Articoli filtrati per data: Venerdì, 20 Ottobre 2017
Venerdì, 20 Ottobre 2017 17:21

Caged blue mussels as environmental detectives

 The filtration and storage of pollutants are so efficient, that blue mussels are used in environmental monitoring; they are like environmental detectives. (Photo: Janne Kim Gitmark, NIVA)

May 2015, Kristiansand, Norway. Two researchers in a boat loaded with thousands of blue mussels, collected from a mussel farm in Lillesand. The boat heads out the Kristiansand fjord, and the researchers deploy the blue mussels in the sea. Why are they doing this? Blue mussel. This shellfish has its home in the intertidal areas in the sea, where it pumps large volumes of sea water over its ciliated gills. The blue mussel filtrates phytoplankton and pollutants from the water, takes up the plankton as food, and stores the pollutants in its tissues. The filtration and storage of pollutants are so efficient, that blue mussels are used in environmental monitoring; they are like environmental detectives. But, to say something certain about the pollution level in the fjord, a lot of blue mussels is needed; and picking massive amounts in areas where there are only few mussels, or even no mussels at all, is impossible. Now the researchers are experimenting with caged mussels: can newcomer mussels replace native mussels in environmental monitoring?

Pubblicato in Scienceonline
Venerdì, 20 Ottobre 2017 15:18

How Obesity Promotes Breast Cancer

3D spheroid of cultivated breast cancer cells. Invasive cells show a light blue co-staining for the leptin receptor and a marker of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (i.e. the ability of cells to metastasize). Cell nuclei are stained in red. Source: Helmholtz Zentrum München

 

Obesity leads to the release of cytokines into the bloodstream which impact the metabolism of breast cancer cells, making them more aggressive as a result. Scientists from Helmholtz Zentrum München, Technische Universität München (TUM), and Heidelberg University Hospital report on this in ‘Cell Metabolism’. The team has already been able to halt this mechanism with an antibody treatment. The number of people with obesity is increasing rapidly worldwide. The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) recently reported that according to the WHO the number of children and adolescents with obesity increased tenfold between 1975 and 2016.  Severe overweight can lead to various health impairments. Besides inducing cardiovascular diseases, obesity for example also promotes the development of cancer and metastases. The current study elucidates an as yet unknown mechanism making breast cancer more aggressive. The enzyme ACC1* plays a central role in this process," said Dr. Mauricio Berriel Diaz, deputy director of the Institute for Diabetes and Cancer (IDC) at Helmholtz Zentrum München. He led the study together with Stephan Herzig, director of the IDC and professor for Molecular Metabolic Control at TUM and Heidelberg University Hospital. “ACC1 is a key component of fatty acid synthesis," said Berriel Diaz. “However, its function is impaired by the cytokines leptin and TGF-β.“ The levels of these cytokines are increased particularly in the blood of severely overweight subjects.

Pubblicato in Scienceonline
Venerdì, 20 Ottobre 2017 15:13

DUE ACHEULEANI, DUE SPECIE UMANE

 

Dagli scavi a Melka Kuture, la scoperta di un percorso evolutivo discontinuo dal genere Homo all’Homo sapiens

Tracciare il percorso dell’evoluzione umana è possibile, specialmente in Africa orientale dove si trovano i siti archeologici che meglio raccontano il percorso dei nostri antenati. L’associazione diretta tra una determinata specie umana e una specifica tecnica di produzione degli utensili in pietra (industria litica) ha, fino a oggi, consentito di raccontare questo percorso come un fenomeno unitario. Nell’articolo pubblicato sul Journal of Anthropological Sciences, Margherita Mussi del Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Antichità della Sapienza e direttrice delle ricerche archeologiche a Melka Kunture (Etiopia), uno dei Grandi Scavi della Sapienza, propone, insieme a Rosalia Gallotti, una nuova interpretazione dello sviluppo dell’Acheuleano, cultura del Paleolitico inferiore. Questa cultura rappresenta una fase molto lunga (da 1, 8 milioni a 100.000 anni fa) e importante dell’evoluzione umana ed è caratterizzata da una innovazione tecnica nella scheggiatura dei manufatti – che comprendono i caratteristici “bifacciali” a forma di mandorla –, evidenziando un vero e proprio salto di qualità rispetto ai periodi precedenti. Le industrie acheuleane più antiche sono state rinvenute appunto in Africa.

Pubblicato in Paleontologia

 

Scienzaonline con sottotitolo Sciencenew  - Periodico
Autorizzazioni del Tribunale di Roma – diffusioni:
telematica quotidiana 229/2006 del 08/06/2006
mensile per mezzo stampa 293/2003 del 07/07/2003
Scienceonline, Autorizzazione del Tribunale di Roma 228/2006 del 29/05/06
Pubblicato a Roma – Via A. De Viti de Marco, 50 – Direttore Responsabile Guido Donati

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