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Re-Wired: great stories you might have missed

Recent highlights in research news include: Sacred thinking isn't limited to political conservatives; Our heartbeat can increase pre-existing racial biases when we face a potential threat; Calorie restriction lets monkeys live longer; Some 3.5 trillion insects in Southern Britain alone migrate each year; and too much sitting and too little exercise may accelerate aging.

In Alzheimer’s, Excess Tau Protein Damages Brain’s GPS

Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have linked excess tau protein in the brain to the spatial disorientation that leads to wandering in many Alzheimer's disease patients. The findings, in mice, could lead to early diagnostic tests for Alzheimer's and point to treatments for this common and troubling symptom.

(Embargo expired on 19-Jan-2017 at 12:00 ET)

New Study Reveals That Insects Also Migrate

The researchers found that insects engage in the largest continental migration on earth. Some 3.5 trillion insects in Southern Britain alone migrate each year – a biomass eight times that of bird migration.

Telecommuting Extends the Work Week, at Little Extra Pay

Telecommuting may not be as advantageous as employees think. A new study shows working from home adds extra hours to the work week, at little additional pay. The findings may change workers’ perceptions of the value of telecommuting and could spur employers to better define the work-at-home workday.

Air Polluters More Likely to Locate Near Downwind State Borders

Indiana University research reveals a pattern of companies strategically locating facilities where wind will carry pollution across state lines, which can allow states to reap the benefits of jobs and tax revenue but share the negative effects -- air pollution -- with neighbors.

One Night Stand Regrets

How we feel after 1-night stands has a lot to do with our gender -- and evolution.

One in Five Adults Secretly Access Their Friends’ Facebook Accounts

Most people are concerned about the prospect of their social media accounts being hacked, but a new study finds that it’s actually people we know who frequently access our accounts without our permission.

New Theory May Explain Mystery of Fairy Circles of Namibia

One of nature's greatest mysteries - the 'Fairy Circles' of Namibia - may have been unravelled by researchers at the University of Strathclyde and Princeton University.

Trump Presidency to Affect the Quality of Financial Reporting Information

The number of companies using 'creative accounting techniques' can be expected to increase in Republican-governed states and decrease in Democrat-governed states during the Trump Presidency.

Delirium Could Accelerate Dementia-Related Mental Decline

When hospitalised, people can become acutely confused and disorientated. This condition, known as delirium, affects a quarter of older patients and new research by UCL and the University of Cambridge shows it may have long-lasting consequences, including accelerating the dementia process.

(Embargo expired on 18-Jan-2017 at 10:00 ET)

Too Much Sitting, Too Little Exercise May Accelerate Biological Aging

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine report that elderly women who sit for more than 10 hours a day with low physical activity have cells that are biologically older by eight years compared to women who are less sedentary.

(Embargo expired on 18-Jan-2017 at 15:00 ET)

New Data Show Heightened Risk of Birth Defects with Antidepressants Prescribed During Pregnancy

A new Université de Montréal study in the British Medical Journal reveals that antidepressants prescribed to pregnant women could increase the chance of having a baby with birth defects.

Extreme Space Weather-Induced Blackouts Could Cost US More Than $40 Billion Daily

New study finds more than half the loss occurs outside the blackout zone

New Avenue for Anti-Depressant Therapy Discovered

Researchers have made a ground-breaking discovery revealing new molecular information on how the brain regulates depression and anxiety. In so doing, they identified a new molecule that alleviates anxiety and depressive behaviour in rodents.

Heat From Earth’s Core Could Be Underlying Force in Plate Tectonics

For decades, scientists have theorized that the movement of Earth’s tectonic plates is driven largely by negative buoyancy created as they cool. New research, however, shows plate dynamics are driven significantly by the additional force of heat drawn from the Earth’s core. The new findings also challenge the theory that underwater mountain ranges known as mid-ocean ridges are passive boundaries between moving plates. The findings show the East Pacific Rise, the Earth’s dominant mid-ocean ridge, is dynamic as heat is transferred.

Calorie Restriction Lets Monkeys Live Long and Prosper

Settling a persistent scientific controversy, a long-awaited report shows that restricting calories does indeed help rhesus monkeys live longer, healthier lives.

(Embargo expired on 17-Jan-2017 at 11:00 ET)

Discovery Adds Rock Collecting to Neanderthal's Repertoire

Interesting limestone rock found at Croatian Neanderthal site

Racial Bias in a Heartbeat: How Signals From the Heart Shape Snap Judgements About Threat

Our heartbeat can increase pre-existing racial biases when we face a potential threat, according to new research published in Nature Communications.

Steroid Originally Discovered in the Dogfish Shark Attacks Parkinson’s-Related Toxin in Animal Model

A synthesized steroid mirroring one naturally made by the dogfish shark prevents the buildup of a lethal protein implicated in some neurodegenerative diseases, reports an international research team studying an animal model of Parkinson’s disease. The clustering of this protein, alpha-synuclein (α-synuclein), is the hallmark of Parkinson’s and dementia with Lewy bodies, suggesting a new potential compound for therapeutic research.

(Embargo expired on 16-Jan-2017 at 15:00 ET)

Tracking Antarctic Adaptations in Diatoms

An international team of researchers conducted a comparative genomic analysis to gain insights into the genome structure and evolution of the diatom Fragillariopsis cylindrus, as well as its role in the Southern Ocean.

(Embargo expired on 16-Jan-2017 at 11:00 ET)

The First Humans Arrived in North America a Lot Earlier Than Believed

Anthropologists at Université de Montréal have dated the oldest human settlement in Canada back 10,000 years.

Best Treatment Option Written in Cancer's Genetic Script

Acute myeloid leukaemia study finds personalised therapy is possible.

Gun Violence in PG-13 Movies Continues to Climb Past R-Rated Films

The amount of gun violence in top-grossing PG-13 movies, which can be seen by children of all ages, has continued to exceed the gun violence in the biggest box-office R-rated films, a new analysis published in the journal Pediatrics shows.

Diversification Key to Resilient Fishing Communities

Fishing communities can survive ― and even thrive ― as fish abundance and market prices shift if they can catch a variety of species and nimbly move from one fishery to the next, a new University of Washington study finds.

(Embargo expired on 14-Jan-2017 at 05:00 ET)

Exeter Research Helps Protect Loggerhead Turtles

A long-running research and conservation project is helping save an at-risk species of turtle.

How the Darkness and the Cold Killed the Dinosaurs

Climate scientists now reconstructed how tiny droplets of sulfuric acid formed high up in the air after the well-known impact of a large asteroid and blocking the sunlight for several years, had a profound influence on life on Earth.

Mapping Movements of Alien Bird Species

The global map of alien bird species has been produced for the first time by a UCL-led team of researchers. It shows that human activities are the main determinants of how many alien bird species live in an area but that alien species are most successful in areas already rich with native bird species.

(Embargo expired on 12-Jan-2017 at 14:00 ET)

Why Lyme Disease Is Common in the North, Rare in the South

It's the heat and the humidity, USGS-led study finds

Being Rude to Your Child’s Doctor Could Lead to Worse Care

Emotions tend to run high in hospitals, and patients or patients’ loved ones can be rude to medical professionals when they perceive inadequate care.

Home Delinquency Rates Lower Among ACA Households

If you are on Obamacare, you are likely a better tenant or homeowner.

Release of Water Shakes Pacific Plate at Depth

A team of seismologists analyzing the data from 671 earthquakes that occurred between 30 and 280 miles beneath the Earth's surface in the Pacific Plate as it descended into the Tonga Trench were surprised to find a zone of intense earthquake activity in the downgoing slab. The pattern of the activity along the slab provided strong evidence that the earthquakes are sparked by the release of water at depth.

(Embargo expired on 11-Jan-2017 at 14:00 ET)

Researchers Find a Potential Target for Anti-Alzheimer's Treatments

Scientists at the University of Luxembourg have identified a gene that may provide a new starting point for developing treatments for Alzheimer's disease.

Surf and Earth: How Prawn Shopping Bags Could Save the Planet

Bioengineers at The University of Nottingham are testing how to use shrimp shells to make biodegradable shopping bags, as a ‘green’ alternative to oil-based plastic, and as a new food packaging material to extend product shelf life.

Plus-Sized Fly: A Model to Understand the Mechanisms Underlying Human Obesity

The fly sheds light on how the brain acts to signal 'fullness' and the possibility of conferring resilience against the impact of high-fat diets

Study Shows How Phishing Scams Thrive on Overconfidence

Overconfident e-mail recipients are helping phishing succeed

While Not Necessarily Reality, Perception Can Cause Reality to Evolve

In a perspective published January 6, 2017, in Science, Hamilton Farris, PhD, Associate Professor-Research at LSU Health New Orleans Neuroscience Center of Excellence, finds that the key insight of an important study is that perception can drive the evolution of observable traits.

Moralistic Thinking on Political Left, Right Not So Different

Sacred thinking isn't limited to political conservatives, according to a new report from researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Winnipeg. The findings are from four related studies that examine how liberals and conservatives justify their political attitudes on same-sex-marriage and the Keystone XL oil pipeline.