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Precision pulmonary medicine: Penn engineers target lung disease with lipid nanoparticles

Precision pulmonary medicine: Penn engineers target lung disease with lipid nanoparticles
2024-03-01
Penn Engineers have developed a new means of targeting the lungs with lipid nanoparticles (LNPs), the miniscule capsules used by the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to deliver mRNA, opening the door to novel treatments for pulmonary diseases like cystic fibrosis.  In a paper in Nature Communications, Michael J. Mitchell, Associate Professor in the Department of Bioengineering, demonstrates a new method for efficiently determining which LNPs are likely to bind to the lungs, rather than the liver. “The way the liver is designed,” says Mitchell, “LNPs tend to filter into hepatic cells, and struggle ...

Scientists make nanoparticles dance to unravel quantum limits

Scientists make nanoparticles dance to unravel quantum limits
2024-03-01
The question of where the boundary between classical and quantum physics lies is one of the longest-standing pursuits of modern scientific research and in new research published today, scientists demonstrate a novel platform that could help us find an answer.   The laws of quantum physics govern the behaviour of particles at miniscule scales, leading to phenomena such as quantum entanglement, where the properties of entangled particles become inextricably linked in ways that cannot be explained by classical physics. Research in quantum physics ...

Study identifies multi-organ response to seven days without food

2024-03-01
New findings reveal that the body undergoes significant, systematic changes across multiple organs during prolonged periods of fasting. The results demonstrate evidence of health benefits beyond weight loss, but also show that any potentially health-altering changes appear to occur only after three days without food.  The study, published today in Nature Metabolism, advances our understanding of what’s happening across the body after prolonged periods without food.   By identifying the potential health benefits from fasting ...

New microbiome insights could help boost immunotherapy for a range of rare cancers

2024-03-01
The microbiome can identify those who benefit from combination immunotherapy across multiple different cancers, including rare gynaecological cancers, biliary tract cancers and melanoma. Researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute in Australia, and collaborators, have identified specific strains of bacteria that are linked with a positive response to combination immunotherapy in the largest study of its kind. The study, published today (1 March) in Nature Medicine, details a signature collection of microorganisms in an individual’s gut bacteria that may help identify those who would benefit from combination immunotherapy and ...

It’s not only opposites that attract – new study shows like-charged particles can come together

It’s not only opposites that attract – new study shows like-charged particles can come together
2024-03-01
A study published today in Nature Nanotechnology shows that similarly charged particles can sometimes attract, rather than repel. The team found that like-charged particles suspended in liquids can attract one another at long-range, depending on the solvent and the sign of the charge. The study has immediate implications for processes that involve interactions in solution across various length-scales, including self-assembly, crystallisation, and phase separation. ‘Opposites charges attract; like charges repel’ is a fundamental principle of basic physics. But a new study from Oxford University, published today in Nature Nanotechnology, has demonstrated that similarly ...

Japanese wolves are most closely related to dogs and share DNA with East Eurasian dogs

Japanese wolves are most closely related to dogs and share DNA with East Eurasian dogs
2024-03-01
In this study, we determined nine genomes of Japanese wolves and 11 genomes of modern Japanese dogs at high coverage and analyzed with one hundred dog and wolf genomes in the public database. The analyses showed that 1) the Japanese wolf was a unique subspecies of the gray wolf that is genetically distinct from both extant and ancient gray wolves known to date, 2) the Japanese wolf is most closely related to the monophyletic group of dogs. Furthermore, 3) Japanese wolf ancestry has introgressed into the ancestor of East Eurasian dogs at an early stage of the dog’s history ...

Brown bears digging up artificial forests

Brown bears digging up artificial forests
2024-03-01
Brown bears foraging for food in the Shiretoko Peninsula of Hokkaido, Japan, have been disrupting tree growth in artificial conifer forests, according to a new study. Researchers compared soil and tree samples from human-forested plots with samples from natural forests. They found that the bears’ digging for cicada nymphs damaged tree roots and altered the nitrogen content of the soil, which in turn limited the diameter growth of trees. The phenomena of bears digging for cicadas, an unusual food source, appears to be restricted to human-planted conifer forest; diversely vegetated natural forest ...

Innovative domain-adaptive method enables 3D face reconstruction from single depth images

Innovative domain-adaptive method enables 3D face reconstruction from single depth images
2024-03-01
Reconstructing a 3D face from visuals is crucial for digital face modeling and manipulation. Traditional methods predominantly depend on RGB images, which are susceptible to lighting variations and offer only 2D information. In contrast, depth images, resistant to lighting changes, directly capture 3D data, offering a potential solution for robust reconstructions. Recent studies have turned to deep learning for more robust reconstruction from depth data; however, the scarcity of real depth images with accurate 3D facial labels has hindered the training process. Attempts to use auto-synthesized data for training have met limitations ...

Groundbreaking study unveils unique roles of yeast protein complexes in cellular lifespan and environmental response by rationally engineering based on the predicted three-dimensional structures

Groundbreaking study unveils unique roles of yeast protein complexes in cellular lifespan and environmental response by rationally engineering based on the predicted three-dimensional structures
2024-03-01
Assistant Professor Takahiro Kosugi of Institute for Molecular Science, assistant Professor Yoshiaki Kamada at National Institute for Basic Biology, and colleagues have developed an advanced molecular cell biology approach by integrating computational redesigning of protein complexes based on the predicted three-dimensional structure into yeast genetics. They revealed that two types of protein complexes in yeast, which were thought to have the same function, play distinct roles in cellular environmental response and lifespan. Furthermore, ...

Mass-produced, commercial promising multicolored photochromic fiber

Mass-produced, commercial promising multicolored photochromic fiber
2024-03-01
Fiber, as the wearable material with the longest application in the history of humankind, is currently an ideal substrate for wearable devices due to its excellent breathability, flexibility, and ability to adapt perfectly to the 3D irregular shape of the human body. As a means of visualization in the field of functional fibers, light-emitting fiber breaks the rigidity of the traditional display interface and is expected to become an emerging interaction interface. The current commercial light-emitting fibers are polymer optical fibers and Corning® Fibrance® light-diffusing fibers. These fibers ...

General Medical Council urged to revise terminology for international medical graduates

2024-03-01
The General Medical Council (GMC) should revise its terminology regarding international medical graduates (IMGs) in the UK, argues a new commentary published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (JRSM). The existing terminology used by the GMC fails to encompass the full spectrum of doctors facing challenges in the UK medical workforce, according to the paper’s author, Professor Mo Al-Haddad of Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow. Notably, he says, the GMC's definition of IMGs overlooks ...

Prostate cancer test may lead to harmful overdiagnosis in black men

2024-03-01
A new study from experts at the University of Exeter has found that a widely used test for prostate cancer may leave black men at increased risk of overdiagnosis. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing is routinely used as the first step in the UK to investigate men with urinary symptoms such as blood in urine or urinating very frequently. Men aged over 50 years without symptoms are also able to request the blood test from their GP. The new study, published in BMC Medicine, sought to investigate the performance of the PSA test in identifying prostate cancer among men ...

Discovery of proteins associated with the progression of dialysis-related amyloidosis

Discovery of proteins associated with the progression of dialysis-related amyloidosis
2024-03-01
Niigata, Japan –Dialysis patients often develop dialysis-related amyloidosis and exhibit bone and joint disorders that impair their activity of daily living (Figure 1). Blood purification devices consisting of hexadecyl-immobilized cellulose beads aimed at removing the precursor protein, β2- microglobulin (β2-m), are used in the treatment of dialysis-related amyloidosis. Dr. Yamamoto et al. investigated that comprehensive analysis of proteins adsorbed onto blood purification devices revealed the identification of 200 types of proteins, including β2-m. ...

Tiny magnetic particles in air pollution linked to development of Alzheimer’s

2024-03-01
Magnetite, a tiny particle found in air pollution, can induce signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, new research suggests. Alzheimer’s disease, a type of dementia, leads to memory loss, cognitive decline, and a marked reduction in quality of life. It impacts millions globally and is a leading cause of death in older individuals. The study, Neurodegenerative effects of air pollutant particles: Biological mechanisms implicated for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, led by Associate Professor Cindy Gunawan and Associate Professor Kristine McGrath from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) was recently published in Environment ...

Repurposed credit card-sized technology improves and broadens use of diagnostic stool tests

2024-03-01
A patient with gastrointestinal problems pays his doctor a visit. The doctor orders a stool test that will measure fecal bile acids, compounds made by the liver that can also be modified by the intestinal microbiome and are known for facilitating digestion and absorption of lipids or fats in the small intestine. Bile acid profiles are altered in several gastrointestinal conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and several forms of diarrhea, colitis and some bacterial ...

Loneliness increases the risk of health deterioration in older adults

2024-03-01
The loneliness often experienced by older people in our society has a negative effect on their physical health, according to researchers from Amsterdam UMC and the University of Glasgow. Emiel Hoogendijk, epidemiologist at Amsterdam Public Health, analysed research results from more than 130 studies and found that loneliness led to an increase in physical frailty, which in turn increases the risk of adverse health outcomes such as depression, falls and cognitive decline. These results are published today in The Lancet Healthy Longevity.   "Recently, ...

The Lancet: More than one billion people in the world are now living with obesity, global analysis suggests

2024-03-01
The Lancet: More than one billion people in the world are now living with obesity, global analysis suggests  Obesity rates among children and adolescents worldwide increased four times from 1990 to 2022, while obesity rates among adults have more than doubled.   Over the same period, rates of underweight fell among children, adolescents and adults, leading to obesity becoming the most common form of malnutrition in many countries.   Countries with the highest combined ...

Does trying to look younger reduce how much ageism older adults face?

2024-03-01
Every year, millions of older Americans spend money and time to try to look younger than they are. They color graying hair, buy anti-balding products, use teeth whiteners and wrinkle fillers, and much more. Now, a new study looks at what this kind of effort means for older adults’ experiences with the ageism that pervades American society. The study also explores how a person’s perception of how old they look relates to both their positive and negative age-related experiences, and their physical and mental health. In all, 59% of adults age 50 to 80 say they think they look younger than other people their age. The percentage was ...

Refrigerate lettuce to reduce risk of E. coli contamination, researchers say

2024-02-29
URBANA, Ill. – Leafy green vegetables are important sources of dietary fiber and nutrients, but they can harbor harmful pathogens. In particular, lettuce has often been involved in outbreaks of foodborne illness across the U.S. A new study from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign examines factors that affect E. coli contamination on five different leafy greens – romaine lettuce, green-leaf lettuce, spinach, kale, and collards.  “We are seeing a lot of outbreaks on lettuce, but not so much on kale and other brassica vegetables. We wanted to learn more about the susceptibility of different leafy greens,” said lead author Mengyi Dong, now a postdoctoral ...

How cognition changes before dementia hits

2024-02-29
Individuals with mild cognitive impairment, especially of the “amnestic subtype” (aMCI), are at increased risk for dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease relative to cognitively healthy older adults. Now, a study co-authored by researchers from MIT, Cornell University, and Massachusetts General Hospital has identified a key deficit in people with aMCI, which relates to producing complex language.  This deficit is independent of the memory deficit that characterizes this group and may provide an additional “cognitive biomarker” to aid in early detection — the time when treatments, ...

Notre Dame literacy research can improve learning outcomes and fight global poverty

Notre Dame literacy research can improve learning outcomes and fight global poverty
2024-02-29
A new study by a team of University of Notre Dame researchers makes a significant contribution to understanding the factors that influence how young elementary school students respond to reading interventions in fragile and low-income contexts. The study, published in the Comparative Education Review, evaluated an early-grade literacy intervention in Catholic schools in Haiti. The study has important implications for addressing educational inequities and improving learning outcomes to create opportunity and lift millions of children globally out of poverty. “This ...

A holistic framework for studying social emotions

2024-02-29
(Santa Barbara, Calif.) — The crucial role of social emotions in our lives and in society cannot be overstated. Empathy, guilt, embarrassment, pride and other feelings we experience in the context of other people govern and motivate how we act, interact and the countless decisions we make. Which is why a more holistic approach, one that integrates the various ways these emotions are studied, is necessary to gain insight and address gaps in knowledge. That’s according to researchers from UC Santa Barbara, New York University School ...

Astronomers measure heaviest black hole pair ever found

Astronomers measure heaviest black hole pair ever found
2024-02-29
Nearly every massive galaxy hosts a supermassive black hole at its center. When two galaxies merge, their black holes can form a binary pair, meaning they are in a bound orbit with one another. It’s hypothesized that these binaries are fated to eventually merge, but this has never been observed [1]. The question of whether such an event is possible has been a topic of discussion amongst astronomers for decades. In a recently published paper in The Astrophysical Journal, a team of astronomers have presented new insight into this question. The team used data from the Gemini North telescope in ...

Specific brain support cells can regulate behaviors involved in some human psychiatric disorders

2024-02-29
UCLA Health researchers have discovered a group of specialized support cells in the brain that can regulate behaviors associated with human neuropsychiatric disorders. The study, published in the journal Nature, focused on a group of cells known as astrocytes – star-shaped cells that tile the central nervous system and provide a support structure for the neural communication networks.  While neurons have long been understood to have primary control of behavior, the study found that a distinct group of astrocytes located deep in the central region of the brain, known as the central striatum, may also regulate communications between neurons. Unlike ...

Microbial viruses act as secret drivers of climate change

2024-02-29
COLUMBUS, Ohio – In a new study, scientists have discovered that viruses that infect microbes contribute to climate change by playing a key role in cycling methane, a potent greenhouse gas, through the environment.  By analyzing nearly 1,000 sets of metagenomic DNA data from 15 different habitats, ranging from various lakes to the inside of a cow’s stomach, researchers found that microbial viruses carry special genetic elements for controlling methane processes, called auxiliary metabolic genes ...
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