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Unwrapping the origin story of the baobab

Unwrapping the origin story of the baobab
2024-05-15
The baobab (Adansonia) is a genus of trees with eight extant (in existence currently) species and a long history of humans marveling at them. For as much admiration the baobabs get, there is an equal amount of mystery surrounding their origin. Genomic and ecological analyses recently done by a global research team led by Sino-Africa Joint Research Center, CAS (hosted by Wuhan Botanical Garden of the Chinese Academy of Sciences), suggest that Madagascar, is the origin from where all other baobab species hail. With a deeper understanding of the baobabs' genetics, researchers are hoping to uncover some clues on what ...

The origin and long-distance travels of upside down trees

The origin and long-distance travels of upside down trees
2024-05-15
The iconic baobabs, also known as upside-down trees, or the tree of life, have much cultural significance, inspiring innumerable arts, folklore, and traditions. A research published in Nature, involving international collaboration between Wuhan Botanical Garden (China), Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew, UK), University of Antananarivo (Madagascar) and Queen Mary University of London (UK) reveal a remarkable example of species radiation in Madagascar followed by long distance dispersal to Africa and Australia. With speciation, an astonishing divergence of pollination mechanisms evolved, that exploit hawkmoths, bats and lemurs for ...

Some mice may owe their monogamy to a newly evolved type of cell

Some mice may owe their monogamy to a newly evolved type of cell
2024-05-15
NEW YORK, NY — What makes the oldfield mouse steadfastly monogamous throughout its life while its closest rodent relatives are promiscuous? The answer may be a previously unknown hormone-generating cell, according to a new study published online today in Nature from scientists at Columbia's Zuckerman Institute. "The hormone from these cells was actually first discovered in humans many decades ago, but nobody really knew what it did," said Andrés Bendesky, MD, PhD, a principal investigator at Columbia's Zuckerman Institute. "We’ve discovered ...

Mortality in patients hospitalized for COVID-19 vs influenza in fall-winter 2023-2024

2024-05-15
About The Study: This study found that in fall-winter 2023-2024, the risk of death in patients hospitalized for COVID-19 was greater than the risk of death in patients hospitalized for seasonal influenza.  Corresponding Author: To contact the corresponding author, Ziyad Al-Aly, M.D., email ziyad.alaly@va.gov. To access the embargoed study: Visit our For The Media website at this link https://media.jamanetwork.com/ (doi:10.1001/jama.2024.7395) Editor’s Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, conflict of interest and financial disclosures, and funding and support. #  #  ...

First ‘warm-blooded’ dinosaurs may have emerged 180 million years ago

First ‘warm-blooded’ dinosaurs may have emerged 180 million years ago
2024-05-15
The ability to regulate body temperature, a trait all mammals and birds have today, may have evolved among some dinosaurs early in the Jurassic period about 180 million years ago, suggests a new study led by UCL and University of Vigo researchers. In the early 20th century, dinosaurs were considered slow-moving, “cold-blooded” animals like modern-day reptiles, relying on heat from the sun to regulate their temperature. Newer discoveries indicate some dinosaur types were likely capable of generating their own body heat but when this adaptation occurred is unknown. The new study, published in the journal Current Biology, looked at ...

Next-generation sustainable electronics are doped with air

Next-generation sustainable electronics are doped with air
2024-05-15
Semiconductors are the foundation of all modern electronics. Now, researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, have developed a new method where organic semiconductors can become more conductive with the help of air as a dopant. The study, published in the journal Nature, is a significant step towards future cheap and sustainable organic semiconductors. “We believe this method could significantly influence the way we dope organic semiconductors. All components are affordable, easily accessible, and potentially environmentally friendly, which is a prerequisite for future sustainable ...

Disparities in patient portal engagement among patients with hypertension treated in primary care

2024-05-15
About The Study: This cohort study of patients with hypertension found clear sociodemographic disparities in patient portal engagement among those treated in primary care. Without special efforts to engage patients with portals, interventions that use patient portals to target hypertension may exacerbate disparities.  Corresponding Author: To contact the corresponding author, Rasha Khatib, Ph.D., M.H.S., email rasha.alkhatib@aah.org. To access the embargoed study: Visit our For The Media website at this link https://media.jamanetwork.com/  (doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2024.11649) Editor’s Note: Please see ...

Dose-dependent association between body mass index and mental health and changes over time

2024-05-15
About The Study: This study revealed a U-shaped association between adolescent body mass index and mental health, which was consistent across sex and grades and became stronger over time. These insights emphasize the need for targeted interventions addressing body image and mental health, and call for further research into underlying mechanisms.  Corresponding Author: To contact the corresponding author, Shanquan Chen, Ph.D., email Shanquan.chen@lshtm.ac.uk. To access the embargoed study: Visit our For The Media website at this link https://media.jamanetwork.com/ (10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2024.0921) Editor’s ...

The doctor is in…. but what’s behind them?

2024-05-15
Americans have gotten used to seeing their doctors and other health care providers using telehealth video visits in the past four years. But a new study reveals that what a doctor has behind them during a telehealth visit can make a difference in how the patient feels about them and their care.  Even if the doctor is miles away from their usual in-person clinic or exam room, they should make it look like they’re there, the study suggests. Even better: sitting in an office with their diplomas hanging ...

Structural evolution and high-temperature sensing performance of polymer-derived SiAlBCN ceramics

2024-05-15
The group of Gang Shao from Zhengzhou University, China recently investigated the structural evolution of pentagonal polymer-derived SiAlBCN ceramics (PDCs) and outlined PDC-based sensor technology for high-temperature extreme environments. The high-performance temperature sensing materials including high sensitivity, fast response, wide detection range are scarce and needful. This research developed a ceramic-based temperature with attractive performance that can be applied in high-temperature environments ...

An environmental CGE model of China’s economy: Modeling choices and application

2024-05-15
The general equilibrium framework of the CGE model widely used in cost-benefit analysis in the field of energy and environmental policy. Based on standard micro- and macroeconomic theories, the CGE model establishes quantitative connections between various sectors of the economy, enabling the examination of both direct and indirect effects resulting from exogenous changes in the economy, as well as their global impacts on the overall economy.   A team of energy economists by Yu Liu from Peking University in Beijing, China recently outlined the detailed content of their CGE model. This model is constructed based on the CGE model theory of the Australian Center ...

Adding polymerized ionic liquid improves performance of perovskite solar cells

Adding polymerized ionic liquid improves performance of perovskite solar cells
2024-05-15
Perovskite solar cells, which use materials with the same crystal structure as perovskite, are lightweight, flexible, easy to manufacture, and inexpensive. They can be attached to many different surfaces and are a promising technology. However, current perovskite solar cells are not durable, and they tend to be inefficient. New research shows how additive engineering with a polymerized ionic liquid to the metal halide perovskite material can improve the solar cell’s function, helping to pave the way for the future wide adoption of perovskite solar ...

Half-matched family donors offer best outcomes for Hispanic patients undergoing bone marrow transplants

Half-matched family donors offer best outcomes for Hispanic patients undergoing bone marrow transplants
2024-05-15
LOS ANGELES — For adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a type of cancer that originates in the bone marrow, allogeneic stem cell transplantation (more commonly known as a bone marrow transplant) may be necessary for survival. But for Hispanic patients, finding an identically matched donor within their family or through the bone marrow donor registry can be challenging, with only a 30% chance of finding a matching relative and a 48% chance of identifying a matching bone marrow donor through the national donor registry. However, a new Keck Medicine of USC study in Leukemia ...

Alzheimer’s disease without symptoms. How is that possible?

Alzheimer’s disease without symptoms. How is that possible?
2024-05-15
Everyone experiences aging in their own way, and factors such as genetics, lifestyle and environment play a role in this process. Some individuals reach the age of 90 or even 100 in good health, without medications or brain disease. But how do these individuals maintain their health as they age? Luuk de Vries from Joost Verhaagen's group, and his colleagues Dick Swaab and Inge Huitinga, looked at brains from the Netherlands Brain Bank. The Netherlands Brain Bank stores brain tissue from more than 5,000 deceased brain donors with a wide range of different brain diseases. What makes the Netherlands Brain Bank so unique is that, in addition to the stored tissue with very precise ...

Mesenchymal stem cells alleviate acute liver failure through regulating hepatocyte apoptosis and macrophage polarization

Mesenchymal stem cells alleviate acute liver failure through regulating hepatocyte apoptosis and macrophage polarization
2024-05-15
Background and Aims Acute liver failure (ALF) is a life-threatening clinical problem with limited treatment options. Administration of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUC-MSCs) may be a promising approach for ALF. This study aimed to explore the role of hUC-MSCs in the treatment of ALF and the underlying mechanisms.   Methods A mouse model of ALF was induced by lipopolysaccharide and d-galactosamine administration. The therapeutic effects of hUC-MSCs were evaluated by assessing serum enzyme activity, histological appearance, and cell apoptosis in liver tissues. The apoptosis ...

Avian flu detected in New York City wild birds

2024-05-15
Washington, D.C.— May 15, 2024—A small number of New York City wild birds carry highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Virology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. The work highlights that the interface between animals and humans that may give rise to zoonotic infections or even pandemics is not limited to rural environments and commercial poultry operations, but extends into urban centers.   “To my knowledge, this is the first large-scale U.S. study of avian influenza in an urban area, and the first with active ...

New campaign aims to empower Asian American communities with lifesaving CPR skills

2024-05-15
DALLAS, May 15, 2024 — Despite strides in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training, consumer research from the American Heart Association reveals only 1 in 4 Asian American individuals are confident they could correctly perform Hands-Only CPR, compared with a comparable confidence rate of more 1/3 of the general population. The same survey showed nearly 70% of Asian American adults are hesitant to perform Hands-Only CPR because they are worried they will hurt the person who has suffered ...

Repurposed beer yeast may offer a cost-effective way to remove lead from water

Repurposed beer yeast may offer a cost-effective way to remove lead from water
2024-05-15
CAMBRIDGE, MA – Every year, beer breweries generate and discard thousands of tons of surplus yeast. Researchers from MIT and Georgia Tech have now come up with a way to repurpose that yeast to absorb lead from contaminated water. Through a process called biosorption, yeast can quickly absorb even trace amounts of lead and other heavy metals from water. The researchers showed that they could package the yeast inside hydrogel capsules to create a filter that removes lead from water. Because the yeast cells are encapsulated, they can be easily removed from the water once it’s ready ...

NFCR CEO Dr. Sujuan Ba honored at AAPI Women's Gala 2024

2024-05-15
The National Foundation for Cancer Research proudly announces that our CEO, Dr. Sujuan Ba, was honored as one of the AAPI Women Leaders at the AAPI Women's Gala 2024 on May 14th in New York City.  This prestigious event was hosted by The Serica Initiative to spotlight the outstanding achievements and contributions of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women who are breaking barriers and making impacts in many sectors, enriching and adding value to our society. This 8th year's gala, themed "Resilience and Perseverance," honored Dr. Ba for her exemplary leadership at NFCR and other organizations she is part of and her ...

Climate change is most prominent threat to pollinators, CABI Reviews paper finds

2024-05-15
A paper published in the CABI Reviews journal has found that climate change is the most prominent threat to pollinators – such as bumblebees, wasps, and butterflies – who are essential for biodiversity conservation, crop yields and food security. The research, which is entitled ‘What are the main reasons for the world-wide decline in pollinator populations?’, suggests that many of the threats to pollinators result from human activities. Pollinator populations are declining worldwide and 85% of flowering plant species and 87 of the leading global crops rely on pollinators for seed production. The decline of ...

New study links protein secreted by blood vessels to drug-resistant cancer

New study links protein secreted by blood vessels to drug-resistant cancer
2024-05-15
Cancer is a leading cause of death globally. One of the primary reasons why cancer is such a deadly disease is the ability of cancer cells to become drug-resistant. After decades of medical research, scientists came to understand that malignant tumors often harbor a special population of cells called cancer stem cells (CSCs). Much like normal stem cells, CSCs can self-renew and differentiate into various cell types within a tumor, playing important roles not only in tumor growth and metastasis but also in the development of drug resistance.   Unfortunately, developing therapies targeting CSCs directly ...

Exploring the mechanism behind drug eruptions in the skin

Exploring the mechanism behind drug eruptions in the skin
2024-05-15
Although medications can often help patients find a cure or respite from their condition, millions of people worldwide suffer from unpredictable drug toxicities every year. In particular, drug eruptions which manifest through symptoms such as redness, blisters, and itching on the skin, are quite common. Severe drug eruptions can become life-threatening and can have long-lasting consequences. Thus, understanding how and why drug eruptions occur is an important area of research in medical science. To this end, previous studies have identified specific variants of certain genes as potential causal agents of drug eruptions. Scientists believe that ...

Longer sprint intervals can improve muscle oxygen utilization compared to shorter intervals

Longer sprint intervals can improve muscle oxygen utilization compared to shorter intervals
2024-05-15
Physical activities like jogging, walking, cycling, and sprinting are activities known to engage the musculoskeletal system and result in the utilization of energy. Sprint interval training (SIT) is a type of sprinting exercise that involves cycles of intense exercise followed by a short duration of rest. How the durations of exercise and rest are structured can affect the impact of SIT on physiological responses. In recent years, the field of sports physiology has witnessed increased interest in optimizing SIT protocols. This surge can enhance the recognition of SIT’s efficacy in improving athletic performance and overall well-being, highlighting its versatility as a tool ...

Fighting fat and inflammation: Scientists develop powerful new compounds

Fighting fat and inflammation: Scientists develop powerful new compounds
2024-05-15
Modified derivatives of natural products have led to significant therapeutic advances and commercial success in recent times. Menthol is a naturally occurring cyclic monoterpene alcohol found in various plants, particularly in members of the mint family such as peppermint and spearmint. It is a common ingredient found in a wide range of confectionaries, chewing gums and oral care products. Interestingly, menthol also has high medicinal value due to its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer effects. In a recent study, a team of researchers led by Professor Gen-ichiro Arimura ...

New cardiac research will save women’s lives by improving detection of heart failure

2024-05-15
Peer-reviewed – Observational Study - People  An important new study has advanced how heart failure is detected in women – meaning more female patients can be diagnosed and at an earlier stage.  Researchers led by teams from the Universities of East Anglia (UEA), Sheffield and Leeds, have been able to fine-tune how magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used to detect heart failure in women’s hearts, making it more accurate.  Lead author Dr Pankaj Garg, of the University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School and a consultant cardiologist at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, said: “By refining the method for women ...
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