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Astronomy / Space Science - 12.12.2019
New NASA image provides more details about first observed interstellar comet
A new image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope provides important new details about the first interstellar comet astronomers have seen in our solar system. The comet, called Comet 2I/Borisov (the "I" stands for interstellar), was spotted near a spiral galaxy known as 2MASX J10500165-0152029. It was approximately 203 million miles from Earth when the image was taken on Nov.

Environment - 12.12.2019
Plant Advanced Technologies - PAT launches a new bio-herbicide discovery program awarded under the
Plant Advanced Technologies - PAT launches a new bio-herbicide discovery program awarded under the "Programme d’Investissement d’Avenir III"
Plant Advanced Technologies - PAT announces the allocation of exceptional funding of ¤ 660,000 by the office of Prime Minister Édouard Philippe, as part of the national innovation contest "Programme d'Investissements d'Avenir III"*. The project associating INRA and ITEPMAI, entitled HerbiScan, enters the category "Innovative Agriculture" and aims to discover and develop new herbicides of plant origin, which will be in adequacy with the stakes of the current agriculture (new active molecules more respectful of the environment).

Life Sciences - 12.12.2019
Parakeet ’crime map’ busts Bogart and Hendrix myths
Using geographic profiling to map half a century of ring-necked parakeet sightings, a research team involving UCL has found no evidence to support any of the colourful legends surrounding the birds' origins in the UK. Stories have circulated in recent years that seek to explain how the non-native bright green birds ( Psittacula krameri ) started breeding and spread to become one of Britain's most successful alien species.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 12.12.2019
Ecotoxicological effects of pesticides in stream sediments
Ecotoxicological effects of pesticides in stream sediments
In small watercourses in Swiss agricultural catchments, pesticides pose an ecotoxicological risk. This was demonstrated by studies carried out in 2015 and 2017 under the National Surface Water Quality Monitoring Programme (NAWA SPEZ), where pesticide concentrations exceeded environmental quality standards for most of the study period.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 12.12.2019
Ecotoxicological effects of pesticides in stream sediments
Ecotoxicological effects of pesticides in stream sediments
In small watercourses in Swiss agricultural catchments, pesticides pose an ecotoxicological risk. This was demonstrated by studies carried out in 2015 and 2017 under the National Surface Water Quality Monitoring Programme (NAWA SPEZ), where pesticide concentrations exceeded environmental quality standards for most of the study period.

Health - Life Sciences - 12.12.2019
Safer viruses for vaccine research and diagnosis
Safer viruses for vaccine research and diagnosis
A new technology to produce safer 'hybrid' viruses at high volumes for use in vaccines and diagnostics for mosquito-borne diseases has been developed at The University of Queensland. Researchers from UQ and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute have exploited the benign characteristics of the Binjari virus - inert to humans - to produce 'dangerous looking' mosquito-borne viruses such as Zika and dengue, but which cannot grow in humans or animals.

Pharmacology - Health - 12.12.2019
Keeping health care workers safe from chemotherapy drugs
Chemotherapy drugs have been used to treat cancer since the 1950s. While the drugs are often lifesaving for cancer patients, they are also linked to reproductive problems, breast cancer and other health issues in the medical staff who work with the medications. To help protect health care workers, the University of Minnesota School of Public Health conducted a survey to track how chemotherapy drugs are handled in hospitals and identify work surfaces that could be contaminated by them.

Pharmacology - Health - 11.12.2019
Up to two fifths of antibiotic prescriptions in the US could be inappropriate
As much as two fifths (43 per cent) of antibiotic prescriptions in the United States could be inappropriate, warn researchers highlighted in an editorial by Professor Hay from Bristol Medical School published by The BMJ today [11 December]. Such a high degree of potentially unnecessary prescribing has important implications for antibiotic stewardship - efforts to reduce antibiotic use in response to the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance.

Environment - Chemistry - 11.12.2019
New material design tops carbon-capture from wet flue gases
New material design tops carbon-capture from wet flue gases
Chemical engineers at EPFL have designed a material that can capture carbon dioxide from wet flue gasses better than current commercial materials. Generally speaking, "flue gas" refers to any gas coming out of a pipe, exhaust, chimney etc. as a product of combustion in a fireplace, oven, furnace, boiler, or steam generator.

Health - Pharmacology - 11.12.2019
Targeted therapy drug helps women with aggressive breast cancer live longer
A study led by UCLA researchers found that adding ribociclib, a targeted therapy drug, to standard hormone therapy significantly improves overall survival in postmenopausal women with advanced hormone-receptor positive/HER2- breast cancer, one of the most common types of the disease. The findings also show the combination treatment is beneficial at the time of recurrence and should become a first-line option in postmenopausal women with HR+/HER2- advanced breast cancer.

Physics - Chemistry - 11.12.2019
Heat energy leaps through empty space, thanks to quantum weirdness
In a surprising new study, University of California, Berkeley, researchers show that heat energy can travel through a complete vacuum thanks to invisible quantum fluctuations. To conduct the challenging experiment, the team engineered extremely thin silicon nitride membranes, which they fabricated in a dust-free clean room, and then used optic and electronic components to precisely control and monitor the temperature of the membranes when they were locked inside a vacuum chamber.

Health - 11.12.2019
Flipping the script on novel cancer therapy leads to insights into lupus
Flipping the script on novel cancer therapy leads to insights into lupus
In the last decade, scientists discovered that blocking a key regulator of the immune system helped unleash the body's natural defenses against several forms of cancer, opening up a new era of cancer immunotherapy. Now Yale scientists have essentially flipped this script and found that when impaired a molecularly similar regulator can cause the damaging immune system attacks on skin and organs that are the hallmark of the autoimmune disease lupus, they report Dec.

Health - Pharmacology - 11.12.2019
After a heart attack, hearing and mobility can affect near-term mortality
A new study by Yale researchers shows that considering hearing and mobility improves doctors' ability to accurately predict six-month mortality for older heart attack patients. There has been a growing sense that functional impairments - of hearing and mobility, for example - may be relevant to establishing a prognosis for older patients, said lead author Sarwat Chaudhry, M.D. , associate professor of medicine (general medicine).

Life Sciences - Psychology - 11.12.2019
How Interacting with Females Increases Aggression in Male Fruit Flies
You probably behave differently when you are having a bad day than during a great one. For example, while you might politely smile at a neighbor you dislike on an otherwise pleasant Saturday afternoon, that same interaction will elicit a scowl when you are rushing off to work Monday morning. In other words, your brain takes recent experiences into account when coordinating your responses to external stimuli.

Health - Life Sciences - 11.12.2019
Chimpanzees may have evolved resistance to HIV precursor
Simian immunodeficiency virus, the monkeyand ape-infecting virus that HIV originated from, may have influenced the genetics of chimpanzees, finds a new UCL-led study. The virus is a leading contributor to differences between chimpanzee subspecies, according to the findings published in  PLOS Genetics .

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 11.12.2019
Predicting a protein's behavior from its appearance
Predicting a protein's behavior from its appearance
Researchers at EPFL have developed a new way to predict a protein's interactions with other proteins and biomolecules, and its biochemical activity, merely by observing its surface. The method, published in open-source format, opens up new possibilities for artificial protein design. Proteins are the building blocks of life and play a key role in all biological processes.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 11.12.2019
Water common - yet scarce - in exoplanets
Water common - yet scarce - in exoplanets
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Computer Science - 11.12.2019
Undervolting allows attacks on Intel’s secure enclaves
Researchers at the University of Birmingham have identified a weakness in Intel's processors: by undervolting the CPU, Intel's secure enclave technology becomes vulnerable to attack. Modern processors are being pushed to perform faster than ever before - and with this comes increases in heat and power consumption.

Computer Science - Mathematics - 11.12.2019
Plundervolt exposes vulnerability in security technology of Intel processors
Plundervolt exposes vulnerability in security technology of Intel processors
Computer scientists from imec-DistriNet (KU Leuven), the University of Birmingham, and TU Graz have shown that the possibility to adjust the operating voltage of Intel processors makes them vulnerable to attack.  Modern processors are being pushed to perform faster than ever before, and with this come increases in heat and power consumption.

Health - Linguistics / Literature - 11.12.2019
Speech could be older than we thought
Speech could be older than we thought
For 50 years, the theory of the "descended larynx" has stated that before speech can emerge, the larynx must be in a low position to produce differentiated vowels. Monkeys, which have a vocal tract anatomy that resembles that of humans in the essential articulators (tongue, jaw, lips) but with a higher larynx, could not produce differentiated vocalizations.
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