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## Study shows environmental link to herbicide-resistant horseweed

2021-07-23
WESTMINSTER, Colorado - July 23, 2021 - Horseweed is a serious threat to both agricultural crops and natural landscapes around the globe. In the U.S., the weed is prolific and able to emerge at any time of the year. Fall emerging horseweed overwinters as a rosette, while spring emerging horseweed skips the rosette stage and grows upright. In some instances, both rosette and upright plants emerge simultaneously in mid-summer. These unpredictable growth patterns create challenges for growers as they try to develop an appropriate weed management plan. In a study featured in the journal Weed Science, a team from Michigan State University explored whether environmental cues could be used to predict horseweed growth ...

## A new mathematical model assesses ICU patients' mortality risk

2021-07-23
A research team led by Dr Rosario Delgado from the UAB Department of Mathematics, in collaboration with the Hospital de Mataró, developed a new machine learning-based model that predicts the risk of mortality of intensive care unit patients according to their characteristics. The research was published in the latest edition of the journal Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, with a special mention as a "Position paper". Under the framework of Artificial Intelligence, machine learning allows a model to gain knowledge based on the information provided by available ...

## Topology in biology

2021-07-23
When can we say that a certain property of a system is robust? Intuitively, robustness implies that, even under the effect of external perturbations on the system, no matter how strong or random, said property remains unchanged. In mathematics, properties of an object that are robust against deformations are called topological. For example, the letters s, S, and L can be transformed into each other by stretching or bending their shape. The same holds true for letters o, O, and D. However, it is impossible to turn an S into an O without a discontinuous operation, such as cutting the O apart or sticking the two ends of the S together. Therefore, we say that the letters s, S and L have the same topology - as do the letters o, O and D - ...

## Chemotherapy can induce mutations that lead to pediatric leukemia relapse

2021-07-23
Chemotherapy has helped make acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) one of the most survivable childhood cancers. Now, researchers working in the U.S., Germany and China have shown how chemotherapy drugs called thiopurines can lead to mutations that set patients up for relapse. The work appears today in the journal Nature Cancer. The research provides the first direct genomic and experimental evidence in pediatric cancer that drug-resistant mutations can be induced by chemotherapy and are not always present at diagnosis. "The findings offer a paradigm shift in understanding how drug resistance develops," said Jinghui Zhang, Ph.D., Department of Computational Biology chair at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "The ...

## Water resources: Defusing conflict, promoting cooperation

2021-07-23
Rivers are lifelines for many countries. They create valuable ecosystems, provide drinking water for people and raw water for agriculture and industry. In the Global South in particular, there is strong competition for access to freshwater resources. The increasing use of hydropower has recently intensified this competition further. Take Ethiopia, for example: when the country began filling the mega-?dam Gibe III on the Omo River in 2015, downstream users saw a drop in water volumes. Natural flooding declined, reducing the volume of fertile mud washed onto the floodplain. The level of Kenya's Lake Turkana, into which the Omo flows, fell temporarily by two metres, resulting in significant consequences for people and agriculture. Addressing ...

## Scientists identify five new plant species in Bolivia

2021-07-23
Scientists have identified five new plant species in the Bolivian Andes. The species are all part of the genus Jacquemontia, which are twining or trailing plants with pretty blue flowers. With rapid biodiversity loss taking place across South America and worldwide, identifying plant species is a vital step towards protecting them. The new study, which classifies and describes the 28 Jacquemontia species now known to live in Bolivia and Peru, was carried out by the universities of Exeter and Oxford, and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. "Many plant species have not been identified and classified, especially in the tropics," said Rosie Clegg, of the University of Exeter and Kew. "If you don't know what a species is, you can't ...

## Child mental health services lacking in high-income countries: SFU study finds

2021-07-23
Most children with a mental health disorder are not receiving services to address their needs--according to a new study from researchers at Simon Fraser University's Children's Health Policy Centre. Their research was published this week in the journal Evidence-Based Mental Health. Researchers found that of the one in eight children (12.7 per cent) who experience a mental disorder, less than half (44.2 per cent) receive any services for these conditions. "We have illuminated an invisible crisis in children's mental health and unacceptable service shortfalls in high-income countries -- including in Canada -- to a degree that violates children's rights," says study author Charlotte Waddell, ...

## Device cracks milk protein

2021-07-23
After gaining world attention by 'unboiling' egg protein, Flinders University scientists have now used an Australian-made novel thin film microfluidic device to manipulate Beta-lactoglobulin (β-lactoglobulin), the major whey protein in cow's, sheep's and other mammals. The so-called Vortex Fluidic Device has previously been used in an array of experiments to successfully 'un-boil' egg protein and even break the molecular bonds of one of the world's hardest material, carbon nanotubes. In the latest application, published in Molecules, College of Science and Engineering experts have combined the capabilities of the VFD with a new form of biosensor called TPE-MI, which is an aggregation-induced emission luminogen (AIEgen). "In the human body, protein folding is ...

## Research identifies potential role of 'junk DNA' sequence in aging, cancer

2021-07-23
The human body is essentially made up of trillions of living cells. It ages as its cells age, which happens when those cells eventually stop replicating and dividing. Scientists have long known that genes influence how cells age and how long humans live, but how that works exactly remains unclear. Findings from a new study led by researchers at Washington State University have solved a small piece of that puzzle, bringing scientists one step closer to solving the mystery of aging. A research team headed by Jiyue Zhu, a professor in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, recently identified a DNA region known as VNTR2-1 that appears to drive the activity of the telomerase gene, which has been shown to prevent ...

## Blushing plants reveal when fungi are growing in their roots

2021-07-23
Almost all crop plants form associations with a particular type of fungi - called arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi - in the soil, which greatly expand their root surface area. This mutually beneficial interaction boosts the plant's ability to take up nutrients that are vital for growth. The more nutrients plants obtain naturally, the less artificial fertilisers are needed. Understanding this natural process, as the first step towards potentially enhancing it, is an ongoing research challenge. Progress is likely to pay huge dividends for agricultural productivity. In a study published in the journal PLOS Biology, researchers used the bright red pigments of beetroot - called betalains - to visually track soil fungi as they colonised plant roots in a living plant. "We can now ...

## Bacteria navigate on surfaces using a 'sense of touch'

2021-07-23
Many disease-causing bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa crawl on surfaces through a walk-like motility known as "twitching". Nanometers-wide filaments called type IV pili are known to power twitching, but scientists ignore which sensory signals coordinate the microbes' movements. Now, EPFL researchers have found that Pseudomonas bacteria use a mechanism similar to our sense of touch to navigate on surfaces. "This study changes the way we think about motility in bacteria," says senior author Alexandre Persat, a tenure track assistant professor at EPFL's School of Life Sciences. Scientists have known that ...

## Oncotarget: Fgr and Numb in retinoic differentiation and G0 arrest of non-APL AML cells

2021-07-23
Oncotarget published "Role for Fgr and Numb in retinoic acid-induced differentiation and G0 arrest of non-APL AML cells" which reported that retinoic acid is a fundamental regulator of cell cycle and cell differentiation. Using a leukemic patient-derived in vitro model of a non-APL AML, these authors previously found that RA evokes activation of a macromolecular signaling complex, a signalosome, built of numerous MAPK-pathway-related signaling molecules; and this signaling enabled Retinoic-Acid-Response-Elements to regulate gene expression that results in cell differentiation/cell cycle arrest. Toward mechanistic ...

## Shedding light on the dark side of firm lobbying

2021-07-23
Researchers from George Mason University, University of Manitoba, Colorado State University, and Georgetown University published a new paper in the Journal of Marketing that examines an unintended customer consequence of lobbying, decreased customer satisfaction, and also explains marketing-focused efforts that can help prevent it. The study, forthcoming in the the Journal of Marketing, is titled "Shedding Light on the Dark Side of Firm Lobbying: A Customer Perspective" and is authored by Gautham Vadakkepatt, Sandeep Arora, Kelly Martin, and Neeru Paharia. Lobbying, ...

## Southeastern US herbaria digitize three million specimens, now freely available online

2021-07-23
A network of over 100 herbaria spread out across the southeastern United States recently completed the herculean task of fully digitizing more than three million specimens collected by botanists and naturalists over a span of 200 years. The project, which was funded by the National Science Foundation, is part of a larger, ongoing effort by natural history institutions worldwide to make their biological collections easily accessible to researchers studying broad patterns of evolution, extinction, range shifts, and climate change. In a END ...

## Meet the Martian meteorite hunters

2021-07-23
A team at the Natural History Museum (NHM), London is paving the way for future rovers to search for meteorites on Mars. The scientists are using the NHM's extensive meteorite collection to test the spectral instruments destined for the ExoMars rover Rosalind Franklin, and develop tools to identify meteorites on the surface of the red planet. The project is being presented today (23 July) at the virtual National Astronomy Meeting 2021. The cratered surface of our nearest planetary neighbour has a long and complex history, and searching for rocks amidst more rocks may seem like a futile activity. Despite this, Martian rovers statistically have a significantly higher 'find per mile' success rate than dedicated meteorite hunts on ...

## New dietary treatment for epilepsy well tolerated and reduced seizures

2021-07-23
The first clinical trial of a new dietary treatment for children and adults with severe forms of epilepsy, co-developed by UCL researchers and based on the ketogenic diet, has been successfully completed. For the study, published in Brain Communications, clinicians evaluated the use of K.Vita®, (also known as Betashot), an oral liquid dietary supplement developed by UCL in collaboration with Royal Holloway, University of London, and Vitaflo International Ltd. The ketogenic diet (KD) consists of high-fat, low-carbohydrate and adequate protein consumption and mimics the fasting state, altering the metabolism to use body fat as the primary fuel source. This switch from carbohydrates to fat for body ...

## Martian global dust storm ended winter early in the south

2021-07-23
A dust storm that engulfed Mars in 2018 destroyed a vortex of cold air around the planet's south pole and brought an early spring to the hemisphere. By contrast, the storm caused only minor distortions to the polar vortex in the northern hemisphere and no dramatic seasonal changes. Dr Paul Streeter of The Open University's Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics will present the work today (23 July) at the virtual National Astronomy Meeting (NAM 2021). Over two weeks at the beginning of June 2018, localised dust storms combined and spread to form an impenetrable blanket of dust that hid almost the entire planet's surface. The global dust storm, ...

## Studies find combination chemotherapy beneficial and cost-effective in sub-Saharan Africa

2021-07-23
CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina--Researchers at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center demonstrated in a clinical trial in Malawi that a five-drug combination chemotherapy provided curative benefit compared to current standard-of care-therapy in people diagnosed with lymphoma, and now they have determined this option is also cost-effective. The economic finding appeared July 22, 2021, in Lancet Global Health. The clinical trial results, reported May 19, 2021, in Lancet Global Health involved 37 people with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). ...

## Advanced bladder cancers respond to immunotherapy regardless of gene mutation status

2021-07-23
CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina--A new study has demonstrated that patients with advanced bladder cancers whose tumors have a mutated FGFR3 gene respond to immunotherapy treatment in a manner that is similar to patients without that mutation, a discovery that runs counter to previous assumptions. This research, led by scientists at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, has important implications for patients who have not been offered immunotherapy because of their genetic profiles. The findings are published in the British Journal of Cancer. The National Cancer Institute estimates that 83,730 people in the United States will be diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2021, and the disease will cause 17,200 deaths. While the cancer ...

## Mayo Clinic research suggests women over 65 be offered hereditary cancer genetic testing

2021-07-23
ROCHESTER, Minn. -- A new study by Fergus Couch, Ph.D., of Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, along with collaborators from the CARRIERS consortium, suggests that most women with breast cancer diagnosed over 65 should be offered hereditary cancer genetic testing. The study was published Thursday, July 22, in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Dr. Couch says that women over 65 rarely qualify for hereditary cancer genetic testing based on current testing guidelines because they are thought to exhibit low rates of genetic mutations in breast cancer genes. "Most studies of breast cancer genes have not looked at older women, those who were diagnosed over the age of 65," says Dr. Couch. He says these studies have mainly tested women with a strong family history of breast ...

## Synlogic publishes papers in Nature journals demonstrating proof-of-mechanism and potential of synth

2021-07-22
- Data show dose-responsive, non-saturated increases in gastrointestinal consumption of Phe in humans by SYNB1618 - - SYNB1618 Phase 2 study in patients with PKU ongoing with proof-of-concept readout anticipated in 2H 2021 - - Phase 1 study of SYNB1934, an evolved strain of SYNB1618 in the PKU portfolio, initiated - CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Synlogic, Inc. (Nasdaq: SYBX), a clinical stage company bringing the transformative potential of synthetic biology to medicine, announced today the publication of two papers in the journals Nature Metabolism and Communications Biology. The publications detail findings ...

## Study: Young workers now value respect over 'fun' perks in the workplace

2021-07-22
Millennials, often referred to as the "job-hopping generation," represent a group of young workers who once grabbed the national spotlight with their publicized demands for "fun" work perks, such as happy hours. However, researchers at the Novak Leadership Institute at the University of Missouri and Kansas State University discovered today's young workers -- ages 21-34 -- represent a life-stage shift toward placing more value on having respectful communication in the workplace over trendy work perks. "Millennials have been called the 'entitled generation,' and they kind of give young workers a bad rap because their often-publicized interests ...

## Early-life social connections influence gene expression, stress resilience

2021-07-22
Having friends may not only be good for the health of your social life, but also for your actual health--if you're a hyena, that is. Strong social connections and greater maternal care early in life can influence molecular markers related to gene expression in DNA and future stress response, suggests a new University of Colorado Boulder study of spotted hyenas in the wild. Researchers found that more social connection and maternal care during a hyena's cub and subadult, or "teenage," years corresponded with lower adult stress hormone levels and fewer modifications to DNA, including near genes involved in immune function, inflammation and ...

## 'Good cholesterol' may protect liver

2021-07-22
The body's so-called good cholesterol may be even better than we realize. New research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that one type of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) has a previously unknown role in protecting the liver from injury. This HDL protects the liver by blocking inflammatory signals produced by common gut bacteria. The study is published July 23 in the journal Science. HDL is mostly known for mopping up cholesterol in the body and delivering it to the liver for disposal. But in the new study, the researchers identified a special type of HDL called HDL3 that, when produced by the intestine, blocks gut bacterial signals ...

## Big data-derived tool facilitates closer monitoring of recovery from natural disasters

2021-07-22
By analyzing peoples' visitation patterns to essential establishments like pharmacies, religious centers and grocery stores during Hurricane Harvey, researchers at Texas A&M University have developed a framework to assess the recovery of communities after natural disasters in near real time. They said the information gleaned from their analysis would help federal agencies allocate resources equitably among communities ailing from a disaster. "Neighboring communities can be impacted very differently after a natural catastrophic event," said Dr. Ali Mostafavi, associate professor in the ...
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