Riviste scientifiche

Nuclear reactions at Chernobyl are spiking in an inaccessible chamber

New Scientist - Mar, 11/05/2021 - 14:47
Subreactor room 305/2, which has been inaccessible since the Chernobyl meltdown 35 years ago, is emitting neutrons that point to a growing nuclear fission reaction

Did you know? Some people can taste music

New Scientist - Mar, 11/05/2021 - 14:17
Synaesthesia is a condition that creates strange connections between the senses, allowing some people to experience music and words differently

The US is getting worried about microwave weapons that may not exist

New Scientist - Mar, 11/05/2021 - 10:00
Alleged attacks on US personnel in Cuba and Washington DC have been linked to microwave weapons, but may just be mass hysteria. Now the US is developing sensors to warn against such attacks

CIA's hunt for Osama bin Laden fuelled vaccine hesitancy in Pakistan

New Scientist - Mar, 11/05/2021 - 07:00
The CIA’s efforts to capture Osama bin Laden via a fake vaccination drive in Pakistan led to a significant decline in vaccine uptake in the country

COVID-19: build on Belgium’s psychosocial findings

Nature - Mar, 11/05/2021 - 00:00

Nature, Published online: 11 May 2021; doi:10.1038/d41586-021-01277-4

COVID-19: build on Belgium’s psychosocial findings

Mice with severe COVID symptoms could speed vaccine effort

Nature - Mar, 11/05/2021 - 00:00

Nature, Published online: 11 May 2021; doi:10.1038/d41586-021-01251-0

A new rodent model of COVID-19 promises an easier and quicker way to test treatments and vaccines.

Afghanistan: vaccinate drug users against COVID-19

Nature - Mar, 11/05/2021 - 00:00

Nature, Published online: 11 May 2021; doi:10.1038/d41586-021-01275-6

Afghanistan: vaccinate drug users against COVID-19

Stop using ‘master–slave’ terminology in biology

Nature - Mar, 11/05/2021 - 00:00

Nature, Published online: 11 May 2021; doi:10.1038/d41586-021-01276-5

Stop using ‘master–slave’ terminology in biology

Value of Mexican nature reserve is more than monetary

Nature - Mar, 11/05/2021 - 00:00

Nature, Published online: 11 May 2021; doi:10.1038/d41586-021-01218-1

Value of Mexican nature reserve is more than monetary

Stop the emerging AI cold war

Nature - Mar, 11/05/2021 - 00:00

Nature, Published online: 11 May 2021; doi:10.1038/d41586-021-01244-z

Proliferating military artificial intelligence will leave the world less safe — so we must focus on ethics and global cooperation.

From spoons to semiconductors — we are what we make

Nature - Mar, 11/05/2021 - 00:00

Nature, Published online: 11 May 2021; doi:10.1038/d41586-021-01247-w

Through a tour of ten materials, a scientist explores knowing through doing.

How to blow the whistle on an academic bully

Nature - Mar, 11/05/2021 - 00:00

Nature, Published online: 11 May 2021; doi:10.1038/d41586-021-01252-z

Standing up to a persecutor is tough, particularly if they are your supervisor. But you can take steps to report abuse and protect yourself.

Coronavirus variants are spreading in India — what scientists know so far

Nature - Mar, 11/05/2021 - 00:00

Nature, Published online: 11 May 2021; doi:10.1038/d41586-021-01274-7

Variants including B.1.617 have been linked to India’s surge in infections. Researchers are hurrying to determine how much of a threat they pose.

Indian coronavirus variant in the UK seems to be more transmissible

New Scientist - Lun, 10/05/2021 - 20:20
A form of SARS-CoV-2 called B.1.617.2, which was designated a “variant of concern” by health authorities in England, appears to be at least as transmissible as B.1.1.7, the “Kent variant” that now dominates in the UK - but doesn't seem more dangerous

Covid-19 news: Further easing of restrictions in England from 17 May

New Scientist - Lun, 10/05/2021 - 18:31
The latest coronavirus news updated every day including coronavirus cases, the latest news, features and interviews from New Scientist and essential information about the covid-19 pandemic

Will waiving patents for covid-19 vaccines boost global supplies?

New Scientist - Lun, 10/05/2021 - 18:01
The US support for lifting intellectual property rights on covid-19 vaccines is unlikely to boost vaccine supplies in the short term, but an IP waiver may increase vaccine production in more countries over the next year

Taller and prettier plants are more likely to be studied by botanists

New Scientist - Lun, 10/05/2021 - 18:00
Plants that are taller and more attractive are more likely to be studied by botanists, suggests an analysis of research conducted over the past 45 years

Associations of treated and untreated human papillomavirus infection with preterm delivery and neonatal mortality: A Swedish population-based study

PLoS Medicine - Lun, 10/05/2021 - 16:00

by Johanna Wiik, Staffan Nilsson, Cecilia Kärrberg, Björn Strander, Bo Jacobsson, Verena Sengpiel

Background

Treatment of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) is associated with an increased risk of preterm delivery (PTD) although the exact pathomechanism is not yet understood. Women with untreated CIN also seem to have an increased risk of PTD. It is unclear whether this is attributable to human papillomavirus (HPV) infection or other factors. We aimed to investigate whether HPV infection shortly before or during pregnancy, as well as previous treatment for CIN, is associated with an increased risk of PTD and other adverse obstetric and neonatal outcomes.

Methods and findings

This was a retrospective population-based register study of women with singleton deliveries registered in the Swedish Medical Birth Register 1999–2016 (n = 1,044,023). The study population had a mean age of 30.2 years (SD 5.2) and a mean body mass index of 25.4 kg/m2 (SD 3.0), and 44% of the women were nulliparous before delivery. Study groups were defined based on cervical HPV tests, cytology, and histology, as registered in the Swedish National Cervical Screening Registry. Women with a history of exclusively normal cytology (n = 338,109) were compared to women with positive HPV tests (n = 2,550) or abnormal cytology (n = 11,727) within 6 months prior to conception or during the pregnancy, women treated for CIN3 before delivery (n = 23,185), and women with CIN2+ diagnosed after delivery (n = 33,760). Study groups were compared concerning obstetric and neonatal outcomes by logistic regression, and comparisons were adjusted for socioeconomic and health-related confounders. HPV infection was associated with PTD (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.19, 95% CI 1.01–1.42, p = 0.042), preterm prelabor rupture of membranes (pPROM) (aOR 1.52, 95% CI 1.18–1.96, p < 0.001), prelabor rupture of membranes (PROM) (aOR 1.24, 95% CI 1.08–1.42, p = 0.002), and neonatal mortality (aOR 2.69, 95% CI 1.25–5.78, p = 0.011). Treatment for CIN was associated with PTD (aOR 1.85, 95% CI 1.76–1.95, p < 0.001), spontaneous PTD (aOR 2.06, 95% CI 1.95–2.17, p < 0.001), pPROM (aOR 2.36, 95% CI 2.19–2.54, p < 0.001), PROM (aOR 1.11, 95% CI 1.05–1.17, p < 0.001), intrauterine fetal death (aOR 1.35, 95% CI 1.05–1.72, p = 0.019), chorioamnionitis (aOR 2.75, 95% CI 2.33–3.23, p < 0.001), intrapartum fever (aOR 1.24, 95% CI 1.07–1.44, p = 0.003), neonatal sepsis (aOR 1.55, 95% CI 1.37–1.75, p < 0.001), and neonatal mortality (aOR 1.79, 95% CI 1.30–2.45, p < 0.001). Women with CIN2+ diagnosed within 3 years after delivery had increased PTD risk (aOR 1.18, 95% CI 1.10–1.27, p < 0.001). Limitations of the study include the retrospective design and the fact that because HPV test results only became available in 2007, abnormal cytology was used as a proxy for HPV infection.

Conclusions

In this study, we found that HPV infection shortly before or during pregnancy was associated with PTD, pPROM, PROM, and neonatal mortality. Previous treatment for CIN was associated with even greater risks for PTD and pPROM and was also associated with PROM, neonatal mortality, and maternal and neonatal infectious complications.

Risk of miscarriage in women with chronic diseases in Norway: A registry linkage study

PLoS Medicine - Lun, 10/05/2021 - 16:00

by Maria C. Magnus, Nils-Halvdan Morken, Knut-Arne Wensaas, Allen J. Wilcox, Siri E. Håberg

Background

Increased risk of miscarriage has been reported for women with specific chronic health conditions. A broader investigation of chronic diseases and miscarriage risk may uncover patterns across categories of illness. The objective of this study was to study the risk of miscarriage according to various preexisting chronic diseases.

Methods and findings

We conducted a registry-based study. Registered pregnancies (n = 593,009) in Norway between 2010 and 2016 were identified through 3 national health registries (birth register, general practitioner data, and patient registries). Six broad categories of illness were identified, comprising 25 chronic diseases defined by diagnostic codes used in general practitioner and patient registries. We required that the diseases were diagnosed before the pregnancy of interest. Miscarriage risk according to underlying chronic diseases was estimated as odds ratios (ORs) using generalized estimating equations adjusting for woman’s age. The mean age of women at the start of pregnancy was 29.7 years (SD 5.6 years). We observed an increased risk of miscarriage among women with cardiometabolic diseases (OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.20 to 1.31; p-value <0.001). Within this category, risks were elevated for all conditions: atherosclerosis (2.22; 1.42 to 3.49; p-value <0.001), hypertensive disorders (1.19; 1.13 to 1.26; p-value <0.001), and type 2 diabetes (1.38; 1.26 to 1.51; p-value <0.001). Among other categories of disease, risks were elevated for hypoparathyroidism (2.58; 1.35 to 4.92; p-value 0.004), Cushing syndrome (1.97; 1.06 to 3.65; p-value 0.03), Crohn’s disease (OR 1.31; 95% CI: 1.18 to 1.45; p-value 0.001), and endometriosis (1.22; 1.15 to 1.29; p-value <0.001). Findings were largely unchanged after mutual adjustment. Limitations of this study include our inability to adjust for measures of socioeconomic position or lifestyle characteristics, in addition to the rareness of some of the conditions providing limited power.

Conclusions

In this registry study, we found that, although risk of miscarriage was largely unaffected by maternal chronic diseases, risk of miscarriage was associated with conditions related to cardiometabolic health. This finding is consistent with emerging evidence linking cardiovascular risk factors to pregnancy complications.

Parenting interventions to promote early child development in the first three years of life: A global systematic review and meta-analysis

PLoS Medicine - Lun, 10/05/2021 - 16:00

by Joshua Jeong, Emily E. Franchett, Clariana V. Ramos de Oliveira, Karima Rehmani, Aisha K. Yousafzai

Background

Parents are the primary caregivers of young children. Responsive parent–child relationships and parental support for learning during the earliest years of life are crucial for promoting early child development (ECD). We conducted a global systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of parenting interventions on ECD and parenting outcomes.

Methods and findings

We searched MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Web of Science, and Global Health Library for peer-reviewed, published articles from database inception until November 15, 2020. We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of parenting interventions delivered during the first 3 years of life that evaluated at least 1 ECD outcome. At least 2 reviewers independently screened, extracted data, and assessed study quality from eligible studies. ECD outcomes included cognitive, language, motor, and socioemotional development, behavior problems, and attachment. Parenting outcomes included parenting knowledge, parenting practices, parent–child interactions, and parental depressive symptoms. We calculated intervention effect sizes as the standardized mean difference (SMD) and estimated pooled effect sizes for each outcome separately using robust variance estimation meta-analytic approaches. We used random-effects meta-regression models to assess potential effect modification by country-income level, child age, intervention content, duration, delivery, setting, and study quality. This review was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42018092458 and CRD42018092461). Of the 11,920 articles identified, we included 111 articles representing 102 unique RCTs. Pooled effect sizes indicated positive benefits of parenting interventions on child cognitive development (SMD = 0.32, 95% CI [confidence interval]: 0.23, 0.40, P < 0.001), language development (SMD = 0.28, 95% CI: 0.18 to 0.37, P < 0.001), motor development (SMD = 0.24, 95% CI: 0.15 to 0.32, P < 0.001), socioemotional development (SMD = 0.19, 95% CI: 0.10 to 0.28, P < 0.001), and attachment (SMD = 0.29, 95% CI: 0.18 to 0.40, P < 0.001) and reductions in behavior problems (SMD = −0.13, 95% CI: −0.18 to −0.08, P < 0.001). Positive benefits were also found on parenting knowledge (SMD = 0.56, 95% CI: 0.33 to 0.79, P < 0.001), parenting practices (SMD = 0.33, 95% CI: 0.22 to 0.44, P < 0.001), and parent–child interactions (SMD = 0.39, 95% CI: 0.24 to 0.53, P < 0.001). However, there was no significant reduction in parental depressive symptoms (SMD = −0.07, 95% CI: −0.16 to 0.02, P = 0.08). Subgroup analyses revealed significantly greater effects on child cognitive, language, and motor development, and parenting practices in low- and middle-income countries compared to high-income countries; and significantly greater effects on child cognitive development, parenting knowledge, parenting practices, and parent–child interactions for programs that focused on responsive caregiving compared to those that did not. On the other hand, there was no clear evidence of effect modification by child age, intervention duration, delivery, setting, or study risk of bias. Study limitations include considerable unexplained heterogeneity, inadequate reporting of intervention content and implementation, and varying quality of evidence in terms of the conduct of trials and robustness of outcome measures used across studies.

Conclusions

Parenting interventions for children during the first 3 years of life are effective for improving ECD outcomes and enhancing parenting outcomes across low-, middle-, and high-income countries. Increasing implementation of effective and high-quality parenting interventions is needed globally and at scale in order to support parents and enable young children to achieve their full developmental potential.