October 20, 2019

    Short Science News, Articles And The Latest Scientific Discoveries And Research

    The subtle way mucus disarms microbes

    Health | Oct 15, 2019 | Kshitij Jadhav

    Mucus inhibits the growth of bacteria
    The subtle way mucus disarms microbes - interesting science news

    Mucus, which lines 200 square meter of our bodies including lungs and digestive tract is not just a physical barrier can also disarm microbes preventing them from causing infections.

    Glycans, which are found in the mucus are mainly responsible for this property. Researchers studied the effects of glycans on Pseudomonas aeruginosa and discovered that this microbe no longer produced toxins or expressed genes, which are necessary for bacterial communication.

    This newly discovered property might be useful in finding new ways to treat antibiotic resistance in addition to traditional antibiotics.

    Read the full story: MIT news
    Scientific publication: Nature Microbiology


    Veterans with PTSD have higher risk of a rare sleep disorder

    Mind and Brain | Oct 14, 2019 | Kshitij Jadhav

    Increased risk of a rare sleep disorder in veterans
    Veterans with PTSD have higher risk of a rare sleep disorder - short science news and articles

    It has been seen that military veterans with PTSD or head concussions are at a higher risk of suffering from a thrashing form of sleep disorder, which is higher than the general population.

    Normally, during REM sleep muscles of an individual are paralysed. However, people suffering from REM sleep behaviour disorder (RBD), have this mechanism impaired resulting in them acting out their dreams during REM sleep which could injure their partners or themselves.

    RBD might also provide early signs of development of neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.

    Read the full story: Oregon Health & Science University
    Scientific publication: Sleep


    Guess what… Even prehistoric humans stored food

    Life | Oct 14, 2019 | Kshitij Jadhav

    Cave men had their smarts to store and preserve food
    Guess what… Even prehistoric humans stored food - short science news and articles

    While they didn’t have refrigerators, prehistoric humans also went through the pains of storing food for later consumption. This can be understood from the evidence of storage and delayed consumption of animal bone marrow at the Qesem caves near Tel Aviv.

    Researchers found deer metapodials in caves covered in skin for better marrow preservation. This process apparently facilitates low rate of marrow fat degradation.

    This major discovery dating back to about 400,000 years ago offers insight in the socioeconomic dynamics of humans around that time which could provide new modes of adaptations during the Paleolithic age.

    Read the full story: American Friends of Tel Aviv University
    Scientific publication: Science Advances


    Even low doses of antibiotics affect the gut bacteria

    Health | Oct 11, 2019 | Kshitij Jadhav

    Gut bacteria change even with a low dose of antibiotics
    Even low doses of antibiotics affect the gut bacteria - short science news and articles

    Gut microbes are known to be extremely sensitive to even low doses of antibiotics and such low doses are routinely found in the environment. Using three-dimensional microscopy in transparent zebrafish, researchers found that exposure to ciprofloxacin dramatically affect the gut bacteria.

    Researchers found that in presence of the antibiotic, bacteria, which are usually fast swimming, develop sluggish behaviour and form aggregates. Further, bacteria that normally, aggregate in dense colonies, end up forming even larger colonies.

    This zebrafish model could help us provide a framework to understand the effects of antibiotics in both humans as well as animals.

    Read the full story: University of Oregon (via ScienceDaily)
    Scientific publication: PNAS


    Salamander-like powers in humans to regrow cartilage

    Health | Oct 11, 2019 | Kshitij Jadhav

    Human cartilage uses the same salamander like mechanism to regenerate tissue
    Salamander-like powers in humans to regrow cartilage - short science news and articles

    While it was always thought that humans cannot regrow tissue, researchers have recently discovered that human cartilage tissue has a repair mechanism similar to that seen in salamander.

    The cartilage tissue, especially in the ankle joint uses molecules called microRNAs which are the same molecules used for tissue regeneration in organisms like salamanders, lizards and zebrafish indicating that it is evolutionarily conserved across several species.

    This could form the basis of developing novel therapies for osteoarthritis which is the most common joint disorder in the world.

    Read the full story: Duke University
    Scientific publication: Science Advances


    Lithium-ion batteries power 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

    Technology | Oct 10, 2019 | Kshitij Jadhav

    A battery that could decrease fossil fuel use
    Lithium-ion batteries power 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry - short science news and articles

    The Lithium-ion battery, which is now a days used to power everything from cell phones to laptops as well as electric cars powered the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for this year.

    These batteries store sufficient energy from both solar and wind power making it possible to help our society to slowly move towards being fossil-fuel free.

    While Stanley Whittingham did the foundation work for these batteries in 1970, John Goodenough in 1980 increased its potential for changing the cathode used in the batteries. This spurred Akira Yoshino to release the first commercially viable lithium-ion battery in 1985. The prize was shared by the three laureates.

    Read the full story: The Nobel Prize


    Instead of buying ‘Green’, just buy Less

    Earth | Oct 09, 2019 | Kshitij Jadhav

    When LESS is MORE
    Instead of buying ‘Green’, just buy Less - short science news and articles

    One of the leading contributors towards global climate change is human overconsumption of resources making it imperative to understand consumer choices, which could affect the planet’s health in the long run.

    Individuals who reported lesser materialistic values resorted to decreased consumption, which also was linked to higher personal well-being as well as lesser psychological distress.

    On the other hand, ‘Green Buying’ even though had small environmental implications did not reduced consumption and also did not improve consumer well being. Thus having less and buying lesser could actually help both the planet and us.

    Read the full story: The University of Arizona (via ScienceDaily)
    Scientific publication: Young Consumers


    Nobel Prize for Physics 2019: Universe evolution and exoplanet discovery

    Space | Oct 09, 2019 | Kshitij Jadhav

    Cosmology and Exoplanets
    Nobel Prize for Physics 2019: Universe evolution and exoplanet discovery - short science news and articles

    James Peebles’ contribution to understanding the physical cosmology which spurred the research of the entire field over the last 50 years earned him the Nobel Prize for Physics this year. The theoretical framework which he developed in 1960 forms the basis of our current ideas of the universe.

    His models predicted that while only 5% of the Universe is matter such as Stars, planets etc, the rest 95% is an unknown dark matter and dark energy which continues to challenge modern physics.

    The other half of the Nobel Prize for Physics this year is shared by Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz who discovered the first exoplanet (planet outside our solar system). This discovery revolutionized astronomy and since then 4000 exoplanets have been found in our Milky Way.

    Read the full story: The Nobel Prize


    Nobel prize in Physiology (2019): identifying how cells sense changes in oxygen levels

    Health | Oct 08, 2019 | Kshitij Jadhav

    Elucidating the cellular adaptions triggered by oxygen variations
    Nobel prize in Physiology (2019): identifying how cells sense changes in oxygen levels - short science news and articles

    The 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology was awarded to Sir Peter Ratcliffe, Gregg Semenza and William Kaelin Jr, for their contributions towards identifying the molecular mechanisms involved in regulation of gene activity in response to variations in oxygen levels.

    While, Gregg Semesza studied the role of Erythropoietin, Willaim Kaelin and Peter Ratcliffe studied the role of VHL gene and Hypoxia-induced factor (HIF) and their role in response to oxygen variations.

    Their discoveries had wide effects in the field of medicine with applications found in the development of new strategies to treat anemia, cancer as well as several other conditions.

    Read the full story: The Nobel Prize


    Protecting transplanted brain cells from rejection without medication

    Mind and Brain | Oct 08, 2019 | Kshitij Jadhav

    Brain transplant cells could survive with immunosuppresion
    Protecting transplanted brain cells from rejection without medication - short science news and stories

    Researchers have developed a novel approach which bypasses the immune response to transplanted cells thereby facilitating their survival and protecting the brain tissue even without the use of immune-suppressing drugs which are routinely used after transplantation.

    Researchers blocked the stimulatory signals on the immune cells thereby eventually training the immune system to accept the transplanted cells as safe.

    While, this has been currently done in mice, a positive result gives significant hope for developing human therapies for the Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease in which the protective covering of the neurons (myelin) is not formed.

    Read the full story: John Hopkins University
    Scientific publication: Brain


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