Riviste scientifiche

Best evidence yet that Parkinson’s could be autoimmune disease

New Scientist - Me, 21/06/2017 - 20:00
People with Parkinson's show an immune response to brain cell markers that suggests the condition could be caused by having an over-active immune system

This handy robot will iron your clothes so you don’t have to

New Scientist - Me, 21/06/2017 - 19:35
The TEO robot uses a camera to detect creases and can then "iteratively reduce the wrinkleness" of garments using a standard household iron

Buckyballs mysteriously show up in cold space and warp starlight

New Scientist - Me, 21/06/2017 - 19:30
These molecular carbon cages could be used as tracers to understand how prebiotic molecules form in space

LA’s endangered pumas to be saved by a $60m bridge over highway

New Scientist - Me, 21/06/2017 - 19:29
Pumas in Santa Monica are trapped in small areas bisected by big roads, on which many die – but an ambitious wildlife crossing promises to change that

Bizarre new deep-sea creatures discovered off Australian coast

New Scientist - Me, 21/06/2017 - 16:00
Faceless fish, giant sea spiders, and other strange species have been found 4-km-deep off the east coast of Australia

UK foxes thankfully spared the baying pack, unlike Theresa May

New Scientist - Me, 21/06/2017 - 14:59
One good outcome of the hung parliament chaos will be a Queen's speech devoid of an utterly unscientific vow to resume fox-hunting, says Stephen Harris

Walk really fast to stop a wobbly suitcase ruining your holiday

New Scientist - Me, 21/06/2017 - 02:01
When a suitcase in motion becomes unstable, it can rock back and forth from wheel to wheel. Researchers have determined why that happens and how to stop it

Talk radio puts pumas off their meals so they may kill more deer

New Scientist - Me, 21/06/2017 - 02:01
The sound of people’s voices reduces pumas’ feeding time and makes them kill more deer, showing the wide-reaching effect of human activity

Babies are dying during childbirth in the UK due to poor care

New Scientist - Me, 21/06/2017 - 02:01
Three-quarters of babies who die or are brain damaged during childbirth in the UK might have been saved with better medical care, an inquiry has concluded

Validity of a minimally invasive autopsy for cause of death determination in stillborn babies and neonates in Mozambique: An observational study

PLoS Medicine - Ma, 20/06/2017 - 23:00

by Clara Menendez, Paola Castillo, Miguel J. Martínez, Dercio Jordao, Lucilia Lovane, Mamudo R. Ismail, Carla Carrilho, Cesaltina Lorenzoni, Fabiola Fernandes, Tacilta Nhampossa, Juan Carlos Hurtado, Mireia Navarro, Isaac Casas, Paula Santos Ritchie, Sonia Bandeira, Sibone Mocumbi, Zara Jaze, Flora Mabota, Khátia Munguambe, Maria Maixenchs, Ariadna Sanz, Inacio Mandomando, Alfons Nadal, Anna Goncé, Carmen Muñoz-Almagro, Llorenç Quintó, Jordi Vila, Eusebio Macete, Pedro Alonso, Jaume Ordi, Quique Bassat

Background

Over 5 million stillbirths and neonatal deaths occur annually. Limited and imprecise information on the cause of these deaths hampers progress in achieving global health targets. Complete diagnostic autopsies (CDAs)—the gold standard for cause of death determination—are difficult to perform in most high-burden settings. Therefore, validation of simpler and more feasible methods is needed.

Methods and findings

In this observational study, the validity of a minimally invasive autopsy (MIA) method in determining the cause of death was assessed in 18 stillbirths and 41 neonatal deaths by comparing the results of the MIA with those of the CDA. Concordance between the categories of diseases obtained by the 2 methods was assessed by the Kappa statistic, and the sensitivity, specificity, positive, and negative predictive values of the MIA diagnoses were calculated. A cause of death was identified in 16/18 (89%) and 15/18 (83%) stillborn babies in the CDA and the MIA, respectively. Fetal growth restriction accounted for 39%, infectious diseases for 22%, intrapartum hypoxia for 17%, and intrauterine hypoxia for 11% of stillborn babies. Overall, the MIA showed in this group a substantial concordance with the CDA (Kappa = 0.78, 95% CI [0.56–0.99]). A cause of death was identified in all (100%) and 35/41 (85%) neonatal deaths in the CDA and the MIA, respectively. In this group, the majority of deaths were due to infectious diseases (66%). The overall concordance of the MIA with the CDA in neonates was moderate (Kappa = 0.40, 95% CI [0.18–0.63]). A high percentage of accuracy was observed for the MIA in all the diagnostic categories in both stillbirths and neonates (>75%). The main limitation of this study is that some degree of subjective interpretation is inherent to cause-of-death attribution in both the MIA and the CDA; this is especially so in stillbirths and in relation to fetal growth restriction.

Conclusions

The MIA could be a useful tool for cause-of-death determination in stillbirths and neonatal deaths. These findings may help to accelerate progress towards meeting global health targets by obtaining more accurate information on the causes of death in these age groups, which is essential in guiding the design of new interventions and increasing the effectiveness of those already implemented.

Validity of a minimally invasive autopsy tool for cause of death determination in pediatric deaths in Mozambique: An observational study

PLoS Medicine - Ma, 20/06/2017 - 23:00

by Quique Bassat, Paola Castillo, Miguel J. Martínez, Dercio Jordao, Lucilia Lovane, Juan Carlos Hurtado, Tacilta Nhampossa, Paula Santos Ritchie, Sónia Bandeira, Calvino Sambo, Valeria Chicamba, Mamudo R. Ismail, Carla Carrilho, Cesaltina Lorenzoni, Fabiola Fernandes, Pau Cisteró, Alfredo Mayor, Anelsio Cossa, Inacio Mandomando, Mireia Navarro, Isaac Casas, Jordi Vila, Khátia Munguambe, Maria Maixenchs, Ariadna Sanz, Llorenç Quintó, Eusebio Macete, Pedro Alonso, Clara Menéndez, Jaume Ordi

Background

In recent decades, the world has witnessed unprecedented progress in child survival. However, our knowledge of what is killing nearly 6 million children annually in low- and middle-income countries remains poor, partly because of the inadequacy and reduced precision of the methods currently utilized in these settings to investigate causes of death (CoDs). The study objective was to validate the use of a minimally invasive autopsy (MIA) approach as an adequate and more acceptable substitute for the complete diagnostic autopsy (CDA) for pediatric CoD investigation in a poor setting.

Methods and findings

In this observational study, the validity of the MIA approach in determining the CoD was assessed in 54 post-neonatal pediatric deaths (age range: ≥1 mo to 15 y) in a referral hospital of Mozambique by comparing the results of the MIA with those of the CDA. Concordance in the category of disease obtained by the two methods was evaluated by the Kappa statistic, and the sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of the MIA diagnoses were calculated.A CoD was identified in all cases in the CDA and in 52/54 (96%) of the cases in the MIA, with infections and malignant tumors accounting for the majority of diagnoses. The MIA categorization of disease showed a substantial concordance with the CDA categorization (Kappa = 0.70, 95% CI 0.49–0.92), and sensitivity, specificity, and overall accuracy were high. The ICD-10 diagnoses were coincident in up to 75% (36/48) of the cases. The MIA allowed the identification of the specific pathogen deemed responsible for the death in two-thirds (21/32; 66%) of all deaths of infectious origin. Discrepancies between the MIA and the CDA in individual diagnoses could be minimized with the addition of some basic clinical information such as those ascertainable through a verbal autopsy or clinical record. The main limitation of the analysis is that both the MIA and the CDA include some degree of expert subjective interpretation.

Conclusions

The MIA showed substantial concordance with CDA for CoD identification in this series of pediatric deaths in Mozambique. This minimally invasive approach, simpler and more readily acceptable than the more invasive CDA, could provide robust data for CoD surveillance, especially in resource-limited settings, which could be helpful for guiding child survival strategies in the future.

Sweden commits to becoming carbon neutral by 2045 with new law

New Scientist - Ma, 20/06/2017 - 17:29
A climate plan backed by an overwhelming majority in parliament makes Sweden the first country to significantly upgrade its target since the Paris agreement

Microdosers say tiny hits of LSD make your work and life better

New Scientist - Ma, 20/06/2017 - 17:00
People are increasingly taking daily, low doses of illegal psychedelic drugs to up their game at work and improve their mood. Will we all be doing it one day?

Antibacterials in soap should be regulated globally, say experts

New Scientist - Ma, 20/06/2017 - 15:00
Two common compounds, triclosan and triclocarban, can no longer be added to some personal care products in the US, but some say this rule doesn’t go far enough

DNA variants that are bad for health may also make you stupid

New Scientist - Ma, 20/06/2017 - 14:24
A study of Scottish families hints that DNA mutations that damage health also impair intelligence. CRISPR gene-editing may be a way to boost brain and body

A bird flu pandemic looms but the US is holding back the fight

New Scientist - Ma, 20/06/2017 - 14:00
Just two mutations could turn H7N9 flu into a deadly airborne strain, but restrictions meant to protect us from a possible pandemic are making it harder to combat the next one

Private data of 198 million US voters accidentally leaked online

New Scientist - Ma, 20/06/2017 - 13:07
The data, collected on behalf of the Republicans, included phone numbers and addresses as well as assumptions about religion and ethnicity

Smart doll fitted with AI chip can read your child’s emotions

New Scientist - Ma, 20/06/2017 - 12:45
A battery-powered chip inside a doll can run AI algorithms without needing to pass information to the cloud and so will help keep data private

Kepler finds 219 new exoplanets and 10 are rocky and Earth-like

New Scientist - Ma, 20/06/2017 - 11:53
NASA’s Kepler team has released its latest batch of planet candidates and they fall into two kinds: ones like Earth and those like mini-Neptunes

Tripping up: The real danger of microdosing with LSD

New Scientist - Ma, 20/06/2017 - 11:00
It may or may not improve your work performance, but a criminal record isn't worth the gamble. LSD should be downgraded
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