Lose a hand or a leg? It will grow back… oh wait, it won’t, but why not? Trace our evolution — long before the shedding of gills or the development of opposable thumbs — and you will likely find a common ancestor with the amazing ability to regenerate lost body parts. There is theoretically no reason why we shouldn’t be able to regenerate, not quite like in the movie Deadpool, but come on, would you really complain at that point?
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Kang, J., Hu, J., Karra, R., Dickson, A., Tornini, V., Nachtrab, G., Gemberling, M., Goldman, J., Black, B., & Poss, K. (2016) Modulation of tissue repair by regeneration enhancer elements. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature17644
Hungry? Well, let’s face it, that pizza looks much better than the salad. Don’t deny it salad lovers, we all know behind closed doors you look at plenty of food porn to satiate your desires. Understanding the motivations that drive us to eat is important when we talk about weight loss and how we attempt to structure diets. Now a new study shows that for overweight individuals, the brain responses differently to desirable foods., but hold that thought, because there is hope.
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Farr, O., Sofopoulos, M., Tsoukas, M., Dincer, F., Thakkar, B., Sahin-Efe, A., Filippaios, A., Bowers, J., Srnka, A., Gavrieli, A.... (2016) GLP-1 receptors exist in the parietal cortex, hypothalamus and medulla of human brains and the GLP-1 analogue liraglutide alters brain activity related to highly desirable food cues in individuals with diabetes: a crossover, randomised, placebo-controlled. Diabetologia. DOI: 10.1007/s00125-016-3874-y
So if you are one of the bodybuilders, powerlifters, marathon runners, or just people who like to binge-eat every now and then — no judgment all you can eat pizza day is a thing I’m told telling myself — there is some bad news. If you like to preload carbs like they are the magic bullet to your workout woes, you may want to rethink it because according to a new study, it can have an acute and detrimental effect on heart function.
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Arora, P., Wu, C., Hamid, T., Arora, G., Agha, O., Allen, K., Tainsh, R., Hu, D., Ryan, R., Domian, I.... (2016) Acute Metabolic Influences on the Natriuretic Peptide System in Humans. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 67(7), 804-812. DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2015.11.049
Had Teresa Dzieweczynski chosen to publish her recent findings as an updated children's classic, rather than as a research paper, she could have titled it If You Give a Fish an Antidepressant. The book would probably be less charming than If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. But it would also be, unfortunately, more realistic. Our pharmaceuticals are steadily trickling into the homes of fish and other animals. And—as the hero of the original book could have told us, his house in disarray aft........ Read more »
Dzieweczynski, T., Campbell, B., & Kane, J. (2016) Dose-dependent fluoxetine effects on boldness in male Siamese fighting fish. Journal of Experimental Biology, 219(6), 797-804. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.132761
Alzheimer's has been a losing battle, sure we can fight back with drugs, but that still just prolongs the inevitable. With that said we can all hope this research pans out, to something meaningful. In a cutting-edge treatment for Alzheimer's disease, EPFL scientists have developed an implantable capsule that can turn the patient's immune system against the disease. Even better, the implant is subdural, not intracranial.
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Lathuilière, A., Laversenne, V., Astolfo, A., Kopetzki, E., Jacobsen, H., Stampanoni, M., Bohrmann, B., Schneider, B., & Aebischer, P. (2016) A subcutaneous cellular implant for passive immunization against amyloid-β reduces brain amyloid and tau pathologies. Brain. DOI: 10.1093/brain/aww036
Climate change will continue to affect future generations, but are our children receiving accurate information about it? A new survey suggests not - here's a look and why and some possible solutions... Read more »
Alzheimer's disease, is anything more frustrating than seeing someone -- who otherwise looks healthy -- start to forget who you are? Worse than that, we don't know exactly what causes Alzheimer's disease, or how to stop it. Well actually that might be changing. Don't get too excited, because we've had false starts before, but an international group of scientists have succeeded in sorting out the mechanism of Alzheimer's disease development and possibly distinguished its key trigger.
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Istrate, A., Kozin, S., Zhokhov, S., Mantsyzov, A., Kechko, O., Pastore, A., Makarov, A., & Polshakov, V. (2016) Interplay of histidine residues of the Alzheimer’s disease Aβ peptide governs its Zn-induced oligomerization. Scientific Reports, 21734. DOI: 10.1038/srep21734
I'm Canadian and didn't grow up on a farm or anywhere particularly rural, so it shouldn't be surprising to learn I've never fired a gun. Furthermore, guns are very far down on the list of things I'm interested in learning more about. Yet sometimes tooling around the scientific literature leads to unexpected topics, such as the forensic analysis of gunshot residue. Turns out there's a neat bit of biology involved, and thus we've got ourselves a quick blog post.... Read more »
Aliste M, & Chávez LG. (2016) Analysis of gunshot residues as trace in nasal mucus by GFAAS. Forensic Science International, 14-18. PMID: 26874050
What exactly is behind the tear-inducing chemical in onions?... Read more »
Eady CC, Kamoi T, Kato M, Porter NG, Davis S, Shaw M, Kamoi A, & Imai S. (2008) Silencing onion lachrymatory factor synthase causes a significant change in the sulfur secondary metabolite profile. Plant physiology, 147(4), 2096-106. PMID: 18583530
I was just reading this fascinating article published online yesterday in Nature, called “Reversal of ocean acidification enhances net coral reef calcification“. The study is investigating what effect ocean acidification is having on reefs, a tricky problem as other confounding...... Read more »
Albright, R., Caldeira, L., Hosfelt, J., Kwiatkowski, L., Maclaren, J., Mason, B., Nebuchina, Y., Ninokawa, A., Pongratz, J., Ricke, K.... (2016) Reversal of ocean acidification enhances net coral reef calcification. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature17155
The methanol economy is an exciting prospect - create the molecule using CO2 from the atmosphere, reducing greenhouse gases and providing liquid fuel at the same time! Researchers have now shown how to create methanol directly from air for the first time.... Read more »
Kothandaraman J, Goeppert A, Czaun M, Olah GA, & Prakash GK. (2016) Conversion of CO2 from Air into Methanol Using a Polyamine and a Homogeneous Ruthenium Catalyst. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 138(3), 778-81. PMID: 26713663
Depression is a serious issue for expecting mothers. Left untreated, depression could have implications for a fetus’s health. But treating the disease during pregnancy may carry health risks for the developing fetus, which makes an expecting mother’s decision whether to take medication a very difficult one. To better understand how antidepressants affect fetuses during pregnancy, scientists studied exposure in mice.
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Velasquez, J., Goeden, N., Herod, S., & Bonnin, A. (2016) Maternal Pharmacokinetics and Fetal Disposition of (±)-Citalopram during Mouse Pregnancy. ACS Chemical Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1021/acschemneuro.5b00287
Earth is actually a combination of two planets, i.e. Earth and Theia, a planet thought to be about the size of Mars.
Researchers from University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) have recently reported that there was a “violent, head-on collision” of Earth and Theia, which is thought to be an ancient planet having the approximate size of Mars or according to some it was about Earth’s size, about 4.5 billion years ag........ Read more »
Young, E., Kohl, I., Warren, P., Rubie, D., Jacobson, S., & Morbidelli, A. (2016) Oxygen isotopic evidence for vigorous mixing during the Moon-forming giant impact. Science, 351(6272), 493-496. DOI: 10.1126/science.aad0525
While it may be difficult to imagine in a day and age when psychiatric medicines are advertised as a way to treat nearly every mental disorder, only 65 years ago targeted and effective psychiatric medicines were still just an unrealized aspiration. In fact, until the middle of the 20th century, the efficacy and safety of many common approaches to treating mental illness were highly questionable. For example, one method of treating schizophrenia that was common in the 1940s........ Read more »
López-Muñoz, F., Alamo, C., cuenca, E., Shen, W., Clervoy, P., & Rubio, G. (2005) History of the Discovery and Clinical Introduction of Chlorpromazine. Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, 17(3), 113-135. DOI: 10.1080/10401230591002002
A commentary in Nature proposes a complete overhaul of how we treat our wastewater. Among the benefits would be new energy-producing industry and reduce greenhouse gas emissions!... Read more »
We all have neighbors who help us in our hour of need. Some go out of the way as well. In enzymes too, it seems, that neighbors play a crucial role. Lafond et al in their recent publication in the Journal of Biological Chemistry report the invovlement of neighboring chains of the same enzyme, lichenase. Apart from the role of stabilizing the quarternary structure (a trimer), they are also invovled in the enzymatic activity.... Read more »
Lafond M, Sulzenbacher G, Freyd T, Henrissat B, Berrin JG, & Garron ML. (2016) the quaternary structure of a glycoside hydrolase dictates specificity towards beta-glucans. The Journal of biological chemistry. PMID: 26755730
Carbon fees are a tremendous policy tool to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But what is their effect on other public health missions, like providing cleaner cookware to the poor in developing countries. We take a look at new research designing policy to meet both public health needs.... Read more »
Cameron, C., Pachauri, S., Rao, N., McCollum, D., Rogelj, J., & Riahi, K. (2016) Policy trade-offs between climate mitigation and clean cook-stove access in South Asia. Nature Energy, 1(1), 15010. DOI: 10.1038/nenergy.2015.10
Snow falling in urban areas could be toxic for human beings due to the presence of dangerous chemicals and pollutants coming from cars and industries.
Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts
Beauty can be dangerous and recent research is showing the same, i.e. beautiful and pure snowflakes can be dangerous. Researchers have found that snowflakes are not as clean as they may appear. They reported that snow falling, especially in cities, h........ Read more »
Nazarenko, Y., Kurien, U., Nepotchatykh, O., Rangel-Alvarado, R., & Ariya, P. (2016) Role of snow and cold environment in the fate and effects of nanoparticles and select organic pollutants from gasoline engine exhaust. Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts. DOI: 10.1039/C5EM00616C
Researchers at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan have discovered how to reverse the abnormal axonal development characteristic of CFEOM3, a congenital disease that affects the muscles that control eye movements. The work shows how creating a specific mutation rescued abnormal axonal growth in the developing mouse brain.
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Minoura, I., Takazaki, H., Ayukawa, R., Saruta, C., Hachikubo, Y., Uchimura, S., Hida, T., Kamiguchi, H., Shimogori, T., & Muto, E. (2016) Reversal of axonal growth defects in an extraocular fibrosis model by engineering the kinesin–microtubule interface. Nature Communications, 10058. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10058
Previous research has suggested that the Amazon could reach a tipping point when rainforest gives way to a grassy savannah. Could this really happen? A new modeling study suggests the diversity of the Amazon could prevent such a drastic change.... Read more »
Levine NM, Zhang K, Longo M, Baccini A, Phillips OL, Lewis SL, Alvarez-Dávila E, Segalin de Andrade AC, Brienen RJ, Erwin TL.... (2015) Ecosystem heterogeneity determines the ecological resilience of the Amazon to climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 26711984
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