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Cellular push and pull, a key to the body's response to processes such as cancer

Cellular push and pull, a key to the bodys response to processes such as cancer
2021-07-16
From the vocal cords that produce our voice, to our heartbeat, our body's cells are constantly subjected to mechanical forces that steadily change their response to these stimuli, regulating vital processes, in healthy individuals and in diseases such as cancer alike. Nevertheless, despite their importance, we remain largely ignorant of how cells sense and respond to these forces. Now, an international team co-led by the researcher Pere Roca-Cusachs, from the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), and Isaac Almendros, a researcher at the Respiratory Diseases Networking Biomedical Research Centre (CIBERES) and IDIBAPS, both professors at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the University of Barcelona (UB), has proved that what determines mechanical ...

Cellular uptake of nanoparticles keys for further development of temperature sensing

Cellular uptake of nanoparticles keys for further development of temperature sensing
2021-07-16
The article represents the transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and flow cytometry study of A-549 (human lung carcinoma) cellular uptake of Pr3+:LaF3 nanoparticles. The Pr3+:LaF3 nanoparticles are promising platforms for cell nano-sensors. The objective of the work was to study the influence of nanoparticle morphology (nanoplates and nanospheres) on cytotoxicity and the dynamic of cellular uptake. In the flow cytometry method, the cells go through a small tube (as a flow) and are irradiated by a laser. Cells scatter the laser light, and this scattering ...

Simplified method for calibrating optical tweezers

Simplified method for calibrating optical tweezers
2021-07-16
Measurements of biomechanical properties inside living cells require minimally invasive methods. Optical tweezers are particularly attractive as a tool. It uses the momentum of light to trap and manipulate micro- or nanoscale particles. A team of researchers led by Prof. Dr. Cornelia Denz from the University of Münster (Germany) has now developed a simplified method to perform the necessary calibration of the optical tweezers in the system under investigation. Scientists from the University of Pavia in Italy were also involved. The results of the study have been published in the journal Scientific Reports. The calibration ensures that measurements of different samples and with different devices are comparable. ...

New model can predict multiple RNA modifications simultaneously

2021-07-16
The ability to predict and interpret modifications of ribonucleic acid (RNA) has been a welcome advance in biochemistry research. However, existing predictive approaches have a key drawback--they can only predict a single type of RNA modification without supporting multiple types or providing insightful interpretation of their prediction results. Researchers from Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, led by Dr Jia Meng, have addressed this issue by developing a model that supports 12 RNA modification types, greatly expanding RNA research prediction and interpretation. "To the best of our knowledge, ...

Individual protected areas in Amazonia differ greatly in how effectively they help to fight deforestation and carbon emissions

Individual protected areas in Amazonia differ greatly in how effectively they help to fight deforestation and carbon emissions
2021-07-16
While tropical forests remain threatened and their future is uncertain, the importance of understanding how well individual protected areas avoid deforestation increases. Researchers from the University of Turku and University of Helsinki, Finland, have investigated this question in a newly published study that focuses on the State of Acre in Brazilian Amazonia. Tropical forests are unique environments that have huge species diversity and also act as important reservoirs of organic carbon, thereby counteracting climate change. However, their area is diminishing due to deforestation, ...

Staying on schedule

2021-07-16
Tsukuba, Japan - A team of scientists led by Associate Professor Haruka Ozaki of the Center for Artificial Intelligence Research at the University of Tsukuba in collaboration with Dr. Koichi Takahashi from RIKEN used mathematical algorithms to optimize the schedule of automated biology laboratory robots. By analyzing the needs of time-sensitive samples that require investigation using multiple instruments, the researchers were able to maximize the number of experiments that can be performed within time and laboratory resource constraints. This work may help in the design of future automated biology labs and other workspaces. Biology laboratories have seen increasing automation because many tasks, like pipetting solutions or moving cells from one ...

A noninvasive test to detect cancer cells and pinpoint their location

2021-07-16
CAMBRIDGE, MA -- Most of the tests that doctors use to diagnose cancer -- such as mammography, colonoscopy, and CT scans -- are based on imaging. More recently, researchers have also developed molecular diagnostics that can detect specific cancer-associated molecules that circulate in bodily fluids like blood or urine. MIT engineers have now created a new diagnostic nanoparticle that combines both of these features: It can reveal the presence of cancerous proteins through a urine test, and it functions as an imaging agent, pinpointing the tumor location. In principle, this diagnostic could be used to detect cancer anywhere in the body, including tumors that have metastasized from their original locations. "This is a really broad sensor intended to respond to both primary tumors and their ...

Wildfire smoke exposure linked to increased risk of contracting COVID-19

Wildfire smoke exposure linked to increased risk of contracting COVID-19
2021-07-16
Reno, Nev. (July 15, 2021) - Wildfire smoke may greatly increase susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, according to new research from the Center for Genomic Medicine at the Desert Research Institute (DRI), Washoe County Health District (WCHD), and Renown Health (Renown) in Reno, Nev. In a study published earlier this week in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, the DRI-led research team set out to examine whether smoke from 2020 wildfires in the Western U.S. was associated with an increase in SARS-CoV-2 infections in Reno. To ...

Benzodiazepines, 'z-drugs' increase death risk when taken with opioids

2021-07-16
A new study by Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers of more the 400,000 Medicare patients taking medications for insomnia found that the risk of death is increased when either benzodiazepines or "z-drugs" are taken with opioids. The study, published July 15 in PLOS Medicine and led by Wayne Ray, PhD, professor of Health Policy at VUMC, compared patients taking these drugs with opioids to comparable patients taking trazodone, another commonly prescribed sleep medication for older patients. The researchers found that those using benzodiazepines had a 221% increase in the risk of death from ...

Study finds promising therapeutic target for colitis

Study finds promising therapeutic target for colitis
2021-07-16
LA JOLLA, CALIF. - July 16, 2021 - An international research group, led by Jamey Marth, Ph.D., a professor at Sanford Burnham Prebys, has shown that the Neuraminidase 3 (Neu3) enzyme is responsible for the onset and progression of colitis--a chronic digestive disease caused by inflammation of the colon. The study, recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was performed in a model of recurrent human food poisoning previously linked with the condition. The findings represent a scientific advance toward a targeted therapy to help the millions of people worldwide affected by the disorder. "Our new research demonstrates how increased activity of ...

Co-locating contraceptive services and opioid treatment programs may help prevent unintended pregnancy

2021-07-16
Increases in maternal opioid use have led to an almost doubling in the number of babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) in the U.S. in the past 10 years. This statistic led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Academy of Pediatrics to call for stepped-up efforts to reduce opioid use during pregnancy, such as ensuring access to contraception to prevent unintended pregnancies among women who use opioids. More than 75% of women with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) report having had an unintended pregnancy, but they are less likely to use effective ...

Galactic fireworks: New ESO images reveal stunning features of nearby galaxies

Galactic fireworks: New ESO images reveal stunning features of nearby galaxies
2021-07-16
A team of astronomers has released new observations of nearby galaxies that resemble colourful cosmic fireworks. The images, obtained with the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (ESO's VLT), show different components of the galaxies in distinct colours, allowing astronomers to pinpoint the locations of young stars and the gas they warm up around them. By combining these new observations with data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), in which ESO is a partner, the team is helping shed new light on what triggers gas to form stars. Astronomers know that stars are born in clouds of gas, but what sets off star formation, and how galaxies as a whole play into it, remains a mystery. To understand this process, a team of researchers has observed various ...

Race, politics divide Americans on sports issues

2021-07-16
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Although some people may yearn for sports to be free of political or racial divisiveness, a new study shows how impossible that dream may be. Researchers found that Americans' views on two hot-button issues in sports were sharply divided by racial, ethnic and political identities. In addition, their opinions on topics unrelated to sports, like the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, also were linked to their beliefs about the two sports issues. The study analyzed opinions on whether college athletes should be paid and whether it is acceptable for pro athletes to protest ...

3D printed replicas reveal swimming capabilities of ancient cephalopods

3D printed replicas reveal swimming capabilities of ancient cephalopods
2021-07-16
University of Utah paleontologists David Peterman and Kathleen Ritterbush know that it's one thing to use math and physics to understand how ancient marine creatures moved through the water. It's another thing to actually put replicas of those creatures into the water and see for themselves. They're among the scientists who are, through a range of methods including digital models and 3-D printed replicas, "de-fossilizing" animals of the past to learn how they lived. Peterman, Ritterbush and their colleagues took 3-D printed reconstructions of fossil cephalopods to actual water tanks (including a University of Utah swimming pool) to see how their shell structure may have been tied to their movement and lifestyle. Their research is published in PeerJ ...

Ficlatuzumab plus chemotherapy may benefit patients with relapsed/refractory AML

2021-07-16
Bottom Line: The investigational therapeutic ficlatuzumab in combination with chemotherapy showed signs of clinical efficacy in patients with relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia. Journal in Which the Study was Published: Blood Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research Author: Senior author Charalambos Andreadis, MD, professor of clinical medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and first author Victoria Wang, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of hematology and oncology at UCSF Background: "Only about half of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) will achieve long-term disease control," said ...

Nearly 20 percent of intact forest landscapes overlap with extractive industries

Nearly 20 percent of intact forest landscapes overlap with extractive industries
2021-07-16
Byron Bay (16/7/2021) - A new study from WCS and WWF reveals that nearly 20 percent of tropical Intact Forest Landscapes (IFLs) overlap with concessions for extractive industries such as mining, oil and gas. The total area of overlap is 376,449 square miles (975,000 square kilometers), about the size of Egypt. Mining concessions overlap most with tropical IFLs, at 11.33 percent of the total area, while oil and gas concessions overlap with 7.85 percent of the total area. IFLs are globally important for conserving biodiversity and fighting climate change. ...

Oncotarget: RAS reversion in colorectal cancer patients treated with bevacizumab

Oncotarget: RAS reversion in colorectal cancer patients treated with bevacizumab
2021-07-16
Oncotarget published "Occurence of RAS reversion in metastatic colorectal cancer patients treated with bevacizumab" which reported that a disappearance of RAS mutations in the plasma of about 50% of mCRCs treated with bevacizumab-based chemotherapy has been reported. Using next-generation sequencing and real-time PCR approaches, these authors characterized the primary tumor and paired liver metastases in 28 RAS mutant mCRCs. RAS mutant alleles are at the same percentage in PT and liver metastases in the control group, while a significant reduction of the level ...

Private-public partnership helps to evaluate satellite observations of atmospheric CO2 over oceans

2021-07-16
Hiroshi Tanimoto, Director of the Earth System Division at the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Japan, and Astrid Müller together with their international research team, have developed a new method to evaluate satellite observations of XCO2 over open ocean areas, which are currently inaccessible through established validation network sites. In the new approach, a reference CO2 dataset is formulated by combining cargo ship and passenger aircraft observations which were conducted in cooperation with operators of the private sector. (Background) After the Paris Agreement entered into force, commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are being expedited. CO2 is the most important anthropogenically produced greenhouse ...

Using migration data to fine-tune marketing strategies to rural Indian communities

2021-07-16
Researchers from National University of Singapore and Stanford University published a new paper in the Journal of Marketing that investigates how rural consumers in India shift their expenditures towards branded consumption when they migrate to urban areas. The study, forthcoming in the Journal of Marketing, is titled "The Economic and Social Impacts of Migration on Brand Expenditure: Evidence from Rural India" and is authored by Vishal Narayan and Shreya Kankanhalli. With Covid-19 disrupting work patterns and increased investment in rural employment, many of India's 450 million internal migrants are returning to their villages. Consumer goods companies view this as an opportunity to grow their presence in rural markets, with migrants serving as unofficial brand ambassadors ...

Swimming at the mesoscale

2021-07-16
A team of researchers from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), the University of Liège and the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energy have developed a microswimmer that appears to defy the laws of fluid dynamics: their model, consisting of two beads that are connected by a linear spring, is propelled by completely symmetrical oscillations. The Scallop theorem states that this cannot be achieved in fluid microsystems. The findings have now been published in the academic journal Physical Review Letters. Scallops can swim in water by quickly clapping their shells together. They are large enough to still be able to move forwards through the moment of inertia while the scallop ...

Government's latest pandemic plan recklessly exposes millions to effects of mass infection

2021-07-16
The UK government's latest pandemic plan involves recklessly exposing millions of people to the acute and long-term effects of mass infection, warn experts in The BMJ today. A strategy that chooses mass infection in the young now over vaccination in order to achieve greater population immunity to protect the vulnerable in winter, is "unethical and unscientific" say Dr Deepti Gurdasani and colleagues. Instead of allowing infections to rise, they urge the government to take urgent actions to inform and protect the public and prepare for autumn. These include outlining a long-term strategy for pandemic control, keeping basic measures ...

International team of scientists turns methane into methanol at room temperature

International team of scientists turns methane into methanol at room temperature
2021-07-16
A team of researchers from Stanford University and the University of Leuven in Belgium has further elucidated an intriguing process that could be an important step toward a methanol fuel economy with abundant methane as the feedstock, an advance that could fundamentally change how the world uses natural gas. Methanol - the simplest alcohol - is used to make various products, like paints and plastics, and as an additive to gasoline. Rich in hydrogen, methanol can drive new-age fuel cells that could yield significant environmental benefits. If natural gas, of which methane ...

Common medication used to reduce cholesterol levels may reduce COVID-19 severity

2021-07-16
In a new study from University of California San Diego School of Medicine, researchers have confirmed that patients taking statin medications had a 41 percent lower risk of in-hospital death from COVID-19. The findings were published July 15, 2021 in PLOS ONE and expand upon prior research conducted at UC San Diego Health in 2020. Statins are commonly used to reduce blood cholesterol levels by blocking liver enzymes responsible for making cholesterol. They are widely prescribed: The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 93 percent of patients who use a cholesterol-lowering drug use a statin. "When faced with this virus at the beginning of the pandemic, there was a lot of speculation ...

'Get out of the water!' Monster shark movies massacre shark conservation

Get out of the water! Monster shark movies massacre shark conservation
2021-07-15
Undeniably the shark movie to end all shark movies, the 1975 blockbuster, Jaws, not only smashed box office expectations, but forever changed the way we felt about going into the water - and how we think about sharks. Now, more than 40 years (and 100+ shark movies) on, people's fear of sharks persists, with researchers at the University of South Australia concerned about the negative impact that shark movies are having on conservation efforts of this often-endangered animal. In a world-first study, conservation psychology researchers, UniSA's Dr Briana Le Busque and Associate Professor Carla Litchfield have evaluated how sharks are portrayed in movies, finding that ...

Chemical reactions break free from energy barriers using flyby trajectories

Chemical reactions break free from energy barriers using flyby trajectories
2021-07-15
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- A new study shows that it is possible to use mechanical force to deliberately alter chemical reactions and increase chemical selectivity - a grand challenge of the field. The study led by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researcher Jeffrey Moore and Stanford University chemist Todd Martinezz demonstrates how external mechanical forces alter atomic motions to manipulate reaction outcomes. The study findings are published in the journal Science. "We think of chemical reactions as molecules moving on a surface of potential energy in the way hikers follow the contour map of mountains and valleys along a trail," said lead author Yun ...
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