Riviste scientifiche

A scientific guide to the resolutions that are really worth the effort

New Scientist - Me, 02/01/2019 - 13:00
Being a better you needn't be as hard as you think. From more sleep, to snacking smarter and ditching the gym - we put 10 New Year's resolutions to the test

Black-haired monkeys in Costa Rica are suddenly turning blonde

New Scientist - Me, 02/01/2019 - 13:00
The howler monkeys of Costa Rica normally have black coats, but over the last 20 years some have turned yellow – a change too fast to be explained by evolution

How to make even your toughest new year’s resolutions stick

New Scientist - Me, 02/01/2019 - 13:00
Our annual vows to ditch bad habits rarely manage to change behaviour, but why? Frank Swain examines how to make a new you this year

Distant space rock Ultima Thule looks like a spinning bowling pin

New Scientist - Me, 02/01/2019 - 12:12
NASA’s New Horizons probe has sent back the first blurry pictures of the most distant object we’ve ever visited

Distant space rock Ultima Thule looks like a spinning bowling pin

New Scientist - Me, 02/01/2019 - 12:11
NASA’s New Horizons probe has sent back the first blurry pictures of the most distant object we’ve ever visited

Massive space rock smash-up with Uranus recreated in a riot of colour

New Scientist - Me, 02/01/2019 - 11:00
Uranus was probably tilted on its side by a giant impact when it was young, and a detailed new simulation of this process is a riot of swirling colours

Massive space rock smash-up with Uranus recreated in a riot of colour

New Scientist - Me, 02/01/2019 - 11:00
Uranus was probably tilted on its side by a giant impact when it was young, and a detailed new simulation of this process is a riot of swirling colours

Leafcutter ants have their own landfill sites that emit greenhouse gas

New Scientist - Me, 02/01/2019 - 01:01
Ants that grow fungi inside their nests also make their own landfills – and these release significant amounts of nitrous oxide

Leafcutter ants have their own landfill sites that emit greenhouse gas

New Scientist - Me, 02/01/2019 - 01:01
Ants that grow fungi inside their nests also make their own landfills – and these release significant amounts of nitrous oxide

Intel’s quest to build the world’s first true quantum computer

New Scientist - Ma, 01/01/2019 - 20:00
James Clarke, of Intel’s quantum computing research team, tells New Scientist about his ambitions to make the first device with a million qubits

Intel’s quest to build the world’s first true quantum computer

New Scientist - Ma, 01/01/2019 - 20:00
James Clarke, of Intel’s quantum computing research team, tells New Scientist about his ambitions to make the first device with a million qubits

Biggest archaeological dig in Europe will uncover UK's buried history

New Scientist - Ma, 01/01/2019 - 16:00
The construction of a high-speed train line, HS2, is allowing archaeologists to search for Romans, plague victims and even mammoths

Biggest archaeological dig in Europe will uncover UK’s buried history

New Scientist - Ma, 01/01/2019 - 16:00
The construction of a high-speed train line, HS2, is allowing archaeologists to search for Romans, plague victims and even mammoths

It’s very bad news that common viruses are affected by climate change

New Scientist - Ma, 01/01/2019 - 14:00
No one knew climate change would affect viruses that spread from person to person, but it does. For the eighth of our 12 Days of Culture we look at how disease may change

Baby chicks could be given faecal transplants to ward off infections

New Scientist - Ma, 01/01/2019 - 11:00
Farmed chickens often carry diseases like Campylobacter, which can cause food poisoning, but faecal transplants dramatically slow the spread of the bacteria

Baby chicks could be given faecal transplants to ward off infections

New Scientist - Ma, 01/01/2019 - 11:00
Farmed chickens often carry diseases like Campylobacter, which can cause food poisoning, but faecal transplants dramatically slow the spread of the bacteria

Better medicine through machine learning: What’s real, and what’s artificial?

PLoS Medicine - Lu, 31/12/2018 - 23:00

by Suchi Saria, Atul Butte, Aziz Sheikh

Machine Learning Special Issue Guest Editors Suchi Saria, Atul Butte, and Aziz Sheikh cut through the hyperbole with an accessible and accurate portrayal of the forefront of machine learning in clinical translation.

A new aging measure captures morbidity and mortality risk across diverse subpopulations from NHANES IV: A cohort study

PLoS Medicine - Lu, 31/12/2018 - 23:00

by Zuyun Liu, Pei-Lun Kuo, Steve Horvath, Eileen Crimmins, Luigi Ferrucci, Morgan Levine

Background

A person’s rate of aging has important implications for his/her risk of death and disease; thus, quantifying aging using observable characteristics has important applications for clinical, basic, and observational research. Based on routine clinical chemistry biomarkers, we previously developed a novel aging measure, Phenotypic Age, representing the expected age within the population that corresponds to a person’s estimated mortality risk. The aim of this study was to assess its applicability for differentiating risk for a variety of health outcomes within diverse subpopulations that include healthy and unhealthy groups, distinct age groups, and persons with various race/ethnic, socioeconomic, and health behavior characteristics.

Methods and findings

Phenotypic Age was calculated based on a linear combination of chronological age and 9 multi-system clinical chemistry biomarkers in accordance with our previously established method. We also estimated Phenotypic Age Acceleration (PhenoAgeAccel), which represents Phenotypic Age after accounting for chronological age (i.e., whether a person appears older [positive value] or younger [negative value] than expected, physiologically). All analyses were conducted using NHANES IV (1999–2010, an independent sample from that originally used to develop the measure). Our analytic sample consisted of 11,432 adults aged 20–84 years and 185 oldest-old adults top-coded at age 85 years. We observed a total of 1,012 deaths, ascertained over 12.6 years of follow-up (based on National Death Index data through December 31, 2011). Proportional hazard models and receiver operating characteristic curves were used to evaluate all-cause and cause-specific mortality predictions. Overall, participants with more diseases had older Phenotypic Age. For instance, among young adults, those with 1 disease were 0.2 years older phenotypically than disease-free persons, and those with 2 or 3 diseases were about 0.6 years older phenotypically. After adjusting for chronological age and sex, Phenotypic Age was significantly associated with all-cause mortality and cause-specific mortality (with the exception of cerebrovascular disease mortality). Results for all-cause mortality were robust to stratifications by age, race/ethnicity, education, disease count, and health behaviors. Further, Phenotypic Age was associated with mortality among seemingly healthy participants—defined as those who reported being disease-free and who had normal BMI—as well as among oldest-old adults, even after adjustment for disease prevalence. The main limitation of this study was the lack of longitudinal data on Phenotypic Age and disease incidence.

Conclusions

In a nationally representative US adult population, Phenotypic Age was associated with mortality even after adjusting for chronological age. Overall, this association was robust across different stratifications, particularly by age, disease count, health behaviors, and cause of death. We also observed a strong association between Phenotypic Age and the disease count an individual had. These findings suggest that this new aging measure may serve as a useful tool to facilitate identification of at-risk individuals and evaluation of the efficacy of interventions, and may also facilitate investigation into potential biological mechanisms of aging. Nevertheless, further evaluation in other cohorts is needed.

Young people’s blood is being tested as a treatment for Parkinson’s

New Scientist - Lu, 31/12/2018 - 20:00
The Californian firm Alkahest has begun a trial to see if injections of an extract of younger adults’ blood can improve Parkinson’s symptoms in older people

Young people’s blood is being tested as a treatment for Parkinson’s

New Scientist - Lu, 31/12/2018 - 20:00
The Californian firm Alkahest has begun a trial to see if injections of an extract of younger adults’ blood can improve Parkinson’s symptoms in older people
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