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California's 2017 Wildfire Season Continues to Break Records

The Thomas Fire burning north of Los Angeles in Ventura County, California is now the state’s fifth-largest wildfire on record. Less than 15 percent contained and moving west quickly, the fire is being fueled by dry conditions and strong winds. It is one of five wildfirescurrently burning in southern California.




Canola Oil Linked to Worsened Memory and Learning Ability in Alzheimer's Disease, Temple Researchers Report

Canola oil is one of the most widely consumed vegetable oils in the world, yet surprisingly little is known about its effects on health. Now, a new study published online December 7 in the journal Scientific Reports by researchers at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM) associates the consumption of canola oil in the diet with worsened memory, worsened learning ability and weight gain in mice which model Alzheimer’s disease. The study is the first to suggest that canola oil is more harmful than healthful for the brain.




Yeast can be engineered to create protein pharmaceuticals

It took several years, but a research team headed by Professor Jens Nielsen at Chalmers University of Technology has finally succeeded in mapping out the complex metabolism of yeast cells. The breakthrough, recently published in an article in Nature Communications, means a huge step forward in the potential to more efficiently produce protein therapies for diseases such as cancer.




Exposure to Air Pollution Just Before or After Conception Raises Risk of Birth Defects

Women exposed to air pollution just prior to conception or during the first month of pregnancy face an increased risk of their children being born with birth defects, such as cleft lip or palate or abnormal hearts.




Cinnamon turns up the heat on fat cells

New research from the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute has determined how a common holiday spice—cinnamon—might be enlisted in the fight against obesity.

Scientists had previously observed that cinnamaldehyde, an essential oil that gives cinnamon its flavor, appeared to protect mice against obesity and hyperglycemia. But the mechanisms underlying the effect were not well understood.




Scientists Home in on Causes of High Radium Levels in Key Midwestern Aquifer

Oxygen levels, dissolved minerals among factors responsible for high concentrations of radium in untreated water from aquifer that underlies six states

U.S. Geological Survey scientists have shed new light on processes that happen deep underground.




Transportation Replaces Power in U.S. as Top Source of CO2 Emissions

Power plants have been the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States for more than 40 years. But according to new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, transportation has now claimed the top spot.




Traffic pollution putting unborn babies' health at risk, warn experts

Traffic pollution, but not traffic noise, linked to low birth weight

Air pollution from road traffic is having a detrimental impact upon babies’ health in London, before they are born, finds a study.




London air pollution cancels positive health effects of exercise in over-60s

Exposure to air pollution on city streets is enough to counter the beneficial health effects of exercise in older adults, according to new research.




London air pollution cancels positive health effects of exercise in over-60s

Exposure to air pollution on city streets is enough to counter the beneficial health effects of exercise in older adults, according to new research.




Go with the flow (or against it)

Queen’s University researchers are using magnetic fields to influence a specific type of bacteria to swim against strong currents, opening up the potential of using the microscopic organisms for drug delivery in environments with complex microflows – like the human bloodstream.

“MTB have tiny (nanoscopic) organelles called magnetosomes, which act like a compass needle that helps them navigate to nutrient-rich locations in aquatic environments – their natural habitats – by using the Earth’s magnetic field,” says Dr. Escobedo. “In nature, MTB play a key role in Earth’s cycles by influencing marine biogeochemistry via transporting minerals and organic matters as nutrients.”




Avian Flu From Abroad Can Spread in North American Poultry, Wild Birds

Some avian influenza, or bird flu, viruses that are able to enter North America from other continents through migrating birds can be deadly to poultry and can infect waterfowl populations, according to a recently published U.S. Geological Survey study.




Obesity Prevented in Mice Fed High-Fat Diet

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a way to prevent fat cells from growing larger, a process that leads to weight gain and obesity. By activating a pathway in fat cells in mice, the researchers found they could feed the animals a high-fat diet without making them obese.




Obesity Prevented in Mice Fed High-Fat Diet

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a way to prevent fat cells from growing larger, a process that leads to weight gain and obesity. By activating a pathway in fat cells in mice, the researchers found they could feed the animals a high-fat diet without making them obese.




Augmented-Reality Technology Could Help Treat 'Lazy Eye'

When signals between the brain and one eye go awry, input from the other eye can become predominant, a condition called amblyopia or “lazy eye.” Amblyopia is common and it is typically treated by forcing the less dominant eye to adapt, either through lab-based training or wearing an eyepatch. But new research suggests that people may be able to use wearable augmented-reality technology to reduce this visual discrepancy as they go about everyday activities.




Augmented-Reality Technology Could Help Treat 'Lazy Eye'

When signals between the brain and one eye go awry, input from the other eye can become predominant, a condition called amblyopia or “lazy eye.” Amblyopia is common and it is typically treated by forcing the less dominant eye to adapt, either through lab-based training or wearing an eyepatch. But new research suggests that people may be able to use wearable augmented-reality technology to reduce this visual discrepancy as they go about everyday activities.




New Test Provides Accurate Measure of DNA Damage from Chemical Compounds

A new biomarker test developed by researchers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and their colleagues can help predict, with up to 90 percent certainty, which chemical compounds can cause DNA damage that could lead to cancer. The study was published early online the week of December 4, 2017, in PNAS.




How the brain keeps time

Timing is critical for playing a musical instrument, swinging a baseball bat, and many other activities. Neuroscientists have come up with several models of how the brain achieves its exquisite control over timing, the most prominent being that there is a centralized clock, or pacemaker, somewhere in the brain that keeps time for the entire brain.




NEST360º's Low-Cost Jaundice Detector Passes First Test in Africa

The first clinical study of a low-cost, hand-held jaundice detector invented by Rice University students couldn’t have come at a better time for NEST360°, an international team of scientists, doctors and global health experts preparing for a Dec. 11 competition for $100 million from the MacArthur Foundation. The money would allow the team to carry out its visionary plan to halve the number of newborn deaths in African hospitals within 10 years.




NEST360º's Low-Cost Jaundice Detector Passes First Test in Africa

The first clinical study of a low-cost, hand-held jaundice detector invented by Rice University students couldn’t have come at a better time for NEST360°, an international team of scientists, doctors and global health experts preparing for a Dec. 11 competition for $100 million from the MacArthur Foundation. The money would allow the team to carry out its visionary plan to halve the number of newborn deaths in African hospitals within 10 years.




Researcher develops app to identify poisonous mushrooms

Foraging is a centuries-old practice, but many of the mushrooms in British Columbia are just now being identified through DNA sequencing and the enthusiasm of amateur collectors.




Some chemicals in smoke may be even more dangerous than previously thought

It’s no surprise that chemicals in smoke cause cancer, but a new study published in the Archives of Toxicology shows that some chemicals in cigarette smoke and industrial processes may be more dangerous than previously thought. Though most “low molecular weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons” (LMW PAHs) have not been shown to cause cancer alone, the study shows that in common combinations, these chemicals can help to spark the disease.




3D-printed minifactories

There will soon be nothing that cannot be produced with 3D printing. However, the materials used for this process are still “dead matter” such as plastics or metals.




Harmful Effects of Being Overweight Underestimated

The harmful effects of being overweight have been underestimated, according to a new study that analysed body mass index (BMI), health and mortality data in around 60,000 parents and their children, to establish how obesity actually influences risk of death. The University of Bristol study is published today in the International Journal of Epidemiology today [Friday 1 December].




Harmful Effects of Being Overweight Underestimated

The harmful effects of being overweight have been underestimated, according to a new study that analysed body mass index (BMI), health and mortality data in around 60,000 parents and their children, to establish how obesity actually influences risk of death. The University of Bristol study is published today in the International Journal of Epidemiology today [Friday 1 December].