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New ECU research finds 'Dr. Google' is almost always wrong

New ECU research finds 'Dr. Google' is almost always wrong

Many people turn to 'Dr Google' to self-diagnose their health symptoms and seek medical advice, but online symptom checkers are only accurate about a third of the time, according to new Edith Cowan University (ECU) research published in the Medical Journal of Australia today.The study analysed 36 international mobile and web-based symptom checkers and found they produced the correct diagnosis as the first result just 36 per cent of the time, and within the top three results 52 per cent of the time.The research also found that the advice provided on when and where to seek health care was...

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May 17
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ALMA spots twinkling heart of Milky Way

ALMA spots twinkling heart of Milky Way

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) found quasi-periodic flickers in millimeter-waves from the center of the Milky Way, Sagittarius (Sgr) A*. The team interpreted these blinks to be due to the rotation of radio spots circling the supermassive black hole with an orbit radius smaller than that of Mercury. This is an interesting clue to investigate space-time with extreme gravity."It has been known that Sgr A* sometimes flares up in millimeter wavelength," tells Yuhei Iwata, the lead author of the paper published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters and a...

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May 22
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Researchers uncover the arks of genetic diversity in terrestrial mammals

Researchers uncover the arks of genetic diversity in terrestrial mammals

Maximizing the protection of life on Earth requires knowledge of the global patterns of biodiversity at multiple dimensions, from genetic diversity within species, to species and ecosystem diversity. Yet, the lack of genetic sequences with geographic information at global scale has so far hindered our ability to map genetic diversity, an important, but hard to detect, biodiversity dimension.In a new study, researchers from the Universities of Copenhagen and Adelaide have collected and georeferenced a massive amount of genetic data for terrestrial mammals and evaluated long-standing theories...

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May 22
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Is the simplest chemical reaction really that simple?

Is the simplest chemical reaction really that simple?

Most people think that quantum theory, which describes the motion of molecules and atomic and subatomic particles, is counterintuitive, since quantum mechanics describes behavior at odds with classical mechanics. Even Albert Einstein, who never accepted quantum mechanics, famously said that "He (God or Nature) does not play dice" - meaning that the laws of physics do not surrender to uncertainty or chance as implied by quantum theory.A chemical reaction sometimes occurs in an odd way, since in microscopic view the progress of a reaction is governed by the quantum theory.New research by...

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May 14
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Astronomers confirm existence of two giant newborn planets in PDS 70 system

Astronomers confirm existence of two giant newborn planets in PDS 70 system

Maunakea, Hawaii - New evidence shows the first-ever pictures capturing the birth of a pair of planets orbiting the star PDS 70 are in fact authentic.Using a new infrared pyramid wavefront sensor for adaptive optics (AO) correction at W. M. Keck Observatory on Maunakea in Hawaii, a Caltech-led team of astronomers applied a new method of taking family photos of the baby planets, or protoplanets, and confirmed their existence.The team's results are published in today's issue of The Astronomical Journal.PDS 70 is the first known multiplanetary system where astronomers can witness planet...

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May 18
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Aboriginal rock art, frontier conflict and a swastika

Aboriginal rock art, frontier conflict and a swastika

A hidden Murray River rockshelter speaks volumes about local Aboriginal and European settlement in the Riverland, with symbols of conflict - including a swastika symbol - discovered in Aboriginal rock art.The engravings studied in 188 engravings in a remote South Australian rockshelter are a stark reminder of colonial invasion and the strife brewing in Europe ahead of World War Two, Flinders University archaeologists have revealed.The 'graffiti' has been etched over or adjacent to Aboriginal rock art at a culturally significant rockshelter in limestone cliffs of the Murray River near...

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May 18
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The dreaming brain tunes out the outside world

The dreaming brain tunes out the outside world

Scientists from the CNRS and the ENS-PSL in France (1) and Monash University in Australia have shown that the brain suppresses information from the outside world, such as the sound of a conversation, during the sleep phase linked to dreaming. This ability could be one of the protective mechanisms of dreams. The study, carried out in collaboration with the Centre du Sommeil et de la Vigilance, Hôtel-Dieu, AP-HP - Université de Paris, is published in Current Biology on 14 May 2020.While we dream, we invent worlds that bear no relation to the quietness of our bedroom. In fact, it is rather...

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May 15
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How handling meat leads to psychological numbness

How handling meat leads to psychological numbness

Butchers and deli workers become desensitised to handling meat within the first two years of handling it as part of their job say psychologists.The study led by Dr Jared Piazza of Lancaster University recruited 56 people in Lancashire with commercial experience handling meat and another group of 103 people without any such experience.He said: "Thinking about the animal origins of meat and the harm caused to animals for meat production can be psychologically distressing for many people. Presumably, the constant handling of meat requires people to adapt to their environment. After all, it...

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May 11
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Thrive announces clinical data from study of blood test to detect multiple cancers

Thrive announces clinical data from study of blood test to detect multiple cancers

Thrive Earlier Detection Corp., a company dedicated to extending and saving lives by incorporating earlier cancer detection into routine medical care, together with Johns Hopkins University and Geisinger Health, today announced data from the landmark DETECT-A study. DETECT-A (Detecting cancers Earlier Through Elective mutation-based blood Collection and Testing) is the first ever prospective, interventional study to use a blood test to screen for multiple types of cancers in a real-world population. The study was conducted by Johns Hopkins University and Geisinger and enrolled more than...

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Apr 28
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Cell-based test shows potential to predict which drugs and chemicals cause birth defects

Cell-based test shows potential to predict which drugs and chemicals cause birth defects

Madison, WI (March 3, 2020): Recently published results from an evaluation of 1,065 chemical and drug substances using the devTOX quickPredict (devTOXqP) screening platform developed by Stemina Biomarker Discovery, Inc. demonstrated the platform's ability to predict developmental toxicity in humans with high accuracy using a cell-based test. In a peer-reviewed article published in Toxicological Sciences, scientists from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that Stemina's devTOXqP test predicted the potential for developmental toxicity in a blinded set of chemicals and...

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Mar 3
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Fossil fuel-free jet propulsion with air plasmas

Fossil fuel-free jet propulsion with air plasmas

WASHINGTON, May 5, 2020 -- Humans depend on fossil fuels as their primary energy source, especially in transportation. However, fossil fuels are both unsustainable and unsafe, serving as the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions and leading to adverse respiratory effects and devastation due to global warming.A team of researchers at the Institute of Technological Sciences at Wuhan University has demonstrated a prototype device that uses microwave air plasmas for jet propulsion. They describe the engine in the journal AIP Advances, from AIP Publishing."The motivation of our work is to...

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May 5
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Blood clotting a significant cause of death in patients with COVID-19

Blood clotting a significant cause of death in patients with COVID-19

A study led by clinician scientists at RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences has found that Irish patients admitted to hospital with severe COVID-19 infection are experiencing abnormal blood clotting that contributes to death in some patients.The study, carried out by the Irish Centre for Vascular Biology, RCSI and St James's Hospital, Dublin, is published in current edition of the British Journal of Haematology. (DOI: 10.1111/bjh.16749)The authors found that abnormal blood clotting occurs in Irish patients with severe COVID-19 infection, causing micro-clots within the lungs. They...

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Apr 30
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Humble bug holds key to relieving millions of allergy sufferers in Europe

Humble bug holds key to relieving millions of allergy sufferers in Europe

CABI has led a team of scientists on new research which reveals that a humble bug can help relieve more than 2 million sufferers of allergies in Europe while also saving more than Euro 1 billion in health costs.Dr Urs Schaffner, lead author of the study published in Nature Communications, says the leaf beetle Ophraella communa can significantly reduce pollen - which causes a range of symptoms from sneezing to itchy eyes and aggravates conditions such as asthma and eczema - from common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia).The interdisciplinary study - the first to quantify the economic benefits...

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Apr 21
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Warming climate undoes decades of knowledge of marine protected areas

Warming climate undoes decades of knowledge of marine protected areas

Climate change and warming seas are transforming tropical coral reefs and undoing decades of knowledge about how to protect these delicate and vital ecosystems.Many of the world's coral reefs are seeing biodiversity plunge in the face of repeated coral bleaching events.Protected areas, called marine reserves, are an effective and long-established tool in the conservation toolbox. Marine reserves have been used for decades to enhance biodiversity and fish biomass by preventing damage and over-exploitation by fishing.However, a new study highlights that tropical coral reef marine reserves can...

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Apr 24
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Environment: Satellite data used to detect marine plastic

Environment: Satellite data used to detect marine plastic

A new method of detecting patches of floating macroplastics - larger than 5 millimetres - in marine environments is presented in Scientific Reports this week. The approach, which uses data from the European Space Agency Sentinel-2 satellites, is able to distinguish plastics from other materials with 86% accuracy.Lauren Biermann and colleagues identified patches of floating debris from Sentinel-2 data based on their spectral signatures - the wavelengths of visible and infrared light they absorbed and reflected. The authors then trained a machine-learning algorithm to classify the individual...

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Apr 23
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Nature: Don't hope mature forests to soak up carbon dioxide emissions

Nature: Don't hope mature forests to soak up carbon dioxide emissions

Globally, forests act as a large carbon sink, absorbing a substantial portion of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Whether mature forests will remain carbon sinks into the future is of critical importance for aspirations to limit climate warming to no more than 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels? Researchers at Western Sydney University's EucFACE (Eucalyptus Free Air CO2 Enrichment, see the photo) experiment have found new evidence of limitations in the capacity of mature forests to translate rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations into additional plant growth and carbon storage. The unique...

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Apr 15
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Economists find carbon footprint grows with parenthood

Economists find carbon footprint grows with parenthood

Increased time constraints and the need for convenience in raising children appear to offset parents' concerns about the future when it comes to their carbon footprints, according to new research by University of Wyoming economists and a colleague in Sweden.UW's Jason Shogren and Linda Thunstrom, along with Jonas Nordstrom of the Lund University School of Economics and Management, have documented that two-adult households with children emit over 25 percent more carbon dioxide than two-adult households without children. Their research appears April 15 in PLOS One, a journal published by the...

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Apr 15
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Eco-friendly Oxy-CFBC technology to implement stackless power plant

Eco-friendly Oxy-CFBC technology to implement stackless power plant

Coal-fired power plants in Korea have been considered as one of the main sources of air pollutants, CO2 and the other precursor materials to ultra fine dusts such as nitrogen oxide, sulfur oxide. Therefore, FEPCRC is developing key technologies for eco-friendly coal-fired stackless power generation without emissions in flue gas.FEP Convergence Research Center(FEPCRC) led by Director Lee Jae-goo in Korea Institute of Energy Research(KIER, President: Kim Jong-nam) successfully developed 'Oxy-Circulating Fluidized Bed Combustion (Oxy-CFBC)' technology that reduces air pollution over 80% and...

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Apr 16
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Psychology research: Vaccine skeptics actually think differently than other people

Psychology research: Vaccine skeptics actually think differently than other people

In 2000, the measles virus was declared eliminated from the United States. Despite cases coming in from outside the country, there were few outbreaks because most people were vaccinated against measles. And then 2019 happened.The U.S. saw 1,282 confirmed cases in 31 states - the greatest number reported since 1992, with nearly three-fourths linked to recent outbreaks in New York, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most cases were among people who were not vaccinated against measles.After events like this, many people express confusion about others' hesitancy or...

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Apr 10
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Higher daily step count linked with lower all-cause mortality

Higher daily step count linked with lower all-cause mortality

In a new study, higher daily step counts were associated with lower mortality risk from all causes. The research team, which included investigators from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA), both parts of the National Institutes of Health, as well as from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), also found that the number of steps a person takes each day, but not the intensity of stepping, had a strong association with mortality.The findings were published March 24, 2020, in the Journal of the American Medical Association."While we knew...

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Mar 24
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Novel bacterial acid tolerance system sheds light on development of antimicrobials

Novel bacterial acid tolerance system sheds light on development of antimicrobials

Growth ability at acidic conditions is important to bacteria. Enteric bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Salmonella can colonize and cause disease in the host's intestinal tract, but they have to combat acidic environments during the whole process of invading the host.The stomach, with pH value as low as 1.5-2.5, is recognized as a natural antibiotic barrier. After entering into the small intestine, E. coli will encounter a less acidic environment (with pH value of 4-6), reproduce rapidly, and cause disease to the host ultimately.Recently, a research team led by Prof. XIAN Mo and Prof....

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Mar 20
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Bad sleep habits can depress teens

Bad sleep habits can depress teens

Nagging negative thoughts - and striving for perfection - keep teenagers awake at night, raising their chance of becoming depressed and anxious, a new study shows.An online study of almost 400 adolescents aged 14 to 20 years confirmed the link, leading sleep researchers at Flinders University to recommend alternative treatments for repetitive negative thinking and perfectionism in dealing with delayed sleep and mental health problems among teenagers.Professor Michael Gradisar, director of the Child and Adolescent Sleep Clinic at Flinders University, says the study confirmed a link between...

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Mar 18
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Mimicking cancer's evasive tactics, microparticles show promise for transplant rejection

Mimicking cancer's evasive tactics, microparticles show promise for transplant rejection

PITTSBURGH, March 13, 2020 - Inspired by a tactic cancer cells use to evade the immune system, University of Pittsburgh researchers have engineered tiny particles that can trick the body into accepting transplanted tissue as its own.Rats that were treated with these cell-sized microparticles developed permanent immune tolerance to grafts -- including a whole limb -- from a donor rat, while keeping the rest of their immune system intact, according to a paper published today in Science Advances."It's like hacking into the immune system borrowing a strategy used by one of humanity's worst...

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Mar 13
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Ancient fish fossil reveals evolutionary origin of the human hand

Ancient fish fossil reveals evolutionary origin of the human hand

An ancient Elpistostege fish fossil found in Miguasha, Canada has revealed new insights into how the human hand evolved from fish fins.An international team of palaeontologists from Flinders University in Australia and Universite du Quebec a Rimouski in Canada have revealed the fish specimen, as described in the journal Nature, has yielded the missing evolutionary link in the fish to tetrapod transition, as fish began to foray in habitats such as shallow water and land during the Late Devonian period millions of years ago.This complete 1.57 metre long fish shows the complete arm (pectoral...

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Mar 18
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Biomass fuels can significantly mitigate global warming

Biomass fuels can significantly mitigate global warming

BEER-SHEVA, ISRAEL...March 10, 2020 - Biomass fuels derived from various grasses could significantly mitigate global warming by reducing carbon, according to a long-term field study by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Michigan State University (MSU).In a new paper published in Environmental Science and Technology, the researchers examined a number of different cellulosic biofuel crops to test their potential as a petroleum alternative in ethanol fuel and electric light-duty vehicles which includes passenger cars and small trucks.Climate change mitigation scenarios...

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Mar 10
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