Riviste scientifiche

Alan Turing inspired a faster way to make seawater drinkable

New Scientist - Gi, 03/05/2018 - 21:00
Computer pioneer Alan Turing’s only chemistry paper has inspired a new material that can remove salt from seawater five times faster than traditional filters

Stars from outside the Milky Way seen zooming through the galaxy

New Scientist - Gi, 03/05/2018 - 20:37
We’ve seen two runaway stars hurtling through the galaxy at more than 700 kilometres per second, and dozens more going so fast they could escape the Milky Way

Flying beetle cyborgs guided with tiny battery-powered backpacks

New Scientist - Gi, 03/05/2018 - 18:00
Beetles have been turned into autonomous flying robots. They could one day swarm through disaster zones on search and rescue missions

Mistletoe’s cells are broken at a fundamental level

New Scientist - Gi, 03/05/2018 - 18:00
All complex organisms rely on tiny nodules called mitochondria to supply their cells with energy – but mistletoe’s mitochondria don’t work and yet it survives

The UK’s plan to build a rival GPS is a bonkers Brexit scheme

New Scientist - Gi, 03/05/2018 - 17:30
Now the UK is excluded from contracts to build Europe’s Galileo satellites, it wants to talk up building its own system to keep aerospace firms from leaving

Smart people literally have bigger brain cells than the rest

New Scientist - Gi, 03/05/2018 - 17:05
For the first time, IQ has been linked to neuron size and performance. The breakthrough could lead to new ways to enhance human intelligence

Why breast screening error stories are getting death stats wrong

New Scientist - Gi, 03/05/2018 - 15:02
Headlines claim up to 270 women died as a result of missed breast checks due to an IT error. They are unlikely to be correct, says David Spiegelhalter

First US death due to romaine lettuce as E. coli outbreak widens

New Scientist - Gi, 03/05/2018 - 12:23
The contaminated romaine lettuce that has spread illness across 25 states is now responsible for one death, and the source of the E. coli outbreak is still unknown

Cambridge Analytica has shut down amid ongoing data scandal

New Scientist - Gi, 03/05/2018 - 12:14
Cambridge Analytica, the firm that harvested data from up to 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge, is declaring bankruptcy and closing up shop

Are we deluding ourselves when we shop for eco-friendly stuff?

New Scientist - Gi, 03/05/2018 - 10:30
A highly critical new report questions the worth of the sustainability logos that appear on many products. Are they still a force for good, wonders Fred Pearce

Women who eat more pasta tend to get menopause earlier

New Scientist - Gi, 03/05/2018 - 01:30
Eating more white pasta and rice has been linked to reaching menopause a year or so earlier than average, while eating oily fish is linked to later menopause

[Correspondence] The Hungarian government has made national health a priority: a reply

The Lancet - Gi, 03/05/2018 - 00:30
The Lancet's recent Editorial entitled “Orbán not delivering health for Hungary” (April 21, p 1549)1 claims that the third re-election of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his party offers a “preview” for western countries of impending negative health consequences. The Editorial asserts that these are the kinds of consequences that ensue when governments “value populism and economic strength over the health of their people.”

[Department of Error] Department of Error

The Lancet - Gi, 03/05/2018 - 00:30
Niessen L, Diwakar M, Akouku JK, et al. Tackling socioeconomic inequalities and non-communicable diseases in low-income and middle-income countries under the Sustainable Development agenda. Lancet 2018; 391: 2036–46—In this Series paper (published online first on April 4, 2018), the degree for Jonathan K Akuoku has been corrected to “J K Akuoku PhD”. This correction has been made to the online version as of May 2, 2018, and the printed Series paper is correct.

Association of vitamin D with risk of type 2 diabetes: A Mendelian randomisation study in European and Chinese adults

PLoS Medicine - Me, 02/05/2018 - 23:00

by Ling Lu, Derrick A. Bennett, Iona Y. Millwood, Sarah Parish, Mark I. McCarthy, Anubha Mahajan, Xu Lin, Fiona Bragg, Yu Guo, Michael V. Holmes, Shoaib Afzal, Børge G. Nordestgaard, Zheng Bian, Michael Hill, Robin G. Walters, Liming Li, Zhengming Chen, Robert Clarke


Observational studies have reported that higher plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) concentrations are associated with lower risks of diabetes, but it is unclear if these associations are causal. The aim of this study was to test the relevance of 25(OH)D for type 2 diabetes using genetically instrumented differences in plasma 25(OH)D concentrations.

Methods and findings

Data were available on four 25(OH)D single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs; n = 82,464), plasma 25(OH)D concentrations (n = 13,565), and cases with diabetes (n = 5,565) in the China Kadoorie Biobank (CKB). The effects on risk of diabetes were assessed by a genetic score using two 25(OH)D synthesis SNPs (DHCR7-rs12785878 and CYP2R1-rs10741657), with and without the addition of SNPs affecting the transport (GC/DBP-rs2282679) and catabolism (CYP24A1-rs6013897) of 25(OH)D. The CKB results were combined in a meta-analysis of 10 studies for the 2 synthesis SNPs (n = 58,312 cases) and 7 studies for all 4 SNPs (n = 32,796 cases). Mean (SD) 25(OH)D concentration was 62 (20) nmol/l in CKB, and the per allele effects of genetic scores on 25(OH)D were 2.87 (SE 0.39) for the synthesis SNPs and 3.54 (SE 0.32) for all SNPs. A 25-nmol/l higher biochemically measured 25(OH)D was associated with a 9% (95% CI: 0%–18%) lower risk of diabetes in CKB. In a meta-analysis of all studies, a 25-nmol/l higher genetically instrumented 25(OH)D concentration was associated with a 14% (95% CI: 3%–23%) lower risk of diabetes (p = 0.01) using the 2 synthesis SNPs. An equivalent difference in 25(OH)D using a genetic score with 4 SNPs was not significantly associated with diabetes (odds ratio 8%, 95% CI: −1% to 16%, lower risk, p = 0.07), but had some evidence of pleiotropy. A limitation of the meta-analysis was the access only to study level rather than individual level data.


The concordant risks of diabetes for biochemically measured and genetically instrumented differences in 25(OH)D using synthesis SNPs provide evidence for a causal effect of higher 25(OH)D for prevention of diabetes.

Colossal exoplanet has an enormous comet-like tail of helium

New Scientist - Me, 02/05/2018 - 20:00
A huge planet is losing its atmosphere in a stream trailing off its night side, and we’ve seen the first signs of helium on an exoplanet in its comet-like tail

Ancient humans in Philippines may have given rise to ‘hobbits’

New Scientist - Me, 02/05/2018 - 20:00
A butchered rhino found on the island of Luzon shows early humans were living in the Philippines 709,000 years ago, which may explain the origins of the diminutive Homo floresiensis

Quantum internet is one step closer thanks to new theory

New Scientist - Me, 02/05/2018 - 20:00
Encrypted quantum messages are limited by how far photons can stably pass through optical fibres, but they can now travel the distance between London and Paris

Brexit and Trump votes screwed with our heart rates for months

New Scientist - Me, 02/05/2018 - 17:51
A study of nearly 12,000 people wearing health monitoring devices shows how people’s biological rhythms fall out of sync after big political events

Inquiry launched into 450,000 missed breast cancer screenings

New Scientist - Me, 02/05/2018 - 16:52
A "colossal" computer error meant 450,000 women missed crucial breast cancer screening appointments, possibly resulting in hundreds of avoidable deaths

AI can predict your personality just by how your eyes move

New Scientist - Me, 02/05/2018 - 16:22
Shifty looks or wide pupils, our eyes give away clues to our personality - a discovery that could help robots better understand and interact with humans
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