Most young people eager for COVID-19 vaccine, poll shows

As older teens and young adults become eligible for COVID-19 vaccination across the country, and younger teens await their turn, new survey data suggest a strong readiness that has grown since fall. But just as with older generations, a shrinking but still sizable minority of people age 14 to 24 say they’re not willing to get vaccinated, or that their decision will depend on safety.

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Scientists identify potential drug candidates for deadly pediatric leukemia

Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute have shown that two existing drug candidates—JAK inhibitors and Mepron—hold potential as treatments for a deadly acute myeloid leukemia (AML) subtype that is more common in children. The foundational study, published in the journal Blood, is a first step toward finding effective treatments for the hard-to-treat blood cancer.

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Shape-shifting Ebola virus protein exploits human RNA to change shape

In a new Cell Reports study, researchers at La Jolla Institute for Immunology demonstrate how Ebola virus has found a different way to get things done. The virus encodes only eight proteins but requires dozens of functions in its lifecycle. The new study shows how one of Ebola virus’s key proteins, VP40, uses molecular triggers in the human cell to transform itself into different tools for different jobs.

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From Smoky Skies to a Green Horizon: Scientists Convert Fire-Risk Wood into Biofuel

Reliance on petroleum fuels and raging wildfires: Two separate, large-scale challenges that could be addressed by one scientific breakthrough. Researchers from two national laboratories have collaborated to develop a streamlined and efficient process for converting woody plant matter like forest overgrowth and agricultural waste – material that is currently burned either intentionally or unintentionally – into liquid biofuel.

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GIS technology helps map out how America’s mafia networks were ‘connected’

A team of researchers used geographic information systems — a collection of tools for geographic mapping and analysis of the Earth and society — and data from a government database on mafia ties during the 1960s, to examine how these networks were built, maintained and grown. The researchers said that this spatial social networks study offers a unique look at the mafia’s loosely affiliated criminal groups. Often called families, these groups were connected — internally and externally — to maintain a balance between security and effectiveness, referred to as the efficiency-security tradeoff.

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Biomarker Could Help Identify Difficult-to-Diagnose Kidney Cancer Subtype

High expression levels of the gene TRIM63 can serve as an accurate and sensitive biomarker of a subtype of kidney cancer known as microphthalmia-associated transcription factor family aberration-associated renal cell carcinomas — or MiTF renal cell carcinoma.

It’s important to distinguish MiTF from other subtypes of kidney cancers — clear cell, papillary and chromophobe — because these tumors may not respond well to standard, front-line treatments and may respond better to other approaches.

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NUS researchers create SmartFarm device to harvest air moisture for autonomous, self-sustaining urban farming

Researchers from the NUS Department of Materials Science and Engineering have created a solar-powered, fully automated device called ‘SmartFarm’ that is equipped with a moisture-attracting material to absorb air moisture at night when the relative humidity is higher, and releases water when exposed to sunlight in the day for irrigation.

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Amoeba Biology Reveals Potential Treatment Target for Lung Disease

In a series of experiments that began with amoebas — single-celled organisms that extend podlike appendages to move around — Johns Hopkins Medicine scientists say they have identified a genetic pathway that could be activated to help sweep out mucus from the lungs of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease a widespread lung ailment.

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Chemical modification of RNA could play key role in polycystic kidney disease

A chemical modification of RNA that can be influenced by diet appears to play a key role in polycystic kidney disease, an inherited disorder that is the fourth leading cause of kidney failure in the U.S., UT Southwestern researchers report in a new study. The findings, published online today in Cell Metabolism, suggest new ways to treat this incurable condition.

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Puerto Rico, Coronavirus Among Top Latino Twitter Topics During 2020 Election

Latinos discussed Puerto Rico and the COVID-19 pandemic more than any other subject on Twitter in the run-up to the 2020 election, according to researchers at the George Washington University. Spanish-language tweets mentioning “freedom” and “socialism” were also popular, while topics such as Obamacare and immigration did not gain much traction.

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Lifetime Monitoring Following Infant Cardiac Surgery May Reduce Future Hypertension Risk

In a medical records study covering thousands of children, a U.S.-Canadian team led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine concludes that while surgery to correct congenital heart disease (CHD) within 10 years after birth may restore young hearts to healthy function, it also may be associated with an increased risk of hypertension — high blood pressure — within a few months or years after surgery.

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