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Understanding the physics in new metals

Understanding the physics in new metals
2021-07-19
Researchers from the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), working in an international team, have developed a new method for complex X-ray studies that will aid in better understanding so-called correlated metals. These materials could prove useful for practical applications in areas such as superconductivity, data processing, and quantum computers. Today the researchers present their work in the journal Physical Review X. In substances such as silicon or aluminium, the mutual repulsion of electrons hardly affects the material properties. Not so with so-called correlated materials, in which the electrons interact strongly with one another. The movement of one electron in a correlated material leads ...

The era of single-spin color centers in silicon carbide is approaching

2021-07-19
Prof. LI Chuanfeng, Prof. XU Jinshi and their colleagues from Prof. GUO Guangcan's group, University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), realized the high-contrast readout and coherent manipulation of a single silicon carbide divacancy color center electron spin at room temperature for the first time in the world, in cooperation with Prof. Adam Gali, from the Wigner Research Centre for Physics in Hungary. This work was published in National Science Review on July 5, 2021. Solid-state spin color centers are of utmost importance in many applications of quantum technologies, the outstanding one among which is the nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center in diamond. Since the detection ...

African swine fever: No risk to consumers

2021-07-19
African swine fever (ASF), first detected in Germany in domestic pigs on 15 July 2021, does not pose a health hazard to humans. "The ASF pathogen cannot be transferred to humans", explains Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel, President of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). "No risk to health is posed by direct contact with diseased animals or from eating food made from infected domestic pigs or wild boar". The ASF pathogen is a virus which infects domestic pigs and wild boar and which leads to a severe, often lethal, disease in these animals. It is transferred via direct contact or with excretions from infected animals, or through ticks. The ASF virus is endemic to infected wild animals ...

A breath of fresh air for emphysema research

A breath of fresh air for emphysema research
2021-07-19
Tokyo, Japan - Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) causes illness and death worldwide. It is characterized by destruction of the walls of tiny air sacs in the lungs, known as emphysema, and a decline in lung function. Little has been known about the mechanisms by which it begins to develop. But now, researchers from Japan have found a protein that promotes the development of the early stages of emphysema, with the potential to be a therapeutic target. COPD can be triggered by environmental factors such as cigarette smoking that result in lung inflammation. The development of inflammation involves the movement ...

Personalized immunotherapy response studied in body-on-a-chip cancer models

Personalized immunotherapy response studied in body-on-a-chip cancer models
2021-07-19
WINSTON-SALEM, NC, JULY 19, 2021 -- Wake Forest researchers and clinicians are using patient-specific tumor 'organoid' models as a preclinical companion platform to better evaluate immunotherapy treatment for appendiceal cancer, one of the rarest cancers affecting only 1 in 100,000 people. Immunotherapies, also known as biologic therapies, activate the body's own immune system to control, and eliminate cancer. Appendiceal cancer is historically resistant to systemic chemotherapy, and the effect of immunotherapy is essentially unknown because clinical trials are difficult to perform due to lack of ...

COVID-19 made unequal access to food worse, study suggests

2021-07-19
COLUMBUS, Ohio - When COVID-19 hit, affluent Columbus residents responded by taking significantly fewer trips to large grocery and big-box stores, apparently ordering more online and stocking up when they did go out to shop. With fewer options available to them, low-income people had to double down on what they had always done: regular trips to the local dollar stores and small groceries to get their family's food. That's the conclusion of a new study that analyzed traffic to Columbus grocery sellers before, during and after the COVID-19 lockdown. Dollar stores and small local grocers in neighborhoods housing mostly low-income people of color didn't see as much of a decline in customers during the lockdown as did large grocery and big-box stores, ...

Bonding's next top model -- Projecting bond properties with machine learning

Bondings next top model -- Projecting bond properties with machine learning
2021-07-19
Tokyo, Japan - Designing materials that have the necessary properties to fulfill specific functions is a challenge faced by researchers working in areas from catalysis to solar cells. To speed up development processes, modeling approaches can be used to predict information to guide refinements. Researchers from The University of Tokyo Institute of Industrial Science have developed a machine learning model to determine characteristics of bonded and adsorbed materials based on parameters of the individual components. Their findings are published in Applied Physics Express. Factors such as the length and strength of bonds in materials play ...

COVID-19 antibodies persist at least nine months after infection

COVID-19 antibodies persist at least nine months after infection
2021-07-19
Testing of an entire Italian town shows antibody levels remain high nine months after SARS-CoV-2 infection, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic. Researchers from the University of Padua and Imperial College London tested more than 85 percent of the 3,000 residents of Vo', Italy, in February/March 2020 for infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and tested them again in May and November 2020 for antibodies against the virus. The team found that 98.8 percent of people infected in February/March showed detectable levels of antibodies in November, and there was no difference between people who had suffered symptoms of COVID-19 and those that had been symptom-free. The results are ...

Why identical mutations cause different types of cancer

2021-07-19
Why do alterations of certain genes cause cancer only in specific organs of the human body? Scientists at the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), the Technical University of Munich (TUM), and the University Medical Center Göttingen have now demonstrated that cells originating from different organs are differentially susceptible to activating mutations in cancer drivers: The same mutation in precursor cells of the pancreas or the bile duct leads to fundamental different outcomes. The team discovered for the first time that tissue specific genetic interactions are responsible for the differential susceptibility of the biliary and the pancreatic epithelium towards ...

Three key habitat-building corals face worrying future due to climate crisis

2021-07-19
The climate crisis will lead to changes in distribution and habitat loss of stony corals in the tropical Atlantic, shows a new study published by the open access publisher Frontiers. The loss of such coral species could have devastating consequences for the marine ecosystems they inhabit. The results of the study highlight an urgent need for coral reef management in the Atlantic. Researchers at the University of São Paulo projected current and future distributions of three key reef building corals of the tropical Atlantic (Mussismilia hispida, Montastraea cavernosa and the Siderastrea complex). They ...

Preparing for the next pandemic: Harmonize vaccinations in Canada

2021-07-19
To prepare for the next pandemic and provide a coordinated approach to vaccination across the country, Canada should create Canadian Immunization Services based on the Canadian Blood Services model, authors propose in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). The authors, including a leading health policy and immunization expert, a blood system expert and a former federal minister of health, are Dr. Kumanan Wilson, professor, Department of Medicine and member of the Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics, University of Ottawa; Dr. Graham Sher, CEO, Canadian Blood Services; and Dr. Jane Philpott, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, Queen's University. "If we want to be better prepared for the ...

Discrimination and safety concerns barriers to accessing healthy food for food-insecure young adults

2021-07-19
Philadelphia, July 19, 2021 - University of Minnesota School of Public Health researchers recently completed a study to determine how food-insecure young (emerging) adults (18-29 years of age) adapted their eating and child feeding behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The researchers also sought to identify barriers to food access and opportunities to improve local access to resources for emerging adults. Their END ...

Oncotarget: Cutaneous apocrine sweat gland carcinoma

Oncotarget: Cutaneous apocrine sweat gland carcinoma
2021-07-19
Oncotarget published "Ex vivo analysis of DNA repair targeting in extreme rare cutaneous apocrine sweat gland carcinoma" which reported a rare metastatic case with a PALB2 aberration identified previously as a familial susceptibility gene for breast cancer in the Finnish population. As PALB2 exhibits functions in the BRCA1/2-RAD51-dependent homologous DNA recombination repair pathway, we sought to use ex vivo functional screening to explore sensitivity of the tumor cells to therapeutic targeting of DNA repair. Drug screening suggested sensitivity of the PALB2 deficient cells to BET-bromodomain inhibition, and modest ...

Oncotarget: Caspase-11 and AIM2 inflammasome involved in COPD and lung adenocarcinoma

Oncotarget: Caspase-11 and AIM2 inflammasome involved in COPD and lung adenocarcinoma
2021-07-19
Oncotarget published "Caspase-11 and AIM2 inflammasome are involved in smoking-induced COPD and lung adenocarcinoma" which reported that cigarette smoking is the leading risk factor for COPD and lung cancer establishment. Epidemiologically, COPD patients are 6.35 times more likely to develop lung cancer. To mimic COPD, the authors exposed mice to nose-only cigarette smoke and used human samples of lung adenocarcinoma patients according to the smoking and COPD status. Interestingly, higher expression of AIM2 in non-cancerous tissue of smoking COPD adenocarcinoma patients was correlated to a higher hazard ratio of poor survival ...

Oncotarget: Biomechanics in response to drug in hypoxia by atomic force spectroscopy

Oncotarget: Biomechanics in response to drug in hypoxia by atomic force spectroscopy
2021-07-19
Oncotarget published "Dynamic cellular biomechanics in responses to chemotherapeutic drug in hypoxia probed by atomic force spectroscopy" which reported that by exploiting single-cell, force spectroscopy methods, the authors probed biophysical and biomechanical kinetics of brain, breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancer cells with standard chemotherapeutic drugs in normoxia and hypoxia over 12-24 hours. After exposure to the drugs, they found that brain, breast, and pancreatic cancer cells became approximately 55-75% less stiff, while prostate cancer cells became more stiff, due to either drug-induced ...

New alpine moth solves a 180-year-old mystery

New alpine moth solves a 180-year-old mystery
2021-07-19
Butterflies and moths (order Lepidoptera) are one of the most diverse animal groups. To date, scientists have found as many as 5,000 species from the Alps alone. Having been a place of intensive research interest for 250 years, it is considered quite a sensation if a previously unknown species is discovered from the mountain range these days. This was the case when a Swiss-Austrian team of researchers described a new species of alpine moth in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Alpine Entomology, solving a 180-year-old mystery. Decades of research work Initially, the team - Jürg Schmid, a full-time dentist, author and passionate butterfly and moth researcher from Switzerland, and Peter Huemer, head of the natural science collections ...

Mathematical models and computer simulations are the new frontiers in COVID-19 drug trials

2021-07-19
Researchers are using computer models to simulate COVID-19 infections on a cellular level - the basic structural level of the human body. The models allow for virtual trials of drugs and vaccines, opening the possibility of pre-assessment for drug and vaccine efficacy against the virus. The research team at the University of Waterloo includes Anita Layton, professor of applied mathematics and Canada 150 Research Chair in mathematical biology and medicine, and Mehrshad Sadria, an applied mathematics PhD student. The team uses "in silico" experiments to replicate how the human immune system deals with the COVID-19 virus. In silico refers to trials situated in the silicon of computer chips, as opposed to "in ...

More bullying of LGBTQ+ students in politically conservative districts

2021-07-19
PULLMAN, Wash. --Students who identify as LGBTQ+ in Washington state school districts with conservative voting records reported experiencing more bullying than their peers in more politically liberal areas, according to a new study. For the study in the journal Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, researchers explored the relationships among school district voting records in the 2016 presidential election, bullying experiences in schools and mental health outcomes of LGBTQ+ youth in the state. The study shows LGBTQ+ students are at a higher risk for psychological distress and suicidality as a result of bullying, particularly in school districts that voted for former ...

Words matter: Language can reduce mental health and addiction stigma, NIH leaders say

2021-07-19
WHAT: In a perspective published in Neuropsychopharmacology, leaders from the National Institutes of Health address how using appropriate language to describe mental illness and addiction can help to reduce stigma and improve how people with these conditions are treated in health care settings and throughout society. The authors define stigma as negative attitudes toward people that are based on certain distinguishing characteristics. More than a decade of research has shown that stigma contributes significantly to negative health outcomes and can pose a barrier to seeking treatment for mental ...

A bug's life: Millimeter-tall mountains on neutron stars

A bugs life: Millimeter-tall mountains on neutron stars
2021-07-19
New models of neutron stars show that their tallest mountains may be only fractions of millimetres high, due to the huge gravity on the ultra-dense objects. The research is presented today at the National Astronomy Meeting 2021. Neutron stars are some of the densest objects in the Universe: they weigh about as much as the Sun, yet measure only around 10km across, similar in size to a large city. Because of their compactness, neutron stars have an enormous gravitational pull around a billion times stronger than the Earth. This squashes every feature on the ...

New long-term satellite analysis shows "plum" rainy season wetter now than ever before

New long-term satellite analysis shows plum rainy season wetter now than ever before
2021-07-17
Tokyo, Japan - Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have analyzed long-term precipitation radar data from satellites and found significantly enhanced rainfall over the most recent decade during the annual Meiyu-Baiu rainy season in East Asia. The data spans 23 years and gives unprecedented insight into how rainfall patterns have changed. They showed that the increased rainfall was driven by the decadal increased transport of moisture from the tropics and frequent occurrence of the upper tropospheric trough over the front. From the second ...

New score measures health-related quality of life in patients with kidney failure

2021-07-17
Highlights The results of a new study support the validity of a score that considers various patient-reported outcome measures and preferences for assessing health-related quality of life in individuals with kidney failure. The score is calculated from assessments of cognitive function, depression, fatigue, pain interference, physical functioning, sleep disturbance, and ability to participate in social roles. Washington, DC (July 16, 2021) -- Results from a new study support the validity of a score that considers various patient-reported measures and preferences for assessing health-related quality of life and promoting patient-centered care in individuals with kidney failure. The study appears in an upcoming issue of CJASN. The ...

Dapagliflozin found effective and safe in adults with advanced kidney disease

2021-07-17
Highlights The sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitor dapagliflozin reduced kidney, cardiovascular, and mortality risks in patients with advanced chronic kidney disease, similar to benefits seen in individuals with normal or moderately impaired kidney function. Rates of serious side effects were similar in patients with advanced chronic kidney disease who received dapagliflozin or placebo. Washington, DC (July 16, 2021) -- Studies have shown that diabetes drugs called sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors can provide kidney- and cardiovascular-related ...

3D "assembloid" shows how SARS-CoV-2 infects brain cells

3D assembloid shows how SARS-CoV-2 infects brain cells
2021-07-16
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Rady Children's Institute for Genomic Medicine have produced a stem cell model that demonstrates a potential route of entry of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, into the human brain. The findings are published in the July 9, 2021 online issue of Nature Medicine. "Clinical and epidemiological observations suggest that the brain can become involved in SARS-CoV-2 infection," said senior author Joseph Gleeson, MD, Rady Professor of Neuroscience at UC San Diego School of Medicine and ...

Researchers surprised to find bacterial parasites behind rise of 'super bugs'

Researchers surprised to find bacterial parasites behind rise of super bugs
2021-07-16
PITTSBURGH, July 16, 2021 - For the first time ever, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine discovered that phages--tiny viruses that attack bacteria--are key to initiating rapid bacterial evolution leading to the emergence of treatment-resistant "superbugs." The findings were published today in Science Advances. The researchers showed that, contrary to a dominant theory in the field of evolutionary microbiology, the process of adaptation and diversification in bacterial colonies doesn't start from a homogenous clonal population. They were shocked to discover that the cause of much of the early adaptation wasn't random ...
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