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Science & Environment / Eurek Alert

Age, gender and culture 'predict loneliness'

Young people, men and people in 'individualistic' societies report higher levels of loneliness, according to a large-scale global study.

27 May 2020 9:30 am
A new potential target for the treatment of alcohol-withdrawal induced depression

Researchers from Pennsylvania State University have discovered that alcohol withdrawal impacts somatostatin neurons in key brain regions associated with emotional processing and addiction. The findings are significant as they suggest that somatostatin neurons may be a viable new target for the treatment of depression related to alcohol withdrawal.

27 May 2020 9:30 am
Birds, bees and butter -- new study shows biodiversity critical for shea crop in Africa

A new study shows that shea yields are higher in more diverse habitats in sub-Saharan Africa, which has important implications for a crop that is typically harvested and sold by women in rural areas, and which helps finance education for children.

26 May 2020 9:30 am
Defects in developing frog brain can be prevented or repaired with bioelectric drugs

Researchers discovered that the brains of developing frog embryos damaged by nicotine exposure can be repaired by treatment with certain drugs -- ionoceuticals -- that drive the recovery of bioelectric patterns in the embryo, followed by repair of normal anatomy, gene expression and brain function in the growing tadpole. The research could provide a roadmap for the exploration of therapeutic drugs to help repair birth defects.

26 May 2020 9:30 am
Dementia gene raises risk of severe COVID-19

Having a faulty gene linked to dementia doubles the risk of developing severe COVID-19, according to a large-scale study.

26 May 2020 9:30 am
Study: Children may not always grow out of being picky eaters

By age four, children could be established picky eaters, a new study suggests. And the more parents try to control and restrict children's diets, the more finicky they may become, according to new research.

26 May 2020 9:30 am
Record-high data transmission using a soliton crystal

Australian and Canadian researchers led by Prof David J. Moss at Swinburne University of Technology and honorary professor at the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS) was able to achieve world record-high data transmission over 75 km of standard optical fibre using a powerful class of micro-comb called soliton crystals.

25 May 2020 9:30 am
Study finds childhood cancer does not affect parental separation, divorce, and family planning in Denmark

The diagnosis of cancer in a child can be devastating to parents and other loved ones, but in a recent study from Denmark, having a child with cancer did not appear to impact parents' risk of separation or divorce or affect future family planning. The findings are published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society (ACS).

25 May 2020 9:30 am
Fatal Lyme carditis in a 37-year-old man shows need for awareness of unusual symptoms

Physicians and the public should be aware of the different presentations of Lyme disease, as people spend more time outside in the warmer weather and as areas in Canada where the black legged tick is found expand. Three articles in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), which describe a fatal case in a 37-year-old man, atypical skin lesions in a 56-year-old woman and severe neurological symptoms in a 4-year-old boy, illustrate the diversity in presentations.

25 May 2020 9:30 am
Does MRI have an environmental impact?

Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have surveyed the amount of gadolinium found in river water in Tokyo. Gadolinium is contained in contrast agents given to patients undergoing medical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, and it has been shown in labs to become toxic when exposed to ultraviolet rays. The researchers found significantly elevated levels, particularly near water treatment plants, highlighting the need for new public policy and removal technologies as MRI become even

23 May 2020 9:30 am
Anti-obesity medications mitigate weight regain in RYGB surgery patients

Researchers have discovered that anti-obesity medications such as phentermine and topiramate, used individually or in combination, can significantly reduce weight regain in patients after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, according to a retrospective study published online in Obesity, the flagship journal of The Obesity Society.

22 May 2020 9:30 am
New to science newts from Vietnam with an important message for Biodiversity Day 2020

In time for the International Day for Biological Diversity 2020, the date set by the United Nations to recognize biodiversity as 'the pillars upon which we build civilizations', a new study published in the peer-reviewed open-access journal ZooKeys describes two new to science species and one subspecies of crocodile newts from Vietnam. This manifestation of the incredible diversity of life hosted on our planet comes, however, as an essential reminder of how fragile it is.

22 May 2020 9:30 am
Healthcare rationing could see 'unlawful deaths' from COVID-19, researchers claim

Current medical guidelines risk unlawful deaths of patients -- with doctors, hospitals, and even the government potentially liable -- if a second peak forces hard choices due to shortages of ventilators and other critical care resources.

21 May 2020 9:30 am
World can likely capture and store enough carbon dioxide to meet climate targets

The world is currently on track to fulfil scenarios on diverting atmospheric CO2 to underground reservoirs, according to a new study by Imperial.

21 May 2020 9:30 am
Development of heat-tolerant annual ryegrass germplasm

Researchers develop new annual ryegrass for earlier fall planting in the southeastern US.

21 May 2020 9:30 am
Exercise improves memory, boosts blood flow to brain

Scientists have collected plenty of evidence linking exercise to brain health, with some research suggesting fitness may even improve memory. But what happens during exercise to trigger these benefits?

20 May 2020 9:30 am
COVID-19 related strokes, other neurological impact under study

Traditional stroke treatments like clot-dissolving tPA and surgical removal of big clots in the brain are good choices as well when the stroke results from SARS-CoV-2 infection, investigators report.

20 May 2020 9:30 am
The moral machine

Scientists have shown that machines can learn moral reasoning by 'teaching' them with books and news articles. Further, by limiting teaching materials to texts from different eras and societies, subtle differences in moral values are revealed. As artificial intelligence becomes more ingrained in our lives, this research will help machines to make the right choice when confronted with difficult decisions.

20 May 2020 9:30 am
Most young people with increased suicide risk only display 'mild to moderate' mental distress -- study

Around 70% of young people who report self-harming or suicidal thoughts are within normal or non-clinical range of mental distress. First study to suggest 'prevention paradox' in mental health: tiny wellbeing improvements in entire populations will save as many if not more lives than focusing on high-risk groups.

20 May 2020 9:30 am
Every heart dances to a different tune

Play the same piece of music to two people, and their hearts can respond very differently. That's the conclusion of a novel study presented today on EHRA Essentials 4 You, a scientific platform of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

20 May 2020 9:30 am
A spreadable interlayer could make solid state batteries more stable

Solid state batteries are of great interest to the electric vehicle industry. Scientists at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and Xi'an Jiaotong University, China now present a new way of bringing this promising concept closer to application. An interlayer, made of a spreadable, 'butter-like' material helps improve the current density tenfold, while also increasing performance and safety.

19 May 2020 9:30 am
Parent-led discussion about mutual strengths benefits parent-teen communication

A primary care-based intervention to promote parent-teen communication led to less distress and increased positive emotions among adolescents, as well as improved communication for many teens, according to a new study by researchers at the Center for Parent and Teen Communication at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

19 May 2020 9:30 am
Pretty as a peacock: The gemstone for the next generation of smart sensors

Scientists have taken inspiration from the biomimicry of butterfly wings and peacock feathers to develop an innovative opal-like material that could be the cornerstone of next generation smart sensors.

19 May 2020 9:30 am
Cord blood study provides insights on benefits, limitations for autism treatment

In a recent study, Duke researchers tested whether a single infusion of a unit of a child's own or donor cord blood could improve social communication skills in children between the ages of 2-7 diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

19 May 2020 9:30 am
Double helix of masonry -- Researchers discover the secret of Italian renaissance domes

University of Bergamo and Princeton University researchers found that the masonry of Italian renaissance domes, such as the duomo in Florence, use a double-helix structure that is self-supporting during and after construction. Their study is the first to quantitatively prove the forces at work in such masonry domes, which may lead to advances in modern drone construction techniques.

18 May 2020 9:30 am
Mussel reefs heighten risk of microplastic exposure and consumption

In the first study of its kind, scientists found that when mussels were clumped together forming reefs -- as they do in nature -- the reef structure resulted in a three-fold rise in the amount of ingested plastic.

18 May 2020 9:30 am
Study finds people are more satisfied after quitting the status quo

A new paper in The Review of Economic Studies, published by Oxford University Press, finds that people who use a coin toss to decide on an important change are more likely to follow through with that decision, are more satisfied with that decision, and report a higher overall happiness after a six-month period.

18 May 2020 9:30 am
Most parents concerned about privacy, body image impact of tweens using health apps

Most parents say they have concerns about how health apps may impact children ages 8-12, according to the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health at Michigan Medicine.

18 May 2020 9:30 am
Lack of insects in cities limits breeding success of urban birds

Urban insect populations would need to increase by a factor of at least 2.5 for urban great tits to have same breeding success as those living in forests according to research published in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Animal Ecology.

18 May 2020 9:30 am
A soft touch for robotic hardware

Robots can be made from soft materials, but the flexibility of such robots is limited by the inclusion of rigid sensors necessary for their control. Researchers created embedded sensors, to replace rigid sensors, that offer the same functionality but afford the robot greater flexibility. Soft robots can be more adaptable and resilient than more traditional rigid designs. The team used cutting-edge machine learning techniques to create their design.

15 May 2020 9:30 am
Commercial airliners monitoring CO2 emissions from cities worldwide

Monitoring greenhouse gas emissions from cities is important in order to support climate mitigation activities in response to the Paris Agreement. An international research team examined carbon dioxide (CO2) data collected over 34 global cities by Japan's commercial airliners. Their study revealed a relationship between urban atmospheric CO2 signals and emissions from cities for the first time. The relationship suggests that global observations by commercial airlines could provide an opportunity

15 May 2020 9:30 am
Treatment with interferon-α2b speeds up recovery of COVID-19 patients in exploratory study

An exploratory study on a cohort of 77 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wuhan showed treatment with the antiviral IFN-α2b reduced viral clearance time and reduced circulatory levels of inflammatory markers IL-6 and CRP. The research team followed on from previous successes when they demonstrated interferon therapy had therapeutic benefits during the SARS outbreak of 2002 and 2003.

15 May 2020 9:30 am
Persistence of forages is dependent on harvest intervals

Research investigates effects of harvest intervals on alfalfa in southeastern United States.

14 May 2020 9:30 am
'Vibrant' cardiothoracic surgery specialty faces considerable challenges head-on

Heart and lung surgeons are fully aware of the difficulties that exist in the intensely demanding and competitive specialty of cardiothoracic surgery; even still, they report being extremely satisfied with their jobs -- more so than ever before.

14 May 2020 9:30 am
Tiny RNA that should attack coronavirus diminish with age, disease

A group of tiny RNA that should attack the virus causing COVID-19 when it tries to infect the body are diminished with age and chronic health problems, a decrease that likely helps explain why older individuals and those with preexisting medical conditions are vulnerable populations, investigators report.

13 May 2020 9:30 am
Evidence suggests a small but important number of people will develop coronavirus-related psychosis

The review, published online ahead of print in Schizophrenia Research, found an increase in the prevalence of psychosis as a result of COVID-19 would likely be associated with viral exposure, pre-existing vulnerability and psychosocial stress. The review also suggested that people with psychosis may present a major challenge and potential infection control risk to clinical teams working with them.

13 May 2020 9:30 am
Soybean seeding rates and risk

Broad study helps define optimal soybean seeding rates in North America.

13 May 2020 9:30 am
Blockchain: forget the criminal record, it might just save your life -- new study

Blockchain is set to become a friend to consumers, protecting them from tainted food, fake medicine, fraud and products with illegal or unethical origins

13 May 2020 9:30 am
'Pingers' could save porpoises from fishing nets

Underwater sound devices called 'pingers' could be an effective, long-term way to prevent porpoises getting caught in fishing nets with no negative behavioural effects, newly published research suggests.

13 May 2020 9:30 am
How COVID-19 kills

Experts review how the SARS-Cov-2 virus can cause an immune overreaction in the form of potentially lethal cytokine storm.

13 May 2020 9:30 am
New imaging tool helps researchers see extent of Alzheimer's early damage

New imaging technology allows scientists to see the widespread loss of brain synapses in early stages of Alzheimer's disease, a finding that one day may help aid in drug development, according to a new Yale University study.

13 May 2020 9:30 am
Fine particulate matter may increase mortality among young patients with certain cancers

An analysis of nearly 16,000 young patients with cancer in Utah revealed that exposure to fine particulate matter was associated with increased mortality at five and 10 years after diagnosis of certain cancers.

13 May 2020 9:30 am
Randomly selecting leaders could prove to be a remedy for hubris

History shows us that power tends to corrupt; a team of Swiss and German researchers have recently examined historical examples of large-scale business fraud and misconduct at the highest-levels of government in order to highlight how leaders sometimes lose all sense of morality. Inflicting serious harm on their company or society in this new study in The Leadership Quarterly, published by Elsevier.

13 May 2020 9:30 am
DNA surprises surfacing in the Atlantic:Species far from theirusual southern homes

Scientists investigating shifting Atlantic Ocean migration patterns bottled the genetic traces of species far north of their normal homes.Rockefeller University scientists simply fishing for DNA in seawater found Brazilian cownose rays and Gulf kingfishes - never known north of the Gulf of Mexico, and Chesapeake Bay, VA respectively - off New Jersey's coast, a 2 hour drive south of NY City.The study demonstrates an accurate, inexpensive way to detect long-predicted marine life rangechanges.

12 May 2020 9:30 am
Too little sleep can mean more asthma attacks in adults

A new article in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology reveals that too little sleep, and occasionally too much sleep, can negatively impact adults with asthma.

12 May 2020 9:30 am
Celiac disease linked to common chemical pollutants

Elevated blood levels of toxic chemicals found in pesticides, nonstick cookware, and fire retardants have been tied to an increased risk for celiac disease in young people, new research shows.

12 May 2020 9:30 am
Coronavirus infection in children -- it may not start with a cough

Children suffering from sickness and diarrhea, coupled with a fever or history of exposure to coronavirus, should be suspected of being infected with COVID-19, recommends a new study by doctors from Wuhan, China, who detail five cases of coronavirus in children who had no initial signs of respiratory illness. The research also suggests that the gastrointestinal symptoms first suffered by some children hints at potential infection through the digestive tract.

12 May 2020 9:30 am
Research shows even animals benefit from social distance to prevent disease

Microorganisms living inside and on our body play a crucial role in both the maintenance of our health and the development of disease. Now researchers at UTSA have uncovered evidence about the importance of maintaining physical distance to minimize the spread of microbes among individuals.

11 May 2020 9:30 am
Defective graphene has high electrocatalytic activity

Russian scientists have conducted a theoretical study of the effects of defects in graphene on electron transfer at the graphene-solution interface. Their calculations show that defects can increase the charge transfer rate by an order of magnitude. Moreover, by varying the type of defect, it is possible to selectively catalyze the electron transfer to a certain class of reagents in solution.

11 May 2020 9:30 am
Study finds rising rate of mental health visits among youth to emergency departments

While the number of pediatric emergency department (ED) visits across the nation has remained stable over the last 10 years, visits for mental health disorders have risen 60% and the rate of visits for deliberate self-harm have increased 329%. In a study published today in Pediatrics, Nationwide Children's Hospital researchers looked at the number and reason for mental health-related ED visits.

11 May 2020 9:30 am