Novel screening method predicts health complications earlier, could identify key interventions — ScienceDaily

Expanding routine newborn screening to include a metabolic vulnerability profile could lead to earlier detection of life-threatening complications in babies born preterm, according to a study by UC San Francisco researchers. The new method, which was developed at UCSF, offers valuable and time-sensitive insights into which infants are at greatest risk during their most vulnerable time, immediately after birth.

The study, published in Nature Pediatric Research by scientists at the UCSF California Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBI-CA), assessed the records of 9,639 preterm infants who experienced mortality or at least one complication or mortality.

Using the results of standard newborn profiles and blood tests, they identified a combination of six newborn characteristics and 19 metabolites that, together, created a vulnerability profile that reliably identified preterm babies at substantially increased risk for death and severe illness.

“Our results point to a number of potential biological pathways that may play a key role

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Tool could be used to simulate interventions on issues such as polarization — ScienceDaily

Northwestern University researchers have developed the first quantitative model that captures how politicized environments affect U.S. political opinion formation and evolution.

Using the model, the researchers seek to understand how populations change their opinions when exposed to political content, such as news media, campaign ads and ordinary personal exchanges. The math-based framework is flexible, allowing future data to be incorporated as it becomes available.

“It’s really powerful to understand how people are influenced by the content that they see,” said David Sabin-Miller, a Northwestern graduate student who led the study. “It could help us understand how populations become polarized, which would be hugely beneficial.”

“Quantitative models like this allow us to run computational experiments,” added Northwestern’s Daniel Abrams, the study’s senior author. “We could simulate how various interventions might help fix extreme polarization to promote consensus.”

The paper will be published on Thursday (Oct. 1) in the journal Physical Review

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