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Month: July 2019

Maintaining healthy weight between early adulthood and middle age could help avoid

first_imgMay 23 2018New Study Suggests Nearly Two-Thirds of Diabetes Cases Could be Avoided if U.S. Adults Were to Maintain a Healthy Weight Between their mid-20s and 40s Young adults suffering from obesity who lose enough weight to no longer be considered obese before early middle age reduce their risk of developing diabetes by nearly 70 percent compared to those who remain obese over the same life interval, according to a new study in the journal Diabetes Care. The research was supported by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health and Ethicon, part of the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies.Based on their findings, researchers estimate that if all adults who were obese at age 25 were no longer so by the time they reached their forties or fifties, there would be 9.1 percent fewer cases of diabetes in the U.S over a 10-year period. Additionally, they say, if the total U.S. population did not have obesity during this stage of life, nearly two-thirds (64.2%) of new diabetes cases could be avoided.Related StoriesJohnson & Johnson Medical acquires EIT to enhance interbody implant portfolioAdvancing safety in healthcare productsBiosense Webster treats first patient in U.S. IDE study of HELIOSTAR RF Balloon Ablation Catheter“Younger Americans are at a high risk for developing diabetes later in life if they’re unable to prevent or overcome obesity,” said lead study author Andrew Stokes, Ph.D, an assistant professor at the Boston University School of Public Health. “The findings from this study underscore the importance of population-level approaches to the prevention and treatment of obesity and diabetes across the life course of individuals.”The study data was drawn from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. Respondents ages 40 to 74 were asked to recall their weight at age 25 and at 10 years prior to taking the survey, along with reporting their current weight and height. Individuals were then categorized into one of four groups: those who never became obese (stable non-obese), those who went from obese to non-obese (losing), those who gained weight and became obese (gaining), and those whose obesity remained stable (stable obese).The group at highest risk for diabetes were people who were obese throughout young adulthood and midlife, according to the study. Compared to this group, individuals who never had obesity reduced their risks of developing diabetes by 78 percent. Those who were obese in young adulthood but were not by midlife had a 67 percent lower risk.“This study demonstrates there is a window of opportunity between early adulthood and middle age to largely prevent one of the most serious consequences of obesity, and that’s diabetes,” said Robin Scamuffa, a study co-author and senior principal clinical scientist, Ethicon. “Obesity is a preventable cause of diabetes, and higher awareness of the long term risks of obesity is needed, particularly among younger people.”Source: https://www.ethicon.com/na/about-us/news-events/losing-weight-between-young-adulthood-and-middle-age-reduces-risklast_img read more

Study Broken shuttle protein may hinder learning in patients with brain disorders

first_imgJun 22 2018Unable to carry signals based on sights and sounds to the genes that record memories, a broken shuttle protein may hinder learning in patients with intellectual disability, schizophrenia, and autism.This is the implication of a study led by researchers at NYU School of Medicine and published online June 22 in Nature Communications.Specifically, the research team found that mice genetically engineered to lack the gene for the gamma-CaMKII shuttle protein took twice as long as normal mice to form a memory needed to complete a simple task.”Our study shows for the first time that gamma-CaMKII plays a critical role in learning and memory in live animals,” says Richard Tsien, PhD, chair of the Department of Neuroscience and Physiology and director of the Neuroscience Institute at NYU Langone Health.”Adding more weight to our results, we showed that making the same change in the shuttle’s structure seen in a human child with severe intellectual disability also took away the ability of mice to learn,” says Dr. Tsien, also the Druckenmiller Professor of Neuroscience. He says this result suggests that the shuttle works similarly in the two species.The research team then restored the learning ability by re-inserting the human version of the shuttle protein into mice.The current study revolves around the nerve cells that coordinate thought and memory. Each cell in a nerve pathway sends an electric pulse down its branches until it reaches a synapse, a gap between itself and the next cell in line. Signals that form memories start at synapses where sights and sounds trigger responses, and end when genes are turned on in the nuclei of nerve cells to make permanent, physical changes in their connections.When sensory information triggers known mechanisms near synapses, calcium is released into nerve cells, building up until it triggers chain reactions fine-tuned by partnering proteins like calmodulin or CaM, say the study authors. When calcium and CaM link up and arrive in a nerve cell’s nucleus, the compartment where genes operate, they set off reactions known to activate the protein CREB, which dials up the action of genes previously linked to memory formation.Missing LinkRelated StoriesStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsGoing into the study, a “missing link” in the field was an understanding of how synapses “talk to” nerve cell nuclei as memories form. In the current study, researchers determined for the first time that this communication occurs when gamma-CaMKII shuttles the calcium/calmodulin complexes that form just inside of nerve cells to their nuclei.Comparing spatial memory in mice without gamma-CaMKII to normal mice, the study authors found that gamma-CaMKII “knockout” mice were much less able to locate a platform hidden beneath the surface of murky water in a maze. During this exercise, normal mice quickly identify the platform’s location.The team also found that, an hour after maze training, normal mice displayed a significant increase in expression of three genes–BDNF, c-Fos, and Arc–known from past studies to help form long-term, spatial memories based on experiences. In contrast, training-induced increases in the expression of these genes did not occur in mice engineered to lack gamma-CaMKII.Along with removing the entire gene encoding gamma-CaMKII protein from some mice, a separate group of mice were engineered to have a version of the protein with a small change found by a 2012 study in a boy with severe intellectual disability. In the nerve cells of the boy, the protein building block at position 292 in the amino acid backbone of gamma-CaMKII, typically arginine, was occupied instead by a proline residue (R292P). The change rendered this protein a thousand times less able to trap the calcium-calmodulin complex, so it often arrived in nerve cell nuclei without its cargo.Next steps for the team include determining how gamma-CaMKII fits into a larger “feedback machine” of nerve cell circuitry published by Dr. Tsien and colleagues in the journal Neuron in 2016.”This learning machine, controlled by a key set of genes, senses nerve signaling levels and shapes sensory input into memories,” says Tsien. Experiments are planned to reveal more details about how the machine “copes with small flaws, including in those the gamma-CaMKII shuttle, but fails when too many problems build up in one or more of its components.” Source:https://nyulangone.org/last_img read more

Caspase2 enzyme inhibitor could provide effective way to stop aggressive fatty liver

first_img Source:https://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/pressrelease/caspase_2_enzyme_inhibition_shows_promise_for_ameliorating_fatty_liver_disease Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 14 2018Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered using mice and human clinical specimens, that caspase-2, a protein-cleaving enzyme, is a critical driver of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a chronic and aggressive liver condition. By identifying caspase-2’s critical role, they believe an inhibitor of this enzyme could provide an effective way to stop the pathogenic progression that leads to NASH — and possibly even reverse early symptoms.The findings are published in the September 13 online issue of Cell.”Our results show that caspase-2 is a critical mediator of NASH pathogenesis, not only in mice but probably in humans as well,” said Michael Karin, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “While explaining how NASH is initiated, our findings also offer a simple and effective way to treat or prevent this devastating disease.”NASH is the most aggressive form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which includes a spectrum of chronic liver diseases and has become a leading cause of liver transplants. The cause of both NAFLD and NASH remains a mystery, but researchers believe one factor that accelerates the progression of benign NAFLD to aggressive NASH is elevated endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, induced by protein misfolding within the liver. This results in excessive buildup of cholesterol and triglycerides in liver tissue.Applying this premise in mice, researchers first identified molecules involved in NASH pathogenesis by combining liver-specific ER stress and a high-fat diet to elicit NASH like disease, duplicating the cardinal features of human NASH, including fat accumulation in liver cells, liver damage, inflammation and scarring. Using this model, researchers found that the onset of NASH correlated with increased expression of caspase-2.In the next phase, Karin and team examined human liver specimens collected from patients with benign NAFLD or aggressive NASH to confirm caspase-2 expression was also elevated in humans. By knocking out the caspase-2 gene in mice subjected to liver ER stress and high-fat diet or treating the mice with a specific caspase-2 inhibitor, they found that caspase-2 was responsible for all aspects of NASH, including lipid droplet accumulation, liver damage, inflammation and scarring.Related StoriesLiver fat biomarker levels linked with metabolic health benefits of exercise, study findsResearchers pinpoint treatment target for rare liver cancer in adolescents, young adultsScientists develop new way to detect and switch off ticking time bomb of liver disease”We now know that by preventing caspase-2 expression or inhibiting its activity that biomarkers of NASH are mitigated,” said Juyoun Kim, PhD, senior fellow in the Karin laboratory and lead author. “This is exciting because now, we not only understand the role of caspase-2 in the disease, but also have a new avenue to find a potential drug treatment.”Through this study, Karin and team also discovered that caspase-2 has a critical role in activating SREBP1 and 2 — the master regulators of lipogenesis, a process that takes place in the liver where nutrients like carbohydrates are turned into fatty acids, triglycerides and cholesterol. Caspase-2 was found to control SREBP1 and 2 activation by cleaving another protein called site-1 protease.”In NASH-free individuals, the activities of SREBP1 and SREBP2 are kept under control, which is essential for preventing excessive lipid accumulation in the liver,” said Karin. “However, in NASH patients, something goes awry and the liver continues to turn out excess amounts of triglycerides and cholesterol. This correlates with elevated SREBP1 and SREBP2 activities and increased caspase-2 expression.”Moving forward, Karin and team would like to embark on development of more effective drug-like caspase-2 inhibitors that could be used for NASH prevention, and ultimately provide a treatment option.”This study was a great step forward in being able to understand the causes, and explore possible new treatments for patients with NASH and NAFLD,” said co-author Rohit Loomba, MD, director of the UC San Diego NAFLD Research Center and director of hepatology at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “It is our hope to eventually translate and validate these study results using a much larger cohort of human subjects.””This study was a great step forward in being able to understand the causes, and explore possible new treatments for patients with NASH and NAFLD,” said co-author Rohit Loomba, MD, director of the UC San Diego NAFLD Research Center and director of hepatology at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “It is our hope to eventually translate and validate these study results using a much larger cohort of human subjects.”last_img read more

UK researcher details proposal for CRISPR editing of human embryos

first_imgThis past September, when Niakan applied to the United Kingdom’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) for a renewal of her license to conduct research on human embryos, she proposed to extend her work to include CRISPR editing. She hopes CRISPR will reduce the number of embryos required for her research, she said at the press conference; in several organisms, CRISPR has been shown to have higher efficiency compared with other approaches. Niakan believes her team would able to successfully edit up to eight out of 10 embryos using CRISPR. “If we start off with good quality zygotes, this is likely to work efficiently,” she said.As a pilot project, Niakan plans to knock out OCT4, a gene that is turned on in embryonic stem cells in both humans and mice. Researchers think that OCT4 is important for pluripotent cells, which can ultimately become any type of tissue. A way to test this idea is to knock out the gene when the embryo is 1 day old and still a single cell. The prediction, based on studies in mice, is that human embryos will continue to develop, but without pluripotent cells.Niakan will then look at less well-known genes that may be crucial for early development of human embryos. Unlike OCT4, these genes can only be studied in human embryos because they are not expressed the same way, or at all, in mouse embryos or immortalized lines of human stem cells, says her colleague Robin Lovell-Badge, also at the Crick Institute. The application contains a request to further study two or three such genes, Niakan said, depending on how many embryos will be available. The research would likely require 20 to 30 embryos per gene.Niakan did not express any opinions at the press conference about the merits or dangers of one day using CRISPR or other techniques for gene therapy of infertility. “At the moment it’s very important to continue the ethical discussions,” she said. But after several questions about potential outcomes of such early research, Niakan did “wildly speculate” that, if certain genes are found to be particularly important for development, one eventual approach might be to check during IVF whether eggs were making the proteins encoded by those genes, and if not, then add them to culture media. But the immediate goal of the research is far more basic: Understand what genes do in blastocysts.If HFEA approves the application, Niakan hopes to start research within months. The project would also need to be approved by the U.K. equivalent of an institutional review board.In a statement about the application, Hugh Whittall, director of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics here noted: “The changes to DNA made for the purposes of this research could not themselves be used as part of a treatment procedure. There are, however, possible future scenarios in which a modification made in a research context—for example to correct a disease-causing genetic mutation—could, if this were to become permissible, be used in a treatment that would result in the birth of a child. Such research, which could also be licensed under current legislation, would raise a number of significant questions that should be addressed before any such work is undertaken, including about whether, and under what circumstances, a move into treatment (which would require new legislation to be permissible in the U.K.) could be desirable.” Email Researchers have already identified several thousand genes that are active in the early embryo. To find out what these genes do, and which ones are master regulators of development, researchers have several approaches, including deactivating embryonic genes in mice. But only one group of researchers, in Guangzhou, China, has published a paper describing attempts to use this technique in human embryos. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country LONDON—The hottest technique in gene editing, called CRISPR, could soon be used to study human embryos. On 14 January, a regulatory committee in the United Kingdom will evaluate a request to knock out development genes in day-old embryos. In a press conference today, Kathy Niakan, a researcher at the Francis Crick Institute here, discussed the rationale behind her proposed project and the hope that this line of inquiry might one day improve treatments for infertility.Niakan studies how the single cell of a fertilized egg turns into a blastocyst, the approximately 5-day-old structure that subsequently implants in the mother’s uterus. The blastocyst contains several types of cells. Those destined to become the fetus are called epiblast progenitor cells. They are surrounded by two other types of cells, which become the placenta and another structure, the yolk sac. Niakan’s research uses human embryos, created in fertility clinics, that are left over from in vitro fertilization (IVF) attempts and donated for research. After being studied, the embryos are destroyed when they are 7 days old.last_img read more

Surprisingly few new parents enlist in study to have babys genome sequenced

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The BabySeq team is analyzing the newborn’s protein-coding DNA for mutations in roughly 7000 genes implicated in childhood diseases or drug metabolism. Yet the parents of only 24 of 345 sick babies in neonatal intense care, and 138 of 2062 healthy babies, have agreed to join BabySeq, Green is reporting today at the American Society of Human Genetics’s (ASHG’s) annual meeting in Vancouver, Canada.Many who declined cited logistics: They were apparently put off by having to return to the hospital with their newborns to discuss the sequencing results. Others who met with a genetic counselor before being invited to join the study had concerns such as privacy, receiving negative or unclear results, and insurance discrimination. Although U.S. federal law prohibits health insurers from denying coverage based on genetic data, the children could be denied life, disability, or long-term care insurance. “A lot of that is literally 50 years in the future and they are concerned,” Green says. Yet another factor may be that the Boston group approaches parents soon after their babies are born, when they may be overwhelmed, says geneticist Cynthia Powell at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Her newborn sequencing study, part of the NIH-funded quartet, enlists many parents during prenatal clinical visits. Although that study only began in April, so far more than half the 50 or so families approached have agreed to participate, she says. (The other two NIH studies are further along—one focuses only on sequencing very sick newborns, whereas the second is mainly examining the DNA in archived bloodspots.)Only a few newborns tested so far in BabySeq carry mutations in genes expected to make them sick, Green says. At least two have inherited mutations implicated in heart disease but no signs of illness in the parents or child; Green’s team plans to study whether knowing about such mutations is beneficial for the family in the long run, or results in unnecessary anxiety and tests. Another baby had mutations that can cause an enzyme deficiency; and although asymptomatic, the baby has slightly below normal levels of the enzyme and is being treated. And a fifth child carried a mutation in the BRCA2 gene, which is linked to breast cancer. Green’s team initially did not plan to tell families about mutations linked to adult-onset diseases but asked the study’s ethics board whether they could disclose the BRCA2 result. The mother “was obviously concerned but grateful,” Green says. ASHG has taken the position that only newborns with undiagnosed illnesses should undergo genome sequencing—and even then, analyzing only genes likely to explain the disorder may be preferable. Making genome sequencing part of routine newborn screening is “a dreadful idea,” says pediatrician and ethicist Jeffrey Botkin of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.Genomics policy expert Misha Angrist of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, thinks the appeal may grow. BabySeq is “an important proof of concept,” he says. “These are still very early days—if more people do this and the discrimination and confidentiality risks do not materialize, then presumably more people will choose newborn sequencing.” Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img Email One of the first studies to explore the idea of routinely sequencing the genes of newborns to help guide their health care has run into an unexpected road bump: Few parents approached are interested in having their baby’s genome profiled.When Robert Green, a geneticist at the Harvard University–affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and co-workers began planning to sequence babies about 4 years ago, they surveyed more than 500 parents of healthy newborns. Nearly half declared they would be “very” or “extremely” interested and another 37% said “somewhat.” But since their actual BabySeq Project began last year in May, only about 7% of more than 2400 couples approached so far have agreed to participate, says Green, who co-leads BabySeq with Alan Beggs of Boston Children’s Hospital. That “very surprising” figure is the same both for parents of very sick infants and those with healthy babies, he adds.BabySeq is one of four projects funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) 3 years ago to probe the risks and benefits of sequencing newborns’ DNA and compare the results to conventional newborn disease screening using biochemical analysis of blood spots. These studies got a slow start because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration decided some of the genome tests had to go through regulatory review.last_img read more

Top astronomer on the challenges of building the worlds largest telescope and

first_img ROMAN G. AGUILERA/EFE/Newscom Top astronomer on the challenges of building the world’s largest telescope, and what’s next Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Daniel ClerySep. 15, 2017 , 12:15 PM Emailcenter_img Meanwhile, ESO’s current main facility, the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at Cerro Paranal in Chile, continues to be the world’s most productive ground-based instrument, and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), a new radio observatory built jointly with North American and East Asian countries, is opening up this previously little-studied window on the universe. Barcons spoke with ScienceInsider by phone from his office at ESO headquarters in Garching, Germany. His responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.Q: What is happening at the E-ELT site in Cerro Paranal right now? A: In the past few months we handed over the mountain to the construction company that will build the E-ELT structure. Earlier a road was built and the top was flattened and a power line to the Chilean grid was installed. We’re now well placed for construction. There is a lot going on in industry, too, starting the fabrication of mirror segments and instruments.Q: What are the prospects for finding extra funding so that the second phase of construction can be completed? A: We’re looking for options. We could expand the number of member states [now 15 European nations plus Chile]; we’re actively discussing with two European countries and have signed a cooperation agreement with Australia. Australia will only be part of VLT but it will help with our finances. We wish Australia would become a member state. It has so much to offer; its astronomical community is very skilled. It’s a win-win situation. We’re also exploring other options: reducing costs, finding synergies.Of the several items in phase II, the most critical is completing the mirror. Although it will retain its 39-meter outer diameter, phase one will leave a hole in the middle. In June the council approved design work for the full mirror and we’re hoping for authorization to build it. We need to make that happen. Of the other items [in phase two], none are time critical at the moment. They’re modular, we can decide later.Q: Originally, Brazil joining ESO was to have provided the necessary E-ELT funding. Are there any signs of that happening?  A: The Brazilian parliament ratified the [accession] treaty in 2015. The procedure is completed. It’s up to the government to decide when to implement it. I haven’t seen much progress recently but it’s at the top of my list to conclude this process in the near future. No projects depend on it happening.Q: With facilities getting increasingly large and expensive, might ESO collaborate again globally as it did with ALMA?A: That could be possible for some projects. I’m extremely proud of ALMA. It’s a really unique machine and we couldn’t have done it alone and neither could the other partners. I’m sure there will be opportunities to collaborate on other projects but we’re very busy, we can’t start any new significant opportunities until E-ELT is well underway.Q: One of E-ELT’s rivals, the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), is struggling to secure its site on Mauna Kea in Hawaii because of local opposition. If the project collapses, what impact will the absence of a giant telescope in the Northern Hemisphere have for astronomy? A: It would not be a catastrophe; we only have ALMA in the south. But it would be much better to have two in the south [E-ELT and the Giant Magellan Telescope] and one in the north, in Hawaii or elsewhere. [The TMT has identified the Canary Islands as a possible alternative.] We’ve offered all possible help to assist [the TMT] to make it become a reality. But purely from a scientific point of view, it’s better to have north and south coverage.Q: After E-ELT, what’s next for ESO?A: I don’t know at the moment, although astronomers dream about this night and day. There are some ideas on the table, including a reasonably sized spectroscopic telescope, a large submillimeter antenna to supplement ALMA, and maybe an expansion of the VLT interferometer. We have no opportunity to start anything in the near future, but I’m sure there will be a good battery of proposals when the time comes. New ESO chief Xavier Barcons (above) takes over from Tim de Zeeuw after a 10-year term. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Spanish astronomer Xavier Barcons took over the reins this month of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the world’s foremost international astronomy organization. It is currently building the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), destined to be the world’s largest when completed in 2024.In the 1980s Barcons set up the first x-ray astronomy group in Spain at the University of Cantabria. He is a specialist on active galactic nuclei, superbright galactic cores thought to be caused by giant black holes sucking in and heating up quantities of gas and dust. To study them, he’s been heavily involved in European x-ray space telescopes such as XMM-Newton and the forthcoming Athena, due for launch in 2028. Barcons has also worked at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, Spain’s Council for Scientific Research, and served as chair of ESO’s council from 2012 to 2014.He joins ESO in a period of high activity as the organization embarks on the E-ELT, its biggest project so far. But a shadow hangs over the €1.1 billion facility: Because of a shortfall in funding, the ESO council has only approved a first phase of construction, which will produce a working telescope but with certain desired components delayed until extra funding can be found. Those components include 210 of the 798 segments that make up the 39-meter main mirror, back-up mirror segments, some lasers for the adaptive optics system, and a few instrument components. last_img read more

Firstofitskind clinical trial will use reprogrammed adult stem cells to treat Parkinsons

first_imgJun Takahashi (left) and colleagues explained their plans for a trial in Parkinson’s disease patients at a press conference at Kyoto University in Japan today. Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) First-of-its-kind clinical trial will use reprogrammed adult stem cells to treat Parkinson’s The Yomiuri Shimbun/AP Images center_img Studies in animals have shown that the progenitors differentiate into dopaminergic neurons inside the body and engraft into the brain. Takahashi’s group reported last year that monkey models of Parkinson’s disease showed significant improvement lasting 2 years after getting injections of neurons prepared from human iPS cells.Rather than make patient-specific iPS cells, CiRA has adopted the strategy of deriving stocks of iPS cells from healthy donors with specific cell types that are less likely to cause immune rejection. “Using stocks of cells, we can proceed much more quickly and cost-effectively,” CiRA Director Shinya Yamanaka, who won a share of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2012 for discovering how to create iPS cells, told Science in 2017. As an added precaution, the patients will receive a common immunosuppressant in tandem with the progenitors.Patient recruitment started today at 5 p.m. local time, when Kyoto University Hospital posted the patient recruitment notice on its website. The team plans to recruit seven patients and follow them for 2 years postinjection.This is the third human trial using iPS cells approved in Japan. The first, using retinal cells derived from iPS cells to replace eye tissue damaged by age-related macular degeneration (AMD), was launched in 2014 and is being led by Masayo Takahashi—Jun Takahashi’s wife—of the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe. The AMD treatment was initially reported to be safe, though there has been one reported adverse event. Earlier this year, a team at Osaka University in Japan won conditional approval for an iPS cell–based study for ischemic heart disease. By Dennis NormileJul. 30, 2018 , 3:35 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Researchers in Japan today announced the launch of a clinical trial to treat Parkinson’s disease with neurological material derived from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, mature cells chemically manipulated to return to an early stage of development from which they can theoretically differentiate into any of the body’s specialized cells.The study team will inject dopaminergic progenitors, a cell type that develops into neurons that produce dopamine, directly into a region of the brain known to play a key role in the neural degeneration associated with Parkinson’s disease. The effort is being led by Jun Takahashi, a neurosurgeon at Kyoto University’s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), in cooperation with Kyoto University Hospital.Parkinson’s disease results from the death of specialized cells in the brain that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. A lack of dopamine leads to a decline in motor skills, resulting in difficulty walking and involuntary trembling. As the disease progresses it can lead to dementia. The trial strategy is to derive dopaminergic progenitors from iPS cells and inject them into the putamen, a round structure located at the base of the forebrain. Surgeons will drill two small holes through a patient’s skull and use a specialized device to inject roughly 5 million cells.last_img read more

How the house sparrow made its home with humans

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Misja Smits/Minden Pictures How the house sparrow made its home with humans House sparrows are everywhere humans are. But despite their suggestive species name, Passer domesticus, they aren’t officially domesticated. The bold, tiny, gray-and-brown birds are found on every continent except Antarctica, hopping around cities, pecking at leftover food on sidewalks, and sometimes chasing away native bird species. A new study suggests how these ubiquitous avians have adapted to living alongside humans: The evolutionary process of natural selection may have favored genetic changes that altered their skull shape and allowed them to digest starch—similar to domesticated animals like dogs.The house sparrow’s friendly behavior is legendary, with references cropping up in the Bible, early Chinese poetry, and Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. But no one really knew what set them apart from the other wild members of the sparrow family, which tend to be skittish around humans.Looking for a genetic explanation, Mark Ravinet, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Oslo, and colleagues caught dozens of sparrows at sites across Europe and the Middle East. They set up mist nets—long, billowing strands of mesh that harmlessly trapped the birds as they flew inside—measured and tagged the birds, drew blood samples, and then released them. The team collected information on four of the major Eurasian species: 46 house sparrows, 43 Spanish sparrows, 31 Italian sparrows, and 19 Bactrianus sparrows. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Back in the lab, they sequenced the birds’ DNA. When they compared genetic sequences of house sparrows and their most closely related wild cousin, the Bactrianus, the group found that many regions of the house sparrow’s genome appeared to have undergone positive selection since the two species split, meaning certain gene variations within those spots likely helped the birds thrive alongside humans. As soon as he saw the results, Ravinet recalls, he leapt up and down in his office. But he says he didn’t tell anyone until he had “triple-checked all the calculations.”The most significant sign of positive selection in the birds’ DNA was found in a region with two known genes: one linked to skull development and another that helps create the enzyme amylase, which helps break down starch in humans, dogs, and other animals. Changes to both genes might have helped the house sparrows eat human-cultivated foods, the team proposes this month in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.The house sparrow could carry more copies or a different copy of the skull shape gene and the amylase gene, Ravinet says. His team plans to more closely study the variations in both genes, as it’s not clear yet how these genes have altered the birds’ appearances and behavior. Another next step, Ravinet says, is to examine the house sparrows’ diets and see whether any changes to the skull increased bite force, which would have helped the birds chomp into the hardier seeds that littered human farms.The analysis also suggests the house and Bactrianus sparrows diverged from each other about 11,000 years ago, at the beginning of the Neolithic Revolution, when agriculture was first developed in the Middle East.Evolutionary biologist Samuel Andrew, who studies sparrows at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, says the work is an exciting new step for bird researchers that could answer many questions about how sparrow species diverged to adapt to their different niches. But he and Ravinet agree there may be changes to other genes that were missed in this initial analysis, yet still helped the birds take advantage of humans.“If you live in a major city, there’s way more animals around you than you realize,” Ravinet says. “They have a history and a story to tell. We’ve changed their histories. I think that’s just something that’s quite profound really.”center_img The house sparrow’s closeness to humans might have changed its genes, giving it a larger beak and a tolerance for a starchy diet. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Frankie SchembriAug. 24, 2018 , 1:20 PM Emaillast_img read more

Chemists find a recipe that may have jumpstarted life on Earth

first_imgCarell’s story starts with only six molecular building blocks—oxygen, nitrogen, methane, ammonia, water, and hydrogen cyanide, all of which would have been present on early Earth. Other research groups had shown that these molecules could react to form somewhat more complex compounds than the ones Carell used.To make the pyrimidines, Carell started with compounds called cyanoacetylene and hydroxylamine, which react to form compounds called amino-isoxazoles. These, in turn, react with another simple molecule, urea, to form compounds that then react with a sugar called ribose to make one last set of intermediate compounds.Finally, in the presence of sulfur-containing compounds called thiols and trace amounts of iron or nickel salts, these intermediates transform into the pyrimidines cytosine and uracil. As a bonus, this last reaction is triggered when the metals in the salts harbor extra positive charges, which is precisely what occurs in the final step in a similar molecular cascade that produces the purines, adenine and guanine. Even better, the step that leads to all four nucleotides works in one pot, Carell says, offering for the first time a plausible explanation of how all of RNA’s building blocks could have arisen side by side.“It looks pretty good to me,” says Steven Benner, a chemist with the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution in Alachua, Florida. The process provides a simple way to produce all four bases under conditions consistent with those believed present on early Earth, he says.The process doesn’t solve all of RNA’s mysteries. For example, another chemical step still needs to “activate” each of RNA’s four building blocks to link them into the long chains that form genetic material and carry out chemical reactions. But making RNA under conditions like those present on early Earth now appears within reach. New research spells out the simple chemical steps that may have launched the RNA World. Chemists find a recipe that may have jump-started life on Earth ATLANTA—In the molecular dance that gave birth to life on Earth, RNA appears to be a central player. But the origins of the molecule, which can store genetic information as DNA does and speed chemical reactions as proteins do, remain a mystery. Now, a team of researchers has shown for the first time that a set of simple starting materials, which were likely present on early Earth, can produce all four of RNA’s chemical building blocks.Those building blocks—cytosine, uracil, adenine, and guanine—have previously been re-created in the lab from other starting materials. In 2009, chemists led by John Sutherland at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom devised a set of five compounds likely present on early Earth that could give rise to cytosine and uracil, collectively known as pyrimidines. Then, 2 years ago, researchers led by Thomas Carell, a chemist at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany, reported that his team had an equally easy way to form adenine and guanine, the building blocks known as purines. But the two sets of chemical reactions were different. No one knew how the conditions for making both pairs of building blocks could have occurred in the same place at the same time.Now, Carell says he may have the answer. On Tuesday, at the Origins of Life Workshop here, he reported that he and his colleagues have come up with a simple set of reactions that could have given rise to all four RNA bases. By Robert F. ServiceOct. 18, 2018 , 1:55 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Mark Garlick/Science Source last_img read more

Choose your 2018 Breakthrough of the Year

first_img 14% Neutrinos from a blazing galaxy Thank You for Voting! Scroll up to see current voting results. Be sure to check back on Thursday, 6 December, when we’ll start a second round of voting with your top four picks. Read More Ice age impact #MeToo makes a difference Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) 20% Rapid chemical structures Read More Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country It’s that time of the year again: Science’s reporters and editors are homing in on the Breakthrough of the Year, our choice of the most significant scientific discovery, development, or trend in 2018. That selection, along with nine runners-up, will be announced when the last issue of the year goes online on 20 December.You can get in on the action! Pick your favorite breakthrough from the candidates below by Wednesday, 5 December. Then check back on Thursday, 6 December, when we will start a second round of voting with your four top picks. We will announce the winner—the People’s Choice—along with Science’s choice on 20 December.Cast your vote today! By Science News StaffNov. 28, 2018 , 9:00 AM 00 Days Voting ends on Thursday, 6 December. Thank You for Voting! Thanks for voting! Scroll down to see current voting results. 6% Submit Vote 10% 00 Hours Read More Sort by ranking How cells marshal their contents Read More Vote for your Breakthrough of the Year 2018! Email An astronomical data trove An ancient human hybrid 500-million-year-old animals Read More An RNA drug enters the clinic Forensic genealogy comes of age Voting has not started. Voting begins Wednesday, 28 November Development cell by cell 22% Time is running out. Vote Now! Scroll down to see final results. 2% 2% Read More 00 Seconds Editor’s note: We originally included the claim of gene-edited babies as a candidate; we have since removed it to avoid giving the mistaken impression that Science endorses this ethically fraught work. 4% Read More Read More Read More 6% Choose your 2018 Breakthrough of the Year! Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe 2% Read More 8% Read More 5% Read More Fly brain revealed 00 Minuteslast_img read more

New neurons for life Old people can still make fresh brain cells

first_img New neurons for life? Old people can still make fresh brain cells, study finds By Emily UnderwoodMar. 25, 2019 , 12:00 PM Email LlorensLab Young neurons glow red in this brain tissue from a 68-year-old. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img One of the thorniest debates in neuroscience is whether people can make new neurons after their brains stop developing in adolescence—a process known as neurogenesis. Now, a new study finds that even people long past middle age can make fresh brain cells, and that past studies that failed to spot these newcomers may have used flawed methods.The work “provides clear, definitive evidence that neurogenesis persists throughout life,” says Paul Frankland, a neuroscientist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. “For me, this puts the issue to bed.”Researchers have long hoped that neurogenesis could help treat brain disorders like depression and Alzheimer’s disease. But last year, a study in Nature reported that the process peters out by adolescence, contradicting previous work that had found newborn neurons in older people using a variety of methods. The finding was deflating for neuroscientists like Frankland, who studies adult neurogenesis in the rodent hippocampus, a brain region involved in learning and memory. It “raised questions about the relevance of our work,” he says. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country But there may have been problems with some of this earlier research. Last year’s Nature study, for example, looked for new neurons in 59 samples of human brain tissue, some of which came from brain banks where samples are often immersed in the fixative paraformaldehyde for months or even years. Over time, paraformaldehyde forms bonds between the components that make up neurons, turning the cells into a gel, says neuroscientist María Llorens-Martín of the Severo Ochoa Molecular Biology Center in Madrid. This makes it difficult for fluorescent antibodies to bind to the doublecortin (DCX) protein, which many scientists consider the “gold standard” marker of immature neurons, she says.The number of cells that test positive for DCX in brain tissue declines sharply after just 48 hours in a paraformaldehyde bath, Llorens-Martín and her colleagues report today in Nature Medicine. After 6 months, detecting new neurons “is almost impossible,” she says.When the researchers used a shorter fixation time—24 hours—to preserve donated brain tissue from 13 deceased adults, ranging in age from 43 to 87, they found tens of thousands of DCX-positive cells in the dentate gyrus, a curled sliver of tissue within the hippocampus that encodes memories of events. Under a microscope, the neurons had hallmarks of youth, Llorens-Martín says: smooth and plump, with simple, undeveloped branches.In the sample from the youngest donor, who died at 43, the team found roughly 42,000 immature neurons per square millimeter of brain tissue. From the youngest to oldest donors, the number of apparent new neurons decreased by 30%—a trend that fits with previous studies in humans showing that adult neurogenesis declines with age. The team also showed that people with Alzheimer’s disease had 30% fewer immature neurons than healthy donors of the same age, and the more advanced the dementia, the fewer such cells.Some scientists remain skeptical, including the authors of last year’s Nature paper. “While this study contains valuable data, we did not find the evidence for ongoing production of new neurons in the adult human hippocampus convincing,” says Shawn Sorrells, a neuroscientist at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania who co-authored the 2018 paper. One critique hinges on the DCX stain, which Sorrells says isn’t an adequate measure of young neurons because the DCX protein is also expressed in mature cells. That suggests the “new” neurons the team found were actually present since childhood, he says. The new study also found no evidence of pools of stem cells that could supply fresh neurons, he notes. What’s more, Sorrells says two of the brain samples he and his colleagues looked at were only fixed for 5 hours, yet they still couldn’t find evidence of young neurons in the hippocampus.Llorens-Martín says her team used multiple other proteins associated with neuronal development to confirm that the DCX-positive cells were actually young, and were “very strict,” in their criteria for identifying young neurons.Heather Cameron, a neuroscientist at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, remains persuaded by the new work. Based on the “beauty of the data” in the new study, “I think we can all move forward pretty confidently in the knowledge that what we see in animals will be applicable in humans, she says. “Will this settle the debate? I’m not sure. Should it? Yes.” Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwelast_img read more

Podcast Probing the secrets of the feline mind and how Uber and

first_imgThomas Hawk/Flickr Dog cognition and social behavior have hogged the scientific limelight for years—showing in study after study that canines have social skills essential to their relationships with people. Cats, not so much. These often-fractious felines tend to balk at strange situations—be they laboratories, MRI machines, or even a slightly noisy fan. Online News Editor David Grimm joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss several brave research labs that have started to work with cats on their terms in order to show they have social smarts comparable to dogs. So far, the results suggest that despite their different ancestors and paths to domestication, cats and dogs have a lot more in common then we previously thought.Also this week, host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Greg Erhardt, assistant professor of civil engineering at University of Kentucky in Lexington about the effect of ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft on traffic in San Francisco, California. His group’s work showed that when comparing 2010 and 2016 traffic, these services contributed significantly to increases in congestion in a large growing city like San Francisco, but questions still remain about how much can be generalized to other cities or lower density areas.This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.Download the transcript (PDF) Ads on this show: KiwiCoListen to previous podcasts.About the Science Podcast[Image: Thomas Hawk/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]last_img read more

How HIVAIDS ended up in Trumps State of the Union speech

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country How HIV/AIDS ended up in Trump’s State of the Union speech Doug Mills/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The people who planted the seed that led President Donald Trump to announce a new agenda to end AIDS in his State of the Union address yesterday had no notion that their idea would receive this kind of prime-time attention.Last summer, a few months after taking the helm of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta in April 2018, Robert Redfield met with Anthony Fauci, who heads the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland. One topic of discussion was their vision of how to better coordinate the federal government’s response to the country’s HIV/AIDS epidemic and to help bring it to an end. “We got together and said this can work, let’s start pushing it,” Fauci tells ScienceInsider.About 2 months ago, Fauci and Redfield took their idea to their boss, Alex Azar, who leads the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in Washington D.C., and his top deputy, Brett Giroir. “Alex really, really liked it,” Fauci says. “He said, ‘I think we can bring this to the president.’ We said, ‘Wow, wouldn’t that be interesting.’ The president was very excited about it and said, ‘Let’s do it.’” (Fauci, incidentally, says he has developed friendships with all five previous presidents, but has yet to meet Trump.) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img By Jon CohenFeb. 6, 2019 , 5:05 PM Trump devoted 63 words to the topic in his speech, which left many unanswered questions about what, exactly, the administration plans to do, how much it will cost, and where the money will come from. But this morning, Fauci, Redfield, Giroir, and other health officials took part in a press briefing to better explain their vision.The push to end AIDS in the United States will concentrate on improving diagnosis, treatment, and prevention efforts in 48 counties; Washington, D.C.; and one municipality in Puerto Rico; those locations account for more than half of the nearly 40,000 new HIV diagnoses each year. “When we originally did this [analysis] and I saw the map of those counties I was shocked that it was only 48 counties out of over 3000 counties in the United States,” said Redfield, who described the new program as “laser focused.” They also will target seven states that account for the majority of infections in rural populations, including Native American communities that have had sharp increases in HIV diagnoses in men who have sex with men.Fauci acknowledges that even before he met with Redfield, many of the specifics of the plan “were floating around in a very similar way.” Indeed, a similar vision is spelled out in detail in National HIV/AIDS Strategy reports issued during the administration of former President Barack Obama. CDC reports have also documented the hot spots for years. And those maps have helped clarify the problem, Fauci notes. “There’s nothing like, ‘Holy mackerel, there are a lot of infections in this district!’” he says. But he says there’s never been “a concerted, multiagency effort” to address gaps in the federal response with a target date to “end the epidemic as we know it.”The goal of the new program is to reduce new infections by 75% in 5 years, and by 90% in 10 years. “HIV has cost America too much for too long,” says Giroir, HHS’s assistant secretary of health, who noted that 700,000 Americans have died from AIDS.Girior won’t specify how much money the initiative would cost, but says Trump’s budget request, expected next month, will ask Congress for new funding. They do not plan to take it from existing HHS programs. “We are very confident we will have the sufficient resources provided in the 2020 budget for us to begin this very aggressive plan,” he says. (Congress will have the final say on any spending.)Fauci said a key part of the plan is to better coordinate the contributions of 19 Centers for AIDS Research (CFARs) that together receive $45 million a year from the National Institutes of Health. The CFARs, mainly based at universities, conduct multidisciplinary studies on everything from epidemiology to behavioral research and “implementation” science that looks at how best to keep HIV-infected people in care and help uninfected access proven interventions. “The location of the 19 CFARs beautifully overlap—although not completely—with the hot spots,” Fauci says. The CFARs have strong ties to their communities, he says, and they can better coordinate how they work together.Michael Saag, director of the CFAR at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, welcomes the new initiative and says his counterparts around the country have much to learn from one another and from international efforts. “The CFARs are beginning to form a larger, national group effort to share best practices and ways forward,” Saag says. Douglas Richman, who leads the CFAR at the University of California, San Diego, notes that clinics at CFAR sites often do a good job of providing testing and access to convenient care, but says the “practical issue” is how to reach vulnerable and uninsured people who now are outside the system.Several advocacy groups have welcomed the push to end AIDS by 2030 in the United States, but they also have raised serious concerns about the Trump administration’s treatment of many of the communities most vulnerable to HIV infection. As the International AIDS Society in Geneva, Switzerland, cautioned in a statement: “We must also acknowledge that this announcement is inconsistent with the policies and rhetoric that directly attack trans people and the larger LGBTQ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning] community, people who inject drugs, people of colour, refugees, sex workers and women’s rights.”Redfield stresses that leaders recognize the epidemic is concentrated in vulnerable communities. “Stigma is the enemy of public health,” says Redfield, adding that transgender people and injecting drug users, in particular, have suffered. “We need to be able to address in a comprehensive way how to destigmatize HIV infection.”The new plan will put much emphasis on offering anti-HIV drugs to uninfected people as part of a proven strategy called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP. Giroir says 1.2 million Americans are at high risk of HIV infection and candidates for PrEP, but only 10% receive it. “It’s an astounding and shocking figure that so few are getting an indicated medication, but [it’s] a tremendous opportunity for us to expand the program,” Giroir says. And he says models show that if 60% of these people use PrEP, new infections will drop by 90%.Giroir urges Congress to support the plan. “This is a public health issue,” he says. “Everybody should be behind this.” Email President Donald Trump announced an initiative to end HIV/AIDS in the United States during his State of the Union address.last_img read more

Petrified Forest in winter

first_imgPetrified Forest in winter RelatedSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad January 23, 2019center_img Photo courtesy of the Petrified Forest National ParkThe breathlessly beautiful Petrified Forest National Park, a destination for many travelers, is currently closed due to the federal government shutdown. The shutdown has left many employees of the park and their federally funded partners without work until the government reopens.last_img

IndianAmerican motel owner thought she was not going to survive the 71

first_img Advertising california earthquake, south california earthquake, earthquake in california, earthquake in south california, south california, world news, Indian Express Items are scattered around a kitchen Saturday following an earthquake in Ridgecrest, California. (AP)As a powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake rocked buildings across southern California, an Indian-American owner of a motel in Ridgecrest town Friday said she thought they were not going to survive as the whole roof of the building would collapse on her and the guests. Advertising 4.8-magnitude earthquake rattles California’s Sierra Nevada The latest 7.1-magnitude earthquake was the mainshock, while Thursday’s 6.4-magnitude quake was a foreshock, Jones said. She said Friday’s earthquake was 10 times stronger than the one a day prior.Miller said it released more than 11 times the amount of energy than the 6.4 one.Officials are not ruling out the possibilities of more earthquakes. California Governor Gavin Newsom said he has activated the state emergency operation centre to its highest level.“The state is coordinating mutual aid to local first responders,” he tweeted. The latest earthquake on Friday struck 18 kilometres northeast of Ridgecrest, according to the US Geological Survey. It was five times bigger than Thursday’s 6.4 -magnitude earthquake, which was also centred near Ridgecrest, US media reported.Speaking to CNN, Pinky Panchal and Niket Aggarwal, who own Super 8 motel in Ridgecrest city said, “I was checking a customer in and I was at the front desk and we had this little shake at 8:05 so went out, we went back in and right after that what we saw was massive.“It was the first time I experienced something like this. As such the whole building was going to collapse… people ran out on the road. The sound of an earthquake, the whole building was shaking and I felt like the whole roof was going to fall down and it was bad, it was really bad what we experienced, yesterday….,” she said. In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief Related News Karnataka: SC to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook center_img Post Comment(s) By PTI |Los Angeles | Published: July 6, 2019 3:13:58 pm Californians’ alert apps didn’t sound for two big earthquakes. Why not? Best Of Express Magnitude 4.4 earthquake shakes Southern California suburbs “I just started crying, I just felt whether we are going to survive this or not, and then like every moment I was feeling that it was and we just ran to the Super 8 sign. We and other guests just held each other tight we were waiting for the shakes to stop,” Pinky said.In Los Angeles, about 240 kilometres away from Ridgecrest, residents felt the earth shake, but there were no reports of serious damage, Mayor Eric Garcetti said.There were some wires down and localised power outages, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said. It said there was no major infrastructure damage, no deaths and no serious injuries reported.California Institute of Technology seismologist Lucy Jones said Friday that both earthquakes are part of an ongoing sequence, of a “very energetic system.” NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home last_img read more

Trump threatens veto of House defense bill over spending levels wall

first_img 62 US Border Agents are linked to degrading Facebook posts The version of the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, up for a vote in the Democratic-led House sets $733 billion in military spending, $17 billion less than Trump’s fiscal-year 2020 budget request.The Republican-led Senate last month passed its version of the measure, authorizing $750 billion for the Pentagon. Once the House passes its bill, the two chambers must come up with a compromise bill, which must pass both before being sent to the White House for Trump to sign into law or veto.The administration objected as well to provisions in the House bill seeking to stop Trump from spending billions of dollars to build a wall on the US border with Mexico, after he declared a national emergency in order to go ahead with construction without Congress’ approval. Advertising With Iran deal teetering on brink, Europeans assess next steps Related News Tropical Storm Barry nears New Orleans, raising flood threat By Reuters |Washington | Updated: July 10, 2019 7:40:41 am Advertising It also opposed the bill’s proposed imposition of stricter limits on the deployment of US troops to work along the border and the curtailing of Trump’s ability to transfer money from one project to another without consulting Congress.Trump’s promise to build a border wall was a feature of his 2016 presidential campaign, and has been a theme of his bid for re-election in 2020.The administration also objected to a range of provisions including some related to nuclear weapons, Trump’s plan for a “Space Force” and restrictions on detentions at the military prison at the Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, including a proposed ban on additional transfers to the prison in Cuba.The House is expected to vote on the NDAA later this week.center_img trump, donald trump, us, united states, trump administration, defense bill, us mexico border wall, white house, republicans, democrats, congress, us presidential election, cuba, nuclear weapons, military prison, guantanamo bay, world news, indian express news Trump’s promise to build a border wall was a feature of his 2016 presidential campaign, and has been a theme of his bid for re-election in 2020. (Source: File)US President Donald Trump’s administration on Tuesday threatened he would veto a massive defense bill being considered by the House of Representatives, saying it provides less money than he wants for the military and disagreeing with some of its policy provisions. It was not immediately clear that it would pass. Trump’s fellow Republicans may vote no, and could be joined by many of the more liberal House Democrats, who object among other things to increasing defense spending without doing more to avoid waste at the Pentagon.One of the few pieces of major legislation passed every year, the NDAA becomes a vehicle for a broad range of policy measures, as well as determining everything from military pay levels to which ships or aircraft will be modernized, purchased or discontinued. Karnataka: SC to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home Best Of Express Post Comment(s)last_img read more

Nepal floods death toll touches 43

first_imgBy PTI |Kathmandu | Published: July 14, 2019 10:48:26 am Twenty four people have been reported missing in the rain-related incidents that displaced settlements and disrupted vehicular traffic, the Himalayan Times reported on Sunday.Heavy rainfall since Thursday hit more than 25 districts in the hills as well as the southern plains of the country, affecting 10,385 households.Police rescued 1,104 people from several places across the country with 185 alone from Kathmandu. Nepal, Nepal floods, Nepal rains, Nepal weather, Nepal floods death toll, Nepal monoon, Nepal landslides A member of the Nepalese army carrying a child walks along the flooded colony in Kathmandu, Nepal (Reuters)At least 43 people, including 18 women, were killed and 20 others injured in floods and landslides triggered by torrential rains in various parts of Nepal, police said. Best Of Express According to Nepal Police, a total of 27,380 police personnel have been deployed across the country for search and rescue operations.The Flood Forecasting Section (FFS) said that monsoon is active and the rainfall will continue for two to three days in most places across the country, the report said.The Meteorological Forecasting Division (MFD) warned the public to remain on high alert and said that air and road traffic could be affected due to low visibility.Nepal, Nepal floods, Nepal rains, Nepal weather, Nepal floods death toll, Nepal monoon, Nepal landslides Police rescued 1,104 people from several places across the country with 185 alone from Kathmandu. (Reuters)Incessant rainfall has led the water level in the rivers to rise. Advertising 17 killed as heavy rains lash Nepal Related News FFS said that water level in Bagmati, Kamala, Saptakoshi and its tributary the Sunkoshi has crossed the danger mark.“People living in these regions should remain alert,” Binod Parajuli, hydrologist at FFS, was quoted as saying in the report.Meanwhile, weather experts have attributed the heavy rainfall in such short duration to climate change.The Kathmadu Post reported that over the last three days, the country has witnessed heavy rainfall in an indication of the changing rainfall pattern. The country is receiving more rainfall in a short duration of time–an abnormal phenomenon that is slowly becoming a new normal.“There has been a change in precipitation in recent years. The intensity of rainfall has gone up,” Madhukar Upadhya, a watershed practitioner and climate change expert, told The Kathmandu Post.“We are experiencing a high intensity of rainfall in short durations,” he said.center_img In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief Advertising Nepal schools make Mandarin compulsory after China offers to pay teachers’ salaries Karnataka: Supreme Court to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home Nepal floods: Death toll touches 78; over 17,500 displaced Post Comment(s)last_img read more

MU MIT researchers evaluate accuracy of new technology to monitor blood glucose

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 11 2018For those living with diabetes, monitoring blood glucose accurately is necessary to prevent diabetes-related complications such as heart attacks, blindness and coma. Researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently evaluated the accuracy of an MIT-developed technology to monitor blood glucose levels without needles or a finger prick. Early results show that the noninvasive technology measures blood glucose levels as effectively as a finger prick test — without drawing blood.The study, “Evaluation of accuracy dependence of Raman spectroscopic models on the ratio of calibration and validation points for non-invasive glucose sensing,” measured the blood glucose levels of 20 healthy, non-diabetic adults prior to drinking a glucose-rich beverage. Blood glucose levels were then measured in intervals over the next 160 minutes using three methods: spectroscopy, IV blood test and finger prick. The tests are designed to determine how much glucose remains in the blood and if a patient’s insulin-regulating mechanisms are working effectively. The researchers found that spectroscopy predicted glucose values as accurately as a finger prick test.”Currently, blood glucose levels are tested through a finger prick or intravenously. The approach we studied is noninvasive and uses a laser to monitor glucose levels in the skin,” said Anandhi Upendran, PhD, director of biomedical innovations at the MU School of Medicine Institute for Clinical and Translational Science and co-author of the study. “With diabetes on the rise, the development of an accurate, efficient and inexpensive alternative method to test blood glucose levels is an urgent clinical need.”Related StoriesDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustDon’t ignore diastolic blood pressure values, say researchersBlood based test using AI and nanotechnology devised for chronic fatigue syndromeDeveloped by researchers from MIT, the device uses a technique called Raman spectroscopy to measure the chemical composition of skin and extract the amount of glucose out of other skin compartments. A fiberoptic cable attached to a wristband passes laser light onto the skin to detect different components in the skin, such as fat tissue, protein, collagen and glucose molecules. The shifts in wavelengths associated with glucose present in the blood creates a sort of molecular fingerprint that can be used to determine glucose levels.”This is a technology that we have been pioneering for more than 20 years,” said Jeon Woong Kang, PhD, research scientist with MIT’s Laser Biomedical Research Center and co-author of the study. “We know that handheld skin prick tests are not always accurate and may be uncomfortable for patients. The gold standard is intravenous blood testing, but frequent blood draws may not be an option for many patients. We were pleased to find that our initial results show Raman spectroscopy can measure glucose levels that are comparable to the finger stick devices. We hope that we can refine this method to be a noninvasive continuous glucose monitoring sensor.”With more testing, the researchers hope spectroscopy can become an alternative method to test glucose levels in patients in clinical care settings who are not capable of frequent blood draws and, one day, in other settings as the technology becomes smaller and more portable. Future studies will examine the accuracy of the technology in patients with diabetes. Source:https://medicine.missouri.edu/news/mu-mit-researchers-show-effectiveness-new-noninvasive-blood-glucose-testlast_img read more

Bioethicists call for oversight of poorly regulated consumergrade neurotechnology products

first_img Source:https://www.pennmedicine.org/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 18 2019The marketing of direct-to-consumer “neurotechnologies” can be enticing: apps that diagnose a mental state, and brain devices that improve cognition or “read” one’s emotional state. However, many of these increasingly popular products aren’t fully supported by science and have little to no regulatory oversight, which poses potential health risks to the public. In a new piece published in the journal Science this week, two bioethicists from Penn Medicine and the University of British Columbia suggest the creation of a working group that would further study, monitor, and provide guidance for this growing industry – which is expected to top $3 billion by 2020.”There’s a real thirst for knowledge about the efficacy of these products from the public, which remains unclear because of this lack of oversight and gap in knowledge,” said lead author Anna Wexler, PhD, an instructor in the department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “We believe a diverse, dedicated group would help back up or refute claims made by companies, determine what’s safe, better understand their use among consumers, and address possible ethical concerns.”The group, made up of researchers, ethicists, funders, and industry experts, among others, the authors wrote, would serve as a clearinghouse for regulatory agencies, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), third-party organizations that monitor advertising claims, industry, social and medical scientists, funding agencies, and the public at large.While some of these techniques are used in clinical and research laboratory settings – for example, electroencephalography (EEG) devices are used to diagnose and treat epilepsy — many consumer-grade versions of neurotechnology devices are only loosely based in science. It is unclear whether the laboratory data collected to test them is applicable to consumer-grade products, leading many in the scientific world to question the efficacy of, and advocate for increased regulation of these readily available techniques and products.For example, some consumer neurostimulation devices may pose dangers, such as skin burns. There are also potential psychological harms from many consumer EEG devices that purport to “read” one’s emotional state.Related StoriesPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymoma”If a consumer EEG device erroneously shows that an individual is in a stressed state, this may cause him or her to become stressed or to enact this stressed state, resulting in unwarranted psychological harm,” the authors wrote. Also, a smartphone wellness app that diagnoses symptoms of depression does so without medical support structures, such as a psychologist or mental health counselor.The devices have thrived in part because of minimal regulatory oversight. Many fall outside of FDA jurisdiction because they are categorized as “low-risk” wellness products, paving an easier path to the market. Also, investors interested in financing these devices have publicly stated that it would be difficult to invest in them if they required an FDA approval, the authors said, which would mean rigorous testing and time.Currently, most of the regulatory burden for consumer neurotechnology falls to the FTC, which has the authority to act on claims of false advertising. However, with thousands of health and wellness apps and devices, that oversight is ill-suited to monitor and regulate the industry effectively, they said.The authors’ proposal is two-fold: create an independent working group that would survey the main domains of direct-to-consumer neurotechnologies and provide succinct appraisals of potential harms and probable efficacy. Rather than evaluating each and every product or providing overarching framing questions, the proposed working group’s appraisals would outline the evidence base and potential risks, and identify gaps in current knowledge.This working group would be responsible for disseminating those appraisals to the public and partnering with organizations well positioned to communicate with key consumer groups.”Given that government agencies and private enterprises are actively funding research into new methods of modulating brain function,” the authors wrote, “the present generation of [direct-to-consumer] neurotechnologies may be only the tip of the iceberg–making it all the more imperative to create an independent body to monitor developments in this domain.”last_img read more

DASHSodium trial Higher sodium intake linked with increased lightheadedness

first_img Source:https://www.bidmc.org/about-bidmc/news/2019/02/sodium-associated-with-increased-lightheadedness Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 11 2019Study turns common knowledge on its head by challenging experts’ traditional recommendationsLightheadedness with standing, otherwise known as postural lightheadedness, results from a gravitational drop in blood pressure and is common among adults. While mild in many adults, it has been cited as an important contributing factor in some harmful clinical events, such as falls. As a result, greater sodium intake is widely viewed as an intervention for preventing lightheadedness when moving from seated to standing positions.However, contrary to this recommendation, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) found that higher sodium intake, when studied in the context of the DASH-Sodium trial (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), actually increases lightheadedness. These findings challenge traditional recommendations to increase sodium intake to prevent lightheadedness. The study appeared today in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension.”Our study has real clinical and research implications,” said Stephen Juraschek, MD, PhD, the study’s corresponding author and a primary care physician at BIDMC. “Our results serve to caution health practitioners against recommending increased sodium intake as a universal treatment for lightheadedness. Additionally, our results demonstrate the need for additional research to understand the role of sodium, and more broadly of diet, on lightheadedness.”The researchers used data from the completed DASH-Sodium trial, a randomized crossover study that looked at the effects of three different sodium levels (1500, 2300, and 3300 mg/d) on blood pressure. All participants ate each of the three sodium levels in random order for four weeks. Half of the participants ate the sodium levels in the context of a typical American diet (a control diet) while the other half ate the sodium levels consistent with DASH diet guidelines. The original trial showed that by lowering sodium, blood pressure was also lowered – and was the basis for current guidelines for sodium consumption. The study also asked people to rate their experience of lightheadedness when they stood up, although these data were never reported. As such, in this secondary analysis of the DASH-Sodium trial, the researchers examined the impact of increased sodium intake on postural lightheadedness.Related StoriesApplication of machine learning methods to healthcare outcomes researchSleep disorders in patients with low back pain linked to increased healthcare visits, costsHealthy high-fiber diet could reduce preeclampsia riskThe study’s findings suggest that concerns about reducing sodium causing lightheadedness may not be scientifically based. It also further questions recommendations to use sodium to treat lightheadedness, an intervention that could have negative effects on cardiovascular health.”Health practitioners initiating sodium interventions for orthostatic symptoms now have some evidence that sodium might actually worsen symptoms,” said Juraschek. “Clinicians should check on symptoms after initiation and even question the utility of this approach. More importantly, research is needed to understand the effects of sodium on physical function, particularly in older adults.”The study also examined subgroups of the population, including older adults (age 60 and above) and adults with obesity. The effects of sodium on lightheadedness differed between these groups. In particular, higher sodium increased lightheadedness in younger people, but modestly reduced lightheadedness in older adults.”Sodium is widespread in our foods, yet its effects are poorly understood,” said Juraschek. “This study illustrates the importance of more trials involving the foods we eat so that we can better understand what constitutes a healthy diet.”last_img read more