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Changing demographics of physician-scientists doing kidney research in the United States

2021-07-15
Highlights The physician-scientist workforce doing kidney research in the United States is increasingly made up of women and international medical graduates. However, this workforce is older, declining in relative number, and is less overwhelmingly focused on basic rather than clinical science. Washington, DC (July 14, 2021) -- U.S. physician-scientists make enormous contributions to biomedical research. New research published in CJASN demonstrates increasing representation of women and international graduates within the physician-scientist workforce doing kidney research; however, this workforce is declining in relative number, is getting older, and is less overwhelmingly focused ...

'Neuroprosthesis' restores words to man with paralysis

2021-07-15
Researchers at UC San Francisco have successfully developed a "speech neuroprosthesis" that has enabled a man with severe paralysis to communicate in sentences, translating signals from his brain to the vocal tract directly into words that appear as text on a screen. The achievement, which was developed in collaboration with the first participant of a clinical research trial, builds on more than a decade of effort by UCSF neurosurgeon Edward Chang, MD, to develop a technology that allows people with paralysis to communicate even if they are unable to speak on their own. The study appears July 15 in the New England Journal of Medicine. "To our knowledge, this is the first successful demonstration of direct decoding of full words from the brain activity of someone who is ...

Think about this: Keeping your brain active may delay Alzheimer's dementia 5 years

2021-07-14
MINNEAPOLIS - Keeping your brain active in old age has always been a smart idea, but a new study suggests that reading, writing letters and playing card games or puzzles in later life may delay the onset of Alzheimer's dementia by up to five years. The research is published in the July 14, 2021, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. "The good news is that it's never too late to start doing the kinds of inexpensive, accessible activities we looked at in our study," said study author Robert S. Wilson, PhD, of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. "Our findings suggest it may be beneficial to start doing these ...

CHEST releases expert guidelines for lung cancer screening

2021-07-14
Glenview, Illinois - The American College of Chest Physicians® (CHEST) recently released a new clinical guideline, Screening for Lung Cancer: CHEST Guideline and Expert Panel Report. The guideline contains 16 evidence-based recommendations and an update of the evidence base for the benefits, harms, and implementation of low-dose chest computed tomography (CT) screening. Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women, making up almost 25% of all cancer deaths. Evidence suggests that low-dose CT screening for lung cancer can reduce cancer-related deaths in the group that is screened. The new guidelines ...

Have you ever wondered how many species have inhabited the earth?

Have you ever wondered how many species have inhabited the earth?
2021-07-14
Professors in Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences explored whether or not the scientific community will ever be able to settle on a 'total number' of species of living vertebrates, which could help with species preservation. By knowing what's out there, researchers argue that they can prioritize places and groups on which to concentrate conservation efforts. Research professor Bruce Wilkinson and professor Linda Ivany, both from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, recently co-authored a paper in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society where they determined that forecasting the total number of species may never be possible. When asking the question, 'how many species?,' it is important to note that only a fraction of ...

Low-dose radiotherapy combined with immunotherapy eradicates metastatic cancer in mice

Low-dose radiotherapy combined with immunotherapy eradicates metastatic cancer in mice
2021-07-14
PITTSBURGH, July 14, 2021 - More doesn't necessarily mean better--including in cancer treatment. University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists report today in Science Translational Medicine that combining targeted radiopharmaceutical therapy with immunotherapy significantly boosts eradication of metastatic cancer in mice, even when the radiation is given in doses too low to destroy the cancer outright. "We're excited--with such low doses of radiation, we didn't expect the response to be so positive," said lead author Ravi Patel, M.D., assistant professor at Pitt and radiation oncologist at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. "In clinical trials, we tend to go with the maximum tolerable dose, ...

Even on Facebook, COVID-19 polarized members of US Congress

2021-07-14
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Facebook posts by members of the U.S. Congress reveal the depth of the partisan divide over the COVID-19 pandemic, new research shows. A study of all 12,031 Facebook posts concerning the pandemic by members of Congress between March and October 2020 showed that Democrats generally took a more negative or neutral tone on the issue, while Republicans were more likely to have a positive tone in their posts. Public crises, like the pandemic, highlight how central social media is to messaging and how important it is to understand how rhetoric impacts engagement and sharing of messages said Laura Moses, co-author of the study and a doctoral student in political science at The Ohio State University. "When ...

New study from Monterey Bay Aquarium puts disparities of climate change on the map

New study from Monterey Bay Aquarium puts disparities of climate change on the map
2021-07-14
New research, led by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, illustrates the disparity between the narrow origins and far-reaching impacts of greenhouse emissions responsible for disrupting the global climate system. Published in Science Advances today, the study was built upon the most comprehensive accounting of global emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. It reveals that the regions generating the most emissions are different from those expected to suffer the most severe warming. The result of this comparison shows the fundamental disparities - quite literally putting them on the map - associated with where, and who, will experience the greatest impacts of climate change. "One of the dirty tricks of climate change is that local pollution has far-reaching consequences," ...

US congressional members struck a different tone along party lines in 8 months of COVID-19 social

2021-07-14
An analysis of the tone used in pandemic-related social media posts from U.S. Congress members over an 8-month period in 2020 finds clear partisan differences, with Democrats using a slightly negative tone compared with Republicans, who appeared to use more strongly positive language in their COVID-19 messaging. Democrats were also far more likely than Republicans to use neutral language. The study also indicates that tone plays a critical role in elite communications, finding that the public engages more with content that has a negative tone. The study authors note that messaging from political elites during a crisis such ...

Teasing out the impact of Airbnb listings on neighborhood crime

2021-07-14
A new study on the effects of Airbnb listings on Boston neighborhoods suggests that the prevalence of listings may hamper local social dynamics that prevent crime. However, tourists themselves do not appear to generate or attract higher levels of crime. Babak Heydari, Daniel T. O'Brien, and Laiyang Ke of Northeastern University in Boston, MA, USA present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on July 14, 2021. Widespread sentiment holds that Airbnb listings cause increased crime in residential neighborhoods. However, there has been limited research to explore and clarify this link. To better understand the relationship ...

Oldest fossils of methane-cycling microbes expand frontiers of habitability on early Earth

Oldest fossils of methane-cycling microbes expand frontiers of habitability on early Earth
2021-07-14
A team of international researchers, led by the University of Bologna, has discovered the fossilised remains of methane-cycling microbes that lived in a hydrothermal system beneath the seafloor 3.42 billion years ago. The microfossils are the oldest evidence for this type of life and expand the frontiers of potentially habitable environments on the early Earth, as well as other planets such as Mars. The study, published in the journal Science Advances, analysed microfossil specimens in two thin layers within a rock collected from the Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa. This region, near the border with Eswatini and Mozambique, contains some of the oldest and best-preserved sedimentary rocks ...

New study provides data on protections of ebola vaccines

2021-07-14
GALVESTON, TEXAS - A new study published in Science Translational Medicine reports on the Ebola vaccine-mediated protection of five mucosal vaccine vectors based on the human and avian paramyxoviruses. The study comprehensively characterized the antibody response to each vaccine, identifying features and functions that were elevated in survivors and that could serve as vaccine correlates of protection. The multi-year study, led by Alexander Bukreyev, PhD, of the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) Galveston National Laboratory looked at whether all the vaccines conferred protection and produced ...

Adult children with college degrees influence parents' health in later life

2021-07-14
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Write down the benefits of obtaining a college degree and, more than likely, all the items on the completed list will relate to graduates: higher salaries, autonomous jobs and better access to health care, for instance. All of those factors, supported by extensive research, help draw a direct line connecting higher education and health. Similar research suggests how the education of parents affects their children. Now, two University at Buffalo sociologists have used a new wave of data from a survey launched in 1994 to further extend the geometry linking educational attainment and health that demonstrates another dimension of the intergenerational effects ...

Virtual schooling exposes digital challenges for Black families, MU study finds

Virtual schooling exposes digital challenges for Black families, MU study finds
2021-07-14
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- A new study from the University of Missouri found the unanticipated transitions to virtual schooling due to COVID-19 exposed the lack of digital resources among Black families in the United States, including access to Wi-Fi and technological savviness. As two-thirds of the country's Black children are born into single-parent households, the findings help explain the extensive stress virtual schooling caused for many Black families trying to keep their children learning and engaged online while at home during the pandemic. "What we found was parents and caregivers often felt disempowered in the rapidly changing environment, as they did not necessarily feel equipped with the tools or technological savviness to effectively engage in their children's ...

Role of subnuclear NSrp70 in immunity-studied at Gwangju Institute of Science & Technology

Role of subnuclear NSrp70 in immunity-studied at Gwangju Institute of Science & Technology
2021-07-14
T lymphocytes, or T cells, are immune cells with diverse roles in building the body's immunity. How does one particular cell type fight against a host of different pathogens? The key to this adaptability is in alternative splicing, wherein the cell produces multiple forms of proteins for identifying different types of invading viruses and microbes, as well as destroying cancer cells. So, it is not surprising that finding ways to improve the production of T cells with enhanced pathogen recognition capacity is an actively researched area of modern science. In 2011, scientists from the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) in Korea discovered a protein called NSrp70, which ...

New method makes vital fertilizer element in a more sustainable way

New method makes vital fertilizer element in a more sustainable way
2021-07-14
Urea is a critical element found in everything from fertilizers to skin care products. Large-scale production of urea, which is naturally a product of human urine, is a massive undertaking, making up about 2% of global energy use and emissions today. For decades, scientists and engineers have sought to make this process more energy efficient as demand for fertilizer grows with increased population. An international research team that includes scientists and engineers from The University of Texas at Austin has devised a new method for making urea that is more environmentally friendly than today's process ...

Roadless forests see more blazes and greater severity, but fire resilience is the result

Roadless forests see more blazes and greater severity, but fire resilience is the result
2021-07-14
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Roadless national forests in the American West burn more often and at a slightly higher severity than national forests with roads, but the end result for the roadless forests is greater fire resilience, Oregon State University researchers say. The findings, published today in Environmental Research Letters, provide a key piece of the puzzle for a region trying to develop better approaches to living with fire in the wake of a 2020 fire season that brought historically disastrous blazes. Limiting smoke exposure and reducing risk to water supplies, habitat and human infrastructure from huge, uncontrolled fires are important goals of policymakers, said James Johnston, a researcher in the OSU College of Forestry and the ...

The delicate balance of protecting river deltas and society

The delicate balance of protecting river deltas and society
2021-07-14
Hundreds of millions of people live on river deltas around the world, making them central to rich diversity in culture and thriving economies. As deltas face environmental degradation and ongoing climate change, governments have sought ever more drastic measures to prevent flooding and protect society and its infrastructure. But, these policies can harm the natural environment and lead to loss of precious land. Striking a balance between limiting deltaic land loss and maximizing cultural and economic benefit to society is a top priority in sustainability policy. Researchers ...

Molecular bridge mediates inhibitory synapse specificity in the cortex

Molecular bridge mediates inhibitory synapse specificity in the cortex
2021-07-14
With its breathtaking views and striking stature, the Golden Gate bridge certainly deserves its title as one of the modern wonders of the world. Its elegant art deco style and iconic towers offer visitors a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for astounding photographs. Stretching for almost 2 miles, the Golden Gate serves as a critical gateway, facilitating the exchange of ideas, commodities, and people. Though not to the same grandiose scale, our brains have similar gateways to connect neurons. These tiny compartments, called synapses, enable the dynamic exchange of information and the formation of neural circuits. To build these circuits, developing ...

Fire operations-prescribed burning combo reduces wildfire severity up to 72%

Fire operations-prescribed burning combo reduces wildfire severity up to 72%
2021-07-14
Firefighters battling wildfires in the western United States use a variety of suppression tactics to get the flames under control. Prescribed burns, or controlled fires intentionally set to clear shrubs and forest litter before a wildfire ever ignites, can make fire suppression operations almost three times as effective in limiting wildfire severity, according to a new study by researchers from Penn State, the U.S. National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service. "A lot happens once a fire starts burning," said Lucas Harris, a postdoctoral scholar in geography at Penn State. "Crews on the ground remove vegetation ...

Early perceptions of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania

2021-07-14
A survey conducted in March 2020 reports that early concern for COVID-19 outmatched concern for influenza, but respondents may have been less focused on their perceived likelihood of contracting COVID-19 and more concerned with its severe impact on their health. Additionally, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began advising social distancing recommendations in the early months of the pandemic, a majority of adults surveyed believed in the effectiveness of social distancing and intended to follow CDC guidelines. Health agency websites like the CDC were the most frequently identified as "trusted sources" for COVID-19 information, as opposed to substantial ...

Trust me, I'm a chatbot

Trust me, Im a chatbot
2021-07-14
More and more companies are using chatbots in customer services. Due to advances in artificial intelligence and natural language processing, chatbots are often indistinguishable from humans when it comes to communication. But should companies let their customers know that they are communicating with machines and not with humans? Researchers at the University of Göttingen investigated. Their research found that consumers tend to react negatively when they learn that the person they are talking to is, in fact, a chatbot. However, if the chatbot makes mistakes and cannot solve a customer's problem, the disclosure triggers a positive reaction. The results of the study were published ...

MD Anderson research highlights for July 14, 2021

2021-07-14
HOUSTON - The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center's Research Highlights provides a glimpse into recently published studies in basic, translational and clinical cancer research from MD Anderson experts. Current advances include a promising combination therapy for acute myeloid leukemia, understanding mechanisms driving resistance to PARP inhibitors, a therapeutic neoantigen vaccine to treat lung cancer, a novel treatment for triple-negative breast cancer and a new understanding of how telomeres may drive inflammatory bowel disease. Combination therapy shows promise in mouse models of acute myeloid leukemia Acute ...

No more cone? Psychology researchers offer better tool for visualizing hurricane danger

No more cone? Psychology researchers offer better tool for visualizing hurricane danger
2021-07-14
When a hurricane threatens to make landfall, forecasters offer a barrage of informational tools to communicate the risk of it coming through coastal and inland communities, so residents can prepare for its impact. Chief among these tools is the "cone of uncertainty" - a visual depiction of the storm's potential path. But is the cone doing its job? Studies show that people often misinterpret this popular weather graphic. They don't understand the information it's conveying: the likely path of a storm, and its likelihood to deviate from that path based on historical data. The graphic ...

Off-cycle elections result in less representative local governments

Off-cycle elections result in less representative local governments
2021-07-14
Americans tend to be far more consumed with national politics than with local politics. As places like Utah, Arizona, Michigan and Maryland gear up to hold local elections this summer and fall, history predicts that they will see an average of 29-37% fewer voters than they would were their elections held "on cycle," in tandem with state and federal elections. This apparent indifference to local policies can have serious consequences, according to BYU research recently published in the American Political Science Review. The study found that local governments formed in "off-cycle" years (like 2021) are less responsive to the majority's preferences and more responsive instead to organized interest groups, particularly when the interest groups' desires oppose those of ...
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