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Higher levels of omega-3 acids in the blood increases life expectancy by almost five years

2021-07-22
Levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood are as good a predictor of mortality from any cause as smoking, according to a study involving the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), in collaboration with The Fatty Acid Research Institute in the United States and several universities in the United States and Canada. The study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, used data from a long-term study group, the Framingham Offspring Cohort, which has been monitoring residents of this Massachusetts town, in the United States, since 1971. Researchers have found that omega-3 levels in blood erythrocytes (the so-called red blood cells) are very good mortality risk predictors. The study concludes that "Having higher levels of these ...

Antibiotics may help to treat melanoma

2021-07-22
Some antibiotics appear to be effective against a form of skin cancer known as melanoma. Researchers at KU Leuven, Belgium, examined the effect of these antibiotics on patient-derived tumours in mice. Their findings were published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. Researchers from KU Leuven may have found a new weapon in the fight against melanoma: antibiotics that target the 'power plants' of cancer cells. These antibiotics exploit a vulnerability that arises in tumour cells when they try to survive cancer therapy. "As the cancer evolves, some melanoma cells may escape the treatment and stop proliferating to 'hide' from ...

Mobility restrictions can have unexpected impacts on air quality

2021-07-22
An international collaborative study led by University of Helsinki has conducted a holistic study to investigate the effects of COVID-19 restrictions on several air quality pollutants for the Po Valley region in northern Italy. The area is well known to have one of the worst air quality standards in Europe and is highly influenced by anthropogenic (human-led) activities. The study was done between research groups in Finland, Italy and Switzerland and the results were published in the journal Environmental Science: Atmospheres. Scientists have combined air quality measurements and computer simulation data over several locations in the region. The resulting studies show that reduced emissions from traffic lead to a strong reduction of nitrogen ...

Targeted removals and enhanced monitoring can help manage lionfish in the Mediterranean

Targeted removals and enhanced monitoring can help manage lionfish in the Mediterranean
2021-07-22
Targeted removals can be effective in suppressing the number of invasive lionfish found within protected coastlines around the Mediterranean Sea. However, if they are to really be successful they need to be combined with better long-term monitoring by communities and conservationists to ensure their timing and location achieve the best results. Those are the key findings of a new study, one of the first of its kind to examine the effectiveness of targeted lionfish removals from both an ecological and a socio-economic perspective. Scientists working as part of the European Union-funded RELIONMED project ...

Pandemic changed perceptions of masked faces

Pandemic changed perceptions of masked faces
2021-07-22
The Covid-19 pandemic has improved perceptions of facial attractiveness and healthiness of people wearing face masks in Japan. Wearing sanitary facemasks was not uncommon in Japan prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. Public health initiatives during the pandemic have led to a drastic increase in the use of facemasks as they reduce the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The sanitary-mask effect is a model that predicted how facemasks affected perceptions of facial attractiveness. However, as mindsets might have changed due to the pandemic, it is likely that the sanitary-mask effect has been altered. A team of four scientists, including Professor Jun I. Kawahara from Hokkaido University's ...

Smokeless tobacco used more by pregnant women in South East Asia than non-pregnant women

2021-07-22
Pregnant women in South East Asia are more likely to use smokeless tobacco than non-pregnant women, despite the added risk of foetal harm during pregnancy. The study - from the University of York - also suggests that there is no difference in smoking between pregnant women and non-pregnant women in many lower to middle income countries.(LMICs) Researchers analysed data from 42 lower to middle income countries (LMICs) and also conducted a separate sub-group analysis for the South East Asia Region. (SEAR) Researchers said the study is the first to report comparative estimates of tobacco use among pregnant and non-pregnant women from the 42 LMICs encompassing 80,454 pregnant and 1,230,262 non-pregnant women. Dr Radha ...

Survey finds bullying and harassment systemic in astronomy and geophysics

2021-07-22
Results from a new survey of astronomers and geophysicists show that these sciences have a systemic bullying problem; one that is disproportionately worse for women and those from minority groups. In a survey carried out by the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) last year of over 650 people in the field, 44% of respondents had suffered bullying and harassment in the workplace within the preceding 12 months. Aine O'Brien, RAS Diversity Officer, will present the key results in a talk at the virtual National Astronomy Meeting on Thursday 22 July. Key initial findings show: Disabled, and Black and minority ethnic astronomers and geophysicists are 40% more likely to be bullied than their non-disabled and White colleagues respectively. Women and non-binary people in the field are 50% more ...

Remote 24-hour monitoring shows sizable, positive effect on cancer patients

2021-07-22
Remote 24-hour monitoring for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy helps to better manage side effects and improve quality of life, finds a study published by The BMJ today. The researchers say remote monitoring can provide a safe, secure, and "real time" system that optimises symptom management and supports patients to remain at home - and is particularly relevant in the context of the covid-19 pandemic. Effective symptom monitoring and management is essential during chemotherapy for cancer, but current approaches rely on patients recognising that symptoms are severe ...

Government has failed to deliver on smoke free pledge for England

2021-07-22
Two years on from its pledge to make England smoke free by 2030, the UK government has failed to deliver on the policies it promised to deliver this ambition, say a group of leading doctors, professional bodies and charities in The BMJ today. In an open letter to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for health, they say smoking is likely to have killed more people last year than covid-19 and it will carry on doing so for many years to come unless the government takes action. They call for a US-style 'polluter pays' levy on tobacco manufacturers to fund the strategy, saying "the time has come to make the tobacco manufacturers pay to end the epidemic they and they alone have caused." The rate of decline in smoking in the years leading up to 2019 was not sufficient to deliver ...

Unravelling the knotty problem of the Sun's activity

Unravelling the knotty problem of the Suns activity
2021-07-22
A new approach to analysing the development of magnetic tangles on the Sun has led to a breakthrough in a longstanding debate about how solar energy is injected into the solar atmosphere before being released into space, causing space weather events. The first direct evidence that field lines become knotted before they emerge at the visible surface of the Sun has implications for our ability to predict the behaviour of active regions and the nature of the solar interior. Dr Christopher Prior of the Department of Mathematical Sciences, Durham University, will present the work today at the ...

Large-scale study finds greater sedentary hours increases risk of obstructive sleep apnea

2021-07-22
A new study by investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital examined the relationship between active lifestyles and the risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The study followed around 130,000 men and women in the United States over a follow-up period of 10-to-18 years and found that higher levels of physical activity and lower levels of sedentary behavior were associated with a lower risk of OSA. Their results are published in the European Respiratory Journal. "In our study, higher levels of physical activity and fewer hours of TV watching, and sitting either at work or away from home ...

The Lancet: Experts call for urgent action to improve physical activity worldwide

2021-07-22
Not enough progress has been made to address physical inactivity worldwide, with adolescents and people living with disabilities (PLWD) among the least likely populations to have the support needed to meet the World Health Organization (WHO)'s physical activity guidelines. Global efforts to improve physical activity have stalled, with overall deaths caused by physical activity remaining at more than 5 million people per year. [1] Physical inactivity is linked to an increased risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers and costs at least $54 billion per year in direct health care costs of which $31 billion is paid by the public sector. The slow progress to improve physical activity worldwide ...

David Williams named 2021 recipient of the IADR Gold Medal Award

2021-07-22
Alexandria, Va., USA - The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) announced David Williams, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, UK, as the 2021 recipient of the IADR Gold Medal Award. Williams was recognized during the Opening Ceremonies of the virtual 99th General Session & Exhibition of the IADR, held in conjunction with the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) and the 45th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), on July 21-24, 2021. Williams is a Professor of Global Oral Health at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, UK. He is currently Co-Chair ...

Evidence of sustained benefits of pimavanserin for dementia-related psychosis

2021-07-22
Evidence of the sustained benefits of an investigational antipsychotic treatment for people with dementia-related psychosis has been published. Up to half of the 45 million people worldwide who are living with Alzheimer's disease will experience psychotic episodes, a figure that is even higher in some other forms of dementia. Psychosis is linked to a faster deterioration in dementia. Despite this, there is no approved safe and effective treatment for these particularly distressing symptoms. In people with dementia, widely-used antipsychotics lead to sedation, falls and increased risk of deaths. Pimavanserin works by blocking serotonin 5HT2A ...

Inheriting mother's friends key to hyena success

2021-07-22
EAST LANSING, Mich. - In the wild, inheriting advantageous physical traits may be the difference between a long life and a short one. But for the spotted hyena, another kind of inheritance, one that has nothing to do with genetics, turns out to be extremely important for health and longevity -- social networks inherited from their mothers. A new study, based on 27 years of observational data from Michigan State University Distinguished Professor Kay Holekamp, expands a previously established theoretical model of spotted hyena social networking to show how these networks emerge, how long they last and how they affect a hyena's life trajectory. The paper is featured as the front cover for the journal Science. "There ...

Long COVID and severe COVID-19 infections associated with Epstein-Barr virus reactivation

Long COVID and severe COVID-19 infections associated with Epstein-Barr virus reactivation
2021-07-22
Two recently published studies available on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website indicate Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) reactivation may play a role both in the development of long COVID symptoms, as well as severe COVID-19 cases. The first evidence linking EBV reactivation to long COVID symptoms was discovered by Gold et al. (2021) and published in Pathogens. This study can be viewed on the NIH website here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8233978/ "We ran Epstein-Barr virus serological tests on COVID-19 patients at least 90 days after testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection, comparing EBV ...

Self-collected saliva and courier service -- A feasible diagnostic strategy for COVID-19

2021-07-21
Alexandria, Va., USA - Walter Siqueira, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada, presented the poster "Self-collected Saliva and Courier Service - A Feasible Diagnostic Strategy for COVID-19" at the virtual 99th General Session & Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), held in conjunction with the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) and the 45th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), on July 21-24, 2021. Saliva has been proposed as a convenient and cost-effective biofluid for diagnostic purposes and in vitro studies have shown that the addition of stabilizers to saliva preserves it for up to 7-10 days at room temperature, but its translational application ...

How does the structure of cytolysins influence their activity?

How does the structure of cytolysins influence their activity?
2021-07-21
Although Enterococcus faecalis is usually an innocuous member of the bacterial community in the human gut, it can also cause several infections, including liver disorders. The bacteria produce cytolysins, which are molecules that destroy cells. In a new study, researchers have uncovered how they do so. "Your chances of dying increase by 5-fold when you get infected by E. faecalis that can make cytolysin compared to those that cannot," said Wilfred van der Donk (MMG), a professor of chemistry and investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. "Cytolysin is an important molecule and it has been known since the 1930s, our lab determined the ...

New simulator helps robots sharpen their cutting skills

2021-07-21
Researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) Department of Computer Science and NVIDIA have unveiled a new simulator for robotic cutting that can accurately reproduce the forces acting on a knife as it slices through common foodstuffs, such as fruit and vegetables. The system could also simulate cutting through human tissue, offering potential applications in surgical robotics. The paper was presented at the Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS) Conference 2021 on July 16, where it received the Best Student Paper Award. In the past, researchers have had trouble creating intelligent ...

New quantum research gives insights into how quantum light can be mastered

New quantum research gives insights into how quantum light can be mastered
2021-07-21
Los Alamos, N.M., July 21, 2021--A team of scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory propose that modulated quantum metasurfaces can control all properties of photonic qubits, a breakthrough that could impact the fields of quantum information, communications, sensing and imaging, as well as energy and momentum harvesting. The results of their study were released yesterday in the journal Physical Review Letters, published by the American Physical Society. "People have studied classical metasurfaces for a long time," says Diego Dalvit, who works in the Condensed Matter and Complex Systems group at the Laboratory's Theoretical Division. "But we came up with this new idea, which was to modulate in time and space the optical properties of ...

New framework applies machine learning to atomistic modeling

2021-07-21
Northwestern University researchers have developed a new framework using machine learning that improves the accuracy of interatomic potentials -- the guiding rules describing how atoms interact -- in new materials design. The findings could lead to more accurate predictions of how new materials transfer heat, deform, and fail at the atomic scale. Designing new nanomaterials is an important aspect of developing next-generation devices used in electronics, sensors, energy harvesting and storage, optical detectors, and structural materials. To design these materials, researchers create interatomic potentials through atomistic modeling, a computational approach that predicts how these materials behave by accounting for their ...

A history of African dust

A history of African dust
2021-07-21
In a recently published paper, a research team, led by University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science Professor Emeritus Joseph M. Prospero, chronicles the history of African dust transport, including three independent "first" discoveries of African dust in the Caribbean Basin in the 1950s and 1960s. Every year, mineral-rich dust from North Africa's Sahara Desert is lifted into the atmosphere by winds and carried on a 5,000-mile journey across the North Atlantic to the Americas. African dust contains iron, phosphorus and other important nutrients that are essential for life in marine and terrestrial ...

How a unique sponge 'goes with the flow' could improve man-made structures

2021-07-21
BROOKLYN, New York, Weekday, Month xx, 2021 - The remarkable structural properties of the Venus' flower basket sponge (E. aspergillum) might seem fathoms removed from human-engineered structures. However, insights into how the organism's latticework of holes and ridges influences the hydrodynamics of seawater in its vicinity could lead to advanced designs for buildings, bridges, marine vehicles and aircraft, and anything that must respond safely to forces imposed by the flow of air or water. While past research has investigated the structure of the sponge, there have been few studies of the hydrodynamic fields surrounding and penetrating the organism, and whether, besides improving its mechanical ...

Team streamlines neural networks to be more adept at computing on encrypted data

2021-07-21
BROOKLYN, New York, Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - This week, at the 38th International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML 21), researchers at the END ...

Dynamic heart model mimics hemodynamic loads, advances engineered heart tissue technology

2021-07-21
Efforts to understand cardiac disease progression and develop therapeutic tissues that can repair the human heart are just a few areas of focus for the Feinberg research group at Carnegie Mellon University. The group's latest dynamic model, created in partnership with collaborators in the Netherlands, mimics physiologic loads on engineering heart muscle tissues, yielding an unprecedented view of how genetics and mechanical forces contribute to heart muscle function. "Our lab has been working for a long time on engineering and building human heart muscle tissue, so we can better ...
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