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Loneliness levels high during COVID-19 lockdown

During the initial phase of COVID-19 lockdown, rates of loneliness among people in the UK were high and were associated with a number of social and health factors, according to a new study.

Uncovering a 'suPAR' culprit behind kidney injury in COVID-19

A new observational study finds patients in the hospital for COVID-19 have high levels of soluble urokinase receptor (suPAR), an immune-derived pathogenic protein that is strongly predictive of kidney injury.

Mapping the human heart, cell by cell

Scientists have mapped and described the function of cells in six regions of the adult heart, providing a new foundation for studying heart disease.

Some severe COVID-19 cases linked to genetic mutations or antibodies that attack the body

Two new studies offer an explanation for why COVID-19 cases can be so variable. A subset of patients has mutations in key immunity genes; other patients have auto-antibodies that target the same components of the immune system. Both circumstances could contri

Driven by climate, more frequent, severe wildfires in Cascade Range reshape forests

New research found that while the increased wildfire activity is causing widespread changes in the structure and composition of these mid-to-high elevation forests, the new landscapes are also likely more resilient to projected upward trends in future fire ac

A question of reality

Physicists have published a review that explores Bell's inequalities and his concepts of reality and explains their relevance to quantum information and its applications.

Placenta is initiated first, as cells of a fertilized egg divide and specialize

The first stages of placental development take place days before the embryo starts to form in human pregnancies. The finding highlights the importance of healthy placental development in pregnancy, and could lead to future improvements in fertility treatment

New brain cell-like nanodevices work together to identify mutations in viruses

Scientists have described a new nanodevice that acts almost identically to a brain cell. Furthermore, they have shown that these synthetic brain cells can be joined together to form intricate networks that can then solve problems in a brain-like manner.

Method to create colloidal diamonds developed

The colloidal diamond could make light waves as useful as electrons in computing, and hold promise for a host of other applications. Researchers have devised a new process for the reliable self-assembly of colloids in a diamond formation that could lead to ch

How microbes in a mother's intestines affect fetal neurodevelopment

During pregnancy in mice, the billions of bacteria and other microbes that live in a mother's intestines regulate key metabolites, small molecules that are important for healthy fetal brain development, biologists report. Scientists had not known until now wh

Proof-of-concept for a new ultra-low-cost hearing aid for age-related hearing loss

A new ultra-affordable and accessible hearing aid made from open-source electronics could soon be available worldwide, according to a new study.

UK lockdown and air pollution: Nitrogen dioxide halved but sulfur dioxide doubled

A new study of air pollution in the United Kingdom during the first 100 days of lockdown has revealed that while nitrogen oxide levels were cut by half, levels of sulfur dioxide increased by over 100 percent.

SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy not associated with complications in neonates, study finds

In a new study, researchers examined the association between a positive SARS-CoV-2 test during pregnancy and complications in mothers and their newborn babies. Almost two out of three pregnant women who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 were asymptomatic and th

Glycans in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein play active role in infection

Many efforts to develop vaccines and therapies to thwart SARS-CoV-2 focus on the coronavirus spike protein, which binds the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) on human cells to allow viral entry. Now, researchers have uncovered an active role for glycans

Parylene photonics enable future optical biointerfaces

Scientists have invented an optical platform that will likely become the new standard in optical biointerfaces. They labeled this new field of optical technology 'Parylene photonics.'

Complications from diabetes linked to worse memory, IQ in children

A new study uncovered that even one severe episode of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is linked to cognitive problems; and among children with a previous diagnosis, repeated DKA exposure predicted lower cognitive p

Small increase in risk of autism seen for pre- and post-term births

A study of more than 3.5 million Nordic children suggests that the risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may increase slightly for each week a child is born before or after 40 weeks of gestation.

Who's Tweeting about scientific research? And why?

Although Twitter is best known for its role in political and cultural discourse, it has also become an increasingly vital tool for scientific communication. A new study shows that Twitter users can be characterized in extremely fine detail by mining a relativ

Animals lose fear of predators rapidly after they start encountering humans

Most wild animals show a suite of predator avoidance behaviors such as vigilance, freezing, and fleeing. But these are quickly reduced after the animals come into contact with humans through captivity, domestication, or urbanization, according to a new study.

Nationwide study shows disparities in COVID-19 infection for Black and Hispanic people

A study of around 5.8 million people who receive care from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) found that Black and Hispanic people were substantially more likely than their White counterparts to test positive for COVID-19, although no diffe

Is rheumatoid arthritis two different diseases?

While disease activity improves over time for most rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, long-term outcomes only improve in RA patients with autoantibodies, according to a new study. The findings add to a growing body of evidence that RA with and without autoan

Physicists develop printable organic transistors

Scientists have come a step closer to the vision of a broad application of flexible, printable electronics. The team has succeeded in developing powerful vertical organic transistors with two independent control electrodes.

Mechanism that causes cell nuclei to grow

Researchers discover a mechanism that causes cell nuclei to grow.

'New' lactic acid bacteria can make African camel milk safe

A research project has come up with the formula for a freeze-dried starter culture that African camel milk farmers can use to make safe, fermented milk products.

ADHD study reveals unique genetic differences in African American patients

Researchers have shown there may be key genetic differences in the causes of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) between African Americans and people of European ancestry, which may play an important part in how patients of different ethnic backgr

Inducing plasma in biomass could make biogas easier to produce

Producing biogas from the bacterial breakdown of biomass presents options for a greener energy future, but the complex composition of biomass comes with challenges. Cellulose and woody lignocellulose are especially hard for bacteria to digest but pretreatmen

Global analysis of how effective and topographic catchment areas differ

Topographically sketched catchment areas are a spatial unit based on the shapes of the earth's surface. They show how human activities and climate change influence the available quantities of water. Knowledge of these units is fundamental to sustainable wate

Chemists make cellular forces visible at the molecular scale

Scientists have developed a new technique using tools made of luminescent DNA, lit up like fireflies, to visualize the mechanical forces of cells at the molecular level.

Living in an anoxic world: Microbes using arsenic are a link to early life

Much of life on planet Earth today relies on oxygen to exist, but before oxygen was present on our blue planet, lifeforms likely used arsenic instead.

Wild birds as offerings to the Egyptian gods

Millions of mummified ibis and birds of prey, sacrificed to the Egyptian gods Horus, Ra or Thoth, have been discovered in the necropolises of the Nile Valley. Such a quantity of mummified birds raises the question of their origin: were they bred, like cats, o

Forest margins may be more resilient to climate change than previously thought

A warming climate and more frequent wildfires do not necessarily mean the western United States will see the forest loss that many scientists expect. Dry forest margins may be more resilient to climate change than previously thought if managed appropriately,

Parkinson's disease is not one, but two diseases

Researchers around the world have been puzzled by the different symptoms and varied disease pathways of Parkinson's patients. A major study has now identified that there are actually two types of the disease.

It is time to embrace cannabis for medicinal use, say experts

Attitudes towards cannabis products for medicinal use need to change with much greater appropriate use of such products to help alleviate patients' pain, suggests new research.

Cities beat suburbs at inspiring cutting-edge innovations

The disruptive inventions that make people go 'Wow!' tend to come from research in the heart of cities and not in the suburbs, a new study suggests. Researchers found that, within metro areas, the majority of patents come from innovations created in suburbs.

New drug candidate found for hand, foot and mouth disease

Researchers have identified a potential drug candidate against enterovirus 71, a common cause of hand, foot and mouth disease in infants and young children. The compound of interest is a small molecule that binds to RNA, the virus's genetic material, and chan

Low-cost, frequent COVID-19 screening of asymptomatic people could decrease infections, deaths and be cost-effective

When the COVID-19 pandemic is slowing, low-cost, recurring screening of asymptomatic people could decrease infections and deaths and be cost-effective.

Suspension of fertility treatments during COVID-19 has mental health impacts

The suspension of fertility treatments due to the COVID-19 pandemic has had a variety of psychological impacts on women whose treatments were cancelled, but there are several protective factors that can be fostered to help in the future, according to a new st

E. coli bacteria offer path to improving photosynthesis

Scientists have engineered a key plant enzyme and introduced it in Escherichia coli bacteria in order to create an optimal experimental environment for studying how to speed up photosynthesis, a holy grail for improving crop yields.

40% of O'ahu, Hawai'i beaches could be lost by mid-century

The reactive and piecemeal approach historically used to manage beaches in Hawai'i has failed to protect them. If policies are not changed, as much as 40% of all beaches on O'ahu, Hawai'i could be lost before mid-century, according to a new study.

Researchers combine photoacoustic and fluorescence imaging in tiny package

Researchers have demonstrated a new endoscope that uniquely combines photoacoustic and fluorescent imaging in a device about the thickness of a human hair. The device could one day provide new insights into the brain by enabling blood dynamics to be measured
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