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KERI, reducing the size and weight of medical mri equipment by more than half

Research and Science BIOENGINEER.ORG

Technology that can create a superconducting electromagnet, the key component of MRI, safely and strongly using an insulation-conduction transforming substance Credit: Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute (KERI) The Superconductivity Research
'Technology that can create a superconducting electromagnet, the key component of MRI, safely and strongly using an insulation-conduction transforming substance Credit: Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute (KERI) The Superconductivity Research Center of the Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute (KERI, President Gyu-ha Choe) under the Ministry of Science and ICT has developed a superconducting insulation technology that can significantly reduce the size and weight of medical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment. While many hospitals, both domestic and international, face many difficulties in facility management due to the large size and heavy weight of MRI equipment, the development of this technology, led by the team of Dr. Seog-Whan Kim and Dr. Young-Sik Jo of the Superconductivity Research Center, is expected to receive much attention. MRI transmits a high frequency magnetic field of thousands of hertz to the human body, and displays the image signals generated from atomic nuclei in the body in a 2D or 3D cross-sectional image. It does not use radiation like X-rays and CT, so it is safe, and the angle in the body needed to be recorded can be freely chosen. It has very high resolution and is widely used in modern medicine. Resolution is the most important thing for an accurate MRI diagnosis, and a stronger magnetic field results in better quality. Most existing MRIs use a superconducting electromagnet to create a powerful magnetic field. Superconductivity is the phenomenon where metal or a compound is cooled below a certain temperature has almost no resistance to current flow. Using this principle, a superconducting electromagnet has “zero” electric resistance and much more current can flow through it than copper wire with the same cross-section area, which has a significantly effect on improving the performance of MRI equipment. However, a fatal problem exists in superconducting electromagnets. Part of the superconducting wire suddenly escapes the superconducting state beyond certain amount of electricity. In this case, it causes greater resistance than normal metal, and eventually heats up and burns. This phenomenon hasn’t been clearly explained yet, and there is no solution in the world of science as well. In order to prevent one superconducting wire from burning, 10 times more copper is currently used to wrap superconducting wire. Copper is a kind of insurance, and it flows current instead of superconducting wire until a circuit breaker starts when superconducting wire heats up. This method uses a lot of copper and enlarges the entire volume and weight so much that the superconducting wires can’t be used as much. Also, such a large amount of copper is the main reason why MRI equipment is big and heavy. KERI research team developed “smart insulation” technology that can solve the heating issue of superconducting wire while significantly reducing the amount of copper used. This special technology performs insulation during normal operation so that electricity doesn’t leak, and when superconducting wire starts heating, it automatically transforms into a conductor to help electricity flow between lines. Whereas a large amount of copper was needed in the past for each line to handle electricity, smart insulation technology can allow the distribution of electricity with nearby wires in the case of heating, so the amount of copper surrounding superconducting wire can be significantly reduced. With this, a “compact” superconducting electromagnet with less risk and high current density can be made. The developers, Dr. Seog-Whan Kim and Dr. Young-Sik Jo, said that “applying smart insulation technology to MRI equipment can reduce the amount of copper by half, which means that the size of MRI equipment can be reduced by more than half,” adding that “hospitals face many difficulties due to the size and weight of MRI equipment, and this technology will enable a smaller size and lighter weight.” The research team expects that this technology will be of interest to officials of hospitals with MRI equipment, and is working on technology transfer and commercialization. Patents have been applied for in five countries including Korea, and promotion of the technology will continuously expand through conferences and exhibitions in the future. ### Media Contact Seo Jae-hoon seo7539@keri.re.kr'

The University of Bonn is the most successful participant in the Excellence Strategy competition

Research and Science BIOENGINEER.ORG

‘We are a University of Excellence’ Credit: Barbara Frommann/Uni Bonn It is with boundless joy and pride that the University of Bonn has received the decision of the Excellence Commission to grant the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
'‘We are a University of Excellence’ Credit: Barbara Frommann/Uni Bonn It is with boundless joy and pride that the University of Bonn has received the decision of the Excellence Commission to grant the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn the status of a University of Excellence. It is one of only eleven Universities of Excellence in Germany appointed today and one of two in North Rhine-Westphalia. With the six Clusters of Excellence acquired last September, the University of Bonn is the most successful university in the Germany-wide Excellence competition. The funding decision was eagerly awaited. At the central lecture hall on campus Poppelsdorf, Rector Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch, together with several hundred university members, followed the results announcement press conference via live stream. When the University of Bonn’s name was mentioned, loud cheers filled the hall. “We are a University of Excellence! Today is a milestone in the 200-year history of our university,” said the rector in an initial reaction. “Our efforts have been fruitful and the performance of our university succeeded amongst tough competition. This is a huge success and a big step towards our goal to permanently establish Bonn among the best universities in Germany and Europe.” “We” as the theme of the application Professor Hoch thanked all those who made a decisive and united contribution to this success: “‘We’ is the theme of our excellence strategy application. We were successful because we competed together. I wholeheartedly thank all researchers, deans, students, rectorate members and staff for their hard work. My thanks also go to our non-university cooperation partners and the numerous supporters in the city, region and state. This great success shines on the entire international science region that is Bonn and far beyond!” Already last September, the University of Bonn with its six Clusters of Excellence – spanning its entire scientific spectrum and involving all seven faculties – was the most successful university in the competition. With success in the Universities of Excellence funding line, the University of Bonn has established itself among the most successful research-based universities in Germany. The long-term funding of the Universities of Excellence begins on November 1, 2019, and has a total volume of up to 105 million euros per university for an initial seven years. Thereafter, the Universities of Excellence must undergo external evaluation. \t Investing in people, networks and public outreach At the center of the University of Bonn’s Excellence Strategy is a triad, described in the funding application title: “We invest in people, We foster networks, We create impact”. With financial support from the “ExStra” funding, the university wants to attract new talent on all career stages and continue to optimize working conditions in research and teaching. This will also benefit the university’s six new Transdisciplinary Research Areas (TRAs), which seek to find solutions to major scientific, technological and societal challenges working across disciplines and with the involvement of non-university partners. The university will also use this funding to strengthen and expand its regional, national and international networks. Finally, the university will broaden its involvement in knowledge transfer and science communication to make even better use of the diverse findings from research. Even in a celebratory mood, the rector keeps a close eye on these ambitious goals: “The status of a ‘University of Excellence’ is both a recognition and an obligation for us. In addition to the curiosity-driven basic research in the disciplines, we also want to promote transdisciplinary cooperation across faculty and subject boundaries and further expand our scientific networks all over the world. Equal opportunities, diversity, sustainability and family-friendly study and working conditions are of central concern to us. We want to also be measured according to this.” Rector Hoch congratulated RWTH Aachen University on its renewed funding as a University of Excellence. With regret, he noted the decision that the University of Cologne will no longer be funded as a University of Excellence. Rector Hoch said: “The ABC science region (Aachen, Bonn, Cologne including Jülich) is one of the strongest science regions in Germany and Europe. This is reflected in the fact that it is one of the most successful regions in the excellence competition. Our three universities are linked by joint Clusters of Excellence and many other research projects. In any case, this cooperation will be further strengthened and expanded.” \t Architect and Motor of Success The Chairman of the University Council of the University of Bonn, Prof. Dr. Dieter Engels, was one of the first to congratulate and thank Rector Hoch personally for his commitment: “The fact that the University of Bonn can now call itself ‘University of Excellence’ is first and foremost thanks to Michael Hoch. He is the architect and the motor of this success!” Lord Mayor Ashok Sridharan also personally congratulated the university: “I congratulate the University of Bonn for this great success! The funding commitment as a University of Excellence benefits not only the university, but also the city. The status of University of Excellence enables the university to expand its international position and to better attract international researchers. This will make a significant contribution to strengthening Bonn as an international city and to expanding the science region. The city will support the university in all its activities.” Note for editors: On the occasion of the funding decision, we invite you to a press conference on Monday, 22 July at 12 noon in the Rectorate, Argelanderstraße 1, 53115 Bonn. Parking is available at Poppelsdorfer Allee 49. You will need a parking pass, which can be obtained from the Division for University Communications. ### Media Contact Andreas Archut andreas.archut@uni-bonn.de'

2016 election linked to increase in preterm births among US Latinas

Research and Science BIOENGINEER.ORG

Analysis suggests 3.5 percent more preterm births among Latinas than projected for nine months following election A significant jump in preterm births to Latina mothers living in the U.S. occurred in the nine months following the November 8, 2016
'Analysis suggests 3.5 percent more preterm births among Latinas than projected for nine months following election A significant jump in preterm births to Latina mothers living in the U.S. occurred in the nine months following the November 8, 2016 election of President Donald Trump, according to a study led by a researcher at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The study, published July 19 in JAMA Network Open , was prompted by smaller studies that had suggested adverse, stress-related health effects among Latin Americans in the U.S. after the Trump election. The new analysis, based on U.S. government data on more than 33 million live births in the country, found an excess of 2,337 preterm births to U.S. Latinas compared to what would have been expected given trends in preterm birth in the years prior to the election. This is roughly 3.5 percent more preterm births than expected given projections from pre-election data. Preterm birth, defined as birth before 37 weeks of gestation, is associated with a wide range of negative health consequences, from a greater risk of death in infancy to developmental problems later in life. “The 2016 election, following campaign promises of mass deportation and the rollback of policies such as DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, may have adversely affected the health of Latinas and their newborns,” says study first author Alison Gemmill, PhD, MPH, assistant professor in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health at the Bloomberg School. Researchers know that stress in pregnant women can bring an elevated risk of preterm birth. Prior studies also suggest that anti-immigrant policies or actions can stress immigrant women and/or make them less likely to seek prenatal care. Moreover, although most Latinas living in the U.S. are citizens or otherwise documented immigrants and would not be directly threatened by tighter policies for undocumented immigrants, they are very likely to have close friends or family members who would be threatened by such policies. The new study was prompted by a smaller study in 2018 by other researchers, who found a moderately elevated rate of preterm births to foreign-born Latina women in New York City from September 1, 2015 to July 31, 2016 compared to January 1, 2017 to August 31, 2017. Gemmill and her colleagues decided to investigate this issue on a national level, using more rigorous methodology that would account, for example, for the slow rise in the national preterm rate that has been observed since 2014. In their analysis, Gemmill and colleagues used a database from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that covers essentially all live births in the U.S. First, the researchers tracked preterm births to self-identified Latina women over the previous adminstration, January 2009 to October 2016. They then used those data to generate an estimate of expected preterm births during the following nine months, from November 2016 to July 2017. Next, the authors compared those expected numbers to the actual numbers of preterm births to Latina women during the nine months after the election. The researchers found there were 1,342 preterm births of male infants above the expected number of 36,828, and 995 preterm births of female infants above the expected 30,687. The analysis also revealed peaks in excess preterm births in February and July of 2017 for both male and female infants, which hints that infants conceived or in the second trimester of gestation at the time of the election may have been particularly vulnerable to maternal stress. “We’ve known that government policies, even when they’re not health policies per se, can affect people’s health, but it’s remarkable that an election and the associated shift in presidential tone appears to have done so,” says Gemmill. Gemmill and her colleagues suggest that future research should be done to determine more precisely the mechanisms by which policies and government messages can negatively affect population health outcomes. “Association of Preterm Births Among U. Latina Women With the 2016 Presidential Election” was written by Alison Gemmill, Ralph Catalano, Joan Casey, Deborah Karasek, Héctor Alcalá, Holly Elser and Jacqueline M. Torres. ### This work was supported in part by the Transdisciplinary Postdoctoral Fellowship of the Preterm Birth Initiative at the University of California San Francisco and a Population Health & Health Equity Scholars award from the UCSF School of Medicine. Media Contact Barbara Benham bbenham1@jhu.edu Related Journal Article https:/ / www. jhsph. edu/ news/ news-releases/ 2019/ 2016-election-linked-to-increase-in-preterm-births-among-US-latinas. html http://dx. doi. org/ 10. 1001/ jamanetworkopen. 2019. 7084'

STAT Plus: Biotech enters an era of ‘platform’ dominance

Research and Science STAT

In today’s gilded age of VC largesse, companies can raise nine-figure funding rounds without so much as deciding on a discrete disease area.
'There was a time, back in biotech’s leaner years, when any company hoping to raise even a dollar needed a clear path to get a single drug through clinical trials. Now, in today’s gilded age of VC largesse, companies can raise nine-figure funding rounds without so much as deciding on a discrete disease area. Continue to STAT Plus to read the full story…'

How moon maps made the lunar landing possible

Research and Science Futurity

Before humans could walk on the moon's face, researchers had to image and map its surface. This video explains the clever way they got it done.
'Before NASA sent Americans to the moon, researchers had to image and map the lunar surface.The maps allowed them to understand the moon’s geology and let NASA choose landing sites for future robotic and Apollo missions.Gerard Kuiper, the father of modern-day planetary sciences, led the team that published two atlases.The Rectified Lunar Atlas (1963) gave people a first look at what features on the moon’s edges looked like without distortion, as explained in this video.The Consolidated Lunar Atlas (1967) was comprised of the highest resolution images taken from the ground, mostly from the Santa Catalina Mountains in Southern Arizona.These atlases not only paved the way to the moon, but also birthed the field of planetary science.Here, Timothy Swindle, director of the Lunar & Planetary Lab at the University of Arizona, explains an innovative technique researchers used:   You can read more about the importance of the moon maps to lunar missions here . Today, researchers are busy mapping other parts of our solar system . Source: University of Arizona . The post How moon maps made the lunar landing possible appeared first on Futurity .'

What the Ebola emergency means, what it doesn’t mean, and what’s next

Research and Science STAT

Finally, the WHO has declared the world’s latest Ebola outbreak a global health emergency. But what, exactly, does that mean?
'Finally, the World Health Organization has declared the world’s latest Ebola outbreak a global health emergency . But what, exactly, does that mean? The decision this week by the WHO’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, to designate the long-running Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo a public health emergency of international concern generated a flood of news coverage. Read the rest…'

Operative versus non-operative treatment for 2-part proximal humerus fracture

Research and Science BIOENGINEER.ORG

Credit: PLOS Medicine The results of a recent Nordic collaboration study showed that there is no difference in functional results between operative and non-operative treatment in persons aged 60 or more with displaced proximal humerus fractures.
'Credit: PLOS Medicine The results of a recent Nordic collaboration study showed that there is no difference in functional results between operative and non-operative treatment in persons aged 60 or more with displaced proximal humerus fractures. Proximal humerus fractures are more common in older persons than in younger adults. This fracture usually occurs as a result of falling, usually at home, directly on to the shoulder. In the proximal humerus, the bone is more fragile than lower in the forearm. The healing potential in the proximal humerus is, however, better than lower in the forearm. In the study, published in Plos Medicine journal, only fractures with a significant displacement between bone fragments were included. Traditionally, humerus fractures have been operatively treated using a metal plate and screws. In the non-operative treatment group, patients used a collar and cuff sling for three weeks and underwent instructed physiotherapy. The trial included 88 patients who were followed for two years, and was conducted as a multinational, multicenter study in six trauma centers. The findings of the study are novel and challenge current treatment protocols. “Moreover the result had a positive impact on both the lives of the patients as well as on the economic cost of treatment,” says Aare Märtson, Professor in Orthopedics at the University of Tartu Institute of Clinical Medicine. Abandoning those procedures that offer no benefit to the patient could result in savings of up to one million euros per year. Furthermore, patient recovery will be as successful as previously but without the surgery-related pain and complications. The leading center was Tampere University Hospital, Finland. Other centers included Jyväskylä Central Hospital, Finland, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm and Uppsala University Hospital from Sweden, Viborg Hospital from Denmark, and Tartu University Hospital from Estonia. Next object for the NITEP study group is to assess whether older adults would benefit from surgery after distal radius fracture. ### Media Contact Aare Märtson aare.martson@ut.ee'

Scientists Find 7-Foot Shark With Plastic Strap Stuck Around Its Neck

Research and Science Geek.com

Scientists recently discovered a 7-foot shark with a plastic strap stuck around its neck. (Photo Credit: Sulikowski Shark and Fish Research Lab / Facebook) Scientists recently came across an alarming sight when they discovered a 7-foot
'Scientists recently discovered a 7-foot shark with a plastic strap stuck around its neck. (Photo Credit: Sulikowski Shark and Fish Research Lab / Facebook) \t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t Scientists recently came across an alarming sight when they discovered a 7-foot shark severely wounded by a plastic strap around its neck. The 7-foot  creature , which was spotted by marine scientist James Sulikowski, grew for years with the plastic strap lodged around its gills and neck, The Charlotte Observer reported . Sulikowski shared photos of the injured shark on Facebook, which showed the shark’s head slowly being cut off by the taut plastic strap.   “A piece of circular plastic had become lodged around her neck when she was younger. As she grew, it began to cut through her skin into her muscle,” Sulikowski wrote in the post, which went viral on Facebook . “If we had not removed it, she surely would have died.” According to Sulikowski, the shark, which was a porbeagle shark, was observed off the coast of Maine earlier this month. The Sulikowski Shark and Research Lab, which is based in Maine, has been carefully trapping and tagging porbeagle sharks in collaboration with NOAA Fisheries to update the ecology of the porbeagle shark species in U.S. waters. Sulikowski and his team attached a satellite tag to the shark’s dorsal fin and released her. They hope to track her recovery from this injury and receive additional data on her travels throughout the Atlantic Ocean. “We are happy to report she is alive and well and transmitting locations already,” said the Facebook post. “Given the nature of her injury and her fortitude to not give up, we have named her Destiny because she is definitely a survivor!” More on Geek.com: Watch: Fishermen Snag Large Great White Shark Off California Coast  Watch: Drone Captures Great White Sharks Interacting Off Cape Cod Strange, Deep-Sea Shark Older Than Most Dinosaurs Caught on Video'

Understanding the molecular link between sex hormones and aging in skeletal muscles

Research and Science BIOENGINEER.ORG

Andrea Vasconsuelo’s new book explains how steroid hormones have a role to play in age-related changes that trigger apoptosis Sarcopenia, the progressive loss of muscle mass and associated muscle weakness during aging, affects the functional
'Andrea Vasconsuelo’s new book explains how steroid hormones have a role to play in age-related changes that trigger apoptosis Sarcopenia, the progressive loss of muscle mass and associated muscle weakness during aging, affects the functional capacity and general health in adult people radically and renders frail elders susceptible to serious injury from sudden falls and fractures. Because of this, the elderly are at risk of losing their functional independence. There is a vital need to recognize the molecular mechanisms and regulatory factors, underlying age-related muscle wasting and to develop therapeutic strategies that can attenuate, prevent, or finally reverse sarcopenia. The book explains the molecular mechanisms that underlie muscle functions and physiology with an integrated view of the relationship of cellular events. The authors consider the microenvironmental factors that are critical to the cellular events that are affected by androgens and estrogens. The book present in integrated form the latest information on sarcopenia and its relation with apoptosis, from leading researchers studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying age-linked changes in skeletal muscle emphasizing on the role of satellite cells. The authors also explain, how hormones are involved in muscle homeostasis and in the regulation of apoptosis process and how these two functions connect to maintain a healthy muscle or to trigger pathological changes. Readers will learn about the molecular mechanisms implicated in skeletal muscle aging; when apoptosis is more intense and sex hormones levels decline. The authors also describe the molecular structure of phytoestrogens and their action on sex steroids receptors. The detailed style, complete with interesting illustrations and tables makes it easy for the reader to appreciate the complexity of the processes involved in muscle aging. This book is of interest to graduates and postgraduates in the fields of medicine and biochemistry, researchers of different aspects of aging biology and working professionals in the pharmaceutical and health-care industry. ### \t About The Editor: Dr. Andrea Vasconsuelo (PhD, Biochemistry) is currently associated with the National University of South in Bahía Blanca – Argentina, as an Assistant Professor of Biological Chemistry, with twenty years of experience in academics. In addition, she is part of the National Research Council of Argentina (CONICET) as an Independent Researcher. She has published books about estradiol and cellular signaling and more than fifty research papers in referred journals and conferences. Dr. Vasconsuelo has extensively studied the molecular mechanisms/signal pathways triggered by estradiol, testosterone and phytoestrogens at the mitochondrial level in skeletal muscle cells and the potential relation with ageing and apoptosis. She has been awarded, in several occasions (2006, 2009 and 2011), for her work in basic research by the Argentinean Association of Osteobiology and Mineral Metabolism. For Further Details, Please Visit: https:/ / ebooks. benthamscience. com/ book/ 9789811412363/ Media Contact Faizan ul Haq faizan@benthamscience.net'

STAT Plus: Up and down the ladder: The latest comings and goings

Research and Science STAT

From new hires to departures, promotions and transfers, here are the latest comings and goings in the pharmaceutical industry.
'Hired someone new and exciting? Promoting a rising star? Finally solved that hard-to-fill spot? Share the news with us, and we’ll share it with others. That’s right. Send us your changes, and we’ll find a home for them . Don’t be shy. Everyone wants to know who is coming and going. And here is our regular feature in which we highlight a different person each week. This time around, we note that  Cabaletta Bio hired Dr. David Chang as chief medical officer. Most recently, he worked at AstraZeneca ( AZN ), where he was senior vice president and head of inflammation, autoimmunity, and neuroscience, global medicines development. Continue to STAT Plus to read the full story…'

Cigarette butts hamper plant growth — study

Research and Science BIOENGINEER.ORG

New research is first to show damage caused to plants Credit: Jaime Da Silva Carvalho, Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) New research has discovered that cigarette butts – the most common form of litter on the planet – significantly reduce plant
'New research is first to show damage caused to plants Credit: Jaime Da Silva Carvalho, Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) New research has discovered that cigarette butts – the most common form of litter on the planet – significantly reduce plant growth. Led by academics from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and published in the journal Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety , the study is the first to show the damage that cigarette butts can cause to plants. The researchers found that the presence of cigarette butts in the soil reduces the germination success and shoot length (the length of the stem) of clover by 27% and 28% respectively, while root biomass (root weight) reduced by 57%. For grass, germination success reduced by 10% and shoot length by 13%. Most cigarette butts contain a filter made of cellulose acetate fibre, a type of a bioplastic. Filters from unsmoked cigarettes had almost the same effect on plant growth as used filters, indicating that the damage to plants is caused by the filter itself, even without the additional toxins released from the burning of the tobacco. Control experiments contained pieces of wood of identical shape and size as the cigarette butts. It is estimated that around 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are littered every year, making them the most pervasive form of plastic pollution on the planet. As part of this study, the academics sampled locations around the city of Cambridge and found areas with as many as 128 discarded cigarette butts per square metre. Lead author Dr Dannielle Green, Senior Lecturer in Biology at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said: “Despite being a common sight littering streets and parks worldwide, our study is the first to show the impact of cigarette butts on plants. We found they had a detrimental effect on the germination success and shoot length of both grass and clover, and reduced the root weight of clover by over half. “Ryegrass and white clover, the two species we tested, are important forage crops for livestock as well as being commonly found in urban green spaces. These plants support a wealth of biodiversity, even in city parks, and white clover is ecologically important for pollinators and nitrogen fixation. “Many smokers think cigarette butts quickly biodegrade and therefore don’t really consider them as litter. In reality, the filter is made out of a type of bioplastic that can take years, if not decades, to break down. “In some parks, particularly surrounding benches and bins, we found over 100 cigarette butts per square metre. Dropping cigarette butts seems to be a socially acceptable form of littering and we need to raise awareness that the filters do not disappear and instead can cause serious damage to the environment.” Co-author Dr Bas Boots, Lecturer in Biology at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), added: “Although further work is needed, we believe it is the chemical composition of the filter that is causing the damage to plants. Most are made from cellulose acetate fibres, and added chemicals which make the plastic more flexible, called plasticisers, may also be leaching out and adversely affecting the early stages of plant development.” ### Media Contact Jon Green jon.green@anglia.ac.uk Original Source https:/ / aru. ac. uk/ news/ cigarette-butts-hamper-plant-growth-study Related Journal Article http://dx. doi. org/ 10. 1016/ j. ecoenv. 2019. 109418'

More Americans now see women as smarter

Research and Science Futurity

Surveys from 1946 to 2018 show how gender stereotypes have changed in the United States. But the trends aren't all positive.
'Americans no longer regard women as less competent than men on average, according to a nationally representative study of gender stereotypes in the United States.Less positive, however, is that women’s gains in perceived competence have not propelled them to the top of hierarchies.The new analysis investigates how gender stereotypes in the US have evolved over seven decades (1946-2018), a span of time that brought considerable change in gender relations due in large part to women’s increased participation in the labor force and education.Women now earn more bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees than men, unlike decades ago.The study, which appears in the journal American Psychologist , analyzes 16 nationally representative opinion polls conducted in the United States with more than 30,000 adult respondents.These polls asked respondents to compare women’s and men’s competence (e.g., intelligent, organized, creative), communion (e.g., affectionate, compassionate, emotional), and agency (e.g., ambitious, aggressive, decisive). Most adults now report that women and men are equal in general competence.But among those who see a difference, most see women as more competent than men.For instance, in the most recent poll, conducted in April 2018, most respondents (86 percent) says that men and women are equally intelligent.However, 9 percent says that women are more intelligent, compared to a smaller percentage (5 percent) who says that men are more intelligent.Changing gender stereotypes Lead author Alice Eagly, a professor of psychology and a faculty fellow with the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University, also says that the study’s findings about communion and agency are surprising. “The perceptions of women as communal and men as agentic have not eroded since the 1940s, contrary to conventional wisdom about convergence in gender roles,” Eagly says. “Rather, communal stereotypes have changed but increasingly towards portraying women as more compassionate, affectionate, and sensitive than men.Men are still viewed as more ambitious, aggressive, and decisive than women, and that agency stereotype has not substantially changed since the 1940s.” The researchers note that different groups of respondents—men, women, racial subgroups—generally agree about these stereotypes.For instance, respondents in recent US samples ascribed competence more often to women than men, regardless of the respondent’s sex, race, ethnicity, college education, marital status, employment status, or birth cohort.Good news, bad news Eagly’s interpretation of these findings is that women’s increasing labor force participation and education likely underlie the increase in their perceived competence, but that occupational segregation underlies the other findings. “Specifically, women are concentrated in occupations that reward social skills or offer contribution to society,” she says. “People observe the social roles of women and men and infer the traits that make up gender stereotypes.In general, stereotypes reflect the social position of groups in society and, therefore, change only when this social position shifts.That’s why gender stereotypes have changed.” “The current stereotypes should favor women’s employment, because competence is, of course, a job requirement for virtually all positions,” Eagly says. “Also, jobs increasingly reward social skills, making women’s greater communion an additional advantage.” But the findings are not all positive for women, she adds. “Most leadership roles require more agency than communion and the lesser ambition, aggressiveness, and decisiveness ascribed to women than men are a disadvantage in relation to leadership.” The researchers’ findings about change over time are novel, Eagly says. “There are many studies on gender stereotypes, but no others have investigated change in these stereotypes over many decades using representative samples.” Additional coauthors are from the University of Bern and the American Institutes for Research.Source: Northwestern University . The post More Americans now see women as smarter appeared first on Futurity .'

Space research helps patients on Earth with low blood pressure condition

Research and Science BIOENGINEER.ORG

Credit: UTSW DALLAS – July 19, 2019 – Ever stand up too quickly and see stars? Fainting from low blood pressure can be dangerous for astronauts as well as for patients. With the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing approaching, UT
'Credit: UTSW DALLAS – July 19, 2019 – Ever stand up too quickly and see stars? Fainting from low blood pressure can be dangerous for astronauts as well as for patients. With the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing approaching, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers are publishing heart-related space research that helps us to understand the problem of low blood pressure. The study, now in Circulation , is the first to examine this condition – called orthostatic intolerance – during daily activities when the astronauts returned home. The researchers found that exercise regimens during space flight, followed by saline injections after landing, were sufficient to prevent the condition from occurring. Cardiologist Dr. Benjamin Levine led the study and has worked in space research for three decades. Dr. Levine is a Professor of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern and Director of the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, a collaboration between UT Southwestern and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. “Doing an hour or more of daily exercise was sufficient to prevent loss of heart muscle, and when it was combined with receiving hydration on their return, the condition was prevented entirely,” said Dr. Levine. “We expected to see up to two-thirds of the space crew faint. Instead, no one fainted.” The researchers used an unusual tool, a small blood pressure cuff on each astronaut’s finger, to measure blood pressure and every heartbeat. These measurements were taken during multiple 24-hour periods before, during, and after six months of spaceflight. Twelve astronauts were involved, eight men and four women. A similar condition is also diagnosed in patients as Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), which is predominantly found in women. The dizziness that it causes is life-changing and can be debilitating. Dr. Levine helped one Dallas patient return to a normal life: This treatment is just one of the ways medicine, heart research, and space travel have connected throughout Dr. Levine’s work. The successful moon landing in 1969 was an early influence on his career. “Like most kids in the 1960s, everyone gathered around to watch the broadcast in black and white. For a kid interested in science, this was the pinnacle of life,” said Dr. Levine. “The space program always had a strong pull for me. I liked to think about the limits of human capacity and what could be.” That early interest led Dr. Levine into space research within the field of cardiology, and he began working with the space shuttle program in 1991. “We put a catheter in an astronaut’s heart – it was former UT Southwestern faculty member Dr. Drew Gaffney — and sent him into space. It was probably the most expensive right-heart catheterization ever,” Dr. Levine reminisced. “Much of our early research was devoted to understanding why astronauts faint when they return from space. Now, we can prevent it from happening.” ### The Circulation study was funded by NASA and published by the American Heart Association. Dr. Levine holds the Distinguished Professorship in Exercise Sciences at UT Southwestern. Other UT Southwestern researchers who contributed to the study include: Dr. Qi Fu, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine; and Beverley Adams-Huet, Assistant Professor of Population and Data Sciences and Internal Medicine. \t About UT Southwestern Medical Center UT Southwestern, one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty has received six Nobel Prizes, and includes 22 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 17 members of the National Academy of Medicine, and 15 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators. The full-time faculty of more than 2,500 is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to translating science-driven research quickly to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide care in about 80 specialties to more than 105,000 hospitalized patients, nearly 370,000 emergency room cases, and oversee approximately 3 million outpatient visits a year. Media Contact Lori Soderbergh lori.soderbergh@utsouthwestern.edu'

‘Trojan horse’ disguises chemo drug as fat to kill tumors

Research and Science Futurity

A stealthy new drug delivery system gets chemotherapy drugs behind enemy lines by disguising them as fat.
'A stealthy new drug-delivery system disguises chemotherapy drugs as fat in order to outsmart, penetrate, and destroy tumors.Thinking the drugs are tasty fats, tumors invite the drug inside.Once there, the targeted drug activates, immediately suppressing tumor growth.The drug also is lower in toxicity than current chemotherapy drugs, leading to fewer side effects. “It’s like a Trojan horse,” Nathan Gianneschi, a professor chemistry and of biomedical engineering and materials science and engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering and associate director of the International Institute of Nanotechnology at Northwestern University. “It looks like a nice little fatty acid, so the tumor’s receptors see it and invite it in.Then the drug starts getting metabolized and kills the tumor cells.” Chemotherapy undercover To develop the targeting system, Gianneschi and his team engineered a long-chain fatty acid with two binding sites—able to attach to drugs—on each end.The fatty acid and its hitchhiking drugs are then hidden inside human serum albumin (HSA), which carries molecules, including fats, throughout the body.The body’s cellular receptors recognize the fats and proteins supplied by the HSA and allow them inside.Quick-growing and hungry, cancer cells consume the nutrients much faster than normal cells.When the cancer cells metabolize the hidden drug, they die. “It’s like the fatty acid has a hand on both ends: one can grab onto the drug and one can grab onto proteins,” Gianneschi says. “The idea is to disguise drugs as fats so that they get into cells and the body is happy to transport them around.” More drug, fewer side effects In the study, the researchers used the drug delivery system to carry a common, FDA-approved chemotherapy drug, paclitaxel, into tumors in a small animal model.Disguised as fat, the drug entered and completely eliminated the tumors in three types of cancer: bone, pancreatic, and colon.Even better: the researchers found they could deliver 20 times the dose of paclitaxel with their system, compared to two other paclitaxel-based drugs.But even at such a high quantity, the drug in Gianneschi’s system was still 17 times safer. “Commonly used small-molecule drugs get into tumors—and other cells,” Gianneschi says. “They are toxic to tumors but also to humans.Hence, in general, these drugs have horrible side effects.Our goal is to increase the amount that gets into a tumor versus into other cells and tissues.That allows us to dose at much higher quantities without side effects, which kills the tumors faster.” The study appears in the Journal of the American Chemical Society . Support for the study came from Elevance Renewable Sciences, the ARCS Foundation, and the Inamori Foundation.Source: Northwestern University . The post ‘Trojan horse’ disguises chemo drug as fat to kill tumors appeared first on Futurity .'