Study by Aston University and Birmingham Children's Hospital into complex relationship between weight and asthma
- Children living with asthma are more likely to be overweight than their pee
- Research will examine impact of asthma on children’s eating, exercise and weight
Researchers at Aston University and clinicians at Birmingham Children’s Hospital are exploring how children living with asthma can be supported to maintain a healthy weight. Children and teenagers with the chronic condition are much more likely to be overweight than their counterparts, and if they are clinically obese their risk of having severe asthma is three times higher. Now a £70,000 jointly funded project is seeing Dr Claire Farrow, Dr Gemma Heath and Professor Helen Pattison from the university working with the hospital’s respiratory team to investigate the complex relationship between weight and asthma in children – and potentially help young patients better manage their symptoms and improve their health. “Asthma is one of the most common chronic illnesses in children, with no current therapeutic cure,” said Dr Farrow. “Children who live with asthma are much more likely to be overweight or obese than other children, and if they are obese, their risk of having severe asthma is three times higher.”
How the emotions of others influence our olfactory sense
The emotional facial expression of others influences how positive or negative we perceive an odour. The basis of this effect seems to be the activity of a brain area that is relevant for smelling and is activated even before we perceive an odour. This is what neuropsychologists at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum found out. They published their findings in the Journal Scientific Reports. “When we see someone that makes a face, because a bad smell stings his nose, the same odour appears to be unpleasant for us as well,” says Dr Patrick Schulze, one of the authors.
The same scent smells always different
The research team around Dr Patrick Schulze, Dr Anne-Kathrin Bestgen and Prof Dr Boris Suchan investigated via functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) how the brain processes the combination of emotional information and odours. They had their participants look at a picture of a person with a happy, neutral or disgusted facial expression. Afterwards they had them rate one of twelve scents. The picture of the facial expression affected the way the odours were perceived. The participants rated the valence of a scent higher, when they saw a happy face first and they rated the valence as poorer when they saw a disgusted face before. That applied to aromas like caramel and lemon, as well as to the smell of sweat or garlic. Only the smell of feces could not be up valued by a positive facial expression.
UNA MICROMACCHINA IBRIDA A BATTERI CONVERTE LA LUCE IN MOVIMENTO
Lo studio, condotto da un team di ricercatori di Nanotec-Cnr e dell'Università Sapienza di Roma, è stato pubblicato sulla rivista Nature Communication
Molti batteri, come Escherichia coli, sono fantastici ‘nuotatori’, capaci di percorrere più di dieci volte la loro lunghezza in un secondo: approssimativamente, in proporzione, la stessa velocità di un ghepardo. Per muoversi, usano il ‘motore flagellare’, ruotando sottili filamenti elicoidali, i flagelli, a più di cento giri al secondo. Il motore flagellare è una sorta di motore ‘elettrico’, alimentato da un flusso di cariche che la cellula accumula costantemente nello spazio periplasmatico che ne circonda la membrana interna e il meccanismo con il quale i batteri ‘ricaricano le batterie’ prende il nome di respirazione e di solito richiede l'ossigeno. Nel 2000 è stata scoperta mediante la sequenziazione genetica di batteri in campioni di plancton una nuova proteina, la proteorodopsina, che si inserisce nella membrana cellulare, dove utilizza energia proveniente dalla luce per accumulare carica nella ‘batteria’ anche in assenza di ossigeno. Un team di ricercatori dell’Istituto di nanotecnologia del Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche (Nanotec-Cnr) e del dipartimento di Fisica dell'Università Sapienza di Roma, grazie a uno studio pubblicato su Nature Communication, ha dimostrato che alcuni batteri geneticamente modificati e in grado di produrre proteorodopsina possono essere utilizzati come minuscoli propulsori in micromacchine invisibili all'occhio umano, la cui velocità di rotazione può essere finemente regolata con luce verde di intensità controllabile.
New therapeutic antibody for dog cancers
One of the OMM dogs showed obvious tumor regression after 10 weeks of antibody administration. Photographs (a) and (d) were taken before the administration, (b) and (e) after 10 weeks of administration, and (c) and (f) after 34 weeks of administration. The antibody dosage was increased from week 24. (Maekawa N. et al., Scientific Reports, August 21, 2017)
Scientists have developed a new chimeric antibody that suppresses malignant cancers in dogs, showing promise for safe and effective treatment of intractable cancers.
Similar to our aging society, dogs live longer than before and an increasing number of them die from cancer nowadays. As seen in humans, dogs have malignant cancers that cannot be treated by existing therapies such as surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Oral malignant melanoma (OMM), a highly invasive cancer in dogs, is one such example. In humans, some malignant cancer cells express PD-L1 proteins that bind to their receptor PD-1 on T cells, resulting in the suppression of the T cell’s immune function. Thus, PD-L1/PD-1 interaction is considered an “immune escape mechanism” that cancer cells have. Antibodies that block PD-1/PD-L1 binding have proven effective in inducing anti-tumor immune responses and have been widely used in immunotherapy in the last five years. However, in dogs, no such clinical studies have been reported so far.