Yahoo Science News feed latest items
President Trump Is Expected to Release the GOP's Controversial Nunes Memo. Here's What You Need to Know
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered U.S. wildlife officials to reconsider a 2015 decision that blocked special protections for the iconic bison herds that roam Yellowstone National Park and are routinely subjected to hunting and slaughter.
In 1968, scientists discovered a new strain of flu circulating around Hong Kong. The virus, though, didn't stay put. It soon left Asia and turned into a proper pandemic, traveling around the globe and killing one million people worldwide, including 100,000 in the United States that season. The deadly virus struck in the U.S. when it usually does, during winter. That year, "kids didn’t care about when Santa came," remembers Susan Donelan, who is now a medical director and assistant professor of infectious disease at Stony Brook University’s School of Medicine. SEE ALSO: This year’s flu shot might not stop the virus, but it can fend off the worst symptoms Fifty years later, the Hong Kong flu, known more formally as H3N2, still exists, periodically popping up from year to year. "Now it's considered one of our seasonal viruses," said Donelan, in an interview. The Hong Kong flu influenza viruses, magnified 100,000 times.Image: wikimedia imagesBut the Hong Kong flu is an especially infectious strain of the virus. It has the ability to mutate both during and between flu seasons (more so than other strains), rendering our preventative vaccines less effective. "By the time we’re ready for the flu season, the strain has kind of changed itself," Neha Nanda, a hospital epidemiologist and medical director of infection prevention at Keck Medicine of the University of Southern California, said in an interview. "That’s why it’s a nasty strain." And like most years, scientists knew the Hong Kong flu would make an unwelcome appearance during the 2017-2018 flu season. Doctors predict what flu will hit the U.S., and accordingly, what vaccines to produce, based upon what influenza has been dominant in the Southern Hemisphere — places like Australia. "Every year we look at the Southern Hemisphere," Shane Speights, dean and associate professor of Medicine at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University, said in an interview. "The Southern Hemisphere dictates what goes into our vaccine." So, by watching events unfold in Australia in 2017, where the Hong Kong flu was dominant, doctors knew what to expect and prepared as best as they could. But in this strain's typical fashion, it has likely mutated, rendering our vaccines less effective and resulting in the Hong Kong flu's remarkable 2018 spread. #Flu activity continues to increase nationally in the United States. CDC recommends flu vaccination, even if you've already been sick, and early antiviral treatment for people who are very ill OR those who have flu and are at high risk of complications. https://t.co/KHXucF48vi pic.twitter.com/7oJK4qbUp8 — CDC (@CDCgov) January 26, 2018 "The number of people impacted by it [the flu] has been huge," said Nanda. The CDC, as of January 20, reports "widespread" flu activity around the country, including the deaths of 37 children. Even though some of us may have been exposed to H3N2 in previous seasons (for example, the CDC identified six variants of H3N2 during the 2015-2016 season), the exterior of the virus — home to a variety of specific proteins — may have mutated too dramatically for us to have any substantive immunity from this earlier exposure. "The surface proteins change," said Nanda. "Our body may not remember what we experienced two seasons back." While scientists seasonally do a pretty good job of predicting what will hit the U.S., much less is understood about why strains like the Hong Kong flu wreak havoc for a season or two and then become less dominant or disappear, only to return once again. "We need a crystal ball," mused Nanda. WATCH: Paris is flooding and rats are taking cover
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A study of polar bear metabolism conducted near Alaska's Prudhoe Bay has provided more reason to worry about the future of these massive predators that prowl the Arctic. Scientists said on Thursday they examined activity levels, foraging behavior and blood biochemistry of a group of polar bears during their prime hunting season on the sea ice of the Beaufort Sea, determining that the metabolism of the species is about 60 percent greater than previously understood. The decline of Arctic sea ice amid global climate change is making polar bears travel farther to find prey such as ringed seals.
A wealth of archaeological relics found at an ancient Christian site in Israel includes a rare silver coin, the top of a column that likely belonged to a royal structure and a large pool that might have been used for anything from baptismal ceremonies to irrigation. The newly revealed finds span a number of different cultures and time periods, and the site itself corresponds to tales about Philip the Evangelist from the Bible. A group of archaeologists has spent the past five years excavating Ein Hanniya (sometimes spelled as Hanya), which sits in the Rephaim Valley National Park, not far from Jerusalem.
Scientists believe the parasitic wasp grows up in another animal's body and then, once it reaches adulthood, saws its way through the host's body to freedom, according to a recent paper published in Biodiversity Data Journal. The authors of the new paper studied four individual wasps—two males and two females—that had been collected from Costa Rica in 1985 and placed in the U.K.'s Natural History Museum in London and the Frost Entomological Museum in Pennsylvania.
Russia is planning to send paying tourists on the International Space Station out on spacewalks for the first time, an official from the country's space industry said Thursday. "We are discussing the possibility of sending tourists on spacewalks," Vladimir Solntsev, the head of Russian space company Energia, told Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda. "Market analysts have confirmed this: wealthy people are ready to pay money for this," Solntsev told the paper.
NIH Funding Opportunities
- Request for Information (RFI): Strategies for Enhancing Postdoctoral Career Transitions to Promote Faculty Diversity
- Cancer Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment Technologies for Low-Resource Settings (R41/R42 - Clinical Trial Optional)
- Cancer Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment Technologies for Low-Resource Settings (R43/R44 - Clinical Trial Optional)
- Notice for the All of Us Research Program Genome Centers (OT2) Funding Announcement and Informational Webinar
- Biomarkers Discovery In Parkinsonism (U01 Clinical Trial Optional)