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Probing the dynamics of photoemission

2021-06-17
Physicists at Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich (LMU) and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics (MPQ) have used ultrashort laser pulses to probe the dynamics of photoelectron emission in tungsten crystals. Almost a century ago, Albert Einstein received the Nobel Prize for Physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect. Published in 1905, Einstein's theory incorporated the idea that light is made up of particles called photons. When light impinges on matter, the electrons in the sample respond to the input of energy, and the interaction gives rise to what is known as the photoelectric effect. Light quanta (photons) are absorbed by the ...

Adding checkpoint inhibition to anti-HER2 breast cancer therapy brings no benefit

2021-06-17
Lugano, Switzerland, 17 June 2021 - Adding an immune checkpoint inhibitor to anti-HER2 treatment in breast cancer does not improve pathological complete response (pCR), according to the primary analysis of the IMpassion050 trial presented today during the ESMO Virtual Plenary. (1) The phase III trial is the first to report data comparing a neoadjuvant anti-HER2 based regimen with or without the anti-PD-L1 antibody atezolizumab in patients with high-risk, HER2-positive early breast cancer. The standard treatment for high-risk, HER2-positive early breast cancer is dual anti-HER2 blockade plus chemotherapy. While antibody therapy may enhance innate and adaptive immunity and activate cellular cytotoxicity, there is evidence ...

Researchers identify gene responsible for increased risk of infantile fragility

2021-06-17
(Boston)--An intrauterine fracture is a rare finding during routine prenatal imaging. This condition can be due to maternal trauma, genetic disorders of the skeleton, as well as other predisposing maternal metabolic and vascular disorders. Genetic disorders that have previously been reported to cause intrauterine fracture include brittle bone disease (osteogenesis imperfecta or OI), osteopetrosis, hypophosphatasia and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS). Now for the first time, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) report a new genetic cause, unrelated to OI, for the 23 fractures that occurred in-utero to a mother with EDS hypermobility type. EDS is a disease that weakens the bones and connective tissues ...

Asymptomatic pertussis more common in infants than previously thought

2021-06-17
New study challenges long-standing assumptions about disease severity in infants, and suggests that standard qPCR interpretations underestimate the true burden of other highly contagious diseases, such as COVID-19 and influenza. Pertussis, also known as "whooping cough," remains a significant cause of death in infants and young children around the world and, despite global vaccination programs, many countries are experiencing a resurgence of this highly contagious disease. A new study by Boston University School of Public Health and the University of Georgia's Odum School of Ecology presents evidence that could help explain this ...

Red meat consumption may promote DNA damage-assoc. mutation in colorectal cancer patients

2021-06-17
Bottom Line: Genetic mutations indicative of DNA damage were associated with high red meat consumption and increased cancer-related mortality in patients with colorectal cancer. Journal in Which the Study was Published: Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research Author: Marios Giannakis, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a physician at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Background: "We have known for some time that consumption of processed meat and red meat is a risk factor for colorectal cancer," said Giannakis. The International Agency for Research on Cancer declared that processed meat was carcinogenic and that red meat was probably carcinogenic to humans in 2015. Experiments ...

Engineered NK cells can eliminate glioblastoma stem cells

Engineered NK cells can eliminate glioblastoma stem cells
2021-06-17
HOUSTON ? Preclinical research from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center finds that although glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) can be targeted by natural killer (NK) cells, they are able to evade immune attack by releasing the TFG-β signaling protein, which blocks NK cell activity. Deleting the TFG-β receptor in NK cells, however, rendered them resistant to this immune suppression and enabled their anti-tumor activity. The findings, published today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, suggest that engineering NK cells to resist immune suppression may be a feasible path ...

Hybrid membrane doubles the lifetime of rechargeable batteries

Hybrid membrane doubles the lifetime of rechargeable batteries
2021-06-17
The energy density of traditional lithium-ion batteries is approaching a saturation point that cannot meet the demands of the future - for example in electric vehicles. Lithium metal batteries can provide double the energy per unit weight when compared to lithium-ion batteries. The biggest challenge, hindering its application, is the formation of lithium dendrites, small, needle-like structures, similar to stalagmites in a dripstone cave, over the lithium metal anode. These dendrites often continue to grow until they pierce the separator membrane, causing the battery to short-circuit and ultimately destroying ...

Excess nitrogen puts butterflies at risk

Excess nitrogen puts butterflies at risk
2021-06-17
Nitrogen from agriculture, vehicle emissions and industry is endangering butterflies in Switzerland. The element is deposited in the soil via the air and has an impact on vegetation - to the detriment of the butterflies, as researchers at the University of Basel have discovered. More than half of butterfly species in Switzerland are considered to be at risk or potentially at risk. Usually, the search for causes focuses on intensive agriculture, pesticide use and climate change. A research team led by Professor Valentin Amrhein from the University of Basel, however, has been investigating another factor - the depositing ...

Response to DNA damage: The dual role of extramitochondrial cytochrome C

2021-06-17
Living beings are continuously exposed to harmful agents, both exogenous (ultraviolet radiation, polluting gases, etc.) and endogenous (secondary products of cellular metabolism) that can affect DNA integrity. That's why cells are endowed with a series of molecular mechanisms whose purpose is to identify and signpost possible damage to the genetic material for speedy repair. These mechanisms are precisely regulated because they are key to cell survival. In extreme situations of massive and irreparable damage, cells enter a phase of controlled dismantling called "programmed cell death". Among the events that take place during this process is the massive delivery to the cytoplasm of a mitochondrial protein called cytochrome C. Under homeostatic conditions, this protein plays a role in energy ...

Novel chirped pulses defy 'conventional wisdom'

Novel chirped pulses defy conventional wisdom
2021-06-17
The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics was shared by researchers who pioneered a technique to create ultrashort, yet extremely high-energy laser pulses at the University of Rochester. Now researchers at the University's Institute of Optics have produced those same high-powered pulses--known as chirped pulses--in a way that works even with relatively low-quality, inexpensive equipment. The new work could pave the way for: Better high-capacity telecommunication systems Improved astrophysical calibrations used to find exoplanets Even more accurate atomic clocks Precise devices for measuring chemical contaminants in the atmosphere In a paper in Optica, the researchers describe the first demonstration ...

Historical climate effects of permafrost peatland surprise researchers

Historical climate effects of permafrost peatland surprise researchers
2021-06-17
Peatlands are an important ecosystem that contribute to the regulation of the atmospheric carbon cycle. A multidisciplinary group of researchers, led by the University of Helsinki, investigated the climate response of a permafrost peatland located in Russia during the past 3,000 years. Unexpectedly, the group found that a cool climate period, which resulted in the formation of permafrost in northern peatlands, had a positive, or warming, effect on the climate. The period studied, which began 3,000 years ago, is known as a climate period of cooling temperatures. The climate-related effect of permafrost formation brought about by the cooling was investigated particularly by analysing the ancient plant communities of the peatland, using similarly analysed peatland data from elsewhere in ...

'First empirical evidence of an identity-related societal cleavage'

First empirical evidence of an identity-related societal cleavage
2021-06-17
An international survey by the University of Münster's Cluster of Excellence "Religion and Politics" provides the first empirical evidence of an identity-related political cleavage of European societies that has resulted in the emergence of two entrenched camps of substantial size. "We see two distinct groups with opposing positions, which we call 'Defenders' and 'Explorers'", says psychologist Mitja Back, spokesperson of the interdisciplinary research team that conducted the most comprehensive survey of identity conflicts in Europe to date. "Who belongs to our country, who threatens whom, who is disadvantaged? Across all such questions of identity, the initial analyses of the survey reveal a new line of conflict between the two groups, which have almost diametrically opposite ...

RUDN University medics detect alterations in amino acid profiles in children with ADHD

RUDN University medics detect alterations in amino acid profiles in children with ADHD
2021-06-17
RUDN University doctors found alterations in serum amino acid profile in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The findings will help to understand the mechanism of the disorder and develop new treatment strategies. The study is published in the journal Biomedical Reports. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that manifests itself in childhood. Children with ADHD find it difficult to concentrate and manage their impulsivity. It is known that ADHD is also manifested at the neurochemical level -- for example, the work of dopamine and norepinephrine is disrupted. However, there is still no definitive data ...

Wild chimpanzee orphans recover from the stress of losing their mother

Wild chimpanzee orphans recover from the stress of losing their mother
2021-06-17
The death of a mother is a traumatic event for immature offspring in species in which mothers provide prolonged maternal care, such as in long-lived mammals, including humans. Orphan mammals die earlier and have less offspring compared with non-orphans, but how these losses arise remains under debate. Clinical studies on humans and captive studies on animals show that infants whose mothers die when they are young are exposed to chronic stress throughout their lives. However, such chronic stress, which has deleterious consequences on health, can be reduced or even cancelled if human orphans are placed in foster families young enough. How stressed orphans are in the wild and whether ...

Testicular cancer: Improved treatment and prognosis

Testicular cancer: Improved treatment and prognosis
2021-06-17
Testicular cancer is the most common cancer among men under 40 in Europe and the USA. National statistics from the Cancer League indicate 471 new cases and 12 deaths in Switzerland. In general, the prospects for successful treatment of testicular cancer are good over time and, especially with early diagnosis, even further improved. Even if metastases are already present, testicular cancer can be successfully treated with appropriate therapy in the majority of cases. New classification enables even more targeted treatment The primary treatment for testicular cancer is the removal of the affected testicle. However, the disease is often only discovered at a stage where metastases are already present and then, after the primary surgical procedure, ...

Financial networks: A new discipline to interpret crises and green transition

Financial networks: A new discipline to interpret crises and green transition
2021-06-17
Modelling the financial system as a network is a precondition to understanding and managing challenges of great relevance for society, including the containment of financial crises and the transition to a low-carbon economy. Financial Networks is the scientific discipline that deals with these issues. An article published in the scientific journal Nature Review Physics carries out the first comprehensive review of this exciting interdisciplinary field. By covering over 250 studies across domains, the paper is also a call for researchers in all scientific disciplines to consider the insights from the financial network models, because of their implications for citizens, public agencies and governments. Professor Guido Caldarelli from Ca' Foscari University of Venice coordinated ...

First evidence that medieval plague victims were buried individually with 'considerable care'

First evidence that medieval plague victims were buried individually with considerable care
2021-06-17
In the mid-14th century Europe was devastated by a major pandemic - the Black Death - which killed between 40 and 60 per cent of the population. Later waves of plague then continued to strike regularly over several centuries. Plague kills so rapidly it leaves no visible traces on the skeleton, so archaeologists have previously been unable to identify individuals who died of plague unless they were buried in mass graves. Whilst it has long been suspected that most plague victims received individual burial, this has been impossible to confirm until now. ...

RUDN University biologists develop a rapid test for detecting the fire blight in plants

RUDN University biologists develop a rapid test for detecting the fire blight in plants
2021-06-17
RUDN University biotechnologists have created a method for detection of bacterial infection in apple, pear, hawthorn and other plants of the Rosaceae family. The test does not require laboratory equipment, the result is ready in 10 minutes. This will allow detecting the disease quickly and prevent the spread of infection. The results are published in Physiological and Molecular Pathology of Plants. Erwinia amylovora bacteria causes a dangerous infectious disease in plants -- a fire blight. Most plants of the Rosaceae family are vulnerable to it, for example, hawthorn, apple, pear. The bacteria causes the blossom to wither, the leaves dry up and curl, the bark develop necrotic lesions. The disease can spread through infected plants, garden tools, and with the wind, which ...

A promising new target for urinary tract infections and kidney stones

A promising new target for urinary tract infections and kidney stones
2021-06-17
Researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) find that the secretion of uromodulin protein into urine can be induced by treatments that may protect against urinary tract infections and kidney stones, among other diseases Tokyo, Japan - The normal function of uromodulin, a protein that is made in the kidney and secreted into the urine, remains largely unknown. However, higher levels of uromodulin in the urine are related to lower rates of urinary tract infections and kidney stones, while higher levels of this protein in kidney cells are associated with higher rates of hypertension and chronic kidney disease. Researchers from Japan have now uncovered how uromodulin secretion into the urine can be increased by the hormone vasopressin--a finding that may ...

CSIC scientists propose a new strategy to regulate the cells communication network

CSIC scientists propose a new strategy to regulate the cells communication network
2021-06-17
A study performed by researchers at the Institute for Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia (IQAC-CSIC) from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in collaboration with Stony Brook University (USA) proposes a new strategy for the development of new drugs based on the inhibition of tyrosine kinase enzymes, molecules that activate and trigger many cellular processes. The results have been published in the Chemistry - A European Journal. The new approach is based on the regulation of the signaling cascade of tyrosine kinases, and could lead to the development ...

Probing deeper into tumor tissues

Probing deeper into tumor tissues
2021-06-17
Today as they did 100 years ago, doctors diagnose cancer by taking tissue samples from patients, which they usually fix in formalin for microscopic examination. In the past 20 years, genetic methods have also been established that make it possible to characterize mutations in tumors in greater detail, thus helping clinicians select the best treatment strategy. Even tiny tissue samples can be used to detect proteins Now, a group of researchers from the Berlin-based Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC), the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), Charité - Universitätsmedizin ...

RNE and Leopoldina call for swift action -- lay the foundations for climate neutrality now

2021-06-17
The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) have published a joint position paper presenting paths to climate neutrality by 2050. In it, the Leopoldina and the RNE highlight options for action to effect the changes needed within society, at political level and in the business world, in view especially of the urgency and the historic dimensions of the transformation we face. With the paper, the Leopoldina and the RNE are consciously not seeking to engage in a race to set the most ambitious target. They are instead offering an options paper for setting the right course and covering the key implementation steps. ...

NYU Abu Dhabi researchers discover orbital patterns of trans-Neptunian objects

2021-06-17
Abu Dhabi, UAE: Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs), small objects that orbit the sun beyond Neptune, are fossils from the early days of the solar system which can tell us a lot about its formation and evolution. A new study led by Mohamad Ali-Dib, a research scientist at the NYU Abu Dhabi END ...

UCLA and UIC researchers discover foam 'fizzics'

2021-06-17
Chemical engineers at the University of Illinois Chicago and UCLA have answered longstanding questions about the underlying processes that determine the life cycle of liquid foams. The breakthrough could help improve the commercial production and application of foams in a broad range of industries. Findings of the END ...

Long-term Himalayan glacier sStudy

Long-term Himalayan glacier sStudy
2021-06-17
The glaciers of Nanga Parbat - one of the highest mountains in the world - have been shrinking slightly but continually since the 1930s. This loss in surface area is evidenced by a long-term study conducted by researchers from the South Asia Institute of Heidelberg University. The geographers combined historical photographs, surveys, and topographical maps with current data, which allowed them to show glacial changes for this massif in the north-western Himalaya as far back as the mid-1800s. Detailed long-term glacier studies that extend the observation period ...
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