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nist's quick test may speed antibiotic treatment and combat drug resistance

boulder, colo.--researchers at the national institute of standards and technology (nist) have demonstrated a potential new tactic for rapidly determining whether an antibiotic combats a given infection, thus hastening effective medical treatment and limiting the development of drug-resistant bacteria. their method can quickly sense mechanical fluctuations of bacterial cells and any changes induced by an antibiotic. described in scientific reports, nist's prototype sensor provides results in less than an hour, much faster than conventional antimicrobial tests, which typically require days to grow colonies of bacterial cells. delayed results from conventional tests allow dangerous infections to progress before effective treatments can be found...




the math of doughnuts: 'moonshine' sheds light on elliptic curves

mathematicians have opened a new chapter in the theory of moonshine, one which begins to harness the power of the pariahs - sporadic simple groups that previously had no known application. "we've found a new form of moonshine, which in math refers to an idea so farfetched as to sound like lunacy," says ken ono, a number theorist at emory university. "and we've used this moonshine to show the mathematical usefulness of the o'nan pariah group in a way that moves it from theory to reality. it turns out that the o'nan group knows deep information about elliptic curves."nature communications published the representation theory for the o'nan group developed by ono, john duncan (also a number theorist at emory) and michael mertens (a former...




forgoing chemo linked to worse survival in older patients with advanced colon cancer who had dementia

bottom line: a pre-existing diagnosis of dementia was associated with increased risk of death for older patients with advanced colon cancer; however, some of the effects of dementia on survival could be mediated by receipt of chemotherapy.journal in which the study was published: cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention, a journal of the american association for cancer research.author: yingjia chen, phd, a postdoctoral fellow in the memory and aging center in the department of neurology at university of california, san francisco.how the study was conducted and results: chen and colleagues started by performing a retrospective cohort study using seer-medicare data for 3,903 adults over the age of 65 with confirmed diagnoses of stage 3 col...




why do people in new democracies stop voting?

are voters in new democracies so disenchanted with the political process that more and more are staying away from the polls?to democracy watchers, the examples are legion. in the space of only a generation, many countries that went from one-party rule to free elections saw voter turnout decline dramatically, by double digits. in romania, for instance, turnout dropped by 47 percentage points between 1990 (the founding election) and 2010. in south korea, turnout dropped by 30 points from 1988 to 2008. in el salvador, it fell 29 points between 1982 and 2002. in portugal, it was down 18 points between 1975 and 1995.filip kostelka has come up with some surprising explanations. as part of his post-doctoral research in political science at universi...




are you happy you voted -- or didn't?

after people vote, do they think they made the right choice? when they abstain, do they regret not voting?new research by université de montréal political scientist andré blais and phd students fernando feitosa and semra sevi answers those questions for the first time - and finds that in general, people who vote are very happy with their choice and those who abstain doubt they did the right thing.in a study published in party politics, the researchers looked at 22 election-period surveys done in canada, france, germany, spain and switzerland between 2011 and 2015. of the nearly 20,000 people polled, the vast majority (97%) who voted were glad they did, while only 60 per cent of non-voters were glad they abstained."this is an encouraging...




alternative splicing, an important mechanism for cancer

barcelona, 21 september 2017 - cancer, which is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, arises from the disruption of essential mechanisms of the normal cell life cycle, such as replication control, dna repair and cell death. thanks to the advances in genome sequencing techniques, biomedical researchers have been able to identify many of the genetic alterations that occur in patients that are common among and between tumor types. but until recently, only mutations in dna were thought to cause cancer. in a new study published in the journal cell reports, researchers show that alterations in a process known as alternative splicing may also trigger the disease. although dna is the instruction manual for cell growth, maturation, divisi...




personality changes don't precede clinical onset of alzheimer's, fsu study shows

tallahassee, fla. -- for years, scientists and physicians have been debating whether personality and behavior changes might appear prior to the onset of alzheimer's disease and related dementias.now, the findings of a new and comprehensive study from fsu college of medicine associate professor antonio terracciano and colleagues, published today in the journal jama psychiatry, has found no evidence to support the idea that personality changes begin before the clinical onset of mild cognitive impairment (mci) or dementia. "we further found that personality remained stable even within the last few years before the onset of mild cognitive impairment," terracciano said.terracciano, college of medicine associate professor angelina sutin and co-...




in us, spread of zika linked to time outdoors

when zika first buzzed into the continental united states during the 2016 outbreak, florida was hit first--and hardest--with 1,174 documented cases to date. so, when marco ajelli, associate research scientist at northeastern and an expert in infectious disease modeling, wanted to study how time spent outside might affect the spread of the epidemic, he chose to focus on the state's most stricken county: miami-dade.what ajelli found was that the amount of time people spend outdoors impacts their risk for contracting the zika virus.most u.s. zika infections happen outdoorsajelli conducted a survey of 280 miami-dade residents and found the vast majority of people spend less than one hour per day outside. the survey also revealed that a small...




understanding the dance to save the dance

think of the relationship between plants and pollinators as a dance -- one that has been taking place, and evolving, for millennia. the importance of this dance is enormous. pollination from bees (and birds, bats, butterflies, moths, beetles, and other animals) is necessary for the successful reproduction of a great number of plants, while pollinators gain sustenance to give birth to their next generations. these relationships support our natural ecosystems, as well as our cultivated ones, as an incredible amount of food crops worldwide depend on plant-pollinator interaction success.the advancement of climate change is threatening the plant-pollinator relationship. there is evidence that a variety of seasonal cues, internal biological timing...




new technique accurately digitizes transparent objects

washington -- a new imaging technique makes it possible to precisely digitize clear objects and their surroundings, an achievement that has eluded current state-of-the-art 3d rendering methods. the ability to create detailed, 3d digital versions of real-world objects and scenes can be useful for movie production, creating virtual reality experiences, improving design or quality assurance in the production of clear products and even for preserving rare or culturally significant objects. "by more accurately digitizing transparent objects, our method helps move us closer to eliminating the barrier between the digital and physical world," said jonathan stets, technical university of denmark, and co-leader of the research team that developed t...




new wayne state research findings offers hope to people with fibromyalgia

image: mark lumley is a distinguished professor of psychology in the college of liberal arts and sciences at wayne state university view more credit: julie o'connor, wayne state universitydetroit - a novel psychological therapy that encourages addressing emotional experiences related to trauma, conflict and relationship problems has been found helpful for people with the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia. a research team led by mark a. lumley, ph.d., distinguished professor of psychology in the college of liberal arts and sciences at wayne state university, in collaboration with a team from the university of michigan medical center led by david a. williams, ph.d., professor of anesthesiology, has released the results of its research in...




unique gene therapy prevents, reverses multiple sclerosis in animal model

multiple sclerosis can be inhibited or reversed using a novel gene therapy technique that stops the disease's immune response in mouse models, university of florida health researchers have found.by combining a brain-protein gene and an existing medication, the researchers were able to prevent the mouse version of multiple sclerosis. likewise, the treatments produced near-complete remission in the animal models. the findings, which researchers said have significant potential for treating multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune disorders, are published today (sept. 21) in the journal molecular therapy. multiple sclerosis affects about 2.3 million people worldwide and is the most common neurological disease in young adults. the incurable disor...




into more thin air | eurekalert! science news

many research groups have recently explored human adaptation and successfully identified candidate genes to high altitude living among three major far-flung global populations: tibetans, ethiopians and peruvians. but few have simultaneously explored the other extreme---maladaptation----in the form of chronic mountain sickness (cms), also known as monge's disease, which is characterized by the production of an excessive number of red blood cells. now, in the largest whole genome study of its kind, an international research team led by university of california san diego's chairman of pediatrics, dr. gabriel haddad, has expanded on their recent study of understanding both adaptation extremes in a peruvian population. "cms incidence is hig...




when good immune cells turn bad

investigators at the children's center for cancer and blood diseases at children's hospital los angeles have identified new findings about an immune cell - called a tumor-associated macrophage - that promotes cancer instead of fighting it. they have identified the molecular pathway, known as stat3, as the mechanism the immune cell uses to foster neuroblastoma, a pediatric cancer, and have demonstrated use of a clinically available agent, ruxolitinib, to block the pathway. results of the study were published in the journal oncotarget on september 20.neuroblastoma is the second most common solid tumor effecting children. individuals with high-risk disease have a mortality rate of approximately 50 percent. certain conditions are associated w...




smoking negatively impacts long-term survival after breast cancer

a new study published in jnci cancer spectrum finds that smoking negatively impacts long-term survival after breast cancer. quitting smoking after diagnosis may reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer.this study aimed to examine whether smoking at the time of diagnosis and changes in smoking within five years after diagnosis were associated with long-term breast cancer mortality. in a study population of 1508 long island women with breast cancer, subjects were interviewed and asked a variety of questions, including about smoking status. at the five-year follow-up, participants responded to the same questions, which asked about the time period since the original questionnaire.while breast cancer survival rates in the united states are hig...




from self-folding robots to computer vision

from self-folding robots, to robotic endoscopes, to better methods for computer vision and object detection, researchers at the university of california san diego have a wide range of papers and workshop presentations at the international conference on intelligent robots and systems (or iros) which takes place from sept. 24 to 28 in vancouver, canada. uc san diego researchers also are organizing workshops on a range of themes during the event. "iros is one of the premier conferences in robotics," said henrik christensen, director of the contextual robotics institute and a professor of computer science at uc san diego. "it is essential for our institute that we present key papers across manufacturing, materials, healthcare and autono...




nasa measures hurricane maria's ... ial rainfall, sees eye re-open

hurricane maria has caused catastrophic flooding in puerto rico and left a wake of heavy rainfall that nasa measured using a fleet of satellites in space. nasa satellite imagery also saw maria's eye close up as it tracked across puerto rico and re-open after its exit.calculating maria's rainfallthe global precipitation measurement mission or gpm core satellite, a joint mission between nasa and the japan aerospace exploration agency can measure rainfall from space. that rainfall data, combined with data from other satellites provided a tally of hurricane maria's rainfall over the course of several days. at nasa's goddard space flight center in greenbelt, maryland, nasa's integrated multi-satellite retrievals for gpm (imerg) data were used ...




trusted messages key to counter community concerns during disease outbreak

image: this is muriel j. harris, ph.d. view more credit: uoflutilizing messages focused on images created by local artists and written information communicated through local dialects proved essential to counter misperceptions during the ebola epidemic in sierra leone, according to a study conducted in part by muriel j. harris, ph.d., associate professor, university of louisville school of public health and information sciences, department of health promotion and behavior sciences. targeted on two ebola 'hotspots' in sierra leone, urban freetown and the rural bombali district, the study involved engaging the community in the development of ebola messaging to address common concerns about the disease. harris, who collaborated on the proje...




bu: resurgence of whooping cough may owe to vaccine's inability to prevent infections

the startling global resurgence of pertussis, or whooping cough, in recent years can largely be attributed to the immunological failures of acellular vaccines, boston university school of public health (busph) researchers argue in a new journal article.the article, published in f1000 research, points to the differences in mucosal immunity between whole-cell pertussis (wp) vaccines and the newer acellular pertussis (ap) vaccines, first introduced in the 1990s, as playing a pivotal role in the resurgence of the disease."this disease is back because we didn't really understand how our immune defenses against whooping cough worked, and did not understand how the vaccines needed to work to prevent it," said christopher j. gill, associate pro...




preterm children have more medical sleep problems but fall asleep more independently

darien, il - september 21, 2017 - a new study suggests that while healthy preterm children have more medical sleep problems than full-term children, they are more likely to fall asleep independently.results show that preterm children displayed more medical sleep problems such as nocturnal movement, restlessness during the night and breathing problems, compared with those born at full term. however, a lower degree of behavioral sleep problems were present in preterm children. "preterm children needed less support to fall asleep and fell asleep more often alone in their own bed compared to those born at full term," said principal investigator dr. barbara caravale, a researcher in the department of developmental and social psychology at sapie...