Researchers develop novel treatment to prevent graft-versus-host-disease

Science Daily - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 11:45pm
Graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) is the leading cause of non-relapse associated death in patients who receive stem cell transplants. In a new study, researchers show that a novel treatment can effectively inhibit the development of GVHD in mice and maintain the infection- and tumor-fighting capabilities of the immune system.
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Pressures from grazers hastens ecosystem collapse from drought

Science Daily - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 11:44pm
Ecosystem collapse from extreme drought can be significantly hastened by pressures placed on drought-weakened vegetation by grazers and fungal pathogens, a new study finds. The study's experimental evidence shows that the natural enemies of plants play a major role in lowering resilience to drought and preventing recovery afterward. The finding may be applicable to a wide range of ecosystems now threatened by climate-intensified drought, including marshes, mangroves, forests and grasslands.
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Deciphering the beetle exoskeleton with nanomechanics

Science Daily - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 11:44pm
Engineers have employed a creative way to identify the geometry and material properties of the fibers that comprise a beetle's exoskeleton. This work could ultimately uncover information that could guide the design and manufacturing of new and improved artificial materials through bio-mimicry.
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New target for taming Ebola

Science Daily - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 11:44pm
A team of scientists has identified a mechanism that appears to represent one way that host cells have evolved to outsmart infection by Ebola and other viruses.
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How a Western diet leads to overeating and obesity

Science Daily - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 11:43pm
More than two in three adults in the United States are considered overweight or obese, with substantial biomedical and clinical evidence suggesting that chronic overconsumption of a 'western diet' -- foods consisting high levels of sugars and fats -- is a major cause of this epidemic. New research now shows that chronic consumption of a western diet leads to overeating and obesity due to elevations in 'peripheral endocannabinoid signaling.'
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Sketching out magnetism with electricity

Science Daily - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 11:41pm
In a proof-of-concept study, researchers drew magnetic squares in a nonmagnetic material with an electrified pen and then “read” this magnetic doodle with X-rays.
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Diet helps shed pounds, release toxins and reduce oxidative stress

Science Daily - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 11:41pm
Research by exercise scientists has found that a balanced, protein-pacing, low-calorie diet that includes intermittent fasting not only achieves long-term weight loss, but also helps release toxins in the form of PCBs from the body fat stores, in addition to enhancing heart health and reducing oxidative stress.
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Cost, technology issues are barriers to real-time cancer patient symptom reporting

Science Daily - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 11:40pm
In a perspective article, a researcher addresses the need for – and the barriers preventing – electronic reporting of patients’ symptoms between visits.
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Microsoft Anti-Porn Workers Sue Over PTSD

Slashdot - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 11:20pm
An anonymous reader shares with us a report from The Daily Beast: When former Microsoft employees complained of the horrific pornography and murder films they had to watch for their jobs, the software giant told them to just take more smoke breaks, a new lawsuit alleges. Members of Microsoft's Online Safety Team had "God-like" status, former employees Henry Soto and Greg Blauert allege in a lawsuit filed on Dec. 30. They "could literally view any customer's communications at any time." Specifically, they were asked to screen Microsoft users' communications for child pornography and evidence of other crimes. But Big Brother didn't offer a good health care plan, the Microsoft employees allege. After years of being made to watch the "most twisted" videos on the internet, employees said they suffered severe psychological distress, while the company allegedly refused to provide a specially trained therapist or to pay for therapy. The two former employees and their families are suing for damages from what they describe as permanent psychological injuries, for which they were denied worker's compensation. "Microsoft applies industry-leading, cutting-edge technology to help detect and classify illegal images of child abuse and exploitation that are shared by users on Microsoft Services," a Microsoft spokesperson wrote in an email. "Once verified by a specially trained employee, the company removes the image, reports it to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and bans the users who shared the images from our services. We have put in place robust wellness programs to ensure the employees who handle this material have the resources and support they need." But the former employees allege neglect at Microsoft's hands.

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Tillerson’s Hearing Seals It: the US Won’t Lead on Climate Change

Wired News - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 11:11pm
Tillerson and Trump are poised to cede America's leadership role on climate change to other nations. The post Tillerson's Hearing Seals It: the US Won't Lead on Climate Change appeared first on WIRED.
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JetBlue Giving All Passengers Free In-Flight 'Fly-Fi' High-Speed Wi-Fi

Slashdot - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 10:40pm
BrianFagioli quotes a report from BetaNews: Today, JetBlue announced something miraculous for travelers. Every one of its passengers will have access to free in-flight high-speed Wi-Fi, which it calls "Fly-Fi." This is on every single aircraft in its fleet. In other words, if you are flying JetBlue, you get free high-speed internet "JetBlue's Fly-Fi, which clocks in at broadband speeds beating sluggish and pricey Wi-Fi offerings onboard other carriers, keeps customers connected with an Internet experience similar to what they have at home, including the ability to stream video and use multiple devices at once. The service enables JetBlue to deliver Amazon Video streaming entertainment to customers onboard to their personal devices, as well as web surfing and chatting on favorite messaging apps," says JetBlue. The vice president of JetBlue, Jamie Perry, explains, "It's 2017 and our customers expect to be connected everywhere, whether that be from the comfort of their sofa or 35,000 feet above it. That's why we're so proud that JetBlue is now the only airline to offer free, high-speed Wi-Fi, live TV and movies for all customers on every plane."

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The Next Transportation Secretary Seems Pretty Down With Self-Driving Cars

Wired News - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 10:33pm
Elaine Chao's confirmation hearing offered subtle assurances that autonomous advocates would have an ally at the top. The post The Next Transportation Secretary Seems Pretty Down With Self-Driving Cars appeared first on WIRED.
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Windows 10 Will Soon Lock Your PC When You Step Away From It

Slashdot - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 10:00pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Microsoft is working on a new Windows 10 feature that will automatically lock and secure a PC when the operating system detects someone has moved away from the machine. The feature is labelled as Dynamic Lock in recent test builds of Windows 10, and Windows Central reports that Microsoft refers to this as "Windows Goodbye" internally. Microsoft currently uses special Windows Hello cameras to let Windows 10 users log into a PC with just their face. Big corporations teach employees to use the winkey+L combination to lock machines when they're idle, but this new feature will make it an automatic process. It's not clear exactly how Microsoft will detect inactivity, but it's possible the company could use Windows Hello-compatible machines or detect idle activity and lock the machine accordingly. Windows can already be configured to do this after a set time period, but it appears Microsoft is streamlining this feature into a simple setting for anyone to enable. Microsoft is planning to deliver Dynamic Lock as part of the Windows 10 Creators Update, expected to arrive in April.

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New Research Suggests the Appendix Has a Purpose After All

Slashdot - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 9:22pm
The appendix is an organ thought to have gone the way of our wisdom teeth and body hair: At one point we all needed them, now people can get by just fine without them. However, it turns out, at least the appendix has some purpose in the body. From a report: Scientists, though, have never been certain what the appendix used to do -- and if it is still, in fact, useless. On Jan. 9, a team of researchers led by scientists at Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine published a review study proposing an answer: the appendix is a secondary immune function that both catalyzes immune cell responses and floods your gut with beneficial bacteria when they've been depleted. And it still plays that role, in a limited fashion, in human body function."We can function okay without it, but the appendix does provide some degree of immunity and beneficial bacteria,â Heather Smith, an anatomist and lead author of the paper said.

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Donald Trump Is Still Campaigning—Against the Press

Wired News - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 9:21pm
In a wide-ranging press conference—his first since July—president-elect Trump's contempt for the media was the consistent thread. The post Donald Trump Is Still Campaigning---Against the Press appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Facebook's 'Journalism Project' Seeks To Strengthen Online News

Slashdot - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 8:42pm
Facebook is taking more responsibility over its role in the media industry. CNET reports on the company's announcement: The social network on Wednesday announced a new initiative called the Journalism Project, which seeks to put Facebook on steadier footing with the news industry. As part of the effort, the social network will work to help train journalists on how to use Facebook as a reporting tool and assist the public in figuring out how to sniff out misinformation. "We know that our community values sharing and discussing ideas and news," Fidji Simo, director of product for the project, wrote in a blog post. "And as a part of our service, we care a great deal about making sure that a healthy news ecosystem and journalism can thrive." The initiative is part of an about-face for Facebook, which for a long time shrugged off its influence on the news and downplayed the impact of misinformation circulated on Facebook on the 2016 presidential election. The company is now acknowledging the significant role it plays in the consumption of news online, along with its ability to shape journalism's future.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Genetic opposites attract when chimpanzees choose a mate

Science Daily - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 8:18pm
Researchers find that chimpanzees are more likely to reproduce with mates whose genetic makeup most differs from their own. Many animals avoid breeding with parents, siblings and other close relatives, researchers say. But chimps are unusual in that even among virtual strangers they can tell genetically similar mates from more distant ones. Chimps are able to distinguish degrees of genetic similarity among unfamiliar mates many steps removed from them in their family tree.
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Should biomedical graduate schools ignore the GRE?

Science Daily - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 8:18pm
The Graduate Record Exam (GRE), which is required for admission to graduate and doctorate programs across the country, is not the best indicator for predicting a student's success while pursuing a doctorate in the experimental life sciences. And from that research, investigators recommend devaluing - if not eliminating altogether - the GRE from the applications process for biomedical PhD candidates.
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Stem cells used to regenerate the external layer of a human heart

Science Daily - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 8:18pm
A process using human stem cells can generate the cells that cover the external surface of a human heart -- epicardium cells -- according to a multidisciplinary team of researchers.
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Strep spreads by harnessing immune defenses of those infected

Science Daily - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 8:18pm
The bacteria that cause most cases of pneumonia worldwide secrete a toxin that helps them jump from one body to the next -- with help from the hosts' immune defenses.
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