Riviste scientifiche

Reading Facebook comments on news articles can make you a toxic person

New Scientist - Mar, 24/11/2020 - 14:04
People who read comments on Facebook posts by news outlets are more likely to use toxic language when making comments themselves, researchers have claimed

The meat of protected African animals is being sold in Belgium

New Scientist - Mar, 24/11/2020 - 09:00
The meat of several protected species, including the red-tailed and De Brazza’s monkeys, is being illegally sold in Belgium

Bottlenose dolphins may control their heart rates to avoid the bends

New Scientist - Mar, 24/11/2020 - 06:15
Bottlenose dolphins may consciously vary their heart rates depending on how far they want to dive, in an effort to avoid decompression sickness

Author Correction: Innovations present in the primate interneuron repertoire

Nature - Mar, 24/11/2020 - 00:00

Nature, Published online: 24 November 2020; doi:10.1038/s41586-020-2874-8

Author Correction: Innovations present in the primate interneuron repertoire

Publisher Correction: Large Chinese land carbon sink estimated from atmospheric carbon dioxide data

Nature - Mar, 24/11/2020 - 00:00

Nature, Published online: 24 November 2020; doi:10.1038/s41586-020-2986-1

Publisher Correction: Large Chinese land carbon sink estimated from atmospheric carbon dioxide data

The crystalline armour that protects ants in battle

Nature - Mar, 24/11/2020 - 00:00

Nature, Published online: 24 November 2020; doi:10.1038/d41586-020-03280-7

A species of leaf-cutter ant is the first known example of an insect with mineralized armour, which shields them during combat.

Explain ESA’s last-minute ditching of new space telescope

Nature - Mar, 24/11/2020 - 00:00

Nature, Published online: 24 November 2020; doi:10.1038/d41586-020-03288-z

Explain ESA’s last-minute ditching of new space telescope

Giant tortoises make a comeback in Madagascar

Nature - Mar, 24/11/2020 - 00:00

Nature, Published online: 24 November 2020; doi:10.1038/d41586-020-03290-5

Giant tortoises make a comeback in Madagascar

COVID-19: Panama stockpiles unproven drugs

Nature - Mar, 24/11/2020 - 00:00

Nature, Published online: 24 November 2020; doi:10.1038/d41586-020-03289-y

COVID-19: Panama stockpiles unproven drugs

COVID-19: students caught in Pakistan’s digital divide

Nature - Mar, 24/11/2020 - 00:00

Nature, Published online: 24 November 2020; doi:10.1038/d41586-020-03291-4

COVID-19: students caught in Pakistan’s digital divide

Book-burning through the ages, the Arctic laid bare, and capitalism under scrutiny: Books in brief

Nature - Mar, 24/11/2020 - 00:00

Nature, Published online: 24 November 2020; doi:10.1038/d41586-020-03285-2

Andrew Robinson reviews five of the week’s best science picks.

University rankings need a rethink

Nature - Mar, 24/11/2020 - 00:00

Nature, Published online: 24 November 2020; doi:10.1038/d41586-020-03312-2

World league tables for higher education are flawed, poorly used and entrench inequity.

Daily briefing: What the science says about COVID-sniffing dogs

Nature - Mar, 24/11/2020 - 00:00

Nature, Published online: 24 November 2020; doi:10.1038/d41586-020-03340-y

Dogs can sniff out COVID, maybe. Plus: the Chang’e-5 spacecraft is on its way to the Moon and the details of Springer Nature’s open-access plan.

Hints of twisted light offer clues to dark energy’s nature

Nature - Mar, 24/11/2020 - 00:00

Nature, Published online: 24 November 2020; doi:10.1038/d41586-020-03201-8

Cosmologists suggest that an exotic substance called quintessence could be accelerating the Universe’s expansion — but the evidence is still tentative.

Nature journals reveal terms of landmark open-access option

Nature - Mar, 24/11/2020 - 00:00

Nature, Published online: 24 November 2020; doi:10.1038/d41586-020-03324-y

The journals will charge authors up to €9,500 to make research papers free to read, in a long-awaited alternative to subscription-only publishing.

The COVID vaccine challenges that lie ahead

Nature - Mar, 24/11/2020 - 00:00

Nature, Published online: 24 November 2020; doi:10.1038/d41586-020-03334-w

As positive results emerge at last, researchers must help the world to address vaccine hesitancy, supply logistics and pricing.

Risk factors during first 1,000 days of life for carotid intima-media thickness in infants, children, and adolescents: A systematic review with meta-analyses

PLoS Medicine - Lun, 23/11/2020 - 23:00

by Adina Mihaela Epure, Magali Rios-Leyvraz, Daniela Anker, Stefano Di Bernardo, Bruno R. da Costa, Arnaud Chiolero, Nicole Sekarski

Background

The first 1,000 days of life, i.e., from conception to age 2 years, could be a critical period for cardiovascular health. Increased carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) is a surrogate marker of atherosclerosis. We performed a systematic review with meta-analyses to assess (1) the relationship between exposures or interventions in the first 1,000 days of life and CIMT in infants, children, and adolescents; and (2) the CIMT measurement methods.

Methods and findings

Systematic searches of Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online (MEDLINE), Excerpta Medica database (EMBASE), and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) were performed from inception to March 2019. Observational and interventional studies evaluating factors at the individual, familial, or environmental levels, for instance, size at birth, gestational age, breastfeeding, mode of conception, gestational diabetes, or smoking, were included. Quality was evaluated based on study methodological validity (adjusted Newcastle–Ottawa Scale if observational; Cochrane collaboration risk of bias tool if interventional) and CIMT measurement reliability. Estimates from bivariate or partial associations that were least adjusted for sex were used for pooling data across studies, when appropriate, using random-effects meta-analyses. The research protocol was published and registered on the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO; CRD42017075169). Of 6,221 reports screened, 50 full-text articles from 36 studies (34 observational, 2 interventional) totaling 7,977 participants (0 to 18 years at CIMT assessment) were retained. Children born small for gestational age had increased CIMT (16 studies, 2,570 participants, pooled standardized mean difference (SMD): 0.40 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.15 to 0.64, p: 0.001), I2: 83%). When restricted to studies of higher quality of CIMT measurement, this relationship was stronger (3 studies, 461 participants, pooled SMD: 0.64 (95% CI: 0.09 to 1.19, p: 0.024), I2: 86%). Only 1 study evaluating small size for gestational age was rated as high quality for all methodological domains. Children conceived through assisted reproductive technologies (ART) (3 studies, 323 participants, pooled SMD: 0.78 (95% CI: −0.20 to 1.75, p: 0.120), I2: 94%) or exposed to maternal smoking during pregnancy (3 studies, 909 participants, pooled SMD: 0.12 (95% CI: −0.06 to 0.30, p: 0.205), I2: 0%) had increased CIMT, but the imprecision around the estimates was high. None of the studies evaluating these 2 factors was rated as high quality for all methodological domains. Two studies evaluating the effect of nutritional interventions starting at birth did not show an effect on CIMT. Only 12 (33%) studies were at higher quality across all domains of CIMT reliability. The degree of confidence in results is limited by the low number of high-quality studies, the relatively small sample sizes, and the high between-study heterogeneity.

Conclusions

In our meta-analyses, we found several risk factors in the first 1,000 days of life that may be associated with increased CIMT during childhood. Small size for gestational age had the most consistent relationship with increased CIMT. The associations with conception through ART or with smoking during pregnancy were not statistically significant, with a high imprecision around the estimates. Due to the large uncertainty in effect sizes and the limited quality of CIMT measurements, further high-quality studies are needed to justify intervention for primordial prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Genetic and pharmacological relationship between P-glycoprotein and increased cardiovascular risk associated with clarithromycin prescription: An epidemiological and genomic population-based cohort study in Scotland, UK

PLoS Medicine - Lun, 23/11/2020 - 23:00

by Ify R. Mordi, Benjamin K. Chan, N. David Yanez, Colin N. A. Palmer, Chim C. Lang, James D. Chalmers

Background

There are conflicting reports regarding the association of the macrolide antibiotic clarithromycin with cardiovascular (CV) events. A possible explanation may be that this risk is partly mediated through drug–drug interactions and only evident in at-risk populations. To the best of our knowledge, no studies have examined whether this association might be mediated via P-glycoprotein (P-gp), a major pathway for clarithromycin metabolism. The aim of this study was to examine CV risk following prescription of clarithromycin versus amoxicillin and in particular, the association with P-gp, a major pathway for clarithromycin metabolism.

Methods and findings

We conducted an observational cohort study of patients prescribed clarithromycin or amoxicillin in the community in Tayside, Scotland (population approximately 400,000) between 1 January 2004 and 31 December 2014 and a genomic observational cohort study evaluating genotyped patients from the Genetics of Diabetes Audit and Research Tayside Scotland (GoDARTS) study, a longitudinal cohort study of 18,306 individuals with and without type 2 diabetes recruited between 1 December 1988 and 31 December 2015. Two single-nucleotide polymorphisms associated with P-gp activity were evaluated (rs1045642 and rs1128503 –AA genotype associated with lowest P-gp activity). The primary outcome for both analyses was CV hospitalization following prescription of clarithromycin versus amoxicillin at 0–14 days, 15–30 days, and 30 days to 1 year. In the observational cohort study, we calculated hazard ratios (HRs) adjusted for likelihood of receiving clarithromycin using inverse proportion of treatment weighting as a covariate, whereas in the pharmacogenomic study, HRs were adjusted for age, sex, history of myocardial infarction, and history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.The observational cohort study included 48,026 individuals with 205,227 discrete antibiotic prescribing episodes (34,074 clarithromycin, mean age 73 years, 42% male; 171,153 amoxicillin, mean age 74 years, 45% male). Clarithromycin use was significantly associated with increased risk of CV hospitalization compared with amoxicillin at both 0–14 days (HR 1.31; 95% CI 1.17–1.46, p < 0.001) and 30 days to 1 year (HR 1.13; 95% CI 1.06–1.19, p < 0.001), with the association at 0–14 days modified by use of P-gp inhibitors or substrates (interaction p-value: 0.029). In the pharmacogenomic study (13,544 individuals with 44,618 discrete prescribing episodes [37,497 amoxicillin, mean age 63 years, 56% male; 7,121 clarithromycin, mean age 66 years, 47% male]), when prescribed clarithromycin, individuals with genetically determined lower P-gp activity had a significantly increased risk of CV hospitalization at 30 days to 1 year compared with heterozygotes or those homozygous for the non-P-gp–lowering allele (rs1045642 AA: HR 1.39, 95% CI 1.20–1.60, p < 0.001, GG/GA: HR 0.99, 95% CI 0.89–1.10, p = 0.85, interaction p-value < 0.001 and rs1128503 AA 1.41, 95% CI 1.18–1.70, p < 0.001, GG/GA: HR 1.04, 95% CI 0.95–1.14, p = 0.43, interaction p-value < 0.001). The main limitation of our study is its observational nature, meaning that we are unable to definitively determine causality.

Conclusions

In this study, we observed that the increased risk of CV events with clarithromycin compared with amoxicillin was associated with an interaction with P-glycoprotein.

Bumblebees can fly sideways to fit through tight gaps

New Scientist - Lun, 23/11/2020 - 21:00
Bees tasked with flying through a narrow gap will turn sideways to avoid touching the edges, showing that they are aware of how big they are

Earless moths have acoustic camouflage that protects them from bats

New Scientist - Lun, 23/11/2020 - 21:00
Earless moths have a special pattern on their wings for absorbing sound. It acts as protection from bats, which use echolocation to find their prey