A marine science iBook entitled “Harmful Algal Blooms” has been developed as part of NUI Galway’s contribution to an EU-funded European research project Sea Change. The project aims to raise European citizens’ awareness of the ocean’s influence on us and our influence on the ocean, or “Ocean Literacy”. The iBook will be launched by Professor Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research on Monday 13 March at the National University of Ireland, Galway.
13 March 2017 — 18 March 2017
Location: Trieste - Gorizia, Italy
Ticket prices: Free
Artificial intelligence, language, time perception, nutrition, vaccines: these are some of the themes that will be covered from the 13th to 18th of March in Trieste - and for the first time also in Gorizia - for Brain Awareness Week. The local initiative is organised by the Interdisciplinary Laboratory of SISSA in Trieste and the BRAIN Centre of the Department of Life Sciences of the University of Trieste, in collaboration with the Science Centre Immaginario Scientifico and the Municipality of Trieste. Performances, panel discussions, educational laboratories, workshops, scientific cafés, conferences, visits to laboratories: a broad range of appointments for everyone and for all ages.
Devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) is a transmissible cancer devastating the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) population. The cancer cell is the ‘infectious’ agent transmitted as an allograft by biting. Animals usually die within a few months with no evidence of antibody or immune cell responses against the DFTD allograft. This lack of anti-tumour immunity is attributed to an absence of cell surface major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-I molecule expression. While the endangerment of the devil population precludes experimentation on large experimental groups, those examined in our study indicated that immunisation and immunotherapy with DFTD cells expressing surface MHC-I corresponded with effective anti-tumour responses. Tumour engraftment did not occur in one of the five immunised Tasmanian devils, and regression followed therapy of experimentally induced DFTD tumours in three Tasmanian devils. Regression correlated with immune cell infiltration and antibody responses against DFTD cells. These data support the concept that immunisation of devils with DFTD cancer cells can successfully induce humoral responses against DFTD and trigger immune-mediated regression of established tumours. Our findings support the feasibility of a protective DFTD vaccine and ultimately the preservation of the species.
In her recent doctoral dissertation, researcher Sanna Heikkinen from the University of Helsinki and Finnish Cancer Registry evaluates the contribution of the use of hormonal contraceptives and hair dyes to the spectrum of breast cancer risk factors. The analysis included self-reported survey data from 8000 breast cancer patients and 20 000 controls from Finland. According to the results, use of hormonal intrauterine device was associated with 52% increased risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women, when compared to women who had used copper intrauterine device.
I risultati dello studio ENEA-Green Cross Italia sulla filiera dell’industria cinematografica
Cinema in Classe AL’intera industria cinematografica mondiale è responsabile del 2 per cento delle emissioni globali di CO2. È quanto emerge dal convegno #CinemaInClasseA, organizzato a Roma da ENEA e Green Cross Italia, che ha analizzato i consumi e le possibilità di risparmio del settore in Italia. “Abbiamo calcolato che i consumi di energia e le relative emissioni si potrebbero ridurre di circa il 20 per cento, se tutte le produzioni cinematografiche adottassero protocolli di sostenibilità per la realizzazione dei propri film”, ha sottolineato Antonio Disi dell’ENEA, coordinatore della Campagna nazionale per l’efficienza energetica Italia in classe A, promossa dal Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico e realizzata dall’ENEA.
With their measurements and samples, nearly 3,500 schoolchildren have assisted a research study on lakes and global warming, now published in the journal Scientific Reports. The results show that water temperatures generally remain low despite the air becoming warmer. This helps to curb the emission of greenhouse gases. How often is water warmer than air? Gesa Weyhenmeyer, Professor of Aquatic Biogeochemistry at Uppsala University, asked herself this question when she analysed thousands of measurements. They were taken in late summer and autumn 2016 by compulsory school pupils at senior level (years 7–9) from 66 schools in Sweden.
In the forthcoming decades, risks of summer fire may increase in Mediterranean Europe. A recent study published in Scientific Reports, led by researchers of the University of Barcelona in collaboration with several other research institutions, shows that the direct effect of climate change in regulating fuel moisture (droughts leading to larger fires) is expected to be dominant, regarding the indirect effect of antecedent climate on fuel load and structure -that is, warmer/drier conditions that determine fuel availability. The researchers drew this conclusion after analyzing a set of empirical models linking the summer Burned Area to the climatic indicators. These models are also promising for developing a seasonal forecast system supporting fire management strategies.
Women suffer from asthma symptoms more frequently and more severely than men
Women suffer more frequently and more severely from pollen and food allergies and therefore also from asthma. Firstly, female sex hormones increase the risk and symptoms of asthma and allergies and, secondly, hormone preparations such as the contraceptive pill play a role. These factors should be given more consideration than was previously the case. Erika Jensen-Jarolim from MedUni Vienna's Institute of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research stresses this point on the occasion of International Women's Day on 8 March.
New analysis reveals 24 compounds that can help reduce impact of harmful proteins in the brain
A study by Indiana University researchers has identified 24 compounds -- including caffeine -- with the potential to boost an enzyme in the brain shown to protect against dementia. The protective effect of the enzyme, called NMNAT2, was discovered last year through research conducted at IU Bloomington. The new study appears today in the journal Scientific Reports. "This work could help advance efforts to develop drugs that increase levels of this enzyme in the brain, creating a chemical 'blockade' against the debilitating effects of neurodegenerative disorders," said Hui-Chen Lu, who led the study. Lu is a Gill Professor in the Linda and Jack Gill Center for Biomolecular Science and the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, a part of the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences.