but even in high-income countries most of these children will not gain access to services to treat them, reports a study published in the journal Evidence-Based Mental Health. Mental disorders that start in childhood and adolescence can significantly interfere with wellbeing and development. Despite the social and economic implications of not addressing these disorders, including long-term healthcare costs, justice system costs and the loss of human potential, mental health service provision for children continues to lag behind provision of services for physical ...

Rapid screening, face masks may prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission at indoor mass-gathering events

2021-07-20
Below please find summaries of new articles that will be published in the next issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. The summaries are not intended to substitute for the full articles as a source of information. This information is under strict embargo and by taking it into possession, media representatives are committing to the terms of the embargo not only on their own behalf, but also on behalf of the organization they represent. 1. Rapid screening, face masks may prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission at indoor mass-gathering events Abstract: https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M21-2278 URL goes live when the embargo lifts An observational study in Barcelona, Spain found that implementation of same-day rapid screening, use of face masks, and improved ventilation was ...

People becoming desensitized to COVID-19 illnesses, death, research suggests

2021-07-19
Although people in early 2020 hoarded toilet paper, washed their hands incessantly, and wouldn't leave home, 11 months later the public pushed the envelope on COVID-19 safety precautions and ignored warnings as time went on, a new University of California, Davis, study suggests. Researchers in the Department of Communication examined people's reactions and expressions of anxiety about news articles on Twitter. Additionally, they investigated reactions to fear-inducing health news over time, despite the steadily rising COVID-19 death toll, said Hannah Stevens, a doctoral student in communication and lead author of the paper. The paper, "Desensitization to Fear-Inducting COVID-19 Health News on Twitter: Observational Study," ...

'Service with a smile' plus tipping leads to sexual harassment for majority of service employees

2021-07-19
Two common practices in the U.S. restaurant industry -- service with a smile and tipping -- contribute to a culture of sexual harassment, according to new research from the University of Notre Dame. "A perfect storm: Customer sexual harassment as a joint function of financial dependence and emotional labor" was recently published in the Journal of Applied Psychology from Timothy Kundro, assistant professor of management and organization at Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business. In the study, co-authored by Alicia Grandey and Vanessa Burke from Penn State University and Gordon Sayre from Emlyon Business School in France, more than 66 percent of restaurant employees reported facing some form of sexual harassment in the past six months. Previous ...

The climate impact of wild pigs greater than a million cars

The climate impact of wild pigs greater than a million cars
2021-07-19
By uprooting carbon trapped in soil, wild pigs are releasing around 4.9 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide annually across the globe, the equivalent of 1.1 million cars. An international team led by researchers from The University of Queensland and The University of Canterbury have used predictive population models, coupled with advanced mapping techniques to pinpoint the climate damage wild pigs are causing across five continents. UQ's Dr Christopher O'Bryan said the globe's ever-expanding population of feral pigs could be a significant threat to the climate. "Wild pigs are just like tractors ploughing through fields, turning over soil to find food," Dr O'Bryan said. "When soils are ...

Researchers: HtrA1 augmentation is potential therapy for age-related macular degeneration

Researchers: HtrA1 augmentation is potential therapy for age-related macular degeneration
2021-07-19
Research conducted at the Sharon Eccles Steele Center for Translational Medicine (SCTM) at the University of Utah's John A. Moran Eye Center explains why people carrying a block of genetic variants strongly associated with the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) may develop the disease and identifies a potential therapeutic pathway for slowing or even reversing disease progression. AMD is a major cause of irreversible blindness worldwide and the leading cause of blindness for Americans aged 55 and over. Following more than 15 years of research that has employed an extensive repository of donated human ocular ...

Global satellite data shows clouds will amplify global heating

2021-07-19
A new approach to analyse satellite measurements of Earth's cloud cover reveals that clouds are very likely to enhance global heating. The research, by scientists at Imperial College London and the University of East Anglia, is the strongest evidence yet that clouds will amplify global heating over the long term, further exacerbating climate change. The results, published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also suggest that at double atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations above pre-industrial levels, the climate is unlikely to warm below 2°C, and is more likely on average to warm more than 3°C. Pre-industrial CO2 levels were around 280 ppm (parts per million), ...

Using archeology to better understand climate change

2021-07-19
Throughout history, people of different cultures and stages of evolution have found ways to adapt, with varying success, to the gradual warming of the environment they live in. But can the past inform the future, now that climate change is happening faster than ever before? Yes, say an international team of anthropologists, geographers and earth scientists in Canada, the U.S. and France led by Université de Montréal anthropologist Ariane Burke. In a paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Professor Burke and her colleagues ...

Epicentre of major Amazon droughts and fires saw 2.5 billion trees and vines killed

Epicentre of major Amazon droughts and fires saw 2.5 billion trees and vines killed
2021-07-19
A major drought and forest fires in the Amazon rainforest killed billions of trees and plants and turned one of the world's largest carbon sinks into one of its biggest polluters. Triggered by the 2015-16 El Niño, extreme drought and associated mega-wildfires caused the death of around 2.5 billion trees and plants and emitted 495 million tonnes of CO2 from an area that makes up just 1.2 per cent of the entire Brazilian Amazon rainforest, and 1 per cent of the whole biome. The stark findings, discovered by an international team of scientists working for more than eight years on a long-term study in the Amazon before, during and after the El Niño, have significant implications for global efforts to control the atmospheric ...

Stanford researchers use high-speed cameras to reveal bubbles popping like blooming flowers

Stanford researchers use high-speed cameras to reveal bubbles popping like blooming flowers
2021-07-19
The oil industry, pharmaceutical companies and bioreactor manufacturers all face one common enemy: bubbles. Bubbles can form during the manufacturing or transport of various liquids, and their formation and rupture can cause significant issues in product quality. Inspired by these issues and the puzzling physics behind bubbles, an international scientific collaboration was born. Stanford University chemical engineer Gerald Fuller along with his PhD students Aadithya Kannan and Vinny Chandran Suja, as well as visiting PhD student Daniele Tammaro from the University of Naples, teamed up to study how different kinds of bubbles pop. The researchers were particularly interested in bubbles with proteins embedded on their surfaces, which is a common occurrence in the pharmaceutical industry ...

Seismic surveys have no significant impact on commercially valuable fish in NW Australia

Seismic surveys have no significant impact on commercially valuable fish in NW Australia
2021-07-19
New research has found marine seismic surveys used in oil and gas exploration are not impacting the abundance or behaviour of commercially valuable fishes in the tropical shelf environment in north-western Australia. The research is the first of its kind to use dedicated seismic vessels to measure the impacts of the survey's noise in an ocean environment, with the eight-month experiment conducted within a 2500 square kilometre fishery management zone near the Pilbara coast. It involved using multiple acoustic sensors, tagging 387 red emperor fish and deploying more than ...

CNIO researchers clarify the role of the two isoforms of KRAS, the most common oncogene in humans

CNIO researchers clarify the role of the two isoforms of KRAS, the most common oncogene in humans
2021-07-19
KRAS was one of the first oncogenes to be identified, a few decades ago. It is among the most common drivers of cancer and its mutations can be detected in around 25 per cent of human tumours. The development of KRAS inhibitors is, thus, an extremely active line of research. Effective results have been elusive so far, though - no KRAS inhibitor had been available until a month ago, when the FDA granted approval to Sotorasib. KRAS encodes two gene products, KRAS4A and KRAS4B, whose levels can vary across organs and embryonic stages. When KRAS mutates, both variants, or isoforms, are activated. Though, some studies have focussed on approaches to target only KRAS4B, since it usually found to be expressed at ...

Program seeks to reduce preventable cancers with free screening, same-day results

2021-07-19
Evidence shows that early detection and treatment of cancer can significantly improve health outcomes, however women in Mississippi, particularly in underserved populations, experience the worst health outcomes for cervical, breast, and oropharyngeal cancer. ...
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