Biology

Deconstructing the principles of ductal network formation in the pancreas

PLOS Biology (new articles) - чт, 2018-07-26 23:00

by Svend Bertel Dahl-Jensen, Siham Yennek, Lydie Flasse, Hjalte List Larsen, Dror Sever, Gopal Karremore, Ivana Novak, Kim Sneppen, Anne Grapin-Botton

The mammalian pancreas is a branched organ that does not exhibit stereotypic branching patterns, similarly to most other glands. Inside branches, it contains a network of ducts that undergo a transition from unconnected microlumen to a mesh of interconnected ducts and finally to a treelike structure. This ductal remodeling is poorly understood, both on a microscopic and macroscopic level. In this article, we quantify the network properties at different developmental stages. We find that the pancreatic network exhibits stereotypic traits at each stage and that the network properties change with time toward the most economical and optimized delivery of exocrine products into the duodenum. Using in silico modeling, we show how steps of pancreatic network development can be deconstructed into two simple rules likely to be conserved for many other glands. The early stage of the network is explained by noisy, redundant duct connection as new microlumens form. The later transition is attributed to pruning of the network based on the flux of fluid running through the pancreatic network into the duodenum.
Категории: Biology, Journals

Cracking down on illegal cannabis with edible barcodes and blockchains

Genetics - чт, 2018-07-26 19:33
A start-up is tracing legal cannabis sold in the US to fight counterfeiting, using edible barcodes and a blockchain – the technology behind cryptocurrencies
Категории: Biology

Only 13 per cent of the world’s oceans are considered a wilderness

Genetics - чт, 2018-07-26 18:14
Human activity touches almost 90 per cent of the ocean, which has left little of the ocean wild – and only a tiny fraction of that wilderness is protected
Категории: Biology

How to hack your unconscious… to take control of pain

Genetics - чт, 2018-07-26 18:00
You can determine the amount of pain you perceive – pleasant smells, loving touches and foul language can all be powerful pain-busters
Категории: Biology

Business students more likely to have a brain parasite spread by cats

Genetics - чт, 2018-07-26 17:30
A study of students found that those who have a brain parasite linked to outbursts of explosive rage are more likely to be majoring in business studies
Категории: Biology

The scientific guide to stockpiling food for a ‘no deal’ Brexit

Genetics - чт, 2018-07-26 17:28
In a post-Brexit culinary landscape, lamb with turnips and tinned carrots could be on the menu. You probably also want to buy a chest freezer
Категории: Biology

Our buildings make this heatwave worse – here’s how to cool them down

Genetics - чт, 2018-07-26 17:17
Many buildings in cool countries are poorly designed to cope with heat, and new homes and offices are even worse. Thousands will die if we don’t fix them
Категории: Biology

Parasite fungus sends insects on sex spree by loading them up on drugs

Genetics - чт, 2018-07-26 16:45
A fungus that infects cicadas seems to pump the insects full of methamphetamine and the active ingredient in magic mushrooms before sending them on a marathon sex spree
Категории: Biology

New Scientist Live: should we zap our brains to boost our abilities?

Genetics - чт, 2018-07-26 16:30
At our festival of science this September, Nick Davis will be exploring how we can make our brains work better – and whether we know what we’re getting ourselves into
Категории: Biology

Starlight stretched by Milky Way’s black hole proves Einstein right

Genetics - чт, 2018-07-26 15:33
Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity says a black hole’s gravity stretches the light waves of nearby stars – and we’ve seen it happen for the first time
Категории: Biology

Self-healing graphene could make robots that fix themselves with water

Genetics - чт, 2018-07-26 14:21
Adding graphene to a gel makes a 3D-printable substance that dries to be strong and conductive and heals when wet
Категории: Biology

Many chimps are active at night but we don’t know what they do

Genetics - чт, 2018-07-26 13:00
A study of 22 chimpanzee sites has found that they regularly wake up and move around in the night, but it’s not clear what the apes are up to
Категории: Biology

The uranium hunters: Inside the school that trains nuclear inspectors

Genetics - чт, 2018-07-26 12:00
How do nuclear inspectors find material that could be used to make a bomb? Chelsea Whyte visited Los Alamos National Laboratory to learn their techniques
Категории: Biology

Blindsight relies on a functional connection between hMT+ and the lateral geniculate nucleus, not the pulvinar

PLOS Biology (new articles) - ср, 2018-07-25 23:00

by Sara Ajina, Holly Bridge

When the primary visual cortex (V1) is damaged, the principal visual pathway is lost, causing a loss of vision in the opposite visual field. While conscious vision is impaired, patients can still respond to certain images; this is known as ‘blindsight’. Recently, a direct anatomical connection between the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) and human motion area hMT+ has been implicated in blindsight. However, a functional connection between these structures has not been demonstrated. We quantified functional MRI responses to motion in 14 patients with unilateral V1 damage (with and without blindsight). Patients with blindsight showed significant activity and a preserved sensitivity to speed in motion area hMT+, which was absent in patients without blindsight. We then compared functional connectivity between motion area hMT+ and a number of structures implicated in blindsight, including the ventral pulvinar. Only patients with blindsight showed an intact functional connection with the LGN but not the other structures, supporting a specific functional role for the LGN in blindsight.
Категории: Biology, Journals

This mind-controlled robotic arm lets you do two things at once

Genetics - ср, 2018-07-25 21:00
Need a hand? Eight people have reliably used a mind-controlled robotic third arm to perform two tasks simultaneously
Категории: Biology

Why cuts in your mouth heal 10 times faster than skin wounds

Genetics - ср, 2018-07-25 21:00
Wounds in the mouth really do heal much faster than cuts to the skin, and it may be because mouth cells are genetically primed for healing
Категории: Biology

An exclusive look inside the UK’s legal medical cannabis farm

Genetics - ср, 2018-07-25 20:00
As the row over medical cannabis usage in the UK continues, Amy Fleming visits the only people in the country with a licence to grow marijuana
Категории: Biology

Has the chicken and egg puzzle over religion’s decline been settled?

Genetics - ср, 2018-07-25 20:00
New research claims to answer the question of whether godlessness begets riches or riches beget godlessness. It won't be the final word, says Gregory Paul
Категории: Biology

Can you get meat without dead animals? Why farmers are wrong to say no

Genetics - ср, 2018-07-25 18:34
Cattle ranchers in the US say beef must come from a slaughtered cow and not cells grown in a lab. The battle over the future of flesh has begun, says Sasha Chapman
Категории: Biology

Massive lake of water found beneath Mars’ south pole could host life

Genetics - ср, 2018-07-25 17:00
Data from the Mars Express satellite suggests there is a huge body of permanently liquid water under the surface of Mars, which could potentially host life
Категории: Biology