281 articles from THURSDAY 2.7.2020

Significant association between income and survival after surgery for lung cancer

Patients with low income have a higher risk of death following surgery for lung cancer compared with patients with high income. The association remains even after taking prevalence of common comorbidities, and other factors that are known to influence the risk of death, into account. This is according to a study published in the journal Thorax by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

Sniffing out smell

Neuroscientists describe for the first time how relationships between different odors are encoded in the brain. The findings suggest a mechanism that may explain why individuals have common but highly personalized experiences with smell, and inform efforts better understand how the brain transforms information about odor chemistry into the perception of smell.

Spintronics: Faster data processing through ultrashort electric pulses

Physicists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and Lanzhou University in China developed a simple concept that could improve significantly magnetic-based data processing. Using ultrashort electric pulses in the terahertz range, data can be written, read and erased very quickly. This would make data processing faster, more compact and energy efficient. The researchers confirmed their...

States with highest income inequality experienced a larger number of COVID-19 deaths

States with the highest level of income inequality had a larger number of COVID-19-related deaths compared with states with lower income inequality. For instance, New York state, with the highest income inequality, had a mortality rate of 51.7 deaths per 100,000. This is 125 times greater than Utah, the state with the lowest income inequality and which had a mortality of 0.41 per 100,000 at the...

Study explains potential causes for 'happy hypoxia' condition in COVID-19 patients

A new research study provides possible explanations for COVID-19 patients who present with extremely low, otherwise life-threatening levels of oxygen, but no signs of dyspnea (difficulty breathing). This new understanding of the condition, known as silent hypoxemia or 'happy hypoxia,' could prevent unnecessary intubation and ventilation in patients during the current and expected second wave of...

Study supports link between COVID-19 and "COVID Toes"

There's considerable controversy over whether "COVID toes"--red sores or lesions on the feet and hands in children and young adults--are truly caused by COVID-19. A new study published in the British Journal of Dermatology provides evidence in support of the link.

Study: Crowdsourced data could help map urban food deserts

New research from The University of Texas at Dallas suggests food deserts might be more prevalent in the U.S. than the numbers reported in government estimates. In a feasibility study published in the journal Frontiers in Public Health, scholars found that the methods used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to identify areas with low access to healthy food are often outdated and narrow...

The lightest shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range - and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

The protein that stands between us and autoimmunity

Researchers from Osaka University identified the epigenetic proteins Tet2 and Tet3 as key regulators of B cell function. They showed that these proteins suppress B cell function and conversely, that Tet2/Tet3 knockout mice develop a mild form of systemic lupus erythematosus due to hyperactivation of T cells. These findings could help develop a novel treatment for autoimmune diseases.

The secret double life of histone H3 as a copper reductase enzyme

In a study that takes another look at histones' origins, researchers report these proteins, known for DNA-packing, may have evolutionary roots in early life in helping to maintain the use of metals like copper - fundamental for biological processes, but which became toxic to eukaryotes as they adapted to global oxygenation.

Timing of SNAP benefits can reduce childhood injuries

A recently published study shows that families that receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits later in the month have fewer ER visits, likely because they can afford to feed their families at the end of the calendar month when other resources run low.

Twenty-year study tracks a sparrow song that went "viral" across Canada

With the help of citizen scientists, researchers have tracked how one rare sparrow song went "viral" across Canada, traveling over 3,000 kilometers between 2000 and 2019 and wiping out a historic song ending. The study, publishing July 2 in the journal Current Biology, reports that white-throated sparrows from British Columbia to Ontario have ditched their traditional three-note-ending song in...