Diagnosing liver damage earlier could help to prevent liver failure in many patients. — ScienceDaily

About 25 percent of the U.S. population suffers from fatty liver disease, a condition that can lead to fibrosis of the liver and, eventually, liver failure.

Currently there is no easy way to diagnose either fatty liver disease or liver fibrosis. However, MIT engineers have now developed a diagnostic tool, based on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), that could be used to detect both of those conditions.

“Since it’s a noninvasive test, you could screen people even before they have obvious symptoms of compromised liver, and you would be able to say which of these patients had fibrosis,” says Michael Cima, the David H. Koch Professor of Engineering in MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and the senior author of the study.

The device, which is small enough to fit on a table, uses NMR to measure how water diffuses

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Large multi-site study accurately predicts damage to grey matter by disease — ScienceDaily

An international study has found a link between the brain’s network connections and grey matter atrophy caused by certain types of epilepsy, a major step forward in our understanding of the disease.

In neuroscience, it is becoming increasingly clear that the brain’s connectome is as important as its anatomy when studying human disease. The connectome is a map of neural connections that describes how brain regions interact and work together to perform certain tasks. While connectome research in epilepsy has moved forward in recent years, there is still a lot we do not know about its role in the disorder.

The study, led by researchers from The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital), analyzed data from 1,021 individuals with epilepsy and 1,564 healthy controls over 19 sites around the world from the ENIGMA database, a collection of neuroimaging data available to researchers under Open Science principles. They used this data to map

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Scientists reverse age-related vision loss, eye damage from glaucoma in mice — ScienceDaily

Harvard Medical School scientists have successfully restored vision in mice by turning back the clock on aged eye cells in the retina to recapture youthful gene function.

The team’s work, described Dec. 2 in Nature, represents the first demonstration that it may be possible to safely reprogram complex tissues, such as the nerve cells of the eye, to an earlier age.

In addition to resetting the cells’ aging clock, the researchers successfully reversed vision loss in animals with a condition mimicking human glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness around the world.

The achievement represents the first successful attempt to reverse glaucoma-induced vision loss, rather than merely stem its progression, the team said. If replicated through further studies, the approach could pave the way for therapies to promote tissue repair across various organs and reverse aging and age-related diseases in humans.

“Our study demonstrates that it’s possible to safely reverse

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This cheap (and fake) accessory can damage your Android smartphone

Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed a growing number of “1024GB MicroSDXC” cards being offered by sellers on the likes of eBay or Amazon for ridiculously low prices.

But what’s the worst that can happen? You buy one, find you’re getting about 22GB of storage, and lose out a few bucks?

No, worse things can happen. Much worse.

Must read: Top 10 Google Chrome plugins for 2020

Working in conjunction with my local trading standards office (a UK government service that works to protect consumers from unfair trading), I decided to take a look. So, I bought a couple of the fakiest looking microSD cards I could find on Amazon to take a look. They cost me about $15 each, but I got my money back, so the people selling them didn’t profit, and I also passed on my information to my local trading standards office.

For reference, a

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Giant Puerto Rico radio telescope collapses, following damage

The Arecibo Observatory, a huge and previously damaged radio telescope in Puerto Rico that played a key role in astronomical discoveries for more than half a century, completely collapsed on Tuesday.

The telescope’s 900-ton receiver platform fell onto the reflector dish more than 400 feet below.

Puerto Rican meteorologist Ada Monzón broke into tears on local TV as she delivered the devastating news to other heartbroken Puerto Ricans across the U.S. territory.

“I have to inform you, with my heart in hand, that the Arecibo Observatory collapsed,” she said in Spanish. “We made every attempt to save it.”

The U.S. National Science Foundation had earlier announced that the Arecibo Observatory would be closed. An auxiliary cable snapped in August, causing a 100-foot gash on the 1,000-foot-wide (305-meter-wide) reflector dish and damaged the receiver platform that hung above it. Then a main cable broke in early November.

No injuries were reported

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Pyroclasts protect the paintings of Pompeii buried but damage them when they are unearthed — ScienceDaily

The ancient city of Pompeii (in the south of Italy) ended up buried under ash and volcanic material in 79 CE as a consequence of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. That fateful event made the unprecedented conservation of the archaeological site in the area possible because the pyroclastic materials spewed out by Vesuvius have protected the remains from external damage. So not only in cultural but also in scientific terms they are in fact highly prized sites where tourists and professionals of archaeology and even chemistry mingle.

For over 10 years the UPV/EHU’s IBeA group, attached to the department of Analytical Chemistry, has been working at Pompeii within the framework of the Analytica Pompeiana Universitatis Vasconicae-APUV project. In 2015 the UPV/EHU and the Archaeological Park of Pompeii signed the first of the agreements thanks to which the methodologies and portable devices used by the research group are allowing the paintings

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High blood pressure in midlife is linked to increased brain damage in later life — ScienceDaily

Higher than normal blood pressure is linked to more extensive brain damage in the elderly, according to a new study published today (Thursday) in the European Heart Journal.

In particular, the study found that there was a strong association between diastolic blood pressure (the blood pressure between heart beats) before the age of 50 and brain damage in later life, even if the diastolic blood pressure was within what is normally considered to be a healthy range.

The findings come from a study of 37,041 participants enrolled in UK Biobank, a large group of people recruited from the general population aged between 40 and 69 years, and for whom medical information, including MRI brain scans was available.

The research, carried out by Dr Karolina Wartolowska, a clinical research fellow at the Centre for Prevention of Stroke and Dementia, University of Oxford, UK, looked for damage in the brain called

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Cooking with wood may cause lung damage — ScienceDaily

Advanced imaging with CT shows that people who cook with biomass fuels like wood are at risk of suffering considerable damage to their lungs from breathing in dangerous concentrations of pollutants and bacterial toxins, according to a study being presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Approximately 3 billion people around the world cook with biomass, such as wood or dried brush. Pollutants from cooking with biomass are a major contributor to the estimated 4 million deaths a year from household air pollution-related illness.

While public health initiatives have tried to provide support to transition from biomass fuels to cleaner-burning liquefied petroleum gas as a fuel source, a significant number of homes continue to use biomass fuels. Financial constraints and a reluctance to change established habits are factors, combined with a lack of information on the impact of biomass smoke on lung health.

“It

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Diabetes increases neuritic damage around amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s disease — ScienceDaily

New research from the University of Eastern Finland explores the role of diabetes in the cellular and molecular changes underlying Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In an AD mouse model, diabetes induced through a diet rich in fats and sugars weakened the accumulation of microglial cells around amyloid plaques and increased the formation of neuritic plaques with prominent tau pathology. Besides the mouse model, a similar observation was also made in hydrocephalus patients with type 2 diabetes, who had fewer microglia around amyloid plaques than patients without diabetes. The findings provide valuable new insight into the cellular mechanisms by which type 2 diabetes contributes to the risk and development of AD.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, with no cure to date. AD is characterised by the accumulation of beta-amyloid peptides and phosphorylated tau proteins in the brain, leading to the activation of the immune cells in brain: microglia

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After Suffering Irreparable Damage, It’s Lights Out for the Arecibo Observatory’s Iconic Telescope | Smart News

After 57 years of gazing into the universe and helping astronomers unravel the cosmos’ mysteries, the Arecibo Observatory’s world-renowned telescope in Puerto Rico will be torn down, reports Alexandra Witze for Nature.

The observatory has three towers equipped with cables that hold up the telescope’s enormous, 1,000-foot reflector dish. In 2017, Hurricane Maria battered the already deteriorating telescope. This August, an auxiliary cable slipped out of its socket, inflicting a 100-foot-long gash in the dish. Three months later, a main cable connected to that same tower snapped, causing more devastating damage. Teams of engineers looked for remedies to help save the telescope, but repairs would be too risky for a construction team to safely undertake, reports Ashley Strickland for CNN.

Given the age of the telescope, it would need more intensive maintenance in the future since the cables were weaker than originally thought. For this reason, the National Science Foundation

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