The mean maximum annual temperatures increase gradually from the north of the Red Sea to its south. Reproduced with permission from reference 2017 Nature Publishing Group
The world’s warmest sea is heating up faster than the global average, which could challenge the ability of the Red Sea’s organisms to cope. “The global rate of ocean warming has many consequences for life on this planet. Now we are learning that the Red Sea is warming even faster than the global average,” says KAUST PhD student of marine science, Veronica Chaidez. The analyses, conducted by a multidisciplinary team spanning all three divisions at KAUST, provide vital data that could help predict the future of the Red Sea’s marine biodiversity when supplemented by evidence to be gathered on the thermal limits of local organisms. Analyses of satellite sensing data from 1982 to 2015 show that the Red Sea’s maximum surface temperatures have increased at a rate of 0.17 ± 0.07°C per decade, exceeding the global ocean warming rate of 0.11°C per decade. Maximum sea-surface temperatures were found to increase from north to south along the Red Sea basin, with the coolest temperatures located in the gulfs of Suez and Aqaba in the far North. These two gulfs, however, are showing the highest rates of change compared to the rest of the basin at 0.40–0.45°C per decade; four times faster than the mean global ocean warming rate.
Towards an early diagnosis through hearing capacity
Almost 10% of the world population suffers dyslexia. Establishing an early diagnosis would allow the development of training programs to palliate this disorder. We now may be nearer to reaching this goal thanks to a study carried out by the Basque Centre on Cognition, Brain and Language (BCBL), associating auditory processing in children to their reading skills. The results offer a new approach for detecting the risk before the children learn to read. Difficulty recognising words, decoding and writing problems, limitation of reading comprehension... These are the main consequences of dyslexia, a cognitive disorder of neurological origin in which a late diagnosis is the main handicap. A study led by investigators of the Basque Centre on Cognition, Brain and Language (BCBL) has demonstrated a relationship between the capacity of children to learn how to read and their hearing ability. This breakthrough, published in Frontiers in Psychology, casts light upon the detection of the disorder and could help establish the risk of dyslexia from an early stage, as well as develop training programmes to palliate reading limitations on a preemptive basis.
A Montreal Clinical Research Institute discovery sheds light on osteocalcin, a hormone produced by our bones that affects how we metabolize sugar and fat. Your skeleton is much more than the structure supporting your muscles and other tissues. It produces hormones, too. And Mathieu Ferron knows a lot about it. The researcher at the Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM) and professor at Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Medicine has spent the last decade studying a hormone called osteocalcin. Produced by our bones, osteocalcin affects how we metabolize sugar and fat. In a recent paper in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, Ferron’s team unveiled a new piece of the puzzle that explains how osteocalcin works. The discovery may someday open the door to new ways of preventing type 2 diabetes and obesity.
There is a difference between male and female physics faculty salaries and the culture of physics is partly to blame, according to an article that is available for free this month from Physics Today, the world's most influential and closely followed magazine devoted to physics and the physical sciences community. The article, "Salaries for female physics faculty trail those for male colleagues," identifies key factors influencing the gender pay gap and offers potential solutions that include changes in the culture in physics departments. The article is available at https://doi.org/10.1063/PT.3.3760. Staff writer Toni Feder combined data from a 2010 report, “Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty” (https://www.nap.edu/catalog/12062/gender-differences-at-critical-transitions-in-the-careers-of-science-engineering-and-mathematics-faculty), from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that looked at hundreds of institutions with unpublished data from the American Institute of Physics (AIP) Statistical Research Center (SRC). AIP is the publisher of Physics Today.
When overweight adults exchange refined grain products – such as white bread and pasta – with whole grain varieties, they eat less, they lose weight and the amount of inflammation in their bodies decreases. These are some of the findings of a large Danish study headed by the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark. The study supports the scientific basis for the Danish dietary recommendation to choose whole grains. The beneficial effect of eating whole grain instead of refined grain products is well documented. Epidemiological studies have shown that whole grain consumption decreases the risk of development of e.g. cardiovascular diseases. In the most comprehensive study to date of its kind, researchers have studied the effect of exchanging refined grain products in the diet – such as white bread and pasta – with whole grain varieties. The National Food Institute headed the study, which was carried out in close cooperation with the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports at the University of Copenhagen and DTU Bioinformatics. A large number of other researchers from Danish universities and hospitals additionally contributed to the study.
Regional data also suggest some teens who abuse cannabis outgrow habit in adulthood
About a quarter of adults whose marijuana use is problematic in early adulthood have anxiety disorders in childhood and late adolescence, reports a study published in the November 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP). The findings also shed light on an estimated 4 percent of adults who endured childhood maltreatment and peer bullying without resorting to chronic marijuana abuse, only to develop problems with the drug between the ages of 26 and 30. "Given that more states may be moving towards legalization of cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes, this study raises attention about what we anticipate will be the fastest growing demographic of users-adults," said lead author Sherika Hill, PhD, an adjunct faculty associate at the Duke University School of Medicine. "A lot of current interventions and policies in the US are aimed at early adolescent users. We have to start thinking about how we are going to address problematic use that may arise in a growing population of older users."
In a recent study published in Cell Reports, a research team led by Colin Adrain, from the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC, Portugal), discovered the mechanism that controls the release of important molecules that trigger the inflammatory response during the clearance of infections. When this machinery is deregulated it can contribute to important chronic diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, and cancer. Most proteins involved in communication between cells reside on the cell surface, hooked to the membrane. This is the case for the inflammatory molecule, TNF. When TNF is released from the membrane, it binds to its receptor on the cell surface, activating a cascade of events that change the cell’s behaviour fundamentally, preparing the cell and surrounding tissue to fight infection. However, TNF is deregulated in a range of inflammatory diseases and is therefore the focus of several therapeutic strategies.
Stem cell therapy has great potential for curing cartilage damage. However, it has remained unclear whether stem cells are responsible for regeneration or whether they trigger the process. Researchers at the Vetmeduni Vienna have been able to resolve this issue by tracking the effects in a new, natural model. After injection, stem cells orchestrate the healing effect of endogenous cells but are not responsible for cartilage regeneration. The breakthrough is published in JCI-Insight and was enabled by preventing the normal immune response to the molecule required to trace the injected cells.
Therapy with mesenchymal stem cells, the so-called progenitor cells of connective tissue, holds great promise for the regeneration of cartilage tissue but how stem cell therapy contributes to the healing of damaged connective tissue has been unclear. Debate has centred on whether the injected cells promote regeneration or stimulate the body's own cells to proliferate. A new strategy has now enabled researchers from the Department of Biomedical Sciences of the Vetmeduni Vienna to solve the question. The problem was that a marker protein was recognized by the immune system of the recipient as a non-self protein, leading to the rejection of the injected stem cells. The Vetmeduni Vienna scientists were able to overcome this limitation and show that progenitor cells do not participate directly in cartilage regeneration but serve to "animate" the process.
Newborns with jaundice must lie alone, naked, and with their eyes covered in incubators under blue light. Empa's light pajamas revolutionize this treatment because the pajamas emit the light directly onto the baby's skin. That means the baby can get healthy while warm, snug, and without a blindfold in its mother's arms.
Alone, naked, and with their eyes covered for protection: this is how newborns lie in incubators when they are being treated for jaundice. Irradiation with blue light in an incubator is necessary because toxic decomposition products of the blood pigment hemoglobin are deposited in the skin in newborns with jaundice. Researchers of the Empa division Biomimetic Membranes and Textiles have now significantly improved the not-so-child-friendly procedure by combining the treatment with the needs of the newborns: The team, led by Luciano Boesel, developed illuminated pajamas for babies that turn the treatment into a wellness experience.
To do this, the material researchers created textiles with optically conductive fibers woven into them. Battery-operated LEDs serve as a light source for the light-conducting threads. Together with conventional thread, the optical fibers are woven into a satin material that distributes the light supply evenly throughout the fabric, as the researchers recently reported in the trade journal "Biomedical Optics Express".
Asian elephant populations in Laos, which are under a process of commodification, have dropped by half in the last 30 years. According to researchers1 from CNRS and the French Beauval Nature association for conservation and research, the dynamics of elephant populations depend heavily on the socio-economic practices of the country and elephant owners. The setting-up of a “maternity-leave” system to compensate owners for their losses of income during breeding period would contribute to the species’ long-term survival. The findings of this research are published in Scientific Reports on November 1st 2017. Since the opening of the country to the market economy 20 years ago, the intensification of elephants’ workload, notably for the timber industry, has heavily affected their reproduction. The elephant’s long gestation period (22 months), followed by 2 years weaning, makes reproduction incompatible with work. In addition, the exportation of Lao elephants to neighboring countries for tourism purposes threatens the population survival.