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Preparing T cells for the long haul

Preparing T cells for the long haul
2021-07-19
LA JOLLA--Fighting a tumor is a marathon, not a sprint. For cancer-fighting T cells, the race is sometimes just too long, and the T cells quit fighting. Researchers even have a name for this phenomenon: T cell exhaustion. In a new Nature Immunology study, researchers at La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) report that T cells can be engineered to clear tumors without succumbing to T cell exhaustion. "The idea is to give the cells a little bit of armor against the exhaustion program," says LJI Professor Patrick Hogan, Ph.D. "The cells can go into the tumor to do their job, ...

Researchers discover how cancer cells that spread to lymph nodes avoid immune destruction

2021-07-19
BOSTON - Lymph nodes are critical to the body's immune response against tumors but paradoxically, cancer cells that spread, or metastasize, to lymph nodes can often avoid being eliminated by immune cells. Recent experiments by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Boston University School of Medicine provide insights on the details behind this immune evasion, which could help scientists develop strategies to overcome it. The findings are published in Nature Biomedical Engineering. "We know that lymph nodes are often the first place cancer ...

USC study shows male-female differences in immune cell function

USC study shows male-female differences in immune cell function
2021-07-19
A new USC study of a common, yet poorly understood type of white blood cell reveals the immune cell's response to pathogens differs greatly by sex and by age. In this mouse study, males proved much more susceptible to a condition called sepsis than females. However, the scientists also found that the female disease-defense system is hardly perfect; their system changes with age to become nearly as harmful as the males'. Those are the key findings in a study that appears today in Nature Aging. The study has important implications for studying disease and cures, especially for sepsis, a condition in which the body's defense ...

NIH-funded study shows imaging after mild brain injury may predict outcomes

2021-07-19
WHAT: A new study published in JAMA Neurology suggests that certain features that appear on CT scans help predict outcomes following mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). Patterns detected on the scans may help guide follow up treatment as well as improve recruitment and research study design for head injury clinical trials. Researchers led by Geoffrey Manley, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurological surgery at the University of California San Francisco, conducted CT scans in 1,935 subjects with mild TBI and followed their outcomes up to 12 months after injury. This research was part of the Transforming Research and Clinical Knowledge in Traumatic Brain Injury (TRACK-TBI) study, a large research effort funded by the National Institutes of ...

Why is the eastern monarch butterfly disappearing?

2021-07-19
Michigan State University ecologists led an international research partnership of professional and volunteer scientists to reveal new insights into what's driving the already-dwindling population of eastern monarch butterflies even lower. Between 2004 and 2018, changing climate at the monarch's spring and summer breeding grounds has had the most significant impact on this declining population. In fact, the effects of climate change have been nearly seven times more significant than other contributors, such as habitat loss. The team published its report July 19 in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution. "What we do is develop models to understand why monarchs are declining ...

Scientists uncover drivers of phenotypic innovation and diversification in gymnosperms

Scientists uncover drivers of phenotypic innovation and diversification in gymnosperms
2021-07-19
Determining the major drivers of species diversification and phenotypic innovation across the Tree of Life is one of the grand challeges in evolutionary biology. Facilitated by the Germplasm Bank of Wild Species of the Kunming Institute of Botany (KIB) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Prof. YI Tingshuang and Prof. LI Dezhu of KIB led a novel study on gymnosperm diversification with a team of international researchers. This study provides critical insight on the processes underlying diversification and phenotypic evolution in gymnosperms, with important broader implications for the major drivers of both micro- and macroevolution in plants. The results were published today online in Nature ...

Non-neuronal cells drive sex differences in early brain development

Non-neuronal cells drive sex differences in early brain development
2021-07-19
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - During development, brain cells may find different ways to connect with each other based on sex, according to researchers at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. The study, recently published in eNeuro, an open access journal for the Society of Neuroscience, showed a significantly more robust synaptogenic response in male-derived cells compared to female-derived cells when exposed to factors secreted from astrocytes, which are non-neuronal cells found throughout the central nervous system. This difference was driven largely by how neurons responded to thrombospondin-2 (TSP2), a protein with cell adhesion properties that is normally secreted by astrocytes. ...

In vitro Zoo helps in understanding SARS-CoV-2

In vitro Zoo helps in understanding SARS-CoV-2
2021-07-19
Since the beginning of the pandemic, several reports have indicated that SARS-CoV-2 spillover events have occurred from humans to animals, as evidenced by the transmission of the virus between keepers and tigers and lions in the Bronx Zoo in New York. However, to date, the full range of animal species that are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection remains unclear. Typically, such information could be obtained by experimentally infecting a large variety of animal species with SARS-CoV-2 to see if they are susceptible. However, in order to reduce and refine such animal experiments, the researchers at the University of Bern and at the IVI set out to answer this question ...

A new metric for designing safer streets

2021-07-19
A new study published in Accident Analysis & Prevention shows how biometric data can be used to find potentially challenging and dangerous areas of urban infrastructure before a crash occurs. Lead author Megan Ryerson led a team of researchers in the Stuart Weitzman School of Design and the School of Engineering and Applied Science in collecting and analyzing eye-tracking data from cyclists navigating Philadelphia's streets. The team found that individual-based metrics can provide a more proactive approach for designing safer roadways for bicyclists and pedestrians. Current federal rules for installing safe transportation interventions at an unsafe crossing--such as a crosswalk with a traffic signal--require either a minimum of 90-100 pedestrians crossing this location every hour ...

Scientists on the scent of flavor enhancement

2021-07-19
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Flavor is the name of the game for scientists who want to optimize food for consumption in ways that improve nutrition or combat obesity. But there is more to flavor than the substances that meet the mouth. Olfaction, our sense of smell, is a major contributor to how we perceive aromas, especially those related to what we eat. With hopes to capitalize on the smell factor in flavor development, researchers are exploring how the route an aroma takes to get to the olfactory system, through the nose or the back of the throat, influences our response to the scent in question. In a new study, when participants were asked to match a known scent such as rose with one of four unknown scents, they did best when the aromas were introduced ...

Experts challenge current understanding of transition dairy cow health

2021-07-19
Champaign, IL, July 19, 2021 - For dairy cows, the transition period--the time between a cow giving birth and beginning to produce milk--brings the greatest possibility of health problems. The current widespread belief is that the effects of excess nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA) in the bloodstream and the ensuing hyperketonemia during this period, coupled with low levels of available calcium, are largely responsible for disorders such as mastitis, metritis, retained placenta, and poor fertility. Much attention has therefore been devoted to regulating NEFA and calcium levels in transition cows--yet all these efforts have not made the transition period less of a challenge to cows and, hence, to farmers, with approximately ...

Study shows why second dose of COVID-19 vaccine shouldn't be skipped

2021-07-19
The second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine induces a powerful boost to a part of the immune system that provides broad antiviral protection, according to a study led by investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The finding strongly supports the view that the second shot should not be skipped. "Despite their outstanding efficacy, little is known about how exactly RNA vaccines work," said Bali Pulendran, PhD, professor of pathology and of microbiology and immunology. "So we probed the immune response induced by one of them in exquisite detail." The study, ...

A mathematical model simulating the impact of new SARS-CoV-2 strains and vaccines

2021-07-19
The MOMAT research group from Universidad Complutense de Madrid has worked with Universidad de Almería, to develop a mathematical model that simulates the impact of SARS-CoV-2 strains and vaccines together, combined with many other biological and social processes in the propagation of COVID-19. The tool can be downloaded without restriction and free of charge and applied to any territory. It forms part of the family of θ-SIR models, which were initially developed by the MOMAT research group itself before the arrival of new variants and the development of vaccines. "The model allows us to estimate for the first time ...

Human action, key to antibiotic resistance in giant tortoises of Galapagos

Human action, key to antibiotic resistance in giant tortoises of Galapagos
2021-07-19
UCC-UCM, 13 July. The Giant Galapagos tortoises which live in contact with human farming and tourism activities, or in urbanised zones, have more bacterial resistance to antibiotics than those that live in more isolated ecosystems. This is the main conclusion of the research published in Environmental Pollution on which Universidad Complutense de Madrid participated together with the Charles Darwin Foundation (FCD), the Institute for Conservation Medicine of the Saint Louis Zoo (ICM), the Centre for Animal Health Research (INIA-CISA) and Universidad Europea de Madrid. Ainoa Nieto, the lead author, researcher at ICM/FCD and collaborator ...

Living near woodlands is good for children and young people's mental health

2021-07-19
Analysis of children and young people's proximity to woodlands has shown links with better cognitive development and a lower risk of emotional and behavioural problems, in research led by UCL and Imperial College London scientists that could influence planning decisions in urban areas. In what is believed to be one of the largest studies of its kind, researchers used longitudinal data relating to 3,568 children and teenagers, aged nine to 15 years, from 31 schools across London. This period is a key time in the development of adolescents' thinking, reasoning and understanding of the world. The study, published in Nature Sustainability, looked at the links between different types of natural urban environments and ...

Renewable energy OK, but not too close to home

Renewable energy OK, but not too close to home
2021-07-19
When it comes to transitioning from carbon-based to renewable source energy systems, Americans are on board. They're less keen, however, having these new energy infrastructures--wind turbines or solar farms--built close to their homes, which creates hurdles for policymakers. That's according to a study from University of Georgia researcher Thomas Lawrence. Lawrence and an international team conducted surveys in the United States, Germany and Ireland to assess people's attitudes about renewable energy technologies and their willingness to have the necessary infrastructures built nearby. "People in Germany and Ireland were more open to having renewable ...

Tail without a comet: the dusty remains of Comet ATLAS

Tail without a comet: the dusty remains of Comet ATLAS
2021-07-19
A serendipitous flythrough of the tail of a disintegrated comet has offered scientists a unique opportunity to study these remarkable structures, in new research presented today at the National Astronomy Meeting 2021. Comet ATLAS fragmented just before its closest approach to the Sun last year, leaving its former tail trailing through space in the form of wispy clouds of dust and charged particles. The disintegration was observed by the Hubble Space Telescope in April 2020, but more recently the ESA spacecraft Solar Orbiter has flown close to the tail remnants in the course of its ongoing mission. This lucky ...

New material could mean lightweight armor, protective coatings

New material could mean lightweight armor, protective coatings
2021-07-19
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. -- Army-funded research identified a new material that may lead to lightweight armor, protective coatings, blast shields and other impact-resistant structures. Researchers at the U.S. Army's Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Caltech and ETH Zürich found that materials formed from precisely patterned nanoscale trusses are tougher than Kevlar and steel. In experiments, the ultralight structures, called nanoarchitectured materials, absorbed the impact of microscopic projectiles accelerated to supersonic speeds. "Increasing protection while simultaneously decreasing the weight that ...

Cannabis: sexually diverse youths with depression use more

Cannabis: sexually diverse youths with depression use more
2021-07-19
It's no secret that studies show that sexually diverse youth - in particular, lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) youth - use more cannabis and experience more mental health challenges than their heterosexual peers. But what about the changes that occur in the rates of cannabis use: do they precede those related to mental health or is it the other way around? A new study from Université de Montréal offers some answers. In the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Kira London-Nadeau, a doctoral student and CIHR Vanier Scholar in the Department of Psychology at UdeM and the CHU Sainte-Justine Research ...

Inadequate protection for women and girls seeking refuge in Germany

2021-07-19
Germany is not meeting its legal obligations to protect refugee women and girls from discrimination. This is the conclusion of a "shadow report" by the University of Göttingen, the association Pro Asyl and the refugee councils of Bavaria, Hesse, Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. Shadow reports are a useful tool to present important information in parallel with official government reports. Based on current research results and a survey of 65 women's counselling centres, psychosocial counselling centres and institutions working with refugees from all 16 federal states, the study finds that Germany does not adequately protect refugee women and girls and does not meet the requirements of the Istanbul Convention. "The Istanbul Convention - also known as the Council of Europe convention ...

Novel coronavirus discovered in British bats

2021-07-19
A coronavirus related to the virus that causes Covid-19 in humans has been found in UK horseshoe bats - according to new collaborative research from the University of East Anglia, ZSL (Zoological Society of London), and Public Health England (PHE). However, there is no evidence that this novel virus has been transmitted to humans, or that it could in future, unless it mutates. UEA researchers collected faecal samples from more than 50 lesser horseshoe bats in Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wales and sent them for viral analysis at Public Health England. Genome sequencing found a novel coronavirus in one of the bat samples, which the team have named 'RhGB01'. It is the first time that a sarbecovirus ...

New Zealand drug agency provides model to insulate NICE from impacts of trade deals

2021-07-19
UK policymakers preparing trade deals post-Brexit can learn important lessons from New Zealand's 'unique drug agency' the Pharmaceutical Management Agency (PHARMAC), if prices for therapies and access to key drugs are to be protected, say researchers behind a new study. Over two decades, New Zealand has managed to reduce spending on drugs significantly and consistently despite maintaining access for its population to key treatments. As such, it is an outlier among the world's richest nations: no other OECD country has managed to achieve this. The investigation from researchers at the universities of Bath and Durham suggest New Zealand's ...

Survey shows rise in vaccine hesitancy in Ghana

2021-07-19
Research led by the University of Southampton into the uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine in Ghana, West Africa has concluded that vaccine hesitancy has seen a small, but significant increase over the last three months. This research is in collaboration with youth-led not-for-profit organisation PACKS Africa. In the latest survey of 1,295 unvaccinated people, in May/June 2021, willingness to be vaccinated remained relatively high at just over 71.4 percent. However, this figure is down 11 percent on results from March 2021 when an earlier version of the same survey was conducted. The latest findings show 28.6 percent of respondents are still either undecided or unwilling to get the jab. Among this 28.6 percent group, a little over half said ...

Championing chrononutrition with protein, the morning elixir for muscle growth

Championing chrononutrition with protein, the morning elixir for muscle growth
2021-07-19
Proteins constitute an essential dietary component that help in the growth and repair of the body. Composed of long chains of amino acids, proteins promote the growth of skeletal muscles, the group of muscles that help us move. Humans have been aware of the benefits of proteins for long. However, recent studies have shown that having the right amount of protein at the right time of the day is essential for proper growth. This is called 'Chrononutrition,' in which when you eat is as important as what and how you eat. The reason behind this is the body's internal biological clock, called the 'circadian rhythm.' This rhythm is followed by all cells and controls life functions like metabolism and growth. Interestingly, protein digestion and absorption have been ...

Mechanisms to separately regulate synaptic vesicle release and recycling

2021-07-19
Chemical synapses transmit information within the nervous system. When a presynaptic cell is electrically excited, synaptic vesicles fuse with the presynaptic membrane causing messenger substances within the vesicles to be released into the synaptic cleft. These then bind to receptors in the postsynaptic cell where they trigger an electrical signal once again. The temporal and spatial sequence of the incoming signals determines how information is processed and transmitted in the brain. In order to sustain their function in the long term, chemical synapses need to recycle synaptic vesicles to make them available for renewed signal transmission. Professor Carsten Duch and Professor Martin Heine and their respective ...
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