Photograph of Arabidopsis seed that are designed to inherit different fluorescent colour combinations, depending on recombination.
Researchers have discovered a key gene that influences genetic recombination during sexual reproduction in wild plant populations. Adding extra copies of this gene resulted in a massive boost to recombination and diversity in plant offspring. This finding could enable plant breeders to unlock crop variation, improve harvests and help ensure future food security. Plant geneticists at the University of Cambridge have found that different wild varieties of thale cress (Arabidopsis) show different levels of recombination – the process by which genes come together in new configurations during reproduction. Recombination has a major effect on species evolution by contributing to variation between siblings and within populations.

From left: Professor Gail Tripp, Ms. Emi Nakanishi and Dr. Shizuka Shimabukuro from OIST’s Human Development Neurobiology Unit

 

OIST researchers have successfully adapted a parent-training program for ADHD for use with families in Japan, where ADHD-specific behavioral interventions are limited. The results of the proof-of-concept of the new program, the “New Forest Parenting Programme-Japan”, published in Japanese Psychological Research, show reductions in children’s ADHD symptoms and improvements in parent-child relationships, suggesting that the parent-training program might prove to be an effective mainstream behavioral treatment for ADHD in Japan. International guidelines for the management of ADHD in children recommend approved medications and/or behavioral therapy. Compared with many western countries, Japan has fewer pharmacological and behavioral options. The availability of behavioral therapy is further limited by a shortage of trained specialists.

Observing Menstrual Hygiene Day on 28 May 2016

Adolescence is an important stage of growth characterized by significant physical, cognitive, and emotional changes.  Learning at this stage leads to a healthy or unhealthy adulthood. A recent research article published in Northern International Medical College Journal and available online at Bangladesh Journals Online (BanglaJOL), supported by INASP, has shown that the majority of Bangladeshi girls are unaware of menstrual hygiene and do not follow standard hygienic procedures during menstruation. According to the research, 52% of the adolescent girls used cloths instead of sanitary pads; more than one third of the adolescent girls participating in the research said they skipped school on the first two days of menstruation as the schools lacked proper sanitary facilities for girls. Incorrect advice from family members was the main reason behind this. 42.5% of the respondents said they did not use sanitary napkins because family members suggested they use cloths.

 

Treegraphic

Astronomers are borrowing principles applied in biology and archaeology to build a family tree of the stars in the galaxy. By studying chemical signatures found in the stars, they are piecing together these evolutionary trees looking at how the stars formed and how they are connected to each other. The signatures act as a proxy for DNA sequences. It’s akin to chemical tagging of stars and forms the basis of a discipline astronomers refer to as Galactic archaeology.

It was Charles Darwin, who, in 1859 published his revolutionary theory that all life forms are descended from one common ancestor. This theory has informed evolutionary biology ever since but it was a chance encounter between an astronomer and an biologist over dinner at King’s College in Cambridge that got the astronomer thinking about how it could be applied to stars in the Milky Way.

 

Richard Moriggl and his team identified activation of the leukemia factor STAT5 being connected to the modified metabolism of cancer cells. (Photo: Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft)

 

The metabolic state of tumor cells contributes to signals that control the proliferation of tumor cells. Already the German biochemist and Nobel Prize laureate Otto H. Warburg observed in the 1920s that tumor cells radically change their metabolism. This process was termed "Warburg Effect", however neglected until recently by cancer research, but the latest results show it is indeed of fundamental importance for the development of aggressive tumors. Richard Moriggl and his co-workers have now published in the journal Leukemia how the tumor promoter STAT5 integrates metabolic signals that contribute to oncogenic transformation. Researchers from the VetmeduniVienna, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Cancer Research and Meduni Wien may have thus identified a new target to tackle cancer.

Trigeminal neuralgia: A glimmer of hope for patients – thanks to a newly tested substance. (Picture: Center of Dental Medicine; UZH)

 

Trigeminal neuralgia is characterized by sharp, lancinating pain in the teeth or facial area. The standard treatment for this chronic nerve pain can cause burdening side effects. A novel substance inhibits the pain effectively and is well tolerated, as documented by the initial results of an international study involving the Center of Dental Medicine at the University of Zurich. The sharp pain shoots to the face or teeth and seriously torments patients. Known as trigeminal neuralgia, it is one of the worst chronic nerve pains. The bouts are triggered by touch, such as shaving, putting on make-up, showering, talking and tooth brushing, or even a gust of wind. The cause is usually an irritation of the trigeminal nerve, the cranial nerve responsible for the sensory innervation of the facial area, parts of the scalp, and the oral cavity.

Since 1980, populations of warm-dwelling species in Germany, e.g. some bird species, have increased. Copyright: Wolfgang Henkes


Since 1980, populations of warm-dwelling species in Germany have increased. The trend is particularly strong among warm-dwelling terrestrial species, as shown by the most comprehensive study across ecosystems in this regard to date. The most obvious increases occurred among warm-dwelling birds, butterflies, beetles, soil organisms and lichens according to the study published recently in the scientific journal “Nature Ecology & Evolution” led by Senckenberg scientists. Thus, it appears possible that rising temperatures due to the climate change have had a widespread impact on the population trends of animals in the past 30 years.

Swordfish auction in the fish market of Vigo (Spain). / José Antonio Gil Martínez


Researchers from the University of Burgos (Spain) have developed a fluorescent polymer that lights up in contact with mercury that may be present in fish. High levels of the metal were detected in samples of swordfish and tuna. According to the conclusions of another Spanish study, mercury exposure is linked to reduced foetal and placental growth in pregnant women. The presence of the toxic metal mercury in the environment comes from natural sources, however, in the last decades industrial waste has caused an increase in concentrations of the metal in some areas of the sea. In the food chain, mercury can be diluted either in organic form as methylmercury (MeHg+) or as an inorganic salt, the cation Hg2+.

 

Giacomo Balla: Designing the Future

Organised in collaboration with the Biagiotti Cigna Collection, this major exhibition presents a career-spanning retrospective of one of Italian Futurism's most important and consistently inventive artists. Encompassing his early Divisionist imagery, iconic Futurist paintings and examples of his distinctive work in the sphere of the applied arts, it will offer a comprehensive survey of Balla's multifaceted activity between the years 1895 and 1958, including many works rarely seen outside Italy.

 

Scienzaonline con sottotitolo Sciencenew  - Periodico
Autorizzazioni del Tribunale di Roma – diffusioni:
telematica quotidiana 229/2006 del 08/06/2006
mensile per mezzo stampa 293/2003 del 07/07/2003
Pubblicato a Roma – Via A. De Viti de Marco, 50 – Direttore Responsabile Guido Donati

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