Biology

Gaia spacecraft prepares to weather an incoming meteoroid storm

Genetics - ср, 2018-10-03 09:00
A spacecraft currently mapping the Milky Way could be pelted by space dust next week, so the European Space Agency is putting up its shields
Категории: Biology

Idly tapping your fingers can make you think time has slowed down

Genetics - ср, 2018-10-03 01:01
Moving a body part in time to a rhythm alters your perception of time, causing it to either stretch or contract – providing new clues about which parts of the brain control our body clocks
Категории: Biology

Cryptochrome: The magnetosensor with a sinister side?

PLOS Biology (new articles) - вт, 2018-10-02 23:00

by Lukas Landler, David A. Keays

Over the last three decades, evidence has emerged that low-intensity magnetic fields can influence biological systems. It is now well established that migratory birds have the capacity to detect the Earth's magnetic field; it has been reported that power lines are associated with childhood leukemia and that pulsed magnetic fields increase the production of reactive oxidative species (ROS) in cellular systems. Justifiably, studies in this field have been viewed with skepticism, as the underlying molecular mechanisms are unknown. In the accompanying paper, Sherrard and colleagues report that low-flux pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) result in aversive behavior in Drosophila larvae and ROS production in cell culture. They further report that these responses require the presence of cryptochrome, a putative magnetoreceptor. If correct, it is conceivable that carcinogenesis associated with power lines, PEMF-induced ROS generation, and animal magnetoreception share a common mechanistic basis.
Категории: Biology, Journals

Is adaptive therapy natural?

PLOS Biology (new articles) - вт, 2018-10-02 23:00

by Frédéric Thomas, Emmanuel Donnadieu, Guillaume M. Charriere, Camille Jacqueline, Aurélie Tasiemski, Pascal Pujol, François Renaud, Benjamin Roche, Rodrigo Hamede, Joel Brown, Robert Gatenby, Beata Ujvari

Research suggests that progression-free survival can be prolonged by integrating evolutionary principles into clinical cancer treatment protocols. The goal is to prevent or slow the proliferation of resistant malignant cell populations. The logic behind this therapy relies on ecological and evolutionary processes. These same processes would be available to natural selection in decreasing the probability of an organism’s death due to cancer. We propose that organisms’ anticancer adaptions include not only ones for preventing cancer but also ones for directing and retarding the evolution of life-threatening cancer cells. We term this last strategy natural adaptive therapy (NAT). The body’s NAT might include a lower than otherwise possible immune response. A restrained immune response might forego maximum short-term kill rates. Restraint would forestall immune-resistant cancer cells and produce long-term durable control of the cancer population. Here, we define, develop, and explore the possibility of NAT. The discovery of NAT mechanisms could identify new strategies in tumor prevention and treatments. Furthermore, we discuss the potential risks of immunotherapies that force the immune system to ramp up the short-term kill rates of malignant cancer cells in a manner that undermines the body’s NAT and accelerates the evolution of immune resistance.
Категории: Biology, Journals

Should police have access to genetic genealogy databases? Capturing the Golden State Killer and other criminals using a controversial new forensic technique

PLOS Biology (new articles) - вт, 2018-10-02 23:00

by Christi J. Guerrini, Jill O. Robinson, Devan Petersen, Amy L. McGuire

On April 24, 2018, a suspect in California’s notorious Golden State Killer cases was arrested after decades of eluding the police. Using a novel forensic approach, investigators identified the suspect by first identifying his relatives using a free, online genetic database populated by individuals researching their family trees. In the wake of the case, media outlets reported privacy concerns with police access to personal genetic data generated by or shared with genealogy services. Recent data from 1,587 survey respondents, however, provide preliminary reason to question whether such concerns have been overstated. Still, limitations on police access to genetic genealogy databases in particular may be desirable for reasons other than current public demand for them.
Категории: Biology, Journals

Low-intensity electromagnetic fields induce human cryptochrome to modulate intracellular reactive oxygen species

PLOS Biology (new articles) - вт, 2018-10-02 23:00

by Rachel M. Sherrard, Natalie Morellini, Nathalie Jourdan, Mohamed El-Esawi, Louis-David Arthaut, Christine Niessner, Francois Rouyer, Andre Klarsfeld, Mohamed Doulazmi, Jacques Witczak, Alain d’Harlingue, Jean Mariani, Ian Mclure, Carlos F. Martino, Margaret Ahmad

Exposure to man-made electromagnetic fields (EMFs), which increasingly pollute our environment, have consequences for human health about which there is continuing ignorance and debate. Whereas there is considerable ongoing concern about their harmful effects, magnetic fields are at the same time being applied as therapeutic tools in regenerative medicine, oncology, orthopedics, and neurology. This paradox cannot be resolved until the cellular mechanisms underlying such effects are identified. Here, we show by biochemical and imaging experiments that exposure of mammalian cells to weak pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) stimulates rapid accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), a potentially toxic metabolite with multiple roles in stress response and cellular ageing. Following exposure to PEMF, cell growth is slowed, and ROS-responsive genes are induced. These effects require the presence of cryptochrome, a putative magnetosensor that synthesizes ROS. We conclude that modulation of intracellular ROS via cryptochromes represents a general response to weak EMFs, which can account for either therapeutic or pathological effects depending on exposure. Clinically, our findings provide a rationale to optimize low field magnetic stimulation for novel therapeutic applications while warning against the possibility of harmful synergistic effects with environmental agents that further increase intracellular ROS.
Категории: Biology, Journals

Distant dwarf planet called ‘The Goblin’ could point to Planet X

Genetics - вт, 2018-10-02 19:33
There is a 300-kilometre-wide ice world in the far reaches of the Solar System - and its orbit is consistent with the presence of the hypothetical Planet X
Категории: Biology

It has been a good/bad week for women in physics

Genetics - вт, 2018-10-02 18:50
At last, a third Nobel, but it has been a decidedly mixed week for female physicists
Категории: Biology

Facebook’s AI is writing short stories and they actually make sense

Genetics - вт, 2018-10-02 17:20
Making machines that write stories is incredibly hard. But a new approach from Facebook’s AI team has produced some surprisingly good tales
Категории: Biology

Cargo ships through the Arctic may cool the region with pollution

Genetics - вт, 2018-10-02 16:26
Sending more cargo ships through the Arctic as the sea ice retreats might actually reduce the warming in the region, but it would also threaten human health
Категории: Biology

Video: Meet the low carbon pioneers — Rachel Fort

Genetics - вт, 2018-10-02 13:49
Passenger car engines produce 6 billion litres of used oil globally every year. So a better, more sustainable way to reuse and recycle this product is needed, says Rachel Fort
Категории: Biology

Baby giraffes with small and oval markings are most likely to die

Genetics - вт, 2018-10-02 13:00
Masai giraffes born with large or round spots may find it easier to hide from predators than giraffes with small or elliptical spots
Категории: Biology

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore wins 2018 Royal Society Book Prize

Genetics - вт, 2018-10-02 12:40
Sarah-Jayne Blakemore walked away with the honours at the 2018 Royal Society Insight Investment Book Prize - and the calibre of the runners-up made it a hard year to call
Категории: Biology

Donna Strickland is the third woman ever to win a physics Nobel Prize

Genetics - вт, 2018-10-02 12:17
The winner of the Nobel Prize in physics includes a woman for the first time in 55 years, going to Arthur Ashkin, Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland
Категории: Biology

Fluke experiment hints deep brain stimulation really treats depression

Genetics - пн, 2018-10-01 17:00
People with depression treated with deep brain stimulation suffered unexpected relapses when the batteries went flat, hinting the treatment isn’t just a placebo
Категории: Biology

Domesticating tomatoes took millennia – we can now redo it in 3 years

Genetics - пн, 2018-10-01 17:00
With CRISPR gene editing technology we can now rapidly domesticate wild plants to create tasty and healthy food
Категории: Biology

It is 2018, so why are we still debating whether women can do physics?

Genetics - пн, 2018-10-01 15:28
A talk by a physicist at CERN suggesting that women aren’t as good as men at physics has sparked outrage. I was there, and people are right to be offended, says Jess Wade
Категории: Biology

The rare-leopard spotter who accidentally caught gunmen in her traps

Genetics - пн, 2018-10-01 13:00
Priya Singh spent months in the wilds of north-east India tracking elusive clouded leopards and marbled cats, but caught more than she bargained for in her camera traps
Категории: Biology

Massive Facebook data breach left 50 million accounts exposed

Genetics - пн, 2018-10-01 12:54
Facebook has suffered the biggest hack in its history. It left the personal details of 50 million accounts exposed, including Mark Zuckerberg's
Категории: Biology

Physicist sparks gender row after claiming women are worse at physics

Genetics - пн, 2018-10-01 12:28
Physicist Alessandro Strumia gave a talk at CERN, home of the Large Hadron Collider, claiming that women are inferior to men when it comes to physics research
Категории: Biology