Riviste scientifiche

Giant yellow crustacean in an aquarium turns out to be new species

New Scientist - Me, 10/08/2022 - 06:01
A new species of creamy-yellow isopod was hiding in plain sight in Japan’s Enoshima Aquarium. It was first found in the Gulf of Mexico and mistaken for another species.

Secrets of an ancient Chinese recipe for bronze finally deciphered

New Scientist - Me, 10/08/2022 - 02:01
Metal-making practices described in a 2300-year-old text called the Kaogong Ji are more sophisticated than anyone realised

Bats show fewer signs of ageing while they are hibernating

New Scientist - Me, 10/08/2022 - 02:01
Similarly to marmots, a brown bat species (Eptesicus fuscus) expresses reduced ageing biomarkers while hibernating

US government ramps up effort to put in place 'too hot to work' rules

New Scientist - Ma, 09/08/2022 - 23:32
US investigators have carried out an unprecedented number of heat-related workplace inspections this summer, while federal and state governments are adopting measures to protect workers from heat

5 mind-bending numbers that could reveal the secrets of the universe

New Scientist - Ma, 09/08/2022 - 19:00
From the exceedingly big to the unfathomably small, cosmologists are trying to unravel a bizarre set of figures that may reveal what happens inside a black hole, why the Higgs boson is so light and the chances of you having a doppelgänger

Tiny electromagnetic robot runs fast and re-forms after being squished

New Scientist - Ma, 09/08/2022 - 18:00
A soft rubber robot smaller than a postage stamp and controlled by electromagnetic forces can swim, jump and rotate – and could be used to deliver drugs or perform procedures inside a human body

Recycling dead trees could cut carbon emissions in US cities

New Scientist - Ma, 09/08/2022 - 16:39
A proposal to make better use of fallen leaves and dead trees in urban areas in the US could cut carbon emissions, though it may not be practical

How to spot the 2022 Perseid meteor shower that will peak on Saturday

New Scientist - Ma, 09/08/2022 - 13:55
The Perseid meteor shower will peak this year in the early hours of 13 August. A full moon will make it trickier to see than usual but it is still worth a try - here's how

'Dry lightning' sparked the most destructive wildfires in California

New Scientist - Lu, 08/08/2022 - 22:20
Nearly half of the lightning strikes in northern California over the past three decades occurred on days with little to no rain, sparking some of the most destructive wildfires in the state’s history

These are the UK supermarket items with the worst environmental impact

New Scientist - Lu, 08/08/2022 - 22:00
Meat, fish and cheese top the list of food products with the biggest environmental impact, in new research that points the way to widespread eco labels

What Earth’s mysterious infancy tells us about the origins of life

New Scientist - Lu, 08/08/2022 - 20:00
Redrawing the geological timeline of Earth’s first billion years is casting new light on whether life emerged on land or in the oceans

Immunity for common cold coronaviruses may ward off severe covid-19

New Scientist - Lu, 08/08/2022 - 18:38
In a laboratory experiment, a strong T-cell response against the coronaviruses that cause common cold-like symptoms was linked to greater covid-19 immunity

Climate change impacts are making most infectious diseases worse

New Scientist - Lu, 08/08/2022 - 18:00
Researchers have found more than a thousand ways ten climate hazards could aggravate transmissible diseases, from flooding to heatwaves

Soap molecule could help make alternative LED tech commercially viable

New Scientist - Lu, 08/08/2022 - 18:00
LEDs made from perovskite, a titanium and calcium crystal, are a potential alternative to silicon-based ones, but until now haven't been able to match them for stability and efficiency

Artificial neuron swaps dopamine with rat brain cells like a real one

New Scientist - Lu, 08/08/2022 - 18:00
An electrical device that can send and receive chemical signals from neurons could be used in brain-machine interfaces

Russian shelling at Ukrainian nuclear plant risks 'another Chernobyl'

New Scientist - Lu, 08/08/2022 - 16:28
A scientist at the Chernobyl nuclear plant says that Russian troops occupying the Zaporizhzya nuclear plant are risking its safety, with reports of shelling and mining of the site and explosives in the reactor building

Exceeding weekly alcohol recommendations linked to short chromosomes

New Scientist - Lu, 08/08/2022 - 16:20
Regions of repetitive DNA sequence called telomeres cap our chromosomes, with shorter telomeres being linked to Alzheimer's disease, cancer and heart disease

Evaluation of an on-site sanitation intervention against childhood diarrhea and acute respiratory infection 1 to 3.5 years after implementation: Extended follow-up of a cluster-randomized controlled trial in rural Bangladesh

PLoS Medicine - Lu, 08/08/2022 - 16:00

by Jesse D. Contreras, Mahfuza Islam, Andrew Mertens, Amy J. Pickering, Benjamin F. Arnold, Jade Benjamin-Chung, Alan E. Hubbard, Mahbubur Rahman, Leanne Unicomb, Stephen P. Luby, John M. Colford Jr, Ayse Ercumen

Background

Diarrhea and acute respiratory infection (ARI) are leading causes of death in children. The WASH Benefits Bangladesh trial implemented a multicomponent sanitation intervention that led to a 39% reduction in the prevalence of diarrhea among children and a 25% reduction for ARI, measured 1 to 2 years after intervention implementation. We measured longer-term intervention effects on these outcomes between 1 to 3.5 years after intervention implementation, including periods with differing intensity of behavioral promotion.

Methods and findings

WASH Benefits Bangladesh was a cluster-randomized controlled trial of water, sanitation, hygiene, and nutrition interventions (NCT01590095). The sanitation intervention included provision of or upgrades to improved latrines, sani-scoops for feces removal, children’s potties, and in-person behavioral promotion. Promotion was intensive up to 2 years after intervention initiation, decreased in intensity between years 2 to 3, and stopped after 3 years. Access to and reported use of latrines was high in both arms, and latrine quality was significantly improved by the intervention, while use of child feces management tools was low. We enrolled a random subset of households from the sanitation and control arms into a longitudinal substudy, which measured child health with quarterly visits between 1 to 3.5 years after intervention implementation. The study period therefore included approximately 1 year of high-intensity promotion, 1 year of low-intensity promotion, and 6 months with no promotion. We assessed intervention effects on diarrhea and ARI prevalence among children <5 years through intention-to-treat analysis using generalized linear models with robust standard errors. Masking was not possible during data collection, but data analysis was masked. We enrolled 720 households (360 per arm) from the parent trial and made 9,800 child observations between June 2014 and December 2016. Over the entire study period, diarrheal prevalence was lower among children in the sanitation arm (11.9%) compared to the control arm (14.5%) (prevalence ratio [PR] = 0.81, 95% CI 0.66, 1.00, p = 0.05; prevalence difference [PD] = −0.027, 95% CI −0.053, 0, p = 0.05). ARI prevalence did not differ between sanitation (21.3%) and control (22.7%) arms (PR = 0.93, 95% CI 0.82, 1.05, p = 0.23; PD = −0.016, 95% CI −0.043, 0.010, p = 0.23). There were no significant differences in intervention effects between periods with high-intensity versus low-intensity/no promotion. Study limitations include use of caregiver-reported symptoms to define health outcomes and limited data collected after promotion ceased.

Conclusions

The observed effect of the WASH Benefits Bangladesh sanitation intervention on diarrhea in children appeared to be sustained for at least 3.5 years after implementation, including 1.5 years after heavy promotion ceased. Existing latrine access was high in the study setting, suggesting that improving on-site latrine quality can deliver health benefits when latrine use practices are in place. Further work is needed to understand how latrine adoption can be achieved and sustained in settings with low existing access and how sanitation programs can adopt transformative approaches of excreta management, including safe disposal of child and animal feces, to generate a hygienic home environment.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov; NCT01590095; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01590095.

10 finance firms effectively own half of all future carbon emissions

New Scientist - Sa, 06/08/2022 - 09:00
An analysis of the 200 largest fossil fuel companies suggests that just 10 shareholders could influence the fate of nearly half of the world's remaining fossil fuels

[Editorial] 2022 heatwaves: a failure to proactively manage the risks

The Lancet - Sa, 06/08/2022 - 00:00
Human-induced climate change has made extreme heatwaves, wildfires, and flash floods substantially more likely and more severe. Yet, health impacts are widely underestimated. Most countries have failed to adequately plan, adapt, and use evidence-based information to protect their populations. For some countries, this is a dangerous failure of action, but others lack the adequate human and financial resources to respond. So far this year, India, Pakistan, the USA, China, and Europe have experienced extreme and dangerous heatwaves that damaged vital infrastructure and threatened to overwhelm emergency service capacity.
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