332 articles from THURSDAY 21.5.2020

Promoting temporary contracts fails to have the desired effect of increasing employment

A study by the UPV/EHU and University of Cambridge explores the actual effect of the labour reforms applied between 1988 and 2012 in countries throughout Europe. Far from meeting the aim of encouraging recruitment, these reforms were found to have caused the rate of temporary employment to increase and indefinite recruitment to fall. The current economic crisis of a health origin could prompt...

Researchers discover biomarkers of ALS in teeth

Mount Sinai scientists have identified biological markers present in childhood that relate to the degenerative and often fatal neurological disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, according to a study published in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology in May.

Scientists finally crack nature's most common chemical bond

The carbon-hydrogen bond -- 2/3 of all bonds in hydrocarbons -- has defied chemists' attempts to open it up and add new chemical groups. A UC Berkeley team has now cracked the strongest of C-H bonds, those on a molecule's terminal carbon. The reaction catalyst is an iridium atom to break the bond and a methyl group to add a boron compound. Boron is easily exchanged for other groups, allowing...

Scientists identify chemicals in noxious weed that 'disarm' deadly bacteria

Scientists have identified specific compounds from the Brazilian peppertree -- a weedy, invasive shrub in Florida -- that reduce the virulence of antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria. Scientific Reports published the research, demonstrating that triterpenoid acids in the red berries of the plant "disarm" dangerous staph bacteria by blocking its ability to produce toxins.

Scientists identify gene linked to thinness that may help resist weight gain

In a study publishing May 21 in the journal Cell, researchers use a genetic database of more than 47,000 people in Estonia to identify a gene linked to thinness that may play a role in resisting weight gain in metabolically healthy thin people. They show that knocking out this gene results in thinner flies and mice and find that expression of it in the brain may be involved in regulating energy...

Sex as stress management in microbes

Why is sex so popular in nature? A new article in Genome Biology and Evolution suggests that the molecular mechanisms underlying sex and the stress response may be more tightly coupled than previously appreciated, providing a new explanation for the widespread prevalence of sex in nature.

Sex bias in pain research

Most pain research remains overwhelmingly based on the study of male rodents, continuing to test hypotheses derived from earlier experiments on males. This points to an important blind spot in pain research, particularly as it relates to advancing research into new pain medications.

Social isolation linked to more severe COVID-19 outbreaks

Regions of Italy with higher family fragmentation and a high number of residential nursing homes experienced the highest rate of COVID-19 infections in people over age 80, according to a new study published May 21, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Giuseppe Liotta of the University of Rome, Italy, and colleagues.

Some patients with bladder cancer 'can't wait' for treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic

Bladder cancer is associated with significant illness and mortality, particularly if treatment is delayed. Writing in the journal Bladder Cancer, researchers have outlined recommendations for treatment of both muscle invasive (MIBC) and non-muscle invasive (NMIBC) bladder cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic based on data from trials and prior studies, and taking into account the current strains on...

Stroke rates among COVID-19 patients are low, but cases are more severe

The rate of strokes in COVID-19 patients appears relatively low, but a higher proportion of those strokes are presenting in younger people and are often more severe compared to strokes in people who do not have the novel coronavirus, while globally rates for stroke hospitalizations and treatments are significantly lower than for the first part of 2019, according to four separate research papers...

Study quantifies China's chronic health burden for the first time

University of Melbourne researchers have quantified the toll that having multiple chronic diseases takes in China for the first time, which could have significant implications for its economic and health systems. Researchers say is also timely as COVID-19 has placed further pressure on the public health emergency management system in China.

Study unveils many ways carcinogens trigger development of breast cancer

Scientists have created a detailed map that describes the many ways in which environmental chemicals can trigger breast cancer. Using ionizing radiation as a model, the researchers identified key mechanisms within cells that when disrupted cause the disease. Because the findings can be generalized to other environmental carcinogens, they could help regulators identify chemicals that increase...

The European viper uses cloak-and-dazzle to escape predators

Research of the University of Jyväskylä demonstrates that the characteristic zig-zag pattern on a viper's back performs opposing functions during a predation event. At first, the zig-zag pattern helps the snake remain undetected. But upon exposure, it provides a conspicuous warning of the snake's dangerous defense. Most importantly the zig-zag can also produce an illusionary effect that may...