Curated News: PLOS

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Newswise: Study: Environmental Risks Exacerbated For Vulnerable Populations in Small Towns
22-Jun-2021 10:00 AM EDT
Study: Environmental Risks Exacerbated For Vulnerable Populations in Small Towns
Iowa State University

A new study of small Iowa towns found that vulnerable populations within those communities face significantly more public health risks than statewide averages.

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Embargo will expire: 24-Jun-2021 2:00 PM EDT Released to reporters: 17-Jun-2021 2:00 PM EDT

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Newswise: Unraveling the Origin of Alzheimer’s Disease
16-Jun-2021 2:55 PM EDT
Unraveling the Origin of Alzheimer’s Disease
Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University researchers studying prions—misfolded proteins that cause lethal incurable diseases—have identified for the first time surface features of human prions responsible for their replication in the brain.

17-Jun-2021 10:15 AM EDT
People With Back Pain Miss Far Fewer Workdays When They Receive Recommended Treatments
University of Utah Health

Medical guidelines help doctors understand the best way to treat health conditions. Surprisingly, many doctors do not adhere to them, and this is a problem, according to a new study. People with lower back pain injury miss 11 more days of work in a year when they only receive treatments for lower back pain that are not recommended by medical guidelines compared to people treated according to guidelines.

Released: 16-Jun-2021 4:35 PM EDT
At underwater site, research team finds 9,000-year-old stone artifacts
University of Texas, Arlington

An underwater archaeologist from The University of Texas at Arlington is part of a research team studying 9,000-year-old stone tool artifacts discovered in Lake Huron that originated from an obsidian quarry more than 2,000 miles away in central Oregon.

15-Jun-2021 2:45 PM EDT
Natural killers: Using the body’s cells to target breast cancer
Clemson University

The research utilizes the body’s natural killer cells, part of the human immune system, to target breast cancer tumor cells. The triggers are fusion proteins developed by Clemson University researchers that link the two together. The research is a novel approach to developing breast cancer-specific immunotherapy.

Released: 9-Jun-2021 5:15 PM EDT
Researchers link ancient wooden structure to water ritual
Cornell University

A Cornell University team led by Sturt Manning, Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences in Classics and director of the Tree-Ring Laboratory, used dendrochronology and a form of radiocarbon dating called “wiggle-matching” to pinpoint, with 95% probability, the years in which an ancient wooden structure’s two main components were created: a lower tank in 1444 B.C., and an upper tank in 1432 B.C. Each date has a margin of error of four years.

Released: 9-Jun-2021 3:10 PM EDT
Smokers needed angioplasty and stenting a decade before non-smokers
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

Smokers needed their blocked arteries fixed nearly a decade earlier than non-smokers, and patients with obesity underwent these procedures four years earlier than non-obese patients, according to a new study from across Michigan.

Released: 9-Jun-2021 2:45 PM EDT
New research indicates maternal adult characteristics do not predict stillbirth, early neonatal death 
University of Illinois at Chicago

University of Illinois Chicago researchers studying birth outcomes in marmoset monkeys found there were no adult maternal characteristics like age or weight gain during pregnancy to predict stillbirth or early neonatal death, but that a mother’s birth weight or litter size were associated with early neonatal death. “Our findings of early life contributions to adult pregnancy outcomes in the common marmoset disrupt mother-blaming narratives of pregnancy outcomes in humans,” the paper states.

Newswise: Soft tissue measurements critical to hominid reconstruction
3-Jun-2021 2:00 AM EDT
Soft tissue measurements critical to hominid reconstruction
University of Adelaide

Accurate soft tissue measurements are critical when making reconstructions of human ancestors, a new study from the University of Adelaide and Arizona State University has found.

Released: 1-Jun-2021 11:05 PM EDT
If I never knew you: Australian reptiles highlight urgent need for taxonomic research in the fight against biodiversity loss
Washington University in St. Louis

New research published in PLOS Biology emphasizes the importance of prioritizing taxonomic research in conservation, with biodiversity loss greater than realized due to the high number of unknown and undocumented species. Jane Melville, senior curator of terrestrial vertebrates at Museums Victoria and associate professor in the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University, led the collaborative research effort as part of a Fulbright Fellowship at Washington University in St.

Newswise: Video platforms normalise exotic pets
Released: 27-May-2021 10:05 PM EDT
Video platforms normalise exotic pets
University of Adelaide

Researchers at the University of Adelaide are concerned video sharing platforms such as YouTube could be contributing to the normalisation of exotic pets and encouraging the exotic pet trade.

Released: 27-May-2021 3:30 PM EDT
Sometimes, even 3-year-olds just want to fit in with the group
Duke University

What makes preschoolers eat their veggies? Raise their hand? Wait their turn? "Because I say so" is a common refrain for many parents.

Newswise: Research Uncovers How ‘Non-professional’ Cells Can Trigger Immune Response
Released: 26-May-2021 1:30 PM EDT
Research Uncovers How ‘Non-professional’ Cells Can Trigger Immune Response
University of California San Diego

Researchers are finding new details on the complex dynamics involved in how organisms sense an infection from pathogens. The researchers found that worms can sense changes in their metabolism in order to unleash protective defenses, even if they don’t directly sense an incursion from pathogens.

Newswise: Research suggests fly brains make predictions — possibly by using universal design principles
Released: 20-May-2021 4:05 PM EDT
Research suggests fly brains make predictions — possibly by using universal design principles
University of Chicago Medical Center

New research in flies indicates that prediction may be a universal principle among animal nervous systems to enable rapid behavioral changes.

Newswise: 265506_web.jpg
Released: 20-May-2021 3:10 PM EDT
Young orangutans have sex-specific role models
University of Zurich

Orangutans are closely related to humans. And yet, they are much less sociable than other species of great apes.

17-May-2021 7:00 AM EDT
Coronavirus Transmission in Queens Drove the First Wave of New York City’s Pandemic
NYU Langone Health

The most populous boroughs in New York City, Queens and Brooklyn, likely served as the major hub of COVID-19 spread in the spring of 2020, a new study finds.

Newswise: New Research Maps COVID-19 Dispersal Dynamics in New York’s First Wave of Epidemic
19-May-2021 10:40 AM EDT
New Research Maps COVID-19 Dispersal Dynamics in New York’s First Wave of Epidemic

Study Suggests Borough of Queens Was Major Hub of COVID-19 Dispersal

Newswise: Fruit Flies and Mosquitos are ‘Brainier’ than Most People Suspect, Say Scientists Who Counted the Bugs’ Brain Cells
13-May-2021 9:00 AM EDT
Fruit Flies and Mosquitos are ‘Brainier’ than Most People Suspect, Say Scientists Who Counted the Bugs’ Brain Cells
Johns Hopkins Medicine

In research made possible when COVID-19 sidelined other research projects, scientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine meticulously counted brain cells in fruit flies and three species of mosquitos, revealing a number that would surprise many people outside the science world.

Released: 13-May-2021 10:40 AM EDT
Ingredient in Common Weed Killer Impairs Insect Immune Systems, Study Suggests
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

The chemical compound glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide, can weaken the immune systems of insects.

3-May-2021 1:55 PM EDT
Home far away: Ancient Easter Island communities offer insights for successful life in isolation
Binghamton University, State University of New York

A research team including Binghamton University anthropologists Carl Lipo and Robert DiNapoli explore how complex community patterns in Easter Island helped the isolated island survive from its settlement in the 12th to 13th century until European contact.

10-May-2021 12:40 PM EDT
‘Opioid treatment deserts’ abound, study finds
Ohio State University

Neighborhoods without opioid treatment providers likely serve as a widespread barrier to care for those who are ready to seek help, a new study has found. Nearby access, including by public transit, is essential to treatment success, researchers say.

Released: 7-May-2021 10:35 AM EDT
Online learning doesn't improve student sleep habits, research suggests
Simon Fraser University

New research from Simon Fraser University suggests that students learning remotely become night owls but do not sleep more despite the time saved commuting, working or attending social events.

Released: 7-May-2021 9:35 AM EDT
18.5M-year-old vine fossil identified as new species
Cornell University

An 18.5 million-year-old fossil found in Panama provides evidence of a new species and is the oldest reliable example of a climbing woody vine known as a liana from the soapberry family. The discovery sheds light on the evolution of climbing plants.

Newswise: New View of Species Interactions Offers Clues to Preserve Threatened Ecosystems
Released: 30-Apr-2021 1:25 PM EDT
New View of Species Interactions Offers Clues to Preserve Threatened Ecosystems
University of California San Diego

Scientists from around the world have produced a new analysis—believed to be the most detailed study of specialized ecological data from global forests—that is furthering science’s understanding of species interactions and how diversity contributes to the preservation of ecosystem health.

Released: 29-Apr-2021 4:40 PM EDT
Study finds US Twitter users have strongly supported face coverings amid the pandemic
University of Oregon

An analysis of Twitter activity between March 1 and Aug. 1, 2020, found strong support by U.S. users for wearing face coverings and that a media focus on anti-mask opinions fueled the rhetoric of those opposed, report University of Oregon researchers.

Newswise: Republicans Became More Vaccine Hesitant as the Coronavirus Pandemic Unfolded
Released: 28-Apr-2021 9:05 PM EDT
Republicans Became More Vaccine Hesitant as the Coronavirus Pandemic Unfolded
University of California San Diego

Individuals who self-identify as Republicans became more skeptical of a potential COVID-19 vaccine and other inoculations, such as the flu shot, over the course of the pandemic, reveals a new study by the University of California San Diego’s Rady School of Management.

Released: 22-Apr-2021 11:25 AM EDT
Artificial intelligence model predicts which key of the immune system opens the locks of coronavirus
University of Helsinki

The human immune defense is based on the ability of white blood cells to accurately identify disease-causing pathogens and to initiate a defense reaction against them

Released: 21-Apr-2021 12:00 PM EDT
Shift-work causes negative impacts on health, affects men and women differently
University of Waterloo

Shift-work and irregular work schedules can cause several health-related issues and affect our defence against infection, according to new research from the University of Waterloo.

13-Apr-2021 10:30 AM EDT
The Internet Brings People Into Big Cities, New Study Suggests
University of Bristol

The widespread proliferation of the internet and information and communication technologies (ICT) has drawn people into urban centres, according to new research.

14-Apr-2021 9:00 AM EDT
Lower COVID-19 rates seen in US states with higher adherence to mask wearing

New evidence supports mask wearing in public as key to reducing spread of COVID-19

12-Apr-2021 4:05 PM EDT
COVID-19 in Combination with Hemorrhagic Stroke Doubles Death Risk
University of Utah Health

COVID-19 and hemorrhagic stroke are a deadly combination, increasing the risk of death up to 2.4 times among patients who have this pairing compared to those who only had hemorrhagic strokes, according to a nationwide study led by University of Utah Health scientists. Patients who survived had longer hospital stays, more medical complications, and less favorable outcomes than those who did not have both conditions.

Released: 12-Apr-2021 9:00 AM EDT
Pandemic Paradox: People Want to Improve Mental Health by Exercising, but Stress and Anxiety Get in the Way, Research Shows
McMaster University

The pandemic has created a paradox where mental health has become both a motivator for and a barrier to physical activity.

Newswise: New approach to blood-based tuberculosis diagnosis
Released: 12-Apr-2021 9:00 AM EDT
New approach to blood-based tuberculosis diagnosis
Los Alamos National Laboratory

Optical biosensor device aids in biomarker identification

Released: 1-Apr-2021 6:05 PM EDT
Researchers devise more efficient, enduring CAR gene therapy to combat HIV
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences

A UCLA research team has shown that using a truncated form of the CD4 molecule as part of a gene therapy to combat HIV yielded superior and longer-lasting results in mouse models than previous similar therapies using the CD4 molecule.

Released: 1-Apr-2021 4:10 PM EDT
Researchers Link New Risk Factors to Increased Risk of COVID-19 Infection
University of Maryland Medical Center

While it has already been established that those with Type II diabetes and a high body mass index (BMI) are at greater risk of experiencing hospitalizations and other severe complications related to COVID-19, they are also at greater risk of getting symptomatic infection in the first place.

Released: 1-Apr-2021 10:05 AM EDT
COVID-19 Antibody Tests, Even Rapid Finger Pricks, are Effective, New Study Finds
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

A new study finds that antibody tests are able to predict prior COVID-19 infection, even for people with mild symptoms. Researchers also found that low-cost rapid screening methods, including finger prick tests, detect infection with nearly the same precision as higher-complexity lab tests.

Released: 31-Mar-2021 5:25 PM EDT
Why SARS-CoV-2 replicates better in the upper respiratory tract
University of Bern

"SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV are highly similar genetically, generate a homologous repertoire of viral proteins, and use the same receptor to infect human cells.

Released: 25-Mar-2021 11:25 AM EDT
Should you take fish oil? Depends on your genotype
University of Georgia

Fish oil supplements are a billion-dollar industry built on a foundation of purported, but not proven, health benefits. Now, new research from a team led by a University of Georgia scientist indicates that taking fish oil only provides health benefits if you have the right genetic makeup.

Newswise: IU study finds COVID-19 differs from other coronaviruses
Released: 23-Mar-2021 12:40 PM EDT
IU study finds COVID-19 differs from other coronaviruses
Indiana University

IU study finds COVID-19 differs from other coronaviruses which may be contributing to difficulty in controlling disease spread and burden.

Released: 17-Mar-2021 3:40 PM EDT
Cancer survivors face elevated heart disease risk, study finds
Ohio State University

A new study has found that about 35% of Americans with a cancer history had an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease in the next decade, compared with about 23% of those who didn’t have cancer.

Newswise: Research News Tip Sheet: Story Ideas from Johns Hopkins Medicine
Released: 17-Mar-2021 11:00 AM EDT
Research News Tip Sheet: Story Ideas from Johns Hopkins Medicine
Johns Hopkins Medicine

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Johns Hopkins Medicine Media Relations is focused on disseminating current, accurate and useful information to the public via the media. As part of that effort, we are distributing our “COVID-19 Tip Sheet: Story Ideas from Johns Hopkins” every other Wednesday.

Newswise: Black Women More Likely To Gain Weight Than White Women After Menopause
Released: 15-Mar-2021 12:55 PM EDT
Black Women More Likely To Gain Weight Than White Women After Menopause
Rush University Medical Center

In a study published published in the medical journal PLOS ONE, researchers from Rush Institute for Health Aging find that racial disparities play a role in weight gain in older women.

Released: 15-Mar-2021 11:20 AM EDT
High emotional intelligence 'can help to identify fake news'
University of Strathclyde

People with high levels of emotional intelligence are less likely to be susceptible to 'fake news', according to research at the University of Strathclyde.

Released: 15-Mar-2021 6:05 AM EDT
Fear of COVID-19 : Psychological, not environmental factors are important
University of Vienna

During pandemics, protective behaviors need to be motivated by effective communication. A critical factor in understanding a population’s response to such a threat is the fear it elicits, since fear both contributes to motivating protective responses, but can also lead to panic-driven behaviors. Furthermore, lockdown measures affect well-being, making it important to identify protective factors that help to maintain high perceived levels of health during restrictions.

Released: 11-Mar-2021 2:55 PM EST
Scientists Discover Cellular Stress Enzyme That Might Play Key Role in Neurodegenerative Diseases Such as ALS
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

An enzyme called MARK2 has been identified as a key stress-response switch in cells in a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Newswise: Helpful behavior during pandemic tied to recognizing common humanity
Released: 10-Mar-2021 2:25 PM EST
Helpful behavior during pandemic tied to recognizing common humanity
University of Washington

A new University of Washington study finds that an identification with all humanity, as opposed to identification with a geographic area like a country or town, predicts whether someone will engage in “prosocial” behaviors particular to the pandemic, such as donating extra masks or coming to the aid of a sick person.

Newswise: Mothers rebuild: Solutions to overcome COVID-19 challenges in academia
Released: 9-Mar-2021 3:40 PM EST
Mothers rebuild: Solutions to overcome COVID-19 challenges in academia
Michigan Technological University

Over the summer and fall, paper after paper revealed that mothers are one of the demographics hardest hit by the pandemic. However, none brought solutions to the forefront of the conversation, so 13 researchers—all moms themselves—penned a roadmap for policies to support mothers in academia.

Newswise:Video Embedded thin-explosive-films-provide-snapshot-of-how-detonations-start
Released: 4-Mar-2021 8:55 AM EST
Thin explosive films provide snapshot of how detonations start
Sandia National Laboratories

Using thin films — no more than a few pieces of notebook paper thick — of a common explosive chemical, researchers from Sandia National Laboratories studied how small-scale explosions start and grow. These experiments advanced fundamental knowledge of detonations.

Released: 25-Feb-2021 5:25 PM EST
Men obstructed from entering female-dominated occupations
Linkoping University

Job applications from men are disfavoured when they apply for work in female-dominated occupations. Reaching the interview stage was most difficult for men applying for jobs as cleaners.

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