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Crabs can learn and remember their way through a complex maze

New Scientist - %age fa
Shore crabs can learn to navigate their way through a complex, underwater maze and remember it two weeks later

FDA grants first-ever modified risk orders to eight smokeless tobacco products

Food and Drug Administration - Ma, 22/10/2019 - 21:11
The FDA announced today that, for the first time, it has authorized the marketing of products through the modified risk tobacco product (MRTP) pathway. The authorizations are for eight Swedish Match USA, Inc. snus smokeless tobacco products sold under the “General” brand name.
Categorie: Istituzioni

IBM says Google may not have reached quantum supremacy after all

New Scientist - Ma, 22/10/2019 - 18:05
A leaked paper from Google claimed to have made a quantum computing breakthrough, but new research from IBM says those claims don’t seem to hold up

Going fully organic would raise greenhouse gas emissions

New Scientist - Ma, 22/10/2019 - 17:00
Food yields would nearly halve if all farms in England and Wales went organic, meaning more land would have to be turned over to agriculture elsewhere

Blue Origin assembles space industry dream team to build moon lander

New Scientist - Ma, 22/10/2019 - 16:19
Jeff Bezos’ space flight company Blue Origin has announced three established companies from the space industry as partners for its 2024 lunar lander Blue Moon

FDA, FTC warn company marketing unapproved cannabidiol products with unsubstantiated claims to treat teething and ear pain in infants, autism, ADHD, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease

Food and Drug Administration - Ma, 22/10/2019 - 16:14
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission posted a joint warning letter to Rooted Apothecary LLC for illegally selling unapproved products containing cannabidiol with unsubstantiated claims.
Categorie: Istituzioni

Scientists have trained rats to drive tiny cars to collect food

New Scientist - Ma, 22/10/2019 - 13:28
Rats can learn to drive tiny cars around an arena in exchange for a food reward. Their hormone levels suggest they seem to find going for a drive relaxing

Abortion is now no longer illegal in Northern Ireland

New Scientist - Ma, 22/10/2019 - 12:59
Women and girls in Northern Ireland can now legally access abortions, seek medical aftercare and can get funding to travel to England for the procedure

Changing a child's route to school can halve exposure to air pollution

New Scientist - Ma, 22/10/2019 - 12:35
A study of five London schools found a clear difference in exposure to levels of harmful nitrogen dioxide when children travelled via quieter roads

Deepfakes are being used to dub adverts into different languages

New Scientist - Ma, 22/10/2019 - 09:00
Companies are using deepfakes that put words into actors’ mouths as a cheaper alternative to create videos in different languages

Desmopressin and the risk of hyponatremia: A population-based cohort study

PLoS Medicine - Lu, 21/10/2019 - 23:00

by Michael Fralick, Sebastian Schneeweiss, Christopher J. D. Wallis, Emily H. Jung, Aaron S. Kesselheim

Background

Desmopressin was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1978 for use in diabetes insipidus and bleeding disorders, but it is also prescribed off-label for patients with nocturia. Quantifying the potential risks facing adult patients taking desmopressin has taken on added importance because a new intranasal formulation of desmopressin was approved by the FDA in 2017. Like the old formulation, the main active ingredient is desmopressin acetate, but the new formulation also contains an excipient designed to enhance absorption. Our objective was to quantify the rate of hyponatremia in routine clinical care for patients prescribed the older formulation of desmopressin.

Methods and findings

We conducted a population-based new-user cohort study from 1 February 2006 to 1 February 2017 using a nationwide commercial health plan database. Patients newly prescribed the older formulation of desmopressin were propensity-score (PS)–matched to patients newly prescribed oxybutynin. As a sensitivity analysis, tamsulosin was used as the comparator rather than oxybutynin. The primary outcome was a primary position diagnosis of hyponatremia. Proportional hazard models after 1:1 PS matching were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). We identified 3,137 adults who were newly prescribed desmopressin and matched them to 3,137 adults who were newly prescribed oxybutynin. Mean age was 70, 55% were male, 13% filled a prescription for a diuretic during the baseline time period, and the mean baseline sodium prior to receiving either study drug was 140 mmol/L (normal: 135–145). The rate of hyponatremia was 146 per 1,000 person-years for adults prescribed desmopressin compared to 11 per 1,000 person-years for adults prescribed oxybutynin, corresponding to a 13-fold higher rate (HR 13.19; 95% CI 6.69, 26.01; p < 0.01). When follow-up was truncated at 30 days, a similar increased rate was observed (HR 19.41; 95% CI 7.11, 52.99; p < 0.01). A higher rate of hyponatremia was also observed with desmopressin when tamsulosin was the comparator (HR 12.10; 95% CI 6.54, 22.37; p < 0.01). Important limitations of our study include unmeasured confounding (for example, over-the-counter medication use, dietary intake), missing data (i.e., only 20% of patients had a baseline serum sodium), and a lack of data on the newer formulation of desmopressin.

Conclusions

Use of an older formulation of desmopressin was associated with a marked increased rate of subsequent hyponatremia compared to use of other medications indicated for lower urinary tract symptoms. Such risks should be clearly communicated to patients prescribed this formulation of desmopressin.

Doctors could team up with AI to spot dangerous brain bleeds faster

New Scientist - Lu, 21/10/2019 - 21:00
A piece of software is capable of spotting a brain haemorrhage in X-ray images with similar accuracy to human radiologists

FDA approves new breakthrough therapy for cystic fibrosis

Food and Drug Administration - Lu, 21/10/2019 - 20:44
FDA approves breakthrough therapy Trikafta for patients 12 and older with cystic fibrosis who have at least one F508del mutation in the CFTR gene, estimated to represent 90% of the cystic fibrosis population.
Categorie: Istituzioni

CRISPR upgrade could make genome editing better and safer

New Scientist - Lu, 21/10/2019 - 17:00
A new variant of CRISPR, dubbed prime editing, should make it even better at correcting disease-causing mutations

Thawing permafrost has turned the Arctic into a carbon emitter

New Scientist - Lu, 21/10/2019 - 17:00
Some sites in the Arctic had already flipped from carbon sinks into sources of emissions, but new research shows the phenomenon has happened across the region as a whole

World's loudest male bird bellows at females sitting right next to it

New Scientist - Lu, 21/10/2019 - 17:00
The loudest song of the white bellbird hits an average of 116 decibels, putting it on a par with a pile-driver and beating all previously documented birds

Stressed about climate change? Eight tips for managing eco-anxiety

New Scientist - Lu, 21/10/2019 - 15:55
People are increasingly reporting anxiety about climate change. Psychotherapists met on Saturday to discuss how best to manage the dread over our impact on the planet

AI could help work out how many people are in large crowds

New Scientist - Lu, 21/10/2019 - 13:45
How many people really attend gatherings or protests, such as the recent Brexit march? Artificial intelligence may be able to figure it out

Giant toad looks and acts like a venomous snake to scare off predators

New Scientist - Lu, 21/10/2019 - 01:01
The Congolese giant toad looks like the head of a Gaboon viper, and it even hisses like a snake when approached – all to scare off potential predators

Tourists risk giving gorillas deadly diseases when they take selfies

New Scientist - Do, 20/10/2019 - 12:00
Ecotourists are breaking rules on keeping their distance from mountain gorillas – social media and the quest for perfect selfies may be partly to blame
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