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Heisenberg under the microscope

Heisenberg under the microscope
2021-07-14
A football is not a quantum particle. There are crucial differences between the things we know from everyday life and tiny quantum objects. Quantum phenomena are usually very fragile. To study them, one normally uses only a small number of particles, well shielded from the environment, at the lowest possible temperatures. Through a collaboration between the University of Vienna, the Austrian Academy of Sciences and TU Wien, however, it has now been possible to measure a hot glass sphere consisting of about one billion atoms with unprecedented precision and to control it at the quantum level. Its movement was deliberately slowed down until it assumed the ground state of lowest possible ...

MCDB: A comprehensive curated mitotic catastrophe database

MCDB: A comprehensive curated mitotic catastrophe database
2021-07-14
Mitotic Catastrophe Database (MCDB) is a proprietary, standard, and comprehensive database for Mitotic catastrophe (MC) related data facilitating the exploration of MC for all researchers in the fields of medicinal chemistry, molecular biology, bioinformatics and oncology. MC is a form of programmed cell death induced by mitotic process disorders, which is important in tumor prevention, development, and drug resistance. As availability of MC data underpins tumor-related biomedical and clinical studies, the development of a professional and comprehensive database to curate MC-related data is a matter of increasing priority. MCDB consists of 1214 genes/proteins and 5014 compounds ...

UNF study indicates black teen girls seek inclusive body types in anti-obesity advertising

2021-07-14
Jacksonville, Fla. - A recent qualitative research study conducted by the University of North Florida, in partnership with Indianan University-Purdue Indianapolis and UF Health Jacksonville, shows that black teenage girls want inclusive body types to be featured in advertising to combat teen obesity rates. Insights provided in the study are ideal for pediatricians and healthcare educators developing advertising and patient care plans to combat obesity among African American teens. The study investigated social and cultural consequences of food consumption among African American teenage girls between the ages of 14-18 in Jacksonville, Fla., and explored best practices ...

Scientists find way to navigate a heavy uphill climb

Scientists find way to navigate a heavy uphill climb
2021-07-14
A team of scientists has uncovered how heavy, motorized objects climb steep slopes--a newly discovered mechanism that also mimics how rock climbers navigate inclines. The findings, which appear in the journal Soft Matter, stem from a series of experiments in which motorized objects were placed in liquid and then moved up tilted surfaces. "These 'micro-swimmers' are about 20 times heavier than the fluid they swim in, but they were able to climb steep slopes that are almost vertical," explains Jun Zhang, one of the paper's authors and a professor of physics and mathematics at New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and NYU Shanghai. The work enhances our understanding of "gravitaxis"--directional ...

When corals meet algae: First stages of symbiosis seen for the first time

2021-07-14
The physical interactions between coral and algal cells as they combine to form a symbiotic relationship have been observed for the first time. Within minutes of being introduced, coral cells had started to engulf the algae, where they were either digested or moved to a protective 'bubble' within the cell. This new study, published in Frontiers in Marine Science, will form the basis of further research to understand what drives their symbiosis at a cellular and molecular level, including the eviction of algae, which is the cause of coral bleaching. "We watched coral cells develop pseudopodia ...

Medication or exercise? What works best for seniors with mild to moderate depression?

2021-07-14
Depression is the most frequently diagnosed psychiatric disorder among older adults, with 8% to 16% of older patients presenting with clinically significant depressive symptoms. Researchers in Spain conducted a randomized clinical trial of 347 older adults with mild to moderate depression, comparing the effectiveness of physical exercise and antidepressants as treatment methods. Study participants were assigned to either a group engaged in supervised physical exercise or a group that received antidepressant treatment by their general practitioners. Depressive symptoms were not significantly different after one month between the two groups. However, after three and six months, the number of people who showed improvement was significantly higher in the ...

Antidepressants may improve outcomes in people with diabetes and depression

2021-07-14
WASHINGTON--People with diabetes and depression who take antidepressants may have a lower risk of death and of serious diabetes complications, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. People with diabetes face a higher risk of depression, which makes them more likely to die or develop diabetes complications including heart and kidney disease, stroke, eye, and foot problems. Depression makes diabetes complications worse due to stress, body weight changes, and lack of exercise. "People with depression and diabetes have poorer health outcomes than those with diabetes alone, and regular antidepressant treatment could lower their risk of complications," said study author Shi-Heng Wang, Ph.D., of the China Medical ...

Brain organoid study highlights potential role of genetic and environmental interaction in autism spectrum disorder

2021-07-14
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have shown in a brain organoid study that exposure to a common pesticide synergizes with a frequent autism-linked gene mutation. The results represent one of the clearest pieces of evidence yet that genetic and environmental factors may be able to combine to disturb neurodevelopment. Researchers suspect that genetic and environmental factors might contribute to the increased prevalence of autism spectrum disorder, a developmental disorder characterized by cognitive function, social, and communication impairments. The study's use of brain organoids also points the way towards quicker, less expensive, and more human-relevant ...

How climate change and fires are shaping the forests of the future

How climate change and fires are shaping the forests of the future
2021-07-14
Forest fires are already a global threat. "But considering how climate change is progressing, we are probably only at the beginning of a future that will see more and bigger forest fires," explains Rupert Seidl, Professor of Ecosystem Dynamics and Forest Management in Mountain Landscapes at TUM. In many places, fire is part of the natural environment, and many tree species have become naturally adapted to recurrent fires. These adaptations range from particularly thick bark, which protects the sensitive cambium in the trunk from the fire, to the cones of certain types of pine, which open only due to the heat of fire, allowing a quick regeneration and recovery of affected woodland . AI is accelerating ecosystem models "The interaction ...

Putting a strain on semiconductors for next-gen chips

2021-07-14
Skoltech researchers and their colleagues from the U.S. and Singapore have created a neural network that can help tweak semiconductor crystals in a controlled fashion to achieve superior properties for electronics. This enables a new direction of development of next-generation chips and solar cells by exploiting a controllable deformation that may change the properties of a material on the fly. The paper was published in the journal npj Computational Materials. Materials at the nanoscale can withstand major deformation. In what's called the strained state, they can exhibit remarkable optical, thermal, electronic, and other properties due to a change in interatomic distances. The intrinsic properties of a strained ...

Primary care provides clinical guidance, answers about COVID-19 testing, vaccine

2021-07-14
Researchers examined the role of primary care physicians and other clinicians in delivering vaccinations in the United States. They used two main datasets to create an in-depth analysis of services delivered to Medicare patients, followed by analysis of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's 2017 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) to determine where patients are getting vaccinated and by whom. In the 2017 Medicare Part B Fee-For-Service, primary care physicians provided the largest share of services for vaccinations (46%), followed by mass immunizers (45%), then nurse practitioners/physician assistants (5%). The MEPS showed that primary care physicians provided a majority of clinical visits ...

July/August 2021 Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet

2021-07-14
Primary Care Poised to Provide Clinical Guidance, Answers About COVID-19 Testing, Vaccine Administration Researchers examined the role of primary care physicians and other clinicians in delivering vaccinations in the United States. They used two main datasets to create an in-depth analysis of services delivered to Medicare patients, followed by analysis of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's 2017 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) to determine where patients are getting vaccinated and by whom. In the 2017 Medicare Part B Fee-For-Service, primary care physicians provided the largest share of services for vaccinations (46%), followed by mass immunizers (45%), then nurse practitioners/physician ...

Short chain fatty acids: An 'ace in the hole' against SARS-CoV-2 infection

Short chain fatty acids: An ace in the hole against SARS-CoV-2 infection
2021-07-14
Humans are no stranger to coronavirus (CoV) pandemics. Just like SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), another member of the coronavirus family--SARS-CoV--caused the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic across parts of Asia in 2003. But, its spread was contained way faster than COVID-19. So, what makes SARS-CoV-2 so contagious? Both SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 viruses bear "spike proteins" which get inside our cells by binding to a protein called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) that is found in our cells. However, the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein has been found to have a higher binding affinity (10 to 20 times that of SARS-CoV) to ACE2, thus establishing ...

Scientists created several samples of glasses for protection against nuclear radiation

Scientists created several samples of glasses for protection against nuclear radiation
2021-07-14
An international research team, including physics from Russia, has created new glasses for protection against X-ray and gamma radiation. Scientists could select new components that improved the characteristics of the samples and allowed to reduce the amount of lead in the glass composition. Physicists engineered several samples of glasses. One of the latest results - glasses based on barium fluoride - was described by the team in the Optic magazine. But the best results have bismuth borate glasses. Its radiation protection characteristics (mean-free-path, half-value layer) are better than commercial ...

Electroconvulsive therapy linked to longer hospital stays, increased costs

2021-07-14
HERSHEY, Pa. -- Electroconvulsive therapy, which may be effective at lowering long-term risks of suicide and death among patients with certain mood disorders, may result in longer hospital stays and increased health care costs, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. They said delivering the therapy in outpatient settings may make the treatment more cost-effective. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) -- which involves passing small electric currents through the brain to trigger brief seizures while a patient is under anesthesia -- is seldom utilized in the U.S. due ...

Community health workers identify health-related social needs in patients

2021-07-14
Community Health Workers Can Play a Role in Identifying Health-Related Social Needs in Patients Addressing patients' health-related social needs, like housing and food security, is integral to patient care. Federally Qualified Health Centers are leaders in screening for and addressing patients' health-related social needs. However, screening practices vary. This variation is relatively unexplored, particularly with regards to organizational and state policy influences. Study authors conducted in-person, qualitative interviews at Michigan FQHCs to examine how screening approaches vary ...

A new sensitive tool for the efficient quantification of plant disease susceptibility

A new sensitive tool for the efficient quantification of plant disease susceptibility
2021-07-14
While several biology techniques have undergone significant technical advances that have allowed their high-throughput implementation, assessing the resistance levels of plant varieties to microbial pathogens remains an arduous and time-consuming task. In response to this, Pujara and collaborators took advantage of the naturally occurring luminescence of a deep-sea shrimp to engineer a light-producing bacterial reporter that allows the quantification of plant resistance levels through imaging. The Nanoluc luciferase (NL) from Oplophorus gracilirostris is a small protein characterized by its high stability and strong brightness. The researchers exploited these features to produce a light emitting bacterial strain from the Pseudomonas syringae species, ...

Seven degrees from one trillion species of microbes

Seven degrees from one trillion species of microbes
2021-07-14
The Earth contains about one trillion species of microbes -- only about one-tenth of which have been identified. A single human can house 100 trillion microbes, creating a single microbiome that serves an ecosystem of microbes. Microbes connect and transform in myriad ways, creating and combining and separating microbiomes anew. How can we begin to parse out how microbiomes differ, how they are similar, how they evolved and how they may change in the future? An international team of researchers may have the answer. They published a scale-free, fully connected search-based network to explore the connectedness ...

Virtual care: Choosing the right tool, at the right time

2021-07-14
Kumara Raja Sundar, MD, a family physician at Kaiser Permanente of Washington, uses two media synchronicity theory principles - conveyance and convergence - as a framework for choosing the right medium of care for his patients. In this essay, Sundar discusses how operating within this framework changed his own practice and decision making during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly with the use of telemedicine versus in-person clinic visits. The theory of conveyance focuses on transmitting and processing diverse information to understand a situation. It requires time to analyze data, create patterns and make conclusions. Convergence focuses on discussing pre-processed information to achieve a mutual understanding of it. ...

Drug combination shows meaningful responses for malignant peritoneal mesothelioma patient

2021-07-14
HOUSTON - A phase II study led by researchers from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found that treatment with atezolizumab and bevacizumab was well-tolerated and resulted in a 40% objective response rate in patients with advanced malignant peritoneal mesothelioma, a rare cancer in the lining of the abdomen. Responses occurred in patients regardless of PD-L1 expression status and tumor mutation burden. Trial results indicated that the combination was safe and effective in patients with disease progression or intolerance to previous chemotherapy ...

Experts tackle modern slavery in Greek strawberry fields using satellite technology

Experts tackle modern slavery in Greek strawberry fields using satellite technology
2021-07-14
A consortium of modern slavery experts, led by the University of Nottingham, have assisted the Greek government to tackle a humanitarian crisis unfolding in the strawberry fields of southern Greece. Using satellite technology to identify migrant settlements - a technique pioneered by the university's Rights Lab - and working with the Greek authorities, the experts then developed a decision model for which they could prioritise victims that were at highest risk. Leading the study, the Rights Lab combined different data sources and methods to build a set of criteria measuring the extent of labour exploitation in a settlement. The academics then validated these criteria with a government agency and a Non-Governmental ...

Solar radio signals could be used to monitor melting ice sheets

Solar radio signals could be used to monitor melting ice sheets
2021-07-14
The sun provides a daunting source of electromagnetic disarray - chaotic, random energy emitted by the massive ball of gas arrives to Earth in a wide spectrum of radio frequencies. But in that randomness, Stanford researchers have discovered the makings of a powerful tool for monitoring ice and polar changes on Earth and across the solar system. In a new study, a team of glaciologists and electrical engineers show how radio signals naturally emitted by the sun can be turned into a passive radar system for measuring the depth of ice sheets and successfully tested it on a glacier in Greenland. The technique, ...

Lean and mean: Building a multifunctional pressure sensor with 3D printing technology

Lean and mean: Building a multifunctional pressure sensor with 3D printing technology
2021-07-14
The treatment of many medical issues like abnormal gait and muscular disorders require an accurate sensing of applied pressure. In this regard, flexible pressure sensors that are simple, lightweight, and low-cost, have garnered considerable attention. These sensors are designed and manufactured through "additive manufacturing," or what is more commonly called "3D printing," using conductive polymer composites as their building blocks. However, all 3D-printed pressure sensors developed so far are limited to sensing applied forces along a single direction only. This is hardly enough for real ...

Study: Idea sharing increases online learner engagement

Study: Idea sharing increases online learner engagement
2021-07-14
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Sharing ideas in an online learning environment has a distinct advantage over sharing personal details in driving learner engagement in massive open online courses, more commonly known as MOOCs, says new research co-written by a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign expert who studies the intersection of marketing and digital environments. Online learning engagement can be increased by nearly one-third by simply prompting students to share course ideas in a discussion forum rather than having them share information about their identity or personal motivations for enrolling, said Unnati Narang, a professor of business administration at the Gies College ...

Chemistry discovery could remove micropollutants from environment

Chemistry discovery could remove micropollutants from environment
2021-07-14
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. -- Army-funded research identified a new chemistry approach that could remove micropollutants from the environment. Micropollutants are biological or chemical contaminants that make their way into ground and surface waters in trace quantities. Using a pioneering imaging technique, Cornell University researchers obtained a high-resolution snapshot of how ligands, molecules that bind to other molecules or metals, interact with the surface of nanoparticles. In doing so, they made an unexpected breakthrough discovery. They determined that by varying the concentration of an individual ligand they could control the shape of the particle it attached too. This approach could ...
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