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Perfecting collagen production in osteogenesis imperfecta

Perfecting collagen production in osteogenesis imperfecta
2021-07-22
Most people can expect to break close to two bones in their lifetime, but those with osteogenesis imperfecta -- also known as brittle bone disease -- can break hundreds of bones before they even hit puberty. And while healthy bones can break from a hard fall or a bad car wreck, there may not be an apparent reason at all with brittle bone disease. Classified as a rare disease, osteogenesis imperfecta, or OI, affects 6-7 people out of every 100,000 live births and can range in severity depending on the specific mutation. And while there are currently few treatment options and no cure, ...

New tests can detect tiny but toxic particles of coal ash in soil

2021-07-22
DURHAM, N.C. - Scientists at Duke University have developed a suite of four new tests that can be used to detect coal ash contamination in soil with unprecedented sensitivity. The tests are specifically designed to analyze soil for the presence of fly ash particles so small other tests might miss them. Fly ash is part of coal combustion residuals (CCRs) that are generated when a power plant burns pulverized coal. The tiny fly ash particles, which are often microscopic in size, contain high concentrations of arsenic, selenium and other toxic elements, many of which have been ...

Doctoral student bridges gap between electronics and optics

Doctoral student bridges gap between electronics and optics
2021-07-22
According to the United Nations' telecommunications agency, 93% of the global population has access to a mobile-broadband network of some kind. With data becoming more readily available to consumers, there is also an appetite for more of it, and at faster speeds. Ramy Rady, doctoral student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University, is working with Dr. Kamran Entesari, his faculty advisor and professor, and Dr. Christi Madsen, professor, to design a chip that can revolutionize the current data rate for processors and technologies such as smartphones, laptops, etc. Dr. Sam Palermo, ...

The anatomy of a planet

The anatomy of a planet
2021-07-22
Since early 2019, researchers have been recording and analysing marsquakes as part of the InSight mission. This relies on a seismometer whose data acquisition and control electronics were developed at ETH Zurich. Using this data, the researchers have now measured the red planet's crust, mantle and core - data that will help determine the formation and evolution of Mars and, by extension, the entire solar system. Mars once completely molten We know that Earth is made up of shells: a thin crust of light, solid rock surrounds a thick mantle of heavy, viscous rock, which in turn envelopes a core consisting mainly of iron and ...

'Wrapping' anodes in 3D carbon nanosheets: The next big thing in li-ion battery technology

Wrapping anodes in 3D carbon nanosheets: The next big thing in li-ion battery technology
2021-07-22
Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), which are a renewable source of energy for electrical devices or electric vehicles, have attracted much attention as the next-generation energy solution. However, the anodes of LIBs in use today have multiple inadequacies, ranging from low ionic electronic conductivity and structural changes during the charge/discharge cycle to low specific capacity, which limits the battery's performance. In search of a better anode material, Dr. Jun Kang of Korea Maritime and Ocean University, along with his colleagues from Pusan National University, Republic of Korea, END ...

During COVID-19, nurses face significant burnout risks, reports American Journal of Nursing

2021-07-22
July 22, 2021 - Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 40 percent of nurses and other health care workers had risks associated with an increased likelihood of burnout, reports a survey study in the August issue of the American Journal of Nursing (AJN). The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer. The study identifies risk factors for poor well-being as well as factors associated with greater resilience - which may reduce the risk of burnout for hands-on care providers, according to the new research by Lindsay Thompson Munn, RN, PhD, and colleagues of a North Carolina healthcare system. They write, "The insights ...

Surrey builds AI to find anti-ageing chemical compounds

2021-07-22
The University of Surrey has built an artificial intelligence (AI) model that identifies chemical compounds that promote healthy ageing - paving the way towards pharmaceutical innovations that extend a person's lifespan. In a paper published by Nature Communication's Scientific Reports, a team of chemists from Surrey built a machine learning model based on the information from the DrugAge database to predict whether a compound can extend the life of Caenorhabditis elegans - a translucent worm that shares a similar metabolism to humans. The worm's shorter lifespan gave the researchers the opportunity to see the impact of the chemical compounds. The AI singled ...

Investigational magnetic device shrinks glioblastoma in first-in-world human test

Investigational magnetic device shrinks glioblastoma in first-in-world human test
2021-07-22
Houston Methodist Neurological Institute researchers from the department of neurosurgery shrunk a deadly glioblastoma tumor by more than a third using a helmet generating a noninvasive oscillating magnetic field that the patient wore on his head while administering the therapy in his own home. The 53-year-old patient died from an unrelated injury about a month into the treatment, but during that short time, 31% of the tumor mass disappeared. The autopsy of his brain confirmed the rapid response to the treatment. "Thanks to the courage of this patient and his family, we were able to test and verify the potential effectiveness of the first noninvasive therapy ...

Cattle losing adaptations to environment, MU researchers find

Cattle losing adaptations to environment, MU researchers find
2021-07-22
As a fourth-generation cattle farmer, Jared Decker knows that cattle suffer from health and productivity issues when they are taken from one environment -- which the herd has spent generations adapting to -- to a place with a different climate, a different elevation or even different grass. But as a researcher at the University of Missouri, Decker also sees an opportunity to use science to solve this problem, both to improve the welfare of cattle and to plug a leak in a nearly $50 billion industry in the U.S. "When I joined MU in 2013, I moved cattle from a family farm in New Mexico to my farm here in Missouri," said Decker, an associate professor and Wurdack Chair in Animal Genetics at the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. "New Mexico is hot and dry, and Missouri is ...

Less-sensitive COVID-19 tests may still achieve optimal results if enough people tested

Less-sensitive COVID-19 tests may still achieve optimal results if enough people tested
2021-07-22
A computational analysis of COVID-19 tests suggests that, in order to minimize the number of infections in a population, the amount of testing matters more than the sensitivity of the tests that are used. Philip Cherian and Gautam Menon of Ashoka University in Sonipat, India, and Sandeep Krishna of the National Centre for Biological Sciences TIFR, Bangalore, India, present their findings in the open-access journal PLOS Computational Biology. Different states in India use different mixes of two main tests for COVID-19: a very sensitive reverse-transcriptase polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-PCR) test and a less sensitive rapid antigen test. Traditional thinking holds that an all-RT-PCR approach ...

Neurotransmitter levels predict math ability

Neurotransmitter levels predict math ability
2021-07-22
The neurotransmitters GABA and glutamate have complementary roles -- GABA inhibits neurons, while glutamate makes them more active. Published 22nd July in PLOS Biology, researchers led by Roi Cohen Kadosh and George Zacharopoulos from the University of Oxford show that levels of these two neurotransmitters in the intraparietal sulcus of the brain can predict mathematics ability. The study also found that the relationships between the two neurotransmitters and arithmetic fluency switched as children developed into adults. Levels of brain excitement/inhibition are thought to be related to learning, especially during critical periods. However, little is known about how they are related to complex learning that can take place over decades. To address this issue, the researchers ...

Clever cockatoos learn through social interaction

2021-07-22
For the first time, a team of international scientists have proven that cockatoos, an iconic Australian bird species, learn from each other a unique skill - lifting garbage bin lids to gather food. The world-first research published today in Science, confirms that cockatoos spread this novel behavior through social learning. Led by Barbara Klump and Lucy Aplin (Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior), along with John Martin (Taronga Conservation Society) and Richard Major (Australian Museum), the team have shown that this behavior by cockatoos is actually ...

InSight mission: Mars unveils its inner structures

2021-07-22
Based on a dozen earthquakes detected on Mars by the SEIS very broadband seismometer, developed in France, the international team of NASA's InSight mission reveals the internal structure of Mars. The three studies published July 23 in Science, involving many co-authors from French institutions and laboratories, including CNRS, the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, Université de Paris, and supported by CNES and ANR, reveal, for the first time and thanks to the analysis of seismic waves, reflected and modified by these internal interfaces, an estimate of the size of the core, the thickness of the crust and the mantle structure. This is the first ...

Study on chromosomal rearrangements in yeast reveals potential avenue for cancer therapy

Study on chromosomal rearrangements in yeast reveals potential avenue for cancer therapy
2021-07-22
Osaka, Japan - Gross chromosomal rearrangements--where portions of the genome become moved, deleted, or inverted--can lead to cell death and diseases such as cancer in complex multicellular organisms. However, the details of how exactly these occur remain unknown. Now, studies in a single-celled organism called fission yeast have found evidence for the involvement of a protein called Rad8. When DNA replicates or repairs itself, three copies of a protein called PCNA bind together and form a ring-like structure surrounding the DNA strand. This ring structure acts like a clamp and slides along the DNA strand. The team showed that Rad8 attaches ...

Global warming may limit spread of dengue fever, new research finds

2021-07-22
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Infection with dengue virus makes mosquitoes more sensitive to warmer temperatures, according to new research led by Penn State researchers. The team also found that infection with the bacterium Wolbachia, which has recently been used to control viral infections in mosquitoes, also increases the thermal sensitivity of the insects. The findings suggest that global warming could limit the spread of dengue fever but could also limit the effectiveness of Wolbachia as a biological control agent. "Dengue fever, a potentially lethal disease for which no treatment exists, is caused by a virus, spread by the bite of the mosquito Aedes aegypti. This mosquito is also responsible ...

NASA InSight Lander's seismic observations reveal the interior of mars

2021-07-22
NOTICE: This summary has been updated to correct misspellings of the last names of both Perspective authors. The Perspective authors are Sanne Cottaar and Paula Koelemeijer. We apologize for our error. The first direct seismic observations from NASA's InSight lander, presented in three studies in this issue, provide clues to the composition of Mars. Researchers across these studies report preliminary findings from the Insight mission and begin to map - for the first time - the interior of a planet apart from Earth. "These three studies provide important constraints on the present-day structure of Mars and are also key for improving our understanding of how the planet formed billions of years ago and ...

Trash-bin foragers: Innovation and spread of complex culture in suburban parrots

2021-07-22
In the suburbs of Sydney, Australia, sulphur-crested cockatoos routinely loot lidded household waste bins to scavenge for food. In a new study, researchers document the emergence and geographic spread of innovative bin-opening behaviors in urban parrot populations, revealing the presence of a complex social learning culture in these birds. What's more, this behavior appears to have emerged as a direct response to land-use change and urbanization, demonstrating how animal cultures could allow for local adaptation of urban animal populations in the Anthropocene. In animals, ecological novelty, including novelties unique ...

A case for intranasal COVID-19 vaccinations

2021-07-22
Of the nearly 100 SARS-CoV-2 vaccines currently undergoing clinical trials, only seven are delivered intranasally - despite this vaccine type's long success in providing protection from influenza. In a Perspective, Frances Lund and Troy Randall argue that intranasal vaccines could be beneficial in the continued fight against COVID-19, especially considering respiratory viruses like SARS-CoV-2 predominantly enter the nasal passage first. Currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines are delivered via intramuscular injection, where they elicit systemic immune responses and central immune memory. While several ...

Spontaneous retinal waves simulate optical flow before neonatal mice can see

2021-07-22
Like dreaming of walking through a world they've not yet experienced, the retinas of neonatal mice practice for what mature eyes must later process by generating spontaneous patterns of activity that mimic the perception of directional movement through space, according to a new study. Essential functions in the mammalian visual system, including the ability to locate objects and detect motion, are present even at the first onset of vision. Optic flow, the perceived relative motion of objects and surfaces that seemingly stream by a field of vision during movement, is one of these functions. However, how the visual system organizes its functional characteristics before visual sensory experience is even possible remains unclear. ...

Mars: Scientists determine crustal thickness

Mars: Scientists determine crustal thickness
2021-07-22
Based on the analysis of marsquakes recorded by NASA's InSight mission, the structure of Mars's crust has now been determined in absolute numbers for the first time. Beneath the InSight landing site, the crust is either approximately 20 or 39 kilometres thick. That is the result of an international research team led by geophysicist Dr Brigitte Knapmeyer-Endrun at the University of Cologne's Institute of Geology and Mineralogy and Dr Mark Panning at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology (Caltech). InSight stands for 'Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport'. NASA's lander, which ...

Global approach is needed on battery regulation

Global approach is needed on battery regulation
2021-07-22
New European Union regulations on batteries could offer a huge boost to the global decarbonisation mission - but only if it leverages its political and economic weight to ensure a fairer global marketplace. According to a team of scientists and researchers writing in Science, the new regulations, due to come into force from January 2022, have the potential to unify policy on approaches such as recycling, use of recycled raw materials, and creating a circular economy. Contributing to the study were experts at Newcastle University, the University of Birmingham, Circular Energy Storage Research and Consulting, ...

Eyes wide shut: How newborn mammals dream the world they're entering

2021-07-22
As a newborn mammal opens its eyes for the first time, it can already make visual sense of the world around it. But how does this happen before they have experienced sight? A new Yale study suggests that, in a sense, mammals dream about the world they are about to experience before they are even born. Writing in the July 23 issue of Science, a team led by Michael Crair, the William Ziegler III Professor of Neuroscience and professor of ophthalmology and visual science, describes waves of activity that emanate from the neonatal retina in mice before their eyes ever open. This activity disappears soon after birth and is replaced by a more mature network of neural transmissions ...

InSight mission: Mars unveiled

InSight mission: Mars unveiled
2021-07-22
Using information obtained from around a dozen earthquakes detected on Mars by the Very Broad Band SEIS seismometer, developed in France, the international team of NASA's InSight mission has unveiled the internal structure of Mars. The three papers published on July 23, 2021 in the journal Science, involving numerous co-authors from French institutions and laboratories, including the CNRS, the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, and Université de Paris, and supported in particular by the French space agency CNES and the French National Research Agency ANR, provide, for the first time, an estimate of the size of the planet's core, the thickness of its crust and the structure of its mantle, based on the analysis of seismic waves reflected ...

Stanford researchers develop tool to drastically speed up the study of enzymes

Stanford researchers develop tool to drastically speed up the study of enzymes
2021-07-22
For much of human history, animals and plants were perceived to follow a different set of rules than the rest of the universe. In the 18th and 19th centuries, this culminated in a belief that living organisms were infused by a non-physical energy or "life force" that allowed them to perform remarkable transformations that couldn't be explained by conventional chemistry or physics alone. Scientists now understand that these transformations are powered by enzymes - protein molecules comprised of chains of amino acids that act to speed up, or catalyze, ...

Alpha variant spread via 'super-seeding' event in UK: Oxford research

2021-07-22
The rapid spread of the Alpha variant of COVID-19 resulted from biological changes in the virus and was enhanced by large numbers of infected people 'exporting' the variant to multiple parts of the UK, in what the researchers call a 'super-seeding' event. Results of the largest phylogeographic analysis ever conducted, published today in the journal Science, maps the spread of the variant (also known as lineage B.1.1.7) from its origins in Kent and Greater London in November 2020 to all but five counties in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England by 19 January. Dr ...
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