Hyundai Kona Electric Test Drive Review From Paris Video

first_imgSource: Electric Vehicle News Hyundai Kona Electric positively received once again.After a first look at the interior of Kia e-Niro in Paris, the Toronto Electric Vehicle Association (TEVA) checked out its sibling Hyundai Kona Electric, but this time besides an overview of the interior, there is a test drive review at the fairs.According to the review, the Kona Electric is smaller than e-Niro, and feels tighter inside. If one would need an EV for the family, the better choice would be probably the e-Niro, although Kona Electric should be less expensive and maybe fit better for city driving.TEVA seems very pleased with the driving experience of the Kona Electric. It’s quick in Sport mode, has great range, quick charging capability (up to 100 kW) and can be well equipped.More on Hyundai Kona Electric Short-range Battery / Motor spec:39.2 kWh battery – 300 km (186 miles) range (WLTP)99 kW, 395 Nm electric motor (front-wheel drive)0-62 mph (100 kmh) in 9.3 seconds104 mph (167 km/h) top speed7.2 kW on-board charger and 100 kW CCS Combo DC fast charging capabilityLong-range Battery / Motor spec:64 kWh battery – 470 km (292 miles) range (WLTP)150 kW, 395 Nm electric motor (front-wheel drive)0-62 mph (100 kmh) in 7.6 seconds104 mph (167 km/h) top speed7.2 kW on-board charger and 100 kW CCS Combo DC fast charging capability Hyundai Sells Record Amount Of Plug-In Electric Cars In September Hyundai Kona Electric: Compelling EV That U.S. May Barely Get to Know Kia e-Niro Interior Overview: It’s More Spacious Than Kona: Video Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on November 1, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

In 2018 More Than 8 Of Cars Sold In Sweden Were PlugIns

first_imgPlug-in electric car sales in SwedenThe total number of new registrations in 2018 amounted to 28,674 (up 43% year-over-year) at an average market share of 8.1%.Plug-in hybrid models were the most popular choice in 2018, but there is big chance that new BEV models and more BEV-friendly incentives will change the outcome in 2019:Source: EV Sales Blog Almost 50% Of Passenger Cars Sold In Norway In 2018 Plugged In Watch This Nissan LEAF Winter Range Test: Video Watch Unboxing & Install Of Tesla Model 3 Roof Rack Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 7, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News 2018 was the last year of PHEV dominance in Sweden?While the overall car market in Sweden decreases, plug-in electric cars continue with expansion. In December, some 2,695 new plug-ins were registered, which is 21% more than a year ago at a decent 11% market share.All-electric cars became more popular in recent months, while the plug-in hybrids note decline:BEVs – 1,090 (up 277%)PHEVs – 1,605 (down 17%)The best-selling model in December was Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (383), followed by Nissan LEAF (343) and Renault ZOE (340).See Also Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Here Are The Quickest Selling Used Electric Cars

first_img2. TESLA MODEL SWith buyers still having to wait for delivery of a new Tesla Model S, the popular luxury EV doesn’t sit long on a used-car lot waiting for a new owner, at an average 32.4 days. Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 20, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News 4. VOLKSWAGEN E-GOLFEven with new-model sales limited to a handful of states (California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington D.C), the Volkswagen e-Golf does a quick turnaround when traded in. It sits unsold for an average 38.4 days. 5. BMW I3The futuristically funky looking BMW i3 remains in the used market for an average 39.2 days. Note that this represents pre-owned sales of both the full-electric version and the “Rex” model that comes with a small range-extending gasoline engine. The BMW i3 sells the quickest among all used models in Phoenix, AZ and Seattle-Tacoma, WA, according to iSeeCars.com. 3. CHEVROLET BOLT EVThe Chevrolet Bolt EV is still a relatively recent entry, and boasts an extremely practical 238 miles on a charge, which helps explain why it lingers for only an average 35.2 days on the market as a used model. It’s reportedly the quickest selling used car from any segment in Los Angeles, CA. 6. NISSAN LEAFThe model that’s been in production the longest among the cars on the quickest-selling used EV list, pre-owned versions of the Nissan Leaf are plentiful as well as popular. The average used Leaf remains on sale for 39.4 days before changing hands. iSeeCars.com says it’s also the fastest-selling vehicle of any kind in Atlanta, GA. 7. FORD FOCUS ELECTRICNow out of production, used versions of the Ford Focus Electric sit on a dealer’s lot for an average 41.4 days before finding a buyer according to the website iSeeCars.com. By comparison, the average among all used vehicles is 46.4 days on the market. Electric Cars & Crossovers: Charting The Changes For 2019center_img Here Are The Cheapest Electric Cars Available In The U.S. Nissan LEAF Is World’s # 1 Selling EV, But #2 Might Surprise You Tesla, Tesla, TeslaEspecially with the explosion in popularity of sport-utility vehicles, it comes as little surprise that the Tesla Model X crossover spends the least amount of time sitting on a used-car dealer’s lot at an average 28.4 days. It takes an average of 46.4 days on the market to sell the typical pre-owned car. Second on the quickest-selling used-EV list is the Tesla Model S sedan at 32.4 days to find a buyer.“The Model S is currently the only all-electric luxury car available, and its demand outstrips supply leading to scarcity in the used-car marketplace,” says iSeeCars.com CEO Phong Ly. “Those who purchase a new model have to wait at least a month for delivery while there is no wait time for a used version.”We expect what is currently the industry’s best selling EV, the Tesla Model 3, will land on this list next year, when used versions of what is still a recently introduced sedan begin entering market. In the meantime, we’re featuring the list of the seven used electric vehicles with the quickest turnover in the accompanying slideshow.Used Values Drop QuickWhile costlier than conventionally-powered rides when new, EV resale values tend to be lower than average, largely because of the one-time $7,500 federal tax credit granted to buyers of new models. This helps make them solid bargains in the pre-owned market. “The average price for a used late-model BMW i3 is $23,964, while a new model averages at $53,503,” Ly explains. “This nearly 55 percent price decrease provides consumers with a great deal while making it competitively priced in the luxury car segment.”On the down side, having accounted for only a small percentage of new-vehicle sales over the last few years, used EVs are still relatively rare in the general resale market. And at that, not all battery-powered models were sold in all 50 states when new. Some were specific to California (and perhaps one or more other states) to fulfill a requirement that major automakers sell at least one zero-emissions vehicle. That’s why the Golden State boasts the most EVs in the nation, and by a wide margin. Other states in which EVs tend to be the most prevalent include Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Vermont, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, and New York.Fortunately, even if used EVs are missing from dealers’ lots in your area, you can shop for a pre-owned plug-in model located anywhere in the nation here on MYEv.com. As an online marketplace dedicated to electric vehicles, MyEV.com features EV-specific search tools and detailed model descriptions of models for sale, and 100% free listings for sellers. An electric SUV tops the list.With Tesla’s upscale line of vehicles already taking the top three slots in terms of new electric-vehicle sales, they’re also among the quickest-selling used battery-powered rides in the U.S. That’s according to days-on-sale information compiled and provided to us by the automotive data and research company iSeeCars.com, based on a survey of used-car transactions from January through July 2018.More EV Basics 1. TESLA MODEL XWith the burgeoning popularity of crossover sport-utility vehicles in the new-car market, it follows that the Tesla Model X, with its signature vertically opening doors sits atop iSeeCars.com’s list of the fastest-selling used EVs. It takes an average of just 28.4 days for a dealer to find a new home for a pre-owned Model X. That also makes it the quickest seller among all used SUVs.Source: MYEV.com Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Researchers find new pig virus to be possible threat to humans

first_img Source:https://news.osu.edu/news/2018/05/14/research-pig-virus/ May 15 2018A recently identified pig virus can readily find its way into laboratory-cultured cells of people and other species, a discovery that raises concerns about the potential for outbreaks that threaten human and animal health.Researchers at The Ohio State University and Utrecht University in the Netherlands collaborated to better understand the new virus and its potential reach. Their study, the first to point to possible transmission of this virus between species, appears online in the journal PNAS.Porcine deltacoronavirus was first identified in 2012 in pigs in China, but it was not associated with disease. It was first detected in the United States in 2014 during a diarrhea outbreak in Ohio pigs and has since been detected in various countries. Young, infected pigs experience acute diarrhea and vomiting. The disease can be fatal. As of yet, no human cases have been documented, but scientists are concerned about the possibility.”Before it was found in pigs – including in the Ohio outbreak – it had only been found in various birds,” said study senior author Linda Saif, an investigator in Ohio State’s Food Animal Health Research Program at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), in Wooster.”We’re very concerned about emerging coronaviruses and worry about the harm they can do to animals and their potential to jump to humans,” said Saif, a distinguished university professor of veterinary preventive medicine.Emergence of the new virus is especially worrisome to veterinary and public-health experts because of its similarity to the life-threating viruses responsible for SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) outbreaks.The potential for a virus to jump from one species to another is highly dependent on its ability to bind to receptors on the cells of the animal or human, said lead researcher Scott Kenney, an assistant professor of veterinary preventive medicine based in the Food Animal Health Research Program at OARDC.”A receptor is like a lock in the door. If the virus can pick the lock, it can get into the cell and potentially infect the host,” he said.Related StoriesResearchers completely eliminate all traces of HIV from infected miceCommon cold virus strain could be a breakthrough in bladder cancer treatmentAntibiotics can wipe out early flu resistance, study findsThis study looked at a particular cellular receptor called aminopeptidase N that the researchers suspected might be involved.”We know from other coronaviruses that these receptors on the cells are used and that they’re found in the respiratory and digestive tracts of a number of different animals,” Kenney said. “Now we know that this new virus could go into cells of different species, including humans.”Saif said it’s important to recognize that, for now, the only known infection in humans and other species is in the laboratory, using cultured cells.Their investigation confirmed that the virus could bind to the receptor in pigs, which was not a big surprise.But it also was able to bind to the receptor in human cells, and to cells from cats and chickens.”From that point, it’s just a matter of whether it can replicate within the cells and cause disease in those animals and humans,” Kenney said.Added Saif, “This doesn’t prove that this virus can infect and cause disease in these other species, but that’s something we obviously want to know.”She said the next step in understanding this virus and its potential for human infection will be a study looking for antibodies in the blood that would serve as evidence that the pig virus has already infected people.”We now know for sure that porcine deltacoronavirus can bind to and enter cells of humans and birds. Our next step is to look at susceptibility – can sick pigs transmit their virus to chickens, or vice versa, and to humans?” Saif said.In 2002 and 2003, a SARS outbreak that began in China was linked to more than 8,000 cases and 774 deaths in 37 countries, according to the World Health Organization. Scientists have since discovered that SARS originated in bats before spreading to people. An ongoing MERS outbreak in Saudi Arabia has led to more than 1,800 cases and more than 700 deaths, according to the WHO. The virus has been found in camels, and some of the infected people have had close contact with the animals.​last_img read more

Novel drug prevents memory impairment in mice exposed to simulated deep space

first_imgMay 22 2018Planning a trip to Mars? You’ll want to remember your anti-radiation pills.NASA and private space companies like SpaceX plan to send humans to the red planet within the next 15 years–but among the major challenges facing future crewed space missions is how to protect astronauts from the dangerous cosmic radiation of deep space.Now the lab of UCSF neuroscientist Susanna Rosi, PhD, has identified the first potential treatment for the brain damage caused by exposure to cosmic rays–a drug that prevents memory impairment in mice exposed to simulated space radiation. The study was published May 18, 2018 inHumans venturing beyond the Earth’s protective magnetic fields will be exposed to levels of cosmic radiation estimated to be 1000 times higher than what we experience on Earth or even in the International Space Station’s low-earth orbit. Protecting astronauts from this harmful radiation will be key to making deep space exploration–and perhaps one day colonization–possible.Rosi, who is Director of Neurocognitive Research in theRosi’s team has previously found that exposing mice to simulated space radiation causes problems with memory, social interactions, and anxiety, and has linked these symptoms of radiation exposure to activation of cells called microglia–part of the brain’s immune system. Activated microglia drive brain inflammation similar to what is seen in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, and also seek out and consume synapses, the information-bearing connections between brain cells.”We are starting to have evidence that exposure to deep space radiation might affect brain function over the long term, but as far as I know, no one had explored any possible countermeasures that might protect astronauts’ brains against this level of radiation exposure,” said Rosi, who is a member of theIn the new study, the researchers collaborated with co-authors at Loma Linda University in Southern California to expose mice for a day to a dose of radiation comparable to what they might experience in deep space. The experiments were conducted at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, the only facility in the country where such experiments are possible. A week later, after being shipped back to UCSF, some of the mice were treated for 15 days with PLX5622, a drug produced by Berkeley-based pharmaceutical company Plexxikon, Inc, and which the Rosi lab had previously shown to prevent cognitive deficits in a mouse model of cancer radiation therapy when administered prior to irradiation of the brain.Related StoriesWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskResearchers identify previously unknown pathways for sensory learning in the brainResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionIn the present study, the irradiated animals initially displayed no cognitive deficits, but after three months they began showing signs of memory impairment. Normally, when researchers place mice in a room with a familiar and an unfamiliar object, the animals spend more time exploring the new object. But mice that had been exposed to space radiation three months earlier explored the two objects equally–presumably because they didn’t remember having seen one of the objects just the day before.Remarkably, animals that had been treated with PLX5622 soon after being exposed to radiation performed just like healthy mice on the memory task. The researchers examined the animals’ brains and showed that while the brains of untreated mice were full of activated microglia and had lost significant numbers of synapses, the brains of treated mice looked just like normal. The authors hypothesize that by forcing the brain to replace irritable, radiation-exposed microglia with new, healthy microglia, the drug had allowed the animals avoid the cognitive consequences of radiation.”This is really neat evidence, first that rebooting the brain’s microglia can protect cognitive function following radiation exposure, and second that we don’t necessarily need to treat immediately following the radiation exposure for the drug to be effective,” Rosi said.Similar compounds to PLX5622 produced by Plexxikon (inhibitors of a cellular receptor molecule called CSF1R) are already in clinical trials for multiple forms of human cancer, which suggests that the new findings could soon be translated to human use, the researchers say. Beyond spaceflight, these compounds could potentially be used to prevent cognitive impairments following cancer radiation therapy, or in age-related cognitive impairment–which has also been linked to microglia-driven brain inflammation.”NASA is very interested in finding ways of ensuring both astronaut safety and mission success during deep space travel,” said study co-lead author Karen Krukowski, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in Rosi’s lab. “But astronauts are a small population–it’s exciting that these findings could potentially help prevent many other forms of cognitive impairment.” Source:https://www.ucsf.edu/newslast_img read more

Podcast KHNs What the Health Whither work requirements

first_img While the overall number of people buying coverage in the health law’s exchanges rose, the number of people not getting help with their premiums fell for the third-straight year. While some consumers may have found other coverage (through Medicare or jobs), rising premiums have been a problem. The court decision blocking Kentucky’s Medicaid work requirement does not necessarily preclude other states’ work requirements from going forward. But the decision is likely to spark lawsuits in those states that have already had their work programs approved by HHS. The window for bipartisan action on health care costs on Capitol Hill has closed. The Justice Department’s decision to join the state attorneys general lawsuit on preexisting conditions was likely the last straw. Issues surrounding coverage of preexisting conditions will now likely dominate the political discussion leading up to the midterm elections this fall. Two things worth noting from the month of June. First, the recent court decision on risk-corridor payments to insurers seems to be a significant blow to the industry. Also, the Trump administration announced a major reorganization of Cabinet-level agencies. Although this is a common step for an administration, and something that rarely moves beyond “pie-in-the-sky” discussions, this one seems to be encapsulating the debate about the safety-net and social welfare programs. This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Read the latest on the Bill of the Month series:”Father’s And Son’s Injuries Lead To The Mother Of All Therapy Bills,” By Stephanie O’Neill.Related StoriesGender biases are extremely common among health care professionalsCannabis users could be more tolerant to anesthesia agentsUnited Nations sounds alarm bell on drug-resistant infectionsIf you have a medical bill you’d like NPR and KHN to investigate, you can submit it here.Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists recommend their favorite health stories of the week they think you should read, too:Julie Rovner: Kaiser Health News’ “Unlocked And Loaded: Families Confront Dementia And Guns,” by JoNel Aleccia and Melissa BaileyStephanie Armour: NPR’s “Rising Cost of PrEP to Prevent HIV Infection Pushes It Out of Reach for Many,” by Shefali Luthra and Anna GormanAnna Edney: The New York Times’ “Emergency Rooms Run Out of Vital Drugs, and Patients Are Feeling It,” by Katie ThomasJoanne Kenen: The Washington Post’s “College Students Are Forming Mental-Health Clubs — and They’re Making a Difference,” By Amy Ellis NuttTo hear all our podcasts, click here.And subscribe to What the Health? on iTunes, Stitcher or Google Play.center_img Jul 6 2018A federal District Court judge in Washington, D.C., has — for now — blocked Kentucky’s proposal to add a work requirement for much of its adult Medicaid population. The decision, while far from final, is likely to prompt lawsuits from advocates in other states where the Department of Health and Human Services has approved similar proposals.Also this week, HHS released updated enrollment information about those purchasing health insurance in the individual market. Despite efforts by the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress to depress enrollment by cutting outreach and canceling federal payments to insurers, the number of people who actually paid their first month’s premium was up slightly in 2018, compared with 2017.This week’s panelists for KHN’s “What the Health?” are: Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Stephanie Armour of The Wall Street Journal, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News and Joanne Kenen of Politico.Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:last_img read more

New review examines potential of medicinal cannabis to help treat intractable epilepsy

first_imgAug 8 2018A new British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology review examines the potential of medicinal cannabis–or medical marijuana–for helping patients with intractable epilepsy, in which seizures fail to come under control with standard anticonvulsant treatment.The authors note that cannabidiol–the most researched compound of cannabis–may have modest efficacy and be appropriate for children with severe epilepsy, but attention must be paid to potential side effects and drug interactions. There is no evidence to guide physicians in ranking cannabidiol among current antiepileptic drugs, and it will be important to continue studying its potential through rigorous clinical trials.”The emergence over the past 12 months of the first successful double-blind randomized controlled trials of cannabidiol is good news for some desperate families of children with severe epilepsy. These studies are a reminder though that this drug is no miracle, and we still have much to learn,” said co-author Dr. John Anthony Lawson, of Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, in Australia.Source: https://newsroom.wiley.com/press-release/british-journal-clinical-pharmacology/can-medical-marijuana-help-treat-intractable-epilast_img read more

Researchers discover key aspect in pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis

first_img Source:http://www.media.uzh.ch/en/Press-Releases/2018/Multiple-Sclerosis.html Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 4 2018A team of researchers the University of Zurich and the University Hospital Zurich has shown that in multiple sclerosis, it is not only specific T cells that cause inflammation and lesions in the brain. B cells, a different type of immune cell, also play a role. These cells activate T cells in the blood. This discovery explains how new MS drugs take effect, opening up novel options for treating the disease.Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. The body’s own immune cells attack and damage the layer that surrounds nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, which affects their ability to communicate with each other. The disease, which affects around 2.5 million people worldwide, is a common cause of disability in young adults and affects women particularly often. MS can lead to severe neurological disabilities such as sensory problems, pain and signs of paralysis.B cells activate T cellsA team led by neurologist Roland Martin and immunologist Mireia Sospedra at the University of Zurich (UZH), the University Hospital Zurich (USZ) and researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden has now discovered a key aspect in the pathogenesis of MS. “We were able to show for the first time that certain B cells – the cells of the immune system that produce antibodies – activate the specific T cells that cause inflammation in the brain and nerve cell lesions,” says Roland Martin, Director of the Clinical Research Priority Program Multiple Sclerosis at UZH.Novel MS drugs attack B cellsUntil recently, MS research had mainly focused on T cells, or T helper cells. They are the immune system’s “guardians”, which for example sound the alarm if the organism is infected with a virus or bacteria. In about one in a 1,000 people, the cells’ ability to distinguish between the body’s own and foreign structures becomes disturbed. The effect of this is that the misguided T cells start to attack the body’s own nerve tissue – the onset of MS. However, the T cells aren’t the sole cause of this. “A class of MS drugs called Rituximab and Ocrelizumab led us to believe that B cells also played an important part in the pathogenesis of the disease,” explains Roland Martin. These drugs eliminate B cells, which very effectively inhibits inflammation of the brain and flare-ups in patients.Related StoriesResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustB cells’ “complicity” revealedThe researchers established the role of B cells by using an experimental in-vitro system that allowed blood samples to be analyzed. The blood of people with MS revealed increased levels of activation and cellular division among those T cells attacking the body’s myelin sheaths that surround nerve cells. This was caused by B cells interacting with the T cells. When the B cells were eliminated, the researchers found that it very effectively inhibited the proliferation of T cells. “This means that we can now explain the previously unclear mechanism of these MS drugs,” says Roland Martin.Activated T cells migrate to the brainMoreover, the team also discovered that the activated T cells in the blood notably included those that also occur in the brain in MS patients during flare-ups of the disease. It is suspected that they cause the inflammation. Further studies showed that these T cells recognize the structures of a protein that is produced by the B cells as well as nerve cells in the brain. After being activated in the peripheral blood, the T cells migrate to the brain, where they destroy nerve tissue. “Our findings not only explain how new MS drugs take effect, but also pave the way for novel approaches in basic research and therapy for MS,” concludes Roland Martin.last_img read more

Researchers uncover secret of immortality mechanism in aggressive glioblastoma

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 10 2018UC San Francisco researchers have discovered how a mutation in a gene regulator called the TERT promoter — the third most common mutation among all human cancers and the most common mutation in the deadly brain cancer glioblastoma — confers “immortality” on tumor cells, enabling the unchecked cell division that powers their aggressive growth.The research, published September 10, 2018 in Cancer Cell, found that patient-derived glioblastoma cells with TERT promoter mutations depend on a particular form of a protein called GABP for their survival. GABP is critical to the workings of most cells, but the researchers discovered that the specific component of this protein that activates mutated TERT promoters, a subunit called GABP-ß1L, appears to be dispensable in normal cells: Eliminating this subunit using CRISPR-based gene editing dramatically slowed the growth of the human cancer cells in lab dishes and when they were transplanted into mice, but removing GABP-ß1L from healthy cells had no discernable effect.”These findings suggest that the ß1L subunit is a promising new drug target for aggressive glioblastoma and potentially the many other cancers with TERT promoter mutations,” said study senior author Joseph Costello, PhD, a leading UCSF neuro-oncology researcher.Immortality is one of the key traits of cancer cells. In contrast to healthy cells, which are strictly limited in the number of times they are able to divide, cancer cells can go on dividing and multiplying forever, in many cases accumulating additional cancer-driving mutations as they go.Normally, cellular life spans are set by structures called telomeres — protective caps that sit at the ends of chromosomes like the aglets at the end of a shoelace. Telomeres shorten each time a cell divides, until eventually they are too short to protect the DNA any longer, a signal the cell has reached the end of its natural life span and should be retired like a balding car tire.Tumor cells in most cancers get around this limitation by stealing the secret of immortality from long-lived stem cells, which can divide indefinitely thanks to a telomere-extending enzyme called telomerase, the discovery of which led to a Nobel prize shared by UCSF’s Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD. Normally only stem cells are allowed to cheat death in this way, but scientists estimate that as many as 90 percent of human cancers have activated telomerase, many through mutations in TERT, one of the two genes that encodes the telomerase complex, which enable them to grow and spread unfettered by the limitations of normal cells.Efforts to treat cancers with drugs that block telomerase have mostly proven too toxic to patients because they interfere with telomere maintenance in stem cells such as those needed to maintain healthy blood.But recent research has suggested that more than 50 types of human cancers may be caused not by a defective TERT gene itself, but by mutations in the TERT promoter — a region of DNA where protein complexes called transcription factors can influence when and how the TERT gene is activated. These mutations enable a transcription factor called GABP to bind to the TERT promoter and activate it, other studies had found, which was strange because in healthy cells GABP and TERT usually have nothing to do with one another.Related StoriesStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryLiving with advanced breast cancer”This was really intriguing to us,” Costello said. “You can’t create a drug to target a promoter itself, but if we could identify how GABP was binding to the mutated promoter in these cancers, we might have a remarkably powerful new drug target.”Costello’s team, led by graduate students Andrew Mancini and Ana Xavier-Magalhaes, studied human glioblastoma cell lines and primary tumor cells derived from advanced-stage glioblastoma patients and showed that the cells’ mutations create two adjacent sequences of DNA in the TERT promoter that make a perfect landing pad for a particular form of the GABP transcription factor complex containing four subunits, one of which was GABP-ß1L.The researchers showed that this GABP-ß1L-containing form of GABP is required to activate TERT and drive cancer growth, but that it appears not to be essential for healthy cells. When the researchers used multiple techniques, including CRISPR-based gene editing, to eliminate the GAPB1L subunit from glioblastoma cells in laboratory cultures, the cells’ growth dramatically slowed. The researchers then implanted patient-derived glioblastoma cells into mice and showed that while unedited cells grew aggressively and quickly proved fatal for the animals, cells edited to lack GAPB1L grew much more slowly and were less lethal.Costello said the next step will be to identify small-molecule drugs that could have a similar effect as the gene editing used in the current experiments, which was performed in collaboration with co-authors Pablo Perez-Pinera, PhD, of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna, PhD, of UC Berkeley and the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco, who is also an adjunct professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology at UCSF.”In theory what we have now is a therapeutic target that is not TERT itself, but a key to the TERT switch that is not essential in normal cells,” Costello said. “Now we have to design a therapeutic molecule that would do the same thing.”A San Francisco-based company called Telo Therapeutics, founded by Costello and former graduate student Robert Bell, PhD, who is also a co-author on the current study, is currently conducting small molecule screens to find such a molecule in partnership with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).”It’s gratifying that GSK is willing to invest their significant resources into this early-stage finding,” Costello said. “To me, it really speaks to promise of this target for so many different human cancers.” Source:http://www.ucsf.edu/last_img read more

Study reveals impact of Deepwater Horizon oil spill on oysters

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 14 2018Oysters likely suffered toxic effects from the oil dispersant Corexit® 9500 when it was used to clean up the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, said Morris Animal Foundation-funded researchers at the University of Connecticut. The team determined this by comparing the low levels of toxicity of oil, the dispersant and a mixture of the two on Eastern oysters. The team published their findings in the journalAfter the Deepwater Horizon oil rig spilled more than 170 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, nearly two million gallons of Corexit® 9500 was deployed into the Gulf to break the oil down.”There’s an unfortunate trade-off to using dispersants like this,” said Lindsay Jasperse, a member of the university’s research team that published the study. “They may prevent giant oil spills from washing ashore and damaging wetlands, but they also cause negative effects for species below the ocean’s surface that might have been spared if dispersants weren’t used.”Related StoriesCancer risk linked to mobile phone radiation in rats but cannot be extrapolated to humansStudy shows how fingerprint-based drug screening works on the living and deceasedCorning Life Sciences to highlight advanced 3D cell culture technologies and tools at SLAS 2019Oysters are considered a keystone species due their value to their ecosystem. Primarily, they serve as water purifiers, filtering out particles and nutrients from the water to improve the quality for surrounding species. Oyster reefs also prevent erosion and provide habitat and protection for many crabs and fish. Unfortunately, as they are immobile and so abundant, they are at a significant risk for critical exposure to oil and oil dispersants following environmental disasters.Researchers compared, in a controlled environment, the toxicity of oil alone, the dispersant alone and a mixture of the two on oysters. The researchers tested both the oysters’ feeding rates, or how well they could filter algae, and immune functions, or how well they could absorb and destroy bacteria, which indicates an oyster’s ability to fight off infection. A reduction in an oyster’s feeding rates could result in stunted growth or even death. If an oyster’s immune system is compromised, it can be more likely to succumb to infection.For the oysters’ immune function, the dispersant alone was the most toxic, followed by the dispersant and oil mixture. Oil alone did not impact the oysters’ immune function at all. Researchers tested the oysters’ feeding rates and found the mixture of the dispersant and oil had the most toxic effect, followed by oil alone and then the dispersant alone.”Knowing the effects dispersants and oil have on oysters can help us make better mitigation recommendations the next time an environmental and ecological crisis like this happens,” said Dr. Kelly Diehl, Morris Animal Foundation Interim Vice President of Scientific Programs. “Species are interconnected, and what harms oysters will likely cascade through their ecosystem to the detriment of all.” Source:https://www.morrisanimalfoundation.org/article/study-shows-toxic-effects-oil-dispersant-corexitr-9500-likely-oysters-following-2010last_img read more

Pluto confirmed as largest object in Kuiper belt

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img The size measurement, made by fitting spacecraft images to circular disks, still has some uncertainty, due to pixel fuzziness. Stern says the precision in the measurement will ultimately be narrowed to just a few kilometers. Typically, astronomers measure the size of Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) by waiting for stars to pass behind the objects during occultation events; by measuring the timing of these tiny eclipses, they can calculate sizes—but errors accrue when, as in the case of Pluto, the objects have atmospheres that refract the light of the background star. Though it may be smaller in size, Eris remains about 30% more massive than Pluto, says Mike Brown, a planetary astronomer at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena who led the team that discovered Eris in 2005. Brown has been called a “Pluto killer” because the discovery of Eris played a part in Pluto’s demotion to dwarf planet in 2006 by the International Astronomical Union. “Most scientists care much more about mass than size,” Brown notes slyly. “I’m glad that Pluto gets a little bit of a claim to fame by being larger.”Brown says the refinements in estimates for Pluto’s density shouldn’t matter too much. At about 2 grams per cubic centimeter, it is still quite high compared with smaller KBOs. He says the relatively high density fits with the idea that a collision led to the formation of Pluto and its largest moon Charon; the collision probably stripped away some of the less dense ice, leaving behind a body that is more heavily composed of rock.The New Horizons spacecraft is closing the remaining gap between it and Pluto. Just before 8 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on 14 July, the spacecraft will pass make its closest approach. It will pass within 12,500 kilometers of the surface and take pictures with resolutions better than 100 meters per pixel. Stern says the data are already “mouthwatering,” and that the energy level of the mission team is “electric.”*See Science’s full coverage of Pluto, including regular updates on the New Horizons flyby. NASA’s New Horizons team says the debate is over: Pluto is the largest of the worlds that patrol the fringe of the solar system.Just a day away from the mission’s closest approach past the dwarf planet, the team on Monday reported refined estimates for its size: 2370 kilometers in diameter, plus or minus 20 kilometers. That makes Pluto larger than Eris, another distant world with a diameter of 2326 kilometers across, plus or minus 12 kilometers. Estimates for Pluto’s size have generally grown over the past decade, whereas Eris’s have remained similar. So Pluto can now claim to be king of the Kuiper belt, the region of thousands of icy worlds that orbit the sun beyond Neptune.The new measurement “settles the debate about the largest object in the Kuiper belt,” says Alan Stern, the principal investigator for the mission, who presented the result at a press conference at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, which is managing the New Horizons mission. Coming in at the higher end of estimates that have ranged between 2300 and 2400 kilometers, Pluto’s bigger size means that estimates for density go down slightly. That in turn means that Pluto’s proportion of less dense ice to rock is a bit higher.last_img read more

A closer look at the nerves that slim down your fat cells

first_img Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) When the human body needs extra energy, the brain tells fat cells to release their stores. Now, for the first time, researchers have visualized the nerves that carry those messages from brain to fat tissue. The activation of these nerves in mice, they found, helps the rodents lose weight—an observation that could lead to new slimming treatments for obese people.“The methods used here are really novel and exciting,” says neuroendocrinologist Heike Muenzberg-Gruening of Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, who was not involved in the new study. “Their work has implications for obesity research and also for studying these nerves in other tissues.”Diagrams of the chatter between the brain and fat tissues have long included two-way arrows: Fat cells produce the hormone leptin, which travels to the brain to lower appetite and boost metabolism. In turn, the brain sends signals to the fat cells when it’s time to break down their deposits of fatty molecules, such as lipids, into energy. Researchers hypothesized that there must be a set of nerve cells that hook up to traditional fat tissue to carry these messages, but they’d never been able to indisputably see or characterize them.center_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Now they have. Thanks to two forms of microscopy, neurobiologist Ana Domingos, of the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência in Oeiras, Portugal, produced images showing bundles of nerves clearly enveloping fat cells in mice. She and her colleagues went on to show, using various stains, that the nerves were a type belonging to the sympathetic nervous system that stretches outward from the spinal cord and keeps the body’s systems in balance.“People had looked at thin slices of fat tissue before, and it was really hard to tell what you were looking at,” Domingos says. Her team, on the other hand, used techniques that let them image a whole tissue at once. “The images we created really established that there are nerves terminating in the fat tissue.”Then, to probe those nerve cells’ roles in obesity, the researchers genetically engineered mice so that they could selectively turn on the sympathetic nerves within rodent fat tissues using a laser; it was the first time researchers had used so-called optogenetics to control cells in the sympathetic nervous system rather than in the brain and spinal cord that make up the central nervous system. Turning on those nerves, Domingos and colleagues report today in Cell, mimicked the effect that increasing leptin does, stimulating fat breakdown. Alternatively, when they engineered mice to lack the sympathetic nerves, increasing leptin levels no longer led to a breakdown of fat cells.“If we can find drugs that specifically activate those neurons in people, we might be able to have an effect on obesity,” Domingos says. Many obese individuals, she points out, are resistant to leptin—their brain stops responding to high levels. Turning on the nerves that the brain uses to send signals in response to leptin, her findings suggest, could be a way around this resistance.This year, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first nerve blocker to treat obesity by interrupting messages between the stomach and the brain, but how it works at a cellular level is poorly understood. “There’s a lot of concern that with something like that, we’re blocking both good and bad nerve fibers,” says Muenzberg-Gruening, who suggests that specifically targeting the newly discovered nerves in fat may lead to fewer side effects. But questions remain, she adds, about whether other types of nerves are also signaling fat cells, and whether the fat cells receiving signals are themselves unique.last_img read more

NSF breaks new ground in reprimanding authors of flawed Science paper

first_imgRetractions of scientific papers are common. But the circumstances surrounding this week’s retraction of a 12-year-old Science paper, involving research funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), appear to be highly unusual.The case highlights the sometimes fraught relationship between journals, researchers, and funding agencies. And it has drawn attention to some apparently rare steps that NSF took against researchers who the agency says engaged in unacceptable research practices—but not misconduct.The 2004 paper, reporting on a novel method of synthesizing new materials through the use of RNA catalysts, has been investigated by two universities and NSF. In 2013 the NSF Office of Inspector General (OIG), an independent watchdog, found that the three authors, then a graduate student and two biochemistry professors at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, had falsified their results and were guilty of scientific misconduct. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Emailcenter_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country NSF officials overruled that finding in a move that agency observers say is rare. However, in a May 2015 letter to the researchers, NSF said that their actions were “certainly a departure from accepted practices.” And NSF agreed with OIG that the researchers—Lina Gugliotti, Daniel Feldheim, and Bruce Eaton—needed to “clarify the scientific publication record” (by submitting a correction to Science) before they could be eligible to apply for NSF grants. That ruling triggered a chain of events that led to today’s retraction notice in Science.The case breaks new ground for NSF, say those who follow research misconduct. One novel twist is that the agency meted out a major punishment—ineligibility for NSF funding—despite finding that the researchers weren’t guilty of misconduct. The punishment is instead based on NSF’s conclusion that the numerous flaws in the paper meant the researchers had violated an agency rule requiring grantees to publish “all significant findings.”Another new wrinkle was NSF’s decision to tell the researchers that submitting a correction to Science would be the essential step in restoring their eligibility. In most cases where NSF finds misconduct, the perpetrators face debarment from federal funding for a fixed amount of time as long as 5 years. (OIG had recommended that the researchers be banned for 3 years from serving as reviewers or consultants to the agency.)Correction or retraction?After receiving NSF’s letter, the researchers did submit a correction to Science, says Marcia McNutt, the journal’s editor-in-chief. But the journal decided not to publish it. Instead, McNutt says she opted for a retraction that is carefully worded to conform to the NSF ruling. “The retraction says that [the researchers] submitted a correction to the journal,” she explains. “So according to the retraction, the authors have satisfied exactly what NSF asked them to do.”According to McNutt, the 2004 Science paper contained far too many flaws to be dealt with in a correction. “Corrections are for honest errors. We don’t want to do corrections for truly sloppy science,” she told ScienceInsider.McNutt’s characterization of the paper is drawn from the NSF investigation, which concluded that the researchers were guilty of “an avoidance of protocols, a failure to meet expected scientific standards, a lack of expertise or training in the field of inquiry, poor oversight of less experienced team members, and the misrepresentation of data on which a conclusion was based. In short… an absence of care, if not sloppiness, and most certainly a departure from accepted practices.”Based on that analysis, McNutt says she decided that a retraction was the only way to remove the stain on the scientific literature. “Now that [NSF’s] report is publicly available,” she explains, “I didn’t want the community to read it and think, ‘So this is the type of paper that Science publishes?’” The retraction, she says, still allows the scientists to use subsequent papers that they have published to illustrate that their results were sound. Those later papers, McNutt says, is “the basis on which the research should be judged.”McNutt hopes the retraction will also help curb what she sees as a rush-to-publish mentality among scientists that puts staking a claim above scientific rigor. “I’m worried about what will happen if top journals continue to publish flashy results that don’t hold up and that are slapped together and are shaky,” McNutt says. “I would prefer to send the message, ‘Don’t send those papers to this journal.’”Lack of clarityMany details in the case remain murky, however, because of federal laws designed to protect the privacy of the researchers under scrutiny. NSF has not acknowledged that the trio is the subject of its investigation, and their names were redacted from NSF documents released to a North Carolina newspaper that has closely followed the case. But several media outlets have identified the researchers, and Feldheim, now a professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and Eaton, who recently retired from that university, have publicly blasted NSF over the years for what they feel has been an unwarranted attack on their research. In 2014 they created a short-lived website, StandUp2ScienceBullies.com, to rally community support for their position.Feldheim and Eaton did not respond to repeated invitations by ScienceInsider to talk about their situation. NSF also declined to discuss the case, citing privacy concerns. But McNutt, who discussed the issue with NSF Director France Córdova before deciding to retract the paper, says that NSF knew its ruling was taking it into uncharted waters.“It sounded to me, when talking to France, that this might be a change in NSF’s attitude,” McNutt says. “I think they want to work more closely with the community to find ways to raise standards.”McNutt was quick to add that “NSF doesn’t set journal policy. But I think they are looking for greater involvement in the process of maintaining high standards for scientific integrity.”The case also calls attention to the messy process by which journals try to address errors in the literature, and the difference between a correction and a retraction. Researchers at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, reported this week in Nature on their struggle to get journals to correct mistakes in papers they had published; the researchers had discovered many of mistakes simply by reading the articles. In many cases, they reported, it was difficult to get journals to even acknowledge the errors, much less take appropriate action.“There’s a vacuum of clarity on when an error warrants an erratum versus a retraction, much less an investigation into possible wrongdoing,” says the lead author, biostatistician David Allison. “There are some broad guidelines, but they aren’t very helpful to an editor trying to decide on the proper response.”last_img read more

Top stories Miniinterstellar spacecraft a wormy weapon against Crohns and a victory

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe This week, Russian internet billionaire Yuri Milner proposed making a genuine journey to the stars: a program to develop a tiny spacecraft, weighing less than a gram, and propel it across nearly 40 trillion kilometers of space to the nearest star to study any planets there. Rather than using fuel, Milner hopes to use powerful Earth-based lasers to give it a boost.Brain implant helps quadriplegic play Guitar HeroAfter Ian Burkhart broke his neck and lost all movement below his shoulders at age 19, his brain still told his hands how to move—but the messages couldn’t get through his severed spinal cord. Now, thanks to recent advances in electrical stimulation technology, Burkhart can once again grasp, pour, swipe a credit card, and even play Guitar Hero. To do so, he uses a microelectrode array that reads his brain’s signals and sends them through wires to a gel sleeve that electronically stimulates his muscles.NASA’s planet hunter safe again, for nowNASA has regained control of its exoplanet discovery satellite Kepler following a fraught few days during which the spacecraft had put itself into a protective “emergency mode.” What went wrong is not yet clear, but on Sunday morning controllers had the spacecraft in a stable state with its communications antenna pointing toward Earth, ready to send data about the hiccup.   Parasitic worms may prevent Crohn’s disease by altering bacterial balanceThe parasitic worms that lurk in some people’s intestines may be revolting, but they seem to forestall Crohn’s disease and other types of inflammatory bowel disease. A new study might explain how, revealing that the worms enable beneficial microbes in the intestines to outcompete bacteria that promote inflammation. The results could lead to new ways of treating gut diseases by mimicking the effects of the parasites. Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Humans best computers in atom-snatching gameIn the latest effort to entice ordinary people to do scientific scut work, physicists have enlisted online gamers to figure out the fastest way to pick up and move an atom with a beam of light. Surprisingly, people playing an online game came up with better strategies for moving the atom than a computer algorithm alone—even finding solutions that were faster than what the physicists had assumed was a speed limit set by quantum mechanics itself.Russian billionaire unveils big plan to build tiny interstellar spacecraftlast_img read more

Scientific sleuths hunt for Zikacarrying mosquitoes

first_imgZika virus, the once obscure pathogen now widely feared for causing birth defects and other problems, has spread very far very quickly since an outbreak was first noticed in northeast Brazil in early 2015. It has reached more than 
40 countries across the Americas, even making it to the Cape Verde islands, off the western coast of Africa. More than a million people have become infected.As public health officials try to contain the epidemic, researchers are racing to answer a key question with important implications for which areas are at risk, and what methods might work to slow its spread: Which mosquitoes are transmitting the virus? Answering the question is no small challenge. Scientists need evidence from both lab-raised and wild-caught mosquitoes to make the case that a given species is guilty.Just last week, a team in Rio de Janeiro announced that it had nabbed several 
Aedes aegypti infected with Zika—the first infected mosquitoes found in Brazil. The species, the yellow fever mosquito, has long been the prime suspect, but some scientists believe the Zika virus must have other carriers to have spread so quickly—and they have field and lab studies underway to resolve the issue. Until that evidence is in, “we shouldn’t jump to conclusions,” says Duane Gubler, a virologist at Duke-NUS Medical School 
in Singapore. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img A. aegypti has earned suspicion because it spreads dengue and chikungunya as well as yellow fever and is common in urban areas of Brazil where major outbreaks have occurred and throughout Latin America. But evidence of wild mosquitoes infected with Zika has been lacking. It is harder than one might expect to find them. In dengue outbreaks, says Sander Koenraadt, an entomologist at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, researchers typically find that fewer than 1% of sampled mosquitoes are infected with the dengue virus, even where people are falling sick. “You have to look at a lot of mosquitoes to find [infected ones],” Gubler says. The mosquitoes “infect people and die before anyone shows up at the hospital” with disease symptoms, says Oliver Brady, an entomologist at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.For the insects to transmit a virus, they must take up infected blood from a human or animal and become infected themselves. The virus then has to travel from their gut to their saliva. Only some species are susceptible to particular viruses.To test whether a given species is able to transmit a virus, researchers feed insects on infected blood in the lab and a week or so later collect saliva from them. If the saliva contains infective virus, the species is considered a “competent” vector. Not all lab-
competent vectors spread disease, however. That depends on several factors, such as how often the species bites, whether it feeds primarily on humans or other animals, and how long it lives. To confirm that a species is transmitting disease, researchers also need to find virus-infected mosquitoes in the wild.You have to look at a lot 
of mosquitoes to find 
[infected ones].Duane Gubler, Duke-NUS Medical SchoolThe team that reported the first Zika-
infected mosquitoes in Brazil, led by Ricardo Lourenço-de-Oliveira, an entomologist at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) in Rio de Janeiro, vacuumed up mosquitoes from homes and streets in Rio de Janeiro neighborhoods that were home to people complaining of Zika symptoms. Over 10 months they collected more than 1500 mosquitoes, identified them, and tested pooled samples of the same sex and species for the presence of Zika and other viruses. Nearly half were A. aegypti, and most of the rest were Culex quinquefasciatus, another common mosquito in urban Brazil. Roughly 5% were other species. A species called A. albopictus, widely known as the Asian tiger mosquito, which can also transmit Zika in the lab and has been found infected with the virus in Mexico and Gabon, made up only about 2% of the catch, Lourenço-de-Oliveira says. They found Zika virus in three sets of female A. aegypti mosquitoes, but none of the other species.The lack of virus in C. quinquefasciatus is somewhat reassuring, Lourenço-de-Oliveira says, but the case is not closed. Constância Ayres, an entomologist at Fiocruz in Recife, Brazil, says that her lab has evidence that the species is a possible vector; they have found Zika virus in the saliva of C. quinquefasciatus that had fed on infected blood. (Her team has submitted its work for publication.)Lab tests can be misleading, however. “There is a classic discordance between what you see in the lab and what happens in the wild,” Brady says. “Albopictus and aegypti are both highly competent in the lab” as vectors for dengue. “But in Europe, where we have widespread albopictus and almost no aegypti, you don’t have huge dengue outbreaks.”Ayres and others are still searching for Zika in the wild. She and her colleagues have collected and identified more than 5000 mosquitoes in the Recife area since March, from homes where confirmed Zika patients lived and from urgent care centers. She is waiting for promised grant money before she can run the polymerase chain reaction tests to find which viruses the mosquitoes are 
carrying, she says.Culex mosquitoes transmit several viruses related to Zika, and it would not be particularly surprising if both Culex and Aedes species could spread Zika, Ayres says. Gubler agrees that Culex is a plausible carrier. He notes that several Zika relatives spread by Culex mosquitoes, including the West Nile virus, target the nervous system, which Zika also seems to do.If Culex mosquitoes can transmit Zika virus, that will make slowing its spread even more difficult. C. quinquefasciatus is found as far north as Iowa and Indiana in the United States, although people there are protected by window screens and other factors. In Latin America, most vector control methods are targeted at A. aegypti. Those efforts have made barely a dent in curtailing spread of the Zika virus so far, notes Paul Reiter, an entomologist at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. Targeting multiple vectors at once will only make the job harder. “If [C.] quinquefaciatis is a vector,” he says, “we can forget anything about mosquito control.” Emaillast_img read more

One of our reporters tried to do CRISPR He failed miserably

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Roland Wagner, a postdoc in the lab of Sumit Chanda at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in San Diego, California, agreed to serve as my CRISPR sensei. An experienced rock climber originally from Austria, Wagner approaches everything methodically. He pulls up the sequence of the CD32 gene, which has five distinct protein-coding regions. If we cut the DNA in one region, the gene most likely would be knocked out: It would no longer make its protein. Now, at Wagner’s lab bench, I face a rack of fancy plastic gizmos that look like squirt guns but enable users to suck up precise microliters of liquid with a push of a button. My task is to pipette the oligo from one tiny test tube into another. The second tube holds a plasmid, which is a circular piece of DNA that will act as a Trojan horse. This plasmid, customized for CRISPR experiments, already holds the gene for Cas9. It also contains a 60-nucleotide “hairpin” sequence that ultimately will attach to the 20 nucleotides I add to make the full gRNA.I use one of the fancy pipettes to move the oligo into the plasmid tube, and I also add buffer, water, and an enzyme. If all goes well, the enzyme will cut open the plasmid, removing a piece of its DNA and allowing the oligo to take its place. All does not go well.”Oops!” Wagner says as I pipette the enzyme. “You failed a little bit.” I apparently hit the pipette button before submerging the tip into the liquid.In the end, I manage the procedure. After waiting for the chemical reactions to take place, we take my CRISPR plasmid to an electrophoresis machine, a tray that has wires hooked to it. We add a liquid that quickly turns to gelatin, and then I pipette a few drops of my CRISPR plasmid into different lanes on the device. I flip a switch to apply an electric current, which should separate the DNA into bands based on weight. The small piece of DNA I cut out with the enzyme should form a distinct band.My gel electrophoresis only has one band, from the plasmid.”It doesn’t look like it worked,” Wagner says gently. “I didn’t want to be all picky, but it could be that you messed up the enzyme with your pipetting.” He allows that when he was starting out, his experiments often failed. “I’d go home and I’d say, ‘I hate my life,'” he confided. “There are a lot of setbacks in science.”I’ve already learned that any idiot cannot do CRISPR: It takes, at least, basic laboratory skills.Wagner conducts the experiment in parallel with me, and his plasmid properly incorporates the oligo that will guide Cas9 to its target. We then coax a cell line made from an embryonic kidney into taking up the Trojan horse plasmid. After a few days, we isolate the DNA from the cells, amplify it with the polymerase chain reaction, and use electrophoresis to show that the CD32 gene has been cut into pieces. Voilà, our knockout worked.”You did great,” Wagner tells me. “Way to go!”I did not do great. But CRISPR did its job. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country By Jon CohenNov. 3, 2016 , 10:00 AM CRISPR uses a guide made of RNA to direct molecular scissors—part of the CRISPR-associated protein, or Cas9—to exact spots in a genome. We could buy the guide RNA (gRNA), but the idea appalls Wagner. “I would assume it’s probably $500 to buy the gRNA, but I wouldn’t know,” he says. “We’re making our own and we’re spending about $5.”The gRNA sequence must complement a stretch of 20 nucleotides on the segment of the CD32 gene we want to cut. But the same DNA sequence could recur elsewhere in the genome, leading the molecular scissors to cut in the wrong place. Such “off-target” effects can cause mayhem, and eliminating them is a key goal of those honing their CRISPR skills. To make the match more specific, Cas9 requires an additional sequence flanking the targeted 20 nucleotides: N-G-G, in which “N” can be any nucleotide. Where Cas9 finds N-G-G immediately following the 20 nucleotides, it attaches to and opens the double helix, allowing the gRNA to bind. Cas9 then cuts each strand of the DNA.To homebrew our gRNA, Wagner copies the sequence of the CD32 segment we’ve identified and pastes it into a freely available database, Optimized CRISPR Design, that looks for a matching set of 20 nucleotides followed by N-G-G. There are 41 options within CD32. The database scans the entire human genome to see whether there are identical matches elsewhere—potential sites of off-target cuts. We select a sequence that appears unique, and then he goes to another website and orders a stretch of DNA—an oligonucleotide—with that sequence.The oligo arrives, and I lose my modern pipetting virginity. I have not worked in a lab since I was an undergraduate more than 30 years ago. Back then, I learned a pipetting technique that probably was invented by Louis Pasteur: I put a finger in my mouth and then sucked up a chemical into a thin glass tube, capping it with my fingertip when I had drawn up enough.center_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) I speak biology fluently, but the molecular complexities of the novel genome-editing tool called CRISPR left me as befuddled as when I peruse descriptions of the inflationary universe. So I decided to test what one investigator told me: CRISPR (for “clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats”) may sound intimidating, but it is so simple to use that “any idiot” could do it.I would give it a try.CRISPR works best at crippling, or knocking out, genes, so that’s how I choose to use it. But I aim high: I target an immune gene that, I theorize, could lead to insights into reducing the harm done by Zika virus. (My admittedly wild hypothesis is that the gene, CD32, may help drive Zika virus to copy itself to higher levels if a person was previously infected with dengue and has antibodies to that virus.) One of our reporters tried to do CRISPR. He failed miserably Emaillast_img read more

Brain researchers fight National Hockey Leagues demand for records

first_img In the current litigation, the NHL’s medical expert, Rudy Castellani, asked the BU scientists for copies of gross pathology photographs, all brain slides, and clinical data of former NHL players in order to “verify the accuracy of the reports, evaluate for other pathological processes that may be significant, and conduct a full, independent neuropathological analysis of the cases.” (The scientists interviewed the former NHL players in some cases, and, in others, their surviving family members.)Stern’s affidavit argues in part: Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Meredith WadmanFeb. 8, 2017 , 5:45 PM Brian Cahn/ZUMApress/Newscom Castellani, the NHL’s expert, has argued in journal articles that a causal connection between repeated mild head trauma, brain degeneration, and dementia has not been established.The NHL is contending with at least two lawsuits by former players. The family of the late Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Steve Montador sued the league after Montador, 35, died of undisclosed causes in 2015, as The Associated Press reported. More than 100 players are being represented in the class-action lawsuit that was consolidated from several lawsuits in 2014, according to The Boston Globe.Among other things, the players have argued that the NHL failed to adequately warn players of the danger of the sport and deliberately promoted a culture of violence for commercial gain.The NHL has not responded to a request for comment.*Update, 8 February, 9:25 p.m.: This story has been updated to clarify the discipline of Robert Stern. A pair of Boston University (BU) brain researchers is pushing back against demands by the National Hockey League (NHL) that they release data, brain pathology slides, and interview records of former NHL players and their families. The scientists accumulated the records during their research on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a neurodegenerative disease that has been linked to repetitive head trauma.In affidavits unsealed yesterday in a class action lawsuit brought against the league by former players, BU neuroscientists Robert Stern and Ann McKee argued that giving the league the records would compromise both their ongoing research and the privacy of the players and families involved. The affidavits were first reported on yesterday by Rick Westhead of the Canadian sports network TSN. The NHL first subpoenaed the documents in September 2015.Stern and McKee, a neuropsychologist and a neuropathologist, respectively, at BU’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center, have studied the brains of former professional athletes, including hockey players, and are currently using MRI imaging to study scores of living National Football League and college football players in a large study funded by the National Institutes of Health. They say that assurances that players’ privacy will be protected are essential for the success of that $16 million study. Emailcenter_img I strenuously object to providing the NHL … information on any … research subject whose family has not consented to the intrusive disclosure sought by the NHL. … I urge the Court to consider the devastating impact that the open-ended legal discovery the NHL seeks will have on the future of my research. The [NHL] subpoena’s astonishing scope and breadth of coverage will, if enforced, impose an incredible burden and disrupt the CTE Center’s operations. This request will harm ALL ongoing CTE-related research, both at BU and at institutions that collaborate with BU and/or rely on BU findings as part of follow-on work. Researchers Robert Stern, Ann McKee, Chris Nowinski, and Robert Cantu (left to right) have been studying the link between brain disease and contact sports including hockey and football. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Brain researchers fight National Hockey League’s demand for records McKee writes in her affidavit:last_img read more

New great ape species found sparking fears for its survival

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country New great ape species found, sparking fears for its survival Genomic analysis confirmed the uniqueness of the population. Co-author Maja Mattle-Greminger at UZH and colleagues sequenced the genomes of one captive Tapanuli orangutan and 15 from Sumatra and Borneo. The researchers then combined these data with 20 previously published genomes, including another from Batang Toru, to work out a family tree. Alexander Nater, a co-author then at UZH, and the team concluded that by 3.4 million years ago, orangutans in northern Sumatra had split from those in southern Sumatra and Borneo. (The two islands and mainland Asia have been repeatedly joined and separated by changes in sea level.) Then, about 674,000 years ago, the populations in southern Sumatra and Borneo diverged.Although orangutans in north and south Sumatra occasionally interbred after the lineages diverged, the Tapanuli orangutans became completely isolated by about 20,000 years ago, and the new genetic analysis shows signs of inbreeding. One factor in the divergence appears to have been cataclysmic eruptions of Mount Toba in Sumatra about 73,000 years ago, which destroyed habitat and likely hindered the dispersal of males. Humans arrived at about the same time, clearing forests and presumably hunting orangutans.Conservationists say the highest priority is to protect the remaining population, which persists in about 1100 square kilometers of forest. In 2014, the government protected most of the forest from logging. But the best habitat—about 7 square kilometers of low-land forest—is not protected, and villagers sometimes kill orangutans that raid gardens. Gold mining is also driving deforestation.A planned hydropower dam is the latest threat. The so-called run-of-river design would not store much water behind a dam, but would require digging a long tunnel in an area that holds the densest population of orangutans. An access road would promote deforestation, Fredriksson says, complicating plans to use forest corridors to reconnect the four blocks of orangutan habitat.In March, the provincial government established the first management authority focused on the Batang Toru ecosystem. Fredriksson says a key task for conservation groups is working with local communities to reduce illegal tree-cutting and hunting. But she warns that, by itself, “the new species of orangutan is not so exciting” to Batang Toru residents. So conservationists will need to find creative ways of enlisting their help, for example by promoting tourism and other benefits of a healthy forest, to keep the world’s newest ape species alive. CREDITS: (MAPS) J. YOU/SCIENCE; (DATA) IUCN RED LIST; PANECO FOUNDATION Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe By Erik StokstadNov. 2, 2017 , 12:00 PM A vulnerable home The Tapanuli orangutans face many threats, including fragmented habitat, gold mining, and a planned dam. Pongo tapanuliensis is the first new great ape to be discovered since the bonobo in 1929. Just 15,000 individuals of P. abelii remain in Sumatra. Most of their forest habitat has been destroyed by logging, palm oil plantations, and other development. On Borneo, the population of P. pygmaeus has fallen by 25% over the past 10 years to about 60,000. A recent study estimated that up to 3100 orangutans are killed each year on Borneo alone. This is a high death rate for animals that are extremely slow to reproduce; Sumatran orangutans give birth every 8 to 9 years, less frequently than any other mammal. “Any negative effect will have a long-lasting impact on the population,” says Vincent Nijman, a conservation biologist and anthropologist at Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom. “That’s why you need to be so careful.” The Tapanuli population had been lost to science for decades. In 1997, Erik Meijaard, a co-author of the paper and a biologist with Borneo Futures, a conservation group based in Bandar Seri Begawan, led a team that followed up on a 1935 report by a colonial-era zoologist. It mentioned orangutans in the Batang Toru forest, which by the 1990s was believed to be outside the orangutans’ range.Clues that the Batang Toru population might be a breed apart began to emerge after Gabriella Fredriksson, a conservationist with the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) in Medan, Indonesia, helped set up a field station in 2005. One clue came from their unusual diet—not just caterpillars, but also other foods such as conifer cones. And fecal samples yielded mitochondrial DNA that suggested they are more closely related to orangutans on the relatively distant island of Borneo than to those in nearer northern Sumatra. “This was very odd,” says co-author Michael Krützen, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Zurich (UZH) in Switzerland.Without a skeleton to study, scientists couldn’t tell whether these differences were enough to warrant a separate species. Then, in 2013, villagers killed an adult male orangutan after it invaded a garden. Its skull and jaw differed significantly from those of the two known species on 24 of 39 standard measurements, found coauthor Anton Nurcahyo, a doctoral student at the Australian National University in Canberra. Other differences emerged, too. Photographs of two Tapanuli males and a female showed they had frizzier hair, and sound recordings analyzed by SOCP’s Matthew Nowak revealed calls with more pulses and higher pitches. MAXIME ALIAGA Researchers have identified a new species of orangutan in an isolated forest on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Fewer than 800 individuals remain, and the construction of a dam and road threaten the prime habitat of the ape, which is distinguished from its cousins by, among other things, frizzier hair and a taste for caterpillars.”As a scientist, I’m thrilled by this discovery,” says Graham Banes, a primatologist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison who was not involved in the rare find, described online this week in Current Biology. “As a human, I’m horrified that we might not have enough time to save the species.”A combination of genetic, anatomical, and ecological data convinced researchers that Pongo tapanuliensis, named for the Tapanuli districts where it is found, is distinct from the two accepted species of orangutan. Conservationists hope the find—the first new species of great ape to be discovered since the bonobo in 1929—will help raise awareness of the plight of orangutans. Both existing species are critically endangered, and the new species immediately surpasses them to become one of the world’s most endangered apes. The discovery “will enable us to get the message out about primate conservation in a major way,” predicts Russell Mittermeier, executive vice-chair of Conservation International in Arlington, Virginia. Emaillast_img read more

What were the most discussed studies of 2017

first_img What were the most discussed studies of 2017? Altmetric has set up a website where you can explore the rest of their list. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Jon CohenDec. 21, 2017 , 3:15 PM Animated Heaven/Flickr (CC0 1.0) Emailcenter_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Limiting the amount of fat you eat may not, it turns out, reduce your risk of heart disease and death.That’s the conclusion of the “most discussed” scientific article last year, according to Altmetric, a London-based company that publishes the top 100 papers of the year. As The Times Higher Education explains, Altmetric ranks the publications based on their online popularity. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The Lancet’s study about diets, which followed the food intake and health of 135,000 people in 18 countries for an average of 7.4 years, led to 168 news stories, 8313 tweets, and 441 Facebook posts.last_img read more