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1. Scientists have confirmed that the Asian common toad’s toxic slime will likely kill nearly everything in Madagascar that tries to eat it and devastate the African island’s unique biodiversity

Now, scientists have confirmed that the toad's toxic slime will likely kill nearly everything in Madagascar that tries to eat it, according to a study that surveyed the susceptibility of 88 species. The rest of the predators lack the complete set of mutations that confers resistance, leaving lemurs, snakes, lizards, and other native species highly vulnerable should they start snacking on toads. The toads are prolific breeders-one female can produce thousands of eggs-and there are plenty of rice paddies, waterways, and drainage systems in Madagascar that are helping them expand, he says.



3. An experimental vaccine regimen based on the structure of a vulnerable site on HIV elicited antibodies in mice, guinea pigs and monkeys that neutralize dozens of HIV strains from around the world. The findings were reported today in the journal Nature Medicine.

An experimental vaccine regimen based on the structure of a vulnerable site on HIV elicited antibodies in mice, guinea pigs and monkeys that neutralize dozens of HIV strains from around the world. In one approach, scientists first identify powerful HIV antibodies that can neutralize many strains of the virus, and then try to elicit those antibodies with a vaccine based on the structure of the HIV surface protein where the antibodies bind. The researchers also are isolating additional broadly neutralizing antibodies generated by the vaccine in monkeys, and they will assess these antibodies for their ability to protect the animals from a monkey version of HIV. The NIAID scientists will use their findings to optimize the vaccine and then manufacture a version of it suitable for safety testing in human volunteers in a carefully designed and monitored clinical trial.


4. Doctors hail world first as woman’s advanced breast cancer is eradicated

Doctors who cared for the woman at the US National Cancer Institute in Maryland said Perkins's response had been "Remarkable": the therapy wiped out cancer cells so effectively that she has now been free of the disease for two years. While the US doctors who developed the therapy cannot be sure how much the infused immune cells contributed to her recovery, the use of pembrolizumab alone has not been very effective for advanced breast cancer in the past. "Simon Vincent, director of research at Breast Cancer Now, added:"This is a remarkable and extremely promising result, but we need to see this effect repeated in other patients before giving hope of a new immunotherapy for incurable metastatic breast cancer.


5. The moon is lengthening Earth’s day - A new study that reconstructs the deep history of our planet’s relationship to the moon shows that 1.4 billion years ago, a day on Earth lasted just over 18 hours, at least in part because the moon was closer and changed the way the Earth spun around its axis.

A new study that reconstructs the deep history of our planet's relationship to the moon shows that 1.4 billion years ago, a day on Earth lasted just over 18 hours. The moon is currently moving away from the Earth at a rate of 3.82 centimeters per year. Using this present-day rate, scientists extrapolating back through time calculated that "Beyond about 1.5 billion years ago, the moon would have been close enough that its gravitational interactions with the Earth would have ripped the moon apart," Meyers explains.


6. Cave fish lost their eyes because of epigenetic regulation, a means of controlling gene activity that does not alter the DNA sequence of the genes themselves, according to new research.

Whereas key genes controlling eye development in naked mole rats have mutations that inactivate them, there are no such inactivating mutations in the genes of the Mexican cave fish. Mutations aren't the only way to change gene activity, and new research suggests a different explanation for the fish's lack of eyes. One of these genes controls the expression of a whole host of other eye genes, amplifying the effect.


7. Physicists have developed a "quantum stopwatch"—a method that stores time (in the form of states of quantum clocks) in a quantum memory. In doing so, the method avoids the accumulation of errors that usually occurs when measuring the duration of a sequence of events.

AbstractQuantum mechanics imposes a fundamental trade-off between the accuracy of time measurements and the size of the systems used as clocks. Here, we introduce a method that, in principle, eludes the accumulation of errors by coherently transferring information from a quantum clock to a quantum memory of the smallest possible size. Our method could be used to measure the total duration of a sequence of events with enhanced accuracy, and to reduce the amount of quantum communication needed to stabilize clocks in a quantum network.



9. Research shows dogs prefer to eat fat, and cats surprisingly tend toward carbs

"Previous studies have shown that if you don't balance palatability between foods, cats do in fact prefer to eat very high levels of protein and dogs want to eat a lot of fat," Hall said. The cats in the study were likewise not allowed to overeat, though even if given unlimited access to food that tastes how they like it, cats tend to eat in a weight-maintenance way by adjusting their intake based on the food's energy density. Younger cats with less lean body mass tended more strongly toward protein consumption than younger cats with more lean body mass; younger cats in general wanted protein more than older cats.


10. Researchers from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center have discovered a chemical compound that could lower sugar levels as effectively as the diabetes drug Metformin but with a lower dose.

Researchers from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center have discovered a chemical compound that could lower sugar levels as effectively as the diabetes drug Metformin but with a lower dose. Along with his research team, Darryl Quarles, MD, University of Tennessee Medical Group Endowed Professor of Nephrology, director of the Division of Nephrology, and associate dean for Research in the College of Medicine at UTHSC, has been working with a specific protein called GPRC6A, which regulates sugar levels by simultaneously correcting multiple metabolic derangements that underlie Type 2 diabetes function. "This chemical compound lowers sugar levels in mice as effectively as Metformin but with a 30 times lower dose. It therefore is a good starting point for the development of a new and effective drug to fight diabetes," said Dr. Smith.


11. Dogs carry flu viruses, including H1N1 swine flu viruses. Three virus strains have recombined in dogs to form new varieties, which makes them a potential pandemic threat

About 15 percent of pet dogs that went to the vet because of respiratory infections carried flu viruses often found in pigs, researchers report June 5 in mBio. To the scientists' surprise, the dogs had various swine H1N1 flu viruses. Dogs remixed some of the viruses from the pigs with bits of the dog flu virus in Asia, creating the three new canine influenza virus strains, the researchers found.


12. Financial incentives are found to be three times more effective than e-cigarettes and other stop-smoking aids, in a University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine-led study.

The study, led by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, also provides the first large-scale evidence that offering e-cigarettes to known smokers is not effective at helping smokers stay smoke-free. "The new study drives forward previous research by showing that even among smokers who are not cherry picked on the basis of their motivation to quit, financial incentives still triple quit rates, whereas offering free conventional cessation aids or free e-cigarettes accomplishes nothing at all." The authors say the quit rates observed among these engaged participants are consistent with those found in prior studies of incentives among motivated smokers.


13. Scientists develop global scenario called Low Energy Demand, arguing that society’s need for things like EV cars, cellphones, the development of better building standards, can drive a revolution in efficiency that could help lower energy demand and encourage the proliferation of renewable energy.

An international team of scientists has developed a global scenario called Low Energy Demand, arguing that humanity's appetite for things like electric cars and cellphones, as well as the development of better building standards, can drive a revolution in efficiency that could help lower energy demand and encourage the proliferation of renewable energy. Not only can you send that energy into the grid when you're not at home, but the battery in your electric car can store energy for someone else to tap into. "Then," Wilson says, "We used a global model of the energy system to work out well how can we meet that energy demand in 2050," using strategies like renewables.


14. Obese people enjoy food less than lean people

Laboratory experiments have shown that obese people are less rewarded by food than people who are lean. The intensity of the obese group's food wanting was not significantly different from the healthy weight group's food wanting, showing that obese people don't have more frequent or intense food-wanting episodes. Obese participants reported significantly less intense food liking than healthy weight participants, revealing that they enjoyed or were rewarded less by the food they ate.


15. Study shows how spider glue repels water in humid conditions, providing clues to make better commercial adhesives

The sticky glue that coats the silk threads of spider webs is a hydrogel, meaning it is full of water. "The hygroscopic compounds - known as water-absorbers - in spider glue play a previously unknown role in moving water away from the boundary, thereby preventing failure of spider glue at high humidity," explained Singla. The ability of the spider glue to overcome the problem of interfacial water by effectively absorbing it is the key finding of the research, and the one with perhaps the strongest prospect for commercial development.


16. Scientists present new evidence that the influenza virus can jump from pigs into canines, and that influenza is becoming increasingly diverse in canines

Pandemic influenza occurs when viruses jump from animal reservoirs to humans. "The diversity in dogs has increased so much now that the type of combinations of viruses that can be created in dogs represent a potential risk for a virus to jump to a dog into a human." "The researchers say it is time to think about ways to restrict the circulation of the influenza virus in dogs. The United States is free of avian influenza because every time avian influenza has been detected in poultry in this country, the chickens or turkeys are culled and eliminated from circulation," said Dr. García-Sastre.


17. Physicists explain why clothes do not fall apart

A new twist in our understanding of how fibres hold together in yarn and other spun materials has been revealed by three physicists in the UK. Using statistical physics to study a problem previously contemplated in 1638 by none other than Galileo, the trio has modelled how yarn makes a transition from being a weak material that can be easily pulled apart, to a much stronger material that only breaks when its fibres snap. Few of us stop to think whether the spun and woven fibres that make our clothes will separate from one another, sparing no blushes as they fall in a heap on the floor. Although it is known that multiple frictional contact points between fibres hold clothes, ropes and yarn together, the mechanics behind why these fibre structures do not slip apart remains unclear.


18. Weather-related disasters can make people more religious but it depends on the toll they inflict. If a disaster injures a significant number of people, it can strengthen religiosity among those who are already religious. But if a disaster inflicts mostly economic damage, the opposite effect applies.

Using statistical analysis, Zapata found that among the believers of God, religiosity increased following disasters that injured a significant number of people; for every one per cent increase in the number of injured due to a climate disaster, attendance at religious services increased by close to four per cent. "Do people become less religious as disasters and material losses increase in number because they have more scientific information that links these disasters to human-induced climate change? Or do climate disasters reaffirm religious people's beliefs that disasters are acts of God and that God will protect them? We need to do more research to understand these mechanisms." "Turning to God in tough times? Human versus material losses from climate disasters in Canada" was published in April in Economics of Disasters and Climate Change.


19. In a new study, researchers have shown that adding loaded springs to human gut organoids may make them grow bigger and exhibit features of adult organs as they mature in the abdomens of mice.

Scientists around the world are harnessing organoids, tissue clusters derived from stem cells that mimic the 3D structure of our organs in miniature, to model diseases and test new drugs. In a new study, researchers have shown that adding loaded springs to human gut organoids may make them grow bigger and exhibit features of adult organs as they mature in the abdomens of mice. The researchers suggest that in a larger host animal, the technique might someday generate transplantable human tissue.


20. Medicaid expansion produces significant health benefits - First peer-reviewed comprehensive analysis of the effects of Medicaid expansion paints a picture of significant improvements in various health outcomes consistent with the original goals of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

"Furthermore, very few studies reported that Medicaid expansion was associated with negative consequences, such as increased wait times for appointments," said Nir Menachemi, a professor in the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI. Menachemi is chair of the school's Department of Health Policy and Management and the senior author of the review article. "The current best evidence on the ACA's Medicaid expansion suggests that improvements in access to and quality of care, as well as to some degree in health, have occurred," said Olena Mazurenko, the lead author of the study and an assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management. The June issue of Health Affairs also includes a study of the effects of Indiana's Medicaid expansion written by researchers at the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs.


21. A Novel High-Speed Photodetector for Use in Light-Based Real-Time Computing

As well as existing as a layered 2D material, graphitic carbon nitride can be introduced into bulk structures for use in photodetector applications, and the researchers from India have done just that. To fabricate the device, the researchers incorporated the graphitic carbon nitride into p-type silicon wafer using a drop cast method involving hydrogen fluoride and a solution of graphitic carbon nitride. The fabricated device showed a novel binary photoswitching ability because of the heterojunction formed between the graphitic carbon nitride and the p-silicon.


22. Recess periods can many benefits to elementary school children, but they are tied closely to the quality of the playground experience. A new study finds that access to play equipment, peer conflict resolution and quality engagement between adults and students are key.

Within these guidelines, strategies to help facilitate positive outcomes included: leadership decisions in which recess plans are developed, space is designated, and adults are properly trained; communicating and enforcing behavioral and safety expectations such as communication and conflict resolution skills; creating an environment that is supportive of physical activity by ensuring, among other things, that proper space and equipment is available; engaging the school community to support recess; and collecting data on the recess environment and potential outcomes that recess may affect. Only 22% of school districts in the U.S. require daily recess for elementary school students, with less than half of these requiring at least 20 min of recess per day. In light of considering the contextual variables associated with recess, available data suggests that aside from potential benefits, recess is a place where violent and anti-social behavior can occur , and that some elementary school students view the playground as an unsafe space.


23. By some metrics, virtual doctor's visits were just as effective as in-person appointments for patients with hypertension, according to a new study. Patients receiving virtual care, for instance, required fewer follow-up visits.

They weren't looking at, say, video chats or phone calls, but rather non-simultaneous communication: Patients checked in with their primary care doctors by reporting their care metrics and needs through a secure website, which the physicians can check at a later time and use to shape ongoing care. The new study tracked outcomes data from December 2012 until February 2016, comparing 893 patients who used the virtual with 893 Brigham and Women's patients who did not. "Many groups, especially insurance companies, have been skeptical of virtual care because they believe it may increase the use of health care services," Levine said.


24. More than 11 million Americans may have incorrect prescriptions for aspirin, statins, and blood pressure medications, according to a new study.

More than 11 million Americans may have incorrect prescriptions for aspirin, statins and blood pressure medications, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. They help physicians decide whether to prescribe aspirin, blood pressure or statin medications, or some combination of these, by estimating the risk a patient may have for a heart attack or stroke. Most physicians calculate a patient's risk using a PCE web calculator or a smartphone app; the equations are also built into many electronic health records so that a patient's risk is automatically calculated during an office visit.


25. An ability to perceive and empathize with others' pain is rooted in cognitive neural processes instead of sensory ones. Their results show that the act of understanding others' pain does not appear to involve the same neural circuitry as experiencing pain in one's own body

An ability to perceive and empathize with others' pain is rooted in cognitive neural processes instead of sensory ones, according to results of a new study led by researchers at the University of Colorado. Their results show that the act of understanding others' pain does not appear to involve the same neural circuitry as experiencing pain in one's own body. The researchers discovered that the brain patterns when the volunteers observed pain didn't overlap with the brain patterns when volunteers experienced pain themselves, according to the release.