North America Has Only 1 True Species of Wolf, DNA Shows
DNA tests of wolves across North America suggest that there is just one species of the canid: the gray wolf. What's more, populations of red wolves and eastern wolves, thought to be distinct species, are actually just hybrids of gray wolves and coyotes that likely emerged in the last couple hundred years, the study found. The findings, published in the journal Science Advances on Wednesday (July 27), could have implications for the conservation of wolves considered endangered in the United States, the researchers say.
4 Florida Zika Cases Were Likely Contracted in the US, Officials Say
Three men and a woman in Florida became infected with the Zika virus, likely after being bitten by mosquitoes in the area, officials said today. The cases, which are in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, mark the first time that anyone has caught Zika from mosquitoes in the United States. The patients did not travel to another country where Zika is spreading, and did not have sex with a person who had Zika, ruling out these routes of transmission, officials said.
Fungal Disease 'Valley Fever' Is Often Misdiagnosed
A fungal infection called valley fever, which can cause mild to severe lung problems (including holes in the lungs), is often misdiagnosed because the symptoms can resemble those of the flu or other illness, experts say. The misdiagnoses can lead to unnecessary medications that don't treat the fungal infection, according to new guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America. The guidelines stress that primary care doctors should consider the possibility of valley fever in patients who have pneumonia or continuing flu-like symptoms if they live in or have visited the western or southwestern United States, where the fungus is found naturally in the soil.
Death Spiral: 4th Phase of Life May Signal the End Is Near
Although most of the "death spiral" research has focused on fruit flies, scientists think these studies can offer valuable insight into the last stage of human life as well. "We believe this is part of the process of, basically, genetically programmed death," Laurence Mueller, chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Irvine, said in an interview with Live Science. Over the past decade, several studies of fruit flies have suggested this spiral toward death can be seen in the drop in reproductive rate (fecundity), according to a review of this research by Mueller and his colleagues, published earlier this year in the journal Biogerontology.
Mysterious Purple Sea Orb Stymies Scientists
With those words, scientists aboard the Exploration Vessel Nautilus uncovered a marine mystery: a small purple orb tucked halfway under a rock off the coast of California. "None of the known species of California pleurobranch are purple," said Susan Poulton, a spokeswoman for the E/V Nautilus expeditions. It was found on July 18, during an E/V Nautilusexploration of Arguello Canyon, west of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.
Nestle says to collaborate with Samsung to explore nutrition science
Nestle said it is teaming up with Samsung in a research project to explore the potential of nutrition science and digital sensor technologies. The companies said on Thursday they are developing a new digital health platform to provide individuals with more personalised recommendations around nutrition, lifestyle and fitness. Health has become an increasing focus for Nestle in recent years, generating estimated sales of about 4 billion Swiss francs ($4.08 billion) out of Nestle's total 88.8 billion francs in 2015.
Study finds cosmic rays increased heart risks among Apollo astronauts
By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Apollo astronauts who ventured to the moon are at five times greater risk of dying from heart disease than shuttle astronauts, U.S. researchers said on Thursday, citing the dangers of cosmic radiation beyond the Earth's magnetic field. The study by researchers at Florida State University and NASA found that three Apollo astronauts, including Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon, or 43 percent of those studied, died from cardiovascular disease, a finding with implications for future human travel beyond Earth. The research, published in the journal Scientific Reports, was the first to look at the mortality of Apollo astronauts, the only people so far to travel beyond a few hundred miles (km) of Earth.
New crop of robots to vie for space in the operating room
By Susan Kelly CHICAGO (Reuters) - Even though many doctors see need for improvement, surgical robots are poised for big gains in operating rooms around the world. Within five years, one in three U.S. surgeries - more than double current levels – is expected to be performed with robotic systems, with surgeons sitting at computer consoles guiding mechanical arms. Robotic surgery has been long dominated by pioneer Intuitive Surgical Inc, which has more than 3,600 of its da Vinci machines in hospitals worldwide and said last week the number of procedures that used them jumped by 16 percent in the second quarter compared to a year earlier.
Belgian scientists make novel water-from-urine machine
A team of scientists at a Belgian university say they have created a machine that turns urine into drinkable water and fertilizer using solar energy, a technique which could be applied in rural areas and developing countries. While there are other options for treating waste water, the system applied at the University of Ghent uses a special membrane, is said to be energy-efficient and to be applicable in areas off the electricity grid. "We're able to recover fertilizer and drinking water from urine using just a simple process and solar energy," said University of Ghent researcher Sebastiaan Derese.
Great Red Spot storm heating Jupiter's atmosphere, study shows
By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Scientists have long wondered why Jupiter's upper atmosphere has temperatures similar to those of Earth, even though the biggest planet in the solar system is five times farther away from the sun. The answer may be The Great Red Spot, an enormous storm big enough to swallow three Earths that has been raging on Jupiter for at least three centuries, a study showed on Wednesday. Using an infrared telescope at Hawaii's Mauna Kea Observatory, scientists discovered that the upper atmosphere above the Great Red Spot – the largest storm in the solar system - is hundreds of degrees hotter than anywhere else on the planet.