Monday, 30 September 2019

Restoring forests 1 tree at a time, to help repair climate

Destruction of the forests can be swift. Regrowth is much, much slower.

New research finds coastal living linked with better mental health

Living close to the sea could support better mental health in England's poorest urban communities, finds a new study published today in the journal Health and Place.

Microneedle biosensor accurately detects patient's antibiotic levels in real time

Small, non-invasive patches worn on the skin can accurately detect the levels of medication in a patient's system, matching the accuracy of current clinical methods.

New combination therapy offers bowel cancer patients extra treatment option

Based on scientific findings of the Netherlands Cancer Institute, a new combination treatment has been developed for patients with metastatic bowel cancer and a mutation in the BRAF gene. After a clinical trial in over 600 participants, those treated with this smart combination therapy survived longer than those who received standard treatment. The study is published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Toward safer, more effective cancer radiation therapy using X-rays and nanoparticles

An element called gadolinium delivered into cancer cells releases killer electrons when hit by specially tuned X-rays. The approach, published in the journal Scientific Reports, could pave the way towards a new cancer radiation therapy.

Statins could increase or decrease osteoporosis risk—the dosage makes the difference

A study by the Medical University of Vienna and the Complexity Science Hub Vienna shows for the first time a connection between the dosage of cholesterol-lowering drugs—statins—and the diagnosis of osteoporosis.

Study shows how urban agriculture can push the sustainability of Phoenix

A community garden occupies a diminutive dirt lot in Phoenix. Rows of raised garden beds offer up basil, watermelons and corn, making this patch of land an agricultural oasis in a desert city of 1.5 million people. In fact, this little garden is contributing in various ways to the city's environmental sustainability goals set by the city council in 2016. The goals consider matters such as transportation, water stewardship, air quality and food.

How a tension sensor plays integral role in aligned chromosome partitioning

A Waseda University-led research uncovered the molecular mechanism of how a particular cancer-causing oncogene could trigger an onset of acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

A new concept could make more environmentally friendly batteries possible

A new concept for an aluminum battery has twice the energy density as previous versions, is made of abundant materials, and could lead to reduced production costs and environmental impact. The idea has potential for large-scale applications, including storage of solar and wind energy. Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and the National Institute of Chemistry, Slovenia, are behind the idea.

Lipid produced by organism helps control blood sugar

Researchers based in Brazil, the United States and Germany have discovered that 12-HEPE, a lipid produced in response to cold by brown adipose tissue in the human body, helps reduce blood sugar. The results of their experiments with mice pave the way for new treatments for diabetes.

New AI method may boost Crohn's disease insight and improve treatment

Scientists have developed a computer method that may help improve understanding and treatment of Crohn's disease, which causes inflammation of the digestive tract.

How to dismantle a nuclear bomb: Team successfully tests new method for verification of weapons reduction

How do weapons inspectors verify that a nuclear bomb has been dismantled? An unsettling answer is: They don't, for the most part. When countries sign arms reduction pacts, they do not typically grant inspectors complete access to their nuclear technologies, for fear of giving away military secrets.

'Good' cholesterol counters atherosclerosis in mice with diabetes

Increasing levels of a simplified version of "good" cholesterol reversed disease in the blood vessels of mice with diabetes, a new study finds.

Better understanding sensory perception could help people with autism and dyslexia

Deciphering how the brain processes sight and hearing could have implications for how we understand and treat conditions such as dyslexia, autism and schizophrenia.

Basic research to world-changing applications can take 6 months – or 50 years

All technology and innovation have a science base but to get there requires patience, as the journey from curiosity-driven basic research to a world-changing technology can take six months or 50 years, a panel of Nobel and Kavli prize laureates has said.

Mesothelioma trial suggests immunotherapy as an alternative to chemotherapy

Patients with mesothelioma may gain similar benefit from immunotherapy as chemotherapy, and good responders may provide important clues to novel treatment for the thousands of new cases each year. Data from the PROMISE-meso trial presented at the ESMO Congress 2019 highlight the need to understand the biological mechanisms whereby mesothelioma, which is incurable, adapts to immunotherapy in some patients but not in others, resulting in variations in treatment response.

Type 2 diabetes remission possible with 'achievable' weight loss, say researchers

People who achieve weight loss of 10% or more in the first five years following diagnosis with type 2 diabetes have the greatest chance of seeing their disease go into remission, according to a study led by the University of Cambridge.

Blood test can replace invasive biopsy for more patients with lung cancer

A growing number of patients with advanced lung cancer could soon be offered a blood test to help to decide the best treatment for them instead of having to get a tumour sample for analysis. New data from the BFAST trial presented at the ESMO Congress 2019 have shown that the test can be used successfully to identify complex DNA mutations in the cells of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) suitable for the latest targeted medicines. The technique detects tiny pieces of tumour DNA that are shed from cancer cells into the blood.

Heart, kidney disease risk factors for adverse effects from gout medication

Heart disease is an independent risk factor for severe adverse skin reactions in patients taking allopurinol, found a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Novel strategy using microRNA biomarkers can distinguish melanomas from nevi

Melanoma is the least common but one of the most deadly skin cancers. It accounts for only about one percent of all cases globally, but the majority of skin cancer deaths. Accurate, timely and reliable diagnosis of cutaneous melanoma remains a significant challenge in dermatopathology. Investigators report in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, published by Elsevier, on a novel strategy for using microRNA (miRNA) biomarkers to detect melanoma cells in skin tumors even when the tumor contains predominantly benign cells.

Sleeping pills reduce suicidal thoughts in patients with severe insomnia

Insomnia is a driver of suicide, and particularly people with severe insomnia may safely benefit from taking a sedative to help address their sleep problems as it reduces their suicidal thoughts, investigators report.

Poorly reported placebos could lead to mistaken estimates of benefits and harms

Researchers at the University of Oxford have found that placebo controls are almost never described according to standard reporting guidelines.

'Smart shirt' can accurately measure breathing and could be used to monitor lung disease

A smart shirt that measures lung function by sensing movements in the chest and abdomen has proved to be accurate when compared to traditional testing equipment, according to research presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress.

Survey of truck drivers finds many suffer from sleep-related breathing disorders

A survey of 905 Italian truck drivers has shown that approximately half suffer from at least one sleep-related breathing problem that potentially can cause drivers to fall asleep at the wheel.

Nintedanib slows progression for broad range of scarring lung diseases

Nintedanib, a medication approved for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, slows the decline in lung function among patients with a broad range of scarring lung diseases. The findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggest that many more people may benefit from nintedanib than are currently approved for treatment. They also suggest that the dozens of different forms of fibrosing interstitial lung disease may share similar scarring mechanisms in spite of different causes and patterns.

Japan lists Fukushima radiation levels on S. Korea embassy site

Japan's embassy in South Korea has begun posting the daily radiation levels of Fukushima and Seoul after new questions about the lingering effects of the 2011 nuclear disaster.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Boeing did not include 'key safeguards' on 737 MAX: report

Boeing left off "key safeguards" from the 737 MAX's anti-stall system that were included on an earlier version of the system used on a military tanker aircraft, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

Immune therapy eliminates tumour cells in early triple negative breast cancer

Immune therapy added to chemotherapy improves pathological complete response in patients with early triple negative breast cancer, according to late breaking results from the KEYNOTE-522 trial presented at the ESMO Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. Interim results from the study, which is the first phase III trial of immunotherapy in early breast cancer, also indicated an improvement in event-free survival.

Targeted therapy drug helps women with aggressive breast cancer live longer

A study led by UCLA researchers found that adding ribociclib, a targeted therapy drug, to standard hormone therapy has been shown to significantly improve overall survival in postmenopausal women with advanced hormone-receptor positive/HER2- breast cancer, one of the most common forms of the disease.

Wrist-worn step trackers accurate in predicting patient health outcomes

Determining how far patients with pulmonary disease can walk in six minutes has long been an effective clinical tool to help physicians determine their exercise capacity, as well as to aid in predicting health outcomes and mortality.

Two studies show CDK4/6 inhibitors improve overall survival in advanced breast cancer

New data from two studies reported at the ESMO Congress 2019 have shown that treatment with a CDK4/6 inhibitor plus fulvestrant improves overall survival in women with hormone receptor-positive (HR+), human epidermal growth factor 2-negative (HER2-) advanced breast cancer.

Checkm8 iPhone exploit becomes talk of jailbreak town

An unpatchable exploit in iOS devices could lead to a permanent jailbreak in generations of phones. Dan Goodin in Ars Technica put the number at 11 generations of iPhones, from the 4S to the X.

'Unicorns' that wowed investors face hard road on Wall Street

The so-called "unicorns" that lured big investments and took Silicon Valley by storm are facing a chillier environment as they turn to Wall Street for fresh capital.

Burning issue: Indonesia fires put palm oil under scrutiny

A brutal Indonesian forest fire season that left Southeast Asia choking in smog has renewed scrutiny of major palm oil and paper companies, with activists accusing them of breaking promises to halt logging.

Things to know about palm oil and Indonesia's raging forest fires

Forest fires raging across Indonesia have sent air quality levels across Southeast Asia plummeting as they belch out emissions that aggravate global warming.

Greek fashion firms revitalize centuries-old silk tradition

At Kostas Mouhtaridis' silk factory in Soufli, the non-stop "clunk-click" of the weaving machinery is a loud but welcome sound.

Musk unveils SpaceX rocket designed to get to Mars and back

Elon Musk has unveiled a SpaceX spacecraft designed to carry a crew and cargo to the moon, Mars or anywhere else in the solar system and land back on Earth perpendicularly.

Risk of heart valve infections rising in hospitals

People with heart disease or defective or artificial heart valves are at increased risk of developing a potentially deadly valve infection. Rutgers researchers reported that new risk factors for this condition have emerged and that an increasing number of patients admitted to hospitals for other diseases are at risk of contracting this potentially lethal cardiac infection.

Taxi drivers face highest levels of black carbon compared to other professional drivers

Professional drivers working in congested cities are exposed to black carbon levels that are on average a third higher than would be experienced at a busy roadside, according to research presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress.

Additional heart artery stenting reduces risk of future heart attacks

Research has shown that patients who have had emergency heart attack treatment with heart artery stenting—and have significant narrowings in their other untreated arteries—can benefit from additional stenting to help prevent future heart attacks.

Russia rolls out the red carpet for Huawei over 5G

While the US banned Huawei for alleged espionage and asked its allies to do the same, Moscow has rolled out the red carpet for the Chinese tech company, letting it develop 5G networks in Russia.

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Android 10 Go edition will bring speed, security gains

Google is bringing out its updated Android 10 version of Android Go. Google said, "we launched Android (Go edition) in 2018—a platform tailored for smartphones with 1.5GB of memory or less." Now Google has announced Android 10 (Go Edition), the version of Android built specifically for entry-level devices with 1.5GB RAM or less.

Three more elephants killed in Sri Lanka, bringing toll to seven

Wildlife officials found three more dead wild elephants in central Sri Lanka Saturday, raising the number believed to have been poisoned by angry villagers to seven.

Ovarian cancer: more women benefit from maintenance combined targeted therapy

New data presented at the ESMO Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain, show the benefit of a more intensive maintenance regimen for ovarian cancer with the PARP inhibitor olaparib added to bevacizumab, in an all-comers population, with and without a BRCA mutation. According to late breaking results of the PAOLA-1/ENGOT-ov25 trial, this approach extends progression free survival in patients with advanced ovarian cancer.

Two immunotherapy drug combination offers chemotherapy-free option for advanced NSCLC

New data have shown that first-line treatment with a combination of two immunotherapy drugs improves overall survival in a subset of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) compared to chemotherapy.

Front-line osimertinib improves overall survival in EGFR-mutation positive NSCLC

First-line osimertinib significantly lengthens overall survival compared to older generation EGFR-TKIs in patients with Ex19del/L858R EGFR mutated advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to late breaking results of the FLAURA trial presented at the ESMO Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain.

New treatment improves survival in women newly diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer

An international study demonstrates that administering niraparib after conventional chemotherapy treatment in patients newly diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer, improves their progression-free survival, and reduces their risk of relapse or death from this disease. The Primary Investigator of this study is Dr. Antonio González Martín from Clinica Universidad de Navarra (Spain) and president of the Spanish Ovarian Cancer Research Group (GEICO). The New England Journal of Medicine, the world-leading medical journal, published the research in its online last issue.

PARP inhibitor plus chemotherapy improves progression-free survival for advanced ovarian cancer patients

Researchers from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reported study results showing that initial treatment with the PARP inhibitor veliparib in combination with chemotherapy significantly increased progression-free survival (PFS) for patients with newly diagnosed, metastatic high-grade serous ovarian cancer, according to the results of the VELIA trial.

Liquid biopsy has prognostic role in colorectal cancer and potential for guiding therapy

Liquid biopsy is likely to play an increasing role in identifying patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) who are likely to relapse after surgery, and has potential for optimising treatment for individual patients, according to new research presented at the ESMO Congress 2019.

His heart stopped. But his golf cart kept going

On a sunny April day in 2018, Bill Doss pushed through his exhaustion and met his buddies for their regular round of golf. As he headed to the final tee, he was rounding a turn in his cart and his world went black.